Posts Tagged ‘tips and tricks’

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!

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

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.

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

Halloween Safety!

October 31st, 2012 1:09am

As your kiddos get ready to run out into the neighborhood, please be prepared with some basic safety tips and guidelines!

If your kids are anything like ours, they are chomping at the bit to get out and show off their coolest costume creations while collecting an insane amount of candy from strangers! While we want everyone to have a great time this Halloween, we are most concerned about the safety of our little ones and want to share a few reminders and tips for keeping our kiddos safe this Halloween night!…

• Children should always be accompanied by an adult whether it’s at a party, trick or treating or sitting around watching scary movies with their friends!

• Have a plan in case you get separated. Set a place and/or time where you can meet up if you should happen to lose one another.

•Make sure your children wear a light of some kind while they are trick or treating. It makes finding them easier and helps drivers to see them better.

• Remind your kids never to cut across back alleys or fields. Encourage them to stay together in large groups at all times.

• We know some consider it old fashioned, but PLEASE don’t let your kids eat their candy until an adult has checked through it. Throw out any candy that looks tampered with (ie. loose wrapping, unidentifiable treats, etc.).

• Never go into a strangers house. Whenever possible, you should stick with houses of people you know.

• Always be careful crossing streets!! Look both ways and avoid crossing altogether whenever possible. Remember, it’s dark and cars are not always able to see you, if they happen to be looking at all! Rule of thumb: remember, in a mash up between you and a car…the car will ALWAYS win! So be looking for them, don’t expect them to look for you.

For more information on Halloween Safety, please take a moment and breeze through www.halloween-safety.com.

Be safe out there and have a Happy Haunted Halloween!

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Events, Family and Home, General, holiday activities, newsworthy, Parenting Tips, Safety/Health Awareness | 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!

Tags: , ,
Posted in General, Teacher Tips | No Comments »

“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!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Family and Home, General, Inspirational, Teacher Tips | No Comments »

It’s back to school time!

July 12th, 2012 12:41am

Yes, we know…you’re not ready! That’s where we can help! Summer is fast coming to a close as we gear up for another exciting school year full of class activities, programs, sports events and about a million other fun activities that we love to help our kiddos excel in! One of the hardest things for young children to understand is time management. They just don’t recognize the passing of time as acutely as we adults do. One of the best ways to help them learn this concept is to give them a visual! Our calendars can help your children understand the order of the days, weeks and even months and how this passage of time affects them in preparing for upcoming activities, whether it be practicing for a piano recital or working on a project for school. So visit our calendars page and get started now! You can make a different calendar for each one of your children so only the events specific to them are represented and print it out for them to track.

Create your very own "Mom, I'm bored" box!

We also recognize that as summer is winding down, it becomes more and more difficult to find activities that can keep your kiddos busy. You begin to hear those dreaded words, “mom, I’m BORED!”. One of the ideas that has worked wonders at our house this summer is to create a “mom, I’m bored box” and fill it with chores, fun activities the kids complained all year that they never had time to do (think crafts, reading, games, sports, etc.), learning activities (math worksheets, reading passages, etc.)…let the kids help you write them all out on separate scraps of paper so they can contribute their own ideas as well. My kids and I made a game out of it so that anytime they came to me with the “mom, I’m bored” comment, I would point their little tooshes to the box. They would have to pick an activity and the deal was, whatever they picked, they HAD to do (whether it was fun or work)! Since they helped get all the ideas in the box, they all made a competition out of it to see who got the “luck of the draw”! It has been quite comical and made our summer so much fun!

If you have some summer boredom buster ideas that have worked for your family, please share them in our forum!

We wish you luck in your back-to-school preparations and hope you share our excitement for another great year of learning and growing!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Family and Home, General, Parenting Tips | No Comments »

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.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Family and Home, General, Parenting Tips, Teacher Tips | No Comments »

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.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Family and Home, General, Parenting Tips, Safety/Health Awareness, Teacher Tips | No Comments »

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.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Family and Home, General, Parenting Tips, Teacher Tips | No Comments »

Method 4: Live in Your P.O.W.E.R ™

High achievers should strive to tap into their personal P.O.W.E.R., which is Perspective, Ownership, Wisdom, Engagement, and Reward. Perspective cultivates recognition of what is draining your life and what is enriching your life.  This leads to Ownership of your relationship with yourself and with others.  It allows you to establish your personal boundaries and define what and where you are to give of yourself and your time.  This understanding of your own truth is a major component of Wisdom, which is gained from how you implement your life experiences into your life and evolve your thinking and decisions through expanding your knowledge and good judgment.  This enlightenment brings consistent Engagement in the quality of your life.  Your desire, energy, and personal encouragement will motivate you to commit yourself to stop spending 100% of your time on 10% of who you are – this is your Reward.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in General, Parenting Tips, Teacher Tips | No Comments »