Month: May 2015
Don’t our kids come out with the funniest things….albeit not always at the most appropriate time, but still funny. You can find a few of my kids’ quotes here, but I want to hear yours too! Send me your kids’ funniest quotes with your name and theirs and I will feature them here!
In December, it was time to start creating holiday crafts with the kids. I couldn’t wait! We have a holiday open house each year and we always give something to our guests as a small gift for the holidays. This year I came across Sock Snowmen on Pinterest. It looked easy enough and was using materials we had at home so we decided to try it. I had just cleaned through my son’s sock drawer and he had sixteen socks all with a hole in the same spot on the bottom of the foot. I decided to use these, but although they were clean, I had to try to get them whiter. I soaked them in warm water with a mix of three tablespoons hydrogen peroxide, two small squirts of dawn dish detergent and a tablespoon of baking soda. They soaked for well over an hour and the water was brown! Success…well almost. After stuffing the socks with rice and creating the snowmen, they still looked like, well, used socks.
I decided these were not going to be given out to my guests. Instead, we gave made pine cone ornaments decorated with glitter glue and ribbon.
Props to tinybitzofme.blogspot.com. Her sock snowmen were beautiful and were what inspired me. She had the right idea to use unused socks. They look much better! Visit her blog on how to make them look like the snowmen below. Good Luck!
I love crafting! I am easily inspired by others and come up with great ideas on my own. The only problem is that sometimes things that I envisioned perfectly in my head don’t always come out as planned. So, I decided to name myself the Imperfect Crafter. I have accepted that I will not be able to recreate every craft idea in my head or that I love on Pinterest into reality, but I will keep on crafting because I enjoy it! Under this category you will find some of my “fails”.
Homeschooling today has become a choice amongst many families. Some families have never sent their kids to a formal school setting, while others decided to take their children out of school and provide education at home. Reasons for homeschooling vary from religion to special needs children to being unhappy with the education public schools are providing. Regardless of the reasoning, when making the decision to homeschool, a family needs to consider many factors, including the most important, how will the children obtain their education? This can encompass many questions such as: will one parent stay home to teach, will both parents take turns teaching, will you use a tutor, will you join a homeschool co-op teaching community, will you create your own curriculum or purchase one and what are your state requirements for homeschooling?
The decision to homeschool requires a family to reexamine their lives in every aspect from budget to patience in order to prepare for the homeschooling journey. If one parent stays home, are they giving up their job, therefore lowering the family income? If so, will that affect the family lifestyle in any way? If planning to join a homeschool co-op teaching community, is the teaching parent equipped with a skill or expertise in a subject that can be taught, and if so, can that parent teach well to a group? Does your state require you to register with them and show your lessons and portfolios to the local school board for approval? Does your state offer a tax rebate because you are a homeschooler and pay for expenses or even better, does your state refund some taxes because you don’t attend public school? Homeschool families also have to prepare themselves for the scrutiny they may be put through. Friends, family members and aquaitances will want to know everything from why you chose to homeschool to what content you teach and who you have to answer to in order to prove you are doing a good job. And, be prepared for the big whopper of a question that everyone will ask you: what about socialization? Even though there are infinite articles published on why it is a stereotype that homeschoolers are unsocialized, people are convinced your kids sit home alone and are never exposed to the outside world.
Luckily, we live in the age of technology and there are infinite resources at our fingertips. Families are able to connect with other homeschoolers around the country, use the internet and apps as teaching tools, find teaching resources and find out information such as state laws and homeschooling rights. The more knowledge you have before taking the homeschool journey, the easier your path will be to follow.
I want, I want, I want. Something we hear from our kids at their birthdays, holiday time or whenever they see a commercial or catalog with new toys. How can we teach our children the value of a dollar? Whether or not you give an allowance, you want to teach them to budget any money they receive. Together you can come up with a plan as to how they will save or spend their money. In our home, we give an allowance of $20 per month per child, dependent upon the fact that they do their chores and maintain their responsibilities within the home. They then have to split that money among three categories, savings, spending and charity. We tend to allow them to choose how they split it, but also provide guidance. As for holiday or birthday money, they automatically put that in their savings. We made this decision on the premise that they receive enough material items during those occasions that the cash should be saved. In order to help the kids understand and actually “see” their money, we have been using a virtual online account called FamZoo. They are able to log in and manage their money, seeing details of each account and also can debit or credit the account. “Let’s check FamZoo” has become a common phrase in our house.
Our son is a Lego fanatic and is always scoping out the new products in the catalogs and online, but they are expensive. He is now in the habit of making an itemized list of the product he wants and the cost associated with each product. Then we go through the list deciding what is essential to have and what can wait. Finally, we determine whether he is close to a birthday or holiday and can ask for the items as gifts or if he has enough in his spending account and that’s what he wants to spend the money on. We are also open and honest about purchases we make and talk about the expense related so the kids start to get an understanding that these money values will carry through the rest of their lives.
There should also be goals associated with savings now so that they understand in the future how to allocate the savings funds towards emergency savings, educational savings and large purchases like a home. We have also chosen to create a charity account in which the kids can choose what charity to give their money to. We wanted to teach the value of giving to others and involve them in the process since they will be asked on many occasions throughout their lives to give to a charitable cause. Each child is allowed to give to a charity of their choice, whether it is a local charity they know of, or something they have just learned about and touched them. They have felt really good about the charitable choices they have made and some months choose to put the majority of their money in their charity account.
As children transition into adulthood, they will constantly be faced with financial challenges. Teaching children about saving and spending at an early age lays the groundwork for good financial habits and decisions down the road.