Category Archives: good to know

Summer Brain Drain…Summer Slide… (whatever you call it)…how to stop it

capability mom ten marksWe are just into the last month of summer – long, hot days at the beach or pool, still some summer camp and here in the NorthEast, we don’t start school until after Labor Day and, even if your children don’t agree, they are losing some math skills. How do I know this? Because I read about an on-line math tutoring program called Ten Marks the other day and it got me thinking…hush, it happens.

From an article in Boston.com: In a study released in June, the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that students typically lose one to two months of reading and math skills during summer break, and that teachers often spend up to six weeks reviewing topics already covered. Yikes.

Here is a link to a nicely formatted page that highlights the research from the National Association for Summer Learning (yes, there is such a thing).

So I have a math packet for one child (courtesy of her teacher) and she has been faithfully working at it but I do need to give a boost to my younger child in fractions. I contacted TenMarks and the company, a local (Newton) based organization let me try it (so I could write about it here) but even the demo (take a test drive) on the site is nice and a good representation of the program.

So here is what happened –

I got an email with sign-in information and telling me (the parent) about the weekly lessons. My children (who are both solid math students but not making up math problem sets for each other on long car rides – okay, or anywhere else) found the site easy to navigate and easy to work on the topics they wanted (er, I wanted them) to highlight.

Both logged on with a code scribbled on piece of paper (I, lazy summer mom, gave them the codes to get into the site and did not help, I mean, hover) and both were able to finish the worksheets with relative ease (meaning the problems were not out of their knowledge base but challenging).

Here is why I like it – If a problem is confusing, there are helpful hints and if the student is still stuck, there is a video that walks through the problem.  An interesting part of the program allows the student to go back over their work and get all the problems right – good reinforcement of the math concepts and nice (for the confidence) to get all 10 out of 10 problems correct.

As far as confidence and competency and math – it is obviously important for everyone but it has been shown that girls self-select out of math (even if they are good at it) in the upper elementary grades (source – here) and that 50% of all jobs are math-based – I don’t know where I got that statistic but here are some cool jobs that need math). Now I do not care if they don’t want to be math majors in college, but I do care if they limit their options in general.

TenMarks is running a special summer package now and click here to find out more about it and stop the brain drain, well, at least for the children. No promises for parents.

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Filed under Books and More, family Activities, Feed your head, soul, self, good to know, math games, Parents and Kids

Two great articles in The Boston Globe on how to live a healthier life

The first article that caught my eye was on the editorial page by Christof Westphal and is called A simple, hard lesson to long life. It  is well-written and so motivating that I stopped reading mid-column and joined my walking group this morning – before I had even had my cup of tea and I really, really like my cup of tea.

The second article was in my favorite section of  The Globe, the mini-magazine section called G. It has local events, theater, movies, exhibits and great articles and, of course, the comics. Basically the old Living section but re-imagined – often the front page has super creative graphics, too. It was in the section Be Well : Research on Diseases and Prevention and is titled Physical activity’s after-effects.

So get out there and walk, run, cycle – it is all good. Here is another good article (from MinnPost.com) as a shout out to my Walking Group.



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Filed under Creative outlets, family Activities, good to know, mom blogs

Recall : Shrek glasses from McDonald's contain cadmium

Recall of the Shrek glasses at McDonald’s from The Huffington Post – 12 million cadmium tainted glasses have been recalled. The company’s website provides this link for more information http://www.mcdonalds.com/glasses

recall of mcdonalds shrek glasses

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Recall : Shrek glasses from McDonald’s contain cadmium

Recall of the Shrek glasses at McDonald’s from The Huffington Post – 12 million cadmium tainted glasses have been recalled. The company’s website provides this link for more information http://www.mcdonalds.com/glasses

recall of mcdonalds shrek glasses

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How do you feel about math? Good, iffy, hate it so much you don't want to read this?

× ¼∫ −³  ∞ √ ≈ ≠ ∏ ≡ ≥ ≤ ¹

Did you know that fifty percent of available jobs are math based? Well, it’s true. So if you  – or your children –  are closed off to thinking you are good at math, well, you do the math. That’s a lot of missed opportunity.

Before you think I am getting all preachy,  I am only slightly math-phobic  – sorry, Dad, but it’s not like that is news – I am having a flashback to a dining room table and not understanding the “engineer’s way”of solving a problem and tears, mine, possibly Dad’s.

Having said that I am committed to my children not having the same experience with math so I found the most amazing tutor on the planet. First, she is sweet and kind and really pretty (like Disney princess pretty but with a killer math brain and a great sense of humor) and has helped both of my children with math where I could not.

So just because I do not care for math, I have been able to break the cycle and both of my children are terrific in math. The new links in the sidebar are all from the amazing tutor and  I am completely stealing Pragmatic Mom’s idea of having math site links on her site – Feel free to take some of these,  Pragmatic Mom and everyone else, enjoy – they are really fun sites.

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Filed under family Activities, Feed your head, soul, self, for kids, good to know, math games

How do you feel about math? Good, iffy, hate it so much you don’t want to read this?

× ¼∫ −³  ∞ √ ≈ ≠ ∏ ≡ ≥ ≤ ¹

Did you know that fifty percent of available jobs are math based? Well, it’s true. So if you  – or your children –  are closed off to thinking you are good at math, well, you do the math. That’s a lot of missed opportunity.

Before you think I am getting all preachy,  I am only slightly math-phobic  – sorry, Dad, but it’s not like that is news – I am having a flashback to a dining room table and not understanding the “engineer’s way”of solving a problem and tears, mine, possibly Dad’s.

Having said that I am committed to my children not having the same experience with math so I found the most amazing tutor on the planet. First, she is sweet and kind and really pretty (like Disney princess pretty but with a killer math brain and a great sense of humor) and has helped both of my children with math where I could not.

So just because I do not care for math, I have been able to break the cycle and both of my children are terrific in math. The new links in the sidebar are all from the amazing tutor and  I am completely stealing Pragmatic Mom’s idea of having math site links on her site – Feel free to take some of these,  Pragmatic Mom and everyone else, enjoy – they are really fun sites.

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Filed under family Activities, Feed your head, soul, self, for kids, good to know, math games

Safety first

 
tire information
Check the DOT number

Okay, I worry quite a bit mostly about things I can’t do anything about but generally I am not an alarmist.  However, given the news on auto safety lately, it is important to be informed.  Here is something I can do something about.  I was shocked to find out that there are  new tires being sold that do not meet safety standards because of the age of the tires.  This 20/20 report on ABC News was sent to me and I hope you check out your tires now.  I would post more – maybe about the runaway car – but I am going to check my own tires. 

Aged Tires: A Driving Hazard? – ABC News.

Since I am all auto today, here is the runaway Toyota Prius story –

Prius With Stuck Accelerator Glides to Safe Stop – ABC News.

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