Tag: pragmaticmom

I moved this blog from WordPresss.com to WordPress.org and only cried once

Maybe sort of twice but quietly…so the customer service representative couldn’t hear me – but then I told him I was crying because it was gone – all of it – links, photos, everything was gone. I knew I had it backed up but when I couldn’t sign in and couldn’t access it …I kind of lost it – a little.  He was very nice, professional and understanding (my site is hosted by Go Daddy).

So if you don’t have a blog here are things you do not have to know so you probably don’t and if you have a blog you can skip ahead to the next paragraph…or if you are a Cook’s Illustrated last paragraph reader, you know who you are.

Blogs have different publishing platforms (sites that offer blogs like WordPress.com, Typepad and Blogger) some are free and all offer different templates and features (widgets or plug-ins or gadgets) that help you organize your blog and tweak how you want it to look. There are lots of articles and even more opinions about which is better –   Pragmatic Mom did a nice job on it back in March for Coffee Shop Bloggers  – here on wordpress.com vs. wordpress.org and wordpress vs. blogger. Go ahead – read them and come back, they are fast and informative. I will wait.

So about a thousand years ago (in internet time – ask me about how I measure time later) or in February of this year, I wrote my first post. I chose WordPress.com because Pragmatic Mom said it was better than Blogger and I believed her and she is right,  it is better (I know because I also write at Coffee Shop Bloggers and it is a Blogger site).

So I got my free and technically challenging blog (you can do more but you have to fuss with it more) and was on my way. I played with it, changed it, struggled with it, figured it out and decided that I wanted to put ads on my blog (which you can with Blogger but not WordPress.com, just WordPress.org – counterintuitive, I know) so I had to move it.  I have been terrified of moving it and even started to a few months ago but chickened out panicked and cancelled my order to host it thought better of it.

So I bought the hosting from Go Daddy (there is also Blue Host (also very good customer service – I bought initial hosting from them and cancelled it with no problem when I couldn’t do it), DreamHost, Media Temple and Laughing Squid – so many choices) and waited a week…because I am a little nervous like that. I knew I would need a few hours of uninterrupted time and decided to wait until the kids were in camp. Yesterday was rainy (great for some inside time) and I knew I had a few hours so I made the switch. At first a nice but slightly cool sounding CSR walked me through DNS and FTP changes (this is so super boring that I don’t even want to admit I know what they are but I do and if you really want to know, comment below and I will email you about it) then he blithely told me changes would take about 24 hours and signed off.

That’s when my blog went blank. Six months of almost daily posting – I am not saying it is all wonderful or even must have material but it was mine;  the good, the mediocre and the I-am-stuck (or pressed for time or think my numbers suck)-so-I-put-a-bunch-of-random-things-up posts. I knew it was backed up but really froze in that deer in the headlights way.

I called GoDaddy and waited through the voice mail prompts that I was getting too familiar with and was connected to John.  John was so kind, calm and professional. It did not hurt that he was understanding and not mocking of my Mommy Blog and acknowledged that I had a boat load of stuff and that he would be bummed, too, if it had happened to him, which it wouldn’t because he was so comfortable and knowledgeable and even showed me how to watch my site being rescued and sent me a link to an article (from GoDaddy) so I could read more about it.

The it was fine until it died again and I thought I did something to it but the host server was done for just 10 minutes and it is fine again. Phew.

Summer Brain Drain…Summer Slide… (whatever you call it)…how to stop it

capability mom ten marksWe are just into the last month of summer – long, hot days at the beach or pool, still some summer camp and here in the NorthEast, we don’t start school until after Labor Day and, even if your children don’t agree, they are losing some math skills. How do I know this? Because I read about an on-line math tutoring program called Ten Marks the other day and it got me thinking…hush, it happens.

From an article in Boston.com: In a study released in June, the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that students typically lose one to two months of reading and math skills during summer break, and that teachers often spend up to six weeks reviewing topics already covered. Yikes.

Here is a link to a nicely formatted page that highlights the research from the National Association for Summer Learning (yes, there is such a thing).

So I have a math packet for one child (courtesy of her teacher) and she has been faithfully working at it but I do need to give a boost to my younger child in fractions. I contacted TenMarks and the company, a local (Newton) based organization let me try it (so I could write about it here) but even the demo (take a test drive) on the site is nice and a good representation of the program.

So here is what happened –

I got an email with sign-in information and telling me (the parent) about the weekly lessons. My children (who are both solid math students but not making up math problem sets for each other on long car rides – okay, or anywhere else) found the site easy to navigate and easy to work on the topics they wanted (er, I wanted them) to highlight.

Both logged on with a code scribbled on piece of paper (I, lazy summer mom, gave them the codes to get into the site and did not help, I mean, hover) and both were able to finish the worksheets with relative ease (meaning the problems were not out of their knowledge base but challenging).

Here is why I like it – If a problem is confusing, there are helpful hints and if the student is still stuck, there is a video that walks through the problem.  An interesting part of the program allows the student to go back over their work and get all the problems right – good reinforcement of the math concepts and nice (for the confidence) to get all 10 out of 10 problems correct.

As far as confidence and competency and math – it is obviously important for everyone but it has been shown that girls self-select out of math (even if they are good at it) in the upper elementary grades (source – here) and that 50% of all jobs are math-based – I don’t know where I got that statistic but here are some cool jobs that need math). Now I do not care if they don’t want to be math majors in college, but I do care if they limit their options in general.

TenMarks is running a special summer package now and click here to find out more about it and stop the brain drain, well, at least for the children. No promises for parents.

Pimp Your Mom Blog?

Cheesy, right?  I had Pimp Your Headlines as a title but that sounded too nasty, too close to head lice (big fear). Although I just started this blog this year, I already have a love/hate relationship with my stats.  I check them daily (okay, more like twice a day but at least not hourly, like I have a problem or anything) and I do like it when more people read my blog.  Go figure.

 Check out this great post over at CoffeeShopBloggers  from friend and fellow blogger (www.pragmaticmom.com) about 10 solid tips to writing great headlines for blog posts, mommy blog or otherwise.   There are some good links to other great sites about  how to get more traffic to your site.   Disclosure – I write at Coffee Shop Bloggers, too.

Not sure I did everything I was supposed to in the article but let me know what you think.