Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Random Round Up

Sorry for such a divergence from Triathlon and Training.  However, John and I do have a life that includes other activities while they may not be that obvious.  This week I had my hand in a number of different research projects. Here is a look at how I have been occupying my internet time.

Summer reading striking fear in your heart? Big A is expected to read 15 minutes a day, Monday through Friday.  Big A is a 7 1/2 year old boy on summer vacation...need I say more? We go to the library each week, he picks out a trillion books, and then half reads a few.  Desperate not to turn this into a battle I am trying to walk a fine line. I have been reduced to coaxing, begging, and bribing.

I saw an ad on Facebook for a reading app called FarFaria and decided why not!  I tooled around the app and thought the layout and fantasy land feel would be appealing.  Holding my breath, I demonstrated how to use the app to Big A,  He was hooked.  Here are the Pros' and Con's:

  • Big A loves this app.  First thing in the morning he is looking for the app so he can read a book.
  • It has an inviting, fantasy type look.
  • Your child can read the book or the book has audio.  Great for Little A but also great for Big A to get a better understanding of how to use inflection and emotion in his reading.
  • Reading level is clearly marked.
  • No advertising.
  • Its free.
  • Content isn't as robust as I would hope but I am sure there are licensing issues or something.
  • Content is definitely geared toward a younger age group.  I didn't see any real chapter books (I could be wrong).
  • While free you get one download a day.  Big A is interested in reading more but I am not sure the content is worth buying up.
Download it, it is free! Let you child enjoy the one book a day.  It is definitely worth trying.

Other reading app recommendations: 
  • Reading Rainbow.  The content for this app is more robust but still not what I had hoped.  I did buy the six month subscription because they not only had books, they had virtual field trip videos and National Geographic KIDS magazines.
  • Live-brary: this app allows me to download e-books for free from my library.  Since Big A seems to like reading electronically, I am running with it!
For work I have been researching ways to engage our workforce.  I came across Daniel Pink's TED Talk, The Puzzle of Motivation. Daniel Pink has authored a few New York Times Bestsellers including Drive and a
Whole New Mind.  I thought the points he made were widely applicable to business, parenting, and sport.

I am always looking for ways to better organize my house.  Air tight organization is the only way John and I can manage our busy schedules.   With the last month being so hectic things had started to stray.  Slowly, I am starting to get it back together.

My favorite site for home organizing is iheartorganizing.  I find tons of great ideas there. Then you can go shopping. Can you tell I have some weekend projects planned?

Personal Development:
A blog that I follow is Michael Hyatt Intentional Leadership.  He writes on a variety of topics including leadership, personal development, productivity and publishing.  Michael has an easy to listen to podcast.  A more recent podcast was dedicated to The 7 Benefits of Keeping a Journal.  I picked up a number of good tips including some journaling/writing apps that I am testing out.

Hope you are able to find something of interest from my week of research.  What are the topics that are on your minds lately?

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