Posts Tagged “Back to School”

Comcast’s Internet Essentials Is the Biggest Back-To-School Tool For Low-Income Families

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Family Scholastic Adventures is thrilled to partner with Comcast regarding Internet Essentials for this back-to-school season. While this is a sponsored post, the thoughts, opinions and content expressed herein is strictly our own, as always.

 

Image courtesy of Comcast Xfinity

With summer vacations wrapping up and Back-To-School sales popping up, it is easy to get lost in the flood of 1st Day of School pics and 49₵ packs of crayon deals. Returning our kids to class comes as a barrage of emergency forms, health physicals, club selections, classroom supply lists and fundraisers. And while we are printing schedules, emailing teachers, downloading registration forms, selecting classes, setting reminders, browsing coupons and pinning lunchbox ideas, it is clear to see how essential the internet is for the rituals of returning our kiddos to school.

Toward the end of last school year, our household PC died… which meant I no longer had printing capability. Mind you, I still had my smart phone, a tablet AND my laptop… but in all my genius, I couldn’t figure out how to print from any of those to my household printer, which left me running back and forth between the library and community center just to print things like my resume or the summer camp registration form. And while I had full access to my email, research, job banks, social connections… those few months left me highly frustrated, feeling like I was at such a disadvantage. I can only ½ imagine how difficult it must be then, to not have home internet at all. Fortunately, for six million Americans, they no longer have that frustration thanks to Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which offers highly subsidized internet connectivity and laptop/PC’s to low-income families across Comcast’s footprint. That’s millions of families who now have access to all things internet… healthcare options, job boards, email, government websites, and news. Students gaining access to school sites, research, tutoring and academic enrichment. YOUTUBE!!! Seven years ago, Comcast established the Internet Essentials program, which was designed to close the digital gap for low income families. This program has enhanced the lives of school-age children, families, those receiving HUD housing assistance and, as of recently, veterans, marking Comcast’s 2nd largest eligibility expansion.

Image courtesy of Comcast Xfinity

Image courtesy of Comcast Xfinity

As we head into the new school season, think of the academic paths for those children who qualify for this program. David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Comcast calls us all to action by saying, “Awareness of this program is the secret sauce.” By visiting http://internetessentials.com to learn more about the program and by sharing this article and link… we can help make a true difference in the lives of neighbors, students, single-parents, , veterans and more.

Image courtesy of Comcast Xfinity

It was a great honor to meet and sit with Mr. Cohen as well as U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando to learn more of their partnership and aligned goals in working with Comcast’s Internet Essentials program. Having Monique and Jocelyne join David Cohen on a multi-city tour spreading awareness about Internet Essentials continues to drive home the twin’s collective message of “fighting for equality, in sports and life”, as stated by David Cohen during our media event.

There are millions of individuals, families and vets still without the same convenience of connectivity, the access to information we so readily have. Please share this information including the link to apply for this service at http://internetessentials.com/apply.
$9.95/ month plus tax for home internet service
No installation fee
No term contract
No credit check
Highly subsidized laptops/PC’s for purchase at affordable rates
Free learning resources (topics include online safety, employment resources, education)

Image courtesy of Comcast Xfinity

With such an amazing platform and mission, it is of no surprise that over 3,000 Comcast employees and counting have joined together to serve as volunteer Internet Essentials Ambassadors. During a recent Ambassador’s Appreciation employee event, four ambitious and dedicated ambassadors were honored for their excellence in spreading awareness and helping their local communities take advantage of the program. In honor of their recognition, they each received 10 laptops (along with 6 months of free Internet Essentials access) to distribute within their own local communities. While the ambassador program as it stands today is made up of Comcast employees, we can each be local contributors by raising awareness, sharing the link, and requesting the free printed materials to distribute within our own communities at no cost and with no shipping fees. It’s almost an unofficial extension of the ambassador program, whereby we can make a big difference in our small communities.

Image courtesy of Comcast Xfinity

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Walls & Warriors Connect Strategic Thinking with Literacy

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Connecting Critical Thinking skills and Literacy

We love when a game ties critical thinking skills to a love of reading or a topic a child is passionate about.

Thank you SmartGamesUS for providing us a review copy of Walls & Warriors. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Connecting Critical Thinking with Literacy

Back to school is in full force and in the spirit of things – we’ve found the perfect pair for connecting strategic thinking skills with literacy. Another SmartGamesUS puzzle game, Walls & Warriors, (coming soon) with knights and a castle is perfect for our adventure stories of knights and midevil times. Victoria was fascinated to learn that castles truly exist and aren’t just “part of the story”. We love the book  I Wonder Why Castles Had Moats by Philip Steele that showcases the inside of a castle… including the ever-famous bathroom. What really went on behind those stone walls? It is a great resource for bringing fantasy and history together. And as long as we’re talking castles and all… be sure to check out SmartGamesUS’ Castle Logix game as well.

walls-warriors-2

Couple the Walls & Warriors puzzle game with fictional stories about knights, such as The Barefoot Book of Knights by John Matthews. Children won’t realize that they are exercising their critical thinking skills while playing the game, especially if listening to the narrated version of the stories or chatting about them should you have had your reading time prior to game play. Either way… take the theme to a whole new level and completely amp up the educational value of these resources when paired together.

knights

Below you can see that the puzzle is appropriate for varying ages with 60 challenge cards, multiple knights (blue and red) and a single castle to defend. There are four wall pieces used to enclose any number of the blue knights (based on the challenge card layout) and the castle. The first few are pretty simple, even for Victoria (age 6) but they do get more challenging. I think everyone in the family has picked up this game on their own to play… something about the pieces and design that is enticing. LOL SmartGamesUS nailed it on this one.

walls-warriors

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Back To School with a Classic Tale: Little Red Riding Hood

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#Sponsored review post, where we received a sample copy of Little Red Riding Hood puzzle game by Smart Games in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links may be contained in this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.

Little Red Profile PicFamiliar & Fun – Start your school year off with a beloved family favorite such as Little Red Riding Hood.  There are many versions available, so find the most suited one for your family or select a couple to compare.

Enhance your storytime with an indoor or outdoor picnic.

Packing a picnic theme:

1. Select a picnic basket with with a red blanket and/or napkins, of course. Perhaps even a few delectable bites in the reddish hue like cherries, red apples, red peppers and strawberries.

Little Red picnic basket

2. Pack the Little Red Riding Hood story (or stories). We’ve chosen the Barefoot Books’ Little Red Riding Hood told by Lari Don and narrated by Imelda Staunton.

Little Red Riding Hood Book

3. Bring along a couple of coloring pages or super simple crafts

Here are a couple of really cute ones that are easy to pull off:

Paper plate Little Red

Paper bag Wolf

Little Red Riding Hood Story Finger Puppets

Red Hooded Lollipops

4. Don’t forget the Smart GamesLittle Red Riding Hood puzzle game.

Little Red Riding Hood Picture Book PuzzleThis game comes with 48 challenges (24 with the wolf and 24 without the wolf accompanying Little Red). The goal is to build the path from Little Red to Granny’s house using the puzzle pieces. The challenges get harder as players advance from Starter to Expert. This deluxe puzzle set comes with a picture book of Little Red Riding Hood and has won the 2016 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids award.

Little Red Riding Hood 2

Little Red Riding Hood

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Coping with Bad Days at School

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Afterschool parenting advice: How to Help your child cope with a bad day at school

Afterschool parenting advice: How to Help your child cope with a bad day at school

What’s the best part of your day? For me being third in line for the pick up car pool and anticipating the much awaited squeals of “Mammmmma” as my child runs full speed, with arms spread wide for my embrace. Yeah, that’s the moment. My heart melts every time.

Only today was different.

Where were the bouncing curls of happiness?

Pickup lines being what they are, you scurry to pop your child in their seat, buckle and drive off. When it became evident that today’s less than enthusiastic greeting was truly weighing on her, I asked if she needed a hug… and pulled over. I unbuckled my munchkin and embraced her. She told me the few things that were bothering her, included getting in trouble with the teacher.  She was sorry. Now keep in mind that I had not seen the teacher, hadn’t received a call nor had the opportunity to read her behavior chart for any clues. Afterschool parenting advice: How to Help your child cope with a bad day at schoolStill, I knew my child deserved a hug, as bad days happen for all of us.

When I received the note regarding her behavior, I briefly explained to her that she broke a classroom rule and disrespected her teacher, actions that are not appropriate or tolerated. Having taken the moment earlier to embrace my daughter’s emotions, it defused any potential of my overreacting as an initial response to the teacher’s note. It also helped that my daughter immediately picked up a piece of paper and asked how to spell “sorry”. Clearly her heart was in the right place and she acknowledged her wrong-doing.

Bad days can creep into anyone’s week. We’ve all had bads day on the job, and if we came home to criticism, anger or that infamous “why did you ___?” we would shut down or shout out. Neither exactly ideal for putting a terrible day behind you and making the most of the evening. Children aren’t immune to this. Sure, behavior issues must be dealt with and understood but compassion and reason go a long, long way.

It is important to stress to our children that rotten days are normal and in fact expected from time to time, sometimes for no reason at all. It may also be helpful to point out a recent bad day example of your own. Also, please distinguish between a semi-bad day and a completely rotten day… there are different variables and different levels to crappy days. Still all normal and a necessary evil to child development.

Allow your child some space. We all need breathing room. Especially if your child has expected that you are going to be furious. Accidents, misunderstandings, forgetfulness, embarrassment… we have bad days for a variety of reasons. Regardless, our children need and deserve:
Respect – Understanding – Patience – Acceptance

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