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Raising a Reader in the Digital Age

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Raising a Reader in the Digital Age

Reading to and with your child is widely recognized as one of the best things you can do for them. It exercises the brain and helps them learn, remember, reason, and pay attention. With screens taking up more of our time (parents and kids alike), how do we ensure that we are raising a reader?

1. Raising a Reader from Birth

Read to your baby, early and often. You don’t have to start with Tolstoy, though Cozy Classics has the most adorable version of War and Peace. When they are really little, just hearing your voice will be soothing, and will help them learn rhythm, inflection, and tone. Make reading part of your routine, like before bedtime, or during feeding. This will lay the foundation for reading as a life-long comforting and enjoyable experience.

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2. Books vs. Screen Time

Raising a reader doesn’t necessarily mean eliminating screen time, it means encouraging children to discover the many ways that reading can enrich their lives. Some kids will do that with books, and others will find value in comic books or video games. Every child is different, so rather than ban the tablet or smartphone, create an opportunity for positive screen time that enhances your child’s learning experiences. Books and screen time don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and the reality is, this generation has extra tools that we didn’t, so why not use them to their benefit?

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3. Read-Along Videos

If you have young children, watching read along videos is a fun activity to do together. You may remember read-along books with tapes or records from your childhood. Read-along videos are the same idea. You may even find some of your favorite childhood books online. YouTube Kids has a large selection of these videos, some with the images of the actual books, and some that are more like animated versions of the book. Read-along videos are perfect for kids who need a little bit more stimulation than just sitting down with a book.

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4. Literacy Apps

Play can be a wonderful way to motivate your child, even if you want to motivate them to read. If your child is spending time on the iPad, they may as well be playing games that can help them build their vocabulary, or improve their spelling skills. Apps like ABC Kids helps kids understand the relationship between written letters and spoken language. And of course, there is the old classic, Hooked on Phonics. Use these apps with them from time to time, and be ready to get excited with them over their successes.

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5. Go to the Library, Online

Libraries are the perfect way to keep your kids’ book collection fresh (for free!) and help them find new subjects or authors that might interest them. More and more libraries have partnered with apps like cloudLibrary and OverDrive for borrowing e-books online. You install the app on your mobile device, sign in with your library ID, and you can borrow books for all ages, even picture books. This is handy if you don’t have time to take a trip to the library every week. And having a couple of e-books on your smartphone at all times might be just the thing you need to entertain restless kids when you are out and about. Check with your local library to see if they have a digital collection.

Reading is an important part of raising a smart and confident child. Reading to and with a child helps them develop listening, language and cognitive skills that they will carry with them their entire lives. Take the time to figure out the best way to engage your little reader, whether it’s books with bold illustrations or interactive e-books.

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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