Friday, June 25, 2010

Big Keys Keyboard for Kids

Einstein Never Used Flashcards

Have you ever noticed how many computer games are marketed for kids? Way before most children can recognize letters, let alone read, a myriad of of games are supposedly "age-appropriate." While it's tempting to buy into the idea that we, as parents, need to cram as much as we can into our wee ones' little minds, forcing learning may not be in their best interest. According to several excellent books, "The Power of Play" and "Einstein Never Used Flashcards," it is play and not forced learning that enables our children to succeed. These authors tell us to stand strong against the peer pressure to literally buy into the marketing that we need to buy this book and that program and those flashcards. On the contrary, they urge us to teach through play and contextual learning. Instead of flashing cards for rote memorization, why not talk to our children through ordinary, everyday circumstances.

Furthermore, these books suggest that most computer games are marketed way too young, meaning that if it says age 6, most 6-year-olds won't actually be successful with the game. A quick rule of thumb, if the back says Age 4-6, round it up in your head at least 2 years. That's not to say that all computer games are bad or not worth buying. Just be careful that you don't buy into the marketing without thinking about how that particular product will serve your child.

Big Keys Keyboard

One helpful tool I literally stumbled across was the Big Keys Keyboard. While t reminds me of my grandmother's bejewelled and grotesquely large calculator, this keyboard serves the same function- it enlarges the keys to 1 square inch so that little fingers can find them. Plus...Read More

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why you need a Double Wide

You may not realize it, but you need a double wide...for your feet. Most workers complain of back pain and other aches and pains after sitting at a desk from 9-5pm 5 days a week. It's no wonder when most desks don't fit their users. As a result, most workers, and presumably you, strain all the wrong parts and bend awkwardly to make the desk work for you. The problem is that the desk never really ends up fitting, and by the end of the day, you're stiff and irritable. So, here's what you need to know about desk ergonomics from a bird's eye view:
  • You should be able to sit with your legs under the desk and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Your keyboard and mouse should sit right next to each other and on the same surface, while your monitor should be raised to eye level.
  • You should keep all important items within arms' reach so you don't have to strain to get to your stuff.
  • You should never cock your wrists as you type or mouse...Read More