By Nina Parrish
Q. How do I make studying fun for my son?
A: Often kids dread studying which makes them avoid it, not spend enough time on it, or lose focus after little is accomplished. I like to recommend that students try a website called Quizlet, www.quizlet.com. It's free and students can also download a free app for Android or iPhone to use on the go.
This site allows kids to create online flashcards or to select from thousands of already created sets. Once they create their flashcards, they have several options available to them. They can use the "learn" feature, which quizzes them on the cards and keeps track of the ones that they miss. They can use the "speller," which teaches them how to spell the words. In addition, there are two computer games that they can play with their terms: Scatter and Space Race. When they feel like they know the material, there is a practice testing tool which allows them create a practice test in the same format that their real test will be set up.
Nina Parrish lives in Spotsylvania with her husband and daughter where she runs a tutoring service.
By Linda Clevenger
Q. How do I organize the Legos in my child's room?
A.Legos are such a creative outlet for our children. They help them think outside the box and allow a child to use their imagination.
However — and this is a big however — they can be the most annoying toy ever! The root of the chaos is:
1. They will never, ever fit back into the box that they came from because the box is guaranteed to tear
2. Pieces always seem to disappear (sort of like socks in the washing machine)
3. They hurt when you step on them!
Here are some simple and easy tips to keep your Legos (and other little swords, doll accessories, matchbox cars and the like) super organized. This will also help teach your child great organizational skills, which is what I love the most:
1. Limit the number of sets that come into the house.
2. If you can't limit the number of sets because your child is just too creative, then have a storage alternative (other than the cardboard box).
The limitations are ultimately up to you as the parent. (It is OK to tell grandma that she should get them something else for their birthday!)
My storage recommendation is this: purchase some little storage cases (plastic pencil boxes work really well). The pieces of each individual set are put into the storage case. I like the pencil boxes because they are inexpensive and easy to replace, and you can't lose the lid! This also makes it easy to store because the individual pencil boxes can be stacked on top of each other.
Do you have bigger Legos or other items? We use this storage unit, which makes it easy for our little girl to put everything away. We label the drawers and all of her cars are in one drawer, all of her jewelry in another — you get the picture.
Make your system easy for your child to put them away, unless you want to do it yourself! Just sayin'...