Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Book App Alliance Grand Giveaway

The Book App Alliance is a consortium of writers, app developers, and producers working together to help highlight each others’ apps, and the entire genre of Book Apps. Discoverability in the various app stores is the bane of every developers’ existence, and this group was formed to start a discussion and highlight the quality apps that are being produced and largely ignored by the majority of App Stores. We are so honored to be a part of this great organization, and we are so supportive of the mission to increase and boost the discoverability of the book app.

Book apps are so different from games and the more interactive experiences that are out there in the various App Stores, however they are just as valid and often much more educational than an interactive game. Think of a book app like a visual story, often with some educational interactive opportunities to get kids more engaged in the story. While some in the industry are using the buzz word “gameification” (which means using the highly interactive format of most games to entice more parents and keep kids interest), book apps tend to not be as heavily game-ified.

This week, the Book App Alliance is highlighting the great apps by all of the different developers and authors by offering a great App Giveaway, a chance for 5 lucky consumers to get free promo codes for over 50 high-quality, award-winning book apps. We are so grateful to the Book App Alliance for also including a number of Luca Lashes apps!

Some of the great apps (besides ours J ) that are being included are: Mabell’s Zoo, the Prisoner of Carrot Castle, Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island, and much, much more.

Please be sure to enter for the chance to earn one of these 50+ app libraries. We know our discerning readers will appreciate the high quality book apps for their kids!

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Pack it up, it's time for a trip!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Maybe I have been living under a rock and never heard of this before, but I recently learned a new word, Ubuntu. This is an African philosophy, almost humanistic in nature, about people and supporting each other. I read a recent analogy that made me warm inside so I thought I would share.

There is a social worker trying to teach a group of children. The game is this…there are a number of fruits on the ground near a basket. Whatever child gathers the most fruit into the basket wins the entire basket of fruit. The children decide to gather an equal amount of fruit and all share the basket. The scientist asks them why they did this, and they answer, “why would we make anyone in the group feel bad, when we could all be happy together?”

This is known as a great example of the spirit of Ubuntu, and the great thing is that I notice most children in the world would work together to share in the fruits of their labor. So what happens to us as adults to make us more selfish? I can understand that responsibility to oneself and to family can change things, but a large number of adults will make most decisions only thinking about how it affects them. This does not make any sense to me, if you were so different as a child.

I know that this must seem like an attack on the American way of life, or a critique of our selfish, capitalist culture that makes us very concerned with our personal well being above all else. In a lot of ways, it is a critique, as it is rather disheartening to see how little people truly care for their fellow human beings. As a parent, I have heard so many parents want what’s best for their kids and for their kids to grow up kind.

Isn’t it kind to be an empathetic soul that is concerned for everyone, not just themselves? Wouldn’t you be proud of your child for being a good teammate, picking someone up when they are down, or wanting the whole class to succeed above being the only one with the knowledge to succeed? I know I would!

A lot of the spirit of Ubuntu gets lost in translation, and I don’t mean for it to apply to our politics or economics. But it would be nice if our society, as a whole, taught our future generations some of the spirit of Ubuntu, and want what is best for everyone, not just oneself.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Have you hugged your grandma today?

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Some thoughts on discipline

The current headlines from the worlds of sport have brought our whole culture to a point of questions regarding how discipline our children and how discipline ourselves. Make no mistake, those two concepts are intrinsically related, so it makes sense to view both concepts in this light. The entire reason that an adult may use physical discipline may be wrapped around the idea that that adult has an undisciplined mind.

First, let me start by defining discipline, in my own words. Discipline is practice to become better at an activity. Martial arts are a discipline. Zen meditation is a discipline. Professional sports can be a discipline. To succeed in these areas, one needs to work at them on an almost spiritual plane until they become second nature. Until a body can perform these tasks without thinking. By using the word discipline about our children’s behavior, what we are really teaching is the idealization of a certain behavior.

Idealizing a child’s behavior, like rewarding being a good listener or a kind act, teaches children that this type of behavior is the ideal. Listening to a teacher, being kind to your friends, sharing your toys, working hard until you get an answer to a problem…these are ideal behaviors that we try to instill through discipline. So what happens when a parent uses more physical ways to teach this discipline?

It is not OK to willy-nilly beat on your children. That is in no way what I would ever condone or say. However, there is an aspect to physical discipline that some parents still use effectively, and it does not come out as often as you think. By using physical discipline, you are saying that the behavior your child committed is so far out-of-bounds, there needs to be an immediate physical reaction to counter the out-of-bounds behavior. Where the perpetrators of physical discipline start to abuse their children is when a child’s smallest action becomes worthy of being “disciplined”. There is no learning that can take place when a child is afraid to cross a parent.

I love the word “discipline” because it denotes what you really want to accomplish as a parent. Disciplined behavior is learned, practiced, and perfected behavior. When an adult can behave in a disciplined way, this can teach your child much more about proper social behavior than any butt slap or scream. It is really hard to do this, which is why parenting is a “discipline” like a martial art. You have to constantly practice to get better at it.

Don’t fear, new parents and struggling parents. Everyone goes through their parenting in their own way, and you will find your path. Just remember that if you want to discipline your child, remember what the word actually means. Help them practice the right behaviors; don’t just punish their bad behaviors. Have a disciplined mind and a disciplined approach, and you won’t have to discipline your child as much.  

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