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Blogging for Kids

Blogging for Kids

Warning: No, you’re not on Parent Hacks all of a sudden, but I want your take on this.

I was never a big fan of report writing, especially the research portion. But when I could make it into a dazzling project, then it was kind of fun. My mom helped me with this big report on the Black Rhinoceros. I remember facts about that creature today (26 years later- ouch).

But the tools of the time were the photocopier, the clear plastic sleeve, the one-inch ring binder, and clearly-written labels.

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Blogging for Kids

My friends’ oldest son just started a blog. He’s six. Mom and Dad help administer the blog, and probably keep him safe from inappropriate comments and the like (oh, and he’s a comment FIEND- loves them!). But here’s some interesting behaviors and why I think this is a neat hack for parents with younger-than-you’d-expect-to-be-thinking-about-this kids.

  • He’s six.
  • He likes changing the colors of the words every bit as much as the research.
  • He must be using Google to research, or Wikipedia.
  • He’s using blogging tools.
  • He’s observing social software (his love of the comments).
  • He’s getting good follow-on feedback from readers, which drives him to research more.
  • He’s actually planning posts.

Do it Yourself

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It’s easy to set up a blog, and easy to set it up with protection from typical spam. If you maintain the admin rights, you usually can keep the blog safe from things that will bug you as a parent. If you can disable urls in comments, all the better (to prevent malicious pointers).

So, what would using the shiny fun of a blog do to teaching your kid how to research? How does the adoption of social software and other new and emerging web applications impact how you might share knowledge with your kid?

Go further. Would a home wiki be useful? Even offline (like GTD Tiddlywiki), wouldn’t getting kids in the habit of using technological tools be another step up in their future abilities to use web tools for research and expression?

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Is this “kids growing up too fast” fodder? I don’t think so. I see a blog being far more useful as a way to promote learning, sharing, and developing broader perspective on the world.

The Same Tools

You know why lots of tech gadgets and sites fail to reach kids the way they intend? Because they make the products DIFFERENT than what the kids see their parents use. My daughter loathes kid versions of adult things. (This becomes tricky around scissors).

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Why NOT cook them a Blogger.com or WordPress.com account? The tools are usable, laid out relatively simply, and if they’re not getting all tricky (I haven’t used blogger in a few months, but how is he changing those colors?), it’s easy to teach them how to use the basics.

You can choose privacy levels appropriate to your take on the internet. I put my kids on the net, and others don’t. That’s not the primary issue. That’s an internal-to-your-house debate.

It’d be interesting to know your thoughts on this one. What would your kids do with a blog like Aidan’s? Would it drive some other use for their time? Would it promote research and presentation skills?

–Chris Brogan had to go out and buy his own computer, after surrendering the other to his four year old daughter. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to write [chrisbrogan.com]

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Last Updated on December 30, 2018

How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day

How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day

This article is the 2nd in the 6-part series, Lifehack Challenge: Become An Early Riser In 5 Days.

If you’d like to become an early riser, there are some things you should know before you run off to set your oft-ignored alarm clock.

So how to become an early riser?

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Here are five tips I’ve discovered to be most helpful in making the transition from erratic sleeper to early morning wizard:

1. Choose to get up before you go to sleep

You’re not very good at making decisions when you’ve just woken up. You were in the middle of a dream in which [insert celebrity crush of choice here] is serving you breakfast in bed only to be rudely awakened by the harsh tones of your alarm clock. You’re frustrated, angry, confused, and surprised. This is not the time to be making decisions about whether or not you should stay in bed! And yet, most of us leave the first decision of our day to be made in a blur of partial wakefulness.

No more! If you want to be a consistently early riser, try making your decision to rise at a specific time before you go to sleep the night before. This frees you from making the decision in the morning when you’ve just woken up. Instead of making a decision, you have only to follow through on your decision from the night before. Easier said than done? Of course. But only for the first few times. Eventually your need for raw willpower to get out of bed will diminish and you’ll be the proud parent of a new habit!

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Steve Pavlina suggests you practice getting out of bed during the day[1] to get a few of the “practice sessions” out of the way without the early morning fog in your head.

2. Have a plan for your extra time

Let’s say you’ve actually made it out of bed 2 hours before you normally would. Now what? What are you going to do with all this time you’ve discovered in your day? If you don’t have something planned to do with your extra time, you risk falling for the temptation of a “morning nap” that wipes out all the work you put into getting up.

What to do? Before you go to bed, make a quick note of what you’d like to get done during your extra hours the following day. Do you have a book to write, paper to read, or garage to clean? Make a plan for your early hours and you’ll do more than protect yourself from backsliding into bed. You’ll get things done and those results will fuel your desire to build rising early into a habit!

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3. Make rising early a social activity

While there’s obvious value in joining a Lifehack Challenge in order to get you started as an early riser, your internet buddies just don’t have enough pull to make your new habit stick in the long term. The same cannot be said for the people you spend time with as part of your early morning routine.

Sure, you could choose to read blogs for two hours every morning. But wouldn’t it be great to join an early breakfast club, running group, or play chess in the park at 5am? The more people you get involved in making your new habit a daily part of your life, the easier it’ll be to succeed.

4. Don’t use an alarm that makes you angry

If we’re all wired differently, why do we all insist on torturing ourselves with the same sort of alarm each morning? I spent years trying to wake up before my alarm went off so I wouldn’t have to hear it. I got pretty good, too. Then I started using a cellphone as my alarm clock and quickly realized that different ring tones irritated me less but worked just as well to wake me up. I now use the ring tone alarm as a back up for my bedside lamp plugged in to a timer.

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When the bright light doesn’t work, the cellphone picks up the slack and I wake up on time. The lesson learned? Experiment a bit and see what works best for you. Light, sound, smells, temperature, or even some contraption that dumps water on you might be more pleasant than your old alarm clock. Give something new a try!

5. Get your blood flowing right after waking

If you don’t have a neighbor you can pick fights with at 5am you’ll have to settle with a more mundane exercise. It doesn’t take much to get your blood flowing and chase the sleep from your head. Just pick something you don’t mind doing and go through the motions until your heart rate is up. Jumping rope, push-ups, crunches, or a few minutes of yoga are typically enough to do the trick. (Just don’t do anything your doctor hasn’t approved.)

If you live in a beautiful part of the world like me, you might want to use a bit of your early morning to go for a walk and enjoy the beauty of the world around you. If you have a coffee shop open within walking distance, dragging yourself out of bed for a cup of coffee to savor on your walk home as the world wakes around you is a wonderful experience. Try it!

More Resources for an Energetic Morning

Featured photo credit: Frank Vex via unsplash.com

Reference

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