December 2011

The Home Learning Environment

Home is where the heart is.

Whether you homeschool, have a preschooler at home or just want a home environment conductive to learning during after school hours, it's possible to creative a comfortable environment that encourages children to learn. As a homeschool parent that also volunteers with youth, I have found several things that work well for my family and others.

Volunteering with Your Kids

It seems as though children are learning less responsibility in schools and daycares these days.  More and more, people are pointing the finger of blame at each other, instead of owning up to their mistakes.  Teaching responsibility begins in the home, and one of the best ways to develop a sense of responsibility, along with a love for others, is to volunteer with your kids at a young age.

How to Visit a Children's Museum on the Cheap


They didn’t have Children’s Museums when we were kids. Not by a log shot. We grew up in the days of visiting the “don’t touch” museums. The “no running” museums. The “shhhhh” museums. Well, to paraphrase, they’ve come a long way, baby!

In fact, the modern concept of a children’s museum goes against everything we have come to associate with museums. They are “please touch” places where kids can jump and climb and race and bash all while being as loud or quiet as they want. Perfect for getting out all the pent up silliness of being a kid on a hot day or a rained out one.

Nature Schooling

Introducing young children to the natural world.

Too many children are uncomfortable in nature. Whether you want to blame television, abundant extracurriculars at younger ages, or the fear of stranger danger, less kids are getting outside and exploring. The saddest part is that many of the lessons young kids are most apt to absorb are best taught outdoors and not in a classroom. Working natural and seasonal themes into your week provides a solid basis in beginning science and helps a child understand their place in the world.

How To Have Fun At The Natural History Museum When You’ve Been There 12 Times This Month

So, what do you do when you have to go back to the Natural History Museum….again?

Sometimes parents have to get creative. We may be inspired to do so with insistent children or forced to due to lack of funds. Whatever the case, it can lead to some really great ideas. No one is clear on who said, “Necessity is the mother of invention”, but he hadn’t met this mom.  

So, what do you do when you have to go back to the Natural History Museum….again? You plan ahead and think outside of that pre-historic box. A scavenger hunt. You will need:

Christmas Presents from the '90s

I still want these under my tree.

The ‘90s were a good decade for children’s gifts. There were usually only a few toys that your parents had to put under the tree: something fuzzy, something gross and something entertaining. And there was certainly a plethora of all three available for purchase. If I could, I would get some of these under my tree again this year.

Let’s take a look at some of the wickedest stuff Santa could bring kids of the ‘90s:

Careers with Kids

Some people know what they want to be from an early age.  For others, they have a direction but do not know exactly which path to pursue.  If you love children and know you want to have a career working with them, these top career choices may help give you an idea of what route to follow to find a satisfying career.

Discovery Bins

A sensory delight for preschool and early elementary

As a homeschool mama I get to experiment with a lot of educational tools and ideas. My main limitations are time and money, so I jump for joy whenever I find a low-cost learning tool that requires minimal hands-on time from me. Discovery bins, sometimes called sensory tubs, fit the bill in so many ways that I am surprised I didn't begin using them sooner.

Rude Things My Mother-in-Law Has Said

This Woman is Something Else

If you had a chance to read my last post, you know that my Mother-in-Law is pretty hateful.  I'm sure plenty of us deal with annoying in-laws, but this lady seriously takes the cake.

My boyfriend is a huge mama's boy, and they have the weirdest relationship I've ever seen.  I'm not just saying that; it seriously creeps me out sometimes.  We live less than a mile from her, and he sees her every single day.  He also calls her about 10 or 12 times a day, no joke, and sends anywhere from 20 to 50+ text messages per day.  She frequently invites herself on our dates and was mad that he didn't tell her when we started sleeping together.  It's just a little too much to handle.

He has very few friends, and I'm the first serious girlfriend he's ever had.  And this man is in his twenties.  After meeting his mother, I now understand why. 

Childhood Interests

Is pinpointing these the way to choose a career?

When I was a kid, I hated doing almost all of the activities for which my mom signed me up. I don’t know if this is typical, but I would throw a fit every time that I had to go to dance class, whine about choir and bitch about practicing the piano. I was almost certainly a little brat, but I’m also certain that I didn’t understand what opportunities that I had at such a young age. I wish I’d had a better attitude.