Sunday, December 2, 2012

Does Your Child Need a Tutor?

Many children benefit from the instruction of a tutor, whether they're struggling with a learning disability or taking advanced courses through a gifted program. Taking the time to consider whether or not to hire a tutor means you're giving your child an opportunity to excel in the classroom.
Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between a child who is truly struggling with courses and one who is simply unmotivated to complete his or her studies. One must also consider the time and money that is required for a tutoring program. Still, finding the right tutor for your child can bring amazing results: improved grades, increased self-esteem, and positive study habits that will remain with your child throughout his or her life. It is important to consider your decision carefully and know when it's time to get help. 

Here are some tips for determining whether or not you should hire a tutor for your child:
  • If your child is having difficulty competing assignments and your schedule doesn't allow you to sit with him or her to help each night, consider enlisting outside help. Because schoolwork becomes more difficult from one grade level to the next, not understanding a lesson now may lead to an even larger problem down the road.   
  • If your child has a learning disability, professional assistance may be in order. A tutor will not only have the time and patience required to work through your child's problems, but will often have experience working with other children with the same disabilities. This experience can be invaluable. 
  • If your child understands his or her studies, but seems to crumble during tests, a tutor might help. Not only can a tutor provide valuable test reviews, they can also provide tips and exercises for dealing with test anxiety. 
  • If your child is advanced, perhaps a member of his or her school's gifted program, it's possible that he or she can skip a grade entirely. Your child may also be eligible for honors or advanced placement courses, which often allow one to earn college credit while still enrolled in high school. A tutor may be able to help your child stay ahead of the curve, or at least keep up with his or her advanced studies. 
  • Any student can benefit from some help now and again. A free after-school program hosted by his or her school or teacher-guided study groups are always worth consideration.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Talking Turkey and Other Holiday Tips for Your Family

 Holiday and Thanksgiving Tips Raleigh Apex Cary Durham

As the holiday season draws near, there are more opportunities to have fun with family.  We put together the Family Fun Series to encourage spending time together this season with family and friends.  Grab a cup of hot cocoa and read about some great ways to make the season special that don’t take a lot of time or money…just family.


While you’re sitting around the table waiting for some turkey and mashed potatoes to come your way, start a conversation with these ideas.  You can do this during dinner, before dinner, when the pies are handed out or just when things get a little calm.  Print out this post, cut up the statements and let everybody have a turn!


Something I wish was still in stores is… 

The first movie I ever saw was…

My favorite toy was…

My first job was…

My best birthday party was…

If you could have any super hero power, what would it be?

If you could live out any TV show for a week, what show would it be?

What is the most memorable event of this year?

What is your favorite family recipe?

If you could be invisible for 3 hours, where would you go and what would you do?

What radio station or CD is in your car right now?

Best Halloween costume you saw this year…any year?

Where were you when…you finish the blank…the youngest child was born, the Red Sox won the World Series, you got your driver’s license, you met your spouse, etc.

What I want for Christmas is… 

Holiday Tips:  Do you have some younger ones and teens coming to the feast?  Here are some great tips to help people of ALL ages to enjoy the holiday get togethers! 

  • The dinner is often off schedule for many children.  Most kids eat earlier than the traditional 2 or 3 pm dinner schedule.  Prepare a light snack/lunch just for the kids that doesn’t take much time.  Veggies, crackers, cheese, and even juice boxes so that they can eat ahead of time and not be constantly asking for lunch

  • Have a “kids table.”  Cover the kids table with butcher paper and leave some crayons for them to enjoy coloring.

  • Have one TV just for the kids.  It can be a TV or a computer monitor with a laptop.  Once the kids are done, let them watch a special move such as Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving or Christmas or one of our favorites A Night at the Museum for older ones.  You can do this later in the day and give them some microwaved popcorn as a treat!

  • Download directions on how to make a pilgrim hat for children.  This way the older ones can make their own hats.  You can also download other creatures to make that may be fun!  Go to our Pinterest board here for the directions. 

  • If you have preschoolers, have them bring costumes or buy some after Halloween dress up and put it in a big bin.  They will have great fun playing princess and pirate, enchanting everyone with their presence!

  • Download some activities that are football or fall themed.  You can see great fall and football ideas on our Pinterest board here!

  • Have a place for the children to go when they are done.  A playroom, a TV room, outside.  Don’t assume they will make it.

  • Make S’mores at dusk around a campfire.  Something to look forward to and a little different!  Kids will talk about it for a long time to come.  Hint:  Get the large marshmallows!

  • Pick a place to go after the big meal and before the dessert…or after the dessert.  We like to go to Duke Gardens, but choose a spot to head to with the kids and anyone who wants to get off a little energy!  The ones who want to nap can then have a little quiet!

  • Designate a pie and dessert “order taker.”  This person goes around with a pencil and pad and takes the dessert order of each person.  Then they tally up the number and off they go to hand in the orders.  If they are old enough, they can serve it as well!

  • For those who may have lost a loved one, having something there to remind them or even making a trip to the cemetery may seem strange, but is good for many children.  Remembering their special person is important

  • Make your own name place tags and/or placemats for the kids to color.  See some great ideas on our Thanksgiving Pinterest Board (with free download!). Or, download some great ones from NickJr.

  • Go bowling!  Our family (minus anyone who wanted to stay home by the fire) went bowling every Christmas Day.  We were usually one of the only ones there.  One year, we even were interviewed by the local paper!

  • Put out a puzzle.  For elementary ages and teens right up to adult, puzzles seem to captivate some great attention!  We’ve had some great conversation as you search for pieces.  If you really want to have fun, take one piece (not an edge piece) and hide it away.  There’s nothing worse than having one piece missing from a puzzle you spent hours on….and there’s nothing better than being the one who “found” the piece (or if you’re really nice, give it to the youngest puzzle doer).  Such fun!


The best advice sometimes is to relax and know that something will go wrong and right.  Family getting together can be stressful, wonderful, busy, and unlike any normal day.  Kids will be annoyed, teased, laughing, crying, and sleeping at the oddest times.  Sometimes letting go of expectations can be the best thing to do on holidays.

Have a great holiday season…from our house to yours!

Tutor Doctor Longmont: We give Thanks....

We give Thanks to our students
Who struggle and overcame
Writer’s block and math equations
Learning names of ever changing nations!!

We give Thanks to our tutors
Who help their students to achieve
 The best in themselves and their grade
That shows what all their hard work has made

We give Thanks to our clients
Who decided to invest in their child’s future
Who made that initial leap
For their child’s knowledge and skills-- for ever for them to keep

Can you give us a review?
On Google or Yahoo
So that we may help students
Who need help with in the areas of math or whatever 
To make this their BEST SCHOOL YEAR EVER!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

How to Retrieve What You’ve Read—Almost Instantly

“Readers are leaders and leaders are readers.” I can remember when and where I heard that phrase for the first time. It was at a Campus Crusade meeting on a Thursday night in Hardin Hall on the campus of Clemson University.
Word from a Book, Highlighted in Green - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #18259623
I’m not sure why those words are burned into my mind, but this quote took my leadership to the next level. Soon after, I started soaking up anything I could find on the topic of leadership.
As I began this component of my leadership development, I reasoned, “Why would anyone read this stuff without the means of sharing and revisiting it from time to time?” I could not understand why anyone would read through a book without a pen and/or highlighter.
To read a book just to say you read it simply baffled me. I understand we all have different learning styles, but unless you have a photographic memory, there is no way you can retrieve what you have read in less than sixty seconds. I knew I needed a way to keep the golden nuggets of leadership within reach.
The next defining moment in my “readership journey” came when I met Steve Wright. Steve is an author, speaker, Student Minister and all things leadership. He shared with me how most of his creativity and teaching material came from what he was reading.
He also divulged his system of reading and filing. This compelled me to create my own methodology for capturing what I was reading and then put it in a format that would allow me to retrieve it quickly. Here’s the method to my madness:
  1. Read good books. This may be a no-brainer, but I don’t read arbitrary books. If someone hasn’t recommended a title or author, I don’t touch it. This is where crowd-sourcing is a key component to my leadership development. Hence, I’m currently finishing up Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.
  2. Never read without a pen and/or highlighter. If you are reading good books and your intent for reading is to learn, then you need to be ready to mark those nuggets when you find them. I understand this might push some of my OCD friends over the edge, but trust me, the librarian will not show up on your door step demanding a fee for damaged books. Not to mention that studies have revealed that you tend to read faster when you use a pen to help pace your eyes along the text.
  3. Finish the book and rewind. When I complete a book, I’m only halfway to the finish line. My next step is to go back to the beginning and revisit the principles, illustrations, and examples that caught my attention the first time through. As I re-read those sentences or paragraphs, I search for a key word that would identify the topic it addresses and circle it. If I am not able to find that word, I will write a word in the margin.
  4. Create your own index. This is the extra mile. Now that I have done the work to read, mark and identify, I need a tool to help me get to it as fast as you can. I will ask my assistant, Vickie, to flip through the pages of my work and begin composing a list of the key words I have attached to the information. She will also attach page numbers to the key word. If I have used that word in several areas, she just adds those page numbers in sequence. In the end, I will have a list of key words and all the pages attached to those words and will arrange them in alphabetical order. (Note: I use MS Excel. MS Word will work as well.)
  5. Cut and paste. Hold on, you are almost finished. My last step is to look at the book I have processed and determine how many blank pages are in the front and back, covers included. I also measure the dimensions of those pages. This is critical as I want the pages of my index to fit inside the book. I will modify the settings for my margins to match the dimensions for the book. Once this is done, I determine how many pages my index created and make sure I have enough blank pages in the book. If not, I will adjust font size and even font type to make sure all of my index pages will fit. Finally, I’ll grab some rubber cement and paste these pages on the blank pages of my book.
  6. But wait, there’s one more step. As I began this process, it occurred to me that I needed a Master Index of the books I complete. This allows me to see all of the books I have read that mention a particular topic. So if I need material on Social Media, I can see which books and authors reference Social Media.
The bottom line here is that you must have a means to retrieve what you read. It helps you stay sharp and it elevates your value to others who know you are a disciplined reader and can share what you learn.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

10 Things Winners Do Differently

Anyone can give up, and lots of people do, because it’s the easiest thing in the world to do.  But to keep going when everyone would understand if you stopped, that’s what winners do differently.  In fact, this is the most significant principle of winning.  Because without this kind of determination and persistence, the first nine points in this article wouldn’t matter.  But when you combine determination and persistence, as described in point #10 below, with each of the other nine points below, that’s when the real magic happens.
On their relentless road to victory, winners…
  1. Take 100% responsibility. – Your life is your statement to the world, representing your values, beliefs, and dreams.  It is yours to create, to enjoy or not enjoy, to fight or to be at peace.  In the end, the very best years of your life will be the ones in which you decide your problems are your own.  You do not blame them on your parents, society, or the economy.  You realize that you control your own destiny.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  2. Focus on the controllable. – Life is a balance between what we can and cannot control.  You must learn to live comfortably between effort and surrender.  Life does not owe you anything; it has already given you everything you need.  Freedom is not overcoming what you think stands in your way;  it is understanding that what is in your way is part of the way.
  3. Eliminate the wrong things. – The true price of anything you do is the amount of time you exchange for it.  If something you’re doing or thinking isn’t fixing or improving the situation, then it’s wasting your time.  There comes a point when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.
  4. Maintain control. – Start shaping your own days.  Start walking your own walk.  This journey is yours.  You know you were born, and you know you will die.  The in between is all up to you.  Stop wishing, and start doing.  Either you run your days, or your days will run you.
  5. Keep good company. – It’s not always where you are in life, but who you have by your side that matters most.  Some people drain you and others provide soul food.  Be sure to get in the company of those who feed your spirit, and give the gift of your absence to those who do not appreciate your presence.
  6. Think constructively. – Change your thoughts and you change your reality.  Our thoughts are the makers of our moods, the inventors of our dreams, and the creators of our will.  That is why you must sort through them carefully, and choose to respond only to those that will help you build the life you want, and the outlook you want to hold as you’re living it.  Read Learned Optimism.
  7. Conquer oneself. – Being yourself is the foundation of happiness.  Knowing yourself is the foundation of wisdom.  Pushing yourself is the foundation of success.  It is better to conquer yourself is these ways, than to win a hundred battles elsewhere in life.
  8. Practice self-love. – We need to fix ourselves first before we fix others.  Caring for yourself is not an act of self-indulgence, it’s an act of self-respect.  The day will finally come when you have to accept that you need to be your own caretaker.  There will be times when you’ll have to work hard to mother yourself with the compassion and patience that any messed up kid would need.  Doing so will prove to be a great challenge, but a happier life is your reward.
  9. Work through the pain. – One day this pain will make sense to you.  Sometimes it takes the worst pain to bring about the best change.  The strongest people you know became strong because of the pain they once faced, and conquered.  So in spite of all the put-downs and negativity you’ve heard from others in your life, stay focused on your goals, and remember that how you rise up is no one else’s business but your own.  Read Man’s Search for Meaning.
  10. Keep going. – No matter what you do, no matter how many times you screw up and think to yourself that there’s no point to carry on, and no matter how many people tell you that you can’t do it – keep going.  Pick yourself back up.  Don’t quit.  Don’t quit, because a few months from now you will be so much closer to your goal than you are now.  Focus on the road ahead.  Do something today your future self will thank you for.
Source: post written by: Marc

They are Kids....

The 4 Survival Skills Every Kid Should Know

Survival KidSource
Lisa Bedford is the author of Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios and editor of blog.
Some of outdoor adventurer Bear Grylls’ biggest fans are kids. Their eyes widen at his derring-do, and boys and girls alike admire his survival skills and savvy. But the survival skills that are more likely to keep our kids safe and sound are actually far more mundane! Here are four survival skills that every kid should know, along with a few tips for parents.

What to do if lost

A lost child is a scared child, and usually their first instinct is to begin searching for their family. Train your children to stop and sit as soon as they realize they are lost. Assure them that, no matter how scared they might be, you are searching for them at that very moment; but also that, if they keep moving around, it will take longer to find them. Consider equipping your children with an inexpensive cell phone and when venturing outdoors, a few survival items tucked in a backpack or their pockets. Items such as a whistle, a bright bandana and a bottle of water are the makings of a kids’ survival kit that will go a long way to helping them be found more quickly.

How to answer the door when home alone

Usually the best strategy is to not answer the door! Yes, the person knocking could be a burglar scoping out the neighborhood. But once the door is opened, it’s that much easier for an intruder to enter. And children are easily overpowered. Train your child to enforce home security: Keep doors and windows locked and blinds and curtains closed. Noise from a TV or radio is fine. Someone with questionable motives will think twice about entering a home if they hear noises inside, even if the house is closed up and no one answers the door.

What to do in a medical emergency

From a young age, kids can learn how to dial 911 and report an emergency, but this takes practice. Spend some time rehearsing phone calls, teaching your children to relay detailed information to an operator, follow his or her instructions, and then stay on the line until help arrives. If possible, children should also get the home ready for the arrival of EMTs by putting pets in closed areas and, if it’s nighttime, turning on both indoor and outdoor lights. Summer is an ideal time for children to take first aid and CPR classes, that are typically suitable for kids age 9 and up.

 How to maintain situational awareness

When driving in the car, for instance, ask your kids to describe a building or vehicle you just passed. Teach them to pay attention to the route home by asking them to give you driving directions!
This one skill can help your child avoid many dangerous situations. The concept is simply for children to be aware of the people and events around them. Parents can help their children become more observant and aware—not by scaring them, but by playing games to teach and practice this skill.
When driving in the car, for instance, ask your kids to describe a building or vehicle you just passed. Teach them to pay attention to the route home by asking them to give you driving directions! Tell them to close their eyes and describe what someone in the room is wearing. Encourage them to check out the license plates of passing cars: Which states are they from? What is the sum of the numbers on the license plate?
Being aware of their surroundings will help them avoid predatory people and other dangerous scenarios. Simple to teach. Fun to practice. And, quite possibly, a life saver.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Helping Kids Sleep Better: The Overlooked Crucial Key to Grades and School Success

American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that 1 in 3 kids are sleep-deprived  /Source

School success impacts our children for the rest of their life: it influences their self-esteem, college selections, job attainment, financial success, and even their choice of spouses. It’s no wonder we go to such great lengths to try and give our kids an academic edge. But despite our good intentions we often overlook a simple strategy that impacts academic success—making sure our kids are getting enough zzz’s.
Research shows that a lack of sleep can have a serious impact on children’s abilities to learn, focus and perform at school. In fact, a study from the University of British Columbia found that sleep deprivation can hinder neuron growth in the brain during teen years, a critical time for cognitive development. As of this writing schools or schools districts in 21 states have instituted delayed start times to let teens sleep longer.
REALITY CHECK: Tel Aviv University researchers found that missing just one hour of sleep can be enough to reduce a child’s cognitive abilities by almost two years the next day. For example, a sixth grader who loses precious zzz’s the night before a big test could end up performing at a fourth grade level. Is your child getting enough sleep?
A 2011 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that a mere 7.6% of teens get the recommended 9 to 10 hours of sleep, 23.5% get eight hours and 38.7% are seriously sleep-deprived at six or fewer hours a night. What’s more almost 90 percent of their parents believe their kids are getting enough sleep, even though they’re not.
The result of sleep deprivation? Kids who are more likely to be cranky, irritable, hyper, moody, have chronic headaches, as well lower grades and test scores and trouble focusing in school.
Here are surprisingly simple solutions that every parent should have in their toolbox to improve their kids’ academic success as they head back to school. The trick is to create a bedtime routine tailored to your child’s unique temperament, body clock and sleep needs, and then stick to it.

8 Tips to Help Kids Get a Good Night’s Sleep 

Set a regular bedtime schedule

Identify your child’s sleep needs, then announce the bedtime hour and stick to it. Research finds that parents who don’t enforce a regular bedtime experience have kids with more nighttime disturbances.

Sync your kid’s body clock to the schedule

Plan ahead to help your child’s sleep schedule during weekends or vacation be in sync with the school schedule. If the new bedtime is more than one hour different you may need to gradually phase in the new sleep times to help your child adjust.
Shortening the bedtime by twenty minutes each night might help just as you would when traveling to adjust your body clock to another time zone. Beware: the process can take several days to several weeks.

Start bedtime prep earlier

Begin the “getting ready” process at least 20 to 30 minutes before lights-out. The wind-down time helps calm the child and gets you out of the battle. For younger children try hanging a picture chart showing the sequence of bedtime events such as light snack, bath, pajamas, brush teeth, bedtime story, prayers, say goodnight. Then stick to that same nightly routine every night until it becomes a habit.

Create wind-down rituals

Many kids are so wired from stress, exercising, studying or cramped schedules that it’s tough for them to drift off when the lights go out. If your child needs time to wind-down time, add it into the nighttime schedule.
Those old rituals (taking a warm bath, writing in a journal, taking a shower, reading, sipping warm milk) do help prepare kids’ bodies for a better night’s sleep. The trick is to help your child discover what works for him, and then do the same ritual every night to help him relax.

Revise the nighttime schedule

Educate an older child about sleep stealers and then encourage her to revise her schedule so she gets a better night’s rest. Start by asking: “How many hours do you think you need for a good night’s sleep? Okay, then let’s think of ways to help you get those hours.”

Turn off flashing images

Flashing images affect REM, so be sure to turn off the computer, video games and television at least thirty minutes prior to bedtime. Tell your teen: “Turn off the computer or TV screen at least a half hour before bedtime. Those flicking lights signal to your brain to stay alert.”

Halt those energy drinks!

Tell your teen, “Those energy drinks help you now but they’ll also keep you awake at night.”
Or: “What time do you think you should stop drinking that cola?”
Also, watch out for known caffeinated sleep stealers like cold medications, coffee or chocolate.

Hide that cell!

Take away your kids’ cell phones during nighttime hours. Sixty two percent of kids admit they text or talk after the lights go out and their parents are clueless.
Kids who get enough sleep are not only more likely to function better and are less likely to be moody or act out.
All the more reasons to get your kid on a good sleep routine.

Halloween Safety Tips

Spookiest day of the year!
The following lists of Halloween safety tips are not to scare you from going trick or treating. They are here because we all want our TOT'ers to have a safe and memorable Halloween.
What a great holiday! You get to dress up in a really cool costume. Go door to door, begging for candy. Go home and gorge yourself in candy heaven! Ah, what a great tradition!
Just because trick or treating is not what it used to be doesn't mean that it still can't make great memories providing that we follow a few basic Halloween safety rules.
Make this holiday a fun, safe, and happy time for your kids with these Halloween safety tips and they'll carry on the tradition that you taught them to their own families some day!

Trick or Treating Safety Tips

Remember the following Halloween safety tips for trick or treating.
Make sure all the TOT'ers and their escorts have flashlights. Flashlights will help you see better and to be more visible to cars and others. Make sure you have fresh batteries. Flashlights will help you see items in your path when walking on the sidewalk. Flashlights will help in locating items if you drop them. Other great alternatives to flashlights are glowsticks and reflective tape on costumes and trick or treat bags. Carry cell phones or coins for telephones so you can call home if needed. Teach children their home phone number and to how call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost. Remind them that 9-1-1 can be dialed free from any phone.
Plan your route and communicate with your group where you are going. Establish a beginning, middle and end point in case any members of the group get lost.
Stay in familiar neighborhoods. Only go to houses that have the outside lights on. Do NOT enter homes or apartments unless you are accompanied by an adult. Stay in well lighted areas. Don't cut through back alleys and fields. Stay in populated places and don't go off the beaten track. TOT'ers should stay together as a group if going out without an adult. Stay away from and don't pet animals that you don't know.
Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child. All TOT'ers should walk, don't run from house to house. Don't cut across yards or lawns. There may be Halloween props and wires where you could trip and get hurt.  Don't walk in the middle of the street.  Stay on the sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic. Obey traffic and pedestrian signals . Don't hide or run out from between parked cars. NEVER get into a stranger's car. Cross only at street corners. Look both ways before crossing the street. Don't assume the right of way. Just because one car stops doesn't mean the next one will.
Remove any mask or item that will limit your eyesight before crossing the street or while walking from house to house. Wear a watch you can read in the dark. Keep away from open fires and candles (costumes can be extremely flammable).

Halloween Costume Safety Tips

Here's some great Halloween safety tips for costumes to make it a very safe Halloween.
Help your child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright to be clearly visible to motorists. Use reflective tape that will glow in a light beam as costume trim and decorations. Reflective tape is usually available in Walmart, Target, hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.
When purchasing costumes and accessories, look for the label flame resistant or fire retardant. This label does not guarantee that the costumes won't catch fire but they will resist from burning and be able to extinguish quickly. To minimize the risk of contact with jack o'lantern flames and other candles, avoid big, billowy costumes. Costumes should be loose enough so that warm clothing can be worn underneath. Review with your children the principle of "Stop-Drop-Roll", should their clothes catch on fire.
Make sure costumes don't drag on the ground.  Knives, swords, scythes, pitchforks or other costume props should be soft and flexible enough should they trip and fall on them.
Avoid oversized shoes, high heels and long skirts or pants that could cause a child to trip and fall. Shoes should fit or stay secure on the foot.
The eye holes in masks should be large enough for good peripheral vision. Make sure that the mask does restrict breathing. Parents should try on the mask themselves. If it's uncomfortable or heavy on the face, chances are your child won't want to wear the mask either. Hats and scarves should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.
If a child wears makeup, parents should look for non-toxic, hypoallergenic makeup kits. Check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled "Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives," "Laboratory Tested," "Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics," or "Non-Toxic." Follow manufacturer's instruction for application.
An extra special Halloween safety tip is to secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet in case the younger ones get separated from their group.

Halloween Candy Safety

Children shouldn't snack while they're trick-or-treating. Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering. Though tampering is rare, closely look for signs of tampering such as small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packages. Throw away any spoiled or suspicious items.
Parents of small children should get rid of choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.
The best Halloween safety tip for candy is "when in doubt, throw it out".

Safety Tips for Parents

Who would ever think of serving your kids a filling meal before they go trick or treating as a good Halloween safety tip. You'll have a better chance of them bringing it home for you to inspect.

Ideally, young children of any age should be accompanied by an adult. If you can't take them, see if another parent or a teen aged sibling can go along. You should know the route of where they're going.
Older children should know where to reach you. Set a time limit of when they should be home. Make sure they know the importance of being home on time.

Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism. Make sure they understand to not destroy other people's property. This could ruin Halloween for you and others. If they are caught vandalizing, make them clean up the mess and pay for any damages themselves.
Explain to your kids that animal cruelty is not acceptable. Kids may know this on their own but peer pressure can be a bad thing. Make sure that they know that harming animals is not only morally wrong but punishable by law and will not be tolerated.
Reinforce to your kids basic everyday Halloween safety tips such as, not getting into cars, talking to strangers, watching both ways before crossing streets, crossing when the lights tell you to.
Watch how much candy they eat when they get home. Too much can lead to stomach aches and indigestion. They will probably pretty wired on the "sugar fix" and not want to go to bed.
Have children get out of cars on the curb side, not on the traffic side.
Let your child have some say in their costume, within reason of course. Some clothing may be great inside at a party, but use common sense when they are outside in fall air (and in some areas, winter weather).

Safety Tips for Adults

All adults whether they have trick or treaters or not should also follow these Halloween safety tips.
Parents and adults should ensure the safety of pedestrian TOT's.
Remind all household drivers to drive slowly throughout the neighborhood. Watch for children in the street, darting between parked cars, and on medians. Exit driveways and alleyways carefully. Watch for children in dark clothing. Children are likely to choose the shortest route rather then the safest.
Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch, steps, and walkway. Check around your property for flower pots, low tree limbs, garden hoses, toys or bikes that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house.
Remember Halloween safety tips can be for your pets as well. Confine, segregate or otherwise prepare household pets for an evening of frightful sights and sounds. Be sure that all dogs and cats are wearing collars and proper identification tags in case they get out of the house or yard.
Consider fire safety when decorating. Candlelit jack-o'-lanterns should be kept well away from porches and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame. Battery powered jack o'lantern candles are preferable to a real flame.
If using inflatable lawn decorations, place them off the walkway leading to your front door. Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
I know that this is a pretty hefty Halloween safety tips list.
But it's our trick or treaters. Let's keep them safe!
Happy Haunting!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Apps for Happy Haunting

Make 2012 your best Halloween yet with some of our favorite new apps for a spectacularly spooky holiday!

Apps for children- and parents- for a safe and fun Halloween.   Thank you webroot for the fun treat. 

Keeping kids safe

While trick-or-treaters should always be accompanied by an adult, the Trick or Tracker app is a great tool for keeping tabs of your older kids' whereabouts as they head out on Halloween night.
If you're home on doorbell duty this year, just install the app on both your phone and your child's phone. Synch them up by entering the same password on both devices, and you're all set. The app can now pinpoint your child's exact location via GPS technology, and you can rest easy knowing exactly what your little goblin is up to.

I ain't afraid of no ghost

If you're not a fan of trick-or-treating (or just don't have any candy-grubbing kiddos around), why not gather up your own ghoulish gang of buddies and head out on a good old-fashioned ghost hunt? With paranormal activity apps like Ghost Meter and Entity Sensor Pro, all the hypothetically haunted houses, abandoned plots and spooky stairwells you've ever wondered about suddenly come to life to scare the pants off of you and your friends.
While some apps claim to effectively measure changes in the electromagnetic field like their real-world counterparts, most of these programs are just for fun. Add some authenticity to your chase with the help of Ghost Guide USA, which touts thousands of historic haunted places and location-based urban legends, conveniently mapped out for your haunting pleasure.

Make a run for it

Need some motivation for burning off those extra candy calories? Just lace up your sneakers and download Zombies, run! for your iPhone or Android device—no blunt weapons required.
This unique, story-driven fitness app aims to get you in shape by putting the undead on your trail in a series of post-apocalyptic missions. When the zombies start to close in, your app let's you know—pick up the pace to avoid getting bit and becoming their next meal. While it's a littler pricier than some other fitness apps, it's a fun and totally unique way to get motivated and get moving.

Spook-proof security

Nothing's scarier than a personal data breach and all the digital carnage it can leave behind. That's why the most essential app you can download this Halloween is the Webroot Mobile Security apps for your Android or iOS devices!
Shop securely and block malicious sites with the Webroot Secure Web Browser for your iPhone and iPad or protect personal information from ghastly mobile threats with Webroot® SecureAnywhere™ Mobile, voted one of PCWorld's Best Free Android Apps of 2011.