Nanny to the Rescue
America's nanny offers a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced babies and toddlers.
Babies don't come with instructions. And since today's parents are so overwhelmed with schedules and demands, they have little time to bone up on their parenting skills. Often removed from grandparents and relatives who in times past lived next door or just down the street, they have no one to guide them through the disorienting world of raising children. Enter Nanny to the Rescue! Michelle LaRowe, 2004 International Nanny Association "Nanny of the Year," gives her tried and true solutions to childcare. Her expertise with chapters titled "Who's the boss?" and "Discipline is not a four letter word" gives confidence to parents who need specific ideas for real day-to-day problems. A proud member of Christian Nannies, Michelle offers foundational truths sure to help encourage moms and dads.
Nanny To the Rescue Again
Faced with multiple choices regarding school, friends, and activities coupled with the ever-widening influence of the outside world, parents of 6-12 year olds need help. America's nanny is back to offer a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced children.
|Parenting Books That Work! By Sharon Scott |
Learning my Childs Way
Home schooling. What is it? What does it mean to you? How do you home school? These were just some of the questions I had when we started thinking about home schooling our children.
While our daughter was a baby, I started reading articles in the paper about the local schools. Our school district was in financial trouble. They were cutting services and staff over and over again. The elementary schools were eliminating librarians, day time janitors, band, and the parents were fund raising for a crossing guard. That's when I realized that the local public school would not be anything like the school I went to.
Our first step was checking out the private school options. There are three Montessori schools within a 20 minute drive, a variety of Christian schools, and a Waldorf school about 45 minutes away. As I went and sat in classrooms, I realized that I didn't want my daughter spending most of her childhood in those classrooms. Nothing seemed to fit what I saw as her needs for education.
It didn't take me long to realize that home learning could be the best choice for Katherine. She is an intelligent child who does things in her own time. She didn't start talking until she was about 2.5 years old. About a year latter, we went through a speech assessment to find out if there were any long term problems. She could say all of the sounds of a 2 year old, less than half of the sounds of three and four year olds and almost all the sounds of five and six year olds! The final assessment was that her speech development did not fit the norm, but was OK. What if they hadn't tested her for the more advanced sounds? The results would have been very different.
This test echoed the developmental patterns we had seen with Katherine from the beginning. Any time I tried to compare her to a chart, she was fine at the levels below, had some of the skills at her current level, but quite a few from the level above. While I think she might like all the kids in the classroom, I am afraid that she will be labelled as 'below average' because she doesn't fit their standard tests. I do not want her public schools. Home learning was no longer a choice, but a very firm decision.
Fortunately, we live in a popular home learning area with some of the best legislation for home learners in Canada. I had never planned to home school, and wasn't quite sure what it meant. I did know people whose children learned at home, and it seemed to work for their families. I subscribed to one of the two local newsletters and started listening to conversations about learning at home.
I liked what I read, saw and thought about. Most of my remaining doubts were about me as a teacher. I love my children, our 6 year-old daughter Katherine, now has a 3 year-old brother Duncan. I feel priveledged to be spending their childhoods with them. However I do get impatient, need my own space some times, and don't have a teaching background. Could we home learn? We would try and see what happened.
An experienced home learning parent had told me about a great activity they did tracing coins and learning about money. Although Katherine was only 4y at the time, she loved coins and it sounded perfect for us. I picked a time when she and I wouldn't get interrupted, gathered the materials, and sat down to teach her about money. ( Experienced home learning parents are probably having a great laugh at this point. )
We started to trace the coins on paper to show how five pennies make a nickel, and two nickels make a dime. Much to my surprise, Katherine was not enjoying herself. She refused to count the number of pennies with me, wouldn't help trace circles, and became generally difficult. Finally I was so annoyed I just put everything away. She came up and hugged me and said 'I still love you Mommy'. My heart melted, but the doubts in my abilities remained.
A week latter, Katherine was watching TV and told me which three shows which shows were listed on the screen. She had never even watched one of the shows. I sat in stunned silence. She was right. Was it a good guess? Had she memorized them or could she read? I hadn't planned to 'teach' her how to read until she was 7 or 8. We hadn't even started any language lessons. What was going on? This event was not part of the plans I had been making for her home schooling education.
Truthfully, I don't think she could read that day, but I'm not certain about that statement. She is quite capable of selectively answering our questions when it suits her. We knew she could sing the alphabet song, and recognize some letters. I have been able to discover that she knows what all the letters look like, and can correctly tell us which letter starts most words ('My grandmother's name is Margery, what letter does Margery start with?"), even when she has never seen or heard the word before.
My husband and I have talked about this situation a few times. When she choses to answer our questions, we find out she knows way more than either one of us thought she did. She has correctly found a show she would like to watch listed in the TV Guide, much to my amazement since the look of the words in the TV Guide is very different from the logo with the show's name on TV. It's not just sight recognition. We don't know where or how she has learned these skills.
What has become clear is that Katherine doesn't need me to 'teach' her or have a master plan for her education. I do have to provide a good learning environment, answer her questions, help when she asks, and watch her learn.
I knew she would learn to walk, talk, and all those hundreds of other things babies are suppose to learn in their first few years. There is no reason to create an artificial line between life learning and academic learning. For me, that was one of the reasons I thought home learning was great. Yet I still fell into the trap of trying to artificially set-up a teaching situation. No wonder Katherine wanted nothing to do with my planned lesson.
I have to remember to trust her. She loves learning in her own way, at her own pace. Now if I can just stay out of her way, she will to a great job all by herself. I am looking forward to having a wonderful time watching her grow and learn in the coming years. I just hope I can remember what I learned from our first home lesson.
Christine Nicholls loves being mommy to Katherine who is now 9y and Duncan who is 6y. Her business, Creative Kids at Home (http://www.ckah.com) lets her combine her skills and business background with full-time parenting, and is a lot of fun for her kids.
Parenting advice and family fun resource. Expert
parenting advice for babes to teens from doctors, teachers,
psychologists, nutritionists, Special Need Children and Child
Development Specialists and a Nanny. Family Fun includes crafts,
games, party ideas and family vacation travel. Families Online
Magazine also provides answers to those important questions, What's
for dinner and Are We There yet?
Twelve Tips To Connect With Teachers At Conference Time
It's that time again! Parent-teacher conferences are coming. Are you nervous? Excited? Confused? It takes teamwork to raise kids. Teachers are part of the team, but sometimes it feels like you're on opposite sides of the fence. Connecting with teachers can help bring out the best in your kids. Here are twelve tips to make conference time a productive, team building experience.
Pieces of Time and Pivotal Moments
Life is comprised of pieces of time sprinkled with pivotal moments. Sometimes these moments have immediate impact. Other times, they are slow to manifest and reveal their importance. But if you listen closely to the soft whispers of life, they will guide you on an unexpected journey filled with beauty, understanding and fulfillment. One such moment occurred for me about eight years ago.
MORAL ARMORS Irrational Parenting, Part III
Not Letting Them Think.
Kids Party Etiquette for Parents
Ever feel like you're out of the loop when it comes to the unspoken rules of kids party etiquette?
ParentingYour Teenager: Dont Buy the I Dont Know and I Dont Care Attitude
"I don't know and I don't care."
The Personality of a Virgo Child
Your Virgo Baby..
Twins - Double The Trouble Or Double The Pleasure? Both!
If You're Having Twins..is it double the headache, or double the joy? Probably both!
Unschooling - the Benefits of Home Based Education
Home schooling benefits children. As a parent, I feel it is important to provide the best opportunities available to my children. Through a process of home educating known as 'unschooling' and eclectic educational styles my children have opportunities that are unavailable through traditional means of education. I believe it is important to create leaders through individualized training and development.
Help Your Child Do Better in School
1. Create a personal schedule
Recording everything that must be done on a calendar or "to do" list will help him to keep track of important dates and deadlines. If he keeps it in a visible place he will have no problem acknowledging upcoming events and will be better able to plan how and where to spend his time.
A "to do" list would also help him to prioritize his tasks. When it comes to homework, whatever is most important should be tackled first.
2. Watch the clock
Setting an alarm for the morning is a must. I also recommend setting his clock or watch five minutes ahead since it's always easy to run late. When it comes to something like catching a bus, just five minutes can make a significant difference.
He should train himself to be able to concentrate solely on one specific task. This is much easier in a noise-free environment. No T.V or radio should be on to distract him.
4. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep is proven to take a toll on us physically. The more sleep we get, the more alert we are. We thus have more energy to handle life's daily tasks. The average adult needs at least six hours of sleep a night and the average child needs at least eight.
5. Stay in shape
Through spending time outdoors or playing sports with friends, he can "blow off some steam" so to speak, as well as re-energize. Encourage him to get outside.
6. Talk through your problems
Being able to share his concerns with you will alleviate the frustration of keeping things bottled up. Sharing feelings often makes them easier to deal with. If you make it clear that you understand him and are willing to help, not only will you contribute to his emotional health but you'll help build an open and honest relationship as well.
Simple Tricks To Help You And Your Kids To Find Friends
One of the most prevalent problems of the computer age is isolation and loneliness. In order to build and maintain relationships there are a number of simple skills, which can be learned, to enhance the opportunity to find and keep friends.
Anti Scooter Media Frenzy
An estimated five million scooters will be sold this year and according to the U.S. Product Safety Commission 26,000 scooter-related injuries were reported before the end of December 2000! 90 percent of those injuries were to children 14 and under. The Consumer Product Safety Counsel also received reports of two deaths tied to scooter injuries. Several elementary schools are discussing ways to ban kids from riding scooters to school. Newspapers across the country headline that "Scooters Lead to ER Visits"!
The Effects of Televised Sexual Content on Adolescents
According to a September 2004 study by the RAND Corporation,
"Adolescents who watch large amounts of television containing sexual
content are twice as likely to begin engaging in sexual intercourse in
the following year as their peers who watch little such TV." In
addition, the National Institutes of Health-funded study found that
these children's sexual behavior was akin to those adolescents who were
9 to 17 months older, but who watched only average amounts of TV with
sexual content. "Television habits predicted whether
adolescents went to 'second or third base,' as well as whether they had
sex for the first time," said Rebecca Collins, a RAND psychologist who
led the study. "The 12-year-olds who watched a lot of television with
sexual content behaved like the 14- or 15-years-olds who watched the
least amount of sexual television. The advancement in sexual behavior we
saw among kids who watched a lot of sexual television was striking."
This alarming trend occurs within the context of ever-increasing
amounts of implicit and over sexual content on television. As reported
by the Parents Television Council, "In a sample of programming from the
2001-2002 TV season, sexual content appeared in 64% of all TV programs.
Those programs with sexually related material had an average of 4.4
scenes per hour. Talk of sex is more frequent (61%) vs. overt portrayals
(32%). One out of every 7 programs includes a portrayal of sexual
intercourse." According to the RAND study, talk of sex had just as much
of an effect on adolescent sexual behavior as overt behaviors.
Sexual behavior among U.S. teens is on the rise. According to the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 46% of all high school
students have had sexual intercourse. The National Institutes of Health
has found that, each year, one of every four sexual active teens
contracts a sexually transmitted disease. Teen pregnancy in the U.S. is
also the highest among industrialized nations. Now, more than
ever, parents need to be concerned about what their children are
watching on television. The first step parents need to take is to
monitor the content of the shows their adolescents watch. According to
RAND researcher Collins, "The impact of television viewing is so large
that even a moderate shift in the sexual content of adolescent TV
watching could have a substantial effect on their sexual behavior."
Other important steps you can take to curb or mitigate your
children's exposure to sexual content on television include:
Watch TV with your children and discuss your beliefs about sex and about the sexual behaviors portrayed on TV.
Develop TV-watching guidelines for your children and enforce them.
Limit the amount of time your children watch TV. Instead, use family movie reviews to rent movies with appropriate content.
Encourage and reward your children for reading instead of watching TV.
Encourage your children to find and develop non-television related hobbies and interests.
By taking these simple steps, you can help to ensure that your
adolescents' attitudes and beliefs about sex more closely mirror your
own, and that their sexual initiation is delayed.
Nights by a Pinocchio Lamp
Sitting by her Pinocchio lamp, she smiled at me as her tiny shadow puppet danced on the bedroom wall. "A bunny!" she giggled with all the jubilance of a four-year old. Her blue eyes sparkled with pride as she showed me the animated image she had created.
One Definition of Success
As parents, we want our children and teens to grow up and "be successful." But what "being successful" means depends on our definition of "success" in the first place. Obviously "success" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Our definition of success has become "The Progressive Realization of Moral, Virtuous, or Godly Goals."
Public Schools --- Why On Earth Do We Need Them?
From the time the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 until the 1850s, most parents taught their children to read at home or sent their children to small private or religious grammar schools. Education was voluntary and local governments did not force parents to send their children to state-controlled schools. Yet, literacy rates in colonial America were far higher than they are today.
Discipline is a necessary part of parenting yet it makes most parents feel uncomfortable. Some of those old disciplinary phrases such as 'spare the rod and spoil the child', 'teach them a lesson' or 'set children straight' are enough to send shivers up the spine of any reasonable-minded parent.
Why Consistency Is The Key To Raising Well-behaved Kids
Being consistent when children are less than perfect can make you feel dreadful. However consistency is one of the most important elements in the relationship with your children, but it is the one most frequently overlooked.
Using Cloth Nappies
We all know that using cloth nappies is best for the environment and for our baby's health (not to mention our pockets) but just how easy are they to use?
Have you ever sat and watch a child struggle with a blank page? Have you ever wondered why some children just seem to detest anything to do with writing? Have you seem them just give up in frustration and walk away angry and distraught? Well you are not alone. Every one possesses the capability to write stories, plays, poems or journal writings. There is something that belongs to you and nobody else ? something that you can always keep a secret. There is something so special that it is priceless, and yet it costs you nothing. This is something that can never be taken away from you, but is yours to share with as many people as you choose. This is something you can keep for a lifetime and use anytime. Do you know what it is? Do you give up? This is your imagination.
Stay at Home Mom You Need to Raise Cowboys
Now I know that is not how the song goes, I have had cousins from central Texas drag me to Gilley's to listen to that song live and they sang every word without missing a beat. So no emails about the title, please.