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Holiday Books for Children

Photo Credit : Annie Spratt via Unsplash

The holidays are great. There’s time spent with family, and for many people, time away from work. For school-age children, there’s lots and lots of time away from school. It can be a challenge to fill all those free hours with productive activities. One of the ways you can use this time is to reinforce your children’s reading habits with books that are fun and relevant for the holidays. Here are a few that offer some great lessons for this time of year.

My Two Holidays: A Hanukkah and Christmas Story

During any time of year, it can be difficult for children who have different backgrounds and traditions than their friends. But especially during the holidays, it’s sometimes hard for children to explain and understand why their family’s traditions may be different than everyone else’s. In this book, a little boy learns to appreciate having a family that participates in multiple traditions. Over the course of the book he finds a way to help his friends appreciate this, too.

My First Kwanzaa

This is a book for beginning readers to learn about celebration of Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday that falls during the Christmas season in the United States. It uses Swahili principles to celebrate family and community during a seven-day period each year. This year, Kwanzaa begins on December 26th and ends on January 1st. The book explains all of the principles of family and community that comprise the seven days of Kwanzaa. It tells the story of how one little girl’s family recognizes the holiday and spends time together during their favorite time of year.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This is a classic Christmas story that parents and children can enjoy together. It tells the story of the Grinch, a cranky character who lives outside the tiny town of Whoville. The people of Whoville just adore their Christmas celebrations and go all out every year decorating and singing songs. When the Grinch decides to steal their Christmas joy, he sets off on an adventure that leads him to learn a warm lesson about the spirit of the holidays.

Construction Site on Christmas Night

This one is a straightforward feel-good story that connects with children’s imaginations to tell a story about friendship. Sherry Dusky Rinker has added this holiday story to her best-selling Construction Site collection to teach an important message about helping others during the holidays. Parents and children can both enjoy this wonderfully illustrated and rhythmically narrated book about forklifts helping their firetruck friends during the most wonderful time of the year.

There are a number of books that children can enjoy during the holidays. And many are written so that young readers can handle them on their own. Whether you’re picking a book to challenge a beginning reader, or selecting something to read together, a trip to your local bookstore can be a great way to keep curious minds occupied during the winter holidays.

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Rubik's Cube Gift

Photo Credit : NeONBRAND via Unsplash

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the joy of giving gifts to friends and loved ones. For kids, this often means lots of new toys. But there are other gifts that kids can enjoy and that can also teach valuable skills. By gifting thoughtfully this holiday season, you can offer the children on your gift list valuable lessons along with hours of fun. Here are some ideas.

Puzzle books

Much like building blocks, puzzle books provide lots of options for fun and games in a small inexpensive package. You can find collections of puzzles that range from Sudoku to mazes to brain teasers of all kinds. And they come in different levels for kids and adults of all ages. You can give simple connect-the-dots books to very young children, or more challenging puzzles and logic problems to older children. The beauty of these books is that one book can contain dozens of different puzzles to occupy a curious mind.

3-D Puzzles

Everyone loves a good jigsaw puzzle. But if you want to provide a more interesting challenge, 3-D puzzles are a great chance to practice spatial reasoning skills in a fun and exciting way. The classic example of a 3-D puzzle is the Rubic’s Cube. Though most of us will never quite master this old-school puzzle, there are lots of new spins on the concept that offer varying levels of difficulty. You can buy 3-D puzzles with just a few pieces, or more complex ones that have to be completely disassembled and put back together. Either way, these new-age puzzles are a stimulating and challenging upgrade on the beloved classic.

Music lessons

This one is a little less conventional, but very versatile. Is there an instrument your child would like to learn to play? If you have a son who wants to play guitar, or a daughter who’d like to play drums, music lessons are an excellent investment. Learning to play an instrument has all sorts of benefits for brain development and reasoning skills. And learning a new skill can open up all sorts of future opportunities. If someday your son or daughter wants to join the school band or even start of band of their own, they’ll be well on their way to mastering the skills they need.

Book series

A great way to encourage reading is to introduce your children to a book series that they can get invested in and follow for a long time. Whether it’s young adult drama, science fiction, fantasy, or mystery, a good series holds a reader’s attention for years at a time. This ensures that your young reader will always have something they’re looking forward to reading. Then, as they wait for the next installment of their favorite series, you can introduce them to similar options to keep them occupied. This is how finding a good series can pay off with a love of reading that lasts for years.

Of course, there are lots of other educational gifts that you can give the children in your life. If you know a child who’s interested in science, microscopes and telescopes make great gifts. Perhaps you know a young person who loves to dance and would appreciate dance lessons. The possibilities are endless. The trick is to think beyond the usual list of toys and gadgets to give something that will genuinely enhance the lives of a child in the months and years to come.

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How To Teach Persistence

At some point, every student finds a subject, an activity, or a situation that they no longer want to continue. It could be the new book they have been assigned in class or maybe the algebra problems they were sent home with. Maybe it’s a sport or musical activity. But we can’t let them simply quit. This is their education and it's too important. A little persistence can go a long way, but how you can get your middle or high school student to understand that and put it to good use?

Don’t Rush to the Rescue

As parents, it is difficult to see our children struggling, no matter what it is. And often times we find it tempting to come to their rescue and make it all better. However, that doesn’t teach them persistence. We all learn by trial and error. That means we have to give them a chance to fail and succeed on their own.

So instead of doing it for them, work through it together and ask them to do the thinking. If they never learn to do it on their own, they will never be able to solve their own problems. Life, in general, isn’t always fair or easy. Letting them work through these situations will teach them to persevere even if life isn’t being gentle.

Don’t Rush to the Rescue

Talk About it

Sometimes the best way to help them understand is to just talk about it with them. Hearing about the importance of persistence often can greatly benefit your child. If they are constantly hearing phrases such as, “I can do it,” “I won’t quit,” or “It’s always hardest the first time,” it’s much easier for them face problems with your positive voice in their heads. You might think of a family persistence mantra to say often, such as “Mistakes won’t get us down.”

Give them a Gentle Nudge

Pushing your child can be difficult for both parents and children, but it can make a world of difference. As creatures of habit, many of us, including our students, tend to stay in our comfort zone without straying too far. However, you can help your child by pushing them to try just a little harder, practice a little longer, and make it a little more challenging.

The key is to not push too hard or make expectations too great. A child will easily get discouraged and the lesson will be lost to them if are never able to reach your goals. A simple kitchen timer can work wonders here. For example, instead of only practicing their band instrument for 10 minutes, add another five minutes. And when they complain or grumble about it, remind them of their past achievements and give them encouragement.

When your child is feeling defeated and begins to say he can’t, make sure to remind him of all the times that he has. Use your family persistence mantra and give her a little nudge in the right direction. Your child needs to hear this from you and will benefit greatly from these persistence lessons that will last a lifetime.

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I Love to Write Day

Writing is a huge part of education. During your child’s academic career, they will have written tens of thousands of words. These may be simple answers to everyday questions. They may be poems, short stories, letters, essays, and/or and thesis papers. And for school purposes, most do not like the task of completing them.

However, if you can instill in your child a love of writing or even a mild tolerance, you will be amazed at what they can create. I Love to Write Day is to use this and expand it. While it's not every child’s dream to write for a living, everyone does have dreams they want to see unfold. Many times, writing them down helps to solidify those aspirations and make them come to life.

History of I Love to Write Day

This day was started in 2002 by John Riddle, a non-fiction and self-help, Delaware-based author. John has been writing for over thirty years, with a total of 34 published books in his name. As many authors do, he has a great love of writing and the creativity it creates. Also, like many authors and writing-lovers, John would like others to take part in and learn to enjoy his passion as well.

That is why he created this day. It is a call to action; however, it is not meant to be overwhelming or too audacious. John stated that his goal for this day is to simply get all peoples from all ages and walks of life writing. It can be any length, any genre, and anywhere. Just something that puts your thoughts onto paper or in a computer and gets you writing. Who knows, this could be the start of your New York Times bestseller.

How to Celebrate the Day?

History of I Love to Write Day

Many different organizations including community centers, churches, schools, and even stores celebrate this day and use it to strengthen a child’s skills in writing and putting their thoughts into words.

Celebrating this day for yourself and your children is just as simple as it sounds. Write something. Don’t put limitations on it, such as length, style, or genre. Don’t think too hard about it, just write. Start a journal, write a poem, a letter, or a simple greeting or thank you card for your child’s teacher.

And don’t worry if it doesn’t sound amazing. Everyone has to start somewhere. J.K. Rowling didn’t imagine everything in her Harry Potter series in one writing session. She didn’t submit her work and get immediate approval. And she didn’t become a world-renown writer overnight.

If you or your child has big dreams, they will take time and effort before they may come to light. But the time to start is now, with just a line or two. Get those creative juices flowing. Before you know it, you may just have a masterpiece in your hands.

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A Boy with Book

Reading doesn’t just take place in a library, a bookstore, or at bedtime. To help your child read better and more comfortably, follow some of these early learner reading tips.

Mapping A Trip

Reading is a critical part of learning, not just when it comes to books but also to other activities. An exciting way teach this is to map out a common trip your family makes, like to the grocery store or church. Get out a local map and show your child the way to these areas. Have them write out the directions. Then on your next trip there, have your child read these out loud to you as go along.

Pictures Galore

While on your next vacation or outing, take some action-packed pictures. Once you are home, have your child create a photo album or collage with captions and speech or thought bubbles for each photo. While this will build memories and a fun family activity, it will also help your child practice their reading and writing skills.

Greeting Cards

There are quality reading opportunities everywhere. For example, the next time you need to pick out a card for someone (birthday, get-well, or otherwise), have your child pick out and read several of them. Then decide which one sends the best message you are going for.

Find What Is Just Right

When choosing books for your young reader, it is crucial to find ones that fit into their reading level. A good rule of thumb is to have your child read the front, back and first page of the book. If they have difficulty pronouncing or understanding five or more words, the book might be too hard for them at this point. Helping your reader to choose a book that is just right for them will help them feel successful in their reading endeavors.

Building Vocabulary

One the biggest tools to helping your child to read well and love to do it is to build their vocabulary up. This can easily be done by labeling everything in your home. Get some paper, drawing utensils, and tape and create labels for furniture pieces, toiletries, and knick-knacks. Reading these labels often and learning to sound out these items will help your child to amass a larger and more extensive word bank. If your family is bilingual, label items in both languages.

Encourage Appreciation

As your child reads more and more, they will start to appreciate some authors and illustrators more than others, becoming a fan of their work. Help your reader develop and write a letter to her favorite author. You will be surprised by how many authors will write a letter back to your child in joyous response.

By trying out a few of these easy and fun reading tips at home and on the go, you will teach your child that reading can be exciting and used anywhere you go. You can also try out some of our fun and kid friendly activities. Besides, you might just find some new family favorite traditions along the way.

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Best Brians Public Speaking Program

Public speaking has many benefits for professional success. But did you know that it has been proven to have many positive influences on a child’s academic success as well? For more information keep reading.Public speaking has many benefits for professional success. But did you know that it has been proven to have many positive influences on a child’s academic success as well? For more information keep reading.

Increased Listening Skills

As children enroll in speech classes or leagues like the one we offer, they get accustomed to hearing other students present topics of a wide variety and with many different opinions and viewpoints. These opinions may differ drastically from their own.

As a result, these children learn to listen not only to other viewpoints but also learn to understand why they may have differing opinions. This teaches them to compromise and find solutions to relational issues between family, friends, and coworkers in the future.

Increases Courage And Influence

Engaging in public speaking of any kind requires that a student voices their own opinion in the hope that they can positively influence others. By learning to do this successfully, a child becomes comfortable with this task, whether its speaking in front of a large group or just a few peers who may need some sound advice.

Childhood, in general, is a time of great change and personal growth. By giving your child the tool of public speaking, you give them the opportunity to voice their own opinion on things that matter, instead of simply following the crowd.

Improved Academics Overall

A crucial part of every good public speaking or speech class is to help children learn to research and write their own speeches. This trains them to dive into wells of information about certain topics and choose what is the most important or the most influential.

As a result, students learn better research skills and analytical thought processes that help them relate topics to each other and to be well-reasoned. When these skills are applied to other subjects and classes, students’ grades are shown to improve and papers are more thought out.

Overcoming Fear

The number one fear in the world over is public speaking. Therefore, it is likely that your child will be uncomfortable with this class. However, that fear can be overcome. A great public speaking class can take this child’s fear and turn it into an amazing tool for them to use for the rest of their life.

While the butterflies may still exist a little, your child will build confidence in their abilities to deliver presentations and be able to do so with conviction. Soon they will be using their skills to influence others for good, no matter how nervous they are.

Preparation For The Future

One of the most sought-after qualities of an employee is effective communication skills. So, it stands to reason, that learning to do well at this would enrich a student’s life, especially when it comes time to move towards a career.

These are also qualities of a great leader as well. Giving your child the opportunity to improve their leadership skills is an unmatched gift that will serve them and their community for years to come.

Those with a high degree of confidence, a listening ear, the ability to work well with others, and to also understand and relate to others can accomplish just about anything. These skills are needed in all areas of life. This is why we think it is so important for children to begin learning about speech at a young age. Our Speech League is designed to teach students to write and present various types of speeches all while cultivating their leadership skills, communication, and social skills.

For more information on our Public Speaking Classes and to enroll your child, click here.

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Grandparents Day has been a secular holiday in the United States and the United Kingdom since 1978 and it is officially recognized in many countries on various days of the year.

History

The inspiration behind Grandparent’s Day was generated from Marian McQuade. She has been recognized nationally by the United States Senate. In particularly by Senators Jennings Randolph, and Robert Byrd and by President Jimmy Carter, as the founder of National Grandparents Day.

Marian initiated a campaign in the early 1970s aimed at highlighting the difficulty of lonely elderly people in care homes and to encourage the grandchildren to take advantage of the wisdom and guidance their grandparents could provide them. This thrived into a great event known today, which is held each year to honor both grandparents. However, the main aim is to bring love and affection towards the grandparents and the idea of an older generation’s understanding being passed on to youngsters.

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Forget-me-not is the flower that symbolizes National Grandparents Day, which blooms in the spring. Seasonal flowers are given in thankfulness to grandparents on this day.

What Do People Do?

Honor your grandparents by giving them gifts or if they stay far from you send them a lovely card. Plan your evening after school with them or take them out and have a nice dinner. Take part in story-telling activities and relate it with your grandparents. There are many things you can do to make them happy so think of some ideas on your own!

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Happy Grandparents Day!!!!

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August 15th, is a day to take a day off from your daily routine and relax with your family. Just put your feet up and relax because it is Relaxation Day. However, the origin of this fun holiday is not known, though it is an idea that the holiday began as National Slacker Day in Britain.

In a hustle and bustle of their daily lives, most people often forget to slow down and take some time for themselves and their family. Though this creates stress and other stress-related health issues like high blood pressure and heart problems, people are not keen to take at least a small break for themselves.

Take a Break

Relax... and do whatever that you feel like doing on this day and what relaxes you more, even if it is for a short while.

  • Take a bath or go for a swim.
  • Stretch or meditate.
  • Utilize this day to do a digital detox. Stay away from the computer, put away your phone and stay away from all social media interactions. This will help you feel the stress melt away.
  • Go to a spa for a day full of pampering and have some me time. You can also gift Spa appointments for your parents as well.
  • Go for a leisurely walk in a park or through a garden, stop and smell the roses, walk barefoot on the grass or have a small picnic by yourself.
  • Read a book or a magazine while nature-watching; or go for a good drive with your peers.
  • Spend time with your family, friends and pets.
  • Learn a new skill like knitting or playing golf and continue it in your leisure's.

Take a Deep Breath

Relaxation Day is a reminder for all us that sometimes it is okay to take a deep breath, slow down and take it simple - not only does relaxation make us feel better about yourself, but it can also have long-term health benefits too.

Did You Know...

...that in physics and chemistry, relaxation is a perception which refers to the movement of a system or a procedure from a state of disorder or disturbance to equilibrium?

Happy National Relaxation Day!!!

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national-picnic-month

This is the month to have great time with your family, friends, or anyone you like to go out and have a great picnic. While the local parks have finally come out from under the pall of cloud gray skies, and picnics can start in earnest.Select what you want to make or take with you... here are some of people's favorites; like fried chicken and sausage rolls, fresh fruit, cookies, chocolates,lemonade; and many more can be added to your list, while these are some of the keys to having agreat meal outdoors.

National Picnic Monthencourages you to get out of your houseand celebrate the warm summer days and find your love and surprise of the outdoors againwhile enjoying some great food.

History of Picnic Month

There has always been something special about leaving the stuffy confines of your home and eating your favorite things outdoors. Going out with family makes us happy and refreshed feeling and there’s abeautiful world out there waiting for us,and whenever summer comes around then we will come to know how much time we’ve been locked inside or being eager to come in from the cold.

However the word ‘picnic’ is thought to have first been used by Tony Willis a famous boxer in 1692, and from that point of time everyone forwarded from the working class to the upperhave been mesmerized with taking their meal outside under the sky.

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Picnics have been used for many things throughout the centuries, and from a simply family meeting spent enjoying the outside, to being used as a quiet protest in the Pan-European Picnic.

Did you know?

That the most prominent, and largest picnic ever held spanned 600 miles, crossing France from coast to coast and renowned the millennium’s first Bastille Day in 2000.

Though we celebrate National Picnic Month this month, there is no specific day to celebrate your special day.  We should have such days to celebrate the history of this activity and the way it has been used to bring families, countries and all humanity collectively.

How to celebrate Picnic Month

Picnic month is remarkably easy to celebrate. You just need to have a great place to go outside into the world and enjoy all the wonderful sights and smells it has to offer us. Get your family and friends to gather there and bring your favorite foods that can be eaten cold for a traditional picnic, or take a small grill and cookthe warm yummy food on the spot!

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