June 24, 2011

The Power Of A Story

Posted by Becka 0 comments
This is from the Investigator Club, a newsletter I get and LOVE to share!!

Engaging preschool children with storylines and characters
By Sarah Sprinkel, Florida Virtual School

Annette Simmons, author of The Story Factor, says "Story is one of the most respectful ways to share knowledge, and thus, one of the most effective because it allows people to come to their own conclusions." "Life's riches are bequeathed in stories." The brain remembers stories, while it may forget facts and figures. All over the world, children repeat, "Tell me a story, tell me another story." Why? Stories attract children by communicating what it means to be human. The very act of hearing a story puts children in the mode of participating in another person's life, a way to organize and interpret human experiences. Through stories, children know what people are like, what they do, what they need, and what makes them do what they do.
Stories, both written and told in the oral tradition, sustain us.
  • Stories are rich in ideas and language.
  • Stories tap prior knowledge and experiences
  • Stories help children draw conclusions.
  • Stories are key to one's sense of identity.
  • Stories teach social and personal skills.
  • Stories improve listening skills and expand memory. 

Read the rest HERE

Work At Home mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!

June 23, 2011

Happy birthday Evan!!

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I can not believe my baby is 2!!!!!!

You are such a sweet little man. I can not believe how much you have changed, even in just a year. You can have a full conversation with us, and love to do puzzles, play with cars and (especially) trains. You can also recognize all the letters of the alphabet and almost all in lowercase!!! You just LOVE to learn!!! (You come up to me and say "I want to learn mommy!!" It is TOO sweet!!)

Wyatt is still your best friend, and I think he may always be, even when you are fighting. You always want to give him a hug :)

We are all so proud of you, and your independence!

Happy birthday Evan!!\

Work At Home mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!

June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Work At Home mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!

June 17, 2011

Video Friday

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My boys dancing to Boogie Brain Boosters from Becky Bailey's Conscious Discipline CD "Brain Boogie Boosters"
This is an excellent CD and has a lot of songs for helping calm yourself and have fun!

June 13, 2011

Wyatt got into the preschool!!

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I think I may have posted way back, I didn't remember. Anyway, the local school district has preschool AT the school. There are 28 slots. We registered Wyatt back on March 31. We later found out there were 31 kids registered!! (I heard last year that 2 of 3 triplets got in, personally, I feel if one set of multiples gets in then they should ALL get in...but it is a lottery...even so, that would not be too fair!)

I bought him his first Summer Bridge book and he loves it! (The others have always had them and yes, my 6th, soon to be 7th, grader, will also be doing one this summer!)

Also, I saw an awesome suggestion on Facebook the other day and I wish I had thought of it when the odler 2 were in school. Buy "Oh, The Places You'll Go" and have every teacher your child has through school sign it! I think I will do that for the boys :) What an awesome idea!

Wyatt is actually my 2nd child to attend preschool. Nick was in day care from 13 months to 3, and some of his friends went to school...so he wanted to go with them. He had a great time! Michele never went, though,she id attend day care for a year between 2 and 3 years of age. But who can refuse FREE preschool, AT the school, where he will also see his sister every once in a while!?

I think I am as excited as he is about this new venture (since it is not Montessori, sadly, it will be a totally different environment for him)

June 10, 2011

Kids and internet safety

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This will be featured in  The Mommies Network blog on June 29!!
            Welcome to the age of kid on the internet. From site such as Starfall and Headsprout for the younger set to Facebook and Twitter, for those over 13. The internet can be both a wonderful wealth of education to a downright scary place. We can connect with people we have not spoken with in years, as well as meet new people that become our lifelong friends. And, of course, there are online organizations like The Mommies Network, that connect moms of all walks of life for support and more!

            When your child is young and wants to play a game online, you are usually sitting there, helping them along and interacting with them and monitoring what they are doing. When they get a little older, you may feel more comfortable leaving them for longer periods of time while you get things done around the house or they look up things for homework. But what most parents do not realize, is that there are many places out there where their child (in this case, I refer to children as under the age of 16. Over that, they should be able to have better judgment in most situations) can be lured into places by people lying about who they are, or posing as people they think they know. All you have to do is Google Facebook Predators and see what has been in the news the last couple years.

            Even looking up something for a homework assignment might bring them to an inappropriate site or a site that may steal information from your computer. Make sure that you have certain domains and keywords blocked from search engines.

            Many kids these days under the age of 13 (the “legal” age for Facebook) have a Facebook page. If you are going to let your child have one, you need to have access to everything that your child does on his or her page. I would say do not let them have it, but, admittedly, my 11 year old has one. He is rarely on it, but uses it to keep in contact with friends that live many states away, as well as family. I have access to everything and get messages every time he posts a status or other activity. As I said, he is not on it all that much, his last activity being over a month ago. (I also have MY friends on his list and they, as well as family, would tell me if anything was suspicious). So if you are going to let them have it, make sure to monitor it closely. This goes for MySpace, message boards and Twitter. Though, most kids do not use Twitter.

            When your child is around the 10 to 12 range, and they show more interest in the internet and all it has to offer, sit with them and go over rules and safety tips, to keep them from coming into any harm. Some of these tips for kids would be:

·         Do not give out personal information such as address, email and phone number

·         NEVER meet up with anyone you do not know from school or other activities

·         Tell your parents if someone you do not know is trying to friend you or send you messages to meet up with them

·         Keep your passwords safe and only share them with mom and dad

·         If someone is harassing you into meeting them or is cyber bullying you, tell your parents and also the local authorities

·         If someone sends you inappropriate pictures, alert your parents and the authorities immediately

·         Never download and install anything unless you or your parents know the source and that it will not harm your computer or steal information

·         Be careful of sharing pictures on social networks and message boards. Manhy pictures, especially if taken with a smart phone (i.e. Droid or iPhone) have location data attached that may include your address and latitude/longitude coordinates, making it easy for people to locate you

And here are some tips for parents as well:

·         Keep a family computer in a central, easily seen,  area

·         Use a domain/keyword blocker

·         Consistently check on what your child is doing

·         Never let a child have a computer in their room with the door shut until they have proved their responsibility (and even then, keep a close eye)

·         Check your family computer history often

·         Block items such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter from the central family computer until your children are old enough, or mature enough, to use them

·         Do not let your children use your personal laptops or desktops

Following simple precautions and safety tips will keep your child, and you, safe from any dangers that lurk online. The internet can be a great place is used correctly and when you proceed with caution!

Here are some safe sites for families, kids, and teens:

http://www.starfall.coma great site for young learners in early elementary school and preschool

http://headsprout.comhelp your 3-5 year old read, and your older child learn reading comprehension

http://www.netsmartz.orgParenting wired kids can be difficult, especially if you didn't grow up with the same technologies. These resources can help.

http://www.webwisekids.orgproviding unique and effective resources to equip young people to safelyuse and enjoy the latest technologies

http://www.safekids.com one of the oldest and most enduring sites for Internet safety

June 7, 2011


Posted by Becka 0 comments
So tonight around 8:30pm, our next door neighbor came to the door. He said he thought the kids (the little men were asleep/going to bed, so it was only the older 2) would like to see a turtle laying eggs in our backyard!

I was SO excited, I have never seen a turtle laying eggs. The kids were really excited too!!!!

He also showed me the egg shells that were scattered around the spot where she was laying the eggs :(

So I came in and asked around Facebook and Google to see how I can protect the eggs. I could not find chicken wire or screens, so I looked around outside and found a small storage crate and some bricks. I am hoping that this will keep them safe, until I can go get something sturdier tomorrow!

Here are a couple pics. I hope we can keep them safe for the next 6-12 weeks!

Hoping to come back tomorrow with GOOD news about our little hatchlings!

June 5, 2011

Please support The Mommies Network!!

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Please click on the banner below to support The Mommies Newtork! A national moms organization supporting moms from all walks of life!
Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

Here's the lowdown:
The Vivint Gives Back Project is a program run by Vivint, Inc. It is an opportunity for Facebook users to help Vivint support charities that are doing good work in neighborhoods and communities across the United States. It is great opportunity for these local charities to be recognized by their supporters. This program is also designed to help direct Vivint's philanthropic dollars, which are donated by Vivint employees to eligible charities who are helping restore hope for families across North America. The charity that receives the most votes will receive $250,000, while the remaining top charity in each of the five regions will receive $100,000 each.

Nominations/endorsements for local charities will begin on April 25, 2011 and will run until 11:59:59 p.m. ET on June 11, 2011. Voting for the top local charity will begin on June 14, 2011 and go until 11:59:59 ET on August 27, 2011. The top 100 charities from Phase I, as well as the final six winners from Phase II will be determined once all of the endorsements and votes have been counted and it has been determined that each of the charities has satisfied all of the program eligibility requirements.

Work At Home mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!

June 4, 2011

Sign language and speech delays…re visited…again!

Posted by Becka 0 comments
Evan, 22 months, signs CRY and SAD telling me he is upset
 I have been getting this a lot more lately. See, my kids are shy. At least, when they are younger. They talk up a storm at home, having full on conversations well before the age of 2. But get them around other people, especially people they are not comfortable around, or who are new, and they clam right up! It took my oldest a year in the same day care around the same people, to finally open up. The teacher and director both asked me if I wanted speech for him! I had to bring in a recording of him to prove that he spoke…and at 18 months had well over 300 words!

But my older 2 were not really signed with, so the point with them (my daughter having 150 words at her 1 year checkup!) is moot.

So I keep hearing: “but I want my kid to talk” when I ask new parents or parents with young children, if they ever considered joining a class. Heck, even with preschoolers it is still fun! I then have to go into my usual spiel on how signing with your child not only does NOT delay speech, but opens up multiple learning centers in the brain for building communication. This is especially harder with older adults, who only know American Sign Language to be the language of the deaf.

Teaching your child to use American Sign Language is just like teaching them any other language they are not used to speaking in their households. It broadens their learning spectrum and teaches them that there is more out there then the language they hear daily. ASL helps them play with language a lot sooner, then children who do not use signs or another language.

There have been multiple research studies, including one by The National Institutes of Health, on the benefits of signing with young babies and children. This is especially true with children with special needs, such as Apraxia, Down Syndrome, and Autism. Children with these disabilities may not be able to communicate well, if at all. It is a wonderful thing to have a way to communicate with these children, and adults, as to lessen their frustration with the world around them, and help them communicate with their caregivers, where otherwise, they would not be able to.

But, back to signing…with typically developing children…

Signing will not delay speech! (Have I driven that point home yet?)     

Because gross motor skills develop before the fine motor skills involved in phonetic and articulatory actions (moving tongues and mouths in the proper way to create speech), babies can be taught to communicate with their hands before they are physically capable of articulating thoughts. What parent would not want an opportunity to have a front row seat in the mind of their baby, toddler, preschooler, and special needs child?

Hmm speaking of special needs…that might just be my next blog post! Stay tuned!

Work At Home mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby. Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!

June 1, 2011

Beat the summer blues!

Posted by Becka 0 comments
Kids should enjoy their summer, but often they waste a lot of time claiming they are bored.
Here are a few places that offer free or low cost programs:
  1. The library has their own summer reading program. Kids of any age can participate and be rewarded for their efforts. The library is also a source of free activities: book clubs, art classes, visits from groups in the area. This is a great way to spend a few hours every week to escape the heat.
  2. Local cinema. Most movie theaters once a week - usually pretty early in the A.M. - offer a free or reduced cost kids movie. The kids snack packs are usually at a reduced cost as well.
  3. Park. A great way to get a bit of sun and some exercise before the day gets too hot. This is a great morning or late afternoon activity. If you go in the morning, bring you lunch for a picnic.
  4. Story time. Chain books stores - like Barnes and Noble - has story time at least once a week for various ages. A lot of these stores hold a story night for a wider age range if you can not make the day performances or have kids of varying ages.
  5. Art time at home. Have some crayons, colored paper, scissors and a printer? You can print out art projects, coloring sheets and get ideas of additional are projects online.
Another tip: keep a steady schedule. Have you day planned so in the morning you can tell your kids what is going on. This not only give them an idea of how their day will be, but gives them something to look forward to.

Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby. Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!

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