The Perfect Gift for Grandma

It is very important to remember Grandma at the holidays and on their birthday. As your very own parent, you’ll be buying your own personal gift for them, but this is an excellent opportunity to teach children about giving. Encourage them to pick out something special for their grandparent, but help guide them towards items that will be as special to Grandma as it is to them.

Home Made

Homemade gifts are special treasures. Best of all, your child will be given an opportunity to be creative as well as learn the importance of giving to others. Choose age appropriate crafts that you can enjoy together. This could be as simple as having them color a picture. Buying a frame to put it in will make a cute presentation for Grandma, and your little one will feel like their artwork is amazing.

A Gift of Time

Gifts don’t have to be material items. Offering time spent together helping Grandma with household chores is always a wonderful idea. This could be time spent with Grandma in her garden, baking in the kitchen, or helping clean-up around the house. Your mother will love making memories with her grandchild, and your little one will be learning to put others first.

Store Bought Presents

Even the littlest of people enjoy a day of shopping. Make it an adventure by helping them find that perfect gift for Grandma. Look for items that are acceptable for adults but have a touch of childish whimsy. A good example of this would be the colorful Jim Shore figurines from Hallmark. You could also have them pick out a picture frame that they can fill with a photo of themselves, or help them find a nice box of chocolates or other sweet treats.

Once the perfect gift is found, you have another teaching moment. Help them wrap their gift to Grandma, and explain how important it is to always express your love in words, actions, and small tokens of appreciation.

Limitless Today, How about Tomorrow? by Team GENz #GlobeProjectEd

When we first started using Windows Movie Maker almost two decades, I remember it taking us hours, even days, to finish a video presentation. I was already in my early 20s then, so, yes, I’m part of that generation where Facebook and Friendster did not exist, where there were no smartphones, and computer screens were green or black.  Which is why it amazes me how kids nowadays can create commercial quality vids and pics using just a phone.  They can shoot and edit faster than you can say Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Check out the entries to Globe ProjectED, a nationwide video competition open to all High School students, and see how awesome this generation’s kids are.

They were tasked to create a 3-minute video using a smartphone to answer the question “How is technology changing how you learn today?”

Jerald Edd D. King and Simon Stephen T. Sy are representing Philadelphia High School in Globe ProjectED.  Help us support their Team GENz by watching, liking, and sharing their video.  🙂

 

Signs Your Furnace Needs to be Repaired

When your furnace breaks down in the middle of winter, it can be a major inconvenience. Oftentimes, your furnace will display certain signs that indicate it’s headed toward failure and needs to be repaired. If you spot any of these indications, it’s best to call a professional as soon as possible, so you can keep your furnace running smoothly.

It Runs Constantly

Normally, a furnace will turn on and off throughout the day. If your furnace is no longer working efficiently, it may struggle to keep your home at the temperature you have set on your thermostat. This can lead it to run non-stop day and night. A number of things could be causing this problem, including a dirty air filter, so it’s best to allow a professional HVAC technician to diagnose the problem.

It Makes Loud Noises

Furnaces usually make noise when turning on. If the type of noise you hear changes, however, it’s a good indication that you need to have repair work done. Loud clanking, grinding, or banging noises may be a sign that your furnace is about to fail completely, leaving you without heat.

Your Utility Bill Rises Unexpectedly

As a homeowner, you probably expect your heating bill to rise during the winter months. However, if our bill goes up suddenly and dramatically, it could indicate that something is wrong with your furnace. As your system ages, it may begin running less efficiently, meaning that it needs to work harder to heat your home. Skyrocketing bills could also be caused by your furnace turning on and off frequently.

It’s Not Blowing Hot Air

If your furnace is blowing out cold air out or no air at all, it’s probably a sign of a mechanical problem. There could be something wrong with a fan or belt. Many homeowners only discover this kind of issue when cold weather hits and they need to turn on the system for the first time. For this reason, it’s important to test your furnace while the weather is still warm, so you have time to hire an HVAC technician if you need service.

Issues with furnaces aren’t always easy to diagnose. When searching for furnace repair Chantilly VA, choose a company like Cool Factory that employs qualified technicians. A skilled professional will be able to get your furnace running efficiently again.

Important Lessons Your Child Won’t Learn At School

Even if your kid goes to the best school, they won’t be able to learn everything there. School is designed to teach your child the basics in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. It’s not going to prepare them for everything in the world around them. However, as their parent, you can step up and help your child learn more about the world. After all, they will soon be adults, and it’s up to you to make sure that they will be truly responsible ones.

Issues of Social Equality

Many schools do make an attempt to deal with issues of social justice, but there simply isn’t enough time in the day to handle all of the important topics in this area. You can supplement their understanding by talking about social equality issues at home. You can also incorporate materials that you find in the library, bookstore, or online to help your child learn more. For example, if you’re talking about gender inequality issues with your son or daughter, the work of Janice Ellis can help to guide your conversations. Don’t just assume your child understand the complexities of the world around them. Teach them instead.

How to Handle Money

Most kids learn a little bit about money in their early math classes, but the education usually stops at that. Make sure that your child knows more about money than the average American. Teach them the basics of saving and investing, talk about the stock market, and read the economic news with them. Help them come up with their own budget and talk about the family budget with them. For some reason, some people are uncomfortable talking with their kids about money but don’t let your discomfort get in the way of teaching them the importance of financial literacy and personal responsibility.

Dealing With People of Different Ages

One of the unfortunate things about the ways schools are structured is that children don’t get to spend much time with people who are not exactly the same age that they are. In the real world, people need to know how to get along with other citizens of all ages. Immerse your child in the world of people who are middle-aged, teenagers, the elderly, and other children so that they can understand the differences and similarities of people at different stages of their lives.

The Best Fitness Move for Any Mom on the Go

Between hauling kids and groceries, picking up after almost everyone in the household and all the million other things moms do, there’s often not much time to focus on fitness. Many of these activities may give our upper-bodies – or at least our biceps – a boost, but what about the rest? There’s one fitness move that provides advantages for the core, balance, hips thighs and buttocks: squats. Read on to find out more about the benefits of squats and how you can easily do them wherever you are and however busy your schedule is.

Benefits of Squats

The simple squat can be done almost anywhere, any time. It doesn’t need any special equipment, and this one little exercise works 200 different muscles. It’s also a great low-impact cardio move. From descent to ascent, the movement is designed to activate the three largest muscle groups in the right order and improve flexibility in the knee, hip and ankle joints.

This targeted fitness move is so effective, you don’t have to do many to get results in a very short time. Because it’s a weight-bearing exercise, meaning you’re using your own body weight as leverage, it gives you some of the benefits of weight-training. Weight-training is one of the most beneficial workouts, especially as we get older. It helps retain lean muscle mass and strengthens bones to ward off osteoporosis. Squats can help you do the same thing without stepping into a gym.

Form is Everything

You may know squats from your fitness video or class, but did you realize how much variety and benefit comes from this one simple move when it’s done right? There are three components to the perfect squat, and all variations start from there:

Center of gravity line (CoGL) – this is the optimal starting position to ensure proper alignment and balance from start to finish. Your knees should never extend beyond your toes at any point during execution, and your back should remain straight, with your head up and face forward.

Hip flexion – refers to the hinge function of the hips and their placement at each point of the movement. With the CoGL in mind, most of the bend should be at the hip, without the pressure on the knees that causes so many problems. To get it done properly, push your bottom back as you bend, using the hip flexion, as if your trying to sit down.

Proper heel pressure – all of the weight should be in your heels, not on the balls of your feet. With the proper heel pressure and weight distribution, your balance will be better, and you’ll really feel the burn in the places that need it the most.

Squat Variations

The basic squat is just descent/ascent, with arms straight out in front of you. It only takes 30 reps, 4 – 5 days a week, and you can go on about your day. However, if you want to avoid the plateau effect or just change things up once in a while, you can try some variations.

  • instead of just holding your arms straight out in front, hold some weights, either light dumbbells or a disc
  • try placing your hands behind your head, elbows straight out to the side; make sure to retain your form and balance
  • on the descent, slide one leg out to the side, toe pointed; switch legs with each rep