Can Families Enjoy The Great Outdoors Without Complaining?

A post shared by Steph Mignon (@stephmignon) on

Because the summer is here, you want to do the dad-thing and spend time outside. God, what a nerd! The kids have other ideas and prefer to sit inside and play video games. Back in your day, this wasn’t an option yet the world is changing at a rapid pace. Still, some moderate complaining never deters a determined dad. So, with all of your persuasive powers and patience, you get them outside in the sun.

Okay, this isn’t too…sweet baby Jesus – will they ever shut up?! Sorry, but the previous studies found that kids love to moan and don’t have an off button. You’re going to have to deal with it or give in and go back inside with your tail between legs. Usually, men pick the latter. It’s something to do with the path of least resistance.

There is an alternative, one where you can have your cake and eat it too. It’s called compromising. Here are four examples you can try with the kids.

Cycling

They won’t mind riding a bike, right? It isn’t as if they’re competing in the Tour de France. Before they know it, the 10 kilometers will fly by and they’ll be back home, tired out from the day’s activities. Of course, they hate the idea of riding along with their dad wearing an unflattering helmet and looking like a five-year-old kid. Plus, they aren’t too happy about the physical element of cycling. Can’t a machine do that in 2018?

The answer is yes, yes it can. Nowadays, it’s possible to ride a push bike with a motor. So, you can pedal and get your daily dose of exercise on the flats while conserving energy going uphill. What’s great about this is that kids love new technology.

So, they won’t even remember to be embarrassed about being seen with their dad. Everyone’s a winner!

Hiking

At least with hiking there won’t be anyone around. So, they can complain all the way to the top and be safe in the knowledge their street credibility won’t suffer. Still, there are only small mercies because they are guaranteed to complain from the bottom to the summit. Thank the heavens it’s a small hill and not Mount Everest.

The good news is that your old friend technology is on hand to help. Think about what the kids would like the most. Have you got an answer? Good, is it a ride to the top? It should be because if they could hitch a lift, they’d be gone before the dust settled. Well, the top all terrain scooters can make it happen.

As the name suggests, they are reliable off-road and motorized. Although it’s cheating, it’s an excellent way to bond as a family.

Camping

There are bugs and sleeping bags and nowhere to get cell reception. Let’s face facts – the kids are going to hate life. Yep, they are sure are if you opt for a traditional set-up. For those who go modern, the experience is bound to be a quieter one, a trip where they may be grateful rather than eternally unappreciative. The Holy Grail.

Glamping is a new craze where tents are huge and there is electricity. Oh, and the showers and toilets that aren’t disgusting. All in all, it’s like being at home but in the Great Outdoors. Look at this way; you still get to hike and barbeque and enjoy the weather only with a few home comforts.

To be honest, you’ll be glad to relieve the boredom too!

Safari

Okay, this one is completely off-piste. A safari is a once-in-a-lifetime thing which costs thousands of dollars. It’s in Africa which is a 20-hour flight away and it’s hot and muggy and sweaty. Plus, there are wild beasts that can turn over the open Jeep and chow down on everyone for dinner. Where do you sign up?

Sure, it takes a lot of organization to book flights, accommodation and a safari-tour in Africa. And, it won’t be cheap, not even in your wildest dreams. Still, this is one vacation where the kids will love every minute and remember it for the rest of their lives.

According to everyone who has been, there is nothing like seeing a lion in the flesh. If the pride of cats don’t play ball, then there are zebras, wildebeest, hippos, elephants and rhinos. Maybe you’ll spot another big cat, such as a cheetah or a leopard. This is one method which doesn’t need compromise.

Wouldn’t you love a holiday like this regardless?

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Read More

Everything You Need to Know About Creating an Online Course

Online courses are everywhere nowadays. Universities and colleges offer students the chance to study online, around their other commitments and from the comfort of their own home. They can even study at a college the other side of the country or in a different country entirely, without ever having to attend in person. You can learn more about the advantages of online study at https://elearningindustry.com/5-advantages-of-online-learning-education-without-leaving-home.

Less formal online education is also growing in popularity. Bloggers offer online courses to share their skills. Professionals offer online courses, consultancy and tutorials to share their knowledge and help others, and there seems to be a course out there helping you to do absolutely anything. You might have even taken a few of these courses yourself. Perhaps to help advance your career, or to take your hobbies to the next level. Some people just enjoy courses just because they like to learn.

Have you ever considered offering a course yourself? If you’ve already got a blog or website of your own, you’ve already got an audience that listens to what you say and a place to add downloads. They consider you to be an authority. They respect your opinion, and they think you are worth their time. This could mean that you’ve got more to offer. Here’s a look at everything that you need to know to help you get started with your own course.

You’ll Need an Idea

The first, and perhaps most important thing that you need is an idea. Something that you know a lot about, and think others want to learn about. You might know loads about something really random and obscure, but ask yourself if other people want to learn about it?

If you have already got a blog, it’s a good idea to stick to your niche. You’ve got an audience already built. Then, it’s just a question of whether or not they are willing to pay for more. If you’ve been blogging for a while, if you’ve got a book out or you’ve written guest posts on other sites, you’re already out there. Your content is available. Have you already shared everything that you know? Your course needs to offer valuable content that your readers can’t already get for free if you are going to ask them to pay for it.

Consider breaking down something that you’ve already talked about, and is popular, into more detail. Give people more of your knowledge, and a deeper understanding of the topic.

Then a Platform

Now, you need to consider how you are going to share your course. Is it going to be available to download from your site? Will there be a secret link that people have to pay to view? Will you host in on another platform like teachable? Or will you sell it in an online shop? You could even start a brand-new website, dedicated to course content. This could be useful if you plan on offering further courses in the future.

There are many different platforms to sell your course from. From a plugin on your current site to a separate shop. Explore your options to find out which suits you, your course and your audience better than the rest.

You’ll Have to Find an Audience

If you’ve already got an audience, you need to build upon it. If you haven’t, you need to get one. Either way, you should try to find ways to let as many people know about your course as possible. Do this by creating some hype on your current site, by guest posting on other sites, with social media and email. Offer sneak peeks of what you’ve got to offer, or even a free short course to show users what they might be getting.

You could run special offers, giving people a discount if they sign up early or if they refer a friend. It’s important to get seen by as many people as possible. You should also remember that once your course is online, it’s out there. You aren’t just selling to this first wave of people. They’ll keep coming in the future, and people could be enrolling on your course for a long time to come. This means that your marketing efforts need to carry on long after your launch.

The Best Courses Have a List of Outcomes

Very few people go into a course with just the vague idea that they’d like to learn something new. Nor do they start with a specific idea of what they want. But, they do have ideas of what they’d like to get out of it. Advertise the outcomes of your course. Tell people what they will be able to do at the end of it. What they’ll have learned, what they will understand and what they will be able to achieve with this knowledge.

Start Collecting Content

Once you’ve got your idea, an audience and some outcomes, it’s time to start collecting content. When it comes to writing a course, you’ll start a little like you would if you were writing a book. They’ll be drafts, lists of things that you want to talk about, breakdowns how to include all of the detail. Write down everything that you know about your topic of choice. Do some research and spend a lot of time learning everything that you don’t already know.

Arrange it into Modules

A good course isn’t just reams and reams of writing. It’s broken down into smaller, easier to digest modules. Take all of your content and break it down into smaller topics. Include tests or assignments in each section.

Try to Add Variety to Your Teaching

You also need to make sure it’s not dull. A good teacher is able to capture their student’s attention, and then hold it even when the course content is robust. In some ways, this is harder to do online when you’re not stood in front of your audience. But, it’s possible. Include videos, use www.biggerbetterbackbeat.com to record audio segments, add pictures and infographics. Break things up with fun projects and pop quizzes. Try to add as much variety as you can.

Add Some Freebies

Adding some simple freebies to your course is a great idea. Printables like schedules, workbooks and plans are easy to attach and helpful to your students. You can also add things like stock photo and font downloads, or any other resources that you use a lot and feel could help others.

Read More

Common Dad Injuries You Need To Know About

All new parents wake up on day one of parenthood with an overly obsessive fear of everything. That’s how worried we are about something happening to our precious little bundles of muscle. And rightly so. But as your baby grows into a toddler and beyond, the threat of life and injury becomes less directed at them and more aimed at dad.

Nothing can prepare you for the relentless onslaught of injury that comes with the dadhood territory. The physical toll it takes on our bodies doesn’t get talked about enough, which is worrying because being a dad should come with a safety warning. A bright yellow and black sticker or something.

That’s sort of what we’re hoping to do. We’re going to share some of the most common dad injuries in the hope you’ll be able to dodge, dip, dive, duck and dodge them as best as possible. Good luck out there.

  1. The Broken Bicep

Babies may be small in stature but they weigh more than a cartoon anvil, which means your attempts to selflessly rock your baby to sleep in order to win the right to watch have a beer later on in the week with the boys come at the cost of not being able to lift a beer. Such is the pain of holding a baby in a static arm-curl position for forty-five minutes as they pull on your nose hair and scratch your face out of tired frustration. Forget gyms, this is the real test of muscular endurance.

  1. Bad Back Baby Throws

Whether you want to make your baby laugh on demand or you want to stop them from crying, the go-to dad move is throwing them in the air (and catching them, obviously). It’s the heroic move we dads endure so that no one has to put up with the sound of a screaming banshee. The reason we call it heroic is simple: it’s one tough move for your body to make. Plyometrics we think it’s called, and it will have you calling the MyHealth Care Centre three times a week in the hope of getting a chiropractic appointment. If you’re in great shape, then good for you. But given you’re a dad, chances are you’re not and that’s when this sucker will take you by surprise. Basically, avoid doing it.

  1. Crick Neck Toddler Carry

How many adorable pictures of dads carrying their toddlers on their shoulders have you liked on Instagram since you signed up? That’s because it is adorable. It’s the signature dad move. And for the first minute and a half, it’s one of the most amazing bonds a dad and his child can have. But then the strain and burn comes in and you start to think, “what have I done?” The problem is, once your kid is up there, they are up there for a half-hour, which is problematic because, in order for them to get comfy, we have to push our necks forward for them to have a comfy seat. It’s the vulture pose and it is agony, the kind that will leave you watching Netflix for the rest of summer. The point is: baby carriers were probably invented by a dad and probably invented because of this move. Buy yourself one.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Read More

Virtual Reality – Play and Profit

In 2017 and 2018 we have seen a massive rise in the capabilities of Virtual Reality – which is beyond cool, and as with the increase of any cool piece of ‘must-have’ tech, there is a ‘must-have’ stock. No longer is virtual reality confined to big arcades and millionaires, you can dabble with VR in the comfort of your own home with plenty of tools to help you do so. And, much like the in-home VR, you can take a dabble on the stock market too. If you are thinking about getting into investing and have a love of gaming (or just like fresh markets), then virtual reality stocks are for you.

abbyipod

Before you start splashing the cash, you might want to take heed of the next few points.

You’ve seen gold, lived in a house, and more than likely eaten food. So, you’ve got experiences in all of those other things. This should be the same. There are plenty of different techs you can try, and not all of them are going to cost a fortune. A great place to start is with Google Cardboard if you are on a budget, or the HTC VIVE Virtual Reality System if don’t mind what you spend. Know what you’re investing in.

Research. Before you part with any cash, look into the best virtual reality stocks to buy. Guidance on who is coming out with the new tech, who has invested money in what platforms, past performances will all make a difference to where your money should go.

VR as a market has been soaking up a lot of cash over the last two years. Mark Zuckerberg sank 2$ billion into Oculus, and Facebook is backing more virtual reality platforms too. The other big hitters in the tech industry are all spending vast amounts on software, distribution platforms, development, and devices. Here is a short list:

  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Sony
  • Foxconn
  • HP
  • IBM
  • HC
  • Samsung
  • Apple

At the moment virtual reality has a very high adoption rate, and not just amongst the rich, or the early adopters. The total number of headsets expected to sell over the course of 2018 is 9.6 million, and at the current rate, that would mean in 2020 there will be approximately 110 million units being shipped. Which means, the stock market will follow that trend.

There are some things to take into consideration though, not everyone can afford to splash the cash on a decent VR setup, which is what is currently holding VR back from going mainstream. But, this was once true of many consoles too. In 2016 the Oculus Rift was priced at £549 in the UK, and now, even while it is still the peak of technology can cost as little as £399. They have in the last few days also launched Oculus TV, which is a dedicated hub for watching flat screen video in VR. The technology is moving quickly, and the right investment now will bring great rewards later.

Virtual reality is inevitably going to become mainstream – it’s only a question of how good it needs to be before the mainstream is willing to use it. – Palmer Luckey

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Read More