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Category: Stuff for Your Brain

A Parent’s Guide to Setting Up Smart TV Safely

how to set up your smart tv safely

Smart TVs function just as regular TVs but with internet connectivity, like smartphones. They have built-in apps as well as capabilities to surf the web, send emails, access social media platforms, and stream videos on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and other similar streaming services. 

In the second quarter of 2020, Netflix had 72.9 million U.S. subscribers, so there’s no denying how popular smart Tvs are. However, with the advent of this technology, designed to access the internet using interfaces like Apple TV or the Fetchbox, there is a glut of content alongside child usage risks that parents need to consider.

With that in mind, here’s the Safe Search Kids guide to setting up a smart TV, plus some advice on how to ensure your kids search safely.

Parental controls on Smart TVs

Before purchasing a Smart TV, it is good to be aware of the parental controls available. Also, make sure you can create different user profiles, including setting up a child’s account.

To understand each parental control on a brand of Smart TV, go to the specific manufacturer’s website. You can also utilize this free database to learn about how to set up these controls.

If you have a regular TV but are considering buying an Android TV box to give you the ability to stream content and access online apps, you will also need to set up parental controls.

To do this, select the “Settings” icon (the little cog in the upper-right corner of your screen). Next, click “Parental Control” which is below the “Input” option. This will take you to the Parental Control settings. You can find more information on this here.

Potential privacy risks of a Smart TV

Unfortunately, most digital inventions are not without some degree of risk. Like a computer or a smartphone, Smart TVs have access to inbuilt cameras, audio recordings, personal data, and social media data. It is essential to read the privacy policy when a manufacturer releases a software update.

A voice-recognition Smart TV can keep data of what you are saying, searching for, and watching. This information is used to provide you with adverts suited to your preferences.

To set up privacy settings accurately, do not go for a quick set-up, but search for custom settings that allow you to turn on or off each privacy feature. It is advisable not to download any suspicious software on your Smart TV as there is no anti-virus developed for Smart TVs yet.

Apps

As with smartphones, apps are installable on Smart TVs. Some apps require a subscription fee like Netflix and Amazon Prime to access and enjoy the features. Others may require additional tweaking of settings to function properly.

Remember that these apps don’t come with in-built parental control settings, and your kids can view inappropriate content. Hence, the need to canvas through the TV manual or guide to further set these controls. Another feature accessible on smart TVs are social media apps. We have a guide you can read on how to protect your kids on social media.

Even if they are merely gaming apps that claim to be child-friendly, you still need to know the gaming apps’ PEGI rating.

Managing streaming content

If you have allowed streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu to run on your Smart TV, you have to set separate parental controls for each of the apps.

For the various streaming services, you can find out how to set parental controls here: Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu.

Internet filtering and connectivity

Almost all Smart TVs offer built-in Wi-Fi to access your home network and the internet. Although ethernet provides a faster and stable internet connection, smart TVs come in-built Wi-Fi that leaves no cable trails lying around.

Internet filtering is a must when protecting kids on the internet. With a simple Google search, you can easily find a trusted internet filter software that allows you complete control over your kids’ access to the internet. Many other apps are designed to keep your kids safe online and give you peace of mind.

 Browsing

Once you have set up parental filters on the broadband-connection to your smart TV, you don’t need to worry as your children surf the net. Just as with other devices connected to your router, won’t smart TVs allow the display of inappropriate websites or content after this one-time set-up.

Parental filters allow kids to watch child-safe content from YouTube or Netflix, via the web or app. It is essential to set browsing limits for all devices in your home, which has internet connectivity.

 Content

The only thing to keep in mind is to be thorough in the content you allow your kids to access. There are many children-designed channels provided on Smart TVs.

Look at the channels offered for children on the streaming services you have subscribed to and ensure you are satisfied with the kind of program your kids would be viewing. Some streaming services allow you to create multiple user accounts with age limits features.

Screen time management

Before setting up a way for kids to manage their screen time, ensure that all the inappropriate sites and content are filtered out of your home network broadband.

If you have not already done that, limiting your child’s screen time won’t change much. You can now use helpful screen time management software designed for parents to monitor and control their child’s access to the internet and screen time.

Final thoughts

As more content gets uploaded on the internet daily, there are growing concerns from parents who want to protect their kids from inappropriate content. The number one thing to do however is to set up parental controls on all the smart devices at your home.

Parents can now monitor their kids’ access when surfing the internet, even via smart TVs. With digital services, it’s best to continually update the apps and devices’ settings, especially if your child has access to them.

Finally, remember to chat to your child and instill a good screen-time to off-screen time balance. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of screen time for children and teenagers per day, and absolutely no screen time for children under 2. Too much screen time can not only disturb children’s sleep patterns, but increase the risk of emotional, social, and attention problems, and even obesity.

Safe searching!

Smart TVs function just as regular TVs but with internet connectivity, like smartphones. They have built-in apps as well as capabilities to surf the web, send emails, access social media platforms, and stream videos on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and other similar streaming services. 

In the second quarter of 2020, Netflix had 72.9 million U.S. subscribers, so there’s no denying how popular smart Tvs are. However, with the advent of this technology, designed to access the internet using interfaces like Apple TV or the Fetchbox, there is a glut of content alongside child usage risks that parents need to consider.

With that in mind, here’s the Safe Search Kids guide to setting up a smart TV, plus some advice on how to ensure your kids search safely.

Parental controls on Smart TVs

Before purchasing a Smart TV, it is good to be aware of the parental controls available. Also, make sure you can create different user profiles, including setting up a child’s account.

To understand each parental control on a brand of Smart TV, go to the specific manufacturer’s website. You can also utilize this free database to learn about how to set up these controls.

If you have a regular TV but are considering buying an Android TV box to give you the ability to stream content and access online apps, you will also need to set up parental controls.

To do this, select the “Settings” icon (the little cog in the upper-right corner of your screen). Next, click “Parental Control” which is below the “Input” option. This will take you to the Parental Control settings. You can find more information on this here.

Potential privacy risks of a Smart TV

Unfortunately, most digital inventions are not without some degree of risk. Like a computer or a smartphone, Smart TVs have access to inbuilt cameras, audio recordings, personal data, and social media data. It is essential to read the privacy policy when a manufacturer releases a software update.

A voice-recognition Smart TV can keep data of what you are saying, searching for, and watching. This information is used to provide you with adverts suited to your preferences.

To set up privacy settings accurately, do not go for a quick set-up, but search for custom settings that allow you to turn on or off each privacy feature. It is advisable not to download any suspicious software on your Smart TV as there is no anti-virus developed for Smart TVs yet.

Apps

As with smartphones, apps are installable on Smart TVs. Some apps require a subscription fee like Netflix and Amazon Prime to access and enjoy the features. Others may require additional tweaking of settings to function properly.

Remember that these apps don’t come with in-built parental control settings, and your kids can view inappropriate content. Hence, the need to canvas through the TV manual or guide to further set these controls. Another feature accessible on smart TVs are social media apps. We have a guide you can read on how to protect your kids on social media.

Even if they are merely gaming apps that claim to be child-friendly, you still need to know the gaming apps’ PEGI rating.

Managing streaming content

If you have allowed streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu to run on your Smart TV, you have to set separate parental controls for each of the apps.

For the various streaming services, you can find out how to set parental controls here: Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu.

Internet filtering and connectivity

Almost all Smart TVs offer built-in Wi-Fi to access your home network and the internet. Although ethernet provides a faster and stable internet connection, smart TVs come in-built Wi-Fi that leaves no cable trails lying around.

Internet filtering is a must when protecting kids on the internet. With a simple Google search, you can easily find a trusted internet filter software that allows you complete control over your kids’ access to the internet. Many other apps are designed to keep your kids safe online and give you peace of mind.

 Browsing

Once you have set up parental filters on the broadband-connection to your smart TV, you don’t need to worry as your children surf the net. Just as with other devices connected to your router, won’t smart TVs allow the display of inappropriate websites or content after this one-time set-up.

Parental filters allow kids to watch child-safe content from YouTube or Netflix, via the web or app. It is essential to set browsing limits for all devices in your home, which has internet connectivity.

 Content

The only thing to keep in mind is to be thorough in the content you allow your kids to access. There are many children-designed channels provided on Smart TVs.

Look at the channels offered for children on the streaming services you have subscribed to and ensure you are satisfied with the kind of program your kids would be viewing. Some streaming services allow you to create multiple user accounts with age limits features.

Screen time management

Before setting up a way for kids to manage their screen time, ensure that all the inappropriate sites and content are filtered out of your home network broadband.

If you have not already done that, limiting your child’s screen time won’t change much. You can now use helpful screen time management software designed for parents to monitor and control their child’s access to the internet and screen time.

Final thoughts

As more content gets uploaded on the internet daily, there are growing concerns from parents who want to protect their kids from inappropriate content. The number one thing to do however is to set up parental controls on all the smart devices at your home.

Parents can now monitor their kids’ access when surfing the internet, even via smart TVs. With digital services, it’s best to continually update the apps and devices’ settings, especially if your child has access to them.

Finally, remember to chat to your child and instill a good screen-time to off-screen time balance. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of screen time for children and teenagers per day, and absolutely no screen time for children under 2. Too much screen time can not only disturb children’s sleep patterns, but increase the risk of emotional, social, and attention problems, and even obesity.

Safe searching!

5 Things to Teach Kids About Cars and Keeping them Safe

Teaching Kids About Cars

Educating your child about taking care of themselves is what all good parents do. You also teach your kid how best to interact with the world and things around them. One area that is sometimes overlooked is car-safety. We will look at what you should tell your children about cars. We shall also explore how you can prepare your car to be safe for your kids.

Remembering to check your car for recalls and other simple things may make a world of difference in keeping your little ones as safe as possible. 

The 5 Things Your Kids Should Know About Cars

You don’t have to be an expert yourself to teach basic car maintenance. Many tips can be found online on websites like YouTube. Step by step guides can show you what to do without you having to be a master mechanic. You can then teach the most basic of these tasks to your kids.

1. Basic Maintenance

What you teach your child can include:

    • Checking and filling up the vehicle’s fluid

    • Adding oxygen to the tires

    • Reading the fuel gauge and speedometer

    • How to replace filters

    • Replacing the headlights

    • How to check on and change the car oil

    • How to change a flat tire, even on your own

These simple maintenance tasks will give your kid a life skill they’ll take into adulthood. But the real cherry on top is the great bonding experience you’ll develop as you interact with your child in this way.

2. Identifying Emergency Vehicles

Telling your kids how to identify emergency vehicles is another good piece of information.  When a police car’s siren blares, it’s a good idea to tell your kids what to do when the police need to drive past. 

You can also tell them about other important vehicles like ambulances, fire trucks, and armored vehicles. You can find ways to teach your kids in a fun and interactive way. If you turn teaching moments into games, the lessons are likely to stick. 

This is also a great time to teach them about emergency procedures. You can tell them that they are supposed to keep to the pavement for a firetruck and dial 911 for accidents and if they are hurt. It may seem frivolous but these lessons are invaluable for your kid’s well-being.

3. Teach Children about Cars & Money

You can use your car to also impart the value of money to your kids. Matters that you can explore with them include: 

     • Fees such as car payments 

    • Maintenance costs

    • Tickets and fines

    • Insurance premiums

Even adolescents may need these lessons. Not all adults are financially literate or responsible. Many grown-ups themselves struggle to understand the value of money. 

This is why it’s all the more important to teach kids from a young, impressionable age. If your child can learn to manage their finances they can be equipped to manage the costs associated with maintaining a car later in life. A well-maintained car is basically a safe one.

4. Dangers of Driving

Statistically, teenagers are the most likely to be involved in a car accident. At 16 years old, kids are 40% more likely to be in a fatal crash as opposed to when they are 18 years old. Teaching them about the dangers can save their lives. 

5. Rules of the Road

Beyond telling your kids how to safely cross a road, you may wish to inform of them of other rules of the road. This includes teaching them what drivers should and shouldn’t do while driving.

There are road rules to do with traffic signals and driving carefully. Explain the importance of obeying road rules so that every road user is safe. Inform them of certain rules regardless of their age. 

This can help you abate the fears or concerns you may have for when they have full control of their own cars. Also, advise on “outside of the square” tips like whose car they are allowed to ride in (if you are not around), or what to do whenever they feel unsafe as a passenger.

 Preparing Your Car for Your Kids

Just as we make our homes safe for our children, we also need to take some time to do the same with our cars. 

Get the Right Car Seat

Before you get a car seat, consider doing an online search of what’s out there and what would be best for your child. One basic rule is that the best car seat for your child is the one that fits. That is, the car seat should fit your child, your car, and install correctly into place. 

Wear a Seat-Belt

It is against the law for minors not to be strapped in their seat belt. Though sometimes easy to forget, this is a crucial way of ensuring your child’s safety every time they are commuting. It is crucial to teach them the necessity of staying buckled up. Seatbelts have been proven to prevent severe injuries and save countless lives. 

Distracted Driving

This one is a major cause of car accidents. You should teach your kids how to avoid or manage distractions. For example, instruct your kids to never throw objects in the car to each other or at you.  

They shouldn’t distract you or block your vision. Of course, calm and normal conversations can occur between drivers and passengers. However, causing agitation in any way can be a dangerous distraction.  Emphasize how important it is for drivers to focus while driving. 

Moving Objects

 Apart from ensuring your child does not throw objects in the car, it is worth considering whatever objects you have in the car, especially on the dashboard. In the event of an accident, these objects may become projectiles and cause injury to those in the car. 

Find a secure place to store toys in your car to avoid such incidents. Secure other items in your car that could also move around and become a hazard. In some cases, it would be safer to store these items in the trunk of your car. 

Maintenance and Routine Checks

Sometimes cars are recalled. Check your car for recalls to ensure you have a vehicle that keeps you and your children safe. Just like with regular health checks for yourself, servicing your car regularly is necessary. 

Ensure you keep a handle on all the basics like good tire pressure, reasonable oil levels, and window washer fluid. Keeping a schedule for maintenance can promote the longevity of your car. 

Entertainment

Whether it’s music that your kids enjoy, or books, games, or movies; our child will appreciate having entertainment on car drives. This would help your mood on long road trips and since your child is occupied, you can concentrate on driving. This all contributes to road and passenger safety.  

Conclusion 

Taking conscious steps to teach your child about cars is invaluable. Going further to prepare your car to be safe for them is equally so. One really important way to do this is to check your car for recalls. Following the tips in this article may not only save your kids’ lives but also equip them with the knowledge they need to drive safely when they are able to do so. 

Educating your child about taking care of themselves is what all good parents do. You also teach your kid how best to interact with the world and things around them. One area that is sometimes overlooked is car-safety. We will look at what you should tell your children about cars. We shall also explore how you can prepare your car to be safe for your kids.

Remembering to check your car for recalls and other simple things may make a world of difference in keeping your little ones as safe as possible. 

The 5 Things Your Kids Should Know About Cars

You don’t have to be an expert yourself to teach basic car maintenance. Many tips can be found online on websites like YouTube. Step by step guides can show you what to do without you having to be a master mechanic. You can then teach the most basic of these tasks to your kids.

1. Basic Maintenance

What you teach your child can include:

    • Checking and filling up the vehicle’s fluid

    • Adding oxygen to the tires

    • Reading the fuel gauge and speedometer

    • How to replace filters

    • Replacing the headlights

    • How to check on and change the car oil

    • How to change a flat tire, even on your own

These simple maintenance tasks will give your kid a life skill they’ll take into adulthood. But the real cherry on top is the great bonding experience you’ll develop as you interact with your child in this way.

2. Identifying Emergency Vehicles

Telling your kids how to identify emergency vehicles is another good piece of information.  When a police car’s siren blares, it’s a good idea to tell your kids what to do when the police need to drive past. 

You can also tell them about other important vehicles like ambulances, fire trucks, and armored vehicles. You can find ways to teach your kids in a fun and interactive way. If you turn teaching moments into games, the lessons are likely to stick. 

This is also a great time to teach them about emergency procedures. You can tell them that they are supposed to keep to the pavement for a firetruck and dial 911 for accidents and if they are hurt. It may seem frivolous but these lessons are invaluable for your kid’s well-being.

3. Teach Children about Cars & Money

You can use your car to also impart the value of money to your kids. Matters that you can explore with them include: 

     • Fees such as car payments 

    • Maintenance costs

    • Tickets and fines

    • Insurance premiums

Even adolescents may need these lessons. Not all adults are financially literate or responsible. Many grown-ups themselves struggle to understand the value of money. 

This is why it’s all the more important to teach kids from a young, impressionable age. If your child can learn to manage their finances they can be equipped to manage the costs associated with maintaining a car later in life. A well-maintained car is basically a safe one.

4. Dangers of Driving

Statistically, teenagers are the most likely to be involved in a car accident. At 16 years old, kids are 40% more likely to be in a fatal crash as opposed to when they are 18 years old. Teaching them about the dangers can save their lives. 

5. Rules of the Road

Beyond telling your kids how to safely cross a road, you may wish to inform of them of other rules of the road. This includes teaching them what drivers should and shouldn’t do while driving.

There are road rules to do with traffic signals and driving carefully. Explain the importance of obeying road rules so that every road user is safe. Inform them of certain rules regardless of their age. 

This can help you abate the fears or concerns you may have for when they have full control of their own cars. Also, advise on “outside of the square” tips like whose car they are allowed to ride in (if you are not around), or what to do whenever they feel unsafe as a passenger.

 Preparing Your Car for Your Kids

Just as we make our homes safe for our children, we also need to take some time to do the same with our cars. 

Get the Right Car Seat

Before you get a car seat, consider doing an online search of what’s out there and what would be best for your child. One basic rule is that the best car seat for your child is the one that fits. That is, the car seat should fit your child, your car, and install correctly into place. 

Wear a Seat-Belt

It is against the law for minors not to be strapped in their seat belt. Though sometimes easy to forget, this is a crucial way of ensuring your child’s safety every time they are commuting. It is crucial to teach them the necessity of staying buckled up. Seatbelts have been proven to prevent severe injuries and save countless lives. 

Distracted Driving

This one is a major cause of car accidents. You should teach your kids how to avoid or manage distractions. For example, instruct your kids to never throw objects in the car to each other or at you.  

They shouldn’t distract you or block your vision. Of course, calm and normal conversations can occur between drivers and passengers. However, causing agitation in any way can be a dangerous distraction.  Emphasize how important it is for drivers to focus while driving. 

Moving Objects

 Apart from ensuring your child does not throw objects in the car, it is worth considering whatever objects you have in the car, especially on the dashboard. In the event of an accident, these objects may become projectiles and cause injury to those in the car. 

Find a secure place to store toys in your car to avoid such incidents. Secure other items in your car that could also move around and become a hazard. In some cases, it would be safer to store these items in the trunk of your car. 

Maintenance and Routine Checks

Sometimes cars are recalled. Check your car for recalls to ensure you have a vehicle that keeps you and your children safe. Just like with regular health checks for yourself, servicing your car regularly is necessary. 

Ensure you keep a handle on all the basics like good tire pressure, reasonable oil levels, and window washer fluid. Keeping a schedule for maintenance can promote the longevity of your car. 

Entertainment

Whether it’s music that your kids enjoy, or books, games, or movies; our child will appreciate having entertainment on car drives. This would help your mood on long road trips and since your child is occupied, you can concentrate on driving. This all contributes to road and passenger safety.  

Conclusion 

Taking conscious steps to teach your child about cars is invaluable. Going further to prepare your car to be safe for them is equally so. One really important way to do this is to check your car for recalls. Following the tips in this article may not only save your kids’ lives but also equip them with the knowledge they need to drive safely when they are able to do so. 

Using the Internet for Learning

Tips for Learning on the Internet

The days of relying on the rows and rows of public library books for school projects are long gone. Nowadays, the internet is a one-stop shop for gaining any and all resources necessary for learning. While it’s amazing that knowledge is so readily available at our fingertips, it’s increasingly important to differentiate valuable learning resources from spam and other junk.

Whether you’re a student or a parent, here are tips to help you embark on this journey to find the perfect resource.  

What Types of Resources Are Out There?

Whether you’re looking for some extracurricular activities to sharpen your skills in a certain subject or a fully inclusive tutoring service, the internet has it all. The key to finding the perfect online program is understanding the area(s) that you wish to improve. Are you at risk of being held back a year or do you just want to get a jump on highschool algebra? For help with a single subject or opportunities for extra learning, check out your school’s and/or school district’s resources. Often times schools will have a webpage for these types of learning activities. For example, one school in Indiana offers resources on learning to read and learning important math skills.

If you are in need of a full tutoring service, the search process can become a little more complex. Refining your search to be as specific as possible can make a huge difference. Instead of searching “online tutoring services” and getting a massive list of just about every tutoring service on the planet, try searching “5th grade math online tutoring services.” This list should be full of relevant sources. Picking the perfect one will then come down to a little extra research on the specific service. Make sure to look into customer reviews, as well as prices and scheduling, in order to find the service that fits your needs. Your search will come back with big names that you may recognize, such as Sylvan and Chegg. It may also come back with local tutoring services. Be certain to check the local programs as well—local teachers often teach these programs and can relate them to specific school requirements.

How Do You Discover Your Learning Needs?

Picking whether you want an organized tutoring service or just some additional activities is a conversation that needs to happen between child, parent, and teacher. This is a critical point for students to communicate their needs. Even if you sign your child up for the best tutoring service, they might not show the improvement you hope for if they don’t want to be there and participate. Maybe it would be better to provide them with fun activities that could capture their imagination while teaching them valuable lessons. This will encourage kids to embrace lifelong learning. Whichever route you choose, just be sure that everyone is on the same page. Communication is so important in this step, for both parents and students.  

Where to Start Searching?

When you first begin looking for information online, the results can be daunting. A simple google search comes back with billions of results in fractions of a second. If you’ve ever searched for something as broad as “learning resources,” then you know how difficult it can be to find what you’re actually searching for. By utilizing Google’s advanced search queries, you can get rid of the non credible sites with one easy trick. Add site:.edu or site:.gov to your search query and you should end up with only credible sites, such as “5th grade math resources site:.edu”. These .edu and .gov sites are normally some of the most reliable resources on the web, but make sure to double-check the content and sources on the site just to be sure.

A caveat to this strategy is if you are looking for full-service tutoring, then you may want to include .com and .org websites, as these are often private companies that specialize in tutoring. Just be sure to check the website for credibility before you give them any personal information.

If you’re looking for a fun activity on searching for credible sources, you can find lesson plans online to help teach your students.

Picking the Perfect Program and Beyond

Once you’ve discovered the programs or resources that you want to use, set up guidelines for using the new learning program. These guidelines should include expectations on how the student will utilize the program, how they will communicate their learning to their parents or teachers, and how they will stay safe while using the internet. Since the student in this scenario will be spending more time online, it’s crucial to set up a plan for cybersecurity. Spam and other non credible websites could lead to viruses and false learning. Follow these simple online safety practices and you’re sure to maximize learning while minimizing risk. Stay up-to-date with your child’s learning and always encourage clear paths of communication. This simple step will help the student feel like they have a support system and make you both feel more secure in the digital world.

Author Bio

Chandler Clayton is a freelance writer, specializing in education and safety. He draws upon his years of teaching environmental education to empower learning in children and adults of all backgrounds. He has been featured on sites such as SafeWise and Newsday.


Are you doing research on a report or paper? Find out how Simple Wikipedia can help.

The days of relying on the rows and rows of public library books for school projects are long gone. Nowadays, the internet is a one-stop shop for gaining any and all resources necessary for learning. While it’s amazing that knowledge is so readily available at our fingertips, it’s increasingly important to differentiate valuable learning resources from spam and other junk.

Whether you’re a student or a parent, here are tips to help you embark on this journey to find the perfect resource.  

What Types of Resources Are Out There?

Whether you’re looking for some extracurricular activities to sharpen your skills in a certain subject or a fully inclusive tutoring service, the internet has it all. The key to finding the perfect online program is understanding the area(s) that you wish to improve. Are you at risk of being held back a year or do you just want to get a jump on highschool algebra? For help with a single subject or opportunities for extra learning, check out your school’s and/or school district’s resources. Often times schools will have a webpage for these types of learning activities. For example, one school in Indiana offers resources on learning to read and learning important math skills.

If you are in need of a full tutoring service, the search process can become a little more complex. Refining your search to be as specific as possible can make a huge difference. Instead of searching “online tutoring services” and getting a massive list of just about every tutoring service on the planet, try searching “5th grade math online tutoring services.” This list should be full of relevant sources. Picking the perfect one will then come down to a little extra research on the specific service. Make sure to look into customer reviews, as well as prices and scheduling, in order to find the service that fits your needs. Your search will come back with big names that you may recognize, such as Sylvan and Chegg. It may also come back with local tutoring services. Be certain to check the local programs as well—local teachers often teach these programs and can relate them to specific school requirements.

How Do You Discover Your Learning Needs?

Picking whether you want an organized tutoring service or just some additional activities is a conversation that needs to happen between child, parent, and teacher. This is a critical point for students to communicate their needs. Even if you sign your child up for the best tutoring service, they might not show the improvement you hope for if they don’t want to be there and participate. Maybe it would be better to provide them with fun activities that could capture their imagination while teaching them valuable lessons. This will encourage kids to embrace lifelong learning. Whichever route you choose, just be sure that everyone is on the same page. Communication is so important in this step, for both parents and students.  

Where to Start Searching?

When you first begin looking for information online, the results can be daunting. A simple google search comes back with billions of results in fractions of a second. If you’ve ever searched for something as broad as “learning resources,” then you know how difficult it can be to find what you’re actually searching for. By utilizing Google’s advanced search queries, you can get rid of the non credible sites with one easy trick. Add site:.edu or site:.gov to your search query and you should end up with only credible sites, such as “5th grade math resources site:.edu”. These .edu and .gov sites are normally some of the most reliable resources on the web, but make sure to double-check the content and sources on the site just to be sure.

A caveat to this strategy is if you are looking for full-service tutoring, then you may want to include .com and .org websites, as these are often private companies that specialize in tutoring. Just be sure to check the website for credibility before you give them any personal information.

If you’re looking for a fun activity on searching for credible sources, you can find lesson plans online to help teach your students.

Picking the Perfect Program and Beyond

Once you’ve discovered the programs or resources that you want to use, set up guidelines for using the new learning program. These guidelines should include expectations on how the student will utilize the program, how they will communicate their learning to their parents or teachers, and how they will stay safe while using the internet. Since the student in this scenario will be spending more time online, it’s crucial to set up a plan for cybersecurity. Spam and other non credible websites could lead to viruses and false learning. Follow these simple online safety practices and you’re sure to maximize learning while minimizing risk. Stay up-to-date with your child’s learning and always encourage clear paths of communication. This simple step will help the student feel like they have a support system and make you both feel more secure in the digital world.

Author Bio

Chandler Clayton is a freelance writer, specializing in education and safety. He draws upon his years of teaching environmental education to empower learning in children and adults of all backgrounds. He has been featured on sites such as SafeWise and Newsday.


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Things to Do When Kids Are Bored

It may not feel like it right now, but there is so much fun waiting for you just around the corner.  There are so many things a kid can do when he or she is bored.  You just need a few ideas.  Creativity often works that way. Often, you first need to get the creative juices flowing and soon you’ll be coming up with ideas of your own.

Here are a few brainstorming ideas we came up.  Start by thinking about them.  Then perhaps share them with your friends and see what they thing.

Pick out a couple and ask your parents if you need help to get the fun rolling.   As mentioned, this list may help you think about fun ideas of your own.

Create a Treasure Hunt!

You can go online and read about the different ways that you can arrange the hunt. The best way to get all your friends together and ask a parent to hide the treasure. It could be a batch of cookies or a gift certificate for a pizza or each child could bring one small toy to make up the treasure. Or you could be the treasure master, stashing the prize and making up clues that you hide in advance.

Clues could be something like “Look for the tree with the home-made swing,” or “Find the big grey rock and take three steps south.” Each clue leads to another clue and at the very end, the treasure. Maybe each of your friends could pick a day and hold their own treasure hunt. The hunts can be as long or as short as you want.  This is something you could also do as a family together, outside or in the house.

Have a Box Sculpture Contest!

This is easy.  Just ask your parents to get empty boxes from a grocery or chain store. Make sure you have a lot of them in a lot of different sizes. Then you need strong tape, glue and markers to decorate what you make. You could even decide on a theme, like box spaceships, box forts or box cars.  You can also get creative and spruce up your sculptures with items egg cartons, ribbons and show boxes.

Make Colorful Wall Montage

When was the last time you colored with crayons?  I doubt your parents won’t let you color on your wall, but there are tons of free coloring pages online you can print and color.  Choose from all sorts of drawings and cover one of your bedroom walls with your own colorful creations. It will be like a wall mural but made up of individual pictures.  There are hundred’s of options online of things to color.

Learn How to Fly a Kite!

Kites are relatively cheap to buy, but many kids prefer to learn about kites online and make their own. This activity requires you to follow the weather and look for good places to catch the wind, usually a park or a hill. This takes those reflexes that help you play video games and uses them in the real world. And it’s fun.

Explore Your Local World!

Get a guide book or go online to find out what you can do in your home town! What is the oldest building in your city? Where was the first school built? Was anyone famous born in your town? Is there a museum you can tour? What about a pond where you can sail a boat? Or simply go to your local park and lay in the grass with a friend looking for images in the clouds.

Put on a Kids Clothing Swap!

Ask your parents what they think about this. It would be a good way to clean out closets as well as encourage everyone to recycle. Just make sure that all clothes are clean and mended when they are brought to the swap.

No matter where you live, you can enjoy a whole world of adventure. All you need to do is use your imagination.

It may not feel like it right now, but there is so much fun waiting for you just around the corner.  There are so many things a kid can do when he or she is bored.  You just need a few ideas.  Creativity often works that way. Often, you first need to get the creative juices flowing and soon you’ll be coming up with ideas of your own.

Here are a few brainstorming ideas we came up.  Start by thinking about them.  Then perhaps share them with your friends and see what they thing.

Pick out a couple and ask your parents if you need help to get the fun rolling.   As mentioned, this list may help you think about fun ideas of your own.

Create a Treasure Hunt!

You can go online and read about the different ways that you can arrange the hunt. The best way to get all your friends together and ask a parent to hide the treasure. It could be a batch of cookies or a gift certificate for a pizza or each child could bring one small toy to make up the treasure. Or you could be the treasure master, stashing the prize and making up clues that you hide in advance.

Clues could be something like “Look for the tree with the home-made swing,” or “Find the big grey rock and take three steps south.” Each clue leads to another clue and at the very end, the treasure. Maybe each of your friends could pick a day and hold their own treasure hunt. The hunts can be as long or as short as you want.  This is something you could also do as a family together, outside or in the house.

Have a Box Sculpture Contest!

This is easy.  Just ask your parents to get empty boxes from a grocery or chain store. Make sure you have a lot of them in a lot of different sizes. Then you need strong tape, glue and markers to decorate what you make. You could even decide on a theme, like box spaceships, box forts or box cars.  You can also get creative and spruce up your sculptures with items egg cartons, ribbons and show boxes.

Make Colorful Wall Montage

When was the last time you colored with crayons?  I doubt your parents won’t let you color on your wall, but there are tons of free coloring pages online you can print and color.  Choose from all sorts of drawings and cover one of your bedroom walls with your own colorful creations. It will be like a wall mural but made up of individual pictures.  There are hundred’s of options online of things to color.

Learn How to Fly a Kite!

Kites are relatively cheap to buy, but many kids prefer to learn about kites online and make their own. This activity requires you to follow the weather and look for good places to catch the wind, usually a park or a hill. This takes those reflexes that help you play video games and uses them in the real world. And it’s fun.

Explore Your Local World!

Get a guide book or go online to find out what you can do in your home town! What is the oldest building in your city? Where was the first school built? Was anyone famous born in your town? Is there a museum you can tour? What about a pond where you can sail a boat? Or simply go to your local park and lay in the grass with a friend looking for images in the clouds.

Put on a Kids Clothing Swap!

Ask your parents what they think about this. It would be a good way to clean out closets as well as encourage everyone to recycle. Just make sure that all clothes are clean and mended when they are brought to the swap.

No matter where you live, you can enjoy a whole world of adventure. All you need to do is use your imagination.