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STEAM Cart

STEM education has been in the news for quite some time, and has proven to help children become critical thinkers and problem solvers. More recently educators have added Art to the acronym, now STEAM.

STEAM activities allow children to explore their surroundings and create solutions while learning Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. This integrated learning process encourages critical thinking and helps children think like scientists, engineers and designers. IMG 9824


COMPUCHILD incorporates the all five STEAM disciplines into our classes, but you can encourage STEAM learning at home as well. We found one fun idea from Handmade Kids Art that any household can adopt. Create a STEAM cart. (Don’t have a cart, use a plastic tub or box.) 

We love that a STEAM cart can be customized for your child’s interest and age. Alternatviely, you can create one cart for all children in the house. Plus items can be changed out when needed to keep your children’s interest.

Here are the five easy steps to set up your family STEAM cart:

  1.         Identify your child’s interest.
  2.         Fill cart with age appropriate materials (inexpensive items from the store or items you may already have in the house.)
  3.         Label where each item belongs.
  4.         Demonstrate to kids how to put items away when they are finished creating.
  5.         Let your child create!

Sample STEAM items that can be included:IMG 9822

  • Magnets                    
  • Glue Sticks
  • Scissors                     
  • Dice
  • Tape Measure             
  • Empty Cup (water)
  • Water Colors and Brush            
  • String
  • Feathers                   
  • Compass        
  • Meauring Cup            
  • Foam Shapes
  • Washable Markers                     
  • Colored Pencils
  • Microscope               
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Paper                          IMG 9823
  • Finger Paint
  • Crayons                     
  • Small LEGO kit
  • Eye Droppers
  • Ruler
  • Paper Plates 
  • Marbles
  • Balls
  • Pinecones
  • Silk Flowers          
  • Coffee Filters
  • Straws
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Yarn
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Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO!  Yikes!  This little app, based on the huge franchise of video games, card games, and cartoons, has become insanely popular.  The game appeals to a variety of ages.  Parents with little ones, teens, pre-teens, adults.  Everyone is going crazy for this game.

Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game that requires an internet connection with GPS tracking and movement in the real world.  Parents need to know that playing the game involves various safety and security issues.

PRIVACY

First, there are numerous privacy concerns.   A player's name and location are tracked, stored, and revealed to nearby players, including both children and adults.  This can certainly lead to strangers, some with bad intentions, knowing exactly where you or your child are located.  Additionally, if you sign on with your Google login, the app has near total access to your account. 

The apps privacy policy indicates that user information -- including name, email, age, and location -- is collected; parents of children under 13 must confirm their child's account or contact the Pokémon Company International to refuse the company access to this information. The privacy policy was updated July 1, and a disclaimer at the start indicates it could change further at any time.  The game developers are begining to address some of these privacy concerns, so it's best to consistently update to the current version and check your settings. 

 

PERSONAL SAFETY

Other risks include physical injury due to distraction, being directed to unsafe places or onto private property, and even becoming a target for assault or robbery.  All of this has happened!  Recent news reports have players walking into traffic and one pair even fell off a cliff because they were distracted. 

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

With many fads, there is a big frenzy that seems to suck common sense out of the minds of normal individuals.  A pair of players recently jumped a fence after hours at a zoo to get their Pokémon.  Large groups of teens wander the streets together (in some areas you would call this a gang), most with their eyes glued to their phones.  Some people feel threated by the large group that seems to be aimlessly wandering or sometimes loitering in an area.  Police are now getting reports regarding suspicious behavior.  Now police have to take time to follow up on these Pokémon issues which takes them away from dealing with real threats and emergencies.

If you or your child decide to play, make sure you discuss safety and security concerns first.  It is recommended that children under 13 play only with direct adult supervision.

 

Be safe and have fun!

 

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Family Technology Rules: Kid's Expectations for Parents

Family Technology Rules: Kid's Expectations for Parents

Do you have technology rules for your kids? Chances are you do. Most families have rules like ‘don’t text and drive’ or ‘no device at the dinner table’

A small study conducted by the University of Michigan and University of Washington, studied 249 parent-child pairs across 40 states. Their paper was presented March 2 at the Association for Computing Machinery’s conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing in San Francisco.  It was among the first studies to explore children’s expectations for parents’ technology use.

They found that children ages 10-17 ‘were really concerned’ about the social media posts their parents are submitting. Three times more children than parents believe there should be rules about what PARENTS post.

After asking the kids about what technology rules they wanted to see their parents follow, their answers fell into seven general categories:

  • Be present — Kids felt there should be no technology at all in certain situations, such as when a child is trying to talk to a parent.
  • Child autonomy — Parents should allow kids to make their own decisions about technology use without interference.
  • Moderate use — Parents should use technology in moderation and in balance with other activities.
  • Supervise children — Parents should establish and enforce technology-related rules for children’s own protection.
  • Not while driving — Parents should not text while driving or sitting at a traffic light.
  • No hypocrisy — Parents should practice what they preach, such as staying off the Internet at mealtimes.
  • No oversharing — Parents shouldn’t share information online about their children without explicit permission.

What rule do children in this study feel should be most enforced? ‘Don’t post anything about me on social media without askinFacebook Logog me.’ This includes pictures of sleeping kids, frustration over homework, or a rant over laundry. 

The first babies of Facebook (started in 2004) are not yet in their teens and this small study shows that some children may be concered about the digital record from their early years. 

While this study is small, it might make some parents question what they post on Facebook and other social media sites. At the very least, it is a nice converstation starter to ensure there will be no regrets a few years from now.

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The Evolution of COMPUCHILD

The Evolution of COMPUCHILD

In the Beginning, COMPUCHILD was founded to meet a specific need...to get kids prepared for success at school.  Upon entering elementary school, kids started using computers at school.  Our founder realized that preschoolers were at a considerable advantage if they started working on computers prior to heading off to elementary school.  Most families did not have computers at home and most child care centers and preschools did not have computers for their kids to use.  Our basic computer classes were perfect to meet the needs of thousands of kids.  We provided students with an easy affordable way to learn about computer basics in a setting convenient to parents.

Over time, the world of technology expanded beyond computers and so did COMPUCHILD.  In 2008, we began introducing new technologies beyond the computer.  Our tagline changed from Kids Computer Classes to Technology Education.  Our world of technology expanded to include devices like digital microscopes, laptops, digital cameras and tablets.  In 2010, we began working with LEGO® Education and introduced robotics and programming to our students.  Opportunities to work with older students in after school programs also grew and COMPUCHILD stepped in to fill a niche. 

Only in the past several years has the term STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) become common place.  Since inception, COMPUCHILD has provided a quality STEM enrichment opportunity.   While our focus was technology, we have always incorporated the other STEM disciplines into our classes as well as early literacy and art. 

Today, we no longer focus only on preschool age children.  We work with many school age kids in after school programs, summer camps or within their schools as an outsourced resource. 

More families have computers, but we still find that many basic computer skills are still not being taught to kids in their home or at school. Therefore, we remain committed to our computer roots.  COMPUCHILD students continue to learn about computer terminology, proper use and care, keyboarding, mouse skills, etc.  Our curriculum also covers the STEM disciplines plus Art, which is why we use the term STEAM.  While the term STEAM is not as familiar as STEM, it is the latest emphasis within the education community.   While we have always been a STEAM enrichment program with an emphasis on "T", we are broadening our curriculum to accommodate the diverse needs of our students, schools, child care centers and after school programs.

We welcome the opportunity to serve you.

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