Why Your Kids Should Read eBooks

Why Your Kids Should Read eBooks

I have a confession. As techie as I am, I’m not fond of eBooks. Reading eBooks doesn’t seem natural to me. I’ve always loved books. The library is one of my favorite places in the world…all those choices of words and illustrations! And I’ve strived to pass that love of books onto my children with at-home shelves full of books and trips to the library. With the advent of eBooks, I’ve had to change my perception of “book”. I’ve considered what it is that I love about books.  Is it the rich language? The new worlds I enter? The characters I meet? The actual feel of holding a book? That smell of ink and paper? Or even the comfort of doing something I’ve done my … [Read more]

5 Ideas for Techie Family Fun

5 Ideas for Techie Family Fun

We’re a TaeKwonDo family, and the saying at our dojahng is “The family that kicks together, sticks together.” I’m stealing that line and altering it to “The family that clicks together, sticks together”. (Really nowadays it should start “The family that swipes together…” but all I could come up with as a rhyme is “…gripes together” and that totally goes against the point I’m trying to make.) My friend, how often do you hear people complain that technology isolates people? Comments about how when someone is staring at a screen they’re not interacting with the people around them…they’re in their own little cyber-world? I’ll admit that there’s potential for isolation, but that’s not how it has to be. We can combat that problem by teaching our … [Read more]

25 Apps for a Techie Family Game Time

25 Apps for a Techie Family Game Time

  People complain that technology isolates people, but I disagree. Yes, there’s potential for isolation, but we can combat that by teaching our kids healthy tech habits.  As the first generation of digital moms, we need to figure out ways to guide our kids towards healthy habits and attitudes about electronics usage. And one way to do this is offering screen time that brings families together. My girls have a blast playing multi-player apps. I like them using apps instead of board games because the multi-player apps… take up less space are more portable don’t have crucial pieces to lose are less expensive than board games. My daughters have discovered a few game multi-player apps they like. And being the geek I am, I went on a … [Read more]

An End to the Summer Screen Time Battle

An End to the Summer Screen Time Battle

Have you caught the conversations on social media about summer screentime….“How am I going to keep my kids from staring at a screen all summer long?” As always, many mommas are quick to offer advice, and many of them spoke about limiting screen time and dealing with their kids’ attitudes about electronics. I’m sure you’ve had a similar conversation in your home (and/or your head), probably feeling at a loss. We’re the first generation of moms who needs to figure this all out. [RELATED POST: A Mom’s Greatest Struggle in This Tech-Driven World] The screen time war is real, my friend, and you and I are on the front lines. But, honestly, I threw in the towel over a year ago and called a truce. We … [Read more]

The Homeschool Mom’s Guide: Using Social Media as a Learning Tool

The Homeschool Mom’s Guide: Using Social Media as a Learning Tool

Have you ever considered social media sites as learning tools? Is social media a part of your homeschool lesson plans?  You probably haven’t considered this because we are the first generation of digital immigrants raising digital natives. So it isn’t very natural for us to consider the multiple uses of online tools. But, it is second nature to our kids. And they learn differently than we did when we were their age. [Related Post: What Homeschoolers Don’t Know (& what they need)] I am one of those who believes that social media isn’t all that bad…if it is used properly.  Consider this….most people focus on the “social” aspect of social media.  It’s a way to connect and interact with others, and there is much debate … [Read more]

Why I Stopped Managing My Kids’ Screen Time

Why I Stopped Managing My Kids’ Screen Time

Let’s face it, moms. We (or at least most of us) don’t know the best way to handle our kids’ screen time. We are the first generation of moms raising digital natives. Our kids have the wide world web in their back pockets and can navigate on the computer and mobile devices like it’s nobody’s business. All this while we’re standing back, silently rationalizing whether they should spend so much time in front of a screen. [Related Post: A Mom’s Greatest Struggle in This Tech-Driven World] I’ve been through the gamut trying to come up with win-win tech rules for my family. Once upon a time, I micromanaged the use, complete with log sheets so that we were sure everyone got their allotted time on … [Read more]

What Are You Teaching Your Kids About Social Media?

What Are You Teaching Your Kids About Social Media?

Let’s talk about social media. For us parents, it’s a hot topic. We wonder, “Should I let my kids engage in social media? When? Is it safe? What if they see something they shouldn’t? What if they get addicted? What rules do I need to set?” The uncertainties go on and on. That’s because we are the first generation of digital moms who need to figure this out. We can’t ignore it. Social media and online relating are here to stay. If we do our job properly, our kids will one day leave our care and make decisions on their own. And, most likely, one of those decisions will be “I will use social media”. So, you’ve got a responsibility now. It is up to … [Read more]

The Homeschool Mom’s Guide: Using Online Images in Student Projects

The Homeschool Mom’s Guide: Using Online Images in Student Projects

Let’s face it, my friend. Our kids learn differently than we did at their age. They have access to all the information they need in their back pockets. They can run circles around us when it comes to navigating apps and computer programs. And they are bold about trying new learning webtools. [Related post: What Homeschoolers Don’t Know (& what they need] And here we are, digital immigrants, with the duty to guide our digital natives toward healthy media habits and productive tech usage. We need to teach them how to use technology appropriately and responsibly.  Now, you wouldn’t want your child to walk into an art gallery and steal a picture off the wall, would  you? I’m pretty confident that you would want them … [Read more]

What I Discovered on My Teen Daughter’s Pinterest

What I Discovered on My Teen Daughter’s Pinterest

Recent conversation with my 14-year-old… Me: “What are you working on, Sweetie?” Her: “Oh, I’m just on Pinterest.” Me: “Really? What are you doing?” Her: “Just getting ideas” Doubts that hit my brain…. “Again? She’s always on Pinterest.” “Should I let her be on so much?” “Is she being productive?” “Is this helping her grow?”   (These is the same “in-my-head” conversations I had when she was younger and always had her nose in a book.) We’ve been teaching our 5 daughters to develop healthy tech habits. [Read 5 Tips for Healthy Tech Habits in Your Family] So, I needed to trust her. I bit my tongue, walked away and prayed, asking God to work in Julia if she was developing unhealthy habits. I reminded myself of … [Read more]

Are Your Kids Wasting Time on Electronics? 3 Questions to Ask

Are Your Kids Wasting Time on Electronics? 3 Questions to Ask

Here we are, all home on a Sunday afternoon, most of us cozied up on the couch….and there are six screens glowing. Daddy’s researching products for a client, I’m writing a blog post, two girls are playing Minecraft together, two girls are watching YouTube and one girl is jamming to some tunes while she washes the dishes. Some people look at our family and think “They are on electronics all the time. They should be doing something more productive.” And, honestly, I think that myself sometimes and start doubting our unlimited tech time policy. But, my children are digital natives, and using electronic devices is a way of life for our family. We need to keep a balance between “plugged in” and “unplugged” time, helping the girls to … [Read more]