September 21, 2017

Does Educational Screen Time Affect Your Kid’s Learning?

In this day and age of modern technology where gadgets and tablets are commonly used by adults and even kids, many parents set rules and restrictions in their kid’s screen time as it has an impact on child education. According to AAP (American Association of Pediatrics), toddlers should avoid watching television or using any kind of mobile devices. As for older kids, they should not exceed two hours of screen time on a given day.

Since kids are not physically active while on their smartphones or TV, it can lead to obesity and other social and psychological concerns. This sedentary lifestyle among kids affects their physical education and social skill set. More screen time also means less or even no time for interaction with other kids, affecting the learning process of children.

Some may argue that there are numerous apps and shows that promote good values and can aid in child education. But you will notice that kids nowadays spend a lot of time on their gadgets and TV. Do parents even manage their kids’ screen time? How can they be sure that their kids learn a lot from watching TV or using their smartphones?

Parents want only the best for their kids. Many invest in an education savings plan as soon as possible to ensure that their kids will have the best quality education possible. But if the use of TV and gadgets is inevitable, it is up to the parents to enforce some ground rules when it comes to screen time.

Here are some suggestions on how to manage your kid’s screen time:

  • Don’t use devices with screens as a diversion.
  • Come up with creative games so they’ll be motivated to play outside.
  • Set time to use screen devices. Two hours a day isn’t bad at all. Just be tough in implementing this rule.
  • Make sure that the rule applies to every member of the household.
  • Supervise your kids’ usage of mobile devices. Check the sites that they’re visiting.
  • Screen time for kids aged two years and below is a no-no.
  • Set a “NO SCREEN TIME DAY” every week.
  • Watch television together so you can monitor what they’re watching.
  • Do not put a television in your kid’s bedroom.

Screen time can be beneficial to your kid’s learning, but what we’re trying to avoid is too much screen time that other aspects of growth and development are affected.

Do you think the amount of educational screen time affects child education? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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6 Ways to Learn New Skills for Free Online

Child education is one of the priorities of many Australian families. Of course, we want to give our children the best education possible to gain knowledge and learn skills in preparation for their future. Since it can be very expensive, it has always been said to get an education savings plan as soon as possible to aid in education-related expenses later on.

Aside from going to school, there are other ways to learn new skills without paying a lot. In some cases, you can learn for free. Just do some research online and you’ll find a multitude of courses that will greatly help you in either learning a new skill or further honing your current skill set for career advancement. Children and adults alike can benefit from various online courses. The best part is, you don’t have to shell out money. Here are six of them:

  1. YouTube – This video platform has become a great source of online tutorials on just about anything. Visit YouTube EDU which has a wide range of educational videos that students can use to help them in their lessons.
  2. Codeacademy – If your child shows interest in coding, check out Codeacademy. There are so many jobs that require coding knowledge, and this online platform can greatly help those who want to learn how to code.
  3. Investopedia – Want to join the world of trading and stocks? Investopedia may be beneficial for you. It is designed to educate people about investing and personal finance.
  4. Khan Academy – Not all of us are avid readers, so if you prefer watching educational videos over reading books, then this site is for you. It offers video lessons on a wide range of subjects.
  5. MeetUp – Learn a new skill from other professionals by expanding your network with MeetUp.com. It focuses on connecting like-minded individuals in a particular area. This is a great venue to meet new people and discuss topics that are within your area of expertise or even outside of your field.
  6. Udacity – If you’re into computer science, this digital university is for you. It provides free five-minute video lectures. There are no textbooks but the videos come with assignments and quizzes. Udacity also has an online forum so students can work together or collaborate on different projects.

Do you have other tips on child education and how to learn new skills for free online? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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Top 10 Online Apps to Teach Your Child how to Read

Parenting encompasses all aspects of your child’s life. Whether it’s playing, eating, personal hygiene, interacting with others, and learning new skills, parents need to teach and guide their kids on how to do everything properly. One of these important aspects is learning how to read, and parenting is crucial to ensure that your child will be able to learn more effectively.

Technological advancements in Australia have made it possible for learning to be more convenient. While some parents frown when they see kids who are always using smartphones and tablets, you can use these gadgets to teach your child how to read through online apps. More than just games and social media platforms, there is a huge selection of apps designed to make learning and even parenting more fun and enjoyable.

In this article, we’ve rounded up great online apps that you can download and use to teach your child not only how to read but also skills in writing, science, and mathematics:

ABC Reading Eggs

Kids can learn skills in spelling, vocabulary, and proofreading with this learning app. Since it was developed by an Australian primary educator named Del Merrick, it focuses on Australian spelling as opposed to American spelling available in other apps. Reading Eggs is commonly used in Australian schools.

Bookworm

This learning app focuses on spelling and vocabulary wherein children need to link letters to form words.

Britannica Kids

Make the reading experience more fun and interactive with this online app that covers a wide range of topics and areas of interest. Kids will learn how to read and enjoy the activity with images, videos, and games.

iWriteWords

In this learning app, kids will enjoy writing letters and numbers, as well as simple words.

Endless Alphabet

Puzzles and animations in this online app make learning the alphabet and building vocabulary a lot more fun for children.

Toontastic

This online app is ideal for kids who love storytelling. It involves a puppet show that enables children to create a story and share it in a creative way.

StoryKit

This is another storytelling online app wherein kids can create their own stories and books from scratch. It likewise enables children to make changes such as editing and adding audio to several picture books.

Interactive Telling Time

Learning how to tell time is important, and this online app can help kids to know what time it is through fun animations and sounds. There are also difficulty levels to suit children up to 12 years old.

Quick Math

Teach kids how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide the fun way with this learning app. It has a feature that allows you to monitor their progress as they learn basic operations even up to pre-algebra topics.

Aesops Quest

Are your kids fond of puzzles and storytelling? Consider this learning app that involves remembering the various elements of a story to finish a level that comes with a puzzle.

Do you know other online apps that can help children to learn how to read in Australia? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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4 Ways to Save Money for Your Children’s Education

Parents want only the best for their children. This includes having the best education possible. However, it can be really costly. Even if you do not plan to send your kids to a private school, the expenses on a public school easily add up. Books, supplies, uniforms, field trips, and school activities are just some of the school-related costs that you will deal with. Eventually, education costs will get a big chunk of your income.

But don’t be discouraged. You can send your kids to school without having to live paycheck to paycheck. Here are five ways to save for higher education:

Know how much money you need.

It’s always necessary to have a goal when planning parenting payment. In this case, work out how much money you need for your kids’ higher education. Consider factors such as whether you want them to go to a public or private school. The cost of studying in a university or college also varies so make sure to take this into account.

Pay off your mortgage. 

With mortgage payments out of the way, you can save a lot on interest and a lot more money for your children’s higher education. Just ensure that there’s a redraw facility so you can get cash whenever you need to pay for school fees.  

Save early and regularly.

Education is an investment, and as with other investments, time will work on your side. One of the best child’s education savings tips is to start saving as soon as the child is born. If this is not possible, the best time to save for higher education is now. At the beginning, you can set aside even a small amount, as long as you can do it on a regular basis. Over time, you can increase the amount to cover inflation rates.

Make your money work for you. 

Building up your savings in a bank account is good, but to it’s never too early to visit a financial planner for advice about your goals, and if certain investment products are right for your situation. In the long run, you can get higher returns that you can spend for your children’s higher education. Consider getting financial advice from a professional to better understand the gains and risks involved.  

These are just some of the ways to save for higher education. Bear in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s all about your kids’ future so it wouldn’t hurt to spend some time in looking at your options and see which will work best for your situation.

Do you know other higher education savings tips? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

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