Posted in books, creativity, education, guest post, hooked on books, reading, reading everyday, sparking creativity

Guest Post: The Importance of Reading For Education

By Linda Mills

Reading is one of the most vital habits and hobbies a parent can cultivate in their child, or a person of any age can take up, because reading develops the minds and opens up new avenues that are important in the pursuit of education. Reading about any subject is an indispensable resource that cannot be replaced by any other medium even in today’s technologically advanced era.

Reading Better Leads To Speaking Better

Self-expression is a vital tool for every human being, giving individuals the power to express themselves clearly with better vocabulary as well as enabling them to have an impact. The more someone reads, the more they are able to shape and express their opinion, which is vital for critical thinking and for educational purposes. Reading widely also means various sources of information can be triangulated and compared with each other, which again lends itself to effective speaking and articulation.

Widen The Scope

Reading widens the scope of a person’s mind. Readers are able to empathize with others who may be completely different from them, and they are able to experience different cultures. One of the main objectives of education is to widen the scope of one’s mind and teach a person about the world in general including history, philosophy, and science without being restricted to the area one is born in or the culture one belongs to. Reading also makes individuals more creative and imaginative as reading uses many different neuron networks in the brain, which no other stimuli including visual can command. No wonder reading makes people smarter!

Read Actively Not Passively

Passive reading means you read the words, but don’t pay extra attention to them or employ critical thinking to ascertain the various meanings of the text. For educational purposes, critical thinking is very important because it encourages asking questions, seeking multiple sources of information, and seeking a greater understanding of context. Active reading is better reading, because it allows for greater retention and benefit for students.

Reading And Comprehension

Comprehension of the written texts is very important for educational purposes and the most basic way is when someone––student or otherwise––can answer questions after reading any text. This sort of fluency and concentration also affects a student’s ability to write effectively because they are more able to retain information, express their opinions after evaluation, and write it all down.

Many techniques help with comprehension especially for younger readers, such as the following:

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Posted in book addict, book review, book series, reading, series review

Series Review: The Land By Aleron Kong

I honestly never heard of LitRPG books until a friend of my started talking about writing one. I was full of questions. He ended up suggesting a few series to read in LitRPG. I was hesitant at first, because I do love playing RPG video games, but never considered reading a story that was like a video game. So decided to take the plunge. Wow, what a ride!

I started my adventure with Aleron Kong and his LitRPG series called The Land.

I won’t lie, the first book took me several weeks to finish. It took me awhile to adjust to how LitRPG books work.

One of the major differences of a LitRPG compared to a regular novel is there are regular status updates on the character and “game play”. In this particular series, it happened with tabled charts showing the progression of the characters points, level attributes, upgrades, ect.

At first this was very jarring to me, because I felt liked it halted the story big time. On the other hand, I did like knowing all the progression and upgrades as the story progressed. I think for me, it was just getting used to this kind of new reading style. Once I did, I literally could not put these freaking books down. I felt like I was right there with Richter as he stepped into The Land and began a wild journey of adventure and exploration.

aThe story starts out with a group of real life gamers playing a video game. One of the players ends up finding a hard to reach place in the game that he’s been searching for a long time. He’s expecting epic loot, but ends up finding himself catapulted into a new reality.

Once inside The Land, Richter quickly makes new friends and enemies as well as discovers an old place of power, which he claims and plans to erect a village. He quickly becomes a powerhouse as he racks up points and power, determined to find as much loot as possible and rise to the top.

Right now this book has eight books with a ninth on the way soon. The titles are…

Founding, Forging, Alliances, Catacombs, Swarm, Raiders, Predators, Monsters.

This book is set in a fantasy type setting with swords, dwarfs, elves, magic, monsters, and many more fun and imaginative things. There’s a lot of exploration and learning about this new world. There’s also lots of fighting action with sprites, goblins, demons, banished gods, and hordes of monstrous creatures.

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Posted in better life, guest post, self-care, self-care practice, Self-Care Tip, self-improvement

Guest Post: 10 Effective Ways to Reduce Stress in the Modern World

By Elizabeth Shields

Had it up to here?  Got a lot on your plate, or feel at the end of your tether?  However, you choose to dress it up, express it, describe it, stress is a fact of modern life.  Fast-paced, permanently connected, 21st Century living can leave us frazzled and wrought.  The World Health Organization has called stress the “Health Epidemic of the 21st Century”.   Yet, it is not inevitable that we must accept stress as a permanent condition. There’s plenty of simple steps that turn the heat down on stress.  In this blog, we’ll journey through 10 effective ways to reduce and combat stress.  So, sit back, relax and read.

#1 Get Realistic about Resources

Stress is that feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure.  The mental assessment where we know our resources do not match the requirements of the to-do list.  A simple way to redress the lack of balance is to review that list, with our resources in mind.  Any more than 10 items on a to-do list for a given day is likely to feel overwhelming.  Accept the reality that you may need to say no if your resources don’t allow for it.   Practice the word “no”, remembering it is a complete sentence!

#2 Delegate

That to do list?  What can you delegate to help share the load a little?  Whether it’s finding ways to upskill a junior employee by delegating a creative or interesting project, hiring some home at help, or getting the kids involved in household tasks, delegating can be a great stress buster.  Try to avoid the guilt-trip mindset that says you are simply passing your stressful tasks onto someone else.  In the case of children, delegation of some tasks teaches responsibility and models healthy work-life balance for your kids.  Junior employees can learn a great deal and gain experience and hiring in some home help supports the local economy.   

#3 Remember the Rule of “Good Enough”

Some stress is caused by a sense we aren’t measuring up to expectations.  Remember how it felt to have a teacher write on our report we “must try harder”.  Stressful.  Yet, sometimes we place unrealistic expectations upon ourselves, in other words we fall foul to perfectionism.  When it comes to your own expectations, “good enough” is a stress-busting maxim. Aim for a good-enough job most of the time, and you’ll soon feel the weight of stress slipping away.

#4 Whose Judgement Counts?

Connected with the idea of self-expectation is the idea of others’ views on our performance and worth.  You’ll never please everyone in life.  No matter how hard you try, or how successful you are, there’s always a critic on the side-lines offering judgmental comments.  Decide now, once and for all, whose judgment matters to you.  It makes it a lot easier to trust your own decisions, actions and feel content with your choices.

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Posted in a guided journal, digital journal, digital journaling, guided journal, journal, journaling, new release, writing

New Release: I Feel Playful When… A Guided Journal

Here is a journal that’s been in the works for awhile, at least on a subconscious level. One of the things I have struggled with continually has been to relax, lighten up, and not take life so seriously all the time. So I decide to make it one of my new year’s resolutions, and while at first it seemed like I was making no progress at all on this particular resolution, about April/May time frame I realized I actually had.

That’s the thing about some resolutions or desires for change. They can happen when you don’t even realize it. This was certainly one of them. The realization came as I noticed that I had been making progress with being more playful in small, but consistent ways like getting even more into role playing video games, reading more books (especially series, which I love to do), and just allowing myself to experiment with ideas, thoughts, and even my daily schedule. In doing more of what I loved, and being more open to change and new ideas, I discovered more playful energy in my day to day life.

So with that in mind, I created the seventh book in my Journaling To Feel Good Series called I Feel Playful When as a reminder to me of all the ways I have invited more playfulness in my life. Not only is this a great reminder for me, it’s somewhat of a blueprint for others to find their playfulness as well.

The journaling prompts inside this guided journal, which are… I feel playful when, I feel excitement doing, I love to experimenting with, I enjoy thinking about, I think it’s fun to, I feel the most joy when I, I feel adventurous about. Each help dive and dig out the things that bring out the playfulness in us (at least it did for me!).

Here is the official book blurb…

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Posted in author, book review, book series, ebook, hooked on books, reading, science fiction

Series Review: Star Scavenger By G J Ogden

A few months ago, I decided to take the plunge and get Kindle Unlimited for awhile. Up to this point, I’ve been buying all the books I’ve read to help support authors, but I also realized this was limiting me on how many books I could read, and I wanted to really step up my reading so I could dive into whole series and still stay on a budget. Once I signed up for Kindle Unlimited, I found I had an abundance of stories (and series) at my finger tips. I felt like a kid in a candy shop.

One of the first series I started reading with my new membership was Star Scavenger by G.J. Ogden. This series got my attention because I was looking for something science fiction with space travel. The best part is that it was a completed series (it sucks having to wait on books!) of five books, so I decided to give it a try. I wasn’t disappointed.

The five books in this series are Guardian Outcast, Orion Rises, Goliath Emerges, Union’s End, The Last Revocator (and yes, as of writing this post, all of them are available on Kindle Unlimited).

Guardian Outcast starts the story out with a middle-aged spaceship pilot Hudson Powell whose looking for a purpose to believe in. He thinks that’s signing up with the RGF, a force that polices the mysterious alien ships wrecks that are left abandoned throughout the galaxy, but he quickly realizes he’s just joined the biggest corrupt organization in human civilization. What does he do when he finds himself in a morale and life threatening situation?

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