Family

Family

Ex-etiquette: Ex sends late-night, non-emergency texts

Q: My boyfriend's ex texts him in the middle of the night. It's not romantic; it's usually something like, "Don't forget Jason's soccer game is tomorrow," but it drives me crazy. He doesn't see anything wrong with it and will not say anything to her. What's good ex-etiquette?

Family

Living with Children: Parent portals shift homework responsibilities

Q: Our son attends first grade at the local public school. At the beginning of the school year, all the parents were basically told that we are expected to go to the school's parent website every day to keep up with our kids' homework assignments. In addition, the "Parent Portal," as it's called, also lets us know what we are expected to help with at home. In effect, we are being made responsible for what, in our estimation, is a teacher's responsibility. We are expected to know the material, monitor homework, and see to it that every assignment is not only done, but done properly. I've talked to several other parents who are not inclined to cooperate, but we all feel like we're caught between a rock and a hard place. Advice?

Family

Ask Mr. Dad: Stranger danger: Myths and facts

Dear Mr. Dad: Every time there's an amber alert or new story about a kidnapping or sex trafficking or the murder of a child, my kids panic – and, honestly, so do I. I have no idea how to keep my children safe, and the whole don't-talk-to-strangers thing seems pretty useless. Is there anything I can do to protect my children and reassure them?

Family

Celebrating Eid al-Adha

This September, nearly 1.6 billion people around the world will celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha. Crafter Manal Aman, founder of the blog Hello Holy Days!, shares three ways to connect with the Muslim tradition.

Family

Advice: How to help special-needs students concentrate in school

Ask the teacher for suggestions. Kids with special needs may perform better with the help of devices and apps that help keep them on track. Task lists and alerts (usually found in calendar programs) can help them stay focused. Look for apps that can help with time management, organization, and scheduling. Also try to cut down on multitasking (switching between several devices and activities) because it affects kids' ability to focus.

Family

App review: GLOBE Observer, NASA app helps kids observe celestial happenings

Parents need to know that GLOBE Observer is an app that allows kids to make and share observations of clouds and mosquito habitats. Special natural occurrences also appear in the app for data collection, like the 2017 eclipse. Observations are stored on the device and can be shared using social media or by sending them directly to the NASA database. Note that email address must be provided to register, and access to your location is required. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

Family

Tips, tricks, and tools to get your kid ready for kindergarten

If you're spending the waning days of summer prepping your kindergarten-bound kid for the first days of school, you're not alone. Kindergarten is a formative year for families, as kids acquire the foundational skills they'll build on for a lifetime (and parents learn the value of healthy home habits and encouraging independence). Here are some handy tricks and tools to help your kindergartners – and you – get ready for the school year.

Family

Game review: 'Mega Man Legacy Collection 2,' boosts difficulty and introduces new challenges

Parents need to know that "Mega Man Legacy Collection 2" is a set of platforming action games. Unlike the first collection, there are four games included in this set, two emulated ports from the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and two downloadable titles designed in the style of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) games. The four games come with simple controls, but this long-running franchise is known for extreme spikes in difficulty that will easily frustrate some players. While battle constantly happens between jumping and level exploration sequences, it's all between robots that explode when destroyed without blood or gore. Parents should be aware that this is the latest game in a long running franchise, which spans cartoons, action figures, and other products.

Living

Homemade fruit tarts take time, but well worth the effort

Most folks know I'm not the kind of person who makes or eats dessert on a regular basis, but I have been known to turn out a pretty dessert or two on a special occasion. Thanks to my stint in culinary school I've learned bunches about crowd-pleasing, fancy-pants desserts. During my years in school, I whipped up chocolatey-layered opera cake, torched a sweet creme brulee, and mass produced mini-pavlovas all in the name of keeping up my GPA. I muddled my way through making Italian meringue, French buttercream, and chocolate ganache, but I never caught the fever for making desserts.

Videos

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Fire threatens hotel in Modesto

Fire crews battled a vegetation fire that threatened the Quality Inn on Kansas Avenue in Modesto on Tuesday morning. The fire forced guests of the hotel to leave their rooms at around 6:15 a.m. Crews contained the fire quickly and there was minimal damage to the building.
Jim Silva jsilva@modbee.com
Fire threatens hotel in Modesto 0:41

Fire threatens hotel in Modesto

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Amazing video shows ballpark going dark during total eclipse at baseball game

International Space Station makes surprise appearance during eclipse 0:34

International Space Station makes surprise appearance during eclipse

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Bonnie Tyler sings 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' as cruise ship sails through total eclipse