National Book Month: Reading Tips and Challenges

Most of us understand how difficult it can be to make time to read. Getting the kids back to school, long days at the office and all the easy entertainment option at our fingertips that make picking up a book seem like an unnecessary chore. But October is National Book Month! That time of the year when most of us who haven’t been turning pages can rediscover the joy of reading. Get inspired to read with these tips and challenges.

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5 Fall Reading Challenges
The weather is getting cooler and the new chill in the air encourages staying inside and cuddling by the fire with a good book. It’s the perfect opportunity for a fall reading challenge. There are many fun and interesting ways to create a challenge for yourself and your family, to expand literary horizons. Here are five fall reading challenges that will give you a reason to stay in your footed pajamas all day and enjoy your favorite pastime.

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Back to School: Tips for Getting the Most Out of Reading
For the several months, your kids have been reading young-adult novels and flipping through picture books between running around from one summer activity to the next, but school is back in session and reading has changed. Kids look at the books they read for their school assignments much differently than the books they read for pleasure. Here are some tips to make sure they are getting the most out of their reading for school.

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Holiday Shopping: Tips for Buying Books as Gifts
Thinking up a unique and personal gift for each person on your list can be a challenge. For some people, a good toy or a purse is the appropriate solution; for others, something to support a hobby, like yarn or knitting needles, is just the ticket. But for those who seem to have everything, a book may be your solution — you just need to figure out what type of book to get. Check out a few of these useful tips for buying books as gifts.

Autumn Organization Ideas: Home Office to Home School

Summer is on its way out. Fall is on its way in. Vacations are pretty much in the rearview and school is back in session. Families are starting to swap sunny days at the waterpark with after-school activities. Afternoons are accompanied by homework assignments and bed time starts sneaking up toward twilight. Parents need organization more than ever in the fall season. Whether it’s for the home office or preparing your kids’ study space, we’ve assembled some of our autumn organization ideas to simplify your summer-to-fall transition.

Home Office Favorites for Fall

chic-file-organizersinternet-address-and-password-logbook

Keep all your important documents sorted in the Chic File Organizer. With a sturdy construction and a faux-leather design, it features a bold color with contrasting top-stitching and double handles for easy carrying.

The Internet Address & Password Logbook gives you a place to record all your important info from the web. The spiral-bound hardcover notebook includes tabbed alphabetical pages and an elastic band closure.

computer-monitor-organizer5-compartment-desktop-file-organizer

Turn your home work area into an efficient office space with the Computer Monitor Organizer. It raises your computer monitor 4-inches for comfortable viewing while adding great storage on all sides and underneath.

The 5-Compartment Desktop File Organizer keeps your documents and office supplies in order. It has five compartments for sorting files and a sleek metal design that doesn’t take up too much space on your desk.

Home School Classroom Creativity

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Get your home-schooling calendar organized with the Classroom Project Idea Book. With adorable crafts, activities and ready-to-use templates for Pre-K through 3rd grade, it’s the perfect complement to curriculum.

The Amelia Bedelia or Flat Stanley Chapter Book Set introduces your new, independent reader to fantastic characters and funny situations. Short, fast-paced chapters and illustrations are perfect for young readers.

3-in-1-deluxe-easel-with-accessories52-piece-gel-pens-with-case

Your little artist will love drawing, painting and creating with the 3-In-1 Deluxe Easel with Accessories. It has a blackboard, magnetic white board, a roll of paper, magnetic math blocks and a handy tray for art supplies.

The 52-Pc. Gel Pens with Case is great for drawing, scrap-booking and so much more. The metal carrying case has a slot for each pen. The nontoxic gel ink flows and glides with ease while adding beautiful color.

The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week

As the build up to Thanksgiving and the winter holidays begin, it is easy to get caught up in the coming wave. Remember to take some time for yourself before the stress gets to you by wrapping up in a sweater, enjoying a good book, massaging away your aches, or grabbing a cup of tea. Here is The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week.

Fall in love with the soft chunky knit construction of the Women's Long Open Front Sweater.

Fall in love with the soft chunky knit construction of the Women’s Long Open Front Sweater.

Use this set of 3 Plantar Fasciitis Massage Balls to help relieve pain and soothe aching feet.

Use this set of 3 Plantar Fasciitis Massage Balls to help relieve pain and soothe aching feet.

 

You'll read comfortably for hours with your book or e-reader on this plush Book Pillow.

You’ll read comfortably for hours with your book or e-reader on this plush Book Pillow.

Honor the professional who works hard for you with the gift of this Occupational Double-Walled Tumbler.

Honor the professional who works hard for you with the gift of this Occupational Double-Walled Tumbler.

 

5 Back to School Brain Boosts

back-to-school No matter how much reading your kids get done over the summer, learning in those first few weeks of school can be a shock to the brain. Here are five back to school brain boosts for your kids so they are ready to learn when the first bell rings.

1. The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard Today’s schoolchildren have more gadgets at their disposal than previous generations could dream of. Smartphones, tablets, and computers are great tools for education, but there still is a place for the written word. Studies show that hand writing new information helps students of all ages commit it to memory. Writing something out engages more of the brain than typing, and since it takes longer, the brain has more time to process the information. Writing is especially helpful with spelling, reading comprehension, and mathematics. If your child is stuck on something or needs to memorize a fact, encourage them to write it out.

2. Make Sure Kids Catch Plenty of Zzzzs It is normal to be a little lax on bedtimes during the summer. When school starts, parents should enforce the rules to make sure children get a good night’s rest. Sleep is essential for any mind to function at its best. Not only does a well-rested mind pay attention during the day, sleep is the “down time” when short-term memories become long-term ones.

back-to-school3. Feed the Brain Our bodies, including the brain, need the right fuel to do their jobs. While sugar and caffeine are useful for quick bursts of energy, they do not help build the brain. Antioxidants and vitamins found in vegetables and fruits fight brain cell damage and increase cognitive function. Experiment to find veggies your children will enjoy without a fight. No brain can function well without the amino acids in proteins like meat, fish, poultry, and eggs. Proteins especially are important at breakfast because they satisfy hunger, ensuring your stays focused in the morning.

4. Get Moving! The link between brainpower and exercise has been confirmed again and again in scientific studies. Unfortunately, many schools must limit the amount of exercise kids get during the day in order to squeeze in extra classroom time. Just 20 to 40 minutes of vigorous play every day can increase a child’s brain activity. It also improves concentration and a child’s ability to work for long periods of time without interruption. The exercise can be as simple as jumping rope, running games or hula hooping.

back-to-school5. Review to Remember Repetition is the key to learning and memorizing new information. Every day, ask your children what they learned in school that day. Ask for specifics about the subjects you know they struggle with. One good idea is to make reviewing the day’s lessons a part of the nightly bedtime routine.

Starting a new school year is never easy. But with a little extra work, you can make sure your children get the most out of every day.