How to Stay Productive During the Holidays

Christmas Business

It’s December and let’s face it- we’re all imagining the warmth of the fireplace, the list of white elephant gift exchanges, and which holiday movies to pop in to the DVD player. The other side of us is stuck with the reality- that is dealing with day-to-day tasks whether at work, home, or school.

Let’s focus on what you need to do to be successful rather than giving in to the holiday demands. Our tip list below will provide some insight on how to stay productive during the holiday period:

  1. Prioritize. Research shows that mornings are the most productive part of the day for most of us, so it would be wise to get the most important projects and/or assignments done during morning hours.
  2. Take a break. The holiday season is a great time of year to take a break. Take a quick 5-10 minute break to increase your overall productivity.
  3. Set realistic goals. Be realistic with yourself and others about how much you will be able to do. The worse thing to do is pile on tasks and be unable to get them completed on time.
  4. Avoid distractions. Some people work better under pressure, but during the holiday season, and amidst all of the greeting cards, talk of vacation, and other distractions, you could be causing your stress levels to shoot sky high. Remember to always stay focused and avoid procrastination.

 

5 Ways You Should Celebrate National Bill of Rights Day

bill of rights

A very important U.S holiday is here — one that far too many Americans are unaware of. It offers civilians a great chance to be informed of our tradition of liberty and the right to defend our heritage.

December 15th is “Bill of Rights Day” — a day that commemorates when the first ten amendments to our Constitution took effect. It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who ordered the recognition because he saw the Bill of Rights as a way to protect our most fundamental rights and freedoms. And it’s not difficult to see why.

The Bill of Rights ensures that we can all work together to create “a more perfect” nation. This Bill of Rights Day should serve as a reminder to value the freedom and rights, which we do have; and inspire us to exercise them.

Here are a few ways you can celebrate this day:

  1. Talk with your kids about which of the first ten amendments impact them on a daily basis.
  2. Discuss how the Fifth Amendment played a role in the recent tragedies in Ferguson.
  3. Explore the compelling story of our Constitution’s first ten amendments, from James Madison’s. This video discusses the years when the document’s provisions were seldom applied, to present-day court cases that impact all Americans.
  4. Avid movie-watchers can watch To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), a movie based on Harper Lee’s famous novel. This film, set in the pre civil rights era South, tells a story that was all too often true not just in the South but elsewhere in the country–the trial of a black man for a crime that he didn’t commit, simply on the basis of his race.
  5. If your children are considering career paths, ask them how the Bill of Rights influences their choice of career.

How will you celebrate National Bill of Rights day today? Share your thoughts and comments with us below!

Hour of Code | Knodemy Code Camp

Hour of Code

As December’s Hour of Code approaches, we’d like to take a moment to discuss the importance of coding. So what is “Hour of Code” and why is it so important?

The Hour of Code is a campaign, launched by Code.org, to teach people the basics of computer programming in 60 minutes in any simple, and interactive way. The goal of this major campaign is to introduce coding into the US curriculum and raise overall awareness around what coding is.

Industry leaders, political officials, and media influencers have all pressed on the subject of students needing to become familiar with computer programming. Even the UK has a rise in code through pushing for coding curriculum in elementary years and investing in the children of their future. Here is why coding is so important:

1. Problem-solving. 
Coding and programming are essentially problem-solving activities which involve computational thinking. Whether it’s a program that won’t run because of a bug, or figuring out how to create your own app, these are all things that involve sequential thinking. It teaches you how to tackle large problems by breaking them down into a sequence of smaller, more manageable problems. It allows you to solve complex problems in efficient ways that operate at huge scale.

2. Digital confidence. Simply put, code is a tool that lets you write your own story with technology. We live in a society where everyone uses a smart phone, a tablet, or a computer. Today’s world is full of web services like Youtube, Netflix, and Facebook; they are all a key part of kids’ daily lives. Even the toys they play with are digital or contain sensors to some extent. It is one thing to know how to use these programs, but it’s another thing to create them. This is a challenge today’s generation will love as it deals with the digital world they inhabit, as well as fostering growth and confidence.

3. The language of the future. Software is becoming a critical layer of all our lives. It is the language of our world as well as our future. In the future, the amount of technology and our reliance on it will only increase. The students of today need to be able to not only consume this technology, but to understand and control it.

If you’re interested in having your child get a jump-start into coding then you can dive right in with Knodemy’s Code Camp. The course will teach kids the basic skills of code via fun, interactive activities, and hands on development in an online virtual classroom. The best part is – you can take it any time, any where! Sign up here:

The Gift That Matters

EducateONE

Few gifts make as significant an impact as the gift of education. It’s an honest contribution that lasts a lifetime in the form of development, opportunity, and success. This year, instead of giving toys or clothes they’ll grow out of, give a child a gift that lasts a lifetime. Give the gift of education. Whether a child wants to become an astronaut, a dancer, a doctor, or engineer when they grow up, you can help make their aspirations a reality.

Our educateONE program reaches across all elements of education and focuses on cultivating an education for children in underserved areas. When you sign up for a tutoring plan, we provide the educateONE program with funding to sponsor an individual or group tutoring session to help a child in need.

We understand not every child needs tutoring in the same area. Our priority is to develop a need-based tutoring session in collaboration with our education organization partners, which will ultimately deliver a free lesson to a child or a group of children. Using our state-of-the-art virtual classroom, our tutors assist students in areas where they need most help.

EducateONE will only be successful if you join hands with us. We need your help to continue providing an outstanding educational experience to children in need. Give a child education and you can change their lives. It may be one of the most important gifts you’ll ever make.

5 Unique Thanksgiving Day Traditions for Your Family

TDay

A delectable Turkey, crumbly cornbread, and mounds of gravy and cranberry sauce; these are just some of the quintessential foods that grace the Thanksgiving holiday dinner table. Nonetheless, each family partakes in its own customs during this holiday season. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend Thanksgiving Day, or want to start some new, meaningful Turkey Day traditions, this list will definitely bring your family together in the spirit of the holiday.

1. Turkey trot: Half of Thanksgiving day is spent eating, so why not spend the earlier half working up an appetite for your feast? Participate in a community walk or run. There’s probably a “turkey trot” or two in your area, and the registration funds raised typically benefit a good cause.
2. Turkey Day awards: At the half time of feasting (before guests go for seconds) hold an annual award ceremony. You could go around the table and celebrate everyone’s achievements over the year, or give out awards based on why you’re thankful for each family member.
3. House helpers: It’s never too early to teach kids how to lend a helping hand. Kids can be a great help with everything from setting the table to mashing potatoes.
4. Do unto others: Teach your kids the importance of doing good for one another. One commendable way to spend Thanksgiving Day is serving food to the less-fortunate, whether it’s at a soup kitchen, a local shelter, collecting food for a food bank, or donations to the needy.
5. Countdown tree: Start a “thankful” countdown to Thanksgiving. Each day, write down what you’re thankful for, and on Thanksgiving day, share your thanks and gratitude with friends and family.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, do you have any other holidays with special traditions? Please share.

A Veterans Day Reading List  

Veterans Day Reading List

Veterans Day began following World War I as a way to honor Veterans of all wars.  Celebrated on the 11th of November, Veterans Day is a time to remember those who served our country. We’ve put together a list of books about veterans, in general, for your educational purposes. Take a look:

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien – A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway – The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu – Written in the 6th century B.C., The Art of War remains the ultimate guide to combat strategy. Sun Tzu explains when and how to engage opponents in order to prevail in difficult situations. Instead of describing the logistics of warfare, he shows the reader how to succeed by motivating soldiers and leveraging tactical advantages.

What It’s Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes – In What It Is Like to Go to War, Marlantes takes a deeply personal and candid look at what it is like to experience the ordeal of combat, critically examining how we might better prepare our soldiers for war. Marlantes weaves riveting accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self-examination, and his readings—from Homer to The Mahabharata to Jung. He makes it clear just how poorly prepared our nineteen-year-old warriors are for the psychological and spiritual aspects of the journey.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque – Paul Baumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other–if only he can come out of the war alive.

The Secret to Getting a Job After College

Job FairTrue, November may seem incredibly early in the school year to be thinking about your first job post graduation; however, while a handful of students receive job offers at the end of their summer internships, the majority will begin their last semester of college without an offer, let alone a plan.

Here is our unsolicited advice on how you can land a job prior to graduation day:

  1. Get noticed. Establish a presence, whether it’s on campus or online through a website, personal blog or YouTube channel. Discuss a topic related to your major, or simply a hobby or topic you’re interested in. The point is to gain visibility.
  2. Network, network, network. Think of every event as a potential networking event because you never know where a simple conversation can lead you. It’s important to create and maintain connections so you can sell yourself as a potential candidate.
  3. Befriend the Career Services center. A visit to the career center should be a top priority at some point in your college career because not only do they have an abundance of resources, but they have a wealth of information at your disposal (resume building sessions, application proofreading sessions, mock interview sessions, etc.).
  4. It’s never too early to get an internship. In addition to gaining great experience to complete your classroom learning, college internships allow you to beef up your portfolio or resume and make valuable industry contacts that can be essential to landing the ideal job upon graduation.