Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Monday, September 14, 2015
Recently, I was confronted with this question by a parent who was interested in unschooling her child: "What if I don't have the right answer?". She continued by highlighting children's inquisitive nature and her limited knowledge of things in general.
"I am highly passionate about my field," she said, "but what about the things I don't know? What if my child asks me about history, which I know very little about?"
The notion of the One Right Answer and the Summit of Knowledge is very much part of the school paradigm. In a school setting, the teacher holds the Right Answers, all of them, and each question just has one. This is possible because the information seen in the span of a lesson is controlled and pre-established.
There is no such thing in unschooling.
First of all, we break through the notion that there is just one answer. Sometimes there are none, sometimes there are many.
In unschooling, there is also no top down transfer of knowledge such as is attempted in a school setting, so sometimes the answer comes from the parent sometimes the answer comes from the child but it can just as easily come from a third party a book or the internet.
What is important is the process, the stimulation of seeking the answers. The feeding of the mind.
Whenever I don't have the answer, I will ask my child what she thinks. You will be surprised at the vast array of answers that come up. They might not al be 'true' but they will stimulate learning. Stimulating the way of finding answers is also much more important than just handing a clean cut answer to your child. And before you object to this method of learning, it's actually an established method of learning, called the Socratic method. After Socrates, who would entice his students to learning by answering each question with a question. Though I must admit I'm not as good as he was, I have to remind myself not to just answer the question every time. Then again, I was conventionally schooled.
Showing your child how to discern scientific information from hearsay, how to find the right references, discerning fiction from fact, that is what is important, and that is something you don't have when you're concerned of always offering the 'right' answer.
Furthermore, it is important that your child sees that you don't hold all the knowledge that you too are learning all the time. This may be a most stimulating notion. Monkey see, monkey do, also works when learning is concerned. If an unschooled child is confronted with an eternally learning parent, he too will wonder about the world, and seek out knowledge about the things that grasp his interest.
Unschooling requires a change of paradigm. If you can accept that answers will be found in due time, if you can grow that trust, then you're almost there.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Gardening is a great way to spend time together as a family, and it can also be an important part of improving your health and your quality of life. One of the best ways to turn gardening into a relaxing and enjoyable pastime is by making your garden a peaceful and beautiful place where you enjoy spending your time. So if you’re looking to improve your garden, here are a few tips to get you on your way.
Start compostingComposting is not only an environmentally friendly practice and a great thing to teach children about conservation, but it is also a fantastic way to provide your garden with important nutrients that plants need to flourish and very easy to set up. You will also find that composting cuts down on the costs of buying soil-enriching products, as the compost provides your soil nutrients in a natural and organic way, plus without any nasty chemicals your garden is safer for any inquisitive children or pets.
Household waste or unwanted object can be great ways to spruce up the look of your garden. Old mirrors can be used to create fun visual effects, colanders make for great and stylish plant pots or hanging baskets, and even things like hanging shoe racks can be used to create your own small herb garden. Before throwing something out, always think if it has a use in the garden.
Utilise household objects
Save rainwaterAnother great way to conserve resources and to make your garden a more environmentally friendly place is to purchase a few rain buckets that you can use to collect water for your garden. This is another task that will not only help reduce your carbon footprint but will also reduce the cost of maintaining a beautiful and verdant space.
DecorationsThe decorative aspect of a garden is a very personal one, some people enjoy perfectly manicured spaces while others like to feel a little more in the wild when they enter their gardens. Either way, some great options for sprucing up your garden’s look include laying a dry creek bed of rocks, which is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functions as a way to divide up your garden, as well as setting out at a pathway, which functions similarly to the creek-bed, but allows you and visitors to stroll through and admire your work.
However you decide to go about creating your perfect outdoor space, remember that if you get stuck check out Tesco’s garden guide for some helpful hints and tips.
Image by DncnH used under the Creative Commons License.
Friday, July 10, 2015
A divorce is not easy on anyone. No matter if it is a clean breakup, or a messy one, it is especially
hard on the kids. Trying to be a good parent during a divorce is difficult, but it is also essential. How you handle the divorce will impact your child for a long time to come. If you are about to go through a divorce, or have recently gone through one, the advice below should help you when it comes to co-parenting.
Along these lines, don't ask your child to choose sides or try to turn them against your ex. Just because things did not end well between the two of you, does not mean your child should have a bad opinion of them. Even if, in your mind, your ex is not a good person or a good role model, it is important to not project this onto your child. You can explain to them in more detail when they are older, but for now, let them keep the good image of their parent.
During a divorce, chances are you are going to feel frustrated, upset, angry, or any number of other unpleasant feelings. When this happens, you need to keep them to yourself and let out your emotions somewhere else. If your child sees you crying or getting angry, they are not going to be able to handle it well. Go to the gym if you need to relieve some stress, or talk to a therapist if you need to let off some steam. You don't have to bottle up your emotions, just try to keep in them in check for the time being if you have children around.
Lastly, as long as your ex is not a danger to the child, be sure that both parents get enough time with them. Even if you are mad at your ex, taking time away with their child is not the solution. Set schedules in which each parent will see them, and split up holidays. Make sure that the schedule works for both parties, and that you stick to it. Also be sure that both parents have time to do fun activities with the child, so that no one gets preferential treatment. This will make everything run smoother, and make your child happier.
While many divorces are amicable, some are not. Issues may arise, and the child may become involved. If you need help dealing with the legal issues, it is recommended that you hire an attorney. Getting yourself a family lawyer will make everything run more smoothly, and as a result you'll be less stressed. Too much stress can have an impact on you, and your child will be able to tell. For everyone's sake, let an expert handle it. For those of you on a budget who think you can't afford a family lawyer, trying looking for one on an average tier. This means they may not have went to the most prestigious law school, but they still know what they are doing and they will charge less for it.
We hope that these few tips will help out you and your family. Just remember that divorce is hard on everyone, not just the child. Put as much thought as you can into how they might be feeling, and try to keep the divorce between you and your ex. If you can do this, then you and your family should be just fine.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Are your family finances tight? You are not alone. Many of the families across the country live
paycheck to paycheck with little disposable income. With this type of lifestyle, it is difficult to find extra income for recreational activities, travel, and food. Unfortunately, a lack of things to do (or the money to do them) can cause many kids and parents to suffer from boredom and depression. If you are tired of streaming movies and TV shows, these tips can help you afford some fun activities for your kids.
1 - Search for Free ActivitiesThere are several free activities that you can participate in with your kids. Nearly all of the local libraries have a calendar of free events. You can also take your kids to the library to check out books. It may even be fun to do this weekly, so your children develop an interest in reading. In addition to visiting the library, you can find a park, pool, splash pad, or museum to spend the day at. Depending on the venue, there may be periods when entrance is free. To find these free deals, research online. You may even discover new options you haven’t heard of before.
2 - Cut Back in Other AreasIn some cases, affording fun family activities may require a little budgeting. If you make an effort to cut back in other areas, you can free up funds for entertainment purposes. For example, you can eat in more often to save money for a movie. You can also go through your bills to make sure you are not paying more than necessary. Insurance, in particular, is one area that you may be able to save money. It is a good idea to talk to an insurance agent to make sure you are not over insuring and paying for more coverage than you need. Cutting back is not easy. After all, who wants to go without? Fortunately, a little extra work on your budget is a great way to help your cash flow. You may even promote a better long term financial future for your family because of your efforts.
3 - Look for CouponsAnother great way to afford recreation is to take advantage of coupons. You can use coupons to help you save money at the grocery store. This extra money can be applied to your entertainment budget. There are also coupons available for the exciting attractions in your area. Finding them sometimes requires a little effort and patience. To increase your chances of finding a deal on a fun activity, it is a good idea to connect with coupon sites. This way you can receive details about the latest deals and discounts. If there is a specific venue you are interested in, you can always ask friends for advice on finding the best price. Chances are someone you know on social media has scored a great deal. You can use their feedback to help you do the same.
Plan an Affordable Activity TodayIt’s nice to do something fun with your kids every once and awhile. It will help improve your sanity as a parent and provide joy to your kids. Even better, it does not have to cost a fortune. Plan one today that you and your kids will love.
Friday, June 12, 2015
As mothers we are often selfless, spending all of our time and energy on everything and everyone but ourselves. It can be easy to end up feeling washed out, empty...
Many moms have issues spending hard earned money on themselves, making sure the whole family is fed and dressed, but walking around frumpy themselves. If you are in desperate need to treat yourself, but can't bring yourself to spend just for you, then maybe investing in a stylish and practical diaper bag is a sound idea. It will be your main accessory for the first years of your child's life and this way you can trick yourself since it's not just for you.
But what do you look for in a diaper bag?
- First and foremost, your diaper bag needs to be large enough to fit several diapers and necessities, but not so large that it becomes difficult to carry around (you'll be hulling the thing tho and fro!).
- Look for many different compartments. If the one you love comes without inner compartments, think about looking for a bag insert, which enables you to take out the insert for short trips.
- Think about what you will be carrying: are you cloth diapering or using disposables? Do you breast feed or bottle feed? Depending on your needs, your desires for a bag will change. It is entirely possible that you're better off with an overnight bag compared to a conventional diaper bag.
- What are you willing to spend? The bag I use now - and love - cost me just below ten euros, but I had a really expensive one with my first child. It was bulky and unpractical, and had loads of features I didn't need.
Here are some pictures of celebrity moms where you can get an idea before you buy your stylish diaper bag…
Found the ideal bag for you? Post in the comments below to inspire your fellow readers.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Content provided by Janice
So many parents find themselves constantly shelling out money, time, and energy to redecorate and change their child's room. If you make the right choices now then you will have little to do later as your child grows. Making the right choices does not have to mean that you are not allowing your children to choose things or have fun in their room. It just means that you are getting creative with the process and making choices that everyone is going to love.
Choosing Home Decor
Today there are no shortages of new arrivals of home goods. In fact it might seem like everywhere you look, there is always something new that you could be using to decorate your home. If you have a child chances are that you want something whimsical and fun. One great tip is to look for home décor pieces that are still fun enough for children but grown up enough to take them through the college years. Choosing these types of pieces will help you maintain some order in their room and easily be able to update the little things to make it what they want as they grow up.
Let Your Child Create Unique Pieces to Display
With websites that are dedicated to DIY projects there is no need to worry if you are not creative enough to do them on your own. There are so many different ways that you can take things that you might have been tempted to throw away and re-purpose them into something that you are going to use. Old buttons can become artwork that your child creates and then gets to display in their room. Old silverware can become wind chimes with fishing line and an embroidery hoop. Think about things that you can make from the things that you have lying around your home or can easily purchase for a reasonable price.
Choose Pictures Wisely
If you are going to invest in more expensive canvases or special pictures it is important to invest in choices that are wise. Choose pictures that represent a special love or time period in your child's life. Doing this ensures that you are going to be able to really create a space that your child is going to be able to look back on special memories as they get older.
Create Equal Space to Play and Learn
both important parts of a child's development. Your child needs to have an environment where they feel free to play and enjoy their toys. This does not mean that they are not picking up after themselves but what it does mean is that you allow them to make a little mess so that they can have some fun. You also want them to be able to learn and grow in their rooms. Choose elements that are going to make some areas more focused on learning activities like reading and writing. A journal station or reading nook can really make a child happier to sit in their room and read.
Make Sure Seating is Available
Perhaps the biggest mistake that parents make in their child's room is leaving out the element of seating. If you have ever had problems getting up after sitting on the floor holding your child's hand while they fall asleep then you will understand this need. Make sure that there is ample space to sit down in your child's room. Doing all of these things is going to help you to be sure that you have a comfortable space for your child to learn and grow that you are going to love too.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Content provided by V.
If you are a homeowner, you may be shocked to learn that the quality of air circulating in your home is poor than outdoor air. Air pollutants that find their way into the house can cause a wide range of respiratory problems, including: asthma in children and allergies among other types of respiratory health problems. To keep your family healthy and safe, therefore, you may want to consider hiring a certified HVAC contractor to perform indoor air quality testing and make recommendations on how to improve indoor air quality.
Common Air Pollutants
Almost every home has biological air pollutants from mold, viruses, bacteria, particles from cockroaches and dust mites as well as pollen and animal dander. These biological contaminants can provoke allergies. If there is a tobacco smoker in the house, some of the air pollutants you are likely to find include; carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and 60 other chemicals known to cause different types of cancer. Combustion pollutants from furnaces, heaters and stoves are also major indoor air pollutants. They include; carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Other common air pollutants in a typical home include; radon and asbestos fibers.
Improving Indoor Air Quality
To protect your family from disease-causing air pollutants, you may want to consider implementing some of the following recommendations:
- Indoor Air Quality Testing: By hiring professional HVAC contractors and Needham indoor air quality service to carry out indoor air quality testing, you will be able to learn about the level of pollution in your home. This is the first and most important step. A reliable HVAC contractor will also identify all the air pollutants and their sources. This knowledge will give you a good idea of what you need to do to get rid of the pollutants.
- Install New Air Filters: The HVAC system in your home comes with several air filters, which can trap the tiniest airborne particles. If your filter is old and clogged, you may want to consider replacing it with a new air filter. - Smoke Tobacco Outdoors: If there is a tobacco smoker in the family, they should be advised to smoke outdoors to keep out secondary smoke, which can be deadly.
- Asbestos Removal: If part of your house contains damaged asbestos, you need to move out temporarily until the material is removed. Asbestos fibers are known to be deadly when inhaled, so you don't want it in your home. - Install CO Monitors: Combustion gasses such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide can cause serious health problems in a home. CO, for instance, can lead to CO poisoning and eventually death. Therefore, every homeowner needs to install a CO monitor and alarm to alert them when CO levels at home has reached dangerous levels.
Keeping your family safe should be your top priority as a parent and homeowner. You can start by hiring professional HVAC contractors to carry out some tests to identify the level of pollution. After that, you can implement some of these recommendations.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Content provided by V.
With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to take care of important air conditioner maintenance. With a little preventative maintenance now, you can help avoid problems when the temperatures start to rise. Once summer is in full swing, leading HVAC contractors will be busy. Why risk having a problem with your air conditioner and leaving your family stuck in a hot and uncomfortable home? Take steps now to ensure they remain cool and comfortable, even during the hottest summer days.
Some maintenance items can be easy for any homeowner to handle on their own. For example, a quick look around your outdoor air conditioning unit can help ensure it is free and clear of anything that could affect its performance. Make sure that trees and shrubs are cut back so that the air conditioner has plenty of space to allow air to move freely. Clean and clear debris from under the outside unit. Air conditioners require adequate air flow and twigs, leaves and other debris can impede this air flow, leading to poor cooling or mechanical breakdowns.
It is also important to make sure that your HVAC filter is cleaned on a regular basis. Some filters can be washed, others will simply need to be replaced. However, making sure that these filters are clean is an important part of ongoing air conditioner maintenance. Just like making sure the outside unit is able to move air easily, so is a clean HVAC filter. A dirty HVAC filter will significantly impede air flow that is necessary for your air conditioner to run properly. This can lead to mechanical problems or even your air conditioner freezing. When your air conditioner freezes, your family will be stuck without the comfort of air conditioning for many hours. It's easy to avoid this problem and provide your children with the comfort of a cool escape from the heat of a long summer day.
While there are some basic maintenance procedures a homeowner can handle on their own, this should not replace professional HVAC service. A trained technician will be able to check coolant levels, make necessary adjustments, lubricate moving parts and inspect the air conditioning system for signs of trouble. A HVAC technician can even identify problems before they lead to a complete breakdown. Taking care of problems before they escalate is a great way to keep your family comfortable.
Air conditioner maintenance is an important part of protecting your HVAC system and keeping your home cool and comfortable. Simply clear debris, clean or replace the filters and call in a HVAC technician like Zoiac Calabasas air conditioning service for professional maintenance and your family will be able to relax in the cooling comfort of a dependable air conditioning system.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
content provided by Janice
Wouldn’t it be nice if your newborn baby came with an instruction manual? Unfortunately, though, he or she doesn’t, and you are forced into parenting whether you think you’re ready or not.
The very first thing you have to realize about parenting is that nobody will ever do it perfectly. Parenting is all about learning, making mistakes, and simply doing everything you possibly can to raise your child to be a respectful and knowledgeable individual.
Although you are going to learn from your own parents as well as your own trial and error, there are many parenting resources available to help you along the way. Many community colleges, park districts, and YMCAs offer a variety of parenting classes to help new parents become a little more educated in child rearing. So if you’re a new parent, here are a few classes you should definitely consider participating in before or after your child is born.
Baby CPRYour child’s safety is extremely important, and it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Babies cannot be treated like a toddler or young child, and if they are ever choking, you cannot administer normal CPR to a baby as you would to someone older. For this reason, it’s a good idea for you to take a baby CPR class. This class will teach you how to notice signs of choking in a new baby as well as teach you the proper way to perform CPR. Knowing this information can help you save your child’s life, and while you hope you will never need to use it, it’s always a good idea to know how to do it just in case.
Post-Baby Relationship ClassYour relationship with your significant other is going to change after your baby is born, whether you want to admit it or not. Many couples often find themselves arguing more often after the baby is born, resulting in custody battles. Some argue about different parenting styles while others argue about not having any alone time anymore.
In order to keep your relationship thriving even after baby, you should consider taking a post-baby relationship class. This class will allow you to not only see your relationship through your significant other’s eyes, but it will also teach you how to effectively communicate and get your relationship back to normal after your baby is born.
Basic Parenting ClassesWhile some parenting classes focus on specific topics, such as CPR, others are more general in nature. These classes teach you the basics of having a baby, such as how to correctly swaddle a baby, change a diaper, and feed a baby a bottle. These classes will also teach you some basic safety for a baby, such as how a newborn baby should sleep, how to properly use a car seat, and what foods/drinks a baby should avoid until his or her first birthday. While you may already know some of this information from other family members, it’s still a good idea to take one of these classes just to refresh your skills.
Monday, March 16, 2015
I used to have a small changing pad with a diaper bag I own, but it was too small to change a bigger baby, and it was just a pad, so yet another item to put in the diaper bag.
The 3 bees and me changing pad folds down to a neat little pouch, offering space to store away useful items: diapers, wipers, toys... yet it's big enough to fit your baby as he or she grows.
A little strap makes it easy to attach to stroller or carseat, so you always have your changing pad handy. And there's an extra strap if you prefer carrying it like a briefcase. No chunky diaper bag needed!
How can you win? Simply fill in the rafflecopter widget below and enter as many steps as you want. The more options you do, the more chance to win!!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Winner will receive an amazon coupon. Shipping is free if the winner has Amazon Prime.
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Thursday, February 26, 2015
Content provided by Jurga
As a responsible human, you should take good care of the environment.
Can you save the environment while taking care of your baby? Yes! Here are some tips that will guide you in the right direction.
Choose cloth or biodegradable diapers
Until your little one is potty-trained, you want to use disposable diapers because it is easy. Once they are done, remove and dispose it. Let’s analyze this.
On an average, a baby needs seven diapers in a day. 7 a day, 210 a month, 2,520 a year.
So, it is better to switch over to cloth or biodegradable diapers, or practice eliminiation communication.
Use of electronic toys, swings and the like are being heavily promoted, but what's the benefit here? Baby tv and baby tablets have been largely discredited, as they can result in bad eye sight and can have negative effects on brain development.
That is not all. If your kids use electronic items, and for long hours, this will result in pushing your electricity bills on the higher side.
Plastic is the environment’s enemy. Try and reduce that count. If possible, eliminate it in particular sections. Choose wooden toys instead of plastics. Plastic toys contain hazardous materials such as plastic softeners and phthalates. This is dangerous because kids usually like putting toys in their mouth.
So, choose wooden or fabric toys for your kids.
Talking about wooden toys, here is a checklist.
1. It should be finished with nontoxic paint.
2. It should not be shiny.
3. It should not contain any sharp edges.
4. 100% child safe design is a must.
Planning to buy wooden toys? You can buy it online at Overstock.com and get exciting deals on toys. Specific coupons can help in pulling down your purchase price too.
Fresh, healthy meals for your baby are important. So, skip ready-to-eat products and make your own baby food or try Baby led eating (Rapley). However, if you are tired or have a busy schedule ahead, choose organic ready made meals.
Choosing organic food, you will help the nature grow and, at the same time, you will keep your child away from the risk of behavioral problems, allergies, heart diseases, and many other ailments linked with over use of pesticide laden food.
Shopping at a retail store, you might ask for bags that are not reusable. However, if you are shopping online, you can enjoy a bag-free experience. So, shop online and stay happy.
Note: Overstock.com offers $20 Off $200 Coupon on all products. Also, there are Overstock.com coupons that can be used. Coupons are life savers. Use coupons and get the best deals on your purchases.
Would you like to add to this list? Share your ideas in the comments.
Monday, January 12, 2015
Naturally inclined parents might be a little harder to shop for, since we read all our labels and abhor
from certain products. So what are good gifts for your natural mama friend when she's had a new baby?
I've compiled a list of things new mamas will be thrilled to receive, see what you can find and wrap them all up in a beautiful basket, success assured!
- Coconut oil. All natural mamas love coconut oil and I'm pretty sure your friend can list about 100 ways she uses it, but it's quite expensive, so getting her a jar will light up her day.
- All natural baby cream. I'm not very big on baby products and use very few if any, but a good bum cream is something all mama's will need at some point.
- If baby is born in winter, a good face cream might be a good idea, as baby's skin can get very dry with wind and cold and indoor heating. I specifically like weleda's calendula face cream for babies.
- Cloth breast pad for those leaky boobs the first days after the baby's born.
- A Cloth diaper for your friend to try on her baby. there are so many systems available and new diapers can be quite expensive. Your friend may be a little overwhelmed.
- Breastfeeding herbal infusion
- A Sitz Bath mix is a lovely way to heal the perineum and take a minute for yourself after childbirth. You can find lots of DIY recies for postpartum herbal mixes in my eBook The Postpartum Herbal Guide.
- Postpartum Cloth Pads are so much better than the chemically laden paper version, and can be used over and over during her period. I did reviews on most of the brands a couple years back and also wrote down everything you need to know about cloth pads.
- Cloth baby wipes are easily made and you can never have enough
- Healing wool or healing silk such as this to treat baby's diaper rash
- Sweet almond oil is another topper, which works for massage, dry skin or as a moisturiser after the bath.
- Wool baby items, such as a little hat, socks, onesies, pants, blanket... extra points for knitting them yourself (or making them from recycled blankets or sweaters)!
- Postpartum Herbal Infusion
- Tea Tree or Lavender essential oil are really nice all round EO's, who'll certainly have use for these some day or another.
- Maybe a little less known, but the Bengkung wrap is a lovely way of giving that extra little support of the back and belly after birth, and it also lightens postpartum uterine cramping. I'm a bit cross that I only discovered it after having a third child! If you think the tying will be much of a fuss for your friend (I certainly wished I had a postpartum doula to put mine on!!), there are simpler belly binding devices on the market. Such as this one.
- Firming belly oil for mama. Traditionally, the Bengkung is used with an herb infused oil. There is a lot to be said for a daily massage of the uterus after birth and combining this with lovely herbal scents will only be beneficial for your friend's recovery. Here's a DIY idea.
- Organic breastfeeding snacks, because your friend will be hungry A LOT and will have very little time to concoct things. Think of raw nuts and dried fruit, nut and seed bars, dark chocolate, fruit...
- Subscription to a Natural mommy proof magazine, such as The Mother Magazine, Natural Child Magazine or Natural Mother Magazine
- Onesies are the type of thing you can hardly have enough of the first months of your baby's life, so adding an organic onesie to the lot is a good idea.
- A nursing necklace is something the baby can fondle when he gets bigger - way more fun than pinching and fiddling with the breast! There are a lot of options in this department nowadays, from wood to knitted beads to healing gems, take your pick.
photo credit: Isle Concierge via photopin cc