Category: Parenting

Summer Coding Camps for Kids or Learn at Your Own Pace

Online Coding Classes and Courses for Kids

There are two primary ways kids can learn how to code. 1) Enroll in an online coding class created just for kids. 2) Kids of any age can learn at their own pace while playing a coding game. In either case, these coding courses teach kids how to code while having fun. There will continued to be a demand worldwide for students who are educated in IT (Information Technology).

This need is expected to only increase in coming years. That doesn’t mean that kids need to be thinking about a career in tech to truly benefit from an online coding class. You may have a child who is interested how computers work. You may have a family member that spends a lot of time playing video games and you want ensure some of that screen time is educational.

Whether or not a child is gifted in science or STEM subjects in school, coding classes and courses for kids are designed for children of any skill level to discover whether this is a path they want to explore. All teaching is designed to ensure any age group can grasp basic coding concepts. Any knowledge gained can only help kids succeed in school regardless of their chosen profession when they graduate.

How Kids can Learn Coding Easily while Having Fun

Register Now for Summer Coding Camps for Kids that provide ‘one on one’ teaching. There are also courses that guide a child through the basics of coding without live teaching. Or choose Both experiences teach kids how to code as they move through a variety of games they may be normally playing anyway.

Here are the options for kids to learn coding;

  1. View available times for Live Summer Online Coding Camps.
  2. Or learn at your own pace with a variety of Online Coding Courses.

A few reasons why parents are encouraging their kids to learn coding.

  • Coding through fun games is a great opportunity to see if your younger child is interested in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
  • Classes and courses provide an educational process that can be enjoyed while kids are playing games online.
  • Parents may want their kids to learn coding skills to supplement what they may not being getting in school.
  • Coding lessons can be an excellent program addition for home schoolers or kids taking virtual classes.

Parents may have kids who enjoy playing a lot of video games. The challenge for any parent is limiting screen time when a child is only asking for more hours of play per day. Giving your son or daughter an extra hour of online play devoted to a coding game is the perfect compromise for many.

  • Children doing very well in school may not be challenged enough with their current studies.
  • Kids may have a keen interest in STEM already and are open to expanding their learning.
  • New online summer classes give kids something do while they continue learning. This helps to prevent summer learning loss.

Something for Every Age: Self paced coding courses are provided for kids as early as 5 years old. Online coding classes can be taken as early as 7 years old.

The Benefits of Online Summer Classes

Classes are scheduled to happen after school and as mentioned earlier, there are now summer classes available. These classes involve live teaching.

Kids will learn creative coding, game design, Minecraft modelling, Javascript and Python. All classes begin by kids learning the basics of easy block-based coding.

Space is limited for the live teaching summer camps so parents need to sign up as soon as possible to ensure their child can get in. See available online coding classes!

The Benefits of Self-Paced Online Courses

Courses are based on a monthly subscription and allow kids to code their way while they play the type of game they like.

Self-paced coding courses are recommended according to the following age groups; 5 – 7 | 8 – 13 | 14 and up. They will learn block coding, python, website development and more!

The upside of these games is that kids can play and learn on their own time. Explore over 60 online coding courses!

Is Coding Right for Your Kids?

No one can argue that any type of computer skill will offer a valuable educational benefit as kids advance through their grades. If your child loves spending time online, whether gaming or on social media, coding for kids education is an easy way to transition from online play time towards online learning time. The latter of which can be equality as fun as kids learn.

If your child is a book warm and doesn’t like computers much, it will be more of a challenge to engage them in the subjects associated with technology. Whether it’s part of a school curriculum or home schooling, live coding classes or monthly subscription based courses offer a way for educators and parents to make a child’s introduction to coding fun.

Sign Up for the Coding Learning Experience that’s Perfect for your Family:

  1. Online Summer Coding Camps.
  2. Online Coding Courses on your own schedule.

The Effects That Media Consumption & Screen Time Has on Children

Effects of Media Consumption and Screen Time on Children

Our society has had a tense relationship with media consumption for some time now. Since the dawn of television facets of the community have raised concerns about what influence the media has. Sometimes this has been from a physiological and mental health perspective, at others from the standpoint of intellectual or moral development.

In our digital age, this has taken on new dimensions as online media plays a more central role in our lives.

This is especially present when it comes to our children.  Our variety of digital media tools influences a young age. There are certainly positives in embracing technology, but there’s also a lot of discussion about the negatives. Indeed, a recent study found that 61% of parents polled sought advice regarding their children’s screen time from a medical professional. As such, this constant media presence in the lives of children is worthy of serious consideration.

We’re going to take a moment to look at what the relative positives and negatives are regarding children’s media consumption.

As a Source of Information

Whether the media your children consume is entertaining, educational, or social, it is all providing them with information. This is, of course, essential to their ability to understand the world. Global and local news alike are at their fingertips, as are rich and varied stories in movies and TV shows.

That said, a wealth of information at their disposal does not automatically equate to trustworthy knowledge. The open-source nature of our digital landscape means that the information your children consume may well be colored by more negative influences and agendas. Misinformation and discrimination are rife across the media today. When children’s consumption is left unaddressed, these influences may well be inadvertently given as much weight in their minds as credible sources, affecting their opinions and decisions accordingly.

While there may be some benefit to reducing screen time in a more general sense, the answer is not necessarily censorship. Depending on your child’s age, removing their ability to consume less trustworthy forms of information reduces the opportunity to engage critical thinking skills. Rather, as a parent, it is important to support your child’s viewing with discussions. Talk to them about the context of the information they’re seeing — the biases and the influences. Follow this up with exercises in information reviews and how to identify credible resources. Provide them with the knowledge of how to more effectively process the information they’re receiving.

As a Cultural Touchstone

Digital media has become a key part of our contemporary culture. More importantly, though, it is a conduit to share and learn about more diverse cultures. This is perhaps the true value of an open, globally-connected media ecosystem — your children have the opportunity to engage with different ideas from exposure to their media. Not just professional media, either, but the content made by citizens through YouTube, Twitch streams, and TikTok.

Additionally, it’s important to understand that media as a cultural touchstone is a positive tool for representation. The media available today is becoming more diverse — particularly on streaming services, which are making efforts to feature not just actors and characters but also creators from traditionally marginalized backgrounds. Television, podcasts, music, even video game streaming can help demonstrate to children with diverse identities that their cultural perspectives and identities have an important place in the global community. These media provide them with positive, relatable role models, too.

But is there a negative side to media content as a cultural focus? Only when as a parent you rely too heavily upon it. Media is a tool for knowledge, but it doesn’t give your kids valuable life experience. Combine their consumption of media from other cultures with encouragement to also engage with them. Demonstrate the patronage of minority-owned businesses and just reaching out to start conversations and build relationships. Allow the media to inform their impressions, but provide experience to build their sense of empathy and community responsibility.

As Part of a Social Development

It can’t have escaped your notice that media consumption comprises a core part of your child’s social development. They are among the first generation of true digital natives, and both they and their peers will not just use media to consume information and culture, but also to communicate with one another and form social bonds.

By empowering your children to grow socially through media consumption — learning from TV shows, communicating (with safety elements in place) through social media — they can develop practices for the responsible use of these on their own terms. Indeed, we’ve already seen how this engagement is developing Generation Z into more socially and environmentally conscious citizens. Let’s not forget that Fridays for Future is a social media-led campaign. Rather than just dictate the use of their media tools, this is an opportunity to give them ownership of these. They can understand the responsibilities involved, and the social limitations and challenges they may face. The key is to be communicative and supportive throughout.

Of course, it’s not healthy to have them entirely focused on social development through screen media. It’s important to introduce other sources of information. Comic books are a helpful tool here, and also have in-built social credibility, even sparking discussion points among peers. Importantly, there are efforts to improve diversity in comic books, moving away from the harmful minority stereotypes of years past and providing positive and empowering representation. This extends beyond the characters and includes creative teams composed of and led by Black, neurodivergent, LGBTQ+, and Asian American creators. This expands their media toolkit, and also provides sources of social connection with their peers.

Conclusion

Media consumption tends to get a bad rap when it comes to our children. Yet, as a parent, you need to be cognizant of the various positive and negative roles it can play in their lives. This in turn empowers both you and them to make more informed decisions about usage and how to support them.

How To Be An Amazing Stepparent To School-Aged Children

How To Be An Amazing Stepparent To Children

The road to being a stepparent is not an easy one. You will face many challenges. These include but are not limited to family dynamic changes, scheduling conflicts, child support payments, and compromising with the exs’. Connecting with your stepchildren is the hardest. Even more, when you are being a stepparent to school-aged children.

Challenges of Being A Stepparent to School-Aged Children:

 Divorce does not affect adults alone. Children too, bear the brunt of dissolving and forming new families. They have to come to terms with the absence of a parent, changes in routines, living arrangements, and many more. And these changes are perceived differently by children at different ages.

Research states that children between the ages of 9-15 years have more trouble adjusting to their new step parenting situation. They were more likely to feel sad, rejected, and betrayed by their parents for divorcing. They might also worry about their:

  • Living environment: In event of changes to living arrangements, or the sale of the family home, children would have to adjust to being in a new environment. They would be away from the comfort of their home and will find it difficult to accept a place shared with you, their stepparent, as their own.
  • Responsibilities and routines: Every family has designated roles and responsibilities for each family member, as well as a routine they follow. This structure is disrupted when you blend or form new families.
  • Addressing stepparents: They will have difficulty deciding on how to address you. Unlike toddlers or preschoolers, school-aged children and older teens may be uncomfortable addressing you as ‘mom/dad.’ This hesitancy can stem from their anger or resentment towards you, or to avoid being disloyal to their bio-parent.

In fact, they would be less accepting of their step-parents, blaming them for their parents’ breakup or for being an obstacle to their reunion.

As a stepparent to school-aged children, you will find yourself constantly battling:

  • Anger and resentment of your place in the new family. The child may never consider you a figure of authority and may try to undermine your authority over them.
  • Their rejection of your attempts to build a family or connect with them.

As stepparents to school-aged children, be prepared to hear, ‘You’re not my parent!” a lot.

Stepparents to School-Aged Children: Red Flags:

 The first step to being awesome stepparents to school-aged children is to be aware of your challenges and to understand the child. It can help you take measures to build a nurturing and positive relationship with them.

We’ve understood the challenges, now let’s learn about some potential red flags that can be your stepchild’s cry for help in adjusting to the new situation. These include:

  • A sudden decline in academic performance.
  • Disinterest and passive participation in social and extracurricular activities.
  • Sudden mood fluctuations, between sadness, and anger.
  • Being hostile and defensive with both you and their bio-parents.

How to be a stepparent to school-aged children?

Here are some suggestions to help you build a positive relationship with your step kids:

Be realistic: You can wish for things to be perfect, but chances are it won’t be. Be realistic and accept that things might proceed slowly. Understand and accept your challenges, and commit to connecting with each child. With time and effort, they will learn to accept, and even if not love, will learn to like you.

Give space: It’s easier to smoothen things with the younger ones. School-aged children, not so much. This is why it’s important to give kids space to acclimatize to the new changes, including you. Instead of pushing the child to form a relationship with you, give them the reins, allowing them to set the pace of the connection.

Communicate: Communication includes both talking and listening. Be transparent, open, and share your thoughts and feelings. This will give kids a chance to understand you and will help you build a rapport with them. Over time, they may feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and lives with you.

Include kids in all family discussions. It will allow them to share their thoughts and feedback, as all decisions impact them too. It can also help makes them feel included as a part of the new family.

Be original: Try not to take the place of their bio-parents. Talk to your step kids and help them understand that you are not looking to replace or compete with their parents. You can be their friend, or confidante, or play any role depending on the child’s needs.

Let Your Actions Talk: Help kids understand that you are committed to them and love them. Your actions can help them feel secure and confident in you. Follow through your promises, and ensure that you are there for the family as required, pickup-drop off, at school recitals and sports matches. It will always be the little actions that count.

Set Boundaries: Every family has its set of do’s and don’ts with regards to chores, routines, and behavior. You should set yours too. Collaborate with the children to decide on rules acceptable to all. Remind kids that as a family, you’re all bound to follow the rules formed and that some behaviors will not be accepted.

Find Interests: Find a common ground and share your love for it with your step kids. Be it sports, arts, cooking, or even crafts, share your love for the same to help them maintain a positive attitude. While building your relationship, remember to be genuine in your attempts as kids are more perceptive than we give them credit.

Connect with the bio-parent: Set aside your differences and compromise with the parent for your stepchild’s greater good. You all want what is best for the children, so why not work on it together? Be it for schedules, routines, or disciplinary methods, try to communicate and set consistent rules and boundaries to give each child more stability and to help them grow confidently.

Building a blended family is never too difficult. Being a stepparent to school-aged children is no different from being a parent. It both takes your time, effort, and unconditional love. And slowly, but surely, you will become friends with your step kids.

Author: Sarah Joseph:  An Occupational therapist, freelance content writer, and more importantly a stay-at-home mom, Sarah, like all other parents juggles her many roles. Her passion for writing combined with her professional expertise as an Occupational therapist (working with children with special needs) has helped her craft content specific to child health, wellness, and learning skills. At present, Sarah alternates her time between raising her two young children, and writing about what she knows best- children!

Top Safety Features Every Playground Must Have

Playground Safety

A playground is a promising setting for kids. It is known to offer emotional, social and physical benefits to all age groups. But it could soon turn into breeding grounds for injuries without proper planning and maintenance. This can influence parents’ willingness to take their children to the playground, since it will impact their perception of safety.

Most caregivers look for a whole range of features to ensure that kids are protected against unfortunate events during outdoor play.  They also want to feel confident that kids are protected at school when only a small number of supervisors are monitoring activities on school grounds.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that faulty structures and improper surfaces do not ruin the fun and create risky situations. The good news is that there are ample preventive measures that can minimize such hazards. They can make sure that community parks and school playgrounds are solely identified as places of adventure, joy and imagination.

Here’s what you can do as a responsible park authority or school administrator.

Safety Surfacing

An appropriate surface under equipment is a good way to reduce injuries due to falls. Pick materials that are certified to meet all applicable ASTM standards like F1951 and F1292. The best safe surfacing options include loose-fill solutions, engineered wood fiber, and loose-fill rubber, turf, bonded rubber and poured-in-place rubber. Kids might still get hurt but the injuries will not be as severe as a fall on to a concrete surface.

Shade Structures

Constantly playing under the sun can lead to a multitude of complications. The most common is sunburns. It can cause painful skin reactions due to ultraviolet (UV) light exposure and major damage like skin cancer over the years. Precautions should be taken to protect children from sunburn.  Wrinkles, premature skin ageing, itching and blisters are also possible. Kids can also experience weakness, confusion and faintness due to excessive sunlight exposure. Shade structures can come to the rescue. Pick from hip shades, sail shades, umbrella shades and cantilever shades, according to the existing style and theme of your playground.

Age-Appropriate Play

Separate areas are vital to accommodate children of different ages. A little one who has just learned to walk might not be able to cope with high-energy older kids. Pushes, pulls and clashes might end up hurting both groups. So, create separate enclosures. Consider investing in different play structures made for infants, toddlers and adolescents. These usually are designed with distinct colors, gears, heights and mirrors. They help to develop sensory and communication skills and achieve different childhood development goals.

Proper Lighting

Dark and isolated areas are good opportunities for crime. Consider bright lights to help parents monitor their children from a distance. Consider LED lamps and streetlamps. You can also consider high-intensity sports lights in urban parks. They can ensure safe play at night. Glow-in-the-dark lights are also ideal along trails. Well-lit playgrounds are safer and more appealing to parents.

Encourage caretakers to keep an eye on the children at all times. They must also notify the local ground operator about safety concerns as a means of preventing playground injuries. Further, children should not wear clothes with drawstrings and chords to avoid the risk of strangulation during play.

In Search of a Teaching Job? Discover Educational Companies that Hire for Online Teaching Jobs