How to Stay Organized and Focused When You’re at College

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Going to college can be an exciting time and you may even feel as though you have your whole life ahead of you as well. The problem that a lot of people experience when they go to college is that they find it hard to concentrate and they also find it difficult to stay focused during their studies as well.

Eat, Drink and Sleep

You probably think that you do this already. In college however, you may not do this properly. If your throat feels parched then make sure that you have a drink or if you know that your stomach is growling then have something to eat. Too often college students ignore things like this because they are too busy trying to study or even research. The problem is that if your stomach is constantly growling then you will probably find it hard to stay focused and if you are dehydrated then this will automatically reduce your level of concentration. For this reason, you need to have a small snack before you go to work and you also have to try and keep some water on-hand as well. This will really help you to make the most out of your study time and it will also help you to really learn more in any set period of time.

Limit Your Social Media Pages

If you have some bad internet habits then this may be tough for you to do. For a lot of college students checking things like Facebook or even Twitter can easily become a reflexive habit. If this sounds like you then you may find that you end up on social media every half an hour or so. You have to keep reminding yourself that you don’t need to check these sites every single time you logon to the internet and you also don’t want to lose track of time either. After all, nothing new is probably happening on there and all of the 10-minute breaks will add up over time.

Have your Own Goals

Think about it, what are your goals? Do you want to take an MBA online? Do you want to take extra homework classes? Do you want a specific job? By aligning these goals with the lifestyle that you have, you can easily put yourself in a position where it is much easier for you to achieve them. This is a fantastic way for you to make the most out of the time that you spend studying and it will also help you to stay way more focused as well. Little things like this can really make a difference to your concentration levels and it will also help you to deny those little temptations that you face on a regular basis as well.

Of course, staying focussed at university or college can be hard work but when you are able to think about the future and what it has in store for you, you can be sure to go on to achieve way better results.

 

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5 Simple Items to Make Learning Fun for Children

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Parents and teachers can readily attest to the limited attention span of children. This makes teaching quite a challenge, even for the most seasoned of educators. And depending on a child’s temperament, there may be a need for different techniques and educational implements to get the young ones to stop for a while, pay attention, and learn the basics.

There may not be a single formula to make children eager and interested to learn, but there are some ways to make the process a bit easier. Here are a few simple things that you already own or are easy to find to help make learning more enjoyable.

Socks

These garments are a simple yet creative way to teach children about colors and identifying patterns, and even basic math. Separate the socks into two piles and ask the kids to find the matching pairs, or group the socks based on patterns like dots and stripes. You can even choose an odd number of socks and have a game of Odd Man Out. You can also use socks to teach kids simple chores and the importance keeping things organized.

Customized Wristbands

There are several ways you can use customized silicone wristbands in teaching. You can have them produced in various colors and shades, for example, to illustrate the difference between blue and light blue. You can also have them embossed or debossed with numbers, letters, symbols, and words to aid in letter recognition, spelling, reading, and basic operations like addition and subtraction. By having the text in a different color, it’s also easy to combine concepts, say, asking the kids to pick a blue wristband with an orange number 2 on it.

Silicone wristbands are also proven safe and non-toxic; what’s more, you can even have wristbands coated with natural plant oils to make them mosquito repellent. If you want, you can even have some glitter mixed in with the silicone to make the wristbands more attractive and interesting for children.

Study Cards

With just a little maneuvering in Photoshop or even just an hour of searching on the Internet, you can produce study cards on various topics. From letters and spelling, to general knowledge, to arithmetic — the options are limitless. And you can even use these study cards for activities beyond their original subjects. For example, you can ask children to create a short story using the cards as characters to stoke their creativity. And because they’re easy to carry, you can even use the cards while you’re stuck on traffic, for example, or while having a picnic.

A Tablet or Big-Screen Phone

In the past two years alone, numerous studies have sought to determine whether and how technology causes children (and even adults) to develop shorter attention spans. However, since kids will inevitably have to learn how to use these gadgets anyway, adults may as well use technology to their advantage.

There are various learning apps for almost any subject that can be downloaded for free; some toy manufacturers have also begun to incorporate virtual reality and augmented reality with their products, which enhances the play experience and increases engagement. Even the built-in camera can be used for a few learning activities. For example, while out in the playground, you can ask children to take a photo of something blue or snap a picture of someone who is running.

Gadgets can also be used teach the concepts of responsibility, taking care of their belongings, and waiting for their turn, among others. It’s up to the adults to supervise, enforce a strict timetable, and carefully monitor and moderate usage. Technology isn’t the enemy, as long as you know how to use them properly!

The Real Thing

Go outside for a bit of a science lesson! Pick up leaves in various stages of drying to show the differences in color and texture, and explain the reason why this happens (some plants and trees stop making chlorophyll when the weather gets cold). You can also use fresh flowers — just make sure they aren’t poisonous and/or your child isn’t allergic — to identify their different parts. You can even study earthworms up close! Sure, you can use pictures and videos to teach these things, but touching and interacting with these objects will help children be more engaged.

Learning may be a slow process, but it doesn’t have to be boring or complicated. With the help of these simple objects that you can easily find at home or in the community, you can make learning fun and interesting — you may even learn a thing or two yourself!

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Study Tips for Online Learners

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If you are taking an online course, the nature of your studying will be slightly different. After all, you will have greater control and you will be managing everything from the comfort of your own home. You also won’t have someone checking up on your constantly. With this in mind, it highlights the importance of getting your approach to studying right. After all, you only have yourself to rely on and answer to. So, let’s take a look at some great study tips for online learners.

Choose a good online course – There is only one place to begin, and this is by choosing a good online course. Nowadays, you have a plethora of courses to choose from. If you merely look at the online MSN nursing programs that are available alone, you will see that the options are varied, and this can make it difficult to know where to start. Well, you need a course that has good reviews and a good track record for success with regards to exam results and career progression. You also need to discover what sort of online assistance and study materials will be made available as part of the course too.

Stay motivated – One of the greatest difficulties regarding studying for an exam while taking an online course is finding the motivation to do so. You need to put measures in place to ensure that your motivation levels are high. This includes having healthy snacks nearby for an energy boost, rewarding yourself when you complete a difficult studying session, decorating your study space with inspirational photos and quotes, and creating a study routine that works for you.

Build a study plan – If you are taking an online course, it is vital to create a study plan. To do this, you will need to plan ahead. Leaving it too late only puts more pressure and stress on your shoulders. You also need to have an effective calendar system while creating effective to-do lists and setting realistic time limits.

Have a dedicated study space – The fourth and final tip is to create a study space. This is important because you need to have an area that is completely dedicated to studying so you can separate this from your home life. Plus, if you simply try to study while you are in bed or sitting on the sofa, you will enter relaxation mode, and you will never be able to study efficiently. Having a place that is organised and free from distractions will make a massive difference.

If you follow the advice that has been provided above, you should find it a lot easier to study for your online course from the comfort of your own home. You will be able to achieve your goals and make online studying work for you. Good luck!

 

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Moms Can Go to School Too

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Just because you’re a parent and you have responsibilities to your children, it shouldn’t mean that you can’t increase your education and advance your career. In fact, doing just that could actually help you better provide for your children, and at the very least, it will show them the value of education and striving to better yourself.

So, whether you never got a degree and you’d like to change that, or you’ve always dreamt of getting your Bachelors in Health Administration so that you can change to a more fulfilling career, don’t let other people’s expectations or beliefs stop you – moms can go to school too!

If you do decide to go to school, here are some tips to make the transition easier on the whole family:

Consider Your Options

Before you take the plunge and enrol, take the time to first consider your options. Right now, there have never been more ways to get an education. You can do a Healthcare Administration Degree Program Online, learn to be an accountant at community college part-time or enrol in a varsity college and it makes sense to work out which option will work best for you, your spouse and your kids long-term before you invest any time and money into a course of action that might not work for you.

Set Realistic Goals

You should also set realistic goals for your continuing education. Do you want to finish that your nursing degree so that you can get a secure job with benefits? Do you want to qualify as an accountant so you can stay at home with your kids? Do you want to finish an architect’s course by the time your kids are of school age so that you can start a more fulfilling career? Just want a fulfilling way to spend your spare time? Whatever your aims, you should work out a realistic way of achieving them, giving yourself enough time to learn the material and take care of your kids. Knowing what you want and how you will achieve it, will help you stay the course when things get tough.

Get Your Kids Ready

Your going back to school will be a big change for the whole family, especially the kids, particularly if you’re a stay-at-home mom who’s usually around most of the time. That means that you need to prepare your kids for the coming changes, starting well in advance of your course beginning.

Do your best to explain to the children as best you can that you will be going  to school and that will mean a few changes, Try to reassure them that, when you’re not there, they will have someone to take care of them, whether that’s dad, grandparents or a sitter, and that you will only ever be a phone call away.

If your kids are older, explain to them that you’re doing this to fulfil your dreams and make a better future for you all ask them to show some understanding in helping out more around the house and giving you some quiet time when you need to study. You could also turn your study time into a family time by all sitting around the table and doing your homework together. This will take a load off and make it easier for you to do what needs to be done.

Get Organized

planner-2641215_640Image source

Going to school alone is enough to turn your life upside down, but when you have kids to think about too, well some organization is pretty essential. By a daily planner and write down the dates and times of all your classes, school vacation, extra curricular activities, and any other appointments you have, so at the very least you know what you should be doing when.

Then, try to settle the kids into a streamlined regular routine whereby they get up at the same time, have a schedule for bathroom use, leave the house by the same time, come home, do homework etc. It might take a while for you all to get into the swing of things, but when you do, your household will be running like a well-oiled machine, and your whole life will be easier.

Update Your Technical Skills

If it’s been awhile since you were in school, you might find that things are done a little differently now. If you’re pretty good with technology, this probably won’t be too much f an issue, but if you can just about manage to work your smartphone, then it might be worth attending a technological skills brush up course to get you up to speed. Don’t worry about this, unless you’re enrolling on a super techy course, the skills you need will be fairly simple and easy to learn.

Look for Scholarships

There are numerous college grants and scholarships that are available exclusively to parents who are returning to school. It will certainly be worth your while to research and apply for as many of these as possible because they could cut the cost of your education significantly and make it a lot easier to pay for any extra childcare you might need.

Look After Yourself

So many moms, and dads, who go back to college, feel so needlessly guilty about doing so because they worry they’re neglecting their kids (they’re not) that they spend every spare spend second they have attending to the kids. Your kids are important and spending lots of time with them ism for sure a good thing, but you shouldn’t neglect your own self-care.If you don’t take the time to eat well, relax and have some ’me time’ you’ll burn out pretty quickly, and everyone will suffer as a result.

Take Advantage of All Your School has to Offer

preschool-1290823_640Image source

These days, most schools are fully equipped with childcare facilities, counseling provisions and medical facilities, all of which can be a massive help when you’re returning to college as a mom. Don’t be afraid to make use of them whenever there is a need.

Going back to school when you’re a busy mom might be a challenge, but if you really want to do it, it is possible, and you can make it work.

 

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How to Successfully Study for an Exam

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If studying doesn’t keep you up at night, the thought of an upcoming exam just might. An imminent test may cause butterflies in your stomach, as you may wonder if you have what it takes to pass an exam.

To help you on the road to success, we are offering some helpful tips on how to effectively study for a fast-approaching exam.

Study with a Classmate

It never hurts to study with a classmate or group in the run-up to your exams. This will allow you to talk through topics if one of you doesn’t understand, whilst ensuring you verbally communicate a textbook so you not only understand the text, but remember it.

Take a Course

There is no harm in attending a study course to brush up on your knowledge in the run-up to an exam. For example, many student registered nurse anesthetists turn to Valley Anesthesia, an AANA approved CEU, to prepare for the National Certifying Exam. So, whatever your core subject, look for a course that can help you pass an upcoming test.

Drink and Eat Well

Bad foods can lead to negative moods, so ensure you drink plenty of water and eat fruit and vegetables in preparation for your exams. Not only will you have more energy to revise, but you will approach the exam with a more positive outlook. What’s more, fruits such as apples and blueberries are believed to reduce the toxin levels in your bloodstream and can improve your memory function.

Take a Break

Both your mind and body will need rest if you want to pass an exam. You must therefore learn to take a break in between studying so you are physically, mentally and emotionally prepared for the test. So, cut yourself some slack and treat yourself to an early night, a couple of drinks with friends or a few hours in front of the TV.

Color Association

Use color to memorise important information that may come up in the test. By writing facts down on colour cards or using different coloured pens, you could trigger your memory when taking the examination. For instance, you could write one topic in red and another in blue – and when a question comes up, you can cast our mind back to what colour you used, and you may remember the answer.

Read Aloud

You might be reading the words but you may not be absorbing the information. It is therefore a good idea to read the words aloud so you can listen to every word you say, which could help you to understand the topic and remember the information, because you are actively reading the text.

So, if you are worried about an upcoming final or another exam, we encourage you to join a study group, read textbooks aloud, take a study course, use colour association, eat well and take a well-earned break. You can guarantee it will make all the difference to your final mark. Good luck!

 

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Digital Media Academy Camp Registration Now Open! Save Up to $250

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It seems like summer was just yesterday but the truth is, it’s almost November and next summer will be here before you know it. It’s never to soon to start planning for next summer. Digital Media Academy is celebrating their shiny new website and an exciting new summer camp lineup with deep discounts on all of our course offerings now through November 4th!

Save up to $250 during the Launch Sale and discover exciting new summer camps and courses for your kid or teen ages 6-17. Since 2002, Digital Media Academy has set out to be the thought-leader in tech education for kids, teens and adults at prestigious universities across the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to summer camp programs, DMA offers year-round learning via DMA Online and powers tech ed programs through its curriculum licensing program around the globe. DMA instructors and curriculum developers include industry professionals and outstanding technology educators, with a driving passion for inspiring, teaching, and mentoring.

What will you create this summer? Don’t wait – the Launch Sale ends November 4, 2016!

Balanced Experience

DMA camps offer more than sitting in front of a screen all day. The DMA learning experience strikes a balance between tech time and social time; sending our campers home with new tech skills and confidence and new friends.

Top-Notch Staff

The DMA staff is an impressive group of industry professionals and tech educators who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and experience. Small staff to student ratios keep learning personalized and ensures that no one gets left behind.

Project-Based

Students learn by getting hands on and collaborative in search of solutions to relative, real world problems. Infused with design-thinking methodology, our courses teach students to lead with empathy, test and retest through prototyping, and work as a team to get results.

Safety Matters

Your child’s safety is DMA’s top priority. All DMA staff are trained and certified in CPR and First Aid. Our security procedures ensure that our students are safe on campus, in the classroom, and online so that you don’t ever have to worry.

Learn more here:


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Educational Fun With Osmo

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Amazon_BannerDisclaimer:  The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
osmo genius kit review

My girls love technology. What kid doesn’t these days? But I was really getting tired of them just wanting to play mindless games on their cellphones. If I let them, they’d play on their cellphones all day. That’s why I set up our Summer Electronics Rules. They have to earn electronics time by doing chores but to cash in their earned electronics time they have to do various tasks such as reading for 30 minutes and playing 15 minutes on an educational website or with an educational game. When were were offered an Osmo to review my girls couldn’t wait to test it out. I’ll admit that when I first heard of Osmo I worried that my girls (10 and 12 years old) would be too old for it but boy was I wrong. The product says it is for ages 5-12 but it each game has so many levels and grows with your child’s skills so it is challenging even for my 12 year old. I played with Osmo and some of the levels of games like Osmo Tangram were even challenging for me. And any age can learn to draw with Osmo Masterpiece. But I’ll get into all that in a bit. Let’s talk about what Osmo is.

So what is Osmo?

Osmo, created by young parents, encourages creative thinking and social interaction by expanding gameplay beyond the screen, turning any physical object into a digitally connected game piece.

Osmo is a game system that is integrates with your iPad for a unique gaming experience. There are five games can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App store. Search for Osmo and you’ll find Newton, Tangram, Masterpiece, Words, Numbers and the newest game Coding. All 5 games require use of the Osmo reflector and base which come in all 3 of the Osmo Kits. Tangram, Coding, Words and Numbers use physical objects that come with the set, whereas Newton and Masterpiece only require use of the Osmo reflector and base. We received the Genius Kit to review which comes with the physical objects needed to play all the current games except Osmo Coding and my girls have already asked if I would begged me to buy them the coding set.

What Comes With Osmo?

  • Genius Kit comes with reflector, base, and Words, Masterpiece, Tangram, Newton and Numbers Games
  • Coding Kit comes with reflector, base, Newton, Masterpiece, and Coding.
  • Wonder Kit comes with reflector, base, Newton, Masterpiece, Tangram, Words, Numbers, and Coding Games.

Important Details

  • Groundbreaking system encourages creative thinking and social interaction by expanding gameplay beyond the screen.
  • Games can be played and even created by the whole family, anywhere, and on any surface.
  • Works with latest iPads: iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4 iPad Mini, iPad Mini Retina, iPad Air.
  • Recommended Ages: 5-12
  • Suggested MSRP $99.99
Get an Osmo on Best Buy. Learn more about Osmo on the official Osmo site.

playing with osmo

The Osmo is very easy to set up and can be used almost anywhere with a flat surface. Right out of the box you just  have to adjust the base for your model iPad by following the direction. Once the base is set up for your model iPad simply place the iPad in the base, slide the Osmo reflector over the iPad’s camera and you’re ready to play. Osmo works by “reading” the playing area in front of the iPad. We found that it works best (especially playing Tangrams) when you play on a light surface so we put a big piece of white paper in front of the iPad when we play. It just makes it easier for the iPad camera to properly see what is in the playing area. Playing in a well lit area helps, too.

Osmo Tangram ­

Arrange wooden puzzle pieces into matching on­screen shapes. Play with your child or challenge yourself to more advanced levels with Osmo acting as your mentor by lighting up with each victory

osmo tangram

Tangram can be played individually or with more than one player cooperating together to solve a puzzle. There are 7 Tangram tiles in various shapes and colors. On the screen the game shows the players an image formed with the various tiles and they have to figure out how to place the tiles to form that image. In easier levels the picture on the screen shows each individual tile that is used to form the image and in harder levels players just see an outline of the image and have to figure out how the tiles get arranged to form the image. Tangrams is a great game for spacial and visual problem solving. Players have to look on the screen of the iPad to see the image and move the pieces in the right position in front of the iPad on the table. As the correct tiles are placed in the correct place the image changes color on the screen to let players know it’s in the right spot. Make sure to move your hands out of the way after you place a tile so the camera can see the pieced you put down. As you complete the puzzles, the harder levels become unlocked.

The game Tangram has been around for almost a thousand years, but Osmo reinvents this classic using a fully interactive video experience. With visual and audio feedback, multiple levels of difficulty, achievements and more.

Photo Credit Margot Herrman

Photo Credit Margot Herrman

Osmo Newton ­

Use your creativity with inventive objects such as a hand ­drawn basket, grandma’s glasses, dad’s keys or anything around you to guide falling on­screen balls into targeted zones.

newton

Newton is one of the games that can be played without any special pieces. Balls drop from the top of the screen and players direct the balls to bounce off of various targets by drawing shapes to direct the balls where they want them to go. Players can also put random objects, even Tangram pieces on the playing surface and the iPad camera will turn those objects into lines that will also direct the onscreen balls to bounce off the target. Players have to plan how to get the balls to bounce off of the targets and adjust their technique as the balls come down so there is lots of problem solving and strategizing involved.

TIPS- Use a dry erase board to draw shapes to direct the balls into the targets. Grab items around the house and see what works best to direct the balls. We tried various markers, pencils, our hands, and even some dolls and toys.

60 levels of fun! The more you succeed, the harder it gets! You can use simple strategies in the beginning, but as you progress Newton will challenge you with bouncing balls, accelerating platforms and fans that force you to think in new ways!

Photo Credit Margot Herrman

Photo Credit Margot Herrman

Osmo Words ­

Be the first to guess and spell out the on­ screen hidden word by tossing down real ­life letters faster than your friends. A related picture gives the clue

osmo words

Words is similar to a game of hangman. There are 2 sets of letters and you can play by yourself or with several players. In Verse Mode players compete and in Zen Mode players work together. An image appears on the screen and players have to figure out what is depicted in the image. There are circles on the bottom of the screen that represent how many letters are in the word. Players put letters on the playing surface that they think are part of the word that is being represented. If the letter is correct they get a point and the letter shows up in the word. If they get the letter wrong the letter goes up on the top of the screen so players can keep track of letters that have been tried. But you have to be fast or your opponent will put the letters down before you!

As the levels get harder the images get harder, too. For example one round there was a picture of a horse jumping. We thought that the word was HORSE but when my girls put down an S it was wrong. It turned out that the word was RIDER. So they had to think outside of the box a little and not pick the obvious word. It’s all trial and error but you only get a certain amount of guesses per round so be careful! For younger children this is a great game to learn to spell various words and while older children might already know how to spell the words, the harder levels make them think about what the words might be and act fast to get the letters down quickly.

Words comes with over 150 default puzzle images, but if you guess your way through those it’s easy to log on to myOsmo and download new albums created by the community. This added content can extend your playtime endlessly! Do you have a great idea for a Words album? If so, you can create and share it with the community at myOsmo! The platform allows you to easily build and download your own custom albums. For teachers, this is a great way to translate class material in an engaging way.

Photo Credit Margot Herrman

Photo Credit Margot Herrman

Osmo Numbers ­

With a counting, addition, concatenation and multiplication mode, there is a challenge for everybody. As kids get more confident in one mode, they can move on the the next one, allowing them to learn at their own pace.

osmo numbers

Numbers is a fun math game that players play with the Osmo number tiles. The goal is to fill up the tank with water and collect all the fish. There are 4 different modes that range from simple counting using dot tiles to more complex multiplication problems using numbered tiles. Again this just shows how the system will grow with a child through various math levels.

Kids arrange physical tiles, including dots and digits, to make numbers and complete levels. Add by putting more tiles, subtract by removing tiles and multiply by connecting tiles together. Experimenting becomes fast and intuitive. Kids play math without the pressure of time or the fear that they’ll get the wrong answer. Osmo’s real-time feedback lets kids learn through experimentation in a stress-free environment.

osmo numbers shot

Photo Credit Margot Herrman

Photo Credit Margot Herrman

Osmo Masterpiece ­

Supercharge your drawing skills with Masterpiece. Pick any image from the camera, curated gallery or integrated web search and Masterpiece will transform it into easy­ to ­follow lines and help you draw it to perfection. You can then share a magical time ­lapse video of your creation with your friends and family

hello kitty osmo masterpiece

Masterpiece is a great tool to learn how to draw everything from objects around the house to pets and people. My girls love art and love to draw but they sometimes get intimidated by drawing things from their own minds. That’s why the both love Masterpiece. Simply use your iPad to take a picture of what you want to draw and Osmo will turn it into a lined drawing that you can draw. You can even adjust how simple or complex the drawing will be.

TIP- We found that the less shadow in the picture the easier it was to draw because Osmo will turn shadows into random lines in your drawing. We use a light to get rid of shadows when we’re taking pictures for Masterpiece.

drawing hello kitty

Once you take a picture in Masterpiece it turns it into a lined image. Then simply look at the screen and use your pencil on your paper to follow the lines and draw the picture. It is great for eye hand coordination. As you draw the lines you can see what you’re doing on the screen.

Photo Credit Margot Herrman

Photo Credit Margot Herrman

There is no limit to the images you can create with Masterpiece! There are also lots of templates in various categories that you can learn to draw such as animals, food, nature, and lots more plus you can search for images, too. My daughter has problems with handwriting and there is even a set of block letters and a set of cursive letters for children to practice with.

hello kitty final

When you are finished with your picture you can save the time-lapsed video of you drawing the image and even email it to someone. It’s fun to watch the video to see how the drawing was made.

Take a picture of anything you want, be it a friend, a toy or anything online. Masterpiece will transform it into simple outlines so you can draw it to perfection. Kids love to draw, but with the rise of smartphones and iPads, they increasingly dismiss pen and paper. With Masterpiece kids can combine their love of technology and drawing, while learning useful skills.

Why We Love Osmo

Both my girls are loving using Osmo. They are asking to use it instead of playing on their phones or watching tv. Both said it would be too hard to pick a favorite game because they are all fun. They enjoy the challenge and the variety of the games. It’s nice to have an electronic toy that you want your children to be playing on. I love that as a parent I set up an account and add each child as a user so I can track their progress in each game. I also love that my girls can play the games together, learn to work cooperatively, and they are learning while they are playing. It’s a win win all around! If you have an iPad and children you need this game!

Watch how teachers can use Osmo in the classroom, too:

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FREE PRINTABLE SUMMER ELECTRONICS RULES

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FREE PRINTABLE SUMMER ELECTRONICS RULESThe first week of summer vacation started just as I thought it would with my kids being lumps playing on their phones, watching tv, and playing on the computer. I let them have some down time for the first week without pestering them about chores, early bedtimes, or anything else they have to deal with during the school year. THAT was week one. They had their break from all responsibilities. I figure everyone deserves a break from responsibilities, right?
summer rules sheetI don’t want them to get out of the habit of doing chores and using their brains so enter my SUMMER ELECTRONICS RULES. There are a variety of tasks/chores my girls can do to earn electronics time. Each chore is worth 15 minutes of electronics time and they can save up and carry over electronics time if they want. Once they earn electronics time there are several things they need to do before they can cash in electronics time such as reading for 30 minutes, doing a physical activity for at least 15 minutes, etc.

I purposely included educational websites as one of the tasks my girls have to do before they can cash in electronics time because playing on the computer doing educational games helps take away their urges for playing on electronics so much but they are still learning. So far both my girls have responded well to my “RULES”. The each did a few chores already and are working towards being able to cash in their electronics time. My older daughter has been drawing in her sketchbook for over an hour, hasn’t bothered her sister, and is entertaining herself without electronics. WIN! My younger daughter read for 30 minutes, played on the computer on a math website for well over 30 minutes, vacuumed the floor, brushed the dog, and is about to go outside for some exercise and fresh air. Once they get their tasks done they will be able to cash in their electronics time or they can save it up for another day.

They must do the tasks (reading, physical activity, etc.) BEFORE they can cash in electronics time. TASKS cannot be carried over to other days and must be done on the day they want to cash in the electronics time. I’m keeping track of their electronics time on a Google Spreadsheet because I can access it from my computer or my phone. I was going to give them popsicle sticks for every 15 minutes of electronics time but my girls are older, didn’t really need the tangible stick as a reminder, and they both told me not to waste the sticks.

Grab your own printable copy of my

SUMMER ELECTRONICS RULES!

Print them as is or since they are a Google Document you can copy and paste it into Word and edit it to meet your needs. 🙂

Make sure to check out my list of 10 Ways to Keep ‘Em Learning All Summer Long!

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Orkin Mosquito Summer Scientist Giveaway #LearnWithOrkin @TheOrkinMan

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I have teamed up with the people at Orkin to share information on one of the few things that I hate about summer (mosquitoes) as well as bring you a fun giveaway. My girls love collecting butterflies, dragonflies, and other creepy crawlies. They check them out, study them, and then release them back into nature. We’ve even raised caterpillars into butterflies, hatched ladybugs, and even praying mantis? My girls aren’t going to camp this summer so we’ll be spending lots of time outside. But there’s one thing no one likes about being outdoors: mosquitoes! They not only are a nuisance, but they also pose potentially serious health risks. Fortunately, the experts at Orkin study the science of mosquitoes and other pests closely in order to better tailor plans that help keep them out of your home this summer.

Orkin’s Mosquito Buzzer Beater blog app

To help you better prepare yourself and your family to fight the bite, Orkin presents the “Buzzer Beater” app, which features its deep scientific knowledge of mosquitoes.

• Are you prepared for mosquito season this year? Take the quiz to see if you’re ready to earn your badge in Mosquito Season Prep.

• Watch the “How to Deal With Mosquitoes” & “Do Mosquitoes Prefer Adults over Children” videos, as well as the rest of Orkin’s How-To video series, to get the most up-to-date knowledge on dealing with pesky home invaders.

• Download Orkin’s yearly “Mosquito Cities” list and find out if your city made it!

At Orkin, they use the latest technology and unparalleled training to develop an effective treatment that’s right for your needs. To learn more about our pest control based in science or to schedule an inspection, visit orkin.com or call 1-800-800-ORKIN.

Orkin on Facebook: facebook.com/OrkinPestControl
Ask The Orkin Man® on Twitter: twitter.com/TheOrkinMan
Orkin YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/OrkinVideo

Orkin has come up with an awesome Summer Scientist Bug Catching Kit that I know my girls are going to love. I’ll also be giving one away to one lucky winner so enter below.Orkin Mosquito Summer Scientist GiveawayThe Orkin Summer Scientist Bug Catching Kits are fun for the whole family! Each pack includes:

2 Bug Catcher Craft Kits: These awesome DIY bug catcher kits will let your family’s personality shine through while also learning about nature and the world around us. The kits include a variety of foam ladybugs, dragonflies and more!

2 Bug Nets: Explore the great outdoors with these fun mesh insect nets. They can be used to collect and study butterflies, ladybugs, caterpillars and many other backyard creatures.

2 See-Through Bug Jars: Reveal the wonders of your backyard with these clear bug jars. Each transparent plastic box has a magnifying lid for better insect viewing. Young explorers love discovering worms, butterflies, ants and insects. These containers allow them to make homes for their new discoveries.

2 Magic Color Scratch Little Garden Critters: Scratch faces, designs and more on these Magic Color Scratch Little Garden Critters! A perfect kids’ activity for critter lovers, simply scratch away the black coating to reveal vibrant rainbow colors. Includes butterflies, frogs, turtles and more.

Glow-in-the-Dark Creepy Crawlers: Turn off the lights and let them glow! These vinyl glow-in-the-dark bugs are lots of fun for all ages.

ENTER TO WIN YOUR OWN ORKIN MOSQUITO SUMMER SCIENTIST KIT:

*Each household is only eligible to win Summer Scientist Bug Catching Kit via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

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Four Ways To Prepare Your Child For School

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The first day of school can be an intimidating day for both parents and children. It’s a big step in your child’s life and is their first solo step out into the big world. Mum and dad will also be nervous as it could be their first day leaving their son or daughter on their own. However, no one needs to worry. The transition up to big school can be very easy if you properly prepare your child. Want to know how to make everything go smoothly without any tears? Here are five ways you can prepare your child for school.

sand-summer-outside-playingPicture source

  • Kindergarten

Enrolling your child in a kindergarten or nursery is a really good idea. Even if it is just for an hour or two a couple of days a week. This will get them used to the idea of being away from you. Not only that, but it will also give them a chance to learn how to interact with other children. After a few weeks, you might even notice them open up and become less shy around new people. This will be a great stepping stone to spending the whole day with their new classmates at school. Take a look at Mission Australia Early Learning for more information.

  • Early Mornings

Waking up early for school each day can prove very tiring to start off with. To prevent any morning tantrums, try and get your child into a good routine before the first school morning. For the two weeks running up to school, set your child’s alarm for the time it will be set on a school morning. Even if you don’t have anything planned for the day. They might grumble at first, but as the days go on, they will get used to it and be very prepared for the real thing.

  • Teach Basic Skills

You may think giving your child a headstart and teaching them their ABC is a great way to prepare for school. Some of the best skills you can teach your children are basic practical ones. Things like how to tie shoelaces and clean up after going to the bathroom will be extremely useful. Teachers are there to take care of teaching subjects. It will save them a lot of time if their pupils can take care of simple things for themselves.

  • Reassure Your Child

It’s only natural that your child will be nervous before their big day. Reassure them that all the other children will be feeling exactly the same. Explain to them how you felt on your first day, and let them know how much you enjoyed it. If you tell them lots of positives, then eventually the nerves will turn into excitement. Even though they may cry in the morning as you leave, by the time you go to pick them up, you’ll be amazed at how many friends they’ve made. And that’s just after one day!

Children always take to school like a duck takes to water. If you prepare them using the above steps, it’ll be even easier for them to adapt!

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