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Writing an Argumentative Essay: A Middle School Guide to Writing

Writing an Argumentative Essay

An argument, who hasn’t been in one? We argue on the school playground, argue with a best friend, argue whose best friend is better. We’ve all either been in an argument or tried our hardest to avoid one, but what happens when you have to write about one? Did anyone groan at that question?

Have no fear! This article is here with quick and effective tips that will help you write a great argumentative essay, no matter what you’re arguing.

Tip #1: Pick a side, any side

It can’t be an argumentative essay if you don’t know what you’re arguing for or against. The simplest way to start an argument is to know what side you’re arguing for and to stick to the side until the very end. Sometimes the simplest statements of “I think. . .” or “I believe. . .” are a great way to start thinking about what side of the argument you’re on.

Here are some questions: Should schools push back their start time? Should healthy lunch meals be served to every student? Do you like the color black or blue?

Tip # 2: But Why?

Because I felt like it! If only that could be a valid reason for everything you have to explain (it’s not). But it’s not that complicated either. You picked a side of the argument, but you have to have reasons explaining why that side. The magic number to remember here is three. Any good argument needs to have at least three reasons that support your claim, and you get them by asking why.

  • Why did you pick the color blue—? Give three reasons.
  • Why should school days start later? Give three reasons.
  • Why this School?  Give three reasons.

Remember, your argument is only as strong as your reasons. The sentence that has the chosen argument and three reasons to support the argument is what we call a thesis statement. That is if you want to sound all fancy and impress everyone around you!

Tip # 3: Find A Partner

A key to any good argument is finding good, strong evidence. In other words, find people who know what they are talking about, have been published properly, and now have come to your rescue. It’s an important element in your argumentative essay to have evidence that supports what you’re arguing for. The support could come in many forms: quotes, expert opinions, graphs, charts, or any form of data.

For instance, if you argue that school should serve healthy lunch for reason a, b, and c, then you need to find people that will support those reasons. The magic number here is two. Two pieces of strong evidence to support each reason. (When did an argumentative essay become a test in knowing how to add?)

Tip #4: Know Your Opponents

It’s just as important to know the other side of the argument as well as knowing yours. Wait. . . Why?!

You must address the other side of the argument in your essay, so that you can counterargue it.  The whole mission of the argumentative essay is to make a strong case for your side, and nothing makes a stronger argument than knowing what the other side is thinking. It’s called being prepared with the counterclaim, and having a strong rebuttal to prove your argument is stronger. This takes more good research.

The key here is to be prepared to defend your side till the very end. And yes, all this work is happening through writing. Let’s not forget that while playing mind chess!

Tip # 5: Take A Bow

Here’s the grand finale, time to put it all together. You’ve done all the hard work of thinking of good reasons to support your argumentative essay and then of finding strong evidence to support those reasons. Now is not the time to confuse your readers! Simply leave them with a thought about your side of the argument. Keep it short, neat, and clean!

These are the five basic rules to keep in your back pocket when writing an argumentative essay. Remember, writing is a process, so always be open to feedback and revisions. Happy writing!

Article provided by VSA Future; offering virtual classes for your child.

An argument, who hasn’t been in one? We argue on the school playground, argue with a best friend, argue whose best friend is better. We’ve all either been in an argument or tried our hardest to avoid one, but what happens when you have to write about one? Did anyone groan at that question?

Have no fear! This article is here with quick and effective tips that will help you write a great argumentative essay, no matter what you’re arguing.

Tip #1: Pick a side, any side

It can’t be an argumentative essay if you don’t know what you’re arguing for or against. The simplest way to start an argument is to know what side you’re arguing for and to stick to the side until the very end. Sometimes the simplest statements of “I think. . .” or “I believe. . .” are a great way to start thinking about what side of the argument you’re on.

Here are some questions: Should schools push back their start time? Should healthy lunch meals be served to every student? Do you like the color black or blue?

Tip # 2: But Why?

Because I felt like it! If only that could be a valid reason for everything you have to explain (it’s not). But it’s not that complicated either. You picked a side of the argument, but you have to have reasons explaining why that side. The magic number to remember here is three. Any good argument needs to have at least three reasons that support your claim, and you get them by asking why.

  • Why did you pick the color blue—? Give three reasons.
  • Why should school days start later? Give three reasons.
  • Why this School?  Give three reasons.

Remember, your argument is only as strong as your reasons. The sentence that has the chosen argument and three reasons to support the argument is what we call a thesis statement. That is if you want to sound all fancy and impress everyone around you!

Tip # 3: Find A Partner

A key to any good argument is finding good, strong evidence. In other words, find people who know what they are talking about, have been published properly, and now have come to your rescue. It’s an important element in your argumentative essay to have evidence that supports what you’re arguing for. The support could come in many forms: quotes, expert opinions, graphs, charts, or any form of data.

For instance, if you argue that school should serve healthy lunch for reason a, b, and c, then you need to find people that will support those reasons. The magic number here is two. Two pieces of strong evidence to support each reason. (When did an argumentative essay become a test in knowing how to add?)

Tip #4: Know Your Opponents

It’s just as important to know the other side of the argument as well as knowing yours. Wait. . . Why?!

You must address the other side of the argument in your essay, so that you can counterargue it.  The whole mission of the argumentative essay is to make a strong case for your side, and nothing makes a stronger argument than knowing what the other side is thinking. It’s called being prepared with the counterclaim, and having a strong rebuttal to prove your argument is stronger. This takes more good research.

The key here is to be prepared to defend your side till the very end. And yes, all this work is happening through writing. Let’s not forget that while playing mind chess!

Tip # 5: Take A Bow

Here’s the grand finale, time to put it all together. You’ve done all the hard work of thinking of good reasons to support your argumentative essay and then of finding strong evidence to support those reasons. Now is not the time to confuse your readers! Simply leave them with a thought about your side of the argument. Keep it short, neat, and clean!

These are the five basic rules to keep in your back pocket when writing an argumentative essay. Remember, writing is a process, so always be open to feedback and revisions. Happy writing!

Article provided by VSA Future; offering virtual classes for your child.

How Browsing Fingerprinting is Used to Track You

How Browsing Fingerprinting Tracks You

The internet has enabled a lot of things in today’s modern world. In the early 2000s, the internet changed how businesses advertise their products and services. Many businesses dumped the traditional offline techniques and adopted online advertising through the internet.

Later, they realized that they could not advertise to everybody out there. The need to advertise to relevant audiences gave rise to behavioral tracking. By that we mean, businesses track your online movements and decide whether you’d be interested in what they do before sending ads your way.

This method relies on web cookies and not only tracks previously visited sites but the location, etc. But then, internet users in the mid-2000s discovered ways they’d stop this snooping. They’d disable cookies and use ad blockers, making it daunting for businesses.

But in a bid to keep up behavioral tracking, advertisers are now using new and much more sophisticated techniques. The latest trick that has made tracking possible is device or browsing fingerprinting.  This article will look more into what it is and how it can help companies and advertisers track you.

What is Browsing Fingerprinting?

Device or browsing fingerprinting is a technique initially designed to track internet users for security purposes. It involves browsers gathering individual information of internet users and availing it where needed. This information includes location, device type, screen resolution, language, etc.

Trackers do not need to collect your information at a go. It can take a few browsing attempts to match details and create a unique and accurate fingerprint for every user. Consequently, they can track your online activity and movements without a problem.

This technique has evolved a lot from the time it first got introduced. Recent developments have made cross-browser fingerprinting possible, consequently making tracking more effective. According to experts, this dynamic technique is capable of identifying internet users 99% of the time.

On the positive side, browsing fingerprinting has played an important role in shaping the digital environment. It has enabled analytics and tracking for website owners. You can now know the number of visitors visiting your site and how many visitors return to it.

Online safety that wasn’t a guarantee before fingerprinting is now almost one. For instance, it has played a great role in identifying and preventing credit card and bank fraud. E-commerce fraudsters also now have a headache to try and defeat the wall fingerprinting has built.

How they fingerprint you

Although trackers cannot match fingerprints with real identities, there’s so much they can do you’re your information. Businesses are hiring third-party companies to collect the information we mentioned earlier. Now, their work is to discreetly monitor your digital movements and keep bits of data about you.

The data brokers hired to collect your information create a general profile of you. They look at your interests, from the sites you visit, consider the language you use, your location, and age range to create a pseudo profile for you, and that most of the time turns out to be an accurate representation of you.

Fingerprinting, as mentioned earlier, got developed to foster online security. Website owners create digital fingerprints to prevent identity theft, credit card fraud, software piracy, etc. Thus, many businesses and websites that benefit from it will tell you that it isn’t all that bad.

However, online privacy has been a concern for years, and browsing fingerprinting interferes with it. Companies exploit the information received from data brokers, and that is a consistent privacy violation. Thus, many internet users would rather protect themselves using security tools than have someone collect such critical data without consent.

Browsing Fingerprinting – How to Fight Back

Internet users get faced with a dilemma whenever the browser fingerprinting topic comes up. Of course, people want to find ways to stop it like they do with traditional behavioral tracking. However, the downside is that browsing fingerprinting is naturally difficult to circumvent.

A more positive thing that has come about is that you can, to some extent, prevent browser fingerprinting. Some privacy-first browsers like Tor make every device look the same. That makes it difficult for bots to collect the information required to create a digital fingerprint.

Safari, a browser that belongs to Apple, is another difficult one to fingerprint. Apple has a smaller product line than many mobile devices and PC manufacturers, making most of its devices look similar. Consequently, you become immune to fingerprinting if you’re using an iPhone or Mac.

Firefox is another potential option for internet users looking to avoid fingerprinting. This browser has invested in aggressive default privacy protection features. Besides, there is a word that it is also advancing its protection features to block fingerprinting in the future completely.

You can also use an SSL proxy to fight back browsing fingerprinting. The best thing about using this proxy is that it enhances your online security and privacy at the same time. Besides, they help you remove ads that you do not like and aid in ad verification to reduce online fraud.

Although fighting back on new technology isn’t easy, it is best to give it a try. Technology itself has made it possible to fight back, thanks to the software developments and protection features being added to browsers.

Conclusion

The digital landscape is increasingly becoming complex every day. Consumers are becoming careful about what they have to do to browse securely and privately. Conversely, marketers and advertisers are hungry for customer information as they look to up their marketing game and reach business goals.

New tracking techniques like browsing fingerprinting are becoming popular since traditional reliance on cookies is no longer reliable. However, internet users are also becoming aware of new ways to curb fingerprinting. The use of protective browsers, proxies, and developing new privacy rules seems to work.

With browsing fingerprinting constantly changing with new advancements like cross-browser fingerprinting, you have to be smart enough to prevent it. One of the best things you can do is investing in reliable software, using protected browsers, or purchasing well-protected devices.

The internet has enabled a lot of things in today’s modern world. In the early 2000s, the internet changed how businesses advertise their products and services. Many businesses dumped the traditional offline techniques and adopted online advertising through the internet.

Later, they realized that they could not advertise to everybody out there. The need to advertise to relevant audiences gave rise to behavioral tracking. By that we mean, businesses track your online movements and decide whether you’d be interested in what they do before sending ads your way.

This method relies on web cookies and not only tracks previously visited sites but the location, etc. But then, internet users in the mid-2000s discovered ways they’d stop this snooping. They’d disable cookies and use ad blockers, making it daunting for businesses.

But in a bid to keep up behavioral tracking, advertisers are now using new and much more sophisticated techniques. The latest trick that has made tracking possible is device or browsing fingerprinting.  This article will look more into what it is and how it can help companies and advertisers track you.

What is Browsing Fingerprinting?

Device or browsing fingerprinting is a technique initially designed to track internet users for security purposes. It involves browsers gathering individual information of internet users and availing it where needed. This information includes location, device type, screen resolution, language, etc.

Trackers do not need to collect your information at a go. It can take a few browsing attempts to match details and create a unique and accurate fingerprint for every user. Consequently, they can track your online activity and movements without a problem.

This technique has evolved a lot from the time it first got introduced. Recent developments have made cross-browser fingerprinting possible, consequently making tracking more effective. According to experts, this dynamic technique is capable of identifying internet users 99% of the time.

On the positive side, browsing fingerprinting has played an important role in shaping the digital environment. It has enabled analytics and tracking for website owners. You can now know the number of visitors visiting your site and how many visitors return to it.

Online safety that wasn’t a guarantee before fingerprinting is now almost one. For instance, it has played a great role in identifying and preventing credit card and bank fraud. E-commerce fraudsters also now have a headache to try and defeat the wall fingerprinting has built.

How they fingerprint you

Although trackers cannot match fingerprints with real identities, there’s so much they can do you’re your information. Businesses are hiring third-party companies to collect the information we mentioned earlier. Now, their work is to discreetly monitor your digital movements and keep bits of data about you.

The data brokers hired to collect your information create a general profile of you. They look at your interests, from the sites you visit, consider the language you use, your location, and age range to create a pseudo profile for you, and that most of the time turns out to be an accurate representation of you.

Fingerprinting, as mentioned earlier, got developed to foster online security. Website owners create digital fingerprints to prevent identity theft, credit card fraud, software piracy, etc. Thus, many businesses and websites that benefit from it will tell you that it isn’t all that bad.

However, online privacy has been a concern for years, and browsing fingerprinting interferes with it. Companies exploit the information received from data brokers, and that is a consistent privacy violation. Thus, many internet users would rather protect themselves using security tools than have someone collect such critical data without consent.

Browsing Fingerprinting – How to Fight Back

Internet users get faced with a dilemma whenever the browser fingerprinting topic comes up. Of course, people want to find ways to stop it like they do with traditional behavioral tracking. However, the downside is that browsing fingerprinting is naturally difficult to circumvent.

A more positive thing that has come about is that you can, to some extent, prevent browser fingerprinting. Some privacy-first browsers like Tor make every device look the same. That makes it difficult for bots to collect the information required to create a digital fingerprint.

Safari, a browser that belongs to Apple, is another difficult one to fingerprint. Apple has a smaller product line than many mobile devices and PC manufacturers, making most of its devices look similar. Consequently, you become immune to fingerprinting if you’re using an iPhone or Mac.

Firefox is another potential option for internet users looking to avoid fingerprinting. This browser has invested in aggressive default privacy protection features. Besides, there is a word that it is also advancing its protection features to block fingerprinting in the future completely.

You can also use an SSL proxy to fight back browsing fingerprinting. The best thing about using this proxy is that it enhances your online security and privacy at the same time. Besides, they help you remove ads that you do not like and aid in ad verification to reduce online fraud.

Although fighting back on new technology isn’t easy, it is best to give it a try. Technology itself has made it possible to fight back, thanks to the software developments and protection features being added to browsers.

Conclusion

The digital landscape is increasingly becoming complex every day. Consumers are becoming careful about what they have to do to browse securely and privately. Conversely, marketers and advertisers are hungry for customer information as they look to up their marketing game and reach business goals.

New tracking techniques like browsing fingerprinting are becoming popular since traditional reliance on cookies is no longer reliable. However, internet users are also becoming aware of new ways to curb fingerprinting. The use of protective browsers, proxies, and developing new privacy rules seems to work.

With browsing fingerprinting constantly changing with new advancements like cross-browser fingerprinting, you have to be smart enough to prevent it. One of the best things you can do is investing in reliable software, using protected browsers, or purchasing well-protected devices.

Art is a Science: How to Use Science to Nurture Your Child’s Talents

Art is Science - Albert Einstein

The greatest of greats have always emphasized the importance of art in society. In the words of Albert Einstein, “The greatest scientists are artists as well.” Children with an inclination towards the arts are, definitely, gifted. However, this talent must be nurtured for them to become the artist they dream to be.

Before digging deeper into the ways science can help children become the best artistic version of themselves, let’s throw light on the closest relationship that science and arts share!

Dave Featherstone, Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, believes that science and art are the same things. He wrote on Quora, “Both science and art are human attempts to understand and describe the world around us.”

While he granted that their traditions, approaches, and intended audience might differ, he also argued that the motivation and goals of both science and arts are fundamentally the same.

Once you understand this, it’s easy to see why opting to develop art with a scientific approach must is an ideal choice in parenting!

So let’s discuss how the study of science is essential in not just developing a growth mindset towards a better career, but also help your kids learn develop latent talents that might make them successful in sports, arts, or any vocation of their choosing. Here are five such “talents” that are nurtured as a result of studying science and technology.

Creativity

Both science and art observe, explore, and create. Science helps kids to ask questions, observe more, and therefore get better at their pursuits.

Encourage your child to make observations from any activity they engage in and then record them by writing them down, drawing a picture, taking a photo, or making an audio or video recording. Your children, via science, learn to compare and contrast things and use them better in other activities such as music, painting, and storytelling.

Science doesn’t follow one method to discover results. In fact, many discoveries have happened by accident. This effect falls out into other fields as well. For example, great novelists hardly ever have defined templates to write stories. They use their life experiences and knowledge to create masterpieces.

Another great example where art is based on science is activities such as crafts, woodworking, knitting, etc. where measurements are important. This is where the intersection of math and art also comes into play. Without the knowledge of machines and calculations, creating those pretty crafts can be quite a task.

Once they ingrain these concepts (even if you haven’t explicitly taught them), your children won’t shy away from trying out new methods of creation – and more importantly not quit after a few tries.

Planning

Science is a systematic subject that allows kids to learn organization, scheduling, and estimation like nothing else. For most goal-oriented activities that kids undertake – whether in the course of playing, or related to their school projects, or simply any classes our courses they might be enrolled in – planning is a core requirement.

Here’s a simple, graphic example of everyday activities that involve both fun and learning for children. You’ll notice that none of these actions are possible without some elements of a scientific approach.

Each of these activities requires a lot of preparation. From gathering resources and tools for your experiment to learning about new concepts, to collaborating with other curious minds, science is a journey of continuous planning.

With planning skills acquired through small activities, kids can develop their skills and aptitude in artistic pursuits.

Of course, creating art, irrespective of its form, still is a lot of hard work but taking a scientific approach and starting with a plan makes it easier.

Adaptability

Adaptability, as a life skill, might seem a bit too much for young children. However, it’s crucial to teach them to be flexible early on in life. Experiments help children cope with failures, making them a lot more adaptable adults later.

Children who develop the tendency to try on in the face of failure find it easier to adapt to difficult situations later in life. Science experiments expose kids to mistakes, and failure. But eventually, they learn where they went wrong and correct themselves, which makes them less rigid in turn.

Creating art requires adaptability at its best. In painting and sculpture, an endless amount of raw material is wasted. Not a single scene of a film is finalized without dozens of retakes.

With a scientific bent of mind, kids grow up to be patient adults who can handle challenges like creative blocks and go on creating the relevant art forms that appeal to different cultures and societies.

Curiosity

One thing that artists and scientists have in common is their curiosity: the eagerness to learn more and present their own concepts to the world. It follows that curiosity is one of the most important things a child needs to have.

Whatever we know about the world today is because someone was curious enough to ask a question. Children learn things by asking questions. Asking a question is the way to discoveries.

Now children have an ingrained sense of wonder. Combined with curiosity, it can only turn into something expressive and creative. If kids who are inclined towards art have a curious mind, they’re sure to go places and discover themselves!

As a parent, you must encourage your child’s curiosity and self-understanding. You can do so by saying things like “I wonder why I’m happy to see yellow cars!” or “I wonder what Indian curry tastes like.”

Listen to kids’ questions carefully and guide them through self-discovery of the solution rather than spoon-feeding them with answers. Give them a description (or maybe a printout) when you see them unable to make or draw something from imagination, but don’t build it for them.

Critical Thinking and Decision-Making

We adults learn from our experiences – and so do kids. A STEM approach to learning helps children think and act rationally, and also exposes them to environments that test their decision-making skills.

Kids, however, tend to make impulsive decisions. Science teaches them that there is more than one solution to a problem and that the best decisions are those that are well-thought out.

This helps them develop critical thinking skills.

In fields like architecture, marketing, and film making, critical thinking is central to the outcome of every project as well as appealing to a target audience.

Needless to say, a child who develops the knack of seeking out and looking at different solutions objectively, and choosing the best one among them.

Final Thoughts

When you teach science to children, they learn life skills that play a crucial role in nurturing different types of talents within them.

The greatest actors, painters, musicians, and sportspeople swear by science, while scientists believe in the artist or player inside them. So, go on and instill a love for all vocations in your kids and let them choose their calling. With just the right amount of encouragement, your curious and hyperactive kid might just turn out to be the Leonardo da Vinci of the internet age.


Author bio:
 Shreiya Aggarwal-Gupta is the owner of the early education startup Kidpillar, which aims to provide developmental opportunities and resources for young children in the field of STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) via kid-friendly journals, practical DIY-kits, and simple project-based learnings and workshops. Shreiya is also a passionate blogger, computer science engineer, finance whiz, and “perfect mommy” to her son.

The greatest of greats have always emphasized the importance of art in society. In the words of Albert Einstein, “The greatest scientists are artists as well.” Children with an inclination towards the arts are, definitely, gifted. However, this talent must be nurtured for them to become the artist they dream to be.

Before digging deeper into the ways science can help children become the best artistic version of themselves, let’s throw light on the closest relationship that science and arts share!

Dave Featherstone, Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, believes that science and art are the same things. He wrote on Quora, “Both science and art are human attempts to understand and describe the world around us.”

While he granted that their traditions, approaches, and intended audience might differ, he also argued that the motivation and goals of both science and arts are fundamentally the same.

Once you understand this, it’s easy to see why opting to develop art with a scientific approach must is an ideal choice in parenting!

So let’s discuss how the study of science is essential in not just developing a growth mindset towards a better career, but also help your kids learn develop latent talents that might make them successful in sports, arts, or any vocation of their choosing. Here are five such “talents” that are nurtured as a result of studying science and technology.

Creativity

Both science and art observe, explore, and create. Science helps kids to ask questions, observe more, and therefore get better at their pursuits.

Encourage your child to make observations from any activity they engage in and then record them by writing them down, drawing a picture, taking a photo, or making an audio or video recording. Your children, via science, learn to compare and contrast things and use them better in other activities such as music, painting, and storytelling.

Science doesn’t follow one method to discover results. In fact, many discoveries have happened by accident. This effect falls out into other fields as well. For example, great novelists hardly ever have defined templates to write stories. They use their life experiences and knowledge to create masterpieces.

Another great example where art is based on science is activities such as crafts, woodworking, knitting, etc. where measurements are important. This is where the intersection of math and art also comes into play. Without the knowledge of machines and calculations, creating those pretty crafts can be quite a task.

Once they ingrain these concepts (even if you haven’t explicitly taught them), your children won’t shy away from trying out new methods of creation – and more importantly not quit after a few tries.

Planning

Science is a systematic subject that allows kids to learn organization, scheduling, and estimation like nothing else. For most goal-oriented activities that kids undertake – whether in the course of playing, or related to their school projects, or simply any classes our courses they might be enrolled in – planning is a core requirement.

Here’s a simple, graphic example of everyday activities that involve both fun and learning for children. You’ll notice that none of these actions are possible without some elements of a scientific approach.

Each of these activities requires a lot of preparation. From gathering resources and tools for your experiment to learning about new concepts, to collaborating with other curious minds, science is a journey of continuous planning.

With planning skills acquired through small activities, kids can develop their skills and aptitude in artistic pursuits.

Of course, creating art, irrespective of its form, still is a lot of hard work but taking a scientific approach and starting with a plan makes it easier.

Adaptability

Adaptability, as a life skill, might seem a bit too much for young children. However, it’s crucial to teach them to be flexible early on in life. Experiments help children cope with failures, making them a lot more adaptable adults later.

Children who develop the tendency to try on in the face of failure find it easier to adapt to difficult situations later in life. Science experiments expose kids to mistakes, and failure. But eventually, they learn where they went wrong and correct themselves, which makes them less rigid in turn.

Creating art requires adaptability at its best. In painting and sculpture, an endless amount of raw material is wasted. Not a single scene of a film is finalized without dozens of retakes.

With a scientific bent of mind, kids grow up to be patient adults who can handle challenges like creative blocks and go on creating the relevant art forms that appeal to different cultures and societies.

Curiosity

One thing that artists and scientists have in common is their curiosity: the eagerness to learn more and present their own concepts to the world. It follows that curiosity is one of the most important things a child needs to have.

Whatever we know about the world today is because someone was curious enough to ask a question. Children learn things by asking questions. Asking a question is the way to discoveries.

Now children have an ingrained sense of wonder. Combined with curiosity, it can only turn into something expressive and creative. If kids who are inclined towards art have a curious mind, they’re sure to go places and discover themselves!

As a parent, you must encourage your child’s curiosity and self-understanding. You can do so by saying things like “I wonder why I’m happy to see yellow cars!” or “I wonder what Indian curry tastes like.”

Listen to kids’ questions carefully and guide them through self-discovery of the solution rather than spoon-feeding them with answers. Give them a description (or maybe a printout) when you see them unable to make or draw something from imagination, but don’t build it for them.

Critical Thinking and Decision-Making

We adults learn from our experiences – and so do kids. A STEM approach to learning helps children think and act rationally, and also exposes them to environments that test their decision-making skills.

Kids, however, tend to make impulsive decisions. Science teaches them that there is more than one solution to a problem and that the best decisions are those that are well-thought out.

This helps them develop critical thinking skills.

In fields like architecture, marketing, and film making, critical thinking is central to the outcome of every project as well as appealing to a target audience.

Needless to say, a child who develops the knack of seeking out and looking at different solutions objectively, and choosing the best one among them.

Final Thoughts

When you teach science to children, they learn life skills that play a crucial role in nurturing different types of talents within them.

The greatest actors, painters, musicians, and sportspeople swear by science, while scientists believe in the artist or player inside them. So, go on and instill a love for all vocations in your kids and let them choose their calling. With just the right amount of encouragement, your curious and hyperactive kid might just turn out to be the Leonardo da Vinci of the internet age.


Author bio:
 Shreiya Aggarwal-Gupta is the owner of the early education startup Kidpillar, which aims to provide developmental opportunities and resources for young children in the field of STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) via kid-friendly journals, practical DIY-kits, and simple project-based learnings and workshops. Shreiya is also a passionate blogger, computer science engineer, finance whiz, and “perfect mommy” to her son.

Tips for Establishing Internet Safety While Co-Parenting

Co-Parenting Internet Safety

This world can be tough on kids, especially those with divorced parents or guardians that live apart. If that wasn’t enough, some children also have to deal with a new world full of technology and tech-related challenges. To help with this concern, we would like to provide some tips for establishing internet safety while co-parenting.

While the online space does provide plenty of perks (educational software, easy communication with loved ones), it also creates a fair share of concerns. There is a lot of adult content online that your kids shouldn’t see, and there is also the risk of cyberbullying. As co-parents, you both need to be on the same page, so your child is protected regardless of the roof they are under. Here are some guidelines to do just that.

Enact The Same Rules

When your child announces that they want to start using the internet, both parents have to sit down and go over the ground rules. Having the same rules in both homes is absolutely essential, so both parents are always aware of what their child is doing when cruising the internet in their house. Start by having a conversation with your kids about how social media works, how strangers can see personal information they share, and what information they should not put on their profile pages.

Both guardians also have to come to a consensus about where the computer or device can and cannot be used. For the youngest kids, it is a good idea to put it in a highly-populated space like the kitchen or living room when the parent is nearby. Younger kids should not be able to go online when their parents are not around. You also need to set limits for how often the kids can be online. A good place to start is by restricting usage to an hour of online time per day once their homework and chores are completed.

One way to ensure that your kids follow the rules set forth by both parents is by having them complete a child/parent internet safety agreement. Yours can mimic the example in the link as it should have similar guidelines, including what information they can and cannot share on social media platforms. It should also require that they inform their parents if they see anything strange or scary online. Put this signed form next to the computer, so it is a constant reminder.

Be Proactive In Their Security

It is essential that both co-parents are on the same page when it comes to putting the proper protections in place on your computers and devices so the kids can stay out of harm’s way. The future of privacy will see many advancements, but also several issues as cybercriminals find new ways to take advantage of evolving technology. For example, new phones are always adding on cameras, GPS functions, and other perks that, while helpful, can also allow hackers to track your location and steal your data, which is not so great. As parents, you can only focus on what you can control, so work together and try these tips.

The best approach to protecting your kid from online dangers is by enabling parental control tools on the internet product of choice. Control settings are available on every web browser, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. These add-ons allow you to block certain websites, control how long the internet can be used, and restrict sites that are known for creating virus and malware problems.

Parental controls should also be set on mobile devices. Android devices and iPhones both have settings and available apps that control how much your child can see when they go online. Once you have the software enabled, you can also go back and see what websites your kids have been visiting and modify their access as needed.

In addition to parental controls, both parents should check any devices their children use and ensure that they are equipped with antivirus software. If your child accidentally goes to a website where malware is present, hackers might be able to use it to access your device and steal data, passwords, or the contact information of your friends and family. To prevent this threat, install this software ASAP and run scans weekly to wipe out any viruses that might be present.

Dangers of Cyberbullying

We are in a new day in age where cyberbullying is becoming more common than ever before, especially for children. In fact, recent numbers show that 36% of kids have been cyberbullied at some point in their youth. Cyberbullying can take many different forms, from name-calling and harassment to cyberstalking across multiple platforms and devices. Sometimes it can be difficult to know when your child is being bullied, but there are some signs that something may be wrong, such as trouble sleeping, becoming more quiet and withdrawn, or having sudden violent outbreaks.

If one parent notices any of these signs, they should immediately speak to the other so you can come together to comfort your child and put a stop to the harassment. Inaction is not an option. Find out what sites or social media platforms they were bullied on and take pictures for evidence if you feel it is important to do so. Never reply to the messages. Just block the sender and alert the authorities if necessary.

Of course, the best defense is to be proactive. Tell your children that they should never share personal information online and if anyone ever asks for private information that they should report it to one of their parents immediately. Most important is building a level of trust with your children so they feel comfortable letting you know when they are put in uncomfortable situations, either online or at school. By nipping potential issues in the bud right away, you can prevent them from escalating.

While you may not be a traditional family, you are still two parents that love their children very much. Put that love into action by being a constant presence in your child’s online life.

This world can be tough on kids, especially those with divorced parents or guardians that live apart. If that wasn’t enough, some children also have to deal with a new world full of technology and tech-related challenges. To help with this concern, we would like to provide some tips for establishing internet safety while co-parenting.

While the online space does provide plenty of perks (educational software, easy communication with loved ones), it also creates a fair share of concerns. There is a lot of adult content online that your kids shouldn’t see, and there is also the risk of cyberbullying. As co-parents, you both need to be on the same page, so your child is protected regardless of the roof they are under. Here are some guidelines to do just that.

Enact The Same Rules

When your child announces that they want to start using the internet, both parents have to sit down and go over the ground rules. Having the same rules in both homes is absolutely essential, so both parents are always aware of what their child is doing when cruising the internet in their house. Start by having a conversation with your kids about how social media works, how strangers can see personal information they share, and what information they should not put on their profile pages.

Both guardians also have to come to a consensus about where the computer or device can and cannot be used. For the youngest kids, it is a good idea to put it in a highly-populated space like the kitchen or living room when the parent is nearby. Younger kids should not be able to go online when their parents are not around. You also need to set limits for how often the kids can be online. A good place to start is by restricting usage to an hour of online time per day once their homework and chores are completed.

One way to ensure that your kids follow the rules set forth by both parents is by having them complete a child/parent internet safety agreement. Yours can mimic the example in the link as it should have similar guidelines, including what information they can and cannot share on social media platforms. It should also require that they inform their parents if they see anything strange or scary online. Put this signed form next to the computer, so it is a constant reminder.

Be Proactive In Their Security

It is essential that both co-parents are on the same page when it comes to putting the proper protections in place on your computers and devices so the kids can stay out of harm’s way. The future of privacy will see many advancements, but also several issues as cybercriminals find new ways to take advantage of evolving technology. For example, new phones are always adding on cameras, GPS functions, and other perks that, while helpful, can also allow hackers to track your location and steal your data, which is not so great. As parents, you can only focus on what you can control, so work together and try these tips.

The best approach to protecting your kid from online dangers is by enabling parental control tools on the internet product of choice. Control settings are available on every web browser, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. These add-ons allow you to block certain websites, control how long the internet can be used, and restrict sites that are known for creating virus and malware problems.

Parental controls should also be set on mobile devices. Android devices and iPhones both have settings and available apps that control how much your child can see when they go online. Once you have the software enabled, you can also go back and see what websites your kids have been visiting and modify their access as needed.

In addition to parental controls, both parents should check any devices their children use and ensure that they are equipped with antivirus software. If your child accidentally goes to a website where malware is present, hackers might be able to use it to access your device and steal data, passwords, or the contact information of your friends and family. To prevent this threat, install this software ASAP and run scans weekly to wipe out any viruses that might be present.

Dangers of Cyberbullying

We are in a new day in age where cyberbullying is becoming more common than ever before, especially for children. In fact, recent numbers show that 36% of kids have been cyberbullied at some point in their youth. Cyberbullying can take many different forms, from name-calling and harassment to cyberstalking across multiple platforms and devices. Sometimes it can be difficult to know when your child is being bullied, but there are some signs that something may be wrong, such as trouble sleeping, becoming more quiet and withdrawn, or having sudden violent outbreaks.

If one parent notices any of these signs, they should immediately speak to the other so you can come together to comfort your child and put a stop to the harassment. Inaction is not an option. Find out what sites or social media platforms they were bullied on and take pictures for evidence if you feel it is important to do so. Never reply to the messages. Just block the sender and alert the authorities if necessary.

Of course, the best defense is to be proactive. Tell your children that they should never share personal information online and if anyone ever asks for private information that they should report it to one of their parents immediately. Most important is building a level of trust with your children so they feel comfortable letting you know when they are put in uncomfortable situations, either online or at school. By nipping potential issues in the bud right away, you can prevent them from escalating.

While you may not be a traditional family, you are still two parents that love their children very much. Put that love into action by being a constant presence in your child’s online life.

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