Stress Management for Parents

Do you feel like this sometimes?  Wound up so tight that you feel like you are going to both literally and figuratively snap? Stress management for parents can be critical. We may hate to admit that we don't always love parenting and that our children bug us sometimes.  Even if you are usually very happy in your parenting role, sometimes we just need to take a minute and realize we need to do something (or get rid of something) to actively counteract stress. Parenting is a hard job and sometimes we become overwhelmed by the challenges we face.  If a happy home for your family is important to you,  you will find a way to face those challenges.  Try some of the suggestions below: Don't put your kids to bed late and hope they will sleep later the next morning. That does not always work and you  usually end up with a child that wakes up at the normal time, who is cranky for the entire day. Instill thankfulness and gratitude in your children. Be sure they thank people who help … [Read more...]

Why Reading to Children Helps with Literacy

Reading to your children Plays a Huge Role in their Literacy Level You probably know that research shows that the early years involve the highest rates of learning, and the habits formed at a young age will stay with them for a lifetime.  Therefore, it's a perfect time to introduce children to books which educate and inform throughout life.  Children are never too young to enjoy books (including newborns), and it's not just about reading the words.  It's also about enjoying the interaction with parents as the child sits with them and enjoys the time spent together.  Just hearing a parent's voice can be a great comfort.You can't possibly start reading to your child "too soon," including your newborn. Children of any age can benefit from experiencing books on a day to day basis, each and every day.  A good selection of quality children's books is a very important part of the whole literacy process. Reading to Babies Bedtime stories are a great way to help send babies off to … [Read more...]

Can Effective Teaching Strategies Include Comics For Kids?

Can Comics for Kids be One of Several Effective Teaching Strategies? Comics are just one more avenue where readers can use context and picture clues, to teach them how to read and write.  Comic books are a fun way to engage children in reading.  For struggling readers, comic books can be an extra good resource because they are usually shorter than many  books, so they aren't as overwhelming.  Also, the visuals help readers to more easily understand what is happening in the story. Sometimes just getting children to read in the first place can be a challenge.  Comic books can be one of several effective reading comprehension strategies.  They can help get kids interested in reading and hopefully they will progress from there. I have to think that if the reader enjoys the comic book format, he/she will definitely learn to be a better reader and writer.  It just makes sense.  The more you enjoy something, the more you do it, the more you learn from it. Comics Used as Primary … [Read more...]

Looking for Free Books online this Fall?

If you need FREE books on Kindle for the kids, "Doggy loves Autumn" is probably just the book you are looking for! In this book, the second in the "Ella the Doggy" book series, you and the children can follow along with Ella the Doggy, as she keeps busy during the Fall season! Fall Outdoor Activities Ella is having lots of fun as the weather cools down in Minnesota. While on her walks outside, she notices lots of changes in the colors... and she keeps busy snacking on foods from the garden! Indoor Activities Inside the house, there is even more action as Ella sees her people family celebrating Halloween... and Thanksgiving! As a reminder, the following are some of the benefits of reading to children: Improved speech and language development Children learn how to pronounce new words Vocabulary expansion Children tend to do better in school Helps build a life long interest in reading Children learn how to listen Helps children grasp grammar and … [Read more...]

Puzzle Games from Ella the Doggy

Just in time for Fall -  Puzzle Games from Ella the Doggy! Snuggle in with your little ones and have some fun with these puzzle pages. Below you will find both a printable crossword puzzle and a word search game from "Doggy Loves Autumn!" You can find most of the answers without the book, but it's  extra fun to have the book and let your children look for the answers in the book if they need help. Suggestions for completing these printable puzzles: 1. Let your Kindergartner and early school-age children try them by themselves OR... 2. Do the puzzles together with your younger child.  Adults will enjoy theses puzzles too.   (The answers for the above puzzle are posted at the bottom of this page). If you are not already on "Ella the Doggy's" reading list, here is what you are missing out on: 1) A link to receive a FREE audio download of “Doggy’s Busy Day 2) FREE coloring pages of Ella to print and color 3) An entry into the monthly drawing for an “Ella the … [Read more...]

Reading – One of the Great Indoor Activities for Kids!

Photo: flickr.com/people/adwriter" It's a sad, but true fact. It's getting harder and harder to get children reading more books instead of doing other things, such as gaming. That's why it's so important to use reading as a mainstay for indoor activities for kids. In this new age of electronics and the allure of all the gaming possibilities, it seems many children are becoming virtually addicted to playing computer games.  Even on beautiful Spring and Summer days, my son would spend all his free time playing computerized games, it was left up to him. And now that the cold, winter months will soon be upon us, it often becomes even more challenging to entice our children to do productive things with their time - especially for a family who lives in Minnesota, as we do.  In our neck of the woods, there are way too many days that I can not send my son outside to do something, because it is physically just too cold. So, if our children have to be indoors on certain days, what's a … [Read more...]

Can you really home school and still work outside the home?

When my three children were young, I often thought of home-schooling them.  My daughter seemed to fit in more with the "traditional' school setting, but I think that my two sons could have really benefited from learning at home.  (Ironically, I was at home for ten years doing home daycare, as I had left my job and decided that I wanted to be at home with my kids during the day when they were younger). There were a few things that held me back from taking the home school route.  First of all, my husband did not even want to consider the idea.  He had lots of misconceptions about home-schooled children and he did not think that it would be in their best interests.  Secondly, I did not personally know anyone growing up who had been schooled  at home, and as an adult, I did not know any other parents who home-schooled their children.  So basically, I did not have any real knowledge about home-schooling and I  did not have the support to follow through with it. When my kids entered … [Read more...]

What Kind of Books Do Kids Like?

As parents, we may not realize how important it is to read to our children as early as possible, beginning with infancy.  Reading to children promotes strong cerebral, and emotional development.  Any positive interaction between parent and child is helpful to a child's growth, but reading is by far one of the very best ways. Different features in books, such as phrasing, and pictures appeal to different age groups.  As parents, we should understand what type of books are best for a youngster at certain learning stages in their lives.   Although every child is different, the following is a basic breakdown of the kind of books that children react to and enjoy at certain ages: Newborn to 12 months:  children at this age react to solid, large books with big bright pictures.   Remember that your little one's vision is still evolving daily and the images we see may be clearer than their view.  Big pictures stand out better and capture their attention.  Books with covered and protected photos … [Read more...]