As some of you may know, I’m About.com’s expert on military families. Here are the latest articles:
As some of you may know, I’m About.com’s expert on military families. Here are the latest articles:
We all love summer vacation. And why not? For kids, it’s a long, long break from projects, homework, and essays. And for parents, it’s an equally long break from having to bug the kids to do all of those things. But there’s a downside to all that time away from school, and it’s sometimes called the “summer brain drain.” On average, kids lose from one to three months of learning between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. And teachers have to spend the first month or two of the new school year getting the kids up to speed on everything they’d learned the year before.
For me—and many other parents—avoiding the brain drain is a top priority. But so is giving the kids (and maybe ourselves) a little down time. The challenge, then, is to find activities that keep the mind active but are so fun that no one realizes that they’re actually learning something. In my family, that often means field trips. Lots of ‘em. Some last only a few hours, some a few weeks.
Over the years, we’ve spend incredible amounts of time at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, Chabot Space and Science Center, the Exploratorium, Zeum, the California Academy of Sciences, the Randall Museum, the DeYoung, MOMA, and many of the dozens of lesser-known museums around the San Francisco Bay Area, featuring collections of Pez, tattoos, banned toys, mummies, pinball machines, modern art, cable cars, and cartoons.
Unfortunately, most adults can’t take off the entire summer to hang with the kids. Someone’s got to put food on the table and shoes on everyone’s feet and we don’t want to just leave the kids to fend for themselves. In most cases, that means finding camps that are both fun and educationally engaging. Oh, and is a little convenience for mom and dad too much to ask for? My kids have done day camps and sleep away camps, science camps, sports camps, boating camps, tech camps, and pretty much any other kind of camp you can think of.
One of our favorites has always been the Galileo camps, which have it all: convenience, education, fun, if you visit their website now you can save $30 per camper (sign up for their newsletter and you can win an expense-paid week at the camp of your choice). When my kids went to Galileo camps, they did art, science, and plenty of outdoors activities. I always loved that when I’d pick them up in the afternoon, they were usually filthy, exhausted, smiling, and full of stories about some cool thing they’d learned that day. The experiences they have at Galileo will last a lifetime. My older two kids (now 24 and 21) still remember the words to some of the songs they learned at Galileo—including one that involved a rubber chicken. I’ve never quite understood that one.
If you’re in the greater SF Bay Area, you can—and should!—make Galileo a part of your family’s history. Your children will get engrossed in art projects, science challenges and outdoor activities that will make them laugh, think and express themselves with complete freedom.
For kids pre-K through 4th grade, Galileo has more than 25 camps around the Bay Area (see the full list here). Every year, Galileo introduces rich, riveting new themes to inspire budding innovators. Each theme combines art, science and outdoor activities around a whimsical week-long narrative that’s crafted to keep kids giggling and engaged. This year features four fresh themes, each adapted for three different age groups. The themes are created together with Galileo’s fabulous curriculum partners at Klutz, The de Young Museum, The Tech Museum of Innovation and The Chabot Space & Science Center.
And for 5th-8th graders, there are 18 camps, called Summer Quest (see the complete list here). Summer Questers pick from 18 week-long “majors,” including digital filmmaking, video game design, fashion design, inventors workshop, chemistry, and cooking. Call it (as the camp does) “an incubator for emerging innovators.” If that doesn’t make you want to be a kid again, not much will.
Concerned about the staff (you’d be crazy not to be)? Here’s what Galileo says about that. And I can add that in my experience, they do exactly what they say they’re going to do: “Our curriculum team spends thousands of hours developing creatively fertile themes, activities and majors. We interview thousands of applicants to find the most talented counselors and instructors. We combine those two essential elements to introduce kids to a third—an innovation process inspired by the one developed at the Stanford d.school.”
If you sign your camper for any of the Galileo camps by May 31, you can save $30 per camper by using the code 2014INNOVATION. And if you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win a free week of summer camp.
Images and video provided by Galileo camps.
As the father of three daughters, I support Sheryl Sandberg’s message that girls can lead. But I don’t support her other messages: First, it’s okay to use half-truths, twisted data, inaccurate and outdated information, and outright lies to get what you want. Second, women and girls aren’t smart enough to make their own life choices. Third, you don’t need to work hard to achieve success—the world owes you something just because you’re female.
Here are just a few examples.
Sandberg wants “equality” in the workplace, and drags out the old canard that there’s a male/female pay gap—and that that gap is the result of discrimination against women. The truth? Yes, the total amount of money earned by men is greater than the total earned by women. But that is largely a function of the different choices men and women make. Men put in about 50% more hours at work than women and, more importantly, men dominate in fields where there is less flexibility, more danger, and higher salaries, while women dominate in fields that offer more flexibility and, unfortunately, less income.
So, Sheryl, how much workplace equality do you really want? Ninety-five percent of people who die on the job are men. And two thirds of the unemployed are men. Where’s the outrage, Sheryl? Do you really want equal representation for males and females?
When writer Teresa Ambord’s sister returned to college at 50, the experience was nothing like the first time around. As Ambord details in her article for go60.us, her sister was constantly mistaken for a teacher and found it frustrating to be the one fellow students looked to for all the answers — especially since she felt as lost as her younger classmates. When you’re returning to college in your golden years with new-found knowledge on current technology, some back-to-school challenges can be diminished if not eliminated altogether.
If you don’t know where to begin to find an online college offering the courses you’re interested in, try an online resource such as http://www.collegeonline.org. Just enter the degree you want in the field of your choice along with a subject to further narrow the scope, and these sites will match you up with the online colleges that fit best with your needs. Continuing your education online can be easier and more convenient than heading to campus, but there will still be challenges. The jargon might be new to you. Before you enroll and start filling up your class schedule with online courses, familiarize yourself with online college terms to make the transition smooth.
The ANGEL—not an ethereal, heavenly creature—colleges are talking about can be considered a blessing to nontraditional and conventional students alike. The acronym signifies “A New Global Environment for Learning.” Essentially, it’s the system your college has in place through which you’ll access your online courses. Different colleges use different systems, so the ANGEL system, or portal, you must learn to navigate could go by any name. Education Dive says Blackboard is the most common Learning Management System, but your college may use another system such as Moodle, GoingOn or Sakai.
Online courses rely on virtual means to connect students with the instructor and each other. When you take online classes, your instructor will direct you to the forum or discussion board on your college’s website to participate in dialogue that would normally take place in a classroom. There, you can read other students’ questions and comments, post some of your own and see what the instructor’s responses. Learning the college lingo will certainly help your understanding. They’re typically not real-time, like chat rooms are, so you will have to check back periodically to catch up on the discussion and find answers to questions you’ve asked.
Many of the classes you need for your degree might be online classes, but if some are hybrid courses, be prepared to show your face in class from time to time. Hybrid courses combine the face-to-face interactions of normal classes with the flexibility online courses offer. That means you’ll have to attend a class on-campus from time to time, as well as access your course content online.
Not to be confused with online and hybrid courses, web-assisted courses rely least on the online aspect. Web-assisted courses are characterized by regular classroom activity and lectures, using the university’s web-based system for occasional information such as accessing notes, the syllabus or evaluations.
Developmental classes help you brush up on certain skills. These preparatory courses increase your chances of success in college by developing basic skills you’d like to improve such as grammar, writing or reading.
I recently had a virtual cup of coffee with Carmine Dapice, who has created a book and included workbook called “Let’s Rhyme With Time”. Carmine believes kids are losing their ability to tell time on standard clocks and watches, and hopes that parents and teachers decide to take a stand against that. The pages of […]
Have you heard of SafariHub, an exciting new London-based online travel agency that specializes in the East African region? My guess is that you haven’t–but if you love to travel with your family, it’s one you should know about. This exciting new company will offer clients an unusual range of activities including tailor made family […]