Tag Archives: Moms

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: Teaching Kids Responsibility

“Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”      -Galatians 6:5

Responsibility is needed in life, especially in adulthood.  But kids need to learn responsibility in their own lives to prepare them for higher education and the rest of their lives (and now, because even 3 year olds have responsibilities).

There are 3 keys to teaching responsibility.  They are:

  1. Accountability
  2. Consequence
  3. Example

-Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.-

Accountability

Being accountable is extremely important.  People need to be able to trust you and know you are going to be responsible for your own actions.

When trying to explain this to a young child, you could use daily chores or duties.  If your 4 year old has to make their bed every morning, then they are accountable for the bed being made.  If it hasn’t been made, then we know who didn’t make it.

They have to be answerable.  Especially with school aged children, owning up to your actions is essential.  If your child doesn’t turn in their homework, then it is their fault and they must take responsibility for that action.

When teaching accountability, it is important to be patient.   Kids need time to practice this kind of liability.

Explain that accountability is a good quality in a person.  It’s ok if your child struggles at first, but don’t let them test the boundaries too much.

Consequence

Punishing can be hard.  And it is not fun.  There are times though, when punishment is necessary.

With consequence, timing is key.  When teaching something, you don’t hand out the test first.  You explain, practice, and then evaluate.

If your accountable child were to forget their homework once, it might not be that big of a deal, especially if they hold themselves to high standards.  But, if your child isn’t very accountable and consistently forgets their homework even after reminders, then consequence is the best step.

A consequence is simply a tool.  A learning tool used to promote better choices/behaviors/actions and stop the bad ones.  In the case of responsibility, consequences need to be consistent!

A consistent punishment isn’t getting on your child every time they make a mistake.  It is setting priorities straight and removing anything that may be a distraction.

If your child doesn’t turn in their homework for the whole week, they may get a game taken away, or they may need to write a note of reminder.  Consequences must be kept up with.  Don’t say that you will take the video game away for a week and then give it back the next day.  Show that responsibility is serious, but doesn’t have to be a pain.

The best way to show how to be responsible is through example.

Example

Your children are always watching you.  And that is a great thing!  Parents are the best influence on kids!

Make sure you are being responsible!  Pay attention to the things you need to get done throughout the day and stay on top of them.

Give your child examples like, “It is my responsibility to pay the water bill every month.”  Or “It is my job to pick up my children from school.  If I don’t, your teachers would have to drive you to our house.”

Apply real world examples.  You are the real world example.

Responsibility quote

Enjoy the teaching moments in life!  Happy Tuesday!

My Good Friday Prayer

Dear Lord,

About 2,000 years ago at this time, You were hanging on the cross for me, and the person reading this, and everyone else in the world.  You suffered and were mocked. You didn’t have to die. You could have stopped the hurt, but You didn’t because You wanted to spend forever with those who believe.

Thank You, Jesus, for going through all the agony and pain for me.  By making the ultimate sacrifice for us, You opened the doors to Heaven.  I now have the peace of knowing that one day, when You call me, I will fly through those pearly gates and hold Your hand for all eternity.

I’m sorry for sinning everyday and nailing You to that cross.  Fill us with Your grace and strengthen us daily, Lord, so that all Christians will proclaim the Good News to the whole world.

I love you, Jesus.  I am hopeful about Your Resurrection and Second Coming.

Amen.

isaiah 53 5

What To Do Instead of Yelling (For You & Your Kids)

“Put your toys away!”

“For the third time…”

“Are you even listening?”

“Ugh!”

Heard these before?  Said these before?  Lot’s of times when dealing with kids, we loose our temper.  Kids lose their tempers, too.  It happens, it’s going to happen.  The amount of times it happens is something we can change.

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”   Today, I want to crack this verse open.

In my opinion, unwholesome talk is anything not uplifting, relevant, or praiseworthy.  Now,  in NO way am I saying that every word we say must be serious and down to business…..Trust me, I laugh more in this house and I like being silly.  But, unwholesome talk is wrong.  That means yelling and gossip is not good.  As this verse says, whatever we say should benefit those who hear it.  Yelling is not helpful.

Yelling occurs mostly out of anger.  We are going to get angry every once in a while.  When dealing with our anger, yelling is not the option.  There are ways to prevent yelling and exploding in anger.

4 Ways to Prevent Yelling

  1. Patient 5 – When you or your child feel like you are about to explode, use your hand to guide you.  Using your fingers, follow these five steps to calm down.  On your first finger, close your eyes and take a deep breath.  On the second finger, ask what is truly making you upset.  Be realistic.  On the third finger, put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  What might they be angry about?  On your fourth finger, say a prayer asking for patience and the ability to work out your feelings.  On your last finger, calmly begin a conversation with the other person.
  2. Mouse Voice – At the moment anger is rising, become a mouse.  Speak in a quiet, calm voice.  This tone will help to keep your tempers under control.
  3. Silly Word – Instead of yelling, say a silly word like “Bubbaleepig!”  It’ll take away some tension, too.
  4. Timer – Set a timer for 5 minutes where both arguing parties take a break and collect their thoughts.  Then, have a calm conversation.

patient 5

Have a wonderful day!

How Do You Celebrate Christmas?

Is your house loud and full of people on Christmas day?  Or are you at a family member’s house with just a few people?  However you celebrate Christmas, the important thing is to remember Jesus’ birth!  Take this poll to see how other people ‘do’ Christmas!  Happy Thursday!

Veterans Day: Thank You Letter

Today is Veteran’s Day!  As Americans, we owe our safety to God and to those people that put their lives on the line for their country.  Your children, most likely, know someone  (Anyone!) that is or was in the military.  So today, we’re writing a thank you letter!

First, get the address or find a time when you could drop off the letter to this person.  If you don’t have a person in your life who was/is in the military, there are many organizations that will send your letters to deployed soldiers.  My favorite organization is Operation Gratitude!

dear hero

How To Write A Thank You Letter To Veterans(Layout):

Dear Hero,  – Yes!  Veterans are heroes!  Make this known to your kids and ask them why these people are to be respected.  This is also a great way to compliment these people on their gift of the time and lives.

Thank you for your service to your country.  – Thank these Veterans for their bravery.  Have your child tell the veteran how they have impacted their lives.  Tell your child to speak from their heart.   For me, that would be, “You are a true inspiration and a blessing to our country.”

I hope you are doing well and I pray for you everyday. – Send the veteran well wishes.  What a great way to spread Jesus’ word, too.  Even if this person already knows Jesus, who doesn’t like to know that someone is praying for them!

I am forever grateful. – We are!  We owe our freedom and safety to these people (and God).  Have your child tell them that they appreciate them!

Love,  Your Child

thanks card

falg

Here’s An Example Letter:

Dear Brave Veteran,

Thank you so much for your service to your country.  You are a great role  model for me and I look up to you.  I pray that you are having a great Veteran’s Day and I really honor you.  I am forever thankful for your courage and selflessness.  May God bless you!

Love, {Insert Name}

Have a blessed Veteran’s Day!

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

a

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!

Poll: When Do You Stop Handing Out Candy?

A Halloween poll for Mamas.  No right or wrong answers.  Have a great day!

BTT: On My Own – Matthew 19:26

This is an activity that proves one true statement: We need God!

Materials:

  • Eager kids
  • At least one egg per kid
  • An open area
  • Clothes that can get messy

btt egg matt

Procedure (this sounds like a science experiment):

  1. Go into that open area.  Talk to your kids about how sometimes life can be frustrating.  Sometimes we get caught up in life and want to do things on our own.  Read Matthew 19:26 with your kids.  Ask when there was a time in their day/week when they wanted to do something their way, not God’s way;  a time when they wanted to do it on their own.
  2. Place an egg in your child’s hand.  Ask them to try to do things on their own by squeezing the egg (with one hand).  It won’t work.  Explain that in life we may not like God’s plan for us, or at least we think we don’t, but God knows what’s best for us.
  3. Then, ask them what God can do.  God can do all things!  Now have them use both hands and thumbs to squeeze the egg.   (Hopefully) They can do it!  Prepare for an explosion!!!  Just like when we let God guide our life, we can do all things. This reveals our true potential.  Jesus wants the best for us and we should listen to His plan for us.

egg for btt

This is a great way for kids to understand God’s power and His plan for us!  Sorry this is on a Wednesday!  Have a blessed day!

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!