Courtesy of Shelina Wardrope

HOWTOREDUCEBACKTO SCHOOL STRESS

Back to school is one of those times of year that’s both exciting and stressful for everyone involved. As a parent, minimizing your own stress as well as the stress of your children will smooth out the transition and make for a happy September – and beyond! Here are five ways to help reduce back to school stress. 1. Turn downtime into learning time. Screen time isn’t just for movies and games – it’s also for learning. Fun e-books, math games, spelling apps and educational TV shows will all help re- sharpen your child’s mind after the carefree days of summer. 2. Stay on top of bedtime routines. Most families relax into a more laidback bedtime routine over the summer, but it’s important to get kids to bed on time when they have school the next day as children need anywhere from nine to eleven hours of sleep a night to function properly. 3. Encourage your kids to dress in a way that makes them feel happy. Letting your child pick their own outfits each day helps them to feel both comfortable and confident at school. Plus, it’s a great way for them to express their personality! 4. Simplify school-related shopping. Shopping for clothes and required school supplies can be stressful during an already overwhelming time of year. Simplify your shopping experience by simplifying your list. Buy only what you and your family truly need and forgo the extra bells and whistles. 5. Encourage your kids to feel excited about the year ahead. Instead of letting yours or your child’s apprehension take hold, share positive memories of your own school days and ask your child to talk about their favourite school-related things.

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ROBOTREPORTER One of Sweden’s most efficient news reporters is actually a robot. Since 2016, Swedish local news publisher MittMedia has used an artificial intelligence program called Homeowners Bot. The bot writes short stories about every home sale in small Northern Sweden communities where MittMedia owns several newspapers. Before the Homeowners Bot began writing articles, MittMedia simply published tables of recently bought and sold properties. However, now the bot analyzes the tables and writes about the sales using an interesting angle. By employing an AI program, the publisher can save their flesh and blood reporters for larger stories and their readers are offered a compelling read instead of a spreadsheet. MittMedia isn’t the only news source experimenting with AI. The Washington Post has a bot called Heliograf that publishes briefs about a variety of topics, while the BBC has a chatbot that suggests further content to readers.

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