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Happy New Year!

December 31, 2014
Happy New Year 2015 | Green fireworks explode behind the text.
Illustration by Dex Gonzalez.
Tags :  holiday
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Bring the Kwanzaa Principles to Your Family

December 30, 2014

By Jessica Vician

Bring the Kwanzaa Principles to Your Family | Happy Kwanzaa illustration with the candles, presents, and fruits.

From December 26 through January 1, many African-Americans celebrate Kwanzaa. Taking place over seven days, each day focuses on a principle that reflects tradition and reason and celebrates the culture’s African heritage.

Use this opportunity to bring the holiday’s principles into your New Year as you continue the holiday spirit through practicing compassion toward others and honoring your strengths as an individual, as a family, and as a community. Here are three principles that might resonate well with your children.

Unity. This principle is rooted in the belief that we are all united. In fact, it stems from an African saying, “I am We” or “I am because We are.” Talk to your children about your family, your community, and the connections that bind you all together. Share your family’s history. Did your family come from Africa, Europe, Asia, South or Central America? Are you native to the United States? Explain your ancestry to your children to help them understand their heritage and take pride in it. Help your children see how fluid the world is, always changing and moving, but always connected. 

Self-Determination. Teach your children the importance of speaking for themselves and determining their own paths in life. There are many children’s movies that feature a main character finding his or her own path and standing up for his or her personal beliefs. Watch the movie with your children and talk to them afterward about those lessons.

Creativity. Help your children understand that as humans, we must help better and beautify our communities through our talents and contributions. If you live in a warmer climate, demonstrate this principle by planting flowers or a tree. In cooler climates, create snow sculptures or work together to make blankets for senior citizens or the homeless. Remind your children that caring for their surroundings and community and bringing beauty to the world is important.

These are only three of the seven Kwanzaa principles, which also include Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, and Faith, all of which you can incorporate into your family’s life.

Tags :  holidaycultureacademicsocial
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Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2014
Merry Christmas to you and your family from YOU Parent.
Tags :  holiday
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Ho Ho Ho! The Santa Tracker is Back!

December 24, 2014

By Jessica Vician

Ho Ho Ho! The Santa Tracker is Back! | A photo of a globe with a Santa hat.

It’s Christmas Eve and Santa is somewhere out there delivering gifts to girls and boys around the world!

Find out where he and the reindeer are flying right now with Google’s Santa Tracker. This is a great learning opportunity to show your child how big the world truly is, not to mention a quick lesson in time zones.

But the learning doesn’t stop with just tracking Santa’s location. This tool is Google’s version of an advent calendar, where kids can unlock a new game, video, or lesson each day before Christmas Eve, when the Santa Tracker really takes flight. The material is both fun and educational, ranging from simple games to one that teaches kids JavaScript to a world map that explains how people around the world celebrate Christmas.

Even if you and your child haven’t been visiting the site every day, you can still go back to Santa’s Village and try all of the activities from the days leading up to today. Check it out with your child and inspire a little Christmas magic and wonder.

Merry Christmas from all of us at YOU Parent, and to all a good night!

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Happy Hanukkah!

December 23, 2014
Happy Hanukkah! Happy Hanukkah graphic with a menorah.
Illustration by Dex Gonzalez. 
Tags :  holidayculture
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