Categories
COVID-19 Family

Working, Teaching, & Parenting…Oh My!

With Gwinnett’s decision to have digital learning for a season, many parents are continuing to face the challenge of working and teaching. Many of you already balance working from our space and from home, but now there’s another factor to think about. Although we don’t have the answers, we found a source to answer some of your questions or to help put you a little more at ease! Read the article below to join the back-to-school conversation.

“4 Things Parents Can Expect from Their Kids When They Go Back to School” | Maressa Brown, Aug. 2020

 

Categories
Family

Summer Events with Social Distancing in Mind

Written by Skyy DeAngelo

Summer is on the horizon! As COVID restrictions begin to lift, we can press play on our summer gatherings and begin enjoying time with our community without Zoom–thank goodness! However, it’s important we still maintain a sense of caution when gathering together with those we care for. Here are a few socially distanced party ideas to enjoy while keeping safety in mind, but without compromising on fun! 

  •  > Flower Arranging Party: Flowers are an integral part of life. They lift the spirit and improve the overall mood on any given day. But what’s even more therapeutic than looking at flowers, is playing with flowers! You don’t have to have an excuse to ever play with flowers, but if you are hosting a bridal shower, baby shower, or even a birthday party consider adding this as an entertainment piece. Find a flower expert in your local area and gather a small group of your gals for an afternoon of flower arranging! You’ll be able to share your stories and experiences as you create something beautiful. Find an open, shaded, outdoor space where you can host your party. If you decide to have it at a venue or inside your home, be mindful of the number of guests you invite and where everyone will be sitting. After you complete your gorgeous arrangements, find the perfect place for them in your home, or gift them to bring a smile to someone’s face. Flowers By Yona hosts fantastic Flower Arranging parties, providing all of the essentials needed for you to create beautiful arrangements through the art of storytelling.

 

  • > Paint Party: Replace your computer screen with a canvas and release your inner artist! A socially distanced paint party can be enjoyed in the comforts of your home with friends or the kiddos. Transform the largest space in your home into an art studio where guests can spend time creating beautiful masterpieces. Paint With a Twist has Twist at Home Kits that can be ordered and picked up. Included in the kit is a canvas, all the paint colors needed to create your selected masterpiece, paint brushes (for keeps!), other essentials, and written instructions along with a video link to follow along with your instructor to complete your painting.

 

  • > Pop-Up Pool Party: Bummed you’re having to spend your summer away from the poolside? Well, having a pool party isn’t completely out of the question! Throw a backyard pool party with giant inflatables, cocktails (or juice boxes), and some summer tunes. Minnidip has a stylish line of adult-friendly kiddie pools! Space out a few of these in your backyard for a pop-up pool party to keep yourself and others cooled off and entertained this summer. Add a couple of loungers for those who want to soak in the sun, but don’t forget to bring out the Super Soakers and water balloons for a contactless game of tag! No pool party is complete without burgers and hot dogs on the grill.

 

Categories
Family

Zoom Trivia Nights

As we are still encouraging and practicing social distance, it’s important we find new ways to stay connected, socialized, and entertained. Which means, all your trivia and game nights do not have to come to an end!

Here’s a complete guide to hosting a fun and engaging Zoom Trivia Night with friends, family, or coworkers:

Heads Up! – Have all participants download Heads Up on either their Apple or Android Devices. Allow players to choose from the various decks, as each deck is based on a specific topic.The game will display a word or phrase on your phone that you place on your forehead for everyone to see.  Don’t forget to select the “Hide Self View” option in Zoom so that you aren’t seeing the answers on your phone.The other players must try and convey to you what is on the phone, without saying the actual word or phrase. Tilt your phone down for correct answers, and tilt up to pass!

Kahoot! – Create a free personal account on Kahoot! and choose from a large selection of Trivia topics that are fun and educational. This game system is perfect for school age kids, as its bright colors and great topics encourage learning and engagement. You also have the option of creating your own questions!

Trivia Bingo – Head over to Sporcle where you can get a classic game of BINGO going, as you test your knowledge on Pop Culture. You can start a personal room and share your unique link with friends to play together over Zoom.

DIY Trivia  –  Completely build your Trivia Game your way! Trivia Maker allows you to choose your grid, color, and questions. You’ll be running your own game show in no time for the enjoyment of all your attendees.

Jeopardy – Jeopardy Lab has Jeopardy games for all ages and difficulty levels. You also have the option of creating your own board! Divide into 2 teams, allowing each person a shot at answering the Jeopardy questions. Make sure you utilize the breakout room option on Zoom to chat within your team if you need help with the answer to a question. For the full game show experience, set your virtual stage on Zoom Backgrounds to recreate the set of Jeopardy.

Family Feud – This is a family favorite trivia game show! Designate your host and choose your teams. To make a clear distinction as to who’s on which team, have everyone on the teams wear the same color, just like they do on the show! Simply download the game on your device, and share your screen on Zoom.

How to set your game up on Zoom

Now that you’ve selected your game, follow this simple guide to start a trivia game in a Zoom meeting:

Step 1: After you’ve chosen your trivia game of choice, make sure you understand it for yourself and that those you’re playing with will enjoy the one you’ve selected!

Step 2: Create a meeting on Zoom, and send the link to participants, along with the game you’ll be playing and its instructions. If you want to jazz up your virtual event, head over to evite to create your invitation. You can select the option to make this a virtual event, and include your zoom link there!

Remember, if your game lasts for more than 40 minutes, you will need to start a new meeting. Follow this link to upgrade your zoom account to continue the same meeting uninterrupted. Good planning will help!

Step 3:  Plan your game well so your fun will start without delay! Determine who your participants are, and who will host the game (if required), etc. Be sure that everyone has the items needed in order to play the game before getting started! Providing a list with all of the needed items will be very helpful for all the participants. Once everyone has joined your meeting and is ready, explain the game to everyone and begin!

Step 4: If the game requires screen sharing, Click the ‘Share screen’ option at the bottom of your Zoom meeting’s screen. You’ll then see a pop-up asking you which window you would like to share. Select the browser on which the game is currently running. Or, if you need a drawing board for keeping scores, drawing, or writing a trivia question, you can choose the whiteboard option after clicking the ‘Share Screen’ button.

Step 5: Have a blast! By selecting the record button on your dashboard in the beginning of the game, you can look back on the success of your trivia night. It’s a great way to capture all of the laughs and memories that you will make throughout the night!

 

Categories
Family

Quarantine Fun: DIY Movie Projector

As the weather begins to warm up and the days get longer, you’ll have more time to spend enjoying the outdoors with family and friends. Now’s the time to begin planning your backyard outings. Create a backyard movie theater for outdoor entertainment this summer! This guide will show you in 5 easy steps how to get started in creating your own movie projector!

Materials needed for your DIY Projector:
  • – Shoe box 
  • – Magnifying Glass that is 5x magnification (NOTE: When purchasing your magnifying glass be sure it does not contain a smaller lens inside. This will distort your picture)
  • – Pen/Marker
  • – Velcro strips (These can be found on Walmart, Amazon, or Home Depot
  • – Box Cutter
  • – Black Tape
  • – Black Paint 
  • – Smartphone 

 

STEP I: 

You’ll start by taking the magnifying glass out of the frame. Once that’s out, place the glass on one end of the box and trace a circle with your pen or marker; making sure that the circle gets traced on part of the lid as well. With your box cutter, carefully cut the circle out. 

STEP 2: 

Paint the inside of the box black, and allow it to dry! 

STEP 3: 

Once your paint is dry, you’ll take the lens and securely fit it inside the circle you’ve previously cut. You’ll then take your black tape and use it to secure the lens around the edges so that it is nice and snug, making sure there are no gaps. 

STEP 4: 

On the back of your smartphone, you’ll attach two velcro strips. Inside the back of the box, you’ll attach two more velcro strips. These will help your phone stay sturdy and in place when you put your phone inside the box.

STEP 5:

Before placing your phone inside the box, be sure to lock the screen orientation and insert it with the picture displayed upside down. The magnifying glass will flip the image and project it on whatever surface you play it on! 

 

A perfect movie night isn’t complete without the essentials! Make sure you have your snacks, drinks, and blankets to get ready for a summer full of fun spent under the stars; enjoying your favorite movies with the ones you love!

Categories
Family Uncategorized

5 Recipes to Enjoy Cinco de Mayo + Taco Tuesday

Written by Skyy DeAngelo

While we’d all love to be at our neighborhood Cantinas on Cinco De Mayo, enjoying some of our favorite tacos, we’ll all have to celebrate a little bit differently this year. You can still spend time with the ones you love while trying your hand at perfecting these showstopper taco recipes.

Serve up your tacos on some colorful dishware for the occasion, and wash them down with Mexican Cola or a party pack of Jarritos!

Hawaiian Pineapple Shrimp Tacos With Creamy Jalapeño Sauce

These Hawaiian inspired shrimp tacos will take your taste buds to the next level. Packed with sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors and topped with a creamy jalapeño sauce. 

Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos

These vegan tacos will not disappoint. The shredded jackfruit mimics shredded pork in the beloved carnitas taco. But you won’t miss the meat after chowing down on these flavorful tacos! 

Steak Korean Tacos with Asian Pear Slaw 

If you’re a fan of Beef Bulgogi, you will love these Korean Beef BBQ Tacos! Loaded with a crisp Asian Pear Mango Slaw and drizzled with a homemade taco sauce, what’s not to love?

Baja Fish Taco 

The Baja Fish Taco is your twist on a classic fish taco. The flavorful blend of crispy, crunchy, and spicy will make this taco a new favorite.

Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos

The honey chipotle chicken is definitely the star of the show, but what really takes these to the next level is the BLT SLAW. Topped and finished with a refreshing cilantro, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Complete your spread by serving your street tacos with these tasty sides 

  1. Street Corn Salad
  2. Avocado and Tomatillo Green Chile Salsa + Baked Flour Tortilla Chips
  3. Churros with Chocolate & Espresso Sauce 

 

Categories
Family

Social Distancing but Make it Fun

2020 has been what we all expected. With the devastating fires in Australia, the tornado that destroyed Nashville, and now COVID-19 crippling most of the world. It feels like we can’t catch a break. At a time where we all need to feel a sense of community and support, we are being told to stay home and distance ourselves from others. While this is what the CDC recommends (and is absolutely for the best), it isn’t easy. It’s been less than a week, the stir-crazy is sinking in, and the wilder the kids get the quicker your patience runs out! Before you absolutely lose your mind and lock the kids in the backyard, check out a few of these fun things our team has been implementing in our homes. We hope they are helpful to you as well! 

  • – Connect with nature: Now that it’s finally stopped raining, take advantage of feeling the sunshine on your face! And just because you’re social distancing from other humans, doesn’t mean that you can’t go outside. Go for a walk around the neighborhood with the kids and dogs, break out the soccer ball and run around the backyard, even just take a drive with the windows down. Vitamin D will do you some good! 
  • – Add some fun to your todo list: We are all working from home, but honestly, many of us have pretty empty todo lists. Now is your time to try something you’ve always wanted! Whether that is teaching your kids how to do the cupid shuffle, or working on that puzzle that’s been sitting halfway finished for 3 months, make sure you add some fun to your day. Laughter and joy is what’s holding most of us together when it feels like everything else is falling apart around us! 
  • – Dance the blues away: Like I mentioned earlier, teaching the kids the cupid shuffle is a fun way to break the day up, but also you have to get up and move too! One of my favorite Instagram families ‘The Boss Family’ (Stephen is the DJ on Ellen Degeneres talk show) are live streaming dance workouts throughout the day to get you moving, get the blood flowing, and bring some smiles into your day! You can check them out by searching for @Allisonholker or @sir_twitch_alot
  • – Be Productive: This might not bring a whole lot of fun in the moment, but once it’s done you’re going to be so relieved! How often do you get 2 weeks at home without having a sick kid or having to use PTO? Use this time to tackle the coat closet that’s been collecting junk for the past 2 years or finally do the kid-friendly scie! You have extra time, don’t let it go to waste by binge watching Friends for the 24th time (we are NOT judging you for this!!). Use this time wisely, don’t take it for granted! 

 

We’re here for you during this time–whether it’s to video chat so you can have ‘adult conversation’ or if it’s to give you some ideas to help break the day up. Just know, The Cornerstone Team has your back! We look forward to seeing you all back at Cornerstone in a few weeks once the Coronavirus has run its course and our community is back on its feet! Stay safe, clean & healthy, Coworkers!

Categories
Family Uncategorized

Fall Activities to do with Your Family

With fall starting in a couple of weeks, you’re probably planning all the ways to enjoy this season! Because of the festivals and cider, fall is without a doubt one of our favorite times of the year. As it starts to cool down, you need to get outside to enjoy the crisp air – especially when you’re cooped up in an office all day (even one as cool as ours). If you haven’t had the time to think about what you’ll do to celebrate this season, we’ve pulled a few of our favorite ideas to get you started. 

Gwinnett County Fair

The fair is back! As a traditional fall activity, the fair offers a ton of games, rides, and fun for your family. Although it can get pricey, it’s a great way to get out and feel fall in the air. It starts Saturday, September 12, so go ahead and purchase your tickets! You will not want to miss it!

Buford Corn Maze

Another great, local option is the corn maze! Right now, they have just the maze, but starting September 20, they’re opening their annual Haunted Forest. They also have a pumpkin patch so you can purchase a pumpkin to take home! And don’t forget to take a family photo or enjoy a hayride. With plenty of fun activities, you’ll have an entire night of things to do!

Burt’s Pumpkin Farm

This one is a little more of a drive, but perfect on a fall day! Located in Dawsonville, you’ll experience the beauty of North Georgia while also getting all your fall necessities. Make sure you go on a hayride and pick out the best pumpkins! While you’re in Dawsonville, make sure you take a trip to Dahlonega to enjoy the square and amazing restaurants.

Caramel Apple Crisp Recipe

You officially have plenty to do, so now you can enjoy a day inside with your favorite movies, a fall candle, and this delicious recipe. You most likely have all the ingredients lying around the house, so this simple recipe shouldn’t take too long. Check out the recipe here, and let us know if you try it!

 

Categories
Family Technology

Setting Tech Boundaries: How Age Defines Their Tech Time

Technology usually accompanies a family outing when you have kids. Tablets, phones, TVs, and laptops are placed in front of children starting at a young age. Many times, this effort is used as a way to entertain the child while parents are working or having other conversations. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) claims there is a lack of development in kids aged 2-5 because of their screen time. According to the AAP, around one hour of “high-quality” screen time is all a little one needs. Because there is a lot of mental/motor development happening in the first few years of life, it’s important kids spend these crucial years honing their skills.

UNDER 5 YEARS OLD

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new study, any child under 2 should not have screen time. Instead, allow them to play with age appropriate toys to help build their cognitive and motor skills as well as language acquisition. For children ages 3-4, they should only have around 60 minutes of leisure screen time. Fiona Bull with the WHO says there is more research needed to determine excessive screen time side effects, but the ultimate goal is to promote physical activities and interaction.

KIDS & TEENS

This age group is much broader in terms of age and accessible content, but research has yet to narrow down specific time limits. The main recommendation from the AAP is to limit their time and access to devices. If you missed our Parents and Tech Lunch & Learn (you can click here to read the event summary), Jay Lowrance shared a lot of great information and tactics on managing screen time for kids. One valuable (and shocking) piece of information he said was about 99% of screen time is used for consumption and less than 1% is used for creativity. If you’re not sure how to use screen time to benefit their growth, find creative outlets that allow them to learn new skills or craft ones they already have.

ADULTS

Examining screen time habits in children is all about prevention. Many adults are already addicted to their devices and spend more than 10 hours/day on them. Although you most likely need a laptop or other device to complete your job, the “addiction” comes into play when you’re checking your device routinely or indulging screen time after work. If Netflix or games are how you destress at the end of the day, you should read a book (without the use of a device) or find another activity to take you away from technology.

 

Additional Resources:
  • https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/09/how-to-manage-your-child-s-screen-time/
  • https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Children-and-Media-Tips.aspx

 

Categories
Technology

Parents + Tech: Teaching Parents to Monitor Screen Usage

Cornerstone Coworking member Jay Lowrance, owner of Lowrance Media, held a Lunch and Learn to help parents understand trendy apps and how to safely monitor how kids are interacting with them. As children are being introduced to more technology, whether through school or as they become old enough to have their own devices, parents need to equip themselves with current technology trends. Jay not only owns his own media group, but he is also a father to four children and personally experiences the need and desire to learn more about technology.

Parents face many challenges, like using technology as a distraction, dealing with social pressures, and the fact that adults are technology natives. Growing up with technology means we are more inclined to hold accounts or be familiar with current apps/platforms, even if we are not active on them. But as kids are getting older and technology is becoming more apparent in their lives, they are also starting to face new challenges. Now, instead of only dealing with social pressures to stay on trend with clothing/accessories, they are also hit with social challenges of technology. The age of kids owning devices is getting earlier and there are more expectations with it in school. 

Luckily, Jay Lowrance offered practical advice to help you manage your kids’ technology time and even participate in what they’re doing. Jay mentioned “roadblocks,” “guard rails,” and “ride alongs” to teach parents the best tech-control strategies:

Roadblocks and Guard Rails:

The main differences between these two strategies is how much access you’re giving your kids. With Road Blocks, you are completely stopping access to certain sites, channels, and apps; with Guard Rails, you are easing their current access to mainly  filter where they go and how much time is spent on certain areas of the web. You can block and filter content on multiple devices, like laptops, TVs, tablets, and phones. Products like Circle by Disney, OpenDNS, Qustodio, and Covenant Eyes are perfect for filtering sites.

Ride Alongs:

As your kids get older and gain freedom to certain sites, it’s important to walk them through each one. Not only will you gain knowledge on how it works, but you’ll also guide and help them understand why certain areas/sites are dangerous. This even includes video games. It’s helpful they learn the differences between reality and fantasy now so they can establish that distinction in their minds. 

 

While guiding their screen time is important, you also need to manage it. Because kids are starting to use more technology during school, they need to balance their screen time with other activities. The tactics you use and habits you instill in them now greatly determine how they use their devices in the future. Here are some tactics Jay recommends to manage their time:

Face-to-face vs. Screen Time: 

Numerous studies support that too much screen time negatively impacts child development. From learning development to social development, kids who are overly active on their devices have a difficult time maintaining eye contact and learning basic skills. Allowing them to gain technological knowledge while also working on age-based developmental skills is best for their growing minds. 

Parental Controls:

Blocking and filtering is important, but don’t be a computer Nazi. As they become of age or get used to certain devices, guide them in their usage to help them understand what is right and wrong. Giving them freedom to decide for themselves is more beneficial than completely blocking them.

Creation vs. Consumption:

99% of technology usage is for consumption, like streaming or playing games. Instead of always decreasing their tech time, give them outlets to create with their devices. Adobe Creative Suite is a great way for kids to learn things like editing photos, creating videos, and allowing their creativity to flow. You can also look for other tools to help develop creative writing skills, music composition, or just give them a tool for reading!

Walk the Walk:

This is the easiest and most common sense tactic: be a technology role model for your kids. If you’re telling them to limit screen time, then you do the same. Instead of using a Kindle or tablet to read, just buy books. It isn’t always clear that you’re reading a book when you’re on a phone, laptop, or tablet.

 

This topic is broad and there are numerous ways to go about technology usage, but we are thankful to have Jay Lowrance share his knowledge. He also recommended some of his favorite resources:

 

Categories
Technology

Perks of Kids Using Technology: How the Internet is Teaching Empathy

Technology is a positive tool for kids because it allows for education and growth outside of an everyday classroom setting. There is opportunity to not only teach through various platforms, but also gain practical social/emotional skills. Educator and PBS Contributor, Rusul Alrubail, examines how Education Technology (EdTech) has helped her students understand higher level emotions like empathy. Alrubail writes, “…our brains are wired to empathize with people who look like us. We have to consciously work to change this cognitive behavior in ourselves and our students.” EdTech creates an environment that normalizes cultural differences. Use the link below to read more on this topic, and share your thoughts in the comments!

“Opinion: How technology is teaching kids to care about the world and each other” | Rusul Alrubail, Oct. 2018