January 25, 2018

Can You Make Your Kids Fall In Love With Learning?

This post has been contributed.
Sometimes, it seems like all kids can do to resist learning. This is normal at first, however, there are ways you can encourage your kids to fall in love with learning so that they thrive at school and in life in general! Here are a few ideas:
Read To Them Regularly
Make sure you read to your kids from a young age, and when they’re old enough, get them to read to you too. Surround them with books and get them into the reading habits, and they’ll learn naturally. They’ll have better grammar skills, listening skills, and communication skills to name a few. 
Help Them If They Need It
If your kids need help with homework or grasping a concept, help them. Don’t be a helicopter parent, but be aware in the background if they need you. Don’t make them depend on you, however. There is a difference! 
Educate Them At Home
Find fun ways you can educate your kids at home. Maybe you could get them a telescope to look at the stars, or even find some great fossils for sale. They could grow their own crystals with a kit, or if they’re artsy, they could learn about different mediums for art. 
Use Positive Language
Using positive language around learning is important. It can’t sound like they don’t have a choice - like an ‘or else’ mindset. Make sure you tell them how great learning is and what it could do for them. 
Share A Passion Of Yours
Sharing a passion of yours could encourage them to get into it, or at least find a passion of their own. When you show how excited and eager you are to share something, they will realise how fun it can be. What do you love to do? Whether you love to solve math problems, do cross words, or make clothes, sharing a passion with your kids is a great start. 
Build On Your Kids Natural Interests
Some kids have natural interests already - you can kind of see them peeking through when they’re young. Maybe they’re interested in stars, rocks, drawing, or something else. Do your best to build on their natural interests. If you’re not sure what they are, then sign them up to try out a few different hobbies and after school activities. 
Avoid Rewards 
Rewarding your kids for learning will make them reluctant to learn when they’re not being bribed. You don’t want them to get into the mindset of thinking they should be rewarded for doing something as important and beneficial as learning. They should want to do it naturally. Over time, if you use these tips, they should enjoy it. They might not enjoy every single subject at school, but they’ll be doing their best. 
The answer is yes; you can absolutely make your kids fall in love with learning. However, you need to make sure you’re taking the right approach, with just the right amount of encouragement for it to feel right to them. Good luck!

January 25, 2018

Loans: When Is It Acceptable To Borrow Money?

This post has been contributed.
The importance of staying out of debt wherever possible cannot be stressed enough. However, that being said, there are times in life when staying out of debt is not an option, when you are in desperate need of funds and borrowing money is your only option, debt doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The key to getting into debt is how you get into that debt - there is good debt and bad debt, and it is important to understand that. With that in mind, the question is: when is it acceptable to borrow money and get yourself into debt?
You need to understand good debt and bad debt 
When it comes to borrowing money, it is crucial that you understand the difference between good debt and bad debt. The fact is that not all debt is bad, believe it or not. 
Bad debt is the kind of debt that comes from failing to make your bills payments or falling behind with your credit card repayments. It is the kind of debt that leads to debt collectors knocking on your door, court orders, and black marks on your credit record. This is not the kind of debt that you want. 
Whereas, good debt is taking out a loan, like a working capital turnover loan for your business, that will help you in the short-term and can be paid back over a set period of time. There are some loans, such as payday loans, for instance, that come with very high rates of interest, and thus are not a type of good debt. However, bank loans, mortgages and credit cards, as long as they come with low rates of interest, are good loans. 
When is it okay to borrow money?
There are two main instances when it is acceptable to borrow money, these are discussed below. 
1. It’s okay to borrow money if times are tight. When times are tight, and funds are running low, it is okay to borrow money. However, that being said, it is only okay to borrow money if it is an affordable amount to pay back - it is crucial that you also take into account any interest. The fact is that when you borrow money and can’t pay it back on time, that is where problems arise. So it pays to consider whether a loan is truly affordable before choosing to take it out. 
2. It’s an investment for the future. Should a loan be an investment for the future, such as being used to set up a small business or buy a home of your own, then borrowing money for this purpose is acceptable. Presuming of course, that the amount is affordable to repay within the set repayment period. 
You may not like the concept of borrowing money - few people do - but if it is necessary and the money that you are borrowing constitutes a ‘good’ loan, then there is no reason not to do so, if the funds are needed, that is.

January 2, 2018

How to Stay Safe during a Hurricane

This post has been contributed.
If you live in a hurricane zone, it is important that you are aware of what to do if the worst happens. While there are specific safety bulletins that are applied during specific catastrophes, it is vital that you know about general safety tips for hurricanes. In this post, we will provide you with some background information on hurricanes, as well as some crucial safety tips you need to follow.
Background information
There have been a number of high profile hurricanes across the globe over the past decade. Most recently, hurricane Irma churned across the Atlantic Ocean, causing devastation. When it hit the Caribbean, it was classed as a category five storm. Residents are still feeling the impact of this powerful storm. Of course, other storms that have caused devastation include Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which reached winds up to 175 mph. This was also classed as a category five storm. Other hurricanes that have caused devastation include Andrew, Camille, Mitch, Rita, and Gilbert, which ripped through the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean in 1988.
The devastation that occurs after a storm like the ones mentioned above is something that cannot be done justice with mere words. People return to the place they once called home to find that there is nothing left of their house and business. Luckily, the world comes together to try and help those people. There are a number of non-profit organisations that have been set up to assist, providing canned goods, water, and any other supplies that are required. Cane Bay Partners VI, which was founded by Kirk Chewning and David Johnson, is a good example of this. With the donations and assistance from these organisations, there would be no way back for the areas devastated by hurricanes.
Staying safe during a hurricane
So, what happens if you find yourself in the middle of a hurricane? If you do not evacuate the area, there are some key steps you need to follow while staying in your home:
  • Do not take a bath or shower during the storm. Do not use your phone and stay away from electrical equipment. This is important because of the risk of lighting during a hurricane.
  • Do not go outside. This may sound obvious, but you should not go outside until the storm has completely passed. There have been many cases whereby there is a period of calm and people assume the storm is over, only to find that it isn’t. At the other side of the eye, the wind speed increases at a rapid pace, and the hurricane force comes from another direction. No matter how curious you are, don’t go outside!
  • Turn off major appliances if your home loses power so that you can minimise damage.
  • Do not use electrical appliances.
  • Turn off electricity at the main breaker if flooding threatens your home.
  • Find a safe area in the home, for example, a closet or bathroom on the lower level. You need to stay away from glass doors, skylights, and windows.