Helping Your Kids Without Doing The Work for Them

 You want your child to get through school as smoothly as possible, and while you cannot sit by them every step of the way and find all the answers for them, you can help them find solutions for increasing their knowledge and understanding. They might be reluctant now, but when graduation and later college come around, they will thank you.

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As your child goes through school, there will be times where they sit over their workbooks or homework at the dinner table or in their room looking stumped. During this, you want to give them a hand and help them as much as possible. However, you might be reluctant to help too much as you don’t want to end up doing the work for them.

Because kids won’t learn anything that way. They need to do the work themselves if they want to understand the assignments properly and be able to complete similar exercises and essays in the classroom, where you will be absent.

Helping your kids with their school work, but not completing it for them, will help with their critical thinking skills as well as independence. It will set them up for further problem-solving experiences later in life, and allow them to approach anything with the confidence that they can do it. Showing them which way to go, but not leading the way, will help enormously as they navigate the challenging plain of education in their early years and teens.

 ROUTINE

 Establishing a routine for your child will help them become more comfortable with what they need to do and save them from wasting most of their time on video games or watching TV. While it is still important for them to blow off steam with friends and hobbies, it should not take precedence over their school work in their early years.

Getting used to a routine will include them studying for an hour or two after school, which will give them plenty of time to relax later on. Furthermore, this routine will soon become ingrained in their everyday activities, and so at some point, they will feel like they want and need to do it before worrying about anything else.

However, it is vital that this does not become too regimented. You want your child to have an excellent work ethic, but you also want them to have a social life. Encouraging the routine to include both work and play will help foster a healthy social life as well as ensuring the work gets completed, too.

 RESOURCES

Back in the day, it used to be that if you needed information on for a history project that you had to run down to the library and pour over textbook after textbook for hours until you found what you needed. But no more.

The ever-growing digital archives online have streamlined that process so that now your child does not even have to leave their room. Everything is available to them at the click of a mouse or swipe of a screen. However, for those unfamiliar with Googling anything other than funny videos may need guidance in directing them to the resource of their choice, so explaining the basics of an educational Google search will come in handy.

Furthermore, using fraction calculators to better explain and visually demonstrate the formula for them when it comes to studying math equations. Math can be a stressful subject if you are not a natural, but using the plethora of option at your and your child’s fingertips will ease this stress and put them on the path to mathematical success.

REVISE

 Revision is, to many kids, a horribly dull activity. They feel that all they are doing is reading and rereading information that they already know, and this can get frustrating. It is all too easy to read something once or twice and then be convinced that you know it because you have just read it. Because of this, revision can sometimes feel like a lot of time wasted on learning nothing.

However, if they ever want to succeed and continue to build on existing knowledge, then revision is essential for entering any exams with a head full of necessary information. This will allow them to write and write and write for however long they need without grasping at straws for points and conclusions.

Sitting down to revise and actually do it, instead of staring at a screen or playing on their phones can pay huge dividends, but once they think they know what they need, they will move on to something else. To solve this issue, practising with your child by testing them on recent topics every day by asking them questions will help them retain the information better and save their mind from going blank when they find themselves sat down in the exam.

 REFOCUS

 There are so many distractions around the house that it can be all too easy to absently browse their social media or play games on their phone, tablet, or console. This is not just something that affects kids, but adults too. We have all had those times where we are trying to concentrate, but everything else looks so much more appealing at that moment in time.

Finding solutions to maintaining their focus will help remove such distractions. If your child often does their work in their bedroom, surrounded by books and games of all sorts, they will be tempted to avoid their work and instead play.

Consider encouraging (but not forcing) them to find an area of the house, or even the library or somewhere quiet and local, where they can complete their work in peace. They will soon find out that what used to be a three-hour-plus study session soon reduces to much, much less and they might even have time to spare to fill in some extra work, should they want to.

RELIEF

Schoolwork at any age can be stressful and time-consuming and, much of the time, your child will feel there is literally anything else they would rather be doing (even chores). However, encouraging them to create a consistent routine of revision and further learning will make their journey through school that much more comfortable and still, hopefully, leave time for them to hang out with their friends, also.

You want your child to get through school as smoothly as possible, and while you cannot sit by them every step of the way and find all the answers for them, you can help them find solutions for increasing their knowledge and understanding. They might be reluctant now, but when graduation and later college come around, they will thank you.

 

Four Areas That Could Really Boost Your Year Right Now

New year can be a real anticlimax at times. So many of us put so much focus on making changes that often we can expect too many things of ourselves and we end up failing at the first hurdle. However, it can also be an ideal time to make some of the changes in regards to your foundation, which can then be built upon as the year goes on. We all have big aspirations. Perhaps to run a marathon. Go on holiday somewhere faraway or exoctic, or even just some focus on out self-care and financial goals. So how can you really use this time of year to give yourself a boost? I wanted to share with you four areas that you can do it. I hope it provides you with the inspiration to take on those new year’s resolutions and goals after all.

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Working on your current financial situation

Your finances could be a big problem for you right now, and this could be what is hindering you moving forward to take on some of the other aspects of your life. It can be quite daunting to approach your financial situation and make some changes, especially after the Christmas season. But taking control of things like debt where websites like repair.credit can offer advice, or even reduce your outgoings so you can free up some income to save for other things can really be inspiring to then give you the right foundation to take other parts of your life.

Taking some time to work on your mindset

Your mind is such a powerful tool, and so it can be the difference between taking action and not doing. So it is always worth taking some time for some care with yourself and working on your current mindset situation. Whether you are genuinely a positive person, or find yourself feeling like negative thoughts are creeping in, being proactive with your thought process and taking time for behaviours like gratitude and even meditation and exercise, can help you to improve your mind and general well being.

Embracing a lifestyle change

Maybe you set yourself a goal of a lifestyle change. Perhaps it was to take part in veganuary or cut out dairy or gluten from your diet. Maybe you made a promise to yourself to be more active. It can be hard when these goals can be big changes, so you may want to start off with smaller bite sized chunks to help you get back on track. This can help you stay motivated as you start to achieve things with a lore long term goal in mind. 

Taking action with your career or future plans 

Finally, now is the time it get some plans in place for the other changes you wanted to make, It might have been to do with your career, perhaps getting on the property ladder, or evn just ticking some of those things off your bucket list. Having a plan put in place helps you to make these goals a lot more real.

I hope that these four areas help give you a boost for your year ahead.

Sporting Ruses Not Even Sherlock Holmes Would See Through

Most kids fall into one of two categories. They either love sports, or they hate the stuff. This has been the case for time immemorial, and we can all remember which group we fit into. If you didn’t enjoy sports, physical education would become a traumatic experience. There certainly wasn’t any chance of sports in your free time.

Once upon a time, though, that wasn’t so much of a problem. Even kids who didn’t love sport would go outside of an evening and play with their friends. Now, with the possibilities of games consoles and television streaming, it’s harder than ever to get non-sporty kids outside. And, who can blame them when there’s so much fun stuff to do? But, with childhood obesity now up to one in every five children, it’s crucial you encourage activity in your child.

The good news is, not every sport emits the groans that, say, a suggestion of football might do. In fact, some sporting activities won’t even seem like sports to your kids. Here, we’re going to take a look at some prime examples. Encourage your child to do any of these three activities, and they’ll exercise without even noticing.

Skipping

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 The chances are that you won’t have much trouble encouraging your child to skip. It’s a standard playground game and something that most children will do of their own volition. Yet, jumping rope is one of the most efficient forms of exercise. So much so that your child stands to burn ten calories for every minute they skip. Just half an hour of this could do them a world of good. If you haven’t already, buy them a skipping rope, and encourage them to play with it whenever you can.

Trampolining

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Most kids would love the chance to own a trampoline. It’s just one of those things on the bucket list of just about anyone under the age of 13. And, it might be a good idea to stop resisting them. Trampolining is another incredibly efficient exercise. It uses everything from leg muscles, to those in the stomach. While not as efficient as skipping for calorie loss, this is still fantastic for getting muscles working. Bear in mind that buying a trampoline isn’t as easy as getting a jump rope. You’ll need to ensure you purchase the safest option possible. You can visit Parenting Pod for more information on the best options out there, or do your own research. Once you find a model which fits your need, don’t hesitate to invest.

Horse Riding

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The majority of little girls, and some boys too, dream of the chance for horse riding lessons. As such, it shouldn’t take much convincing to get them to take up this physical activity. At 200 calories per 45 minute ride, this doesn’t have quite the same calorie burning capabilities. But, it’s still physical exercise. And, beggars can’t be choosers when unsporty kids are involved. So, make their horse riding dreams come true, and help them get fit, too.

 

Take Christmas To A New Level With These Fabulous Ideas

Christmas is nearly upon us, so it’s probably a good time to begin thinking about preparing for the festive season so that as soon as thanksgiving has come and past, you can concentrate on making this the best Christmas yet. Instead of doing what you usually do, why not take Christmas to a new level with these fabulous ideas?

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Decoration

One of the first things that we begin to notice when Christmas rolls around is the decorations going up in shops and around town. If you’ve been using the same decorations for your home for many years now, or you feel like a change in color then consider going all out for your home decor this year.

Usually, families have a real tree, or a green plastic Christmas tree to decorate in their home. These days, you can get different colored trees to display in your home, either as your main Christmas tree, or one for another room to keep the festivities throughout your home. If your home is stuck to a particular color theme, why not choose a tree that will fit in perfectly with your theme? For example, if you have a black and white theme, a black fibre optic Christmas tree would fit perfectly in your home.

Lets not forget about the baubles either. Depending on what kind of tree you have, or what theme you’re going for you can get corresponding baubles and tinsel to match. Alternatively, decorate and design your own baubles with the kids to make the magic even more real.

Another idea would be to decorate some figures to display in your garden with Christmas colors and fairy lights. For example, creating a snowman out of cardboard or a similar material and decorating him with lights and funky colors would make your home decor stand out from the crowd, and also give the children something to do when the christmas holidays roll around.

Tradition

It’s likely that in your childhood you have traditions from Christmas that you would like to continue with. While that’s a great idea, creating new traditions for your family will be something that you and your children cherish for the rest of your lives. Simple things like making sure you’re all together on Christmas eve to watch a film, with special treats for the family make all the difference to how Christmas feels to everyone.

Many people have traditions like not opening gifts until they have had their Christmas lunch, which extends the excitement even further. Just make it special for your family, whatever you choose to do.

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Gifts

Even though we all know that Christmas isn’t about the gifts, it is a majorly exciting part of the day for everyone involved, especially the children. Whether or not you’ve chosen to include Santa in your children’s lives, the thrill of opening presents is tremendous for them so remember to create some magic in their younger years to look fondly back on.

Stuck for ideas on what to get your children, or possibly even the rest of your family? Check out these brilliant ideas for stocking fillers to see if you can find some inspiration! http://www.giftbeta.com/category/best-stocking-stuffers/. While there’s no rules on how little or much you should spend, try to remember that Christmas isn’t just about gifts, and that spending time together as a family is more important.

Food

While the traditional roast turkey might not be something that can be missed off your shopping list, why not consider adding some unusual delights into your cart? Treats like cheeses, wines, pickles and biscuits can completely step up your food game on Christmas day.

One thing that might make Christmas more exciting for the family is to get everyone involved in cooking the main meal. Giving everyone an assigned task and then showing off all of your hard work at meal time will leave everyone feeling accomplished and more importantly, full.

So when the time comes for you to do your Christmas shop, remember to browse all of the aisles for the delicacies that stores tend to bring out around Christmas time. You might even find a new food to add to your list permanently!

Give

While you may be giving gifts to your family, don’t forget about the people who don’t have much in this world and make their year by giving to them, especially in these colder months. You can visit homeless shelters to serve food, create gift boxes for children in poorer countries, donate to charities, and much more.

Not only will this help those that are in need, but it will give you an enormous sense of well being. If you can’t afford to give money, give your time because that’s just as appreciated for many people who are facing Christmas alone this year. If a neighbor of yours is alone, make a point of inviting them over for Christmas dinner so that they can enjoy the day as much as possible. Nobody should be alone at any time in their life, especially Christmas.

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Remembering what it’s about

As briefly mentioned earlier, many people tend to forget what Christmas is really about due to the over commercialisation of it through the media. You probably already know that Christmas is derived from the religion Christianity. That’s not to say you must be a Christian to celebrate it, but do try and remember about where Christmas came from, and that it’s not solely about gifts and food. It’s also about much needed family time, and appreciating what you have in life. It’s also a time to build bridges with people, catch up with old friends and generally, a very lovely time of year.

So, step up your Christmas game this year with these fabulous ideas and make it your best Christmas yet! Remember, nobody should be alone at Christmas. The more the merrier!

 

FOMO – Preventing the Fear Of Missing Out : The Family Edition

Do you ever get that feeling that you know you could be doing fun, exciting, or educational activities with the family, but you just not? Well, that’s FOMO or the fear of missing out. In this post, we will discuss the reasons you may not be doing all you can, as well as addressing this issue of a balanced family life. As it’s impossible to be on the go all the time, as you would all just end up exhausted!

Are you missing out because of tiredness?

Firstly, let’s look at one of the key barriers that many people with young families come across that can cause them to miss out on opportunities that come their way – exhaustion. As you will know if you have a family of your own the process of being pregnant, giving birth, nursing a baby and looking after a child as they grow up can be pretty intense. It involves a lot of emotional changes, physical changes, sleepless nights and worries. This quite understandably can make you a pretty tired person. A person that may be less likely try new and challenging things, especially when they have the kids in tow.

Now, what it is vital to grasp is that this is totally understandable and you don’t need to punish yourself for reducing the demands on your and your family when they are young. In fact, it’s great to be balanced, to know your own and the kid’s limits, as this can help you enjoy the things you do even more.

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However, to be truly balanced you need to have some time where you seize the day and go on trips, see shows, or visit new places as a family. Yes, it can be tough having to pack up everything you need along with the buggy for a day out, but it is truly worth it. Just make sure you are doing because you want to and it’s what the kids want, not just because you feel like you should go. As nobody gets to dictate your schedule but you, and if things are causing you or the kids to be too tired, it may not be worth the trade off.

Are you missing out because of money?

It’s a very different situation though when the thing that is preventing you doing what you want with the family is a lack of money, and it can be truly frustrating. After all, there is nothing worse than being desperate to see a particular show or visit a certain attraction when they have a special event running and just not being able to scrape the pennies together to do so.

So what can you do in this sort of situation? Well first of all, if it’s a once in a lifetime experience like Disneyland Paris at Halloween or the kid’s favourite cartoon characters in live performance, then it may be worth looking finding the funds elsewhere such as increasing your overdraft with the bank or getting a personal loan. Luckily, you can easily get personal loans even with poor credit now. Allowing you to pay back the cost of the activity bit by bit over a longer period. Making it a much more manageable option for a tight budget.

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The second solution may is to scour the Internet for similar events,  and activities that are on offer. Remember there are plenty of discount voucher sites that provide some great family fun experiences for a hugely reduced cost. Meaning it’s easy to find something that is more likely to fit in with your budgetary restraints and still provide a fantastic day out for you and the kids. So keeping that FOMO at bay.

Are you missing out because of transport?

Lastly, another factor that could be driving your FOMO is that you don’t have access to transport to get you to all the places that you want to go. This can be a really tough one because there are so many places in the UK that are super hard to get to if you don’t drive or currently don’t have a car like theme parks, beaches, and country parks.

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Although, to get around this some families book places on a day trips by coach, or even used the rail system to get there. Although this can be both pricey and hassle filled. Especially if you have little ones to entertain during the journey. Meaning to prevent FOMO becoming a fixture in your life it’s probably time to bite the bullet and get a family car.

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Raising Humble Kids Isn’t Hard, Here’s How

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As a parent, you always want the best for your kids. You not only want to make sure that they’re happy and lead fulfilling lives, but you want to make sure that the turn into incredible people too. And one of the ways you can do that is to ensure that they always remain humble. It’s not always easy to achieve, but ensuring that your kids are kind, loving, and polite is easy enough, and so why shouldn’t it be the same for making them humble? If you want your kids to be both humble and happy, here are some ideas for achieving it.

Stress The Importance Of Listening

First of all, you’re going to want to make sure that your children are great listeners. This is definitely one the of hardest things to do, as kids aren’t always great at listening first and speaking second – they often want to share what they have to say. But, if you can teach them to listen first, they will always be humble. But not being selfish, but instead putting others first, they will always live a humble and happy life.

Appreciate Hard Work

Next, you’re going to want to instill in them what it means to work hard and why it is important. It’s easy to feel like you should do everything for your kids, but you’re not helping them become the best they can be by doing that. Hard work is definitely one of the life skills that you need to teach them. If they can appreciate and value hard work in life, it will go a long way in keeping them grounded.

Teach Them To Help Others

You should also do what you can to show them how important it is to be selfless in life. Helping others is always an important part of leading a rewarding life. So, it’s a skill and consideration to show them early. Charitable organizations are great to work with here. The work that they do, like MERS Goodwill with providing opportunities, is so important for the community. By giving back and getting involved in charity projects, you will show how important it is to help others and be humble.

Show Them The Value Of Money

One of the things that can spoil people in life is money. Money is often a way that people can fall off track and lose their focus on what’s really important. So, to ensure that your kids stay grounded, especially when it comes to money, be sure to teach them the value of money young. This Parents post should definitely help with that. But giving a set allowance, showing them how to spend and teaching how many works can definitely help here.

Value Their Relationships

A huge sign of a humble person is the importance they place on their relationships. If you want to ensure that your kids grow to be humble adults, you need to stress the importance of valuing the relationships they have in life. It’s easy to see the value in materials things, but material things aren’t what matters most in life. So, teaching them to value their relationships will go a long way.

How to Plan the Perfect Prom

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There a few nights in our lives as exciting and special as a prom night. So when it comes to our kids heading off for their prom night it is no wonder that we want it to be as fun and as magical for them as possible. All the best proms come down to careful planning and strong organization. So whether you and a group of parents are pulling together to organize a prom night or whether you want to help your kids organize a night to remember here are some top tips on ensuring it will be a night enjoyed by all.

Settle on the Key Details

So first things first. You are going to need to organize a date and a place and get those all important invitations out. So whether the prom is going to be held at an event space within the school or at a different location, you are going to need to decide on the venue as the first thing that needs to be agreed upon. Once you have agreed upon the venue you can then organize the date and you can then let everyone know when and where the event is happening.

You can now advertise events online, which makes it super easy to constantly update details as and when necessary in the lead up to the event. So it is better to get the event date and venue up there as soon as possible so that everyone knows when it is happening. All the finer details can be added in as they are organized.

The Finer Details

So now the concrete details are set you are then going to need to start thinking about the finer details that will really make the night special and unique. Think about the theme. Whether it is going to be something romantic like a ‘Night in Paris’ or whether it will be a fun fancy dress night themed with a famous movie like ‘Back to the Future’ or ‘Grease’. Maybe you prefer more of a venue theme like ‘under the sea’ rather than a fancy dress code, so think about these details and then update them on the online event portal.

If you have decided on a remote venue that is far away from the school then you are going to need to think about how to get everyone to and from that venue. For party bus rentals try here for more information about making getting to and from the venue in a super fun way that would be an extra treat for the children. This can work well as an extra way to congratulate all them for all their hard work throughout school. You will also want to think about the food and drink that you want to include on the nights itself and again add this type of information to the invitation.

Volunteers

Now that you have all the details in place and have all those details online on your interactive event forum you now need to enlist the help of volunteers. Get a group of parents and teachers together to make sure that not only does the night run smoothly and all the details go according to plan but that everyone has fun and enjoys a night to remember.

Grandparenting in a Camper

We grandparents have the spoiling vs guiding thing down. We can balance jumping in with standing back and letting the parent handle things We can pull something out of our proverbial hats that will entertain for just the right amount of time with little mess…but can we take the show on the road?

Last week, we accepted the challenge of keeping four adults and two children under six alive and happy in a fiberglass and plywood box in the woods for four days. There were no tv cameras present and no prize money at stake. We call this “camping,” because that term transforms it from self-inflicted confinement into a delightful vacation; and believe it or not, that strategy really works!

Grandparenting in a Camper

We have been campers for many years, partly because my husband worked in the industry, but mostly because there’s a sweet and simple magic that happens when changing the family rhythm from chaotic and plugged in to being connected to each other and disconnected from everyone else. We developed natural routines, formed subtle traditions that we were at the time unaware of, and it became a part of the year we all treasured.

As I have become aware however in this journey from Mom to Mimi, the extended family that includes your grown children’s’ significant others, their children and sometimes even their pets, can have a very different rhythm than your nuclear family of the past. And you do not want to mess with nuclear power in a little camping trailer!  It’s better to release Gumby power, which is my name for extreme flexibility.

Grandparenting in a Camper

We began the “camping with 2 grands” experience with preparation. What would this gang eat? My daughter passed our question to my 5-year-old grandson, and texted his list. We bought everything on it, no questions asked, including “big marshmallows, not the small ones.” Spoiling Meets Survival had begun. Who knew a 5-year-old can’t make a complete shopping list? When I proudly served the apples, cut into wedges to avoid the one-bite-and-to-the-trash-trick, I was met with the dry stare of the 4-year-old. “Where’s the peanut butter.”

I met her stare in high noon shootout swagger, and coolly replied, “Not on the list.”

We immediately noticed that the attention span of these little campers was much shorter than our children’s had been. (How did an expert of my caliber miss that one?) We at times jumped from activity to activity very quickly, and that seemed to work. To my relief, my daughter assumed my old role of activities director; keeping the kids fed, clean, bug sprayed and sun screened. At these times, I was to be the grandparent sitting in the camp chair smiling. Usually I rebel against stereotype behavior, but I was exhausted and discovered an untapped talent for holding down a chair. We did find out that when camping with 3 generations, interspersing planned activities was key. We enjoyed miniature golf and arcade trips, shorter than usual beach visits, and the mandatory ice cream stop.

Grandparenting in a Camper

Being Mimi not Mom,  I was much more relaxed and flexible in how card games were played, more patient in answering every question about the campsite, and less likely than my daughter to care what they ate or how dirty they got during those four days. This was the best part of the experience.

I have no real advice for sleeping six and a dog in a camper, other than remembering you love each other very much, and that it is temporary. Picture bodies everywhere, making body sounds. Those who want to sleep can’t, those who should want to sleep don’t. Trips to the bathroom are like those museum robbery scenes in movies where a leg moved inches the wrong way trips an alarm (the ugly underbelly of the “tiny house” movement?). Ironically, it was these nights, amid all the creaks and rumbles, that brought me to tears of joy; thankful for one more connection to my young family lost to time.

Love beats comfort, even for a grandparent on vacation.

About the Author – Diana Fox

Diana is a former early childhood educator who loves writing, all needlecrafts, playing the harp, and just being silly with her large family. She enjoys traveling, then returning to her country life in New Hampshire with her husband, collie, cat and chickens.

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