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Kupugani Blog

10 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in Middle School

Parental support plays an important part in helping preteens and teens succeed in middle school. But as students grow more independent during these years, it can be hard for parents to know which situations call for involvement and which call for a more behind-the-scenes approach. Here are 10 ways to keep your child on track for academic success in middle school. 1. Attend Back-to-School Night and Parent-Teacher Conferences Preteens and teens do better in school when parents are involved in their academic lives. Attending back-to-school night at the start of the school year is a great way t...

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Best Free Apps That Take Kids from “Screen” to “Green”

There are many ways parents can use technology and video games to motivate learning and facilitate family time with joint media use. The Pokémon Go craze, which got 21 million active players to get outside and explore in the real world, is the perfect example of another way you can use technology to your benefit: connecting your kids to the outdoors. This opens a world of possibilities for learning and growing while positively affecting their mood and self esteem. You can take advantage of this same idea — using screen time to give your kids more green time — with a variety of other fun...

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Top 10 Homework Tips

Kids are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows kids that what they do is important. Of course, helping with homework shouldn't mean spending hours hunched over a desk. Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging kids to take a break. And who knows? Parents might even learn a thing or two! Here are some tips to guide the way: Know the teachers — and what they're looking for. Attend school events, such as parent-teacher conferences, to meet your child's teac...

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Optimism & Motivation: Keys to Your Child’s Success

Have you ever wondered how: An 18-month-old knows if he keeps making noises eventually you will understand what he’s communicating? A 3-year-old knows if she keeps scribbling someday people will recognize what she’ s making? A 4-year-old knows if he keeps looking at the words on the page one day he’ll be able to read? These behaviors can be best explained by the concept of instinctual optimism, one of the two early, critical keys for successful learning. A child doesn’t have to learn by experience alone because natural instinct also guides her. With her inborn optimism, she ...

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Is Your Child Resilient?

Protecting our kids is an impulse deeply woven into our parental DNA, but no parent can shield their child from every disappointment. Whether it’s personal —a failing grade or the death of a grandparent — or misfortune on a wider scale — Hurricane Katrina or atrocities in Syria — loss is an inevitable part of the human experience. You can’t protect your child from every setback, but you can help her develop skills to navigate and even learn from them. According to Robin Stern, associate director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, resilience is essential for success in s...

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7 Reasons to Eat Family Dinner Together

Over the last 20 years, dozens of studies have confirmed what parents have known intuitively for a long time: Sitting down for a nightly dinner is good for the spirit, the brain and the body. Research shows that shared meals are tied to many teenage behaviors that parents pray for: reduced rates of substance abuse, eating disorders and depression; and higher grade point averages and self-esteem. For young children, conversation at the table is a bigger vocabulary booster than reading aloud to them. The icing on the cake is that kids who eat regular family dinners grow up to be young adults who...

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12 Tips to Raise Truthful Kids

Brace yourself for the cold, hard truth: all kids lie. They do it for many of the same reasons adults do: to avoid getting into trouble, to avoid hurting another person’s feelings, or to make themselves look better. The ability to tell a lie develops early — as young as 2½ for some kids — and it’s a normal and important stage of kids’ cognitive and social development. By age 4, all kids lie; by age 6, some estimates are that kids lie as often as once an hour. How can you convey to your preschooler the difference between the truth and the whoppers she tells you about her day? Or tea...

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How to Minimize the Effects of Gender Bias on Your Daughter

At our girl summer camp programs near Chicago, we have always been about empowering young women.  As we put it, we exist for girls as they are so they imagine the women they can become. Lynn Johnson of Go Girls! wrote a recent blog detailing how gender bias negatively impacts young women.  Below are some takeaways from the article, with tips on how you can minimize the effects of gender bias.  The whole piece is available at this link: http://blog.spotlightgirls.com/gender-bias-is-hijacking-our-girls-right-to-lead-what-to-do 65% of Americans believe that women are more compassionate leade...

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Recognizing Bias to Work Toward Cultural Competence

At our summer camp outside of Chicago, we strive to achieve cultural competence as an organization, as counselors and staff, and as role models for young people.  Our goal is not to be "colorblind" or to negate differences, but rather to celebrate and appreciate ourselves as individuals, while striving to be a community that continually progresses positively.  Part of being able to be culturally competent is recognition of innate biases that we may have, so that we can act accordingly to adjust or realize our behavior. Check out this link for a great tool to help recognize automatic preference...

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20 Minutes in the Day of a Brown Man in America

Today was a good day...I guess. A cop followed me for 15 minutes as I drove from small town Illinois to next small town Illinois...staying 5 yards behind me consistently, while I, wary and weary, locked the cruise control to exactly the speed limit. First 30 miles per hour, then 40, then 45, then 55, then back to 30. The last time I had been followed for that long for that distance—that time in medium town Illinois—I had locked the cruise to 5 miles per hour above below the speed limit, before being pulled over for purportedly driving too slow. Another time in the same medium town, being...

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Camp Kupugani is one of the 50 Most Amazing Summer Camps for Kids

Camp Kupugani has been named one of the 50 Most Amazing Summer Camps for Kids.

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Kupugani touches on all the core values and enrichment that we hope to instill in our [child]. My husband and I absolutely love Camp Kupugani. Our [child] gained immensely from camp.

Lisa G.

Everyone…was just so, so personable, kind, and the kind of person I want
my [child] looking up to and spending time with.

Laura V.

[My daughter’s] face lights up when she speaks about camp, it’s a priceless experience.

Kenya P.

I have never come in contact with such a wonderful group of people at a camp before. Everyone did an outstanding job, the camp was so organized, it was unbelievable.

Joe M.

She absolutely loves the camp, the staff, and all the friends she makes there. I consider Kupugani to be a big influence in helping her grow and expand her mind each summer.

Luci A.

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