ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO ENJOY READING MORE




Dear Teacher, A Video Game Developer Is A Real Job And Should Be Celebrated

Today was career day at my son’s school. He’s seven. Like every other seven-year-old, he lives for Minecraft and wants to be a video game developer. And so today he donned his favorite Minecraft shirt and proudly went to school as his favorite video game developer, Markus Persson. But his teacher thought differently. She told him that he had to sit out the day’s activities because, apparently, being a games developer is not a real job.

My Parenting Style: Survivalist

To me, the definition is simple. While most of the time I try to raise my kids in a nurturing, educationally rich, nutritiously sound environment, sometimes, the s*@# just hits the fan (or, more likely, my most expensive rug). And when temper tantrums, fevers, or general fussiness is the order of the day, all bets are off . . . and the cartoons come on. And I am totally, 100 percent OK with that. So how do you become a survivalist mom? Here's my handy guide to my "whatever gets you through the day" philosophy.

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

We've somehow decided that little kids can't understand these complex topics, or we want to delay exposing them to injustices as long as possible (even though not all children have the luxury of being shielded from injustice).

However, young children have a keen awareness of and passion for fairness. They demand right over wrong, just over unjust. And they notice differences without apology or discomfort.

Racial identity and attitudes begin to develop in children at a young age. Two- and three-year-olds become aware of the differences between boys and girls, may begin noticing obvious physical disabilities, become curious about skin color and hair color/texture, and may also be aware of ethnic identity.

5 Elementary Strategies

1. Use children's literature: There's a wealth of children's books (check out here: http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/books-matter/#.VwQW3_krLcs) that can be read aloud and independently to approach the topic of bias, diversity, and social justice.

2. Use the news media: Find topics and news stories that bring forth these themes and discuss them in the classroom -- like the nine-year-old boy who was banned from bringing his My Little Pony backpack to school because it was the source of bullying.

3. Teach anti-bias lessons: Social and emotional skill development lessons are the foundation, and then teachers can move to lessons on identity, differences, bias, and how bias and bullying can be addressed individually and institutionally.

4. Give familiar examples.
Take advantage of children's interest in books, TV shows, toys, and video games, and use them as opportunities to explore diversity, bias, and social justice.

5. Explore solutions: Re-think the concept of "helping others" to include discussions about the inequities that contribute to the problem and consider actions that can address it. For example, while it's useful to provide food to homeless people, we want to deepen the conversation to convey a social justice perspective and a wider lens with children. Therefore, discuss the stigma and stereotypes of homeless people, learn about unfair housing policies, and reflect on solutions that will reverse the problem in a lasting way and encourage students to take action.

5-INGREDIENT MAGICAL FUDGESICLES

These are so lusciously creamy, sinfully rich-tasting – the kind of thing you put in your mouth and kind of can’t believe what’s happening. Vegan, almost raw, and full of whole food ingredients, they are also downright filling!

5-Ingredient Vegan Magical Fudgesicles
Makes 4 cups / 1 Liter / 10 fudgesicles
Ingredients:
1) ½ cup / 75g unroasted, unsalted cashews
2) 1 14-oz can / 400ml full-fat coconut milk
3) 1 large, ripe avocado
4) 1 cup / 250g pitted, packed soft dates
5) ½ cup / 55g raw cacao powder (cocoa powder will also work)

Optional add-ins:
1) a few pinches sea salt
2) vanilla (seeds from 1 pod, powder, or extract)
3) a few drops of food-grade essential oils (peppermint, orange, almond etc.)
4) finely diced fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango etc.)
5) a pinch of cayenne pepper
6) espresso powder
7) finely chopped toasted nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios etc.)

Optional toppings:
1) melted raw chocolate (recipe here) or melted dark chocolate
2) cacao nibs
3) finely chopped toasted nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios etc.)
4) dried fruit (I used raspberry on the ones pictured)
5) citrus zest (lemon, orange, lime)

Directions:
1. Place cashews in lightly salted water and let soak for 4-8 hours (overnight is fine).

2. Drain the cashews and rinse well. Add to a blender (a high-speed blender is highly recommended) with the remaining ingredients (and any flavourings, if using) and blend on high until as smooth as possible. Add water only if necessary – you want to mixture to remain quite thick.

3. Spoon mixture in popsicle molds. Firmly knock the molds on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Insert a popsicle stick into each mold and place in the freezer until set – at least 6 hours. To remove popsicles, run the mold under hot water until you can easily pull a fudgesicle out.

4. If you want to decorate your fudgesicles, dip or drizzle them with melted chocolate and sprinkle with desired toppings. Eat immediately, or place back in the freezer to set until ready to enjoy.

8 Essential Skills You Never Learn In School -- Thus Should Teach Your Child

Here are eight vital life skills that children aren’t taught in school:

1. Independence: Teaching children, a little at a time, to be independent, can show them that they can make decisions on their own. Letting them make their own mistakes can teach them valuable lessons they’ll carry with them.

2. Compassion: Compassion is needed to work well with others, to care for other people and to find happiness through making other people happy.

3. Individuality: They need to be taught that we come in all sizes, shapes and colors, and it is perfectly OK to be unique.

4. Welcoming Change: Teaching children that change isn’t something to be afraid of – just something to prepare for – can help them in so many aspects throughout their life.

5. Happiness: Many parents coddle their children in an attempt to keep them happy and safe, but it can make children rely on their parents for their happiness. Teaching a child from an early age that they can be happy on their own, by things like playing, reading and imagining, is a valuable life lesson.

6. Finding Passion: Many people struggle with finding their passion. Helping a child find what he or she is passionate about by allowing them to try a bunch of different things can help them find a source of lifelong internal happiness and motivation. Encourage the adventure, but let children decide on their own, where they find passion.

7. Asking questions: Teaching children that asking questions is a good thing, can encourage their curiosity and help them continue to seek knowledge in different aspects of life.

8. Solving problems: Constantly solving a child’s problems for them won’t help them as they grow. They need to know that they can solve problems on their own. New skills, a new environment, a new job – they’re all just problems to be solved. Modeling problem solving and allowing children to come up with their solution ideas can help them develop confidence and let them know that whatever comes their way, they are capable of handling it.

BOY LOST 75% OF HIS EYESIGHT AFTER PLAYING WITH THIS COMMON TOY!

Children get cuts, scrapes and bruises. Curious and brave, kids are constantly playing and exploring. It’s part of growing up. But playtime that seems harmless can turn into something much more serious within seconds.

Using laser pointers to play pretend rocket ships or make the family pet run back and forth looks like fun. But an eight-year-old boy’s experience with laser pointers is proof of the serious damage they can cause. Johnny Marshall was at his sister’s school fair when he saw a laser pen at one of the vendor booths. After some begging and pleading, his parents gave in and bought him the toy. Johnny was playing with his new toy at home when he shone it into his eyes out of curiosity — something that many children might do. Within a quarter of a second, he was left with a thermal burn and permanent damage to his retina.

15 Things Toddlers Think Before Falling Asleep

We have a video baby monitor because I’m a crazy nut job who has to know if my kids are really sleeping or if they’re just laying their quietly waiting me out to see if I’ll come in and check on them. They’re crafty children. After I lay them down, I check the monitor every 5-10 minutes or so just to see what they’re up to.

Sometimes they’re talking or laughing. Sometimes they’re screaming or playing nicely in their cribs.That’s not super interesting. It’s kind of cute, but I see them laugh and play and scream all day.