First grade student

Is Your Child Ready for First Grade?

Congratulations! You survived your child’s kindergarten years, and now it’s time to submit her application for elementary school.
First grade is a big leap from kindergarten. It involves increased responsibilities, longer hours, and more complex learning. Here’s how you can help your child get ready for this new stage of her education:

Instill the value of numbers

First graders are just beginning to learn how to count, recognize shapes, and tell time. Help your child get ready for basic math by practice counting forward to and backward from 100. Count real objects like toys and books to help her see the value of math in everyday life. You can also play with LEGO blocks and flashcards to introduce simple geometry.

Master reading and writing skills

In first grade, kids are given more opportunities to explore the wide world of language. It’s where they start building crucial skills in reading, spelling, and writing

You can make reading easier and fun for your kid by organizing spelling bees at home or working on simple crossword puzzles together. Reading stories aloud can improve her listening skills. Reciting rhymes and poetry will also help your child with sounds and pronunciation.

Studies show that rapid cognitive growth happens during the early elementary stages. This makes first grade a critical time for children to develop their language skills and widen their vocabulary. This can also be a prime time to teach her a second, or even third, language. Having a firm grasp on words and language can help your child articulate her emotions, socialize with people, and improve her reading comprehension.

Improve attention span

StudentsIn first grade, classes are more structured, and schoolwork can get more intensive. This means your child will be required to sit in class for more extended periods and accomplish more challenging activities. Research shows that attention in first grade can significantly affect a child’s future academic performance.  Students who suffer from attention problems in first grade are at higher risk of missing essential skills that can cause potential educational issues in the future. As such, it’s crucial to sharper their focus and alertness during this period.

Train her to tune out distractions by letting her work on a task such as an artwork or a writing exercise. Set a timer for how long she needs to work before taking a quick break. You can gradually increase the amount of working time as her focus improves. This exercise can also teach her self-discipline and time management.

Introduce basic life skills

Unlike kindergartners who are constantly spoon-fed and monitored, first graders are expected to be more independent and capable of reasoning. It’s time to flip the script and teach your kid practical skills she can use at any point in time. It can be as simple as teaching her to write her full name, birthday, address, and phone number. Or you can give her a certain amount of pocket money every week to teach her the value of saving and budgeting. Other practical skills include tying shoes, buttoning clothes, and even basic self-defense. Practicing these life skills at home can help your child feel more capable in the outside world.

First grade is all about enhancing the skills your child might have picked up in kindergarten. This period is always an adjustment for both parents and students. Your support and guidance during this transition will surely help your child excel and be a better learner.

talent show contestant

5 Reasons Why You Should Get A Voice Coach

For centuries, man has been singing hymns, ballads, epic, and other tunes. Singing is such an integral part of a nation’s culture, history, tradition and identity, which is why countless individuals pursue a singing career.

Now, whether you want to become a professional singer or just wish to sing your favorite tunes in the shower or front of friends and family, there are some great benefits to hiring a vocal coach to assist you.

There are singing lessons in Boulder available in which a dedicated vocal coach could take you in for one-on-one coaching sessions. Your vocal coach could develop your strengths and help you overcome your weak points when it comes to singing and even performing in front of a crowd.

Here are five reasons why you should definitely get the services of a vocal coach soon:

You can improve your voice quality tremendously

The main reason why people want to hire a vocal coach is to improve their voice quality by several octaves. A vocal coach knows techniques on how to help a tutee strengthen his or her voice quality from mediocre or average to performance-level.

A lot of things must come into play to achieve such a goal, including proper breathing, posture, lifestyle, and diligent practice. In the end, it will surely be all worth it when you’ve reached your full vocal range potential.

You’ll learn to sing properly

A lot of singers, especially beginners, are singing unhealthily and they may not be even aware of the fact. “Healthy singing” simply refers to the proper way of breathing and even the correct posture to avoid straining the vocal cords and achieving one’s optimum singing potential.

A voice coach will be there to watch you sing different tunes and see if you’re doing things properly. If not, the coach would be there to correct your mistakes until such time that you’re not committing them and instead singing the way you should.

You can improve your ability to perform in front of a crowd

It’s vital that you don’t just sing well, but also perform well. They may seem like the same, but they’re actually different. Singing may be as simple as just belting out a tune; performing, on the other hand, may involve moving around the stage.

This may include calculated bodily movements and even projecting certain facial expressions to fully convey the meaning of the song and connect to the audience. Confidence, posture, wardrobe – these things all count towards your overall singing performance and your voice can help you improve on them.

You’ll learn how to take care of your vocal faculties


The most successful and enduring singers are known to be sticklers for a healthy lifestyle, particularly when it comes to taking care of their golden pipes. They don’t smoke, hardly drink liquor, and are known to particularly avoid drinking cold beverages as such a habit is proven to be unhealthy for vocal cords.

If you’re really keen on protecting your precious pipes, then there are sacrifices to make.

You’ll have someone to critique your singing

It’s critical to have an objective party critique your singing, so you’ll know what you’re doing wrong and what your strengths are. A vocal coach will act as the devil’s advocate and offer constructive criticisms to help you improve on specific aspects of vocal and stage performances.

Be sure to hire a reliable coach with a solid credential to be sure that you’ll get the best possible kind of vocal coaching.

teacher and students in the daycare center

The Essentials of a Good Daycare

Juggling between hectic work schedules and caring for your toddler is a near-impossible task. Luckily, daycares offer the much-needed help of caring for your kids. However, the thought of leaving young ones under the care of a stranger often scares many parents. Such feelings are perfectly normal since there is an emotional connection between parents and their children.

Children need love and individual attention. The process of finding the ideal child care is, therefore, exasperating. Some signs distinguish a good daycare from a bad daycare. Here are the things that you should check:

The Reputation of the Daycare

A primary concern among parents is the reputation of a care center. Make sure to select a facility with positive reviews. You can search for the center’s name online and see the responses of other parents. You can also get opinions about a daycare center from friends and family members.

Do you know that the first impression you get when visiting a kid’s care center is also vital? A center that doesn’t impress is not worth your kid’s stay.


The necessary regulation of any daycare is a state license. This license indicates that the said care facility has permission to operate in Utah. It’s always a good practice to shun unregistered daycares. Apart from the Utah license, a quality daycare should also have other permissions from accredited health and child organizations.

Such organizations include the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA), National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs (NAC), and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Qualified Staff

One indication of an excellent daycare in Salt Lake City is the presence of well-educated personnel. A caregiver should have at least two years of college training. The training should also revolve around early childhood development. Whenever possible, the said caregivers should have additional knowledge in pediatric first aid, CPR, among other emergency response techniques.

An ideal daycare center should also be adequately staffed. There should be the right ratio between a caregiver and the number of kids under his/her care. Children should also be divided into groups depending on their respective ages.

Safe and Clean Facilities

From walls, walks, floors, fields, toilets to the kitchen, each corner of a good childcare center should be spotless. The sanitary conditions and food preparation must be hygienic. Kids are more prone to infections. It’s advisable to avoid centers with unhygienic conditions.

A proper center also has basic safety rules. Hazardous substances and sharp objects must be out of reach from toddlers. Other safety measures that ought to be present include fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and alarms.

The Best Daycare Center

kids in the daycare center

Other than well-equipped facilities, proper staffing, and licenses, the right daycare should be easily accessible. It should be in a convenient or accessible place so that you will not have to travel far with your children. Your kids deserve the best care and education. Remember that choosing the right daycare will go a long way in shaping their future.

Working out

The 5 Stages of Your Fitness Journey

People resolve to hit the gym and get in shape every time a new year starts. But how many follow through and achieve their fitness goal?

If you’d like to know what a feasible path to fitness is like for regular individuals, here are the stages to follow to help you chart your personal goals and progress.

One: Overcoming inertia

Starting your fitness journey is like the concept of inertia – remember your high school physics class? If you try to push something heavy that’s been at rest for a long time, it takes a lot of effort just getting it to budge. But once the motion starts, it gets easier to keep rolling.

Many people are stuck in this stage and simply give up after a few post-New Year gym sessions. There are many tactics to beat inertia. Keep a fitness journal to get into the mindset of reaching your health goals.

Two: Establishing habits

Have you ever wondered why fad diets and workouts come and go? Because getting fit is not so simple. The body is a complex system; you need to approach your goals in several ways.

Instead of looking for a mythical silver bullet that will fix your weight problems, acknowledge the bad habits that lead to poor fitness. This can only be overcome by building good habits, such as a regular walk and healthy meals every day, and breaking free from the negative ones such as unhealthy snacks or lying on the couch all day.

Three: Staying committed

When you truly make the effort to get in shape, the results can be amazing. But like many endeavours, achieving physical fitness follows a curve. Initially, you will shed a few pounds and make noticeable progress, then want to stop and go back to old habits.

Do not lose motivation at this point. Try a variety of exercises and get creative with your meals in order to keep things fresh. Without letting go of your goals, try not to obsess about the weighing scale or hitting a milestone at a specific time. Just keep at it and enjoy the journey.

Four: Setting new standards

If you persist and keep working hard, the results will come and you will realise that your fitness habits have become integrated into your lifestyle. Now you may want to set higher goals. That’s well and good, but do not forget to maintain a balanced lifestyle. Find time to rest and listen to your body in order to avoid fatigue or injury.

Five: Helping others

working out with a friend

What is left to do after you have fully embraced a healthy lifestyle and physical fitness? You can turn your personal transformation into a full-time practice to help others. You can start a health blog sharing your experiences and tips for others looking for information. You can also enroll in health coach training and become a guru. That could be the start of a new lifestyle business for you.

The best thing is you can help others embrace a positive change and go through their own fitness journey.

Not a lot of people have the discipline to start, maintain, and reach their fitness goals. You may be committed to exercising daily but don’t feel the need to set personal records. That is fine, as long as you maintain good health and habits, you’ll be in great shape sooner than you planned.


Benefits of Choosing Trade Jobs Over Traditional Occupations

Choosing what to do after finishing school is hard. Should you continue your education and take up further studies? Should you join the workforce and find a job that’s suitable for you? Or are you the type to regret what you’ve studied because you’re not passionate about it?

If you can relate to these situations, you might want to consider going to trade school and specializing in a specific trade. You might groan at the thought of going back to school, but this one’s different: they teach you everything you need to know about a specific trade, and ensure that you’re well equipped by the time you’re finished with the course.

Need further convincing? Here are the top reasons you should give this career path a serious thought:

Trade School is Short and Cheap

The cost of going to trade school is considerably lower than your traditional degree. Currently, a 4-year course would cost somewhere between $100,000 and $160,000. This means it will take you years to full pay your student loans.

Trade school, on the other hand, will cost your around $30,000 for 6 months to 2 years. The shorter time it takes to finish school, the quicker you’ll join the workforce, the faster you’ll be able to pay off your loans.

Trade Jobs Pay Great

Tradesmen jobs are well-paying; you’ll be able to earn a substantial salary right off the bat. It’s because you’re specialized to work on a specific trade, and there are only a few qualified to do it. Only pilots can fly a plane, and you won’t entrust your expensive heavy machinery to someone who has no proper training operating them.

Skilled trades pay around $13-$34 per hour, with a median of $21 hourly rate. Compare that to other jobs, with pays ranging between $8 and $39, and a median of $16 per hour. If you’re basing solely on earning potential when choosing your career, you should definitely consider working on a specific trade.

worker with a tool belt

Trade Jobs are Secure

One of the bigger issues in the job market now is the security of a certain occupation. Indeed, you’re able to land a job, but the question is, how long will you be able to keep it? Fortunately, that’s not a problem with tradesmen jobs. Skilled trade can’t be outsourced.

When your car breaks down or your drain’s clogged, you’ll always turn to a tradesman to do the job. With sufficient training and experience, your job will be invaluable to your community. Your job is secure because you have a local customer base that would always go to you for your expertise.

Trade Job Openings are Abundant

Aside from job security, another great thing about tradesmen jobs is the abundance of work available. Again, you have a captive customer base—the people you know in your community, you relatives, friends, and more. There’s always an opportunity to grow and expand your operations, especially if you’ve already made a name for yourself.

If you find yourself at a career crossroads, always keep an open mind about becoming a tradesman.

woman who now has a master's degree

Things to Consider When Pursuing a Master’s Degree

Choosing the best post-graduate degree is a significant source of anxiety for students. Many schools offer a range of graduate degrees, which makes the selection more difficult. In countries like Singapore, business analytics is one of the top choices. If you are aspiring to take this degree or other areas of specialization, you need to consider several factors before you finally apply for admission.

Why Do You Need a Master’s Degree?

Having a master’s degree offers a lot of perks in terms of your professional expertise, career advancement, and even your self-confidence.

  • Earning your masters will deepen your understanding of a specific discipline. You will win the trust of your boss, colleagues, or subordinates because of your proficiency, and you’ll eventually establish your credibility in the workplace. Moreover, you will feel more confident about completing your tasks.
  • A master’s degree gives you a competitive edge among other job aspirants. It will also give you a head start in your career. Instead of being offered entry-level positions, there is a big possibility that you will be given managerial roles.
  • Graduate schools provide industry immersion in a short time. This means that while you are learning the theories, you will simultaneously get first-hand experiences through apprenticeships.
  • Pursuing a master’s degree will not only further your education, but it will serve as an avenue for you to meet new and valuable networks, catalyze personal development, and hone your self-sustainability.
  • Achieving a post-graduate degree will also give you a feeling of security when you change jobs. If you decide to explore an unfamiliar job area, your master’s degree will serve as a valid compensation for your inadequate experience. Employers want their people to be trained on industry trends, and your master’s degree will give you a higher rate of employability.

What to Remember When Choosing Your Master’s Degree

graduating student

Now that it’s clear that a master’s degree is worth it, it’s time for you to choose a program that is tailored to specific criteria like your goals, budget, and prospective university.

  • Know your goals. Ask yourself if you either want to enrich your knowledge in your present field or you want to study something more interesting. If you enroll in a subject that you love, chances are you will have excellent academic performance and get better grades. On the other hand, you need to be aware that some programs are not profitable in your career despite being enjoyable. Law, business, fashion and design, IT, and engineering are just some of the disciplines that are currently profitable.
  • Choose the right university. We all dream of studying at a prestigious university, but you need to be more practical. Do not just consider the name — research the school faculty’s teaching quality, the employment rate of alumni, and more.
  • Check your finances. Financial aids are available in some universities, but you will have peace of mind if you are sure that you can independently pay for your tuition fees and miscellaneous.

Pursuing a master’s degree is not just an ordinary investment. Don’t rush. Instead, invest more time in choosing the right program for you.

father and child

Fatherhood: How Important is Your Role?

Parenting is one of life’s greatest joys. It is also one of its greatest challenges. Making babies is easy (technically), but becoming a parent is a choice one has to make. The kind of parent you are will directly affect what your children will grow and how they will end up in life.

To be a good father, you do not need to answer questions like, “what is a keynote speaker?” or “how to negotiate effectively,” which can be answered by websites such as Eric Maddox. Being a parent requires no intelligence but wisdom, heart, and presence.

Father Absence Crisis

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are close to 20 million children, more than one in four, living in fatherless homes. Millions more have fathers who are physically present but emotionally detached. Fatherlessness, consequently, is a factor in a lot of social ills in America today.

Numerous case studies have shown us that uninvolved parenting, which demands nothing and gives nothing, sows havoc in a child’s life with their indifference and inability to deal with the child.

Several studies also show that a fatherless home is directly correlated to juvenile crime. The more opportunity a child has to interact with his or her biological father, the lesser the chances he or she will be under the juvenile justice system’s radar.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, children who grew up in fatherless homes make up for:

  • 63% of youth suicides.
  • 90% of homeless and runaway youths.
  • 85% of children displaying behavioral disorders.
  • 71% of all high school dropouts.
  • 70% of all juvenile delinquency.
  • 75% of young people admitted to substance abuse centers.
  • 75% of sexual offenders brought about by displaced anger.

Those are pretty serious numbers.

The Father Factor

father with wife and daughter

We are faced with a world where technological advances are as much bane as it is boon. Faceless sexual predators lurking online looking for a child to prey upon. Keyboard warriors out to take bullying to a whole other level, inflicting not physical harm but mental anguish and emotional torture.

Although our children are faced with new threats and have different needs today, the presence of an attentive and loving father can help protect them from today’s modern risks and empower them to become the best that they can be.

Even though there are differences in a father and a mother’s parenting styles, both are equally important. A father’s presence can prevent a young boy from acting out and build confidence in a young girl. A father tells it like it is, which espouses critical thinking that children can use to succeed in life.

Fathers are more naturally inclined to let children experience hardships but walking alongside them through their challenges.

While being a parent is hard, it is especially so today. The world is a far more complex place today than it was a couple of decades ago. Children are faced with challenges today we never experienced before. It would be very convenient if there were a “parenting switch” that you can turn on or off anytime, but life doesn’t work that way. Fathers are needed now more than ever.

homeopathy, leaf extract

Basic Understanding of Homeopathy

The term homeopathy is an alternative form of a medical discipline that centers on the belief that the body can heal itself. People who practice it use tiny amounts of substances that come from plants and minerals to help trigger the healing process.

Forms of homeopathic medicine are available in most health food stores. But there are other people who consider homeopathy as a pretense. But how does it work?

Understanding more about homeopathy

Homeopathy brings on specific symptoms to a perfectly healthy person. They do it to treat a particular illness that shares the same symptoms. For example, since red onions make a person’s eyes water, people use it to treat specific allergies.

Homeopaths weaken the effects of the ingredients by diluting it. They either use water or alcohol to mix it. Then, they combine the mixture as they shake it through potentization. People who went to study nutritional therapy say that it helps transfer the healing essence of the ingredients to the liquid.

Homeopaths also believe that giving a person with a lower dosage would make its effect more powerful. Most of the remedies sold don’t even contain any part of the original substance. These remedies come in various forms, including sugar pellets and liquid drops. Meanwhile, some come in the form of creams and gels.

Once you visit a homeopath, the specialist will ask you a series of questions. It’ll mostly discuss a few details about your emotional, mental, and physical state. Then, he’ll prescribe the right remedy that’ll match the symptoms that you’re experiencing.

If there aren’t any available homeopaths near your area, you can also buy over-the-counter remedies at health food stores. Some are available at a few drug stores, too. The quality, as well as the dosage, will depend on the company who manufactured it.

How homeopathy works

ImageMoringa Oil and seeds, The seeds of the Moringa tree are pressed oil known as Ben Oil yellow

People who practice homeopathy now understand the idea of Avogadro constant. Live Science says that people attribute the healing abilities of homeopathy to water memory.

Homeopaths help treat various health conditions, including allergies and migraines. It also includes depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. You can also use it in treating bruises and scrapes. But, if you have any life-threatening illnesses, then it’s best to go to a doctor immediately.

Potential risks in using homeopathy

The FDA superintends homeopathic remedies. But it doesn’t thoroughly review if these products are safe or if they’re useful. Most of the time, homeopathic products are excessively diluted that it no longer causes any side effects. But there are times when a few homeopathic medicines contain a large amount of heavy metal. Taking it can be lethal, especially when you do it regularly.

There are also products called nosodes that other people marketed to substitute vaccines. Nevertheless, it doesn’t have enough studies to prove its efficacy.

These are only a few of the things that you need to remember about homeopathy. If you’re interested in it, you can try enrolling in nutritional therapy training near your area. Doing so will give you more information about homeopathy so that you can learn more about it.

man breaking cigarette stick

Quit Cigarette Smoking by Managing Your Cravings

According to the Centers for Disease Control, cigarette smoking is the primary cause of preventable death. In the United States, 16 million citizens have a disease caused by smoking cigarettes. The activity is directly responsible for illnesses, such as stroke, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, as well as different kinds of cancer.

It makes sense for people to attempt to quit smoking. Some may abruptly stop the habit without medication. Others may need the aid of a nicotine patch or guided hypnosis with a clinical hypnotherapist. Although you can stop smoking for good with any of these techniques, you may relapse.

What makes cigarettes so seductive?

Cerebral Smoke Signals

The addictive power of cigarettes comes from the unique chemical properties of nicotine. Unlike other addictive substances, smoking cigarettes don’t induce euphoric happiness or trigger audiovisual stimulation. Simply put, you don’t get high from smoking a cigarette. The nicotine that a stick of cigarette contains only triggers the release of dopamine in the brain.

What makes nicotine unique is that each puff of a cigarette tells the brain to release dopamine, unlike other drugs that stimulate the brain just once. This hardwires the brain to repeat the behavior just to receive more dopamine, almost like a Pavlovian reaction.

The repeated release of dopamine also makes other activities more pleasurable, acting as reinforcement to those behaviors. Because of this, nicotine acts as a gateway substance, making the consumption of other chemicals more pleasurable to the brain. As such, it can be difficult but not impossible to “unlearn” the behavior. You can do it through discipline and curbing the impulses the nicotine taught.

Craving Control

Time to quit smoking

Resisting the urge to smoke a cigarette is the key to quitting for good. You can control your nicotine craving in a number of ways. They range from distracting yourself to replacing the craving with something else.

  • Avoid your tobacco triggers. You will experience the strongest cravings when you’re in situations where you used to smoke. These situations can be events, such as drinking sessions or parties, or emotions, like when you feel stressed or happy. Pinpoint these triggers and change the routine that you associate with smoking.
  • Think about why you’re quitting. Remember the reasons you’re quitting. Perhaps it’s because you don’t want to be healthy, or because you’re significant other has asked you to stop. Maybe you’re going to be a parent soon. Visualize these reasons or say them out loud to help you resist the cravings.
  • Sweat if off. Distract yourself from the urge to smoke by engaging in physical activity. If you’re outdoors, try walking or jogging around the block a couple of times. If you’re in an office, walk up and down the stairs or keep yourself busy with clerical work.
  • It doesn’t end with one. At one point, you may try to rationalize that you’ll only have “just one more.” You may believe that doing so will satisfy the craving then and make it easier for you to stop. Don’t believe it for a second. Smoking one more stick can unravel all your hard work and cause you to take up the habit again.

Ask others for help when you feel like your best efforts might make you smoke again. Enlist the support of friends and family, visit online support groups, or work with a therapist. Above all, believe that you can do it. Once you’ve committed to giving up smoking, never give up on yourself.

Teens drinking in the car

How to Stop Your Teens from Drinking and Driving

Whenever we see a movie about teenagers, there is likely a scene where one of them tries to fool a store clerk that he is of legal age to buy beer. It is no laughing matter, especially when someone we know and love does the same and on top of that, drives while drunk.

You should do all that you can to keep your teenager from drinking and driving. It is a given, though, that you will not always be there to keep an eye out for them. But there are other ways to keep your children on the straight and narrow.

Talk about having the right friends

Many teenagers succumb to drinking illegally because of peer pressure. So, you should start with this situation and teach your kids to be with the right friends.

Of course, that is easier said than done, particularly during this stage of their life, when they want to hang out with the “cool” kids. As long as you do not pressure your children to choose the right people to be their friends, they might be open to your suggestions.

Unfortunately, some of them could be a bad influence on your children. One thing you can do in this situation is to tell them about your experience in finding the right kind of friends when you were younger. If they see that you had the same dilemmas as they have right now, they will likely consider following your advice.

man passed out with keys on a bottle

Explain the consequences

You should also explain to your teenage kids the repercussions if they drink when they are not of legal age yet. Most teenagers think they are invincible, and that they are crafty enough to avoid getting caught. You should imprint in your teenagers’ minds that they could not be more wrong.

Police officers are trained to detect reckless behavior on the road. Even if your teenage kids think that they can drive while drunk, they will definitely be pulled over. And when that happens, they could end up in jail. Try telling them what happens to people who end up in jail for the first time, and they will think twice about drinking and driving.

Aside from instilling fear into teenagers, explain to them the long-term damages of having a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction. Assuming that they would want to study in some university, tell them that if they have an arrest record, it would be doubly hard for them to set foot in any reputable school.

You could even tell them that after their DUI conviction, it would take them three years before they are no longer deemed a high-risk. While they are considered high-risk, they will have to get an SR22 insurance from Arizona or whatever state you are in.

Teach your children to be responsible and mindful of people who might be pressuring them into drinking. Getting a DUI conviction can be very detrimental to a teenager’s life and prospects. Protect them as much as you can by educating them about the repercussions of drinking and driving.