Posts Tagged ‘teachers’

Internet security for your kids

April 2nd, 2013 8:09pm

As our world speedily seeks to replace books with technology, our good old paperback friends have a little advice before they disappear into the background of our lives!

I know it’s on every parents mind. This is the new world of technology we live in. The internet in all it’s glory, amazement and horror are so easily accessible for our children at all times and seemingly in all places. It is becoming increasingly difficult to monitor, police, educate and generally protect our children as best we can from some of the onslaughts that await them in the interactive world we live in. But does that mean we give up?? NO! We have some amazing tools to tell you about!

First, for those of you with kids either using their own cell phones/tablets or using yours, you might wonder how can you get some control over interactive content on these devices. Our first tip is to download the Mobicip app! It is a free browser available through the app store or through their website at http://www.mobicip.com/. Once you have this browser on your device, you want to disable the safari browser or whatever browser came standard on your device. We are iphone users so we also have enabled all the security restrictions in our settings where we can control whether to allow app purchases, what apps are visible, etc. which is all password protected. At that point, the only browser available will be the Mobicip browser. Within the browser settings, you can set restrictions that are age appropriate for each user. Very handy when you have various ages using the same devices!

Now on to the computer issue. We HIGHLY recommend a program called NetNanny which can be purchased and downloaded at http://www.netnanny.com/. This program allows you to customize your settings for family members, customize your filter settings, receive reports regarding user accessed content, immediate text/email should one of your users attempt to access restricted material, and a log of every page visited by each user. This has become an invaluable tool for my family and I hope you will take a moment to review all the amazing features available through this program.

We hope you will continue to be vigilant on your children’s behalf in helping to protect them from the dangers of the internet while teaching them responsible habits in using their technology. Please weigh in on this issue with any suggestions you have found to work well in your own families and together we can help protect our families!

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Posted in Family and Home, free stuff, General, Parenting Tips, product reviews, Safety/Health Awareness, Teacher Tips | No Comments »

Calling all history buffs!…

February 27th, 2013 8:44pm

Commemorative Air Force's Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, FIFI, first flown in 1942 and beginning active service in 1944. Best Known as the aircraft whose missions over Japan helped bring about the end of WWII.

For those of you who have kiddos that are seriously into airplanes or, in my case, World War II airplanes specifically, you need to know about an event at Mesa Gateway Airport starting Thursday, February 28th and running through Sunday, March 3rd! The Commemorative Air Force’s Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber (the ONLY remaining flight ready example of this aircraft in the world!) will be visiting this airport along with another famous World War II bomber, the B-17 Flying Fortress, Sentimental Journey, and a P-51 Mustang, Man O’War! For those WWII aficionado’s out there, some of the other famous aircraft on tap will be the C-45 Expeditor, a Navy SNJ and a Navy N2S!

The aircraft will be on the ramp at Gateway Aviation Services, 5803 S. Sossaman Road in Mesa from 2:00pm-6:30pm on February 28 and 9:00am to 6:30pm through March 3rd. Admission is $10 per person; $20 for families with children 17 and under; and free for children 10 years old and younger. Cockpit tours are available with admission and rides in the airplanes can be purchased for an additional $65-$595. Please note there may be a discount if purchased online. For more information, visit the Mesa Gateway Airport press release.

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Encouraging Goal Setting

January 21st, 2013 1:45am
New Years Resolutions

It's time to remind ourselves as well as our children about the importance of goal setting and achieving!

Yes, it is once again that magical time of year when we sit down with ourselves, evaluate our progress over the last year and recommit to (or redefine) our goals for the new year. This is challenging task for us adults and even more so for out children. Oftentimes we put ourselves and our families on autopilot and miss out on the importance of goal setting in our lives. Leading by example and teaching our kids to set their own goals helps give them focus in their work and play. It helps them, as well as us parents, make decisions about the use of their time. And being in sync with our children’s goals can help us guide them to making better choices throughout each day.

Here are a few suggestions that I have opted to try out on my own family this year. Sometimes the greatest challenge to goal setting is knowing where to start. Here are a few prompts to get you going!…

• Set goals that build spiritual strength
Whatever your religious beliefs, seek after goals that bring you closer to your spiritual self. Pray and teach your children to pray. Freely forgive others. Read to your children from scriptures or stories that teach good principles and values. Develop a habit of study (help your kids learn to give over a part of their day to some kind of practice or study). Participate in your religious meetings with your children.

• Set goals that increase knowledge
Select a subject of interest to study (a great way to discover some of your childs hidden intersts!). Learn another language (kids love learning even a few words of a different language…make it a secret way to communicate between you!). Develop or learn about a new skill or interest (a great way to start identifying your child’s abilities). Improve your ability to communicate with others (teach your children manners in…how do we talk to one another?).

• Set Goals that increase personal well-being and health
Develop healthy eating habits (make a game of the pantry…what is good, better, best to eat?). Learn to prepare healthy foods (kids especially love this one! Use a cookie cutter to cut those healthy bites down to a more manageable and fun size!). Develop a program of regular exercise (dancing in the family room with your toddler definitely counts!). Create opportunities to be active with family and friends (bike riding is very popular in our household).

• Set Goals that increase your ability to serve others
Give service to your family (what jobs can we do for each other?). Volunteer to help a neighbor or friend (have your child ask themselves “who needs me today”). Write (or draw for younger kids) a letter/picture to send to someone special. Commit to finding someone to help each day.

• Set goals that increase moral strength
Overcome a bad habit (any thumb suckers out there? How about interrupters? Waiting your turn to speak is a tough one for kids). Learn to be grateful and express your appreciation (teaching kids the value of thank you notes after the holidays is a great way to accomplish this!). Improve your ability to manage time (print your calendars!). Learn to enjoy hard work (chore charts, anyone?). Cultivate patience and tolerance for others (helping them identify ways to get along with a sibling). Identify ways to recognize in yourself when you are doing your best.

We hope these guidelines will help you shape some wonderful goals for yourselves and your  family this year! Remember, “Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement!” (Brian Tracy, Eat That Frog). Good luck stoking those little furnaces this year!

We hope you will sound off in our “Inspiration for Parents” forum about the ways you have found success in your own families with goal setting.

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Posted in Calendaring Tips, Family and Home, General, Inspirational, Parenting Tips, Time Management Tips | No Comments »

Need some geography help?

August 28th, 2012 10:18am

Are your kids working on their geography in school this year? Do they just have an insatiable curiosity for how the world is laid out? Check out www.mapsofworld.com. You can find world political maps, terrain maps, Thematic maps (like the richest countries or the countries with the highest crime rates), maps of individual countries and even maps in different languages! The site is easy to navigate and very user friendly for young kids. check it out and if your little ones are as curious as mine, be prepared to navigate this site for quite awhile with them!

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“NO! Not flashcards, mom! They’re BORING!”…

You know what? My daughter was RIGHT! Being more along the artistic and music side myself, flashcards did nothing more than frustrate and bore me as a kid too and I have to admit, they’re not any more interesting as an adult! While they do still have their place in education, we have stumbled across some wonderful activities that can not only be fun, but of equal educational benefit. And even better, YOU can make these at home! And in most cases, for less than a dollar!

Pool Noodle Learning Game

The first is a number game. Take a rope of about two feet and knot it at one end. Insert this knotted end into a whiffle ball. Take a couple of pool noodles of varying colors (ours were blue, yellow, white and pink) and cut from the end 2 three inch cylinders from each color plus one extra from the color of your choice. Write a number on each cylinder, 1-9. Now you can create any number of combinations of colors or numbers for your child to try to duplicate. Your child can then string the appropriate color or number in order onto the string that you attached to the whiffle ball. This not only works on dexterity but on color and number recognition as well as pattern association…and it’s lots of fun!

The second activity we have for you is called a Tangram. For those of you unfamiliar with Tangrams, they are a puzzle brought out of China. Using several predetermined shapes (click here to check out a site devoted to Tangram printouts), your child can move the shapes around until they create a recognizable shape. They can either try to duplicate shapes already created, or make up their own. The catch is that all the shapes must be used and none of them can overlap! It’s quite a challenge!

Now we don’t want to leave out those early readers! So here’s one more activity that’s great to help them with their phonograms as they start to learn how to blend sounds and recognize letter combinations. Take a plastic easter egg. On one side of the seam where the egg comes together, write the letter combination “at”. One the other side of the seam write “h”, “r”, “c” and “b”…one above the other along the seam. Now when you twist the egg, the “at” will align with one of the other letters to form a word. You can print small pictures of a “hat”, a “rat”, a “cat” and a “bat” and cut them out to fit inside the egg. As your child twists the egg and discovers the new letter combinations, they can try to guess what’s inside the egg!

Word Family Eggs

We hope you enjoy some of these learning crafts with your children! Happy “back-to-school” month! If you have any fun learning crafts that you have found helpful, please share them in the comments! We’d love to hear what has worked for you and your family!

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Method 8: The Courage to be Faithful

Stepping out of your fears and into your greatness requires great courage.  Sometimes we are so busy with the work of life that we don’t sit still and take the time to listen to our heart. Being courageous means not allowing life to steal, kill, or destroy your dreams, hopes, aspirations, and plans but living in the now, the moment, the presence of your power to receive life, and the fullness of all life has to offer and even more abundantly.  It takes courage to be honest with yourself, acknowledge your personal truth, and be present in your quest to live that truth.  The easiest thing for high achievers to do is be successful.  But living in the fullness of who they are – and want to be – while also maintaining their success takes true grit.

Method 9: – Exponential Living

Exponential Living is achieved through excellence in your Personal, Spiritual, and Emotional health, and balance in all aspects of your life – with yourself and others.  It is achieved by building and maintaining spirituality; loving and caring for yourself (hobbies, exercise, “me” time); spending quality time with and appreciating yourself and your family; recognizing your success; and living in your own truth.   When living exponentially you are comfortable with who you are, separate from what you do.  It’s when you live in a state of true contentment, being present with yourself and others while also pursuing and maintaining excellence in all aspects of your life.

Often, high achievers are limited by their success because they are only living in the accomplishments in one area of their lives.  They have achieved or have the drive to achieve high levels of professional success but are not truly fulfilled with their lives overall.  Or, they have reached their career goals but now know there are other facets of life they want to pursue but don’t know what/how/why/when.  Exponential Living gives such high achievers the power of being true to themselves and achieving a balance between work, family, friends, healthy living, and spiritual commitment to manifest a life that is genuinely complete and content.

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Method 6: Happy is a Choice; Contentment and Joy are Lifestyles

One of the definitions of the word overwhelmed is “to give too much of a thing.” When you truly desire to live a life that is fulfilled in all areas, you are destined to have more to do than you have the time, energy, and ability or help to accomplish or complete.  The feeling of being overwhelmed is when you have what you need and are overflowing with what you want.  When you have so much success, opportunity, potential, clients, projects, options, prosperity that you can’t “handle” or manage everything, your reaction is that you are overwhelmed.  So what about those times when you’re overwhelmed with challenges, struggles, health issues, and other life concerns?  Know the plan for your life is perfect and the struggles are never to defeat you but to make you stronger and uncover your true power.  Surrender and find peace living in the overflow, joy and abundance of being overwhelmed.

Method 7:  Building Lasting Confidence

Believe it or not, whatever you want is available to you if you have the confidence and belief that you can have what you want and that you deserve it. This does not mean confidence in our degrees, our knowledge, job titles, position, social status, etc. Instead, it is about having a pure and honest confidence in the person you are. Many successful people have achieved career success through their fear of failure.  And while such fear can be a powerful and effective motivator, it can also limit your sense of accomplishment and impede growth in other areas of your life.  For many high achievers, confidence is built on external validations like applause, accolades, wins, or promotions.  And their ensuring quest to feel this rush keeps them from being engaged in other areas of their lives.  True confidence should come from a life well lived and enjoyed…not the proverbial feathers in your cap.

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Method 5:  Stop Working So You Can Maximize your Opportunities

When you are constantly working, you seldom recognize your achievements.  Without taking these moments to recognize your accomplishments, you are constantly stretching for what’s next and never appreciating and enjoying what you have completed.  This cycle often leads to burn out, health issues, personal relationship issues, and low self esteem.  And, many times, it does not have a clearly defined end of moment of victory.  When you change your mindset from working to maximizing opportunities, you reposition your thought process and how you approach your life.  You are able to separate and segment your work from other areas of your life because maximizing the opportunity has a beginning and an end.  You are quicker to recognize when to end or remove your self because you understand what you are spending your time on is meant to be an opportunity not a burden you spend time on with out benefit or value.

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Get inspired! Write a poem for your pet and win!

If you have a child that loves to write and loves animals, we’ve got the perfect combination to help them celebrate National Poetry Month! The 3rd annual “Paws for Poetry” contest is in full swing and is a great opportunity for children ages 5-12 to showcase their poetry prowess! To enter, kids need only to write a poem to, and provide a photo of, their favorite animal friend.The contest is co-sponsored by kids’ virtual field trip web site Meet Me at the Corner and Flashlight Press. Teachers and parents, this is a great opportunity to not only encourage your kids to write but also get them excited about it!

Poems must be original work and can be submitted in one of two categories: Group One (ages 5-9) and Group Two (ages 10-12). One grand prize winner ine ach category will receive a $50.00 Amazon.com gift card. Two runners-up in each category will receive a $25.00 Amazon.com gift card. Winning poems and pet photos will also be highlighted in an upcoming Meet Me at the Corner video pod cast. The pod cast will be videotaped at New York’s Angellicle Cat Rescue Center. Local students will present the winning poems.

The contest judge will be Thad Krasnesky. Thad is a children’s author and poet as well as an Iraqi war veteran. He will also be providing contest winners with an autographed copy of his new book, “That Cat Can’t Stay”.

Celebrating the 3rd annual Paws for Poetry contest inspiring kids to celebrate National Poetry Month!

The contest deadline is April 15, 2010. All submissions should be mailed to:

“Paws for Poetry” contest
c/o Meet Me at the Corner
20 West Del Norte
Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Good luck to all our young Emily Dickensen’s and Edgar Allen Poe’s! We hope you will all take a crack at this contest as we take a moment this month to appreciate poetry in all it’s literary forms! wRite on!

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Earlier I wrote an article entitled “Do we value our teachers, or are they expendable?” concerning legislation, effective this year, which effectively eliminated contract dates, RIF recall rights and Seniority protections for teaching professionals. Some considered this legislation “punitive” backlash for teachers who led a protest at the capital last year to oppose massive budget cuts to public schools. Since that time, teachers, parents and concerned individuals have led protests for these unfair practices. There have been some new developments…

Arizona Education Association (AEA) is currently lobbying for SB1299 which is sponsored by Senator Linda Lopez. If accepted, it would repeal these policies. HB 2226, which is being introduced by Representative Lauren Hendrix and will be heard in the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday of this week (February 24), would repeal these punitive policy provisions and then reinstate them. AEA will be present at this meeting to testify. Representative David Schapira will also be introducing an amendment to HB2226 which would eliminate the reinstatement of these punitive laws, effectively repealing them instead.

If you would like to support the amendment, contact committee members.

You can also show support for education in Arizona by attending the March4Schools Day of Action on March 4, 2010 at 4 p.m. This enormous community outreach action will bring thousands of education supporters statewide together to share their stories and concerns about the impact of legislative funding cuts to their schools with the voting public. It is hoped that this effort will bring attention to the anti-education legislation taking place.

If you would like to attend as a March4Schools Day of Action participant, it is asked that you wear a t-shirt (that can be purchased online) to present a unified front in support of quality public education for every child in Arizona. To join in and be a part of this event, check out what activities will be available in your individual local.

Weigh in with your thoughts on how our teachers are being treated from a legislative standpoint. Are they expendable? Or do we value them and want them to stay?

For more information: Download the AEA March4Schools Day of Action flyer.

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