Archive of ‘Children & Technology’ category

Stardew For Realz Homeschool Quest Series: Year 1 Spring 2016

StardewforrealzStardew For Realz Homeschooling Lesson Plan:  Year 1 Spring/June 2016  

Skill Highlights:

  • Solution Creating
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Applied Technology
  • Research
  • Reading & Writing


As a homeschooling parent, it often times takes ingenuity to spark your kid’s attention.  In setting upon this quest to be the main leader of my kid’s education, I’ve been looking upon lesson plans in a new light; from a different angle; a perspective outside of the box.  How do you apply mathematics, solution creating, computation and science all into one homeschooling project? Yep, my Geeky Moms friends, you’ve guessed it – by playing games like Star Dew Valley.  Now, taking this a step further, let’s step back into the real world and make our own farming adventure a real life lesson plan.

Which brings me to this new Geeky Moms’ series entitled “Stardew For Realz Homeschool Quests.”  Each week, I will post our updates on the types of activities and lesson plans built around Stardew Valley, real-world farming, computation, mathematics, solution creating, art, reading and science. (more…)

Homeschooling Activity – STEM: Will pumpkin boats float?

If you are familiar with STEM, then you know how much fun it can be for kids to put on their thinking caps, work as a team to tackle a question, and create a solution.  With this project, we had a bunch of little pumpkins left from Halloween and Thanksgiving, so the question came up:  can you make boats out of pumpkins?

The kids came up with the design, and added a sail with a straw and a piece of paper.  After the first test run, it was concluded that a stronger sail was needed for future designs.


Project Happiness

I just discovered the Project Happiness resources. As a parent, homeschooler, professor, and teacher this site is a gift! As a child who grew up shifted towards the negative, and feeling the heavy darkness, I always looked for ways to improve my life via my thoughts and emotions. At the time I was seen as a Pollyanna, but now the world is finally opening up to the wonderful truth – we are alive to feel joy and have fun. :)

Every educator should instill these techniques and help our youth rise up even farther than imagined.

$150 Tablet for Kids

TabeoHandheld No, its not from Apple.  Google missed this one too.  The toy retailer, Toys R Us announced the introduction of the Tabeo, a seven-inch, Android-powered tablet for kids that will cost $149.99. The device is aimed solely at younger users, complete with specialized browser controls, pre-loaded educational apps and a curated app store to give kids access to a limited number of programs.

The tablet will run a version of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and will have the ability to connect to the Internet over WiFi. The tablet will only be available from Toys “R” Us stores or the company’s Web site. It will go on sale Oct. 21. To keep it kid-proof, the tablet also has a lime-green bumper to go around the outside, which should protect it when “dropped from low heights or bumped into other objects.”

Parents can limit the amount of time their kids can spend online, set access for specific days of the week or hours of the day, and can get e-mail alerts if their kids find some way around the limitations.

LeapFrog shares fell dramatically after the announcement, as investors are worried how their handheld, kid-focused devices will be able to compete with tablets running Android. 

This item is primed to be a top seller this Christmas season. 

Best Apps & Games for Kids

The advancement of mobile gaming has grown phenomenally with the advent of the iOS and Android operating systems.  Kids are gaining familiarity with these programs from an even earlier age than the previous generation.  I run across families and friends with children between the ages of 1 and 8, asking to play on their parents’ phone a game, or watch a video.  It can be overwhelming for a parent to find age appropriate apps through the different markets.  These links offer the best apps and games out there.


Picking on Spongebob

A new study published by “Pediatrics” suggest that SpongeBob SquarePants may be bad for kids’ brains. Preschoolers who watch fast-paced shows like Spongebob have more trouble concentrating than other children. Researchers assigned 4 year olds to watch Spongebob or the slower-paced educational cartoon Caillou for nine minutes, or to draw freely with markers. Immediately after, the kids took mental function tests to see how well they solved problems, followed rules, and remembered what they were told, for example. SpongeBob viewers performed significantly worse than their peers. Only 15 percent passed the problem-solving task, for example, compared with 35 percent of Caillou viewers and 70 percent of those who spent time drawing. Fast-paced shows revolving around unrealistic events are likely detrimental because they overstimulate the brain, making it harder to maintain focus, plan, organize, and control inappropriate behaviors, the researchers speculate. "We don’t know how long this effect lasts," study author Angeline Lillard, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, told Bloomberg. "It may be that children recover quickly. Certainly, immediately after, there was a strong impact particularly on the most challenging tasks."

Nickelodeon disputed the study, saying the cartoon is geared towards 6 to 11 year old viewers.  The researchers did not test the children prior to the study, although they claim none of the children were diagnosed with attention problems. 

The message they are trying to make parents aware of is that viewing of content matters.  Watching television in the car on the way to school is probably not a good way to get them prepared for the day.

It seems logical that television viewing of any kind should be limited to small children.  The television has become a babysitter to a lot of parents, but as people become more aware of the adverse effects, this will change. 

Researchers should leave Spongebob alone.  Parents should limit all TV viewing, no matter what cartoon.

Check out Duck Carnage for Android

A friend of mine released a new Android game entitled Duck Carnage.  The game is similar to the old school Duck Hunt, but a lot more fun!  The game is a great stress reliever!  I’m not usually a shoot-em-up type of gal, but I enjoy taking these ducks out of the sky!  As you progress through the levels, the backgrounds become more realistic and you are able to purchase new weapons. 

A bonus for this game is your young boys and girls will really enjoy it.  I’ve had a hard time finding games that are simple and straight to the point for my young son.  When we are on a road trip, he’s constantly asking if he can play “shooting games” or “boy games.”  Duck Carnage has been a life saver for those trips!  The game also helps develop motor skills as they have to follow the ducks on the screen and press quickly in order to shoot them.  The sound effects are easy on the ears, but if you are really in a quiet spot, there are options to disable sound effects.

The name of the game is a little misleading – no real carnage takes place.  No blood or excessive violence, just fun cartoony play time.  Check out Duck Carnage now in the Android market.

Is Facebook Unhealthy for Your Children?

Is Facebook unhealthy for your children?  Larry Rosen, a psychologist at Cal State Dominguez Hills, thinks so.  He’s been studying the effects of technology on people for the past 25 years.  This time he’s turned to social networking and gaming among teenagers and children.  On Saturday, he made his case at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention in Washington, D.C.


Top 5 Games for Families in 2011

image 2011 is expected to be an awesome year for gaming.  Games have infused into our culture and its easy to understand why:  they are a stress-reliever.  Not only that, but with the Wii and Kinect from Xbox, they are becoming more interactive and good for the entire family.  Some of my best memories as a kid was when the family got together and played board games.  Even though the technology is much fancier, gaming together as a family offers the same results for your kids.


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