Category Archives: Learning

School Supply Shopping Tips + 2 Ways to Get Your Kids in School Mode

School is your child’s career and summer is their vacation.  After 2 months of no school, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things (for you and your child).  These tips will help make the transition back to school go smooth.

Supply Shopping Tips

Especially in elementary school, I LOVED school supply shopping.  There was something about picking out a sparkly notebook and matching pencils that was awesome!  This kind of shopping can be fun, but it can also be stressful.  In order to calm things down, it would be helpful to bring only 1-2 kids at a time so you can keep track of the lists and what all is entering the cart.

Towards middle school, I began to have a hard time keeping track of which textbook and notebook went with which subject.  My mom helped my create a system that worked for me.  We color coded all my textbooks with solid color book covers and all my notebooks matched.  That way all your child has to do is think, I have math. Math is red. *grabs everything red.

color coded ssupplies

But… sometimes the fun part is picking cool book covers.  That’s ok, too.  Another way to organize your child’s books is to have themes.  Maybe their science book cover has a giraffe on it.  Then their science notebook might have a picture of a safari.  All they have to think is, I have science. Animals are science. *grabs giraffe book  A nature safari is science. *grabs safari notebook.

Another very important part to school supply shopping is knowing what you already have. Go through your child’s supplies from last year and see if anything is worth reusing.  Notebooks probably have to be replaced, but last year’s ruler probably still works fine.  Also, give away good supplies that your children don’t need anymore to other families!  Sharing is caring!

After shopping, odds are those supplies will sit around in a corner until it’s time to take them in.  No!  Those supplies need to be labeled!  Label just about everything with your child’s name and room number.  You can even label book covers and notebooks with the subject they belong to.

After your child’s supplies are labeled, keep them separated from your other kids’ supplies by putting them in different colored bags.  If you have your supplies in grocery bags, tie a different colored ribbon around the handle.  So Kelly’s supplies have a red ribbon and Frank’s have blue.

blue ribbon on ssupplies

Plus: 2 Ways to Get Kids in School Mode

If your child has to set an alarm for school, have them practice beforehand.
If your child has to set an alarm for school, have them practice beforehand.
  1. Prevent TOO much sleeping in.  If your children have to get up at 7 on a school day, have them get up by 8 on most days.  Let them go to bed at a reasonable time.  About a week or so away from school, treat every day like a school day where they go to bed at __ and get up at __.
  2. Do summer homework during the summer…not a week before school starts.  Reading or doing math problems all summer will keep their brains fresh and will make getting homework again less of a shock.  If your child doesn’t have homework, summer workbooks are an awesome way to keep their heads in the game!

BTT – 5 Tips To Help Your Child With Math

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”  -1 John 3:17

This Bible verse, to me, means that if someone has a skill and doesn’t share it with someone who needs it, then how does God’s love shine in him?  A great example of this is school.  More specifically – math.

math

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I used to love math!  I mean LOVE math!  And then I hit…algebra.  Of course, it wasn’t easy, but with the help of my mom, I made it through.  You, too, can help your child with their math struggles.  Follow these simple tips to get started:

  1. Relate – Instead of just laying out math rules and problems, relate the equation to something in real life.  Many kids think math is literally to ruin your life at school.  It’s not!  Math is everywhere in life!  Show your kids examples and ask them how they can relate it to their lives personally.
  2. Ask Questions – If your child understands the subject, don’t be too pushy.  BUT, ask questions about their knowledge.  Give them some challenging problems on concepts they have learned.
  3. Work Through It – If your child is struggling with a concept, don’t get upset.  Use kind tones and try to explain the concept in a different way.   Help your child – don’t show that you don’t trust them!  Don’t do everything for them!  Be patient and give them some space.  If they ask for help….help them, but don’t linger over their shoulder telling them when they do something wrong!
  4. Check It – Review your child’s homework!  Circle the ones they got wrong and work it out with them.  The point of this is to make sure your child understands the concepts.
  5. Study – Take a little time out of every day (10 minutes) to review math.  Go through some flash cards or make a little mini quiz.  Don’t make a big deal out of it, but have some fun with it!

pencil

Your child should not dread math!  Enjoy it and have fun learning!

Guide to Science Fair

Yes, it’s that time again….time for your child’s science fair!  Some of you may be excited, but if you’re me, you may not be too thrilled.  Well, instead of anger and tears, let’s replace it with patience and kindness.   So, I put together some things to keep Science Fair under control.

Project Idea: Test which brand of coffee filters works best
Project Idea: Test which brand of coffee filters works best
  • Keep a Schedule  – Hopefully, your child’s teacher gave you a list at the beginning of the year of when all your child’s science fair papers and boards are due.  Make sure your child is not putting off science fair.  Help them review what is due and when.  Be kind and not too pushy.  Let them feel responsible by asking them things like, When do you plan on starting this section of your report? or How about you do 5 sentences per day?
  • Be Creative – Yes, when I did science fair I like to take the easy way out.  I’d pick the easy experiment that I found that everyone’s done already.  But, it’s actually better to make your child design an experiment.  This doesn’t have to be forced.  Your child should pick something that they are interested or ask them questions about things in nature, etc.
  • Take That Break – If you’re working with your child and the tension is rising, it’s time to take a break.  Stop the action before it erupts into a big episode.  Be kind, you were once a kid, too.
  • Make An Eye-Catching Presentation – Depending on how old your child is, they may have to make a diagram or a presentation to judges.  Whatever it is, make it big, bold, and exciting!  Use creative catch phrases for the title and make sure it has neat lines.
  • Write Everything Down – Scientists learn from being wrong, so write it all down.  If something in your experiment didn’t go as planned, it’s ok.  Record it as it happened.  If your child’s teacher is smart, she won’t give them a bad grade.  You have to learn somehow.
Project Idea: Test in which environment bananas rot quickest
Project Idea: Test in which environment bananas rot quickest

Remember, science fair is a learning experience, just being there for your child means a lot to them.  Happy Happy Saturday!

Public Libraries

Want to give your kids the opportunity to learn and let their imagination fly?  Of course!  What parent wouldn’t?!?  But how can this happen…..one word – books!

Books are a great way for kids to explore and try new things.  Of course, not everyone has all the classics and bestsellers on their home bookshelf!  That’s why I love my public library!

Public libraries provide access to a world of adventure!  All you have to do is sign your child up for a card, or if they are too young, you may need to get a card.  Usually, the cards are free and easy to use.  And, it makes for great summer reading!!

So, look it up and find the public library nearest you!