The kids with Curious George at PBS Headquarters :: SocaMom.com

It All Adds Up: A Day in the PBS Kids Lab

The kids with Curious George at PBS Headquarters ::  SocaMom.com

Photo Credit: Will Cocks Photography for PBS Kids

They are so glad I have a blog.

Days (like today) that I am glued to the computer, phone, or tablet – not so much – but when they get to hang out with Curious George and try out the new apps and games that PBS Kids has developed with their partners, just for kids their age, yes.

They’ve been talking about wanting to go back to the PBS Kids Lab ever since they went and tried out some very cool apps like this one…

October 2011

As a homeschooling mom of three, tools for education are important to me – especially when we are on the go.  Truthfully, I don’t let them use my tablet much (if at all).  I’d prefer that they listen to music on their mp3 players or read a book until they get car sick, rather than let them put their greasy (but lovable) little fingers on my tablet.  The hubby doesn’t mind though, so I share the info that I get when it comes to apps and games with him.

*sponsored post – I was invited to PBS Kids headquarters and given lunch and a goodie bag. As always, my opinions are my own.

The day started with pics with Curious George, and lunch.  For lunch, the kids went their way, and the parent bloggers went ours.  On the table in front of us were iPads and laptops so that we could experience the “It All Adds Up” program using different platforms – after we ate of course.

The program is aimed at at risk and low income children between the ages of 2 and 8.  Now of course, I , like the rest of the moms there were wondering – if it is aimed at low income families, how do they expect them to have access to iPhones, iPads, laptops, and other tools so that they can take advantage of all that the program has to offer?

In short, the community support given by PBS is awesome.  They work with libraries and schools who have the equipment, so that they can reach the kids.  They also employ outreach programs with local groups.

Although research shows that math skills at kindergarten entry can be an even stronger predictor of school achievement than reading skills, many children do not realize their full potential in mathematics. While a variety of factors contribute to lagging math skills, a new survey released today by PBS KIDS suggests parents place less emphasis on math, since they view other skills as “the greatest predictor of achievement later in life,” ranking reading and literacy (26%) and the ability to pay attention and work hard (47%) as most indicative versus math (14%). ~ PBS Kids Press Release on “It All Adds Up”

Apparently, a lot of parents are just as uncomfortable with their math skills as the kids, if not more so.  One of the aims of the program is to support parents in working with their kids on math.  I homeschool mine, so I usually don’t have a choice when it comes to working with them on things they don’t understand, but for parents who send their kids to brick and mortar schools, the support that PBS kids gives is outstanding.  There are apps that the kids can use while you go to the grocery store or eat at a restaurant, that incorporate the trip.  If you don’t allow the kids to use devices at the table or in the store, the PBS Kids website has great ideas and resources for parents who need to incorporate math in their daily lives to help the kids “get it.” We parents use math every day – we just have to share that with the kids.

After we learned about all of the games and upcoming goodies from PBS Kids, we were reunited with the kids, who where given the opportunity to try out apps with us on iPads and laptops.

The kids with Curious George at PBS Headquarters ::  SocaMom.com

Photo Credit: Will Cocks Photography for PBS Kids

My children are right in the target age group, so they found plenty to do at the different tables.

Here are some of the new apps and games that my kids were able to try out…

PBS Parents Play & Learn App – This is the first PBS KIDS app designed specifically for parents.  It has more than a dozen math and reading games for parents to with their kids.  Parents can work on counting, measuring, estimating, and reading with their kids in places where they spend a lot of time, like shopping at the grocery store or taking a bath. Where can you get it? The App Store on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Google Play for Android phones and tablets. More info at pbskids.org/mobile.

Math Mentors – Educators and educational bloggers share ideas with parents to help them pick up on math concepts and see math in their daily lives.  There’s more information on Math Mentors in the PBS Kids Lab.

Ruff Ruffman’s Monumental Mini-golf – This game is intended for six to eight year olds.  Kids will help Ruff build his monumental mini-golf course. The game is a still in development, but available for the public to try out. At the end of the game, kids get the chance to the play mini-golf in the course they created. For more on this game and others, visit pbskidslab.org.

For more on why I love PBS Kids, visit EvaLoves.com – http://evaloves.com/this/index.php/family/29-eva-loves-pbs-pbs-kids

PBS Kids is one of the most widely used resources for parents.  Do you use it? How do you use it to help your kids learn reading and math?

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