Category Archives: Learning

Best Books: Trapped In a Video Game

Do you have a kid that loves video games but isn’t very interested at reading? We may have found the perfect book series for them! Trapped in a Video Game is an incredible series that follows the young Jesse Rigsby as he navigates his way through the harsh years of adolescence with one major complication — a video game character is trying to kill him.

Jesse and his best friend Eric have discovered a new game, Full Blast, and cannot wait to try it. However, they find themselves sucked directly in to the game and find they have to play to survive when a mysterious figure begins to follow them and kill them.

The series contains 5 books and each book contains an interactive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) section at the end that allows readers to learn and understand binary coding and algorithms. Now they can understand how their favorite games function and start learning how to create their own video games. One series is helping them to not only nurture a love for reading but also give them the opportunity to learn and practice STEM activities at home for fun!

Learning Activities: Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and my kids will all be home to commemorate the man that gave so much to help make this world a more inclusive and equal place. My older kids will of course know about Martin Luther King Jr. from class, but it is an excellent time to teach my younger kids all about him. My older kids can get involved in the lesson and share with their siblings the knowledge they already have. This is an excellent way to not only get the younger kids interested, but also to improve the older kids’ knowledge by making them teach it.

I found a log that has many wonderful ideas for activities and lessons for learning about Martin Luther King Jr. Learning In Wonderland has so many ideas, it even has age appropriate lessons for each learning/grade level. Learning In Wonderland also has some incredibly cool free printables that will aid you in your lesson.

Growing up learning about MLK was always one of my favorite lessons. So many lessons we learn in school do not really affect us. We learn things that are old, or that we think we will never need (like algebra I still have not needed it on my daily life and I am in my mid 30s). However, the story of MLK is universal, and it never stops being important. I remember learning about it with a teacher that made the lesson so obvious to me. I was only about 7 years old, and this teacher (the only male teacher I had until high school) brought eggs out for the lesson. We each had a different colored egg, there were blue ones, brown ones, yellow ones, and white ones. He gave us a bowl and told us to crack the egg open. When we opened our eggs they all looked the same. There was nothing different about them at all. It stuck with me.

So this monday I will choose a special activity from Learning In Wonderland and I will share it with my kids. I may even let them crack a few eggs, just so that they can see that while we may look different on the outside we share the same hopes, dreams, and we can all make a difference in this world just like MLK.

Books for the Holidays: Hanukkah

The first night of Hanukkah begins Sunday evening. Jewish families all over the world will begin the holiday after nightfall. Traditionally, Jewish families will light the first candle of their Menorah on Sunday after nightfall, as they light the candle they will say three blessings, every night from then on they will recite two blessings. The Menorah has 9 candles, 8 for the 8 nights of Hanukkah and one to be used to light the others. Hanukkah is a very beautiful and meaningful holiday in Judaism. It commemorates the the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt. If you and our children would like to learn more about Hanukkah you may want to check out this child-friendly history. This month we want to highlight a book that talks about Hanukkah and what it is like to celebrate it during a time when other religions are also celebrating their holiday. Hanukkah happens in November or December depending on the Gregorian Calendar. This means it can occur before, or during the Christian holidays.The book, Chanukah Lights Everywhere¬†follows a brother and sister through their celebration of Hanukkah, and shows how they notice all of the other celebrations going on around them. The book shows how the many different celebrations are all happening and at once and how they each bring joy and love to their respective followers. It shines a light on the importance of respecting cultures, religions, and allowing for each of them to coexist in peace. This is an excellent book for teaching about not just Hanukkah but also about cultural acceptance and respect. It is an excellent book for the holidays, no matter which holiday you are celebrating this season.