Aha! Blog

Screen Time: Think What, When & Why, Not How Much

Isn’t it odd that a child can read a magazine, color in an activity book, write a letter to Grandma, devour a chapter book, laugh at a comic strip, snuggle through a favorite picture book for the umpteenth time, or do homework … and we never say...

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Tricks to Help Your Student Master Vocabulary Words

Learning vocabulary is a milestone of reading and writing skills, as well as something kids do daily—sometimes without noticing. Whether your child needs to learn a specific set of vocabulary words or you’re looking to simply expand his...

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News Literacy 101

By Christine Elgersma, Common Sense Media

If it's tough for us grown-ups to figure out what's real news and what's fake these days, imagine how difficult it is for kids. Among hearing opinions at home, talking with friends, learning from...

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3 Simple Rules for a Healthy Media Diet

By Caroline Knorr, Common Sense Media parenting editor

You balance their meals, so why not their media? Learn the secrets to a well-balanced media diet.

Many parents struggle with exactly how much screen time is OK for their kids....

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How to Explain Standardized Testing to Your Young Student

Taking a standardized test is an entirely different beast from the regular day in and day out of your child’s school day. It can feel intimidating to some students, causing worry and anxiety. However, the great thing about standardized testing is...

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Moments That Matter the Most

My son was a sophomore in college when he brought his first serious girlfriend home for his birthday dinner. She was pretty and petite and well-spoken, and my instinctual wariness (What does this girl want from my precious son?) ebbed as the meal...

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Here's the Secret to Raising a Safe, Smart Kid

By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media

When it comes to parenting frustrations, nothing beats the challenges of setting screen limits, picking appropriate media, and figuring out Snapchat. We're raising "digital natives" but we're supposed...

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6 Simple Ways to Celebrate Your Child’s Accomplishments

Adults appreciate words of praise from their boss or a celebratory dinner that acknowledges a well-executed project. Kids also like to celebrate their accomplishments. As parents, our challenge is how to celebrate children’s successes without...

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Why Device-Free Dinners Are a Healthy Choice

By Michael Robb, Common Sense Media, Director of Research

It may seem obvious that eating dinner with your family is a good thing. Research provides plenty of support for the importance of family dinner for kids: Learning vocabulary, fewer...

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How Jamie Learned to Whistle (or Why I Quit Being an Overly Involved Parent)

My son Jamie was five when we moved into a new house. The first morning we were there, before the cable was hooked up, before the boxes were unpacked, before anyone else was awake, he sat on the couch and taught himself to whistle. Never in a...

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