Saturday, March 31, 2012

How to Be Happy — Despite Parenthood

How to Be Happy — Despite Parenthood


According to an article from health.msn.com, children may fulfill dreams and bring life satisfaction, but parenting work is very stressful for most
By Philip Moeller, U.S. News & World Report
 
Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert did an experiment with one of his large lecture classes—hundreds of young men and women with widely differing cultural and religious heritages. Gilbert showed the class a picture of a joyously happy baby. The response from nearly everyone in the room: an elongated "oooohhhh!"


Genetically, we are hard-wired to support children. People without such genes, of course, would tend not to reproduce and would soon be weeded out of the gene pool. So what we're left with is a very pro-baby population. Layered onto this tendency is a near-universal cultural bias toward babies and children—they are precious, they represent the best of us, they are the future of mankind. And there is lots of evidence that parenthood creates a sense of life satisfaction and fulfillment.

All well and good. But from the standpoint of happiness, researchers have found that having children and being a parent has little to do with happiness and a whole lot to do with unhappiness.

"There is not a single positive benefit to parenthood," says Wake Forest University sociologist Robin Simon. Wait a minute. Not one? Oh, Simon says, there is one. "Parents of young kids drink less alcohol than unmarried people," she says. "But that's it."

Simon is finishing up research that looked at numerous positive and negative measures of happiness, according to the impressions of mid-life parents. "You'd think if parenthood would be good, it would be good in mid-life," Simon says. Such people have experienced parenting at different stages of their lives as well as the lives of their kids.

The factors Simon studied include depressive symptoms, generalized anxiety, substance abuse, frequency of positive feelings, personal growth, and feelings about the purpose and meaning of life.

"We do not find a single advantage to having kids," she reports. "And the parents with adult children were reporting more stress" when their kids were grown than when they were younger. Stress, of course, has become a major marker for later-age chronic illnesses.

"We have these cultural values and beliefs that parenting is essential to happiness," Simon says, "but we find no evidence of that." Men and women seem to be equally unhappy. Being well-educated, which has strong happiness effects in many aspects of people's behavior, doesn't cut it here. Educated people are just as stressed by parenting as other groups.

A lot of social-science research is based on large surveys that span decades and are necessarily connected to earlier cultural models of behavior. It's one of the profession's limitations that should be considered in approaching the roles of human relationships in people's lives and their happiness. Simon's research, for example, is based on information from 1995. If anything, however, she thinks the negative aspects of parenting have only grown stronger during the past 15 years. Certainly, the shifts in family structure, marriage habits, and decisions to have children support her.

"In 1950, only 4 percent of all children were born outside of marriage," says Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University. "By 2007, in comparison, 39.7 percent of all children were born outside of marriage." And while education doesn't affect the stress level of parenting, it has a strong correlation with whether women decide to get married before having children.

Data collected roughly 10 years ago showed that 93 percent of women with a college degree were married when they gave birth. That percentage dropped to 71 percent of women with some college, 57 percent of women with a high school degree, and 39 percent of women who did not graduate from high school.

In the past, it might have been true that these figures simply reflected an epidemic of teen births, and the likelihood that many young women giving birth were not married. But whereas teens accounted for half of all non-married births in 1970, they represented only 30 percent of such births in 2000. And teen birth rates have continued to fall in recent years.

Cherlin thinks happiness is too narrowly defined as a major goal of life. "Having kids makes you less happy in terms of what you're doing today, yet it's deeply satisfying," he says. "If you ask parents with newborn kids how happy they are with they're marriage, they're less happy. But if you ask them how satisfied they are with their lives, they're deeply satisfied."

If changing family structures are making parenthood more stressful, they also are making life harder on kids. Children from poor, uneducated households where their parents are not married face huge stresses. Toss in high divorce rates for those households where the parents were married, and the toll on children is enormous.

"There is more instability in the American family than in any other country," Cherlin says. "I'm worried that that's bad for children's well-being, and it's not good for parent's well-being, either."

"Kids who grow up with a lot of family strain are more likely to display higher-risk behaviors," says Debra Umberson, a sociologist at the University of Texas. Beyond the marital status of their parents, children of parents with low incomes and little education often must cope with households where parents aren't around much, and where the quantity and nutritional quality of their food is unhealthful. "Adultification," a term used by Duke University sociologist Linda Burton and others, describes a world where circumstances force children to assume many responsibilities of adulthood. The results are often stressful and reduce children's current and future happiness.

Happiness is, of course, not the end-all of human existence. As many experts note, achievements often require very hard work that does not by itself produce happiness. This work, however, is essential to creating conditions that produce happy outcomes, and supporters of parenthood argue that this type of linkage is frequently seen.

Gilbert notes, for example, that one of the stressful consequences of parenthood is that people are so committed to raising their children that they freely forego lots of other satisfying life activities. "Children crowd out all the other pleasures" for parents, he says. "You don't have sex as much anymore, you don't go out to the movies, and you don't have other sources of joy."

Given the momentous impact of parenthood on the lives of parents and children alike, experts agree there is an alarming lack of thought and planning before many people decide to become parents. "I think a lot of people aren't aware or don't think about the impact of having a child," Umberson says.

For prospective and existing parents, experts say, planning is essential to remove some of its stresses. Areas that experts emphasize include budgeting for the added expenses of having a child, arranging solid baby sitting and childcare relief, working on maintaining friendships and other social ties, and formally including vacations and other "time off" activities. Parenthood can also be very damaging to romance and intimacy, so it's crucial to protect that part of the relationship.

It's important for couples to think about the implications of becoming parents, to make sure it's the right choice at the right time for them.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting Tweens and Teens to Talk

Getting Tweens and Teens to Talk

According to and article in the March 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping, getting tweens and teens to talk can make dinner conversation feel like a trip to the dentist.  So, they asked parents: What's your best way to tease out a conversation from a kid who answers every question with "Fine" or "Nothing"?

Mel Horrod (mom of two, ages 8 and 13) - "Don't shut down a conversation by starting with your own judgements or advice.  Just let them speak, and only give advice if they ask for it."

Amy Patterson McPherson (mom of two, 19 and 21) - "I've found the conversation flow more freely when we are involved in an activity together, like cleaning the house, shopping, or driving in the car."

MaryAnn Dubbs (mom of five, ages 20 to 36) - "Getting them in the car for a trip with the radio off; 15 minutes of silent air can really begin a conversation.  I've learned so much that way."

Sonya Jongsma Knauss (mom of four, ages 5 to 13) - "For some reason, giving my teen daughter a nice back and neck massage before bed leads to a great conversation nearly every time."

I feel the keeping communication open with your tweens and teens is extremely important.  Start while they are young by talking about their feelings and interest and it isn't as difficult as they get in those teen years.  Welcome their friends and stay involved in their activities and interest.  Monitor their TV, video games, and computer chatting activities, while they are young. Teach them the proper use and your expectations.   Don't be overbearing, but a concerned parent, by explaining the dangers of not being safe on today's technology websites.  Check emails, facebook, tweets weekly so they understand you are monitoring their activities. As they become older and more responsible, give them a little more independence and with independence comes more responsibility. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Little Acts Can Change Our World

Inspired Little Acts Can Change Our World

If you are concerned about teaching your children about preserving our planet, little acts can can our world.    According to an advertisement from FutureFriendly.com, green awareness is best learned by "doing" and the easiest way to teach yourself (and your kids!) how to take care of our planet is by finding little ways to pitch in.  Try these simple tips below and to help get you started on your way to leading a more eco-friendly lifestyle that will make you, your kids and the earth proud!

1. Eat Seasonally - Check out your local farmers market for the best of in-season produce that's been grown nearby.  Eating locally grown food is good for the planet and can be a lot affordable than the alternative.

2. Skip the Hose, Opt for Rain - Gardening with your children is a fun activity, and a small step that can help make the earth greener is to set out rain barrels, or any other kind of buckets, to collect rainwater from your roof; then you can us it to water your garden.  It will save money on your water bill, too.

3. Turn Off, Tune In - Dedicate one night a week to TV screen-free entertainment for the whole family.   Enjoy each other's company the old fashion way.  Play cards, board games, or word games with each other.

Find out more ways to save water, energy or reduce waste by going to FutureFriendly.com

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why Common Bugs are Necessary for Kids

In Praise of Germs: Why Common Bugs are Necessary for Kids

By Art Caplan, Ph.D.


Attention, germaphobes. Exposure to the microscopic bugs is crucial for keeping kids healthy, according to new research in the prestigious journal Science. The study strongly supports a growing body of evidence that you need to put away the disinfectant and expose children to the real world of germs and microbes.
Scientists Richard S. Blumberg and Dennis L. Kasper and a team of researchers at Harvard Medical School showed that in mice exposure to germs in early life helped reduce the body’s inventory of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells. These cells help protect us against diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and asthma. But, if there are too many of them with too much time on their hands, they can actually cause these conditions. By exposing young mice to common microbes the scientists saw that the animals were protected from accumulating T cells -- and were healthier than those who were not.

The scientists reached an admittedly geeky conclusion: “These results indicate that age-sensitive contact with commensal microbes is critical for establishing mucosal iNKT cell tolerance to later environmental exposures,” they wrote in the journal Science. In other words, exposing baby mice to common germs got their immune systems appropriately busy and able to not over-react when encountering nasty bugs and other biological stuff later in life.
This is a big deal.

The rapid rise in food allergies, asthma and other immunological diseases is due, at least in part, to our modern obsession with cleanliness, scientists increasingly believe. The 'hygiene hypothesis', first advanced in 1989 by the British epidemiologist David Strachan, contends that these diseases are becoming more common because young children are not exposed to them at an early age. We spend so effort trying to prevent exposure to germs with antibiotics, antibacterials and soaps that letting kids get dirty seems like a violation of basic parental duty.

Parents are constantly being told to make their kitchens spotless, to kill 99.9 per cent of the germs lurking in their bathrooms and to wash themselves and their babies all the time.

This world of purity sounds good but it does not fit how we are designed. We are meant to encounter some microbes and dirt when we are young. It is how we built our immune systems. We need a certain amount of grunginess as kids to be healthy adults.

As the Harvard study shows, filth can be good -- at least in tiny amounts when you are very young.

Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Khan Academy

Khan Academy

In early March on CBS News, I saw a segment on Khan Academy.  I blogged about Khan Academy last year after Bill Gates decided to grant the website substantial funding.  As I watch the news broadcast, it is even more exciting than before.  Khan Academy is changing the face of education worldwide. It is another example how technology is progressing in education and the classroom.   What could be more exciting than that?  Anyone can use this website to learn basic math, college math courses biology, astronomy, economics, cosmology, organic chemistry, American civics, art history, microeconomics, and computer science courses. 

The Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization, created in 2006 by American educator Salman Khan, a graduate of MIT. With the stated mission of "providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere", the website supplies a free online collection of more than 3,000 micro lectures via video tutorials stored on YouTube.
Therefore, if your child is having any difficulty in math or science, they can go to Khan Academy and get help.  The following is a portion of that exciting news show:

CBS News) Sal Khan is a math, science, and history teacher to millions of students, yet none have ever seen his face. Khan is the voice and brains behind Khan Academy, a free online tutoring site that may have gotten your kid out of an algebra bind with its educational how-to videos. Now Khan Academy is going global. Backed by Google, Gates, and other Internet powerhouses, Sal Khan wants to change education worldwide, and his approach is already being tested in some American schools. Sanjay Gupta reports.

The following script is from "Teacher to the World" which aired on March 11, 2012. Sanjay Gupta is the correspondent. Denise Schrier Cetta, producer. Matthew Danowski, editor.

Take a moment and remember your favorite teacher - now imagine that teacher could reach, not 30 kids in a classroom, but millions of students all over the world. That's exactly what Sal Khan is doing on his website Khan Academy. With its digital lessons and simple exercises, he's determined to transform how we learn at every level. One of his most famous pupils, Bill Gates, says Khan -- this "teacher to the world," is giving us all a glimpse of the future of education.35-year-old Sal Khan may look like a bicycle messenger, but with three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard, his errand is intensely intellectual. In his tiny office above a tea shop in Silicon Valley, he settles in to do what he's done thousands of times before.

Sal Khan: We've talked a lot now about the demand curve and consumer surplus. Now let's think about the supply curve.

He's recording a 10-minute economics lesson. It's so simple - all you hear is his voice and all you see is his colorful sketches on a digital blackboard.
When Khan finishes the lecture, he uploads it to his website - where it joins the more than 3,000 other lessons he's done. In just a couple of years he's gone from having a few hundred pupils to more than four million every month.

It would be to your child's advantage to spend some time this semester and this summer on Khan Academy.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Coffee or Tea?

Drink to Your Health

by Rachel Meltzer Warren
Coffee or tea - take your pick.  According to an article from the March 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, new research shows that both deliver unexpected health pulses.  A 2011 Harvard study, for example, found that female coffee drinkers who averaged four cups a day cut their risk of endometrial cancer 25% and, with more than three cups of caffeinated java, lowered their odds of basal-cell carcinoma 20%.  Tea, contains cancer-fighting antioxidants.  The beverages may also be mood boosters, with coffee linked to a decreased risk of depression and tea to less anxiety.  To get the most from your morning mug.

1.  Go for the High-Octane (I you can) -   The health bonuses haven't been found as consistently in decaf versions of coffee and tea.  But since regular coffee can pack as much as 200 mg of caffeine per eight-ounce cup (depending on the bean and the way it's brewed) and tea can go up to 60 mg per cup, stick with decaf if you have a GI issue like irritable bowel syndrome or acid reflux, Ditto if you suffer from anxiety or sleep disturbances - or if you're simply sensitive to caffeine.  You'll still get some benefit from other compounds in your brew, such as the antioxidant chlorogenic acid in coffee.

2. Skip the Creamer - Adding non-dairy creamer and sugar to coffee interferes with the absorption of anti-oxidants, a Swiss study suggested.  Also, creamers are often made with partially hydrogenated oils, which contain heart-damaging trans fats.  To lighten your coffee, use cow's milk or soy or almond milk instead.

3. Take Your Tea Black - Adding milk may blunt its heart-health benefits, a German study found.  And speaking of black, green tea may be the health star, but all members of the Camellia sinensis family - black, white, and oolong tea, as well as green- have health benefits, including aiding in fighting infections and slowing cognitive decline.

4. Favor Filters - Coffee brewed without a paper filter - in French press or espresso pot, for example - retains an oily residue that contains cafestol, a substance that raises levels of heart-damaging LDL cholesterol. You could-if you're addicted to your French press - pour your coffee through a paper filter into a cup.  Or, just save special brews for an occasion - breakfast in bed, anyone?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tip #63: Give Your Child a Book as a Gift Whenever Possible

If you are trying to think of a gift to buy for your child for a birthday or the holiday season, consider making the gift a good book at at least one of the gifts. That brings us to tip #63.


Tip #63: Give Your Child a Book as a Gift Whenever Possible.

Research shows that children who read for pleasure do better academically then children who do little or no reading at home. Find out what the child is interested in or likes to read and buy that book. According to Great Schools staff, below are some of the best new kids books available:

1. Children Make Terrible Pets, By Peter Brown - ages 4-8
2. The Odious Ogre, By Norton Juster - ages 4-8
3. It's a Book, By Lane Smith - ages 5-7
4. Art and Max, By David Wiesner - ages 5-7
5. The Nightwood, By Robin Muller - ages 5-7
6. Big Nate (series), By Lincoln Perrce - ages 9-12
7. The Clock Without a Face, By Gus Twintig - ages 9-12
8. The Search for Wondla, By Tony DiTerlizzi - ages 9-12
9. Storyteller, By Patricia Reilly Giff - ages 9-12
10. The Candymakers, By Wendy Moss - ages 10-14
11. Reckless, By Cornelia Funke - ages 11-14
12. Adios, Nirvana, By Conrad Wesselhoeft - ages 14 and up
13. Pulp History (series), By David Talbot and Gary Kamiya- ages 14 and up
14. Mockingjay, By Suzanne Collins - ages 15 and up

For more information go to www.greatschools.com .

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tip #62: Know If Your Child is a Naturalist or Nature Smart

The naturalistic or nature smart child is curious about and understands the environment we live in. They notice what is around them and enjoy identifying and classifying things like plants or animals. That brings us to tip #62.

Tip #62: Know If Your Child is a Naturalist or Nature Smart.

This intelligence was not part of Gardner's original theory of Multiple Intelligence, but was added in 1997. Children and adults with this intelligence have a greater sensitivity to nature and their place within it. They love animals, usually have a green thumb, care about nature and the environment causes, like going to the parks, zoos, and aquariums, enjoy hiking, camping. Nature smart people have a good memory for the details of places where they have been and remember names of animals, plants, people, places, and things in the environment or nature.

Careers suited for those who are dominate naturalistic or nature smart include scientists, naturalists, conservationists, gardeners, and farmers.

If you would like to expand your child to be more naturalistic or nature smart you can:

1. Point out nature wherever you are.
2. Plant something and watch it grow.
3. Lie down in your yard together and look at the sky during the day and night.
4. Go bird watching.
5. Watch nature shows on television.
6. Read books and magazines about nature.
7.Get involved with environmental organizations.
8. Take care of a pet.
9. Build your own ecosystem.
10. Start a collection.

If your child is naturalistic or nature smart it is important that solve logic problems and games, get involved with a team sport or take dance classes, play an instrument, read books of interest, take photography lessons, keep a journal or diary, and meet new people. For more information on naturalistic or nature smart children read, "You're Smarter Than You Think", by Thomas Armstrong, PhD.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tip #61: Know If Your Child is Interpersonal or Self Smart


The interpersonal or people smart child has to do with the interaction with others. Children or adults who are highly interpersonal or people smart tend to be outgoing. That brings us to tip #61.


Tip #61: Know if your child is interpersonal or people smart.

People smart children are sensitive to other's moods, feelings, and have the ability to cooperate as a part of a group. They typically learn best by working with others and enjoy discussion and debate. Interpersonal people like watch people, make friends easily, offer to help when someone needs it, enjoys group activities, feels confident when meeting new people, like to organize activities for friends, enjoys getting people to see things their way, and enjoys volunteering for causes that help other people.

Careers that suit those with dominate interpersonal or people smart intelligences include sales, politicians, managers, teachers, and social workers.

Some things you can do to help your child become more interpersonal or people smart are:

1. Keep a list of your friends and their telephone numbers.
2. Meet new people.
3. Volunteer to help others.
4. Run for election in student government.
5. Tutor someone.
6. Spend time with friends and family.
7. Practice meeting friend with family members or someone you trust.
8. Make the most of cooperative learning.
9. Start a club or group that has like interest.
10. Go to public places and watch people and notice their body language and expressions.

Interpersonal or people smart children need to learn to work alone. Encourage them to read books of interest, take up an instrument, play sports like tennis, golfing, or swimming where they must depend on themselves, take art lesson, keep a journal or diary, play logic games, or computer games. For more information on the interpersonal or people smart child read, "You're Smarter Than You Think," by Thomas Armstrong, PhD. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tip #60: Know If Your Child is Intrapersonal or Self Smart

The intrapersonal or self smart child has the ability of being self-reflective. Those who are strongest in this intelligence are usually introverts or prefer to work alone. That brings us to tip #60.

Tip #60: Know If Your Child is Intrapersonal or Self Smart.

Intrapersonal or self smart children are highly self-aware and capable of understanding their own emotions, goals and motivations. They learn best when allowed to concentrate on a subject by themselves. They can be perfectionist, like to set and meet own goals, stand up for their beliefs even if not poplar, worry less about what people think of them, know how they are feeling and why, enjoy keeping a diary or writing a journal, have a good sense of who they are, and think about the future and what they want to be someday.

Careers suited for the intrapersonal intelligence include philosophers, psychologists, theologians, writers, and scientist.

To help your child become more intrapersonal or self smart have them:

1. Ask yourself, "Who am I?"
2. Keep a journal.
3. Make a list of thing you do well.
4. Set goals for yourself.
5. Put together your autobiography.
6. Remember your dreams.
7. Read self-help books.
8. Do something you love

It is very important for intrapersonal or self smart children to learn to work cooperatively with others, take up a sports team and get physical exercise, learn an instrument or join a choir, read books of interest, volunteer to help someone or a cause, or take a hike in nature with family or friends. To find out more information on the intrapersonal or self smart child read, "You're Smarter Than You Think," by Thomas Armstrong, PhD.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tip #59: Know If Your Child is Musical

The musical child learns by rhythm, music, and hearing and they really love music. Those who have a high level of musical-rhythmic intelligence displays greater sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music. That brings us to tip #59.

Tip #59: Know If Your Child is Musical.

Musical children and adults enjoy singing , listening to music, play an instrument, remembers melodies or tunes easily, hear the differences in instruments, make up or write their own songs, and can remember facts by making up a song for them. Those who are strong musical intelligence can learn best by lecture. Our culture doesn't put such a great importance on being smart with music. Many people think it's a nice talent to have, but don't consider it an intelligence, but it is and shouldn't be overlooked.

Careers suited for this intelligence include instrumentalists, singers, conductors, disc-jockeys, orators, writers, and composer.

Here are some ways to expand your child's experiences with the musical intelligence that will be enjoyable:
1. Listen to as many different kinds of music as you can.
2. Sing with your family or friends.
3. Play musical games whenever you get the chance.
4. Get involved in music at school.
5. Learn to read music and learn to play an instrument.
6. Become more aware of the music around you.
7. Compose a song or musical piece.
8. Start a band.

If you have a child that shows dominates in musical intelligences make sure they play an instrument, sing in a choir, write music and develop that part of them. They should also develop the other part of their brain by write poems and stories, take up a sport, play logical games, take art classes, and go outside and hear the music in nature. To get more information on the musical intelligences read, "Your Smarter Than You Think", by Thomas Armstrong, PhD. or google multiple intelligences.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day


There is no better luck or a bigger pot of gold then getting the "Best Education Possible".  Have a Great Day!

From: Best Education Possible, LLC
Debra E. West

Friday, March 16, 2012

Tip #58: Know If Your Child is Visual-Spatial

The visual-spatial child mainly learns and thinks in pictures. They probably have good memory for faces and places, or notice little details that other people over-look. That brings us to tip #60.

Tip #58: Know If Your Child is Visual-Spatial.

Visual-spatial children and adults can visualize and mentally manipulate objects, and usually are extremely good at solving puzzles. A lot of the visual spatial have a good sense of direction and also have very good hand-eye coordination, although this is normally seen as a body-kinesthetic intelligence. There is a high correlation between spatial and mathematical abilities, which seems to indicate that these two intelligences are not independent. If you or your child are picture smart or spatial you will remember faces better than names, like to draw out ideas to figure out a problem, see objects in your mind, enjoy building things, play lots of video games, notice styles of clothing, hair, cars, bikes, read or draw maps for fun, enjoy looking at photos and pictures, and draw and doodle a lot.

Careers that suit picture smart people are artist, engineers, and architects.
Here are some things a parent can do to help their child become more picture smart or spatial:

1. Explore the world of art.
2. Keep a visual journal.
3.Collect pictures, images, or designs.
4. Take pictures of your day.
5. Create your own video
6. Take a class in something of interest.
7. Spend a few minutes a day looking around you.
8. Look for visual patterns in every day life.
9. Have a picture conversation by drawing instead of talking.
10. Create an art area in your home with as many art materials available as possible.

If your child is already picture smart or spatial make sure they are involved in physical activities such as sports, or play a musical instrument or sing in a choir, read books of interest, play logic games and try learning a foreign language. To learn more about the picture smart/spatial intelligence read, "Your Smarter Than You Think", by Thomas Armstrong, PhD. or google multiple intelligences. To get more involved in your child's education, purchase my newly released book, "A Parents Handbook: How to Get the Best Education for Your Child K-6 Grades". You can order it at www.besteducationpossible.com or www.amazon.com .

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tip #57: Know If Your Child is Body-Kinesthetic

The body-kinesthetic children learn and think with their bodies. They also use their bodies to express themselves or their skills. That brings us to tip # 57.

Tip #57: Know if your child is body-kinesthetic.

In theory, people who have bodily-kinesthetic intelligence should learn better by involving muscular movement,and moving around into the learning experience. These children are generally good at physical activity such as sports or dance. They may enjoy acting or performing, and are good at building and making things. They often learn best by doing something physical, rather than reading or hearing the information. Body-kinesthetic child likes to move around and be active, learn physical skills easily and quickly, move while thinking, enjoy acting in skits or plays, mimic or imitates people's gestures and expressions, play sports, build models with skill, dance gracefully, movement helps them remember, and love recess.
The careers the body-kinesthetic people seem to enjoy and are successful at are athletes, dancers, actors, surgeons, doctors, builders, and soldiers.

Here are some ways to help your child become more body smart:

1. Practice your hand-eye coordination.
2. Join a sports team in your neighborhood or at school.
3. Play charades with family and friends.
4. Look for ideas while you move and exercise.
5. Learn how to give shoulder rubs to your family and friends.
6. Think of an idea and then build it.
7. Learn an art or craft
8. Let your stress go and relax.
9. Take a drama class or try out for a play.
10. Take martial arts lesson.

A body-kinesthetic child should act out their favorite story or poem, exercise to music, draw pictures or symbols to remember information, listen to tapes while walking through nature, dancing, jumping rope, or exercise. Make sure your body-kinesthetic child writes out vocabulary words and traces over the words with their finger, read books that interest them, build things using math skills, use dance and listen to music while learning. To learn more about body-kinesthetic intelligences read,"Your Smarter Than You Think", by Thomas Armstrong, PhD. or google multiple intelligences.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tip#56: Know If Your Child is Logic-Mathematical or Numbers Smart

The Logical-Mathematical Child enjoys figuring things out and may easily understand numbers and math concepts like finding patterns, and are interested and have fun with science. That brings us to tip #58.


Tip#56: Know If Your Child is Logic-Mathematical or Numbers Smart.

Numbers smart children can excel in chess, computers, and like riddles, creating their own codes, and numerical activities. They also have the capacity for the abstract, and have a natural ability toward scientific thinking and investigation. These children enjoy estimating, doing math in their head, solving mysteries, spending time with brainteasers or logic puzzles, love organizing information on charts and graphs, and use computers for more than playing games. Career's which suit those with logical-mathematical intelligence include scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors, and economist.

Remember we all have some of all the intelligences, it is just that we may have more dominate traits of one or two. Ways your child can become more logic smart are:

1. Play games that use strategy and logic.
2. Watch television programs that teach science and math.
3. Practice calculating simple math problems in your head.
4. Explore science.
5.Read magazines or newspapers that cover math and science news.
6. Practice estimating things.
7. Do brainteasers.
8. Have a special math or science day with the entire family.
9. Write down ten questions about how the world works that you want answered.
10. Join a math or science club.
11. Find a book or Web site on science experiments.
12. Get a tutor or classmate to help with science or math.
13. Teach someone else science or math.
14. Research the orgins of math in other cultures.
15. Build your own Web page or site.
16. Notice how you solve problems.

If your child already is logical-mathematical, make sure they participate in some sports activities, read or write stories, play an instrument, join a social club like Boys/Girl scouts, or take up gardening. It will make them more social and engage them in much need physical activities. For more information on multiple intelligences get,"You're Smarter Than You Think", by Thomas Armstrong, PhD or google multiple intelligences.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tip #55: Know if Your Child is a Linguistic Learner or Word Smart.

The linguistic child's strength has to do with words, spoken or written. Children or adults with high verbal-linguistic intelligence are able to express themselves with words and language. That brings us to tip #55.


Tip #55: Know if your child is a Linguistic Learner or Word Smart.

They are typically good at reading, writing, telling stories, and memorizing words along with dates. They tend to learn best by reading the information, taking notes, listening to lectures, and discussion and debate. They also can explain, teach, and persuade by simply speaking. Those who have verbal-linguistic intelligence learn foreign languages very easily as they have high verbal memory and recall. This intelligence are usually found as writers, lawyers, philosophers, journalists, politicians, poets, and teachers.

If you believe your child's strength is the linguistic intelligence, then reading and speaking will come very natural. They should study by taking notes, listening or tape recording information, discussing, and reading over the materials and brainstorming ideas.

How to help your child become more word smart? Your child should:

1. Write down their ideas as they get them.
2. Read about what interest them.
3. Start a journal.
4. Start going to the library.
5. Look up words they don't know in a dictionary.
6. Have a regular storytelling time with your family.
7. Play with words.
8. Play with spoken words.
9. Join a book club where they can discuss books with others.
10. Write their favorite authors.
11. Go listen to writer speak.
12. Learn another language.

All of the intelligences are equal and we all possess some of the other intelligences, but usually one or two are more dominate. It is also important to strengthen the other intelligences . So, linguistic students should try to be a part of playing math logic games, sports, playing an instrument or singing, art lessons, dance, or join Boy/Girls Scouts. These activities will not come naturally, but can be enjoyed by linguistic students and mastered.

For more information on Multiple Intelligences get "You're Smarter Than You Think" by Thomas Armstrong, PhD. or google multiple intelligence.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tip #54: Know Your Child's Learning Style.

When you know your child's learning style, you will be able to help them to study and become more successful in school. Many parents think their child is having a hard time learning, but it is simply the material is not being presented in a way they are able to understand and retain the information. That brings us to tip #54.
Tip #54: Know your child's learning style.

Dr. Howard Gardner researched and found out that children and adults seem to learn and show how smart they are in a lot of ways. He also noticed that different parts of the brain seem to be tied to the different ways of being smart. Most people have some portion of each of the intelligences, but usually one or two of the intelligences will be more dominate. For the next couple of week days, I will present the 8 Gardner Intelligences. Review each of the 8 intelligences carefully, and try to decide which one or two is the most dominate in your child. Then, talk to your child and tell them their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, have them participate in strengthening the weaker intelligences and have fun and take advantage of the dominate ones. This should be a fun thing to do with the entire family.

Teachers today are aware of these findings on Multiple Intelligences. They should be using them in their daily instruction. If your child is having difficulty with learning, it could be the way the material is being presented. Talk to the teacher and let him/her know that you are aware of your child's learning style. Maybe you both can come up with a plan together to help your child succeed. If you or the teacher feel the problem is more serious, don't hesitate to have the child tested and evaluated as soon as possible. The earlier a problem is diagnosis and treated, the better the results. There are so many new findings and treatments for learning delays, disabilities, and other interferences.

I have posted the intelligence before, but by request I am adding them to my How to Get The Best Education Possible: Tips for Parents.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Rise of Eating Issues and Disorders

The Rise of Eating Issues and Disorders


According to an article from kidshealth.org, seeing the rail-thin models who strut down catwalks at fashion shows, you might think that eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia mostly affect women whose livelihoods are based on being thin.

But more and more, these problems are affecting people from all walks of life — and, unfortunately, many of them are kids. Of the almost 24 million Americans who suffer from an eating disorder, 95% are between 12 and 25 years old.

Experts report that more than 50% of teenage girls use "unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives."

But these disorders are not just a "girl problem" — 1 in 10 cases now involve males. Guys often develop problems with eating as a response to sports or fitness — for instance, developing bulimia to reach a certain weight for wrestling or swimming. Recognizing and diagnosing eating disorders in young men can be difficult due to the perception that these are "female" problems and the shame they might feel at having a condition associated with girls.

Eating disorders — primarily anorexia (self-starvation), bulimia (bingeing and purging), and binge eating (uncontrolled consumption of large amounts of food) — typically begin in the teen years and can be easy for some kids to hide. Compulsive exercise can accompany an eating disorder, so parents might attribute a teen's lean and toned build to that and not realize disordered eating is also part of the problem. In these instances, both components — the undereating and overexercising — are attempts to gain control over complicated feelings and emotions.

So how can parents spot an eating disorder and help their child recover and have a healthy relationship with food? Be aware of the physical clues — like extreme weight loss; obsessing over food portions, calorie counts, and weight control; fear of weight gain; social withdrawal; excessive exercise; regular trips to the bathroom right after eating; use of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas; and wearing baggy clothes to hide his or her physique.

If you think your son or daughter might have an eating disorder, it's important to get help right away. People with eating disorders can become seriously ill and even die. Doctors, mental health professionals, and dietitians can help a teen get treatment, recover, and develop healthy eating (and exercise) habits.

To help "inoculate" kids against developing a problem in the first place, parents can take the lead by setting a good example. Be sure to:
•serve and eat healthy foods in recommended portions
•don't put your own body down or focus on flaws
•if you're overweight, find healthy ways to achieve weight loss
•make regular exercise a family affair
•encourage everyone in your family to focus on their strengths

Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: December 2011

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sweet Surprise

According to an article in the March 2012  issue of Good Housekeeping, researchers at the University of Rhode Island recently analyzed maple syrup and found that it contained 54 ployphenols - healthy compounds that may protect against cancer and diabetes.  But read labels:  Only the real deal has these disease fighters.  Products labeled "pancake syrup" are made from corn syrup and other sweeteners and flavored to taste like the stuff from nature's trees.  Also, even if healthier than we thought, maple syrup is still a high-cal sweetener, so drizzle rather than pour.

Also, turning decades of nutrition advice on its head, new research had found that pale produce delivers a big health bonus.  In a 10-year Dutch study of more than 20,000 men and women, those who ate the most white-fleshed fruits and veggies - including apples, pears, cucumbers, bananas, and cauliflower - had 52% lower risk of stroke than participates who selected only more colorful edibles.  Apples and pears were the most common choices in the "white group," leading researchers to speculate that the benefit comes from the plant chemical quercetin in these fruits.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know Part 2

Your Child and Technology: What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know
Technology isn't a substitute for teaching; it’s a way to bring the world into the fifth grade classroom.
By GreatSchools Staff

Language arts gets a tech boost
Language arts — once exclusively the realm of paper and ink — get an enormous boost from technology. Children in the fifth grade are expected to research and write opinion essays, information essays, and reports, so learning to do research on the Internet, understanding how to evaluate sources, and learning about plagiarism are essential skills.

Audio books and audio-enhanced text books allow fifth graders to immerse themselves in a culture of storytelling, fit more books into their busy lives, allow books to compete with other media for entertainment value, and get hooked on reading as a lifelong pleasure. Using a tablet or computer, students can easily look up unfamiliar words to master new vocabulary and practice pronunciation. And digital book creation, video editing, and animation tools enable students to become authors of their own stories. A word processor — with grammar correction — can improve students' grammar and spelling as they write, by noting mistakes as they happen and offering corrections.

Technology as a math aid
Technology helps kids master math concepts with games and apps that illustrate more complex division and decimals, as well as fractions and geometric concepts. A host of educational apps ask children to touch and manipulate math concepts on the screen. Math-based computer games transform rote drills into games that take advantage of gaming fever to drill facts into memory, which is a big part of fifth grade math. Online animations and multimedia lessons can turn a math lesson into entertainment that teaches as it enthralls; they also allow students to review a lesson whenever they wish. And the Internet brings concepts and teachers — fantastic teachers like Salman Khan of Khan Academy (which offers hundreds of video classes on math, science, and other subjects) — into the classroom to inspire young minds.

Science with a tech twist
In an Internet-connected classroom, science is as close as the whiteboard, monitor, tablet, or computer screen. At the fifth grade level, children can watch close-up footage or animation of the human body, dinosaurs, space, or cells. They can play with animated versions of the elements in the periodic table or simulations of tornados or the night sky. Websites like Khan Academy, Brainpop, Discovery Education, and The Jason Projectallow kids to access multimedia lessons and animations that transform science instruction into entertainment. And to help students imagine themselves as scientists, the teacher can invite working scientists — virtually — into the classroom and let students ask them questions. Students can even get an online lesson in computer science at code academy, where they'll learn the basics of computer coding. (Check out this story about why this is a good idea for your fifth grader’s future.)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know Part 1

Your Child and Technology: What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know

Technology isn't a substitute for teaching; it’s a way to bring the world into the fifth grade classroom.
By GreatSchools Staff

A modern tool to answer age-old questions
Technology in the fifth grade classroom can introduce a rich, entertaining range of learning opportunities that engage young minds and get them excited about all aspects of the curriculum. Your child will use technology tools to enhance her understanding of language arts, science, social studies, math, and art. According to the Common Core Standards Initiative that the majority of states adopted in 2010-2011, fifth graders should master basic tech skills that are needed to succeed in core subjects like reading, writing, science, and math. Although teachers aren't required to follow them, many states base their technology standards on the National Educational Technology Standards for Students, too.

In fifth grade, your child should learn and refine essential skills that will prepare her for the more rigorous demands of middle school and high school – from the mechanics of researching and writing an essay to conducting and presenting a complex science experiment. While using technology is no substitute for mastering mathematical concepts or learning to craft a persuasive thesis statement for a literary report, it's an important tool to supplement classroom instruction. Even more important, technological literacy is essential for your child's future.

Tech skills that your child should have by the end of fifth grade
Should haves:
•Comfort with keyboarding and typing: According to the Common Core Standards for writing, a fifth grader should have the ability to "type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting."
•Advanced ability to use a mouse, including cutting, pasting, and spell-checking work
•Solid Internet research skills, including the ability to assess the credibility of websites, and knowledge of basic copyright laws and the meaning and consequences of plagiarism.
•Solid understanding of cybersecurity do's and don'ts

Nice to haves:
•Photo editing skills
•Familiarity with Powerpoint or other presentation software
•Familiarity with Excel or other programs to organize data and create graphs

Technology your fifth grader may find in the classroom
•One or more computers or tablets with access to the Internet (including Internet safeguards) and a printer
•Still and video digital cameras, photo editing software, animation tools
•Interactive whiteboard and a large monitor or projector the teacher can use to engage students in multimedia lessons
•Educational software, including multimedia encyclopedia and dictionaries, typing programs, interactive books, and educational games

Of course, the amount and quality of technology fifth graders have access to varies widely from school to school. Some schools have the resources to provide state-of-the-art computers and whiteboards in every classroom; others have a single computer lab that all students share. When evaluating your fifth grader's technology experience, the number and brand of computers in the classroom is less important than how well technology is integrated into learning at your child's school. To get the maximum benefit from technology, the best classrooms incorporate technology into regular lessons to develop students' higher-order thinking skills, promote creativity, and facilitate academic learning.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know Part 3

Your Child and Technology: What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know
Fourth graders use the Internet, educational software, and other tech tools to build on core learning.
By GreatSchools Staff

Math + technology = more learning
Technology helps kids master math concepts with games and apps that illustrate more complex multiplication and division, as well as fractions and geometric concepts. A host of educational apps ask children to touch and manipulate math concepts on the screen. Math-based computer games transform rote drills into games that take advantage of gaming fever to drill facts into memory. Online animations and multimedia lessons can turn a math lesson into entertainment that teaches as it enthralls; they also allow students to review a lesson whenever they wish. And the Internet brings concepts and teachers — fantastic teachers like Salmon Kahn of Khan Academy(which offers hundreds of video classes on math, science, and other subjects) — into the classroom to inspire young minds.

Spicing up science
In an Internet-connected classroom, science is as close as the whiteboard, monitor, tablet, or computer screen. In fourth grade, children can watch close-up footage or animation of the human body, dinosaurs, space, or cells. They can play with animated versions of the elements in the periodic table or simulations of tornados or the night sky. Websites like Khan Academy, Brainpop, DiscoveryEducation, and The Jason Projectallow kids to access multimedia lessons and animations that transform science instruction into entertainment. And to help young students imagine themselves as scientists, the teacher can invite working scientists — virtually — into the classroomand let students ask researchers questions themselves. What’s more, students can even get an online lesson in computer science at Code Academy, where they'll learn the basics of computer coding. (Check out this story about why this is a good idea for your fourth grader’s future.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know Part 2

Your Child and Technology: What your Fourth Grader Needs to Know

Fourth graders use the Internet, educational software, and other tech tools to build on core learning.
By GreatSchools Staff

Technology your fourth grader may find in the classroom

•One or more computers or tablets with access to the Internet (including Internet safeguards) and a printer
•Still and video digital cameras, photo editing software, animation tools
•Interactive whiteboard and a large monitor or projector the teacher can use to engage students in multimedia lessons
•Educational software, including multimedia encyclopedia and dictionaries, typing programs, interactive books, and educational games

Of course, the amount and quality of technology fourth graders have access to varies widely from school to school. Some schools have the resources to provide state-of-the-art computers and whiteboards in every classroom; others have a single computer lab that all students share. When evaluating your fourth grader's technology experience, the number and brand of computers in the classroom is less important to consider than how well technology is integrated into learning at your child's school. The best classrooms incorporate technology into regular lessons to develop students' higher-order thinking skills, promote creativity, and facilitate academic learning.

Language arts with a tech twist
Once exclusively the realm of paper and ink, language arts gets an enormous boost from technology. Children in the fourth grade will learn how to write short opinion essays and informational reports, so doing research on the Internet, understanding how to evaluate sources, and learning about plagiarism are essential skills. Audio books and audio-enhanced text books allow fourth graders to immerse themselves in a culture of storytelling, fit more books into their busy lives, allow books to compete with other media for entertainment value, and get hooked on reading as a lifelong pleasure. Using a tablet or a computer, students can easily look up unfamiliar words to master new vocabulary and practice pronunciation. And digital book creation, video editing, and animation tools enable students to become authors of their own stories. A word processor — with grammar correction — can improve students' grammar and spelling as they write, by noting mistakes as they happen and offering corrections.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know Part 1

Your Child and Technology: What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know


Fourth graders use the Internet, educational software, and other tech tools to build on core learning.
By GreatSchools Staff

How technology enhances learning
Technology in the fourth grade classroom can introduce a rich, entertaining range of learning opportunities that engage young minds and get them excited about all aspects of the curriculum. Your child will use technological tools to enhance her understanding of language arts, science, social studies, math, and art. According to the Common Core Standards Initiative that the majority of states adopted in 2010-2011, fourth graders should master basic tech skills that are needed to complement learning in core subjects like reading, writing, science, and math. (Many teachers also follow the National Educational Technology Standards for Students.)

In fourth grade, your child will be building on essential reading skills, learning to the mechanics of essay writing, and exploring new concepts in math and science. While using technology is no substitute for mastering the multiplication tables or conducting research for a science project, it's an important tool to supplement classroom instruction. Even more important, technological literacy is essential for your child's future.
Tech skills your child should have by the end of fourth grade

Should haves:
•Familiarity with keyboarding and typing: according to the Common Core Standards for writing, a fourth grader should have the ability to "type a minimum of one page in a single sitting."
•Ability to use a mouse, including cutting, pasting, and spell-checking work
•Basic Internet research skills, including the ability to assess the credibility of websites, knowledge of basic copyright laws, and understanding the meaning and consequences of plagiarism.
•Understanding of cybersecurity do's and don'ts

Nice to haves:
•Photo editing skills
•Familiarity with Powerpoint or other presentation software
•Familiarity with Excel or other programs to organize data and create graphs

Sunday, March 4, 2012

FDA Approves First Influenza Vaccine

FDA Approves First Influenza Vaccine That Protects Against 4 Strains

Accroding to an article by CBS News Staff, the first flu vaccine of its kind that protects against four influenza strains has been approved by the FDA, the agency announced this week.

PICTURES: Do flu shots cause the flu? 12 influenza vaccine myths busted

The FluMist Quadrivalent vaccine from AstraZeneca's MedImmune unit protects against two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B, and is approved for people ages 2 to 49. Similar to the previously approved FluMist, the new vaccine is a nasal spray that delivers weakened strains of the virus.

Previously, all flu vaccines contained two strains of influenza A and one strain of influenza B, chosen annually by medical experts based on their potential to spread the virus. Having an extra strain of influenza B increases the likelihood that the vaccine will protect against illness, the FDA said in a statement.

Skip the flu vaccine? "There's no excuse," says CDC

"Illness caused by Influenza B virus affects children, particularly young and school-aged, more than any other population," said Dr. Karen Midthun, director of the FDA's biologics center.

The severity of illness and death due to influenza varies widely from season to season, which is why vaccination is the best method of protection, according to the FDA. Between 1976 and 2007, flu-related deaths have ranged from an estimated low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people, the agency said.

Are there side effects? The FDA says side effects are the same as the older FluMist and include runny or stuffy nose, headaches, and sore throats.

Besides the flu vaccine, there are everyday actions a person can take to reduce their risk, according to the CDC. Those actions include washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth (this is how germs spread), and avoid close contact with sick people. If you're sick with a flu-like virus, stay home for 24 hours after your fever is gone.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fitness For Kids: Getting Children Off the Couch

Fitness For Kids: Getting Children Off the Couch

Direct your child's energy into a lifelong love of physical activity.

According to an article from MayoClinic.com, family health is an important and far-reaching topic, and we all want the best for our families. Included in this section are health articles and tips from respected leaders in the medical field in areas including men's, women's, and kid's health, pregnancy, and aging.

For many kids, biking to the playground and playing kickball in the backyard have given way to watching television, playing video games and spending hours online. But it's never too late to get your child off the couch. Use these simple tips to give your child a lifelong appreciation for activities that strengthen his or her body.


Set a good example
Your active lifestyle can be a powerful stimulus for your child. If you want an active child, be active yourself. You can't just "talk" activity — you need to make activity a priority for yourself as well. Go for a brisk walk, ride your bike or take a yoga class. Better yet, invite your family to play catch or to join you on a walk. Talk about physical activity as an opportunity to take care of your body, rather than a punishment or a chore. Praise, reward and encourage activity. You might even set goals and have everyone track their activities and progress.

Wonder how much physical activity is enough? Consider these guidelines from the Department of Health and
Human Services:

Kids. Children and adolescents age 6 and older need at least an hour a day of physical activity. Most of the hour should be either moderate or vigorous aerobic activity. In addition, children should participate in muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities at least three days a week. Many classic activities — such as playing on playground equipment and jumping rope — cover all the bases at once.

Adults. Most healthy adults need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or swimming, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running — preferably spread throughout the week. Adults also need strength training exercises at least twice a week.

Limit screen time
A surefire way to increase your child's activity level is to limit the number of hours he or she spends in front of a screen — including television, video games and online activities. For example, you might consider a limit of one or two hours a day and, for a better night's sleep, no screen time in the hour before bed. To make it easier, don't put a television in your child's bedroom, don't watch television while you're eating dinner, and restrict computers and other electronic gadgets to a family area. Also consider limiting other sedentary activities, such as text messaging or chatting on the phone.

If your child plays video games, opt for those that require movement. Activity-oriented video games — such as dance video games and video games that use a player's physical movements to control what happens on the screen — boost a child's calorie-burning power. In a Mayo Clinic study, kids who traded sedentary screen time for active screen time more than doubled their energy expenditure.

Establish a routine
Set aside time each day for physical activity. Get up early with your child to walk the dog or take a walk together after dinner. Start small, gradually adding new activities to the routine as you — and your child — become more fit.

Let your child set the pace
For many kids, organized sports are a great way to stay fit. But team sports or dance classes aren't the only options. If your child is artistically inclined, take a nature hike to collect leaves and rocks for use in a collage. If your child likes to climb, head for the nearest jungle gym. If your child likes to read, walk or bike to a local library for a book. Or simply turn on your child's favorite music and dance in the living room. Get creative as you search for activities your child enjoys.

Promote activity, not exercise
To keep your child interested in fitness, make it fun:

Get in the game. Play catch, get the whole family involved in a game of tag or have a jump-rope contest. Try classic movement games such as Simon says or red light, green light. If you don't remember the rules, make up your own!

Try an activity party. For your child's next birthday, schedule a bowling party, take the kids to a climbing wall or set up relay races outside.

Put your child in charge. Let your child choose an activity of the day or week. Batting cages, bowling and neighborhood play areas all count. What matters is that you're doing something active.

Give the gift of activity. Offer activity-related equipment, games or outings as gifts and rewards — both for your child and others.

Remember, incorporating physical activity into your child's life does much more than promote a healthy weight. It sets the foundation for a lifetime of fitness and good mental and physical health.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Tip #54: Start a family game night.

With all of the worries about the economy, families can still enjoy fun entertainment together and stay on a budget. That brings us to tip #54.

Tip #54: Start a family game night.

Why not start a family game night? Here are a few tips in getting started on a family fun filled night:

1. Schedule it. Decide in advance which day will be the family game night.

2. Involve everyone in the planning. Let your kids pick the games or choose the snack.

3. Create a tradition. Establish an activity on game night that becomes a family tradition. (ex. family-favorite dinner, how teams are chosen, or who gets the first turn)

4. Remind everyone. Set up reminders to make sure game night happens. Put a note in kids' lunchboxes. This can help build excitement.

5. Keep a family scoreboard. Have a special scoreboard and post the family member who won the last game on the board or create a family crown that can be worn at the family dinner before game night.

6. Mix it up with special guest. Invite other families and have a family game night tournament. Or invite extended family members. Just have fun.

Here are a few all-time favorites and new games to consider:
  • Kids 6-8 - Pictureka! Sorry! Sliders, Operation, Monopoly Jr.
  • Kids 8-10 - Clue, Monopoly, Cranium Family Edition, The Game of Life
  • Kids 10-12 - Monopoly, Yahzee, Clue
  • Families with teenagers - Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition, Scrabble, Cranium Wow, Jenga, Catch Phrase, Trivial Pursuit
For more game ideas, visit http://www.familygamenight.com/

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What your Third Grader Needs to Know Part 2

Your Child and Technology: What Your Third Grader Needs to Know
From managing a mouse to using an online encyclopedia, your third grader will find technology an increasingly valuable learning tool.
By GreatSchools Staff

Technology in language arts
Language arts — once exclusively the realm of paper and ink — get an enormous boost from technology. Third grade students learn basic essay writing skills and begin to write short opinion essays and informational reports, and they're likely to do some of their research on the Internet. (See the Common Core Standards.)

Audio books and audio-enhanced text books allow third graders to immerse themselves in a culture of storytelling, fit more books into their busy lives, allow books to compete with other media for entertainment value, and get hooked on reading as a lifelong pleasure. Using a tablet or a computer, students can learn to look up unfamiliar words to master new vocabulary and practice pronunciation. And digital book creation, video editing, and animation tools enable students to become authors of their own stories. A word processor — with grammar correction — can improve students' grammar and spelling as they write, by noting mistakes as they happen and offering corrections.

Math with a multimedia twist
Technology helps kids master math concepts with games and apps that illustrate more complex multiplication and division, as well as fractions and geometric concepts. A host of educational apps for tablets ask children to touch and manipulate math concepts on the screen. Math-based computer games transform rote drills into games that take advantage of gaming fever to drill facts into memory. Online animations and multimedia lessons can turn a math lesson into entertainment that teaches as it enthralls; they also allow students to review a lesson whenever they wish. And the Internet brings concepts and teachers — outstanding teachers like Salmon Kahn of Kahn Academy (which offers hundreds of video classes on math, science, and other subjects) — into the classroom to inspire young minds.

Technology as a science aid
To track and chart scientific data, your third grader may use spreadsheet programs like Excel. You child may be also introduced to creating and using database software such as FileMaker Pro or Microsoft Access to classify information. Kids may work from templates in which a spreadsheet or database has already been created and they need to enter the information. Your third grader may contribute to a spreadsheet of the class's favorite foods or a database classifying their library of books.

In an Internet-connected classroom, science is as close as the whiteboard, monitor, tablet, or computer screen. At this level, children can watch close-up footage or animation of the human body, dinosaurs, space, or cells. They can play with animated versions of the elements in the periodic table or simulations of tornados or the night sky. Websites like Khan Academy, Brainpop.com, Discovery Education, ,and The Jason Projectallow kids to access multimedia lessons and animations that transform science instruction into adventure. And to help young students imagine themselves as scientists, the teacher can invite working scientists — virtually — into the classroom and let students ask questions of the researchers themselves.

About This Blog

This weblog seeks primarily to be a resource to parents and their children facilitating, "Empowerment & Personal Responsibility through Education."

This weblog is an extension of BestEducationPossible-theCommunity an online community dedicated to Parents and their efforts to empower their children through Education.


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