August 11, 2012

Top 5 tips for preparing your kid for Kindergarten

Today we have a very special treat. Cherrie from NuBaby is sharing 5 great tips for preparing your child for kindergarten. Cherrie is the Founder and CBO (Chief Baby Officer) of NuBaby.  She is a Registered Early Childhood Educator who recently led the workshop that our little family attended about ‘preparing your child for junior kindergarten’.  As many of you know, my three year old starts kindergarten in September. She’s ecstatic about going to school, however we’ve been apprehensive about this big transition for our little girl.  At the workshop we attended, Cherrie laid all of our fears to rest and gave us some great tools to start working on with Brie.  She is very knowledgable and you will learn a lot from her top five tips for preparing your child for kindergarten.

With September just a few weeks away, the thought of your baby growing up and going to school may give you your first taste of empty nester syndrome. OK, so it is not as bad, but there are definitely a range of emotions from excitement to sadness, and everything in between.

While you can’t help but feel a little anxious, knowing that you have helped your little one prepare for the big day will help to minimize the fear, for both you and her. Whether it is your child’s first time away from you or she’s making the transition from childcare to school, here are some things you can do to help make the move easier.

1. Talk about it. Not knowing what to expect is very scary, so talk about what going to school will be like. Share stories of your experiences, or include older siblings and cousins in the discussion. Tell your child about all the exciting things and activities he will experience in kindergarten, and offer lots of opportunities for him to share his feelings. Provide comfort and reassurance to help him feel more confident, and remind him of all the things that will still be the same even though there will be a new routine.

2. Go for a visit. Children are most comfortable in a familiar environment. Try to visit the classroom with your child before school starts. Most schools have an orientation day, when you and your child can meet the teacher, ask questions, and find out what the daily schedule will be like. It is also a great time to meet other children who will be in the same class, as well as connect with other parents. If not, take your child to the school and walk around the school grounds together. Playing at the school playground will also help her become familiar with the environment.

3. Make some friends. Walking into a classroom with all brand new faces is very intimidating. Find other children in the neighborhood also attending the same school, preferably the same class and schedule some play dates in advance so there is at least one familiar face. If you will be walking your child to school, find others in the neighborhood that are walking as well and walk to school together to give your child a sense of community.

4. Get ready together. In the weeks before school starts, establish a school day routine and practice getting ready for school together. Have her help you prepare snacks and lunch and practice packing her backpack together.

5. Practice important skills. In school, your child will be expected to be able to communicate, to demonstrate basic knowledge, to socialize with others, and to show independence. Help her practice these skills during every day activities.

o Encourage communication by playing with spoken and written words, telling stories, singing songs and reciting rhymes.

o Encourage literacy and basic math skills through reading books together and asking open-ended questions. Build an understanding of math concepts like counting, sorting, patterning and measuring during play.

o Create opportunities for your child to socialize and interact with others. Engaging in dramatic play experiences with peers allows children to talk, assign roles, and create and follow rules. This helps to develop important social and thinking skills as they learn to cooperate, take turns, and get along with others.

o Encourage your child to be independent by building confidence and self-control. Help your child develop strategies for controlling his emotions and behaviors and provide opportunities for your child to develop self-help skills. Not only will she feel pride in her ability to do things for herself, but she will also develop the confidence to try when faced with new challenges in kindergarten.

May 19, 2012

BlogHer features article from The Epic Adventures of a Modern Mom

Hey Everyone!  I have some super exciting news, I was recently featured on BlogHer!  Imagine my surprise when I recieved an e-mail from Jenna Hatfield saying that she liked an article that I had written on ‘Why I’m sending my kids to public school’ and she wanted to feature it on her publishing network.

The article has caused some lively debate and encouraged parents to talk openly with each other about their feelings and choices regarding our educational system.  Check out the article and weigh in on the topic It’s about choice and we’re choosing public school over private school!

How did you decide where to send your kids to school? Was it the right decision for your family and what has been your experience so far?

January 2, 2012

2012 Fashion Resolution

2012 Fashion Resolution 

 



 
Happy New Year Fashionistas!
 
As we look at our bills from the Christmas season, we can’t help but make that dreaded resolution to cut back our expenses in the New Year. That means averting our eyes from the sale signs beckoning in store windows and convincing ourselves that we don’t need that gorgeous coat that’s 40% off. Well sisters, I’m here to help you stay strong. Grab a latte and let’s talk about some fall 2011 key fashion pieces that you most likely have in your closet. These five pieces are simple and chic, yet they’re dynamic enough to take you strutting into the spring season with style. 
 
  1. Peter Pan Collar (here’s a hint, think removable collar)
  2. Tuxedo Jacket (classic Marlene Dietrich, a feminine yet strong look)
  3. Wide Leg Pant (a comfortable staple whether worn in wool or denim)
  4. High Slit Dress (whether it’s a valentine’s dinner with your beau or going to the opera, this takes evening wear to a more saucy level)
  5. Leather Harness Detailing (a little edge to your look goes a long way)
 
As for accessories, the doctor’s bag is still quite popular. And don’t forget, beauty goes hand in hand with fashion. So dress your lips with a beautiful coral colour; it seems to be the beauty experts colour of choice, just remember to choose the right shade for your skin tone. Well it’s been a blast my friends. Go forth, save money, look fabulous!!!
 
Ciao for now,
 
From the friendly fashionista
 
Char (also known as Epic Mom)

 

November 30, 2011

Kids can help heal the world

It is important for me to teach my kids about being good stewards of the world we live in. I want them to be aware of the global disparity between the haves and the have nots. I want them to be interested in coming alongside others, empathizing with the downtrodden and doing their best to contribute to a better world for all. To me, it is not enough to sit passively and lament the issues facing our world. We need to take action, mobilize and do something about it. Clearly I have a heart for advocacy. I always knew I wanted to share this part of my life with my kids but I didn’t know how long I would have to wait to introduce it, or even how to do it in an age appropriate way. The perfect opportunity presented itself this winter. As we were shopping for Christmas presents, I had the opportunity to share with my two year old daughter about kids as young as she is who wouldn’t be able to get a Christmas present this year. She thought about it and said, “Well Mommy we should get them a present!”  A week or so later, our church launched its annual hand out of the operation Christmas Child boxes.  I thought, “Lord, that’s a great idea!”  We were too late to get an Operation Christmas Child box (I was stuck in the nursery that day), so we decided to make our own.

Brie chose to get a gift for a little girl between the ages of 2 and 4. She was so ecstatic to go shopping for presents for her ‘friend’. When we got to the store I encouraged her to pick out things that she thought the little girl might like. Well, she’s clearly got my shopping gene because that child shopped till she was ready to drop. The next day, I wrapped a shoe box for Brie to put the gifts into and I realized we were going to need another box. She was so excited because she was going to get two of her ‘friends’ presents not just one. She joyfully packed their gifts; her little brother even tried to help. That’s when it hit me. It’s never too early to teach your kids about loving and caring for the people in their world. She learned that it is good to give. That it’s rewarding to share our resources. That she brightened someone’s day by thinking of them. When I looked at her, I saw the beatitudes manifested right there in her actions and her joy. And I learned that even a toddler can do her small yet significant part to help heal our world. 

Please consider donating to a charity this Christmas.  You can still pack an Operation Christmas Child box online, just click here.  Or check out World Vision’s gift catalogue here

 

September 20, 2011

From the Vespa to the Mixer

So let’s dish readers, what’s your favorite appliance?