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Archives for October 2016

Job searching and social media, how social media can make or break a job search [INFOGRAPHIC]

Job searching and social media go far beyond searching company social accounts for job openings. Personal posts can come back to bite prospective employees or even current employees and impact future employability. Just think, you or your teen might be excited about a social media post getting hundreds of likes or retweets, but who will end up seeing the post? Will a future employer come across it and use it as a reason to not hire your teen? What anyone posts on social media matters more than they might think. The number of employers searching social media accounts has increased 500% in the last decade.

93% of hiring managers review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision. So that “joke” your teen and their friends find funny might cost your teen employment. Maybe tomorrow, maybe years down the road. However, if social media is used appropriately, teens will have a leg up on the competition.

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Job searching and social media, how social media can make or break a job search

Job searching and social media are a perfect pair for success or failure. Prospective employees can utilize social media to come across as a great fit for a company or social media can hurt the chances of a prospective employee, depending on what job recruiters find on social media profiles. Employers are searching social sites and what they find can impact their perspective of potential and current employees.

Businesses use social media for various reasons

Businesses utilize social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn extensively to recruit talented employees.

LinkedIn’s career focused interaction is makes it the most popular social network for employers keeping tabs on candidates. Facebook and Twitter are also utilized during most aspects of the hiring process, but Facebook is utilized much more than Twitter.

Social media used most in IT industry

The Information Technology industry is the most likely to check social networks to research applicants. If your teen plans to enter the IT industry, they should consider high privacy settings on their social media accounts. Other industries most likely to use social networks to screen employees include:

  • 76% of IT companies
  • 65% of Sales companies
  • 61% of Financial Services companies
  • 59% of Health Care companies
  • 59% of Retail companies
  • 56% of Manufacturing companies
  • 55% of Professional and business services companies

The retail industry figures are important to note as 21.7% of teen summer jobs fall in that category. Additionally, 32.2% of teen summer jobs are in accommodation and food services.

What sites do recruiters search?

When used appropriately, social media can actually help your teen land a job. There are numerous ways teens can capitalize on a recruiter’s presence on social media. Again, LinkedIn leads the way:

  • 94% of recruiters search LinkedIn for candidates
  • 66% of recruiters search Facebook for candidates
  • 52% of recruiters search Twitter for candidates

When job recruiters see experiences and qualifications they like on social media, they may offer a position through that same social media platform.

Inform your teens to understand that what they post can both qualify and disqualify them for a position.

What do job recruiters search for?

What stands out most to job recruiters? Recruiters generally aren’t searching for reasons not to hire someone; conversely, recruiters are looking for reasons to hire employees. Recruiters search professional experience, length of professional tenure, industry-related posts, mutual connections, examples of previous work, and cultural fit.

  • 44% check candidate’s background information
  • 44% check that a candidate conveys a professional image
  • 43% check that a candidate fits the company’s culture
  • 40% check that a candidate is well-rounded and shows a wide variety of interests
  • 36% check candidate’s communication skills

Also worth noting:

  • 65% of recruiters have reconsidered hiring a candidate after seeing on their social profile that they volunteered or donated to charity.

Be sure your teen’s social profiles are cohesive with resumes and job applications and that profile pictures convey a professional image. If there are conversations that show weak communication skills, delete them or set your privacy so others can’t see.

7 costly social media mistakes

While employers are looking for positives on social media, certain posts stand out to potential employers. The following often result in a candidate being reconsidered for a position.

1. Drug references

83% of job recruiters say any sort of reference to illegal drugs is “the worst thing you can do.”

2. Sexual posts

70% of recruiters say they count sexually inappropriate posts against a candidate.

3. Profanity

63% of the time recruiters reconsider a candidate when they come across social media accounts filled with profanity, they will reconsider a candidate.

4. Racist or sexist posts

33% of the time candidates are turned down when discriminatory remarks related to race, religion, or gender are found on their social media account.

5. Aggressive or derogatory remarks about previous employer

31% of the time talking poorly about a previous company or fellow employees results in a dismissal from candidacy.

6. Poor communication skills

29% of the time job recruiters turn down applicants who display poor communication skills such as broken language or poor punctuation.

7. Absence of an online presence

41% of job recruiters are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find any information about that person. This lesson is clear. Tell your teen to have fun with social media respectfully and wisely.

Employers check employee’s social media accounts

Employers don’t stop watching individuals on social media after hiring them.

5 Job searching and social media tips

Teens should manage their social media image to stand out to employers:

1. Scrub personal social media profiles

Inspect social profiles for questionable images or posts and delete anything that could negatively influence a recruiter or employer.

2. Monitor what friends say

Have your teen limit their friend’s ability to tag or post on their profile. If friends don’t respect your teen’s personal privacy and post negative things, your teen should consider blocking them.

3. Fine tune privacy settings

Have your teen make accounts as private as possible. Facebook has a handy tool that allows users to view their own profiles as the public would. Tell them to consider: Is my profile representative of who I am?

4. Create professional accounts

Have your teen create professional accounts. They could create a professional Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram, using them as mediums to talk about, and engage in, the industry they’d like to enter.

5. Be active with social media accounts

Your teen should commit to staying active on professional-style accounts. Inconsistencies such as not posting for an extended period of time may come off as suspicious.

Social media for the win!

Successfully managing social media profiles is a valuable tool for teens. It allows them to focus on future opportunities without worrying that something from their past might be used against them when they’re searching for jobs or up for a big promotion. Social media is a powerful tool and growing exponentially. With such opportunity, it’s a waste not to use it to benefit your future.

17 community service ideas to make your teen love volunteering

Is your teen struggling to come up with community service ideas? With schools across the nation instituting mandatory (but still beneficial) community service hours, teens may see volunteering as a chore. Try to guide them away from that point of view. Play up the connection between volunteering and doing things they enjoy. Use this opportunity to turn your teen onto enjoyable volunteer work that appeals to their interests. It may not be as hard as you think.

Where to start?

Start the search looking for causes or volunteer opportunities that will give your teen a sense of accomplishment and direct contact with the people the service project is helping. Allow them to see the impact they can have on their neighbors’ lives.

Four steps to picking the right opportunity

Volunteer opportunities are nearly endless. This makes narrowing down your preferred options a daunting task. Follow these steps to help the most mutually beneficial community service ideas stand out:

  1. Do any community service ideas align with my hobbies?
  2. How can I use my skills to help others?
  3. Where is a major need in my community?
  4. Can I make the commitment this volunteer project requires?

Also, try to find mildly challenging opportunities that require problem solving; they tend to be more engaging.

17 community service ideas for teens

The following list will get your teen started with particularly rewarding and fun community service ideas.

1. Feed and take care of rescued and abandoned pets at an animal shelter.


2. Collect and distribute food at a food pantry to families needing assistance. Your local pantry can be found here or here.

3. Sort clothes or cashier at a St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, or other thrift store that donates its proceeds.

4. Participate in church activities such as a Vacation Bible School or fundraisers.

5. Organize a blood drive at your school or community center/library. Someone needs blood every 2 seconds in the U.S. alone.

6. Participate in a charity run/walk. You can help register runners, distribute water and food, or set up the course.

7. Tutor either peers or younger students in a subject you are passionate and proficient in.

8. Coach a youth sports team. Youth clubs are always looking for assistants to work with their players.

9. Read and play games with senior citizens at an assisted living home. You might find you enjoy it more than they do.

10. You know that feeling of sitting down in a de-cluttered and newly clean room, admiring how nice it looks? This is better. Participate in, or organize, a trash cleanup day.

11. Volunteer for the Special Olympics. You can work with the athletes or as a day volunteer helping the competitions run smoothly.

12. Work for a state park or U.S. National Park near you. They have opportunities doing minor trail/park repairs and in customer service.



13. Socialize with hospital patients. For those patients without family to visit them, you could be a lifesaver.

14. Stock shelves and lead programs/events at your local library. Volunteers are increasingly vital to these important community resources.

15. Trick or Treat for UNICEF or Operation Gratitude on Halloween. Grab some friends, dress up, and collect money for children and veterans.

16. Cook or serve food with Meals on Wheels or a local soup kitchen. Nearly 90% of these facilities rely on volunteers.

17. Collect books and unused school materials at your school and donate them to The United Way or another charity.



It can be a lot easier and less intimidating to participate in some of these projects with friends. Once you feel more comfortable, branch out on your own and do things that fit in line with your personal interests.

Rawhide programs built on the community service model

Community service is one of the most important things Rawhide provides students. Our About Face Corps is a community service based program designed not only to teach our students core ethical values, but to instill in them a desire to help their neighbors. Past projects include:

Construction projects with Habitat for Humanity | Course construction for the Warrior Princess Mud Run | Installing archery targets at a local shooting range

Help us lift up our young men by donating to our About Face program. With your help we can help give our guys a lifetime of success and a commitment to strengthening our communities. It takes a village to raise a man; we cannot do this without you.

ACEs and child trauma leave lasting scars [INFOGRAPHIC]

Your child witnesses violence at school, but hardly reacts at all. You might think that the incident was merely one of many insignificant moments to your child, but research shows that particular Adverse Childhood Event (ACE) may alter the way your child reacts to daily stressors. Even more startling: With multiple ACEs, your child’s brain development may be stunted leading to a lack of self-awareness and cognitive deficiencies. ACEs put children at high risk for serious mental, physical, emotional, and social health complications.

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ACEs and Child Trauma Leave Lasting Scars Infographic

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What are ACEs?

ACEs, or Adverse Childhood Experiences, are different for everyone, but in the broadest sense, they are negative moments or events that have the potential to leave lasting harmful effects on a child. ACEs come in many forms, from household dysfunction to witnessing violence. ACEs are important to identify due to their uncanny ability to mold and shape who our children grow up to be. When unchecked and unnoticed, ACEs can lead to a future of lifelong health concerns, risk aversion, passivity, and violence (both as a perpetrator and victim).

ACE expert Jane Ellen Stevens succinctly broke down the negative effects of ACEs on developing minds:

They respond to the world as a place of constant danger. With their brains overloaded with stress hormones and unable to function appropriately, they can’t focus on learning. They fall behind in school or fail to develop healthy relationships with peers or create problems with teachers and principals because they are unable to trust adults.



Researchers have identified three categories of ACEs:

Abuse Neglect | Household Dysfunction

Within these three categories are a plethora of experiences and events. To properly study how ACEs affect people as adults, researchers chose 10 types of childhood trauma and asked study participants to note whether or not they had experienced them as children.

The 10 types of trauma on the ACE test are:

Household substance abuse | Parental separation/divorce | Family member with a mental illness | Violence between parents/abuse of mother | Incarcerated household member | Psychological/emotional abuse | Physical Abuse | Sexual Abuse | Neglect

The ACE test

In the first ACE study, Dr. Vincent Felitti and Dr. Robert Anda devised a test. There were 10 questions, each pertaining to a different type of ACE. For every question with a “Yes” (meaning they had an ACE) the test taker received a one point. Sample Question:

Before your 18th birthday, did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? Or did they act in a way that made you afraid you might be physically hurt?

The test only counted types of ACEs, not the number or separate incidents of the same type of ACE. So, if they experience physical abuse 25 times, and no other types of experiences, their score would be 1. The goal of the test was to see how ACEs correlated with the test takers’ health. The results were shocking, and led to emotional moments between therapists and study participants.



ACE test results

When Dr. Anda got the first results back he was overcome with sadness. He said, “I saw how much people had suffered and I wept.” The study largely focused on the consequences of several different types of trauma. The 1995 study found that over 66% of participants had at least 1 ACE. Startling enough on its own, but that was only the beginning:

  • 22% had an ACE score of 3 or more
  • 12.5% had an ACE score of 4 or more


When they dug into the scores, researchers discovered that over a quarter of participants had experienced physical abuse, household substance use, economic hardship, or a combination of the three.

  • 28% experienced physical abuse
  • 27% saw household substance abuse
  • 26% experienced economic hardship


The study showed that many had been neglected in their childhood and over 1/5 were sexually abused:

  • 21% experienced sexual abuse
  • 15% were emotionally neglected
  • 10% physically neglected


After discovering how prevalent these ACEs were in people’s lives, Anda and Felitti looked for correlations between ACEs and mental and physical health concerns. What they found, led to some shocking, but profound and beneficial trends. Most notably: An almost exact correlation between childhood trauma and mental illnesses, chronic diseases, incarceration, and employment status.

Why do ACEs matter?

When an adverse childhood experience occurs, the child’s brain is flooded with adrenaline in what is often called “Fight or Flight”. While this reaction helps the child react to any immediate dangers, it becomes toxic when turned on for too long. When children are forced to constantly focus on surviving and avoiding harm, they are unable to focus on learning or developing skills to serve them in adulthood. Their ability to trust and relate to others never fully forms and they often experience depression, self-consciousness, and avoidance of challenges. This has a snowball effect where children may turn to self-medicating or other troublesome behaviors to deal with the pain. When 4 or more ACEs occur, students are 32x more likely to have learning or behavior problems in school.



People who experience childhood trauma tend to respond to daily stresses with high anxiety, or try to avoid stressors at all costs. This may include high pressure situations like giving a presentation at work, or more minor situations, like making small talk at a school fundraising event.

Health impact of multiple ACEs

A single adverse childhood experience can harm a child’s future by increasing the risk of homelessness, exposure to violence, and work absenteeism. When multiple ACEs happen, the likelihood of mental, physical, and social concerns goes up exponentially. Repeated abusive and traumatic situations often lead to Complex PTSD. This type of trauma happens before a child is allowed to fully develop cognitive maturity and an understanding of how to respond to stressful situations. A person suffering from Complex PTSD will have trouble regulating their stress hormones and responding to normal situations as if they were threatening situations. These reactions can lead to chronic health issues and dangerous behaviors to deal with stress. A score of 2 or more on the ACE test, when correlated with test taker’s health records showed the following compared to someone with a score of 0:

  • 3x more likely to have attempted suicide
  • 4x more likely to consider themselves alcoholics
  • Nearly 3x more likely to have used illicit drugs


A score of 4 had even more dire and sobering correlations:

  • 12x more likely to have attempted suicide
  • Over 7x more likely to consider themselves an alcoholic
  • 390% higher risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • 10x more likely to use illicit drugs
  • Twice as likely to be addicted to nicotine
  • 460% more likely to suffer from depression


In a more recent study, they found that when people had a score of 6 or more, the consequences were fatal. A person with 6 or more ACEs dies, on average, 20 years earlier than someone with 0. The effects of ACEs go far beyond health concerns.

Economic impact of ACEs

With problems reconciling fears, stress, and ambition, people suffering from ACEs can fail to secure financial stability and steady employment. While certainly a major strain on their own lives, this lack of financial support also puts a strain on the American economy. ACEs cost the economy $124 billion in over the lifetime of all those affected by ACEs including, $83.5 billion in productivity losses and $25 billion spent for health care to combat the effects of ACEs. Child maltreatment and domestic abuse combined cost the economy roughly $500 billion a year. Health is certainly the #1 concern in combating ACEs, but the benefits of uncovering and treating ACEs are indefinite.

Signs you or your child are impacted by ACEs

Possibly just knowing what ACEs are will help you determine if you or someone you know is impacted by ACEs. But for those more underlying and not talked about experiences look for the following ACE effects. Many suffering from Complex PTSD, ACEs, and child trauma feel physical effects that can disrupt daily life:

Suffering from numerous health problems |  Alcohol and/or illicit drug abuse | Poor sleep habits | Dealing with never-ending money management issues

More often than not these are coupled with emotional and social deficiencies. These issues consistently get in the way of victims’ ambitions and goals and can put a strain on their relationships.

  • Unable to control emotions and moods
  • Depression and/or living in isolation
  • Constantly worrying about just surviving and not enjoying life
  • Problems controlling anger and aggression
  • Unmotivated unless presented with severe consequences
  • Believing that bad things happen to you on purpose
  • Viewing humans as threats, not friends


87% of people with ACEs in Anda’s test had multiple types of trauma. That means only 13% had an isolated type of ACE. It appears that when someone has an ACE, many more are soon to follow. With multiple types of trauma, come multiple types of negative effects.



Therapists stress that the view should not be “Why are you behaving like this?” but “What happened to you?” If you or someone you know struggles with any of the above-mentioned concerns, take a look at the ACE test. It could lead to a path of recovery or at least an understanding of what events impacted the person you are today.

How you can prevent ACEs from damaging lives

Sometimes ACEs are unavoidable. Children will undoubtedly find themselves in adverse situations where they need to use that “Fight or Flight” adrenaline rush. But when coupled with protective and positive childhood experiences, adverse events can actually help children develop resilience. The first step is creating an open dialogue between children and caring adults. There needs to be a trust between you and the child. They need a safe and loving environment where they can rid themselves of stresses and just be a kid.

Positive Childhood Experiences

It is vital to give your children positive life experiences and work with them to develop healthy self-regulation. Some of these include:

  • Reading and talking with your child
  • Providing good nutrition and plentiful sleep
  • Giving them an understanding of what is in their control
  • Working with them towards goals
  • Developing effective problem solving skills with your child


Teaching Self-Control

As they are still developing self-regulation and responses to stress, show and explain to them proper coping and conflict resolution techniques:

  • Direct them away from yelling and violent behavior
  • Limit exposure to violence in media
  • Discuss collaboration and compromising
  • Empathizing with others


While there is no cure-all for deafening the impact of ACEs, providing children with positive childhood experiences can dramatically limit some potentially fatal ACE effects. Resilience to negative events and an understanding that there are positive things in life are vital to living a fruitful life. For adults living with the effects of ACEs, you’re not alone. A benefit of the recent understanding of ACEs is that many people are finding the courage and strength to overcome roadblocks from their childhood trauma. The dialogue is open; please join in. A study on ACEs and their connection to problems with self-control stated,

“Innovative policies that put self-control center stage might reduce a panoply of costs that now heavily burden citizens and governments.”

Join the ACEs Connection Network

ACEs Response Toolkit

Resources from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

12 tips on how to get better gas mileage

It’s cold out, you’re running late, and you forgot your mug of coffee on the kitchen counter. You turn the car on…and a soul-crushing beep alerts you that the fuel tank is nearly empty. You swear you just filled up the other day. After a few of those mornings, you might be wondering how to get better gas mileage. Optimizing your car’s fuel economy can lead to drastic savings, both in time spent and money wasted at the gas station. We’ve got you covered with tips on how to get better gas mileage, from minor alterations and repairs to adjusting driving habits.

1. Clean your car

Do you really need that golf bag you haven’t used in two years? What about the box of clothes you’ve been meaning to take to Goodwill? Unnecessary stuff in your vehicle not only makes it look messy, it also drains your gas tank. 100 pounds extra in your car can reduce gas mileage by up to 2%.

2. Remove external cargo carriers

Automotive manufacturers spent a lot of time and money making your vehicle as aerodynamic as possible; with a large clam-shell carrier on top of your car, sayonara fuel. Likewise, roof racks might look cool, but may not be worth thinning your wallet. A large, blunt, roof-top cargo box can reduce fuel economy by 6% to 17% at 55 mph and 10% to 25% at interstate speeds (65-75 mph) and roof racks can diminish fuel economy by 10-25% when at highway speeds.

3. Check tire pressure and invest in low rolling resistance tires

We know we’ve covered the importance of having properly inflated tires before. But it really is that important. For every tire under-inflated by 2 pounds per square inch (psi), fuel consumption increases by 1%. Try to check your tire pressure every couple of weeks to ensure you have the optimal rolling resistance. Another option is to invest in low rolling resistance tires. They can add 1-2 miles per gallon. Look for highly rated tires that provide reliable traction.



If you notice your car pulling in a certain direction or a bumpier-than-normal ride, get your alignment checked. Properly aligned cars will coast better and require less energy to propel forward.

4. Use the correct fuel octane level

Most passenger vehicles require unleaded fuel with an 87 octane level. But always check your owner’s manual or gas cap for your vehicle’s requirements. A higher octane fuel will not benefit a car that is built to run with a lower level octane level  and could add up to more than $100 per year in additional costs.


how to get better gas mileage featured image


5. Accelerate and decelerate smoothly

This is far and away the #1 fuel economy killer. Sometimes you just want to step on it, but try to drive gently to maximize your car’s efficiency. Jack-rabbit starts and constant slowing down, speeding up, slowing down, wastes the energy your car builds upAggressive driving can decrease fuel economy by up to 37%. Accelerate moderately to the speed limit then keep your speed steady, utilizing coasting as much as possible. Studies also show coasting up hills and accelerating down them results in lower fuel consumption amounts.

6. Stick to the speed limit

With the majority of cars, the optimal speed to conserve the most fuel  is about 50 mph. Anything over and most drivers can expect an exponentially expanding loss in their fuel economy. For every 5 mph over 50, drivers will pay about 15 cents more per gallon of gas. Driving 62 mph instead of 75 mph will save about 15% of your fuel.

7. Turn engine off when stopped

Avoid idling at all costs. Idling always gets 0 miles per gallon and uses up to a ½ gallon of gas per hour. Of course, on hot and cold days, your comfort and safety are also important.

8. Use a/c sparingly

Summers are hot, and cold air feels good. So we don’t advise you forgo air conditioning altogether; however, there are some simple ways to limit the fuel sucking tendencies of your car’s cold air compressor. If at all possible, try to park in the shade and invest in a windshield reflector to shield your car from the sun. When you are ready to leave, drive with the windows down for a couple minutes to get that hot, stuffy air out first. You will also notice the cold air reaches you faster this way.

9. Keep your car running smoothly

The dreaded Check Engine Light. It pops up out of nowhere leaving drivers shaking with dread. Often the problem is as easy as tightening your gas cap, but even that is important to limit fuel wasting. A loose gas cap can result in losing 20% fuel economy. In fact, over 100 million gallons of gas evaporate in gas tanks across the U.S. every year. The Check Engine Light may also come on to warn you of an oxygen sensor failure.

Oxygen sensors tell your car’s engine how much fuel and air it needs. When this sensor is damaged or worn-out, it often tells your engine it needs more fuel than it really does. With a bad sensor you could lose up to 40% fuel economy. Common symptoms include a rough idle and/or inconsistent acceleration response.



Use the right oil. Manufacturers tell you to use a certain type of oil for a reason. Using the wrong oil can cause a 12% decrease in miles per gallon. You can find manufacturer recommendations on your oil cap or in your car’s manual.

10. Buyer beware

Step into any auto parts store and you’ll run into a huge shelf filled with fuel additives and magic potions to improve your fuel economy. According to the U.S. EPA and Federal Trade Commission, there are no known products scientifically proven to improve fuel economy.

11. Limit driving time

There isn’t always a quick fix in your search on how to get better gas mileage; your car will only adhere to the law of physics. Sometimes the only option is to cut back on car usage. Carpools can be inconvenient and awkward, but you will save fuel and wear on your vehicle. You can even avoid a little traffic with those handy carpool lanes. If on a short trip, consider taking public transit or riding a bike. Even a few less trips with your vehicle can add up with fuel and maintenance costs. In the winter you might be tempted to warm up your car for a few minutes, but unless it is extremely cold, most modern cars do not require warming before driving. A warm engine gives the best fuel economy, so try to plan ahead and group as many trips/errands together as possible.

How to Get Better Gas Mileage Bonus Tip: Gas Buddy has a handy searchable map to find the cheapest pumps in your area.

12. Ditch the old gas guzzler for better gas mileage

When your car no longer cuts it, consider donating it to Rawhide. We take any car, in any condition, and you receive a generous tax deduction. Your donations fund Rawhide programs that help at-risk youth learn and grow in a family-centered environment.

17 educational websites for kids: a parental guide

Children and teens are spending more and more of their free time on the internet with each passing year. Yet, is it productive use of time, or are they merely posting selfies? Better options do exist. These 17 Educational Websites for Kids (from K-12 or all ages) links to some of those options.  These websites can make your child’s internet time educational, safe, fun, and productive.

1. Scratch

Scratch, designed and maintained by the MIT Media Lab, is a programming language and an online community. Scratch was designed for ages 8 to 16, but all ages use it. Kids and teens can create games, animations, interactive stories with the program, and share their creations with the online community. Scratch could inspire a future career in science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M).

Young people develop creative problem-solving skills, systematic reasoning, and collaboration.

2. Spatulatta

Spatulatta Educational Websites for Kids

If cooking or baking interests your teen, consider Spatulatta.com. Fun, creative, and educational recipes teach users cooking skills. Recipes feature conventional treats like bread pudding and fun-themed treats like Sea Turtle Taters and Firecracker Fruit Pops.  Maybe Spatulatta.com will inspire your kids to make the family dinner!

3. How Stuff Works

How Stuff Works Educational Websites For Kids

HowStuffWorks.com is the perfect website for your Curious Carl or Wondering Wendy. HowStuffWorks.com explains the “how” and “why” of things like why we eat three meals a day or why scary music is scary. How Stuff Works provides articles regarding current events, games, quizzes, and videos, keeping your kids occupied with quality information as long as you’ll allow. If only HowStuffWorks could explain why your son or daughter can’t make his or her bed!

4. Teen Reads

Teen Reads Educational Websites for Kids

If you’d like to encourage your teen to read more or if your teen is looking for new books, TeenReads.com is a great resource. They offer book reviews, recommendations, and many “best of” lists. TeenReads.com also encourages teens to write blogs, FAQs, and reviews on their web site.

5. National Gallery of Art for Kids

National Gallery of Art for Kids Educational Websites For Kids

National Gallery of Art for Kids (NGAKids) offers entertaining and informative interactive art pieces that teach art history and encourage creativity. NGAkids gives kids the chance to create abstract paintings, animated portraits, collages, and other artwork they may share on their personal online gallery.

6. Lego Build

Lego Build Educational Websites for Kids

Lego Build allows kids to build Lego creations on the computer and share what they build with their friends. Now you’ll never have to worry about stepping on a Lego! Playing with Legos can help:

  • Develop lateral thinking in a fun environment
  • Teach kids to think in three dimensions
  • Improve creativity
  • Enhance communication and critical thinking
  • Develop problem-solving, organization, and planning

7. Google Earth

Your son or daughter can explore outer space without leaving the comfort of home thanks to Google’s Mars, the Moon, and the Sky program. They can virtually orbit around Mars and soar through the solar system, perhaps nurturing a future astronaut.

Google Earth can also nurture your youth’s curiosity by exploring earth’s geography. Google Earth offers:

8. Curiosity Machine

curiosity machine educational websites for kids


Curiosity Machine aims to challenge children and young adults to build engineering designs through household objects. There are a variety of design challenges, videos, and a guide that supports children. Curiosity Machine is a great resource for parents and educators.

9. Do Something

Do Something Educational Websites for Kids

DoSomething.org educates young people about social causes and they make a difference. 5 million globally dispersed members participate in campaigns that impact causes such as poverty, discrimination, and the environment. Teens can participate with donations or by raising awareness through social media posts or spreading the word at their school.

10. Kahn Academy

Khan Academy is an online “personalized learning resource for all ages.” This website offers educational opportunities through practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized dashboard that allows students of all ages to learn at their own pace.

Kahn Academy covers a wide variety of subjects and recently partnered with The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, MIT, and NASA, offering specialized content that helps pupils learn in new and exciting ways.

11. Brain Scape

Brain Scape Educational Websites for Kids

BrainScape.com offers over 1 million educational subjects that can help people learn effectively and quickly. A team of top learning scientists, software engineers, user experience designers, and education industry executives built Brain Scape to redevelop the way people study. The site uses various flashcard models, helping with subjects such as foreign language and driver’s education.

12. My Hero

My Hero Educational Websites For Kids

MyHero.com celebrates positive moments happening throughout the world. This site’s mission is “to use media, art, and technology to celebrate the best of humanity, one story at a time.” MyHero.com offers stories that provide hope, inspiration, and encouragement for others to be heroes as well. Over 194 countries participate and over 40,000 essays have been collected so far.

13. Play Kids Games

play kids games Educational Websites For Kids

Parents with young kids designed PlayKidsGames.com to provide a place where younger children can learn math, reading, vocabulary, geography, and problem solving skills in a fun way. Interactive, games build cognitive skills and knowledge such as:

14. Brain POP

brain pop educational websites for kids

Another educational web site, BrainPOP.com strives to make learning fun. It provides animated and interactive movies, games, quizzes, mapping, and more to achieve their goal. Subjects on Brain POP include:

Once the user chooses an educational category, they can explore different topics and spend an afternoon expanding their brain.

15. Tinkercad

tinkercad educational websites for kids

Tinkdercad is one of the more unique educational websites for kids. Tinkercad offers users a simple, easy to use, 3D design websites. Tinkercad can be used for 3D printing as well if applicable. Tinkercad is great at teaching young learners design and construction as well as giving them an interactive tour of 3D design techniques.

16. IXL

IXL Educational Websites For Kids

IXL.com is a website for preschool through 12th grade which uses a variety of technologies, taking real world problems and turning them into educational opportunities. IXL emphasizes Math and Language Arts for all Pre-K through 12th grade courses, but provides extra courses on Science and Social Studies for 2nd through 5th grade.

17. Energy Kids

Energy Kids Educational Websites For Kids

If your son or daughter is interested in science, consider showing them Energy Kids. The website provides educational games, activities, and articles regarding energy—the history, sources, and types. They’ll learn about energy types such as coal, electricity, natural gas, and oil. It also provides tips on reducing energy consumption. While your son or daughter is there, they can take a virtual field trip!

Tell Us Your Favorite Websites for Kids

The websites above offer fun, educational opportunities young people can use during their screen time. Monitor your child’s internet activity to ensure they are using their time wisely, and let us know if you have any favorite sites we left off the list!

5 tips on how to stop cyberbullying

70% of teens reported being cyberbullied at least once in 2013. Cyberbullying is defined as the use of electronic communication to bully another individual. It is known to cause anxiety, depression, pain, and insecurity; and has led to teen suicides or suicide attempts. Thankfully, teens and parents can take measures to stop cyberbullying. If your teen is cyberbullied, reassure them and  remind them they have a safe place to collect themselves before they react to the situation. From there, record all instances, cut off engagement, and report all incidents. Be your teen’s strongest ally.

How do you know if your teen is being cyberbullied?

Only 16% of parents are aware of cyberbullying incidents involving their teen. Teens might hide occurrences because they are embarrassed or worry about their parents’ reaction. A few warning signs may indicate your teen is cyberbullied:

  • Exhibits mood swings or uncharacteristic behavior after internet or cell phone use
  • Avoids activities they previously enjoyed
  • Makes lower grades unexpectedly
  • Refuses to attend school
  • Checks phone far less than they use to

Nobody should experience cyberbullying or face it alone. Talk to your teen about the issue and let them know they can come to your for anything. If your teen needs help to overcome and stop cyberbullying, these five steps can help.

1.     Teach teen to not respond

Telling teens to ignore cyberbullying is easier said than done. 21% of teens check social media solely to see if someone was saying mean things about them. Often, cyberbullies just want a reaction. If your teen does not react, the bully does not get the “thrill” for which they are looking and will move on. Responding to the bully with rude, angry or any type of comment only encourages more bullying. And any rude or derogatory comments your teen makes may haunt them later.

2.     Record all cyberbullying

Track all incidents of harassment towards your teen, especially anything threatening. Monitor the progression of the cyberbullying, log ALL incidents, and collect evidence. Print a hard copy of all cyberbullying incidents if possible.

Take photos or screenshots of:

  • Time and date cyberbullying occurred
  • Cyber channel(s) used (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.)
  • Profile of the individual doing the cyberbullying

Contact the website where cyberbullying occurs and report all incidents to the site host.

3.     Reach out

If you witness your teen being victimized online or notice warning signs, talk to your teen. Ask them what is happening and how they’re feeling. Instruct teens follow the steps above if they’re not already. 66% of teens have witnessed cyberbullying and saw others join in. If you see your teen’s friends are subjected to cyberbullying, reach out through a private message or inform their parents. Ask your teen to take action as well.

4.     Block cyberbullies on social media

After you have documented the bullying with screen shots, photos, and written logs, it may be time to block the bully from seeing your teen online and vice versa.  Blocking people on social media is easy.  Either click on a person’s profile or settings icon and select the ‘block’ option. Watch the video above for how to block on specific media sites.

You can block people on smartphones as well.  iPhones have a built-in feature to block numbers. If your teen uses an android phone, they may download one of the many apps available to block numbers. Phone companies will also block a phone number for you.

5.     Report cyberbullying

Many websites will ban cyberbullies from their site once it’s reported. Report the cyberbullying with detailed evidence. The site will review the claim and take action.

If a fellow classmate is the offender, report their cyberbullying to school administrators. When cyberbullying turns racist or threatening, all incidents should be reported to the police.

Additional tips on how to stop cyberbullying

These additional tips can also help protect your teen from cyberbullying:

Cyberbullying is a dangerous, modern-day threat that can have effects such as depression, helplessness, and a feeling of isolation. Teens victimized by bullies are also twice as likely to commit suicide. Too much is at stake to let the cyberbullying continue if is shows up in your teen’s world.