Commendable Kids

Supporting 119 goals, skills, and milestones!

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Earn the Patriotic Badge

Jul 03, 2013

Fourth of July is a great day to celebrate with family, go to a parade, have a cookout and see fireworks, but it can also be a great opportunity to ensure your child knows what it means to be patriotic and understands the ideals the country was founded on. Here are some book suggestions and activities you can use to help your child earn the badge. Most of the books may be found in local libraries.

Learn the Pledge of Allegiance

If your child has not yet learned the Pledge of Allegiance in school, this is a great opportunity to do so. To ease the sometimes overwhelming task of memorizing, there is a wonderful book, The Pledge of Allegiance.

This book walks through the Pledge with photos and explanations to make each phrase more memorable. It also provides some interesting facts about the Pledge and the photos used.

Learn the story behind the 4th of July

The 4th of July Story is a well written and illustrated book to teach your children there is more to Independence Day than fireworks and picnics. Here you’ll learn about the Story of Freedom, the Writing of the Declaration, and how the news was spread to all thirteen colonies.

Learn about the American flag

Your children can no doubt recognize the flag, and at some level understand it’s importance, but do they really understand what it symbolizes and can they separate fact from myth as to its origin? The book, The Flag We Love offers “vivid illustrations and inspiring text” to teach the history behind this symbol of America’s ideals.

Read stories, poems and songs about our nation’s history

What does it mean to be an American? Where did America come from? What makes America great? The Children’s Book of America provides beautiful illustrations and an introduction to the virtues that shape American history. There are tales of national heroes, stories of adventure and ingenuity, and songs and poems of American life, that will help you and your children celebrate our nation’s history and spirit.

Read an illustrated primer about America

For an overview of the history and principles of America’s founding, there is perhaps no better book than America: A Patriotic Primer. This A to Z of America will tell the story of twenty-six people and ideas from America’s past, accompanied with illustrations.

Learn the National Anthem

Perhaps your children are more musically inclined, or simply enjoy singing. Learning the words to the National Anthem will help deepen their understanding and appreciation for what the country stands for. While they listen to the anthem below, they can follow along with the lyrics here.

Earn the Badge: Take Your Kids to Work Day

Apr 25, 2013

Today, April 25th, is “Take Your Kids To Work” day and this is it’s 20th anniversary. The theme this year is “Work in Progress”. Certainly all our kids are “works in progress”, and our team here at Commendable Kids focuses on assisting you in that very endeavor.

The recommended age to participate is between the age of 8-18, but of course, you know your child best. Sharing this awesome experience with your child can be done at any age as long as they are old enough to appreciate it. I’ve been taking my children with me since they were old enough to walk!

Over 37 million parents and kids celebrate this day every year and why not? It’s a fun way to educate your kids about what their parents do at work. It’s a great opportunity to share the value of hard work, education, and the possibilities available to them as they grow up. Not only is this day great for children to learn about what their parents really do at work, but it’s a great bonding experience!

Take Your Kids to Work Day badgeBecause our mission at Commendable Kids is to help support your efforts to raise your children to be the best they can be, we’ve created a badge specifically to commemorate their participation in your work today.

How to help your child earn the badge

First, take them with you to work! That’s the obvious part, but while there, here are a few things you can do to make the most of the opportunity:

Tour your office or facility

Maybe you work in a closet or a cubicle, or maybe your work has no walls. Regardless of where you spend the bulk of your time, there are probably occasions where you get up from behind your desk. Sharing the variations in what you do and where you go while working can help deepen a child’s understanding of what a day at your work really looks like.

Give them a simple task

This will greatly depend on your children’s age, but giving them something to do can help them feel more a part of what you do, if even for only a day, and can give them just a sampling of what your work involves. It’s also a great opportunity to teach them about performing and completing a job to the best of their ability. When they finish, share their work with a coworker or even your boss. Show them the benefits of working with others and encouraging each other.

Ask them to explain a few things they learned that day

When the day is over, give them a quiz. It’s doesn’t have to be the kind that makes their eyes roll, but ask them some questions about what they did and what they observed to get them thinking about their experience. Have an honest discussion. This is a great opportunity to ensure they get the most out of their day.

Be honest

Speaking of being honest, don’t feel you have to sugar coat what you do to make it sound more exciting. If you are open and honest and share what you are going through with them, it will deepen your relationship, and, will give them a better understanding of your daily challenges, and the challenges we all face when working for a living. The cons are just as important to teach as the pros.

Have fun!

More than anything, remember that to them, this should be a fun and unusual experience. A once a year event, that is out of the ordinary and gives them the chance to do something more with mom or dad. While it might be routine to you, it’s anything but that for them. So make it fun, have a great time and next year they’ll be begging to go again.

What if I hate my job?

Having jobs we dislike is an unfortunate part of life. As sad as it is when we find ourselves working in a job we don’t love, it’s still a great opportunity to teach our children valuable lessons. Teach them about working hard, even in the face of a bad situation. As well, letting them see a “bad” environment can help open their eyes to the importance of working diligently in school to give them the best opportunities in the future, and, that even when we do, we often still have to make the best of a bad job while we look for something better. It might also help them be a little more sympathetic when you come home in a bad mood.

Learn More

Here are some other helpful online resources to help you make the most of this day.

Check out how RE/MAX got kids involved below.

Official Site

This website can help you, as parents, prepare for your child’s day at work with you! There are tools for you and your workplace so your child can have the most fulfilling experience possible!

Visit Official Site

A 7th grader’s take on the day

Looking at this day from the child’s perspective, here’s an inspiring article where a 7th grader explains the importance of Take your Child to Work Day:

Read the article

Celebrating Pi Day and Earning the Pi Badge

Mar 14, 2013

Pi Badge No, we aren’t talking about apple pie or any of it’s other delectable relatives, so put away your forks. This pi is a mathematical constant all kids should know about. Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, and if your child isn’t familiar with it yet, March 14th is the best day to introduce them. The short value of Pi is 3.14159, which is why March (the 3rd month) 14th is official Pi Day. Though many of us average humans only memorize Pi out to five decimal places, some have memorized it out to unbelievable lengths (see below). Pi’s true value has been calculated by super computers all the way to 2.7 trillion digits. How many is that? Well, it would take you 85,000 years to read the numbers if you read one each second!

How is Pi calculated and used?

Here is a short video with some more information on Pi.

Why should kids learn pi?

Pi is used in geometric and architectural drawings, radio, TV, radar and telephone signals, probability estimating and simulating, global positioning, the calculation for your car’s horsepower, Einstein’s theory of relativity, determining electric force, and finding the position of two planets.

How long ago was pi discovered?

The earliest historic record of pi dates all the way back to 1900-1600 BC, from a clay tablet in Babylon and a papyrus in Egypt. Pi became represented by the Greek letter in the mid-18th century. You can read more about the history of Pi on wikipedia.

Can pi be entertaining?

How about a rap?

Or put to the tune of an old classic?

Can kids memorize pi?

You betcha! Check out these Commendable Kids:

Here’s two year old Emily:

And here’s Benjamin with 2422 numbers of Pi:

What should a child do to earn the Pi badge?

On Commendable Kids, the exact requirements for a badge are left up to the parents and teachers, but we are happy to provide some helpful guidelines.

1. Your child should be able to define pi. (the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter)
2. Your child should be able to write the symbol representing Pi, and identify what the symbol is (a Greek letter).
3. Have your child measure the diameter of a circle (perhaps to celebrate the day, measure a real pie!), and the circumference, and then divide the circumference by the diameter. Discovering pi on their own is more exciting and memorable.
4. Have your child memorize pi to at least 5 decimal places (3.14159).
5. Have you child watch the videos listed on this page, for more information and entertainment.
6. For more in depth information, have them read the entire wikipedia page on Pi

Have your kids earned the Pi badge? Award it here.

CommendableKids.com Receives an Update!

Sep 17, 2012

After a year's worth of work, I'm happy to announce that we've finally relaunched Commendable Kids. This update has some important changes that I believe make it an even better service for families and school organizations to encourage their kids. As well, it moves CommendableKids.com to the excellent hosting service Heroku.

Here is a summary of the changes that are now available as of last week's update:

New Slogan. Expanded Mission.

While a new slogan might not directly impact users, we believe it's the foundation of a stronger direction behind the Commendable Kids mission.

The previous slogan was, 'Has your child or child you know done something commendable?'. With this slogan the Commendable Kids (CK) mission appeared to begin and end with motivating children by congratulating them upon achievement. However, the true mission of CK is to help parents, teachers and children learn those new skills, and to reach those milestones and goals. We want to be there from the beginning, suggesting things to work on, encouraging along the way, and helping reward and congratulate upon success.

Right now, CK is there to help with the latter, but with our new mission we intend to continue developing the site to address all phases of the process. That is why we've changed our slogan to be:

"Encouraging and challenging children to learn new skills, reach new milestones, and become truly Commendable Kids."

As the home page now says, we are proudly, "Supporting 121 goals, skills, and milestones!"

No cost. The service is 100% free.

The more feedback I received from parents about the helpfulness of CK, the more I wanted to ensure the service was there and available for all to use without cost. That's why I'm happy to announce that Commendable Kids is now completely free.

With this change all parents can now create and print their own custom full color certificates for printing, to provide a tangible token to their children when they reach their goals.

As well, parents can now choose a profile name for their child so they can have their own more custom URL on the site. For example instead of:

http://www.commendablekids.com/children/6/badges

your child can have:

http://www.commendablekids.com/children/brandonburridge/badges

If we aren't charging how will we pay our bills?

This is definitely a challenge and we are looking at the combination of two options:

  1. Become a non profit and be able to accept donations
  2. Sell mission supporting merchandise on the site

I've been experimenting with some exciting merchandise and my kids even have some proudly on display in their rooms. There are still some obstacles to overcome in order to provide them to you, but I will continue to pursue this.

As for the non-profit, we'll need to see if we can find the help of someone who knows how to go about this and can donate their time to make it happen.

Improved UI

Because CK was produced during a 48 hour hackathon there were some sacrifices that had to be made in order to meet the deadline. We've spent quite a bit of time working on these tiny details that to many may go unnoticed, but that we think will improve the overall experience.

One such example is the page showing a specific awarded badge.

http://www.commendablekids.com/children/brandonburridge/badges/261

It's cleaner and easier to read and far more pleasing to the eye. You can also share your child's accomplishments on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

The award a badge process has also been improved and streamlined.

Invitations now work!

Inviting others had never worked well, and while it looks the same, it now actually works! So feel free to invite all your friends and family to become supporters of your children. They can "high-five" them and leave encouraging comments. As well, whenever your child earns a new badge, supporters will be automatically notified.

Easier support and contact form

Finally, because the site is all about supporting you, we've implemented an easier way to get in touch with us. Once you are logged in, simply click on the 'Need Help' button and you'll be presented with the ability to contact us. We'll do our best to get back to you as quickly as possible.

That's all for now, but we will continue to work toward improving Commendable Kids and doing all that we can to help encourage and challenge your children to learn new skills, reach new milestones, and become truly Commendable Kids.

We need your help!

If you find the service helpful, please help us by liking us on Facebook, sharing badges online with Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, and telling all your friends.

We love the Commendable Kids community and thank you for your support!

Five new badges for music, travel, and dental care!

May 10, 2011

We’ve added five more badges to help you encourage and motivate your children.

Guitar Singing Travel
Dental Care First Tooth

We've added six new badges!

Mar 24, 2011

Here are the six new badges. You can find them with our growing collection in the Badges section.

Baptism / Christening Great Job Table Manners
Thank You! Hard Work Gymnastics

Commendable Kids Advances to Round 3 of Startup Madness

Mar 23, 2011

Thanks to all of your support we were able to win the 2nd round and advance to the 3rd…the Sweet 16!

Now we have 6 days to get out the vote. If you would please take just a minute to visit the voting site and cast your vote, we would really appreciate it. You can vote here.

We've advanced into Round 2 of Startup Madness! Please vote.

Mar 17, 2011

Thanks to your support we have advanced into the next round. To continue on, we need your votes again in this round.

Vote here.

Thank you!

Commendable Kids competing in the 2011 Startup Madness Tournament

Mar 14, 2011

It’s that time of year: March Madness! But this year there’s one just for startups and we’ve made it as one of the 64 in the tournament.

We need your votes, so please take a minute and vote for us here.