3 Fun Tips To Help Your Elementary Review for Exams

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Reviewing for exams is probably the last thing your kiddie would want to do especially in this age of technology and digital distractions. I know, because when it was my time, I used to reason out “Oh mom, it’s all about stocked knowledge, you know.” But kidding aside, how can you motivate your kiddie to review and memorize, really? Definitely, it would be challenging especially if they’re too young to realize the importance of getting high grades (for us parents).

Good for you if your kid is naturally studious. If not, here are unusual tips to help you motivate them to prepare for that exam, as efficiently and fun as possible!

Let your kiddie pretend to be the teacher

ImageElementary kiddies like to pretend and make believe. Use this to your advantage and ask your child to act as the teacher and discuss to you the coverage of their exam. You, however, should be an attentive student by asking questions during your review sessions. In this way, your kiddie remembers the things you two discuss about while enjoying the activity as a simple pretend.

For the materials and to make sure that your child takes the activity seriously, you will need a whiteboard, marker, and books as references. Make it more fun and efficient by using kiddie tablets with apps that allow you to doodle and draw, even use video and sound effects. Bet your kiddie wouldn’t get enough of this review session!

Have an active study session

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This time, use your kiddie’s favorite outdoor activity to initiate a review. You’d spend the day with them doing their favorite activity but in return, they would have to answer questions included in the upcoming test. Come up with a study guide to keep things organized and ensure that you cover everything they have to keep in mind. There also has to be a penalty for every wrong answer, of course!

This is an effective way to review, especially for kinesthetic learners who remember things more when they move. They study while you workout those unwanted fats. What a great way to multitask!

Go for ‘mini reviews’ instead of long ones

ImageHaving mini reviews is definitely better and going to be more productive than asking your kiddie to sit down for a long time. Kiddies have ants in their pants! Conduct these more effective reviews 2-3 times a day instead of having a one-stop study session with your little student.

Make a review sheet that includes a vocabulary list and divide it into equal parts depending on the number of days before your kiddie’s exam. Take this out during downtimes such as during traffic or right after family dinner. You might even want to use dessert for more motivation!

All it takes are time, patience, dedication, and a little creativity to help your kiddie ace that exam. Instead of fearing today’s distractions such as technology and play, why not use them to make review sessions more effective and even memorable for children?

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How Technology in the Classroom Defines Good Learning Experience for Kiddies

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Last week, I visited my dentist who’s also a close friend and heard her discuss with her kiddies the new policy in their school. “No more notebooks, just laptops,” said her daughter. Considering how we depend on gadgets today, I still got surprised that this is now a thing. But come to think of it parents, how has technology changed the lives of today’s students, really?

The Internet used to be limited in both what it could do and who can use it. Not everyone had a clue what it was after hearing about its invention. Today, teachers and students probably could not push through a lesson without it. In just a short time, the Internet became an integral part of every student’s life. The use of technology even became the standard for good learning.

Good learning defined

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According to some resources on the web, good learning involves kiddies enjoying what they do and having a say on how their learning develops. Also, it should give room for feedback, in which the students can raise their need for further explanations. It has to allow students to apply skills and knowledge to different situations using various methodologies as well. Moreover, it should be visually motivating, challenging, involving practical lessons, and giving room for creativity.

Technology also helps in the learning process of kids at home. There are various products available in the market, from e-learning tablets for young ones, down to tech products for older students.

With the things mentioned above, you can say using technology to teach kiddies in schools truly defines good learning. Here’s how schools integrate technology for children:

Research

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This is the primary reason students use the Internet in education. There is a wealth of info open to students, even those obscure topics required for research in the library. In China, for example, the site Lecture Outline Series for the History of China, allows students to research directly off this page and present their findings.

These websites serve as knowledge banks where student can get information instantly. You see how efficient studying would be if your kiddies have their own laptop or tablet? They can research on their “digital library”, find answers fast, and accomplish more school tasks than they could with the help of the traditional library.

One concern, however, is the quality of information found online. It is important that teachers help students identify credible resources. As parents, teach this to your kiddies, as this is something they will do until they grow up and get promoted to higher education level. Next is citation. Your children have to understand the seriousness of using one’s idea even if it was posted on the web. Introduce to them how to make citations and give authors the credit they deserve.

Simulation

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Simulation in the classroom has been uncommon despite many teachers’ reports on how kiddies of the new generation enjoy online work and simulated activities. Technology in the form of e-learning products available in the market effectively helps children learn about collaboration, group work, real-life problem solving, decision-making, and the like. What simulation offers is a somewhat risk-free environment, in which learners can experiment, make mistakes, rethink, and redesign — all without the fear of destroying something that can’t be easily refilled in a traditional setting.

Online Assessments

Teachers also benefit greatly from today’s technology. Effortlessly, they can create their own tests online on their own website. Students, on the other hand, will benefit from the convenience they get when answering exams now than before. They can even do it wherever they are. To top it off, checking can now be done in no time, as well as the computation of grades and updating of class record.

Now you see the convenience and overall improvement brought about by technology in the classroom. Indeed, it makes things easier and more precise for everyone. Technology in the classroom defines good learning experience, as it allows students to experiment, rethink, and remake without the fear of destroying something indispensable.

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Are You A Good “Technology Role Model” To Your Child?

Father and son using tablet pc

As mentioned previously about limiting your children’s screen time effectively, you have to be good examples when using technology. “Kids rely on parents to both nurture their digital skills and set the boundaries for healthy and appropriate behavior”, says Dr. David Walsh, founder of National Institute on Media and the Family, and author of parenting books in his article ‘How Parents Can Instill Good Technology Habits in Children’. It is your responsibility to make sure that your child truly understands the importance of utilizing today’s available gadgets healthily.

Here are tips on how to be a good technology role model to your child:

1. Don’t say anything rude via social media

Bullies

For the past ten years, cyber bullying has been a serious issue on the web among tweens and teenagers through the power of anonymity. This privilege of “keeping your identity” has been abused to push many to their breaking point. Now to ensure a safer environment for your little ones, use social media and technology with carefulness and utter respect when interacting with others. Whatever you do, never, ever be rude. It’s okay to express your opinion as long as you keep your cool and stay objective with your points. In this way, you’d succeed in teaching your children about online etiquette.

2. Don’t spend much time playing games

Showing discipline in playing online/offline games is another effective way to be a good tech role model. Practicing it early and consciously would save you from the fear of overstimulating or influencing your children to prioritize technology than homework.

When with your kiddies, show you finish first important tasks (i.e. doing house chores, helping the child with homework, eating dinner together) before playing games. Refrain also from taking a peak on your phone, as such may lead your child to copy such habit and have a shorter attention span. This would also help your children learn how to manage their time well at home.

3. Enjoy food without answering the phone or checking e-mails

?????????????????????????????????????????????????I understand how difficult it is, but with all your might, avoid using any form of technology over breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Having a meal together is still the most effective way to establish connection in the family. Other than strengthening bonds, it also instills values to children and clarifies how rude it is to be busy with gadgets instead of enjoying conversations. Ask how your child did in school today. Know what he learned over dinner instead of going on social media sites finding out what the latest gossip is!

4. Don’t access sites that promote violence, pornography, and anything inappropriate

With your children around, access only child-friendly websites and games. Sites with inappropriate content may spark curiosity in children and lead them to access these pages later on. Consider the Internet as a room and the sites with appropriate content as Pandora’s box. Keep it locked up and thrown away before your child takes a peek. Always remember that technology’s development puts your children’s safety more and more at risk.

5. Play fair

Mother and daughter playing video gameTo model good tech behavior is to play fair. There’s nothing wrong with being competitive online, but make sure you keep the game fair when playing with your child. Don’t cheat. Never make your child look away only so you can beat them in that level. Be mature and know it isn’t cute to switch the device off and declare the game’s over when your child is scoring more. More importantly, never use foul language and make your children associate them with ‘losing’. Being fair and keeping calm while playing a game would certainly help children develop commendable tech behavior.

Children learn by example. If you want them to cut down on a bad habit, do your best to model good tech behaviors as well. Prevention is always better than cure so don’t wait until they become teenagers to correct bad tech behaviors.

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Tips on How to Effectively Manage Your Children’s Screen Time

Mother and son using tablet pc

Although the mission of raising children into able and responsible adults hasn’t changed over the generations, the context certainly has. This is the first generation of parents to be challenged with raising children in the digital age. The screen has become a child’s go-to place for cool content. It is where their friends are, where home work gets done, and so on. Parents are faced with the challenge on how best to prepare their children to thrive in a world that is far different from theirs.  But exactly how much is too much screen time? If your preschool age child is consuming more than four hours of digital media per day, changes have to be made. The younger the child, the lower that number should be.  Here are a few tips on how to effectively limit screen time of children to make room for real-world experiences.

        1. Avoid extreme limits.

1Too much of nothing is just as bad as too much of something. Avoid extreme limits when it comes to screen time. Setting limits that are difficult to enforce, such as two weeks of no TV or computer, may only tempt the parents to give in after a few days. Never threaten to take away media unless you’re actually ready to do so.  Similarly, allowing a child to use the tablet or computer for at least 30 minutes is more advisable than giving him 5 minutes of screen time.  Such short time may only lead your child to want it even more. Reasonable and moderate limits are key.

2. Do it in stages and plan ahead.

If media consumption and screen time are already on an all-time high in your home, discuss changes that are going to take place in advance.  Listen and sympathize with your children as they moan, but stick to the plan nonetheless. Do not make sudden drastic changes.  You can start by cutting down an hour a week.  Avoid using the television as background noise and keep televisions and computers in high traffic areas of the house and certainly not in their bedrooms.

 3.  Create a screen time budget.

When parents create rules and limits about TV and computers, children usually listen.  Some families have had success using screen time budgets.  If kids know exactly how much time they are allowed to use media each day, they will make thoughtful choices about how to use that time.  Younger children are also less likely to throw a fit when rules and budget limits are set clearly from the onset.

4. Use screen time as a reward.

Mother and daughter sitting on washing machine using tablet

Children can earn screen time by engaging in productive, creative, or charitable real-world activities.  For example, parents can let their kids earn half an hour of screen time for every hour spent entertaining a younger sibling or helping with some house chores. Screen time can be a prize for creating an original storybook or an incentive for completing ones homework without any prodding.  This type of reward system can reinforce positive behaviour while giving your children engaging and fulfilling real-world experiences to balance their online ones.

5. Don’t use mobile gadgets during meal time.

Fifty years ago, no parent would tolerate a child answering the phone five times during a meal. Texting or playing while eating should still be considered inappropriate table conduct.  Family meals give children an opportunity to have conversations with adults, as well as to pick up on how adults are using words with each other.  It provides opportunity to bond, model good behavior, and enhance your young one’s vocabulary.   Media free time during meal time means no hand-held games for kids and mobile phones for grown-ups.  This sends a clear message that human connections are valued more than electronic media.

Parents and children (4-5) enjoying garden party

6. Set a good example

Children learn more by example than words.  Make sure you don’t spend too much time watching television or surfing the net.  If they see you doing it, they are more likely to copy and not stick to the agreement.  If you don’t want your child to stay up playing Candy Crush, then you should also keep away from social media while in bed. Setting a good example on when to use the device would certainly help children realize that some parts of the day are not meant for play.

Father and son playing superhero

Regulating your child’s screen time may cause some conflicts, but stick to your guns.  Multi-screen living is here to stay and can be great sources of valuable information and entertainment. Exposure to technology should no longer be an all-or-nothing proposition.   As with all things, moderation is key.

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Building a Closer Relationship with your Child Using Technology

post coverTime spent with your children is time very well spent. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind that children sometimes take the back burner. But children grow up quickly and the opportunity to build strong relationships once missed may never be recovered. Tossing the ball around in the backyard or strolling in the park are good ways to start conversations but nowadays, parents are also encouraged to enter into the world where their children are increasingly spending more and more time – in front of the screen. Here are six ways you can build memories that will last your child through his lifetime using technology: Continue reading

What is the Appropriate Use of Technology in Young Children?

blog 2 picThese days, the question that most parents and educators ask is no longer about whether and to what extent technology should be used with young children, but rather how it should be used. The appeal of technology and the steady stream of new devices may lead some parents and teachers to use technology for technology’s sake, rather than as a means to an end.

Here are a few guidelines to remember when introducing technology to young children.

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