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Raising a Reader in the Digital Age

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.

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 August 13, 2020

Best 9 Money Management Apps for Easy Financial Planning

Best 9 Money Management Apps for Easy Financial Planning

Do you want to keep a budget, but aren’t sure where to start? Or maybe you have your money in a few different places and want an easy way to keep an eye on it all? We scoured the web and app stores to find the best money management apps so you can dive in, start saving money, and live more financially secure!

1. Mint

    Mint is a great app for seeing where all of your money is on all of your devices. It can track your bank accounts, credit cards, and even investments. You can also use it to plan budgets and future expenses, but its main focus is on giving you a financial overview.

    Download Mint here.

    2. You Need a Budget

      You Need a Budget (YNAB) is a great tool for setting a budget and sticking to it. YNAB is nicely designed and gives you a clear report of where your money is going, as well as tools and “four rules” for budgeting to help you save.

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      Download You Need a Budget here

      3. Spendee

        Spendee is a budget and expense tracker with a heavy focus on design. Spendee is truly beautiful and does a good job of showing you where all of your money is going and how you can adjust course. The only down side is that you’ll need to manually enter your transactions.

        Download Spendee here.

        4. Expensify

          Expensify is perfect for the business traveler who wants to easily create expense reports of where he or she is spending money. You can do things such as take pictures of receipts, track your time, log any distances traveled, and print it out whenever you want to for expense reporting.

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          Download Expensify here.

          5. Budgt: Daily Finance

            Budgt is another good app for helping you watch your budget, and it’s geared towards college students and other people on more strict monthly incomes. If you’re a student trying to make sure you stick within a certain allowance, this is a great app for you.

            Download Budgt here.

            6. Dollarbird

              Dollarbird is a personal finance app that focuses around creating a calendar of your expenses to give you a high-level view of your expenditures, as well as predict big expenses that will come up in the future. It’s great for making sure you have a macro-level view of your financial situation.

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              Download Dollarbird here.

              7. Pocket Expense

                The Pocket Expense App is an alternative to Mint. It gives you an overview of all of your accounts and expenses, and helps you keep everything in check without too many bells and whistles.

                Download Pocket Expense here.

                8. Toshl Finance

                  Toshl is a fun, personal financial management app that has many of the features of the other apps on this list, and adds in fun animated characters to make it more interesting. It’s also one of the few to also have an app for windows phones!

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                  Download Toshl Finance here.

                  9. Budget Boss

                    Budget boss is interesting because it learns your spending habits, and in addition to helping you make a budget, it can predict your spending over time in order to let you know where you’ll likely be at financially in the future. It’s great for helping you adjust course from spending too much of your money.

                    Download Budget Boss here.

                    Bottom Line

                    Those are our top 9 picks for great budgeting tools, but ultimately the most important thing is that you have some sort of money-management system. Keeping track of our money is important for ensuring that we’re on track for all of our financial goals.

                    Featured photo credit: rupixen.com via unsplash.com

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