Friday Four: What to do in a playgroup

Play pretty! Stop that! Is that your sippy cup or mine? I said SHARE IT! Hush now, Wait a minute, I’m coming! …….. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.I say it all!

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One of the most powerful assets a mom can have is her playgroup. The power in playgroups lies in their ability to make friendships and provide support for it’s members. But finding one can be the most important thing you choose besides your mate. It’s got to work for you both (all).

When you find one attend more than one play date before deciding if the group will work out for you, as the saying goes you can’t judge a book by its cover. This applies to playgroups as well, each event will have different people participating so you may find people you click with the second or third time around.100_2793 (2)

If you haven’t gotten that far, let me give you a little help to get you started with my top four tips to navigate your way into a successful experience.  yoga1

1. Bring something to the table. Some play group do a lot of education based events. Offer to help. No one wants to do all of the work alone. Don’t be known as that mom that never shows up or never helps out. If you are to nervous to really make conversation with some of the others don’t let that deter you from participating.

Use this time out of corporate work for you. Use your pre-mom skills In the group. Find ways to bring value that will look great on your resume when/if you return back to work.

2. Think like a mom. Act like a woman. Most moms lead with emotion. All moms should respond with maturity. If you can’t control your emotions, it is unfair and unreasonable to expect your child to control his. It’s important to know that at some point,your baby will cross paths with another lil one. You should be able to know when to intervene or to sit back and watch it dissolve. Yes, I know it’s harder than it sounds when someone pushes, your little one in anger.

3. Know what to expect. There are a plethora of playgroups. Some are support groups.  You just have to be certain of what you need for you and your little one. You may like a highly structured group or a very open group.  Does the age of the other kids in the group really matter? Many groups meet up so during the week, that the need of a licensed pre-school is not useful. (Ponder these option too!)

4. Leave with class. Like my uncle used to say,”Every road has a stop sign.” Every play group organizer knows this. As a matter of fact,unless they become a baby making machine for the next 18-50 years, they won’t want to be in the group either. When you are ready to move on, do it with class. Don’t leave her and the group without a trace.

Here’s how to  leave- I didn’t know there were so many ways of saying goodbye, but I found a few good ones. THE MESSENGER ROUTE, THE SLOW WITHDRAWAL ROUTE,THE DIRECT ROUTE,THE EXPLANATION all of which is on American baby. Here‘s an actual statement from American Baby:  “You guys have been such a great source of support, but I’m finding it’s getting harder and harder to make meetings. I’m sure our paths will cross at birthday parties and preschool!”us

Well, I hope none of my moms are reading this with intentions to leave, but if she is,more power to her. I’d wish her the best. Till the nest play group, have fun!

QC Supermom

Wednesday Wow:Homeschooling Questions and Answers

The homeschool community has grown exponentially in the last ten years, and the resources available to homeschoolers now can seem endless in scope.

Garden and plant home school class by Aura Agape The homeschool community has grown exponentially in the last ten years, and the resources available to homeschoolers now can seem endless in scope.

Thinking about homeschooling, so have many others parents just like you! I have put together a few tidbits and hope it helps you in your decision to educate your child.

Home schooling does not  mean that you are non public school….every child has different needs, and every parent has different capabilities.

We home school because we want all of our children to have a quality, well rounded education with minimal distractions, that would prepare them for real life experiences. For us, we wanted to focus on Nutrition, Culture, Physical, the environment, Math, Science, Finance, and Technology.

Literary Circle at our local library hosted by the UNCC early educators interns.

Literary Circle at our local library hosted by the UNCC early educators interns.

Having them at home ensures character development too which is also essential. At Kelle’s Higher Learning, we make it work for us. I guarantee you that we don’t stick to a clock to tell us how long to teach/learn. Some times it more, sometimes it’s less than the 8 hours.

Discoveries

After years of using math in their daily lives, homeschooled teens are well equipped to teach themselves higher math. Don’t worry about it when they are ten.
You will question yourself a lot. Maybe several times a day in the beginning. This is normal. Find a fellow homeschooling friend. Support each other. Tell each other that it’s okay to sometimes feel that your children didn’t seem to learn anything on a given day. They did, and so did you!

By no ones measure are my kids social misfits. I have a stay at home mom support group with children very close their age, and because of  the kids next door, their friends at ballet, 4-H and Karate there is no reason to ever be concerned about that.

Another concern I hear is whether their child’s SAT/ACT’s results will get into college. Every year, colleges across the nation and the world are opening their doors to homeschoolers. Many of the most prestigious colleges around the nation have accepted homeschoolers: Brown, Georgetown, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, the United States Military Academy at West Point, UC at Berkeley, University of Michigan, Notre Dame, and Yale, just to name a few. My son was homeschooled for just two years and today he is at Hampton University . So, trust me, it’s ok.

The key to homeschooling both older and younger kids together is all in strategy. Teach them how to learn. For example, when were are doing science projects, the older ones get the research part of the assignment. The younger ones get to help create it! Everyone enjoys it!

Homeschooling is an act of love. It does require loads of structure, determination and immense creative skills. It's a very personal decision, and you must be comfortable with yourself.

Homeschooling is an act of love. It does require loads of structure, determination and immense creative skills. It’s a very personal decision, and you must be comfortable with yourself.

To get started in North Carolina there are three requirements that homeschools must meet: 1st visit the NCDNE here’s the link: Click Here!

Once you give the state notice of your intention to homeschool, wait for your “license” to begin. If you are living on a budget as we are and have multiple children as we have, do yourself a favor and get free/ affordable help. Many businesses and even libraries offer free help for students of all ages. Try K12, Connections Academy, Insight or Kaplan. They all offer free programs. Khan Academy is our favorite! They are a not-for-profit educational organization that believe in providing a high quality education for anyone, anywhere.

Being  home schooled allows children to work at different levels. My 6 year old is doing division, multiplication and reading well on a first grade level.

Being home schooled allows children to work at different levels. My 6 year old is doing division, multiplication and reading well on a first grade level.

Don’t forget educational games. There are so many amazing ways to engage your child in learning while they are having fun, thanks to technology and the internet. These green friendly options allows us to be more mobile by just googling: free learning software for kids and free preschool curriculum, a truss of goodies come up. I suggest Jumpstart. It’s an affordable software and a few of the lessons have hard books and match games. Also check out local newspaper for opportunities available to you as a homeschooling family.

Reading comprehension skills in action.

Reading comprehension skills in action.

Homeschooling is a lot of work. But it’s worth it. Every time I’ve considering putting them back in public school, I go back to thinking of the reasons why I chose to homeschool in the first place and start on my lesson plans for next week. In closing, if you try it and it doesn’t work, put your ego aside and send them back to public school. You can always move to a better school zone*. If you need more detailed information on this topic get it my upcoming guide I’ll share it here on this blog post in the comment section.

Friday Four: Glad to see him come, happy to see him leave.

My oldest and my youngest. Life has been a blessing so far! Would I change ANYTHING? Hecks No!!

My oldest and my youngest. Life has been a blessing so far! Would I change ANYTHING? Hecks No!!

It’s almost time to send my big guy back to college. Talk about bitter sweet! Having a son in college and one as young as 9 months is amazing. I think he is beginning to realize how much his younger siblings look up to him as well. images (1)

Listening to him talk about  his college life was interesting, as he shared, all I could do is stare….here are four topics he discussed with his sisters & I about college:

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1. “College is the best time of your life. You have four additional years to be irresponsible. When else are your parents going to spend several thousand dollars a year just for you to go to a strange town and get drunk?” (I personally didn’t know that he got drunk!)

2. I went to a party at a bar in college, and gave the bouncer a fake ID. Turns out, he was best friends with the guy on my ID. (I wonder if he knew that was illegal?)

3. He said that he’s met all types of girls – hot girls who were stupid and hot girls who were sensible, as well as less attractive women who were stupid and less attractive women who were sensible.”

Zapata's We got hooked us up with dessert from the manager during dinner with the dudes Friday night. The live music was AWESOME!

Zapata’s – hooked us up with dessert during dinner with the dudes Friday night. The live music was AWESOME too!

4. “The coolest thing about being an athlete at a large school is the amount of fan support! It is awesome to walk around campus during the day and see students wearing shirts supporting your team. And it is always a huge adrenaline rush to play a game in front of a large fan base.”

The 2 princess of the castle.  Deedaw and Cassie.

The 2 princess of the castle. Deedaw and Cassie.

 

I must add in that 1. He is a “B” student. So there is a balance here, (thank goodness)  and 2. my husband thought  umber 3 was the funniest. Anyhoots, college spring break has a reputation as a time for heavy drinking, half naked coeds and non-stop partying.  While that may be what happens for some people, it is not the only way to spend spring break. I am so happy that he decided to come home for his break. What a wise fella he’s becoming!

The princesses will be getting a little help with painting their rooms today! Thanks to ACE Hardware for the free Clarkson paint!!!

The princesses will be getting a little help with painting their rooms today! Thanks to ACE Hardware for the free Clarkson paint!!!

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So far, so good. My son has came a long way & by the grace of God he’s still progressing!

Friday 4: Why Should U Know Who Your Teenager’s Friends Are

Why You Should Know Who Your Teenager’s Friends Are

You may very well know some of your teenager’s friends already because they grew up together. But, as they grow into their teen years, most lose some of those friends and gain new ones to take their place. You might be wondering, at this point, if it’s worth getting to know their new friends or not. The answer to that is simple. You should. This blog has been a work in processfor over 2 months. I think you’ll find some great info inside.

The reason is because you don’t know what kinds of influences these new friends could be bringing into your own child’s life. This is not to say that all new friends will cause your family trouble though. This is why learning a little about their friends, is so important.

Your teen’s moods may change dramatically in a short period of time. If so, you may be quick to judge the new friends; when they may not be the problem. If you don’t know them very well then you aren’t able to accurately determine the reason those changes have taken place within your child. If you get to know them at least a little, you might be able to figure out where these changes in your child’s moods are coming from.

Don’t automatically accuse your teen’s friends. If you put the blame on them, without knowing them, your child may rebel even harder. Those problems could escalate to ones that could be harmful to your child or your family. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

Don’t

Don’t jump on your teen and say, “You’ve changed so much since you made new friends. I think you should stop being friends with them.” Your teen is independent and quick to rebel. If she feels that you’re trying to control her life by telling her who she should be friends with; you’re only succeeding in pushing her away from you.

Do

Ask your teen if they want to invite their friends over to play video games or watch a movie or whatever. Show your child that you’re interested in getting to know who he/she hangs out with. By opening up yourself and your home to them, you’re showing your child that you’re not trying to control who their friends are; you just want to meet and greet.

Don’t

Don’t tell your teen that they will not see that new friend anymore and then expect that to work.

Do

If you know or suspect that the new friend will be a bad influence, then tell your teen that you don’t think it’s a good idea to hang out with them and then tell them why. Share what your thoughts and feelings are; what you’ve heard or seen. Your teen will ultimately have to come up with the decision to not hang out with them anymore- on their own. Forcing the issue will only cause them to want to see that person just to spite you.

Allowing your teen to bring their friends to your house serves another purpose as well. The new person can get to know you and your family. Your good habits and kind demeanor could rub off on them and they may not be as willing to go along on with any inappropriate activities that some of the other kids might want them to do.

Do what you can to discourage any relationships that you know to be unhealthy either because of drug or alcohol use. Again, don’t force it, but try to limit the amount of time they can spend together; or do whatever it takes to keep them apart. Just don’t try to control by flat out saying they can’t hang out with that person anymore, as it may back fire on you!

Getting to know your teen’s friends is important because you may be able to recognize a bad influence before they do. You might be able to determine that it may not be the new friend causing the mood changes in your child as well. It could be something else entirely, so you need to be able to know what’s going on in your child’s life to meet any troublesome challenges head on when they arise cause surly they will come!