April 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
Coming off Spring Break and Easter week can leave lots of kids whining, “I’m bored…” Here are thirteen FREE (or almost free) ideas, care of NannyTax.ca, to help kick boredom to the curb.
January 14, 2013 in Uncategorized
As everyone who has connected with Kidzmet understands, personality type impacts the way in which our kids naturally learn. But tips, techniques and strategies found in books—including our own Playbook for Learning—can only take you so far. The insights that will help you most in challenging moments are the ones that have worked for parents, teachers and tutors who have experience with your type of learner in the real world.
We’ve launched this forum with the intent of creating a supportive place to share learning related struggles, strengths, and strategies that work with other parents, teachers and tutors of kids with similar temperaments. Because not all kids learn in the same ways! Just think back to when you were sleep training your child. In the same way that some parents breathed a sigh of relief when their kids “learned” to sleep through the night through cry-it-out methods, other kids finally “got it” with a bedtime routine and still other families swore by using scheduled wake-up times or putting their kids to bed sleepy. It’s not that one is right and the others are wrong. All of these techniques have been found to be effective. It’s about identifying the best techniques for your child’s temperament.
If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to take Kidzmet’s FREE personality profile to pinpoint the forum(s) in which you will find tips and techniques most relevant to your child(ren). If you like what you see or the direction we’re headed, the best way to show your support is to subscribe, post and let other parents, teachers and tutors you know about these new forums. Here are some ideas with respect to how you can get started in our new Kidzmet “LikeMinded” Community. And, as always, if you’ve got ANY suggestions about how we can improve, please don’t hesitate to let us know by contacting customer service [at] kidzmet [dot] com.
Taking two minutes to recommend a product that worked for YOUR child will help other kids with similar temperaments be more inspired, enriched and engaged in their learning experiences. (Not to mention help other parents, tutors and teachers create stronger bonds with the kids in their lives!)
After you know what personality type your child has, pose your question to the Kidzmet Community and get suggestions of techniques that have worked in practice from parents and teachers of kids just like yours. (As we get started, we’ll also post these questions out to our social networks to get the ball rolling and make sure your questions are answered as quickly as possible.)
Sometimes, it’s just good to read about what gets other kids with similar temperaments “in the zone” and brings them joy, strength and confidence. If you have a story that you’d like to share about your child’s accomplishments, this is the place to do it. Your story may give other parents, teachers and tutors ideas of how to bring more joy into their kids’ lives!
EFJ Kids (Extraverted Feelers)
ENP Kids (Extraverted iNtuitives)
ESP Kids (Extraverted Sensors)
ETJ Kids (Extraverted Thinkers)
IFP Kids (Introverted Feelers)
INJ Kids (Introverted iNtuitives)
ISJ Kids (Introverted Sensors)
ITP Kids (Introverted Thinkers)
A guest post by Madeline Sunshine.
Science fair season has become increasingly more competitive. This is because the stakes at these events are no longer limited to ribbons and plaques. There are big money rewards to be won and chances to impress college entrance boards as well. All of these factors make it necessary for students to gain every advantage that they can. One way to gain an advantage is to utilize a science fair kit as the raw materials for a project.
The first tip to use when choosing kids science fair kits is to select a kit that comes with parts and tools, as opposed to a completely assembled project. This option will give students the chance to both complete the experiments that are outlined in the kit and to create their own projects and experiments using the parts. These are the only kits that will be acceptable at science fairs.
It is important to select a kid’s science fair kit that is age appropriate for your young scientist. Young kids will need project kits that do not have small parts that could pose a choking hazard, and older students will need kits that will challenge their minds. Also age appropriateness is important for providing students with the raw materials needed to complete a project that will do well at a science fair.
If your student will be using the kids’ science fair kits in their science fair project then you will need to select one that follows the scientific method. This will help your child to learn how to complete the scientific method as well as ensure that their final project will be appropriate for a science fair.
To give your student the most options for their own science fair projects you will want to select a science fair kit that is designed for the completion of several different experiments. This will ensure that there are enough raw materials left over after the student completes the sample project to complete their own experiments.
Safety is an issue that you need to think about when purchasing a science fair kit. This is why it is important to look at who manufactured the kit and where it was manufactured.
One sign that a science kit is a quality product is that it comes with safety equipment. Safety equipment like goggles, gloves and face masks are common safety equipment.
If your student wants to win a science fair, then they will need to create a project that is interesting and that is focused on a topic that is important to today’s scientists. This means that you will need to select a science kit that has a topic that fits these criteria.
When shopping for a science fair kit you will want to look at when the kit was packaged. Some ingredients will have a shelf life. If a package looks faded or tampered with select another box or kit.
Selecting a science kit that has been manufactured by a reputable company is a good idea. Usually these companies will allow parents to place order for refill kits or to purchase extra tools and supplies directly from the company.
The final tip is to select a science kit that looks like it is going to be fun. If the kit looks dull then your scientist is not going to want to play with the kit and if they do use the kit to develop a science fair project then their project will most likely also be boring.
When helping your child to choose a science fair kit what is most important is that the child chooses what is of interest to him/her.
November 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
Have you noticed that kids nowadays are always glued to their phones or playing video games instead of going outside and hanging out with the neighborhood children? It seems that good ol’ fashioned games like duck, duck, goose are a relic of the past. Kids have moved on to something bigger and better: technology. We’re seeing less and less of crayons, hula hoops, and mud pies and more and more of iPads, TVs, and video game consoles.
It’s the 21st century, and things are different now. However, don’t despair! This can actually be a good thing.
You know how they say that video games and other forms of technology turn your brain into mush? That’s not necessarily true. Technology can actually improve your cognitive skills.
Not counting TV, that is. If you put a young child in front of a TV, he vegs out. If you give him a smartphone, he’ll become proactive and figure out puzzles and fine-tune his motor skills. Smartphone apps can actually make your kid smarter and put him ahead of the learning curve.
A study conducted by PBS KIDS revealed that children who used smartphones had better vocabulary than those who didn’t. Smartphones have also been proven to improve a child’s work ethic and collaboration skills.
Does that mean you should download a bunch of child-oriented educational apps on your smartphone or tablet? Not necessarily. Some fun games can be valuable learning tools! For example, let’s look at…
Angry Birds is actually quite a great educational tool. It can teach children about physics and improve their problem solving skills. Angry Birds requires the user to think abstractly, and that can bring on so many benefits to a child’s cognitive development, including logistics, spatial skills, strategy, pattern recognition, mapping, and perseverance.
(Extra credit: check out one way a teacher extended his kids’ enthusiasm for Angry Birds into a fun classroom lesson that taught measurement, geometry, addition, skip counting and money on this YouTube video from Teacher Tipster.)
Who ever thought some pretty jewels could teach your child some great life skills? Well, it’s possible! A 2011 study by PopGames and a researcher at University of Massachusetts Amherst concluded that Bejeweled Blitz could improve one’s cognitive skills, namely rapid decision-making, conjunctive visual search skills, and reaction time.
Sudoku helps develop a child’s or a teenager’s deductive reasoning process. It’s the process in which you think ahead and track from cause to effect. It also helps improve the ability to solve problems, train the short-term memory and working memory, and develop pattern recognition.
This trivia game app is more suited for teenagers, because some of its questions are too complex for young children. Trivia games have been directly linked to cognitive development. They improve working memory, sharpen memorization skills, and encourage more knowledge in different areas.
Playing interactive games online or on the phone is a more educational experience than ever, so next time your child asks you if she could play Angry Birds, by all means go ahead and say yes. Who knows? This time, the game could teach her all about gravity!
Kate Simmons is an occasional blogger and journalist specializing in social media and education, currently pursuing studies at Colorado Technical University.
September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized
As parents, we have all been there. We collectively pored over BabyCenter, eagerly anticipating news that our baby had grown to the size of a grape or an avocado. Once our wee one emerged from the womb, we started talking to “expert” friends and family members as well as devouring books and websites that would tell us what developmental stage our kids would reach in the coming days, weeks or months. As they grew, we began to debate with our spouses and friends whether co-sleeping, the No Cry Sleep Solution or Ferberizing our baby would be best. (Though we may not have realized that this was actually a temperamental debate!)
As our babies became toddlers and preschoolers, we started to understand that their personalities played a big part in which form of discipline was most effective. (Time out for the child or time out for a favorite toy? Talk to them about why their actions were wrong from a logical perspective or an emotional one?) We were, in effect, translating the same message into a “language” that resonated with our kids. Gary Chapman’s best-selling Love Languages series of books has a similar message for parents—that everyone speaks in different languages when it comes to both expressing and receiving love.
As our kids grew into little learners, however, we began to move back toward a solely “developmentally appropriate” mentality. With growing class sizes and curriculum standards at both state and national levels—not to mention worldwide benchmarks—it’s becoming even more challenging for teachers to teach to anything BUT the curriculum “middle”—or thereabouts—during the school day. Standards dictate what’s developmentally appropriate to teach and learn during each grade and our kids are required to keep pace…whether that means speeding up or slowing down their developmental pace to that of their class. This aspect of learning in-and-of-itself is a challenge for teachers, kids and parents.
But, in the same way that we all found different methods to work best when disciplining, potty training, or sleep training each of our kids, we as parents need to make sure that we partner with our kids’ teachers and schools to help our kids “translate” the curriculum they receive in school into a language that they not only understand, but resonate with so that the new learning is “chunked” in a way that makes sense and gets filed in long-term memory…not just so that they can ace their Friday quizzes.
This means keying into your child’s temperament. Is your child an extravert that likes to “think out loud,” as one of my favorite personality experts, Donna Dunning, likes to say…or is she more like Susan Cain’s Quiet introvert who prefers to reflect before responding? Neither one is better, but they approach learning differently. Similarly, does your child prefer to logically analyze situations…or does he feel uncomfortable when emotion is removed from the equation? Again, neither is better…but these types of kids just think different. Something I think most of us, as parents, believe our kids should learn how to do! We need to help our kids understand that different kids arrive at conclusions in different ways because we all naturally approach problems differently. Is your child a “slow and steady wins the race” tortoise or more of a hare that thrives on the energy of a looming deadline? Keying into this difference and the project planning ramifications of this temperamental dichotomy can help make homework and projects less of a headache for you both.
The next time you sit down with your child to help with homework, please keep this in mind. Just because certain organizational, learning or study techniques worked well for you as a child (or work well for you now) does not mean they are temperamentally appropriate for your kids. There’s a reason why 89 of the Fortune 100 companies use personality type in their businesses; why eHarmony has had more that 30 million members since conception; and why Paul Tieger’s Do What You Are is a reference text in so many high school career centers. Temperamentally appropriate learning works for babies, toddlers and preschoolers when we’re teaching them the “rules of the road.” Temperamentally appropriate living works for us as adults.
It’s time for us as parents to start playing a bigger role in our school-aged kids’ education by helping them key into their temperament-based strengths as early as possible and showing them how to translate homework and school day curriculum into temperamentally appropriate lessons that still fulfill the requirements of the teacher, but gives them a deeper understanding of why the knowledge is important…even if the teacher or class naturally “thinks differently” than they do.