Tuesday Tips: Homeschooled Teaching Techniques #1

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This week I’ll be running a series that includes 4 tips you must be doing if  your kids are homeschooled and you want them to grow in wisdom and critical/Biblical thinking.  What are those 4 tips?  Read on and see.

For hundreds of years, public education was provided for the poor so they could be productive in society.  In other words, so they could get a job and fulfill a need in society.  The same teaching techniques were taught to everyone at each level, not taking into account individual strengths & weaknesses.  When the education was complete, the student was able to consider “what to think”, never “how to think”.

Read the rest…

Tuesday Tips – Traveling

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The Travel Mom’s Tips for Relaxing Vacations

I love going on vacation . However, for me — and, I would guess, for many other moms — sometimes taking a vacation ends up being just as much work as staying at home; the only difference is the location. Here are some of the ways I’ve figured out how to make trips more enjoyable and less stressful for me:

Location, Location, Location

1. Pick a destination that really, truly offers something for every family member.

Cruise, Anyone?

2. Look for vacation spots, such as family cruise lines or resorts, that offer structured programs for kids of all ages, from little ones to teenagers.

Know (and Voice) Your Expectations

3. Be clear with family members ahead of time about the expectations you have for your vacation experience, from the types of activities you want to participate in to the curfew you set for your kids.

Stop! In the Name of Fun

4. Don’t overschedule. We run around so much at home, from meetings to practices to tutors, that vacation is the time to stop and relax.

Permission to Check Out

5. Designate a specific time each day as your “check in” time with the electronics: computers, BlackBerries and cell phones. Other than that, give yourself permission to check out.

Tips taken from Emily Kaufman at http://www.ivillage.com/travel-moms-tips-relaxing-vacations/6-a-127770

Tuesday Tips – Kitchen Cleanup

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Keep Diamonds Out of the Drain

There’s nothing more irritating than misplacing your rings and wristwatch when you take them off to tackle the dishes, or more heartbreaking than accidentally knocking a ring off the kitchen counter and down the drain.

End those woes forever by taking a few seconds to screw a two-pronged hook onto the windowsill or side of a cabinet that’s close to the sink. Hang your rings and watch on the hook every time you do the dishes. Your valuables will always be safe and won’t get lost.

While you’re at it, use Velcro squares to attach an extra eyeglass case to another surface nearby. That way, you can take off your glasses when you drain pasta or empty the hot dishwasher to avoid steam-up lenses.

Taken from: “Shameless Shortcuts” by Fern Marshall Bradley

Wednesday Words: Family Dinners-Taco Tuesdays

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After I wrote my post about the importance of family dinners, I came across a new book at the library called, The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids One Meal at a Time, by Laurie David. I checked it out and read the first few pages.  I knew I needed my own copy.  The next week, my oldest daughter and son-in-law gave me the book for my birthday.  It has some great ideas that are simple to implement.  I’ll be sharing a few of those ideas here on my blog.

Laurie David, author of Family Dinner, explains their Taco Tuesday nights.  Everyone is expected to be home for dinner on Tuesday nights.  Taco Tuesdays began when their family invited friends for dinner.  Everyone loved it so much, they decided to continue to eat with their family friend and cook tacos.

I love Taco Tuesday idea for a couple of reasons:

1.  Tacos are so easy to prepare that even preschoolers can help.  Preschoolers could put the grated cheese in bowls or dump tortilla chips into baskets.  The main ingredient to cook is the meat.  We usually use ground beef, but you can be creative and use shredded chicken if you like.  Or, you can buy the pre-cooked fajita meat and reheat.  All you add are toppings, such as cheese, lettuce, tomato, olives, sour cream, guacamole – whatever your family enjoys.

2.  Taco Tuesday every week means one less meal you have to plan.  Do your kids ever finish breakfast and ask “what’s for lunch?”  Or finish lunch and ask “what’s for dinner?”  Some weeks I don’t get my meals planned like I should so I’m skimming recipe books at 5pm trying to decide what I should cook.  With Taco Tuesday, I don’t have to worry about what we will eat for supper.  It’s already planned.

3.  Having the same meal every week creates a tradition and develops a memory for your family to have in the future.  I still remember having tacos or hamburgers almost every weekend growing up.  Maybe that’s why tacos are so easy for me to make.  I helped my Mom cook the meat and prepare the toppings almost every week for many years.

If tacos aren’t your thing, choose a simple meal on which you can build a tradition and memory.  If you have any similar ideas, please post a comment and share them with everyone.


Tuesday Tips-Managing the Medicine Shelf

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A is for Aspirin, B is for Benadryl

Besides getting organized with your medicines, the most important thing for me to do is de-clutter my medicines.  What about you?  From the following ideas, what’s most important for you?

A cluttered medicine shelf is a waste of time and materials. (How many times have you bought a new tube of antibiotic ointment because you had no idea what happened to the last one?) To de-clutter a medicine cabinet, start by weeding out unneeded items. Sort through the bottles, tubes, and boxes and flush down the toilet any medicines that has passed its expiration date, has changed colors, smells funny, or is missing its label. Alphabetize all medicines and swear a solemn oath to put them back in their proper place. (Other family members will need a little schooling in this.) Write the name of each family member on a resealable plastic bag and put personal medicines in the appropriate bags. Store the bags in a small box in a closet near the bathroom.

Taken from: “Shameless Shortcuts” by Fern Marshall Bradley