August 6, 2009

Ask a Teacher

The Morning Routine

It just dawned on me as I was buying my son’s new backpack for kindergarten, because “Mom, Diego is so preschool”, that school is almost here. I am excited for my son to begin his educational journey. I am not excited for the crazy twist that this will put in our morning routine. We have also decided that our son needs to take responsibility for his things. So, I suggest a visual schedule. I also suggest you make this with your child so they have ownership of their chart. This will also save you a lot of time asking those questions like  have you done… do you have… what should you be doing? I do not guarantee it will reduce all the redundant questions but it will help your child become empowered. You can allow them to change the order of their tasks to provide for further choice making opportunities. Does it really matter if they make their bed before brushing their teeth or after?

Here is an explanation

What is it?

Definition from Healing Thresholds

Here is their Link to learn more

visual schedule is a set of pictures that communicates a series of activities or the steps of a specific activity. Visual schedules are meant to help children understand and manage the daily events in their lives . Visual schedules may be created using photographs, pictures, written words, or physical objects. Ideally, they communicate clear expectations for the child and decrease the need for constant adult involvement in the activity . Most visual schedules are introduced with adult guidance that gradually decreases with time .

I used to use these schedules when I taught children with Autism. However, they are valuable for any child who can’t read, requires cues, or needs reminders.

My plan is to take pictures of the tasks he needs to accomplish before he leaves for school:

1) Picture of his bed made

2) Picture of a toothbrush

3) Picture of school clothes

4) Picture of the hamper (this will be a large photo)

5) Picture of breakfast

6) Picture of lunch bag

7) Picture of homework

8) Picture of backpack with all the needed items in it

9) Picture of shoes

10) Seasonal items: rain coat, winter coat, hat, mitten or special item

11) stars,  stickers, stamps, pictures (will be used to show task completion)

12) Based on where your child is, select a way to show order: you can use the numbers 1- however many tasks you have defined (10 for me) soon I will replace my numbers with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, then I will do first, second, third, and finally I will transition to actual times like 6:00, 6:05, 6:10.

What do you need to make your own schedule

Several pictures these can be homemade or actual photographs or clipart

Card stock or poster board

Velcro dots (this is so you can change the order of your schedule)

Laminate the chart , reward pictures, and task pictures, measurement or order of events (can be done at staples or they make self laminating sheets they are $6.00 for 20 at Sam’s club ( with the leftover sheet use them to laminate special artwork, love notes, or your child’s favorite picture)

I would divide my board in thirds

1st order of the events

2nd  picture of the task to be completed

3rd column is where your child or you places the completed marker ( This is the stickers, stamps, or pictures that you have laminated to some completion)

August 4, 2009

Helpful Uses for Cornstarch

I am always looking for other ways to use products that I have around my house. This means that my dollar goes farther because I am not having to purchase a variety of items to do one specific job and my storage areas are not cluttered with half-used products. So, today, I am posting some uses for corn starch. Some of them my grandmother used, and some I have tried myself. Hope you are able to find something helpful!

Helpful uses for Cornstarch

Helpful uses for Cornstarch

Little Known Uses For Corn Starch

Cure athlete’s foot.
Sprinkle Corn Starch on your feet and in your shoes to absorb moisture and reduce friction.

Clean a carpet.
Sprinkle Corn Starch on the carpet, wait thirty minutes, then vacuum clean.

Make spray starch for clothing.
Mix one tablespoon Corn Starch and one pint cold water. Stir to dissolve the corn starch completely. Fill a spray bottle and use as you would any starch. Be sure to shake vigorously before each use.

Substitute for baby powder and talcum powder.
Apply Corn Starch sparingly when diapering a baby. Corn starch is actually more absorbent than talcum powder, but apply lightly since it does cake more readily.

Help rubber gloves slip on easily.
Sprinkle Corn Starch inside the gloves.

Shampoo your hair.
Corn Starch can be used as a dry shampoo. Work into your hair, then brush out. ** I have also used plain baby powder.

Detangle knots.
Sprinkle a stubborn knot with a little Corn Starch.

Make fingerpaints.
Mix one-quarter cup Corn Starch with two cups cold water, boil until thick, pour into small containers, and color with Food Coloring.

Absorb excess polish from furniture.
After polishing furniture, sprinkle on a little Corn Starch and rub wood with a soft cloth.

Clean silver.
Make a paste with Corn Starch and water. Apply with a damp cloth, let dry, then rub off with cheesecloth.

Remove grease or oil stains from smooth fabric.
Apply Corn Starch to the spot, wait twelve hours, brush off, then launder as usual.

Give your dog a dry shampoo.
Rub Corn Starch into your dog’s fur, then comb and brush out.

Clean stuffed animals.
Rub Corn Starch into the toy, let stand for five minutes, then brush off.

Prevent pastry dough from sticking to the cutting board and rolling pin.
Sprinkle the cutting board and rolling pin with tasteless Corn Starch before rolling out the dough.

Clean a deck of playing cards.
Place the deck of cards into a paper bag, add four tablespoons Corn Starch,and shake briskly. Remove the cards from the bag and wipe clean.

Soothe skin irritations.
Apply a paste made of equal parts Corn Starch, zinc oxide, and castor oil.

Thicken gravy.
Corn starch has twice the thickening power of flour. When a gravy, sauce, soup, or stew recipe calls for flour, use half as much corn starch to thicken. One tablespoon of corn starch equals two tablespoons flour.

Also check out our other tips:

15 Uses for Coffee Grounds
11 Talc Baby Powder Uses That You Should Know
10 Uses for Baking Powder
Epsom Salt Uses

August 1, 2009

Tip for saving money

Print This Post
At the end of each one of our posts is an icon of a printer and beside it it say Print This Post
Click on it
Then take it with you to the store
If an item is not in the store you can ask for a raincheck
organization is the key to savings
Check out our system and attend one of our workshops

June 19, 2009

Tips to spend less on your children’s clothes

 

How to spend less on your children’s clothes-

1. SWAP in case you have no idea what these or how to organize one. I have a great post on how to organize a swap. You can Read Swapping To Save

2. Buy a size ahead at the end of the season. (I already have all my son’s winter clothes brand new with tags from the gap for less than 60% of their retail cost)DSC02350

3. Go to the outlets or the traditional store and use their coupons.

 

4. Make a list of what you need to buy for each season- carry the list to remind yourself to search

Here is my winter must have list for my little guy-

3 pair of PJs

9 pair of underwear

3 pairs of jeans

1 pair of khakis

2 pairs of chords

1 pair of dress pants

1 Sweat outfit

3 Sweaters

2 Sweatshirts

5 button down

4 T-shirts

1 light jacket

1 heavy coat

1 rain coat

1 pair of sneakers

1 pair of rain boots (we love our rain boots, and you can wear them in the snow since we have so little snow here)

Would be great to buy but not essential

Snow boots

Dress shoes

For My little Gal-

3 pairs of PJ

3 pairs of jeans

4 pairs of leggings

2 skirts

2 sweat outfits

4 Shirts

2 Blouses

4 sweaters

2 sweaters or sweatshirt material  tops with zippers

3 dresses

2 tights

1 light jacket

1 rain jacket

1 heavy coat

1 pair of sneakers

1 pair of dress shoes

1 pair of boots

*** I buy all the above essentials first, and then I will buy other items if I get a good deal. I also have the list ready for the grandparents.

5. I use smart applications to get the best coupon codes.

 

Positive discipline

Teaching children

 

We read all of your comments and one reader asked for advice on discipline. I thought I would respond to this query because being a parent is the hardest job there is.

I feel that being a parent takes every ounce of professional training I have and then it is just plain old instinct, trial and error, and prayer.

There are some things I know to be true in my house, so I will share those ideas and perhaps they will help you.

DSC009541) Discipline is important. When I say discipline, I mean to instruct a person,  follow a particular code of conduct, or to adhere to a certain order.

2) Rules must apply everywhere and be consistently used by everyone. Mommy and Daddy have the same rules. Example: You need to ask before using something that isn’t yours.

3) Consequences are relevant to the offense and applied immediately. If you use Mommy’s makeup without permission then you have to clean up the mess and go to time out. It is important to use the time out  “process” with your child afterward.  If you don’t they will never know what to replace their bad behavior with. They will not know how or what you expect. It is natural for children to try different things. It is just as natural for you to explain what you expect from them. ALWAYS address the behavior and remind your child how much you love them but you do not like the behavior they showed.

Here are the three questions you need to ask after time- out: EVERY TIME

What happened? (I did my face like mommy’s) (get them to see the problem by asking questions.I would ask him questions until he got to the problem. The problem was he was using my stuff without asking)

What is going to happen the next time you________ (go into Mommy’s makeup without permission)

What can you do instead next time? (I can ask Mommy to use her make-up) (we also talk about mommy has the right to say no and that is okay…)

The consequence depends on the severity of the behavior. Once he broke my favorite lipstick when he was not suppose to be in the make-up so I asked for one of his favorite toys and I put the toy in time out for the night. We talked about how it felt to have something you really like and have it “lost” to you. The consequence should be age appropriate.

4) Consequences are consistent (every time Matthew goes into my makeup without permission he goes to time out) Just so you know he has his own makeup brush and chap stick to pretend with so he does not need to play with my stuff.

5) A child will test each of the above items over and over again. You must not give in!

6) The parent is in charge. I repeat this one over and over again. Children need rules. I mean do not make a rule about everything and do not make rules that you will not enforce but have rules.  Your child NEEDS rules. How can you expect them to act in a certain way if you have not given them guidelines?

7 ) Give your children choices that are controlled. Give your child 3 choices and allow them to choose. I have the child that wears rain boots every day but gym days at school. Why? I feel like that is a choice that he can make it doesn’t affect his safety. The deal is he can’t wear them on gym days because it is against school rules.

How do I know my approach with my child works? Here are some of the quotes he said last week.

“I do not need everything it is okay to want things” in response to buying a birthday gift for a friend

“I know you love me even though I do not have a hot wheels racetrack but maybe Santa can be told that I should have it”

“I am really mad at you so I am going over there for a break”

“I should not have thrown my toy because it isn’t a ball and this is inside the house”

“I like your stuff but I have my own but I think maybe you can share after lunch?” He wanted my sunglasses so I agreed to let him try on and wear my “beach sunglasses” after lunch

I repeat it is important to teach your child using modeling, rules, love and respect. I ask to use his toys. I put them back when I am done. I  have been to time out for using poor judgment. He actually asked me the three questions. Then I got a big hug and I know you will try harder next time.

Keep up the good work and keep those questions coming. Every day is a new day.

Amee

Grocery List

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Grocery List

10. Because you always forget the one item necessary to make that recipe.

9. Because if it is not on the list, it’s a “NO”.

8. Because your child just sneezed. Tissue, huh!

7. To relocate that pesky fly.

6. Because you are at the store and you don’t know why.

5. To protect your cart from the extra junk food.

4. Mommy brain!

3. To distract the shopper next to you. While they pick up your list, you pick up the last sale item!

2. How else would you remember all of our rock bottom deals?

1. Because you can submit your list to www.grocerylist.org