Keeping Electronics and Television Time Under Control

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Keeping Electronics  and Television Time  Under Control  with FREE Printable "Electronic Time" TicketsIt’s summertime right now and my girls are enjoying the freedom that summertime brings.  Freedom to stay up late.  Freedom to sleep late.  And freedom to choose what they want to do all day.  Some days they have camp but other days they’re going to “Camp Mommy”.  One problem with all this free time is that my girls get sucked into wanting to sit and play on their Kindles all day and watch tv.  After a few days of nothing but Kindle and television I put my foot down and came up with our new system.  Now they have to EARN their electronics and television time AND they can only earn up to an hour a day (MEAN MOMMY).

Here’s how our system works:
My girls need to earn Electronic Time tickets by either reading or doing pages from their summer workbooks that I bought at Barnes and Noble to keep them doing math, writing, etc. over the summer.  Every 15 minutes they read earns them 15 minutes of electronic time that they can use for television OR electronics like Kindle, Nintendo DS, etc.  When they read for 15 minutes they earn a 15 Minute Electronic Time Ticket.  If they want to do some of their workbook pages to earn electronic time they earn 15 minutes of electronic time for every 2 pages they complete.  They can earn up to FOUR 15 Minute Electronic Time Tickets per day for a total of 1 hour of Electronic Time.  During the school year they will have to read only to earn their electronics time.  Doing homework WILL NOT count towards earning electronics tickets because they are required to do their homework no matter what.

They can either earn the ticket and cash it in right away or they can save up 4 tickets in a day and then cash them all in at once for 1 hour of straight tv/electronics time.  I do not let my girls carry tickets over to the next day though.  Again, MEAN MOMMY, but of course you can come up with whatever system works best in your house.  My girls also get outside time, too, it just isn’t included as part of this system.

Click on the image below to print your own Electronic Time Tickets.  There is a 15 minute version and a 30 minute version.  If you want a different number of minutes on the tickets just let me know and I can easily make it for you.

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SciGirls PBS TV Series For Tween/Teen Girls

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SciGirls (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My girls and I recently discovered a wonderful PBS TV Series that is geared towards Tween/Teen Girls and fostering their love of science.  SciGirls is charging into its second season full-STEM ahead!  Ten new episodes showcase bright, curious, real girls using science, technology, engineering and math in their everyday lives.  They design an underwater robot, engineer a “chill” ice-cream-making bike, apply real forensic methods to solving a mysterious crime, and more!  Animated characters Izzie and Jake are back, getting into jams that can only be solved by the real-life SciGirls.

I received a screener DVD that contained a few episodes of SciGirls and I put it on for my girls to see what they would say.  They were immediately drawn into what the real girls on the show were doing.  In the first episode the SciGirls were designing a real underwater robot.  My girls were fascinated that real girls around their age could actually create a real working underwater robot through trial and error and then do real world experiments with it to research 2 different underwater areas to see which had more species living there.In Season Two, there’s even more of the unique combination of TV and web that won the series a Daytime Emmy for “New Approaches” in its premiere season. Every episode of the TV show features onscreen clues that lead girls to a “mash-up” game on the website, where they can create their own, unique SciGirls stories. Plus, in other new interactive games, kids can search for underwater treasure, care for a colony of honey bees, and design wildlife dioramas.

Our favorite episode on the screener was one that was all about forensics.  This episode was all about a “crime” that was committed at a camp and the SciGirls used forensics to collect evidence and figure out who the guilty person was.  Someone stole an important mask and the SciGirls took pictures of the “crime scene” and collected evidence.  They went over the interviews of the suspects.  They learned how to observe different types of evidence using various techniques including using a microscope, making an overlay, and testing the ink from different pens.  It was so exciting for my girls to watch as the SciGirls put the pieces of the crime together to finally discover who the thief was.SciGirls’ sophomore season will empower girls – and their parents and educators – to tap into the collaboration, exploration, and authentic discovery.  Every girl can be a SciGirl!  My girls are now asking me to do science experiments at home.  We received a kit recently from LittleBits with various snap together electronic modules and my girls and I will be experimenting with it this afternoon with a post to follow.  I am sure we’ll be posting more science experiments soon.  I love that my girls are now very excited and motivated to explore the hands-on possibilities of science that we can do together.

If you can’t find SciGirls on your local television, you can access SciGirls anytime at
Here’s a preview of SciGirls:

PBS SciGirls Second Season Sizzles
Bringing STEM to Every Screen: Let the Games Begin!
Got a tween?  Then you’ve probably got a screen. Or two, or maybe three.
SciGirls gets screens.  As the PBS series that’s all about engaging girls 9-13 in science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM), SciGirls understands how today’s “digital native” kids largely live online.

So as the series premieres its second season in October 2012 on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings or watch online at, SciGirls is shaking up screen time as we know it, unleashing inspirational, innovative and flat-out fun STEM videos and games across all of the digital platforms girls love.

First, there are ten new half-hour episodes of the popular television series that the PARENTING Magazine calls “cool stuff” and the New York Times says makes science “downright enjoyable.” Shot in reality TV’s verité-style, SciGirls’ bright, curious, real girls work with female mentors to engineer a ‘chill’ ice-cream-making bike, design a groundbreaking earthquake app, get the buzz on urban beekeeping, use real forensic methods to solve a mysterious “crime,” and more! And of course, animated characters Izzie and Jake are back, still getting into jams that can only be solved by the real-life SciGirls – and STEM.

In Season Two, SciGirls really soars beyond broadcast, into the interactive space where the series snagged a “New Approaches” Daytime Emmy Award for linking its shows and website in inventive, fresh ways.  The episodes will seamlessly introduce and “tease” cool new online games, activities, and other content, including:

  • ·         Pick ’m Stick ’m: SciGirls is throwing a search party, with a unique online game that starts during the show! Each episode features onscreen clues that lead girls to a corresponding “mash-up” game on the website.  So while kids are enjoying the new episodes, they’re already playing the game! With the clues, girls go to the SciGirls website to solve an “iSpy”-style puzzle (Pick’m !), unlocking pictures they can use to create a their own collage about the show (Stick’m!).  Pick’m, Stick’m and Share’m, SciGirls!
  • ·         Aqua Bot: In this game, girls take what they learn from the “Sea Perch” episode and engineer an underwater ROV—remote operated vehicle—that doesn’t sink to the bottom or float to the top.  Once the ROV is ready to roll (or, um, swim?), deep sea-divas can navigate a multi-level game, helping Izzie and Jake find lost treasure.
  • ·         Busy as a Bee: Got honey? That’s the golden currency of this simulation game, which extends the adventures of beekeepingSciGirls on the TV show across the website’s social network.   Part Farmville, part Tamagotchi, kids nationwide will grow their gardens and help their hives by depending on each other.  Sweet!

“Texting, social networking, smart phones, gaming—digital technologies are more than just diversions to kids.  They are educational tools as common to our viewers as pencils and notebooks were to their parents,” said SciGirls executive producer Richard Hudson.  “SciGirls’ second season marries the onscreen adventures of our remarkable SciGirls to the power of the web, to ignite girls’ curiosity and change the way they think about STEM.”

The SciGirls creative team is headed by Twin Cities Public Television’s Director of Science Content Richard Hudson, Executive Producer  of the long-running PBS children’s science series Newton’s Apple and creator of DragonflyTV and the SciGirls initiative.Co-Executive Producer is Kathleen Shugrue co-creator of Fetch! and producer of ZOOM at WGBH. Animation is created by Soup2Nuts, producers of PBS’ WordGirl. The website is developed by Big Bad Tomato Interactive, and SciGirls is generously funded by The National Science Foundation.  Additional funding is provided by L’Oreal USA.
I was not compensated for performing this review. I received one or more products mentioned for free to conduct my review. The statements expressed by me in this post are my own personal and honest opinions of this product.

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