Savvy Chic

tidbits, thoughts, and ramblings. . .with a Mormon twist

Know your child(ren) and maximize their potential July 9, 2008

Filed under: children,enrichment,kids,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 5:21 pm

Karen B. taught an excellent class on knowing our children and how to effectively work with our children to achieve their potential.  She started the class by reading from Elder Ballard’s April 2008 general conference talk about women, “Daughters of God”.

I remember when listening to this talk initially, I knew I would need to read it again and again.  But then life happened and I hadn’t read it again until just now.  (I highly recommend your reading it too!)  One thing that really caught my ear as Karen read quotes from this talk was this,

“I am impressed by countless mothers who have learned how important it is to focus on the things that can only be done in a particular season of life.  If a child lives with parents for 18 or 19 years, that span is only one-fourth of a parent’s life.  And the most formative time of all, the early years in a child’s life, represent less than one-tenth of a parent’s normal life.  It is crucial to focus on our children for the short time we have them with us and seek, with the help of the Lord, to teach them all we can before they leave our homes.” (M. Russell Ballard, “Daughters of God,” Ensign, May 2008, 108–10)

That is so true! With that perspective, I can focus on what is most important now and still have time in my life to do those other things on the not-so-high-of-a-priority list later in my life!

So, focusing on my kids. . . Karen gave some good tips.  She highly recommended PBS.org.  Go to the parent section.  There is a wealth of information and helps available.  We concentrated on developmental milestones.  Karen gave us a handout with milestones from University of Michigan.  The church also has a great list of what to expect and suggestions at each age.

Karen puts together a notebook for each of her kids.  She includes a list of appropriate milestones for the child’s age.  She also includes a chart listing the child’s “strengths,” their “reinforcements” (rewards that work for that child), “areas of focus” (a.k.a. weaknesses, but no one likes to see their weaknesses spelled out on paper), and “notes.” She can also put any thing else she needs to in the notebook.

With this information readily available, she is able to take an active role in the upbringing of her children.  She knows when they are developing as they should and is able to recognize areas of concern quickly.  These notebooks are also good for Dad to get a quick glimpse of his children’s lives.

Karen also makes a list of responsibilities (a.k.a. chores) that her children need to do in the morning before they can have their rewards, such as computer time, TV, trampoline, etc.  (Those rewards are often the same as the reinforcements on the above mentioned chart.)

Karen keeps in mind the areas of focus as she parents.  One child needs to work on handwriting, so Karen will encourage the child to write to cousins–a great idea anyway and it helps the handwriting without even mentioning it’s an exercise.

Karen takes her kids on fieldtrips–a lot of fieldtrips!  She said she likes to do one to two a week!  But before I could get really nervous about considering that option with my kids, she explained that some of these fieldtrips are to Albertson’s.  She has one child putting together a dinner menu on a budget and another child is responsible for finding a food for each food group.  Other fieldtrips ideas are walking along the river (she said that there is an exotic animal farm with llamas, ostriches, and two camels!), Dion’s Pizza tours, Albertson’s bakery (they have tours too), and of course all the museums.  Firehouses and police departments also give tours!  Use your imagination!

Karen gave the great idea of using the talents of our fellow sisters–quilting, learning about homing pigeons, art appreciation, computer skills, etc!  Maybe they would be willing to teach a class about their hobby to our kids.

When planning for the summer, Karen sits down with her kids and they work together.  She asks her kids what things they would like to do this summer that are free.  They make a list.  Then she asks what is one thing they would like that costs money.  And then she asks what projects need to be done.  All of these things are considered and plans are put on the calendar.

When calendaring, they first put church responsibilities and family events, like FHE and other activities.  Then they can fill the calendar with the other things in their life.  This way, the important items are not lost in the busy-ness of life.

Karen pointed out that it is very important to FOLLOW THROUGH on what you plan to do.  This is so important in building trust with your children.  This is even more important with young children so that they will be able to trust you when teenagers.  So, if you don’t really intend to do it, or if you really won’t be able to do it, don’t put it on the calendar!

I really enjoyed this lesson!  It was what I needed to hear.  Thank you so much Karen!  Just so you know, I made cookies with my boys today.  And I didn’t even get upset when one of them accidentally flicked flour all over the kitchen!

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Independence Day!!! July 4, 2008

Filed under: savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 1:46 pm

I love Independence Day!  I love the pancake breakfasts, the primary parades, the picnics, the family time, and of course the fireworks.  But more than this, I love what the day means.  I love my independence–I can be who I am, say what I think, live where I please, worship my God, . . . I can make my own choices.  I love my independence.

Of course, with the independence, I also take on responsibility.  And when I make mistakes, it’s not always easy to shoulder that responsibility.  But I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn from my choices, whether they be good or bad.  I’m so grateful to be free!

I know that freedom came with a price.  I have a brother-in-law located somewhere in Afghanistan.  I have another friend somewhere in the skies on the other side of the world.  My father and grandfathers enlisted and did their duty to this great country.  And their families paid the price too.  I pray throughout the day everyday for my sister and my friends who eagerly await the return of their spouse, father, brother, and friends to return safely.  And for those who don’t return, my prayers and heart go out their families even more.

Thank you America!  Thank you to all those who make my independent life possible.  God Bless America!  Happy Birthday!

 

Enrichment Spotlights

Filed under: enrichment,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 1:30 pm

I was just called as the Enrichment Leader in my ward.  I have to admit, I’m really excited about this calling.  I have been in many wards and have seen how the enrichment activities can really make a difference.  We have a lot of talent in our ward and I plan to encourage those lights to shine–we can all learn from each other.  I’m hoping to share that light (with permission, of course) on this blog so that the light isn’t limited to just those who come to the meetings.  So, there will be enrichment spotlights coming soon!  I hope you enjoy. . .

 

It’s National Pollinator Week June 25, 2008

Filed under: kids,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 2:33 pm

Take a look around your yard and take a peek in your fridge. What do you find in common? . . . The results of pollinators! We have both food and beautiful flowers because of these critters and creatures and I, for one, am grateful them.  It is to these guys and gals that we celebrate National Pollinator Week (June 22-28, 2008)!

Included below are a couple links for more information. If you only have time to check out one, invite your kids to sit next to you and get on the honey bee site–I LOVE IT! You can even make your own bee and send a bee-card to someone you know and love. 🙂

The second site has links that teach simple ways you can invite pollinators into your world–plants for your garden, bee condos, etc. . .

The third is a PBS special (the whole thing!) on the importance and disappearance of bees.

http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/

http://www.pollinator.org/

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/silence-of-the-bees/full-episode/251/

Happy Pollinating!

 

summer school links June 2, 2008

Filed under: children,fun,kids,thrifty tips — savvychic @ 10:27 pm
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Here are a list of links that I’ll be pulling from for home summer school for my kids.  I want to keep their minds engaged throughout the summer.  There is a mix of things–from FHE lessons that can be used as “values” lessons to cool web videos about money and bees.  Of course, we will be spending most of our time outdoors, or reading books from the library, or building forts out of tables and sheets.  But, these websites help with the creativity and add to the experience!

http://www.ldslivingmagazine.com/subs/show/6
http://www.360financialliteracy.org/
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/alienempire/metropolis.html   (termites, bees, and a puzzle)
http://www.youtube.com/njbeemaster (This is a collection of videos that show beekeeping–however, I haven’t previewed them yet)

http://www.ci.rio-rancho.nm.us/index.asp?nid=722 (This is a page with links that could make for some interesting lessons)
http://www.jif.com/recipes/rec_kids.asp (a collection of kid friendly peanut butter recipes for our cooking classes)
http://www.kidsafeid.com/cardmake1.asp (for making a child ID card–child safety)
http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,31-1-15-1,00.html (a huge list of family fun activity and education links)

http://www.nwf.org/backyardcampout/games.cfm (camping out is one of our themes this summer)
http://www.dltk-teach.com/books/littlecritter/index.htm (little critter paper dolls)
http://collectdolls.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxhome.com%2Fmyfairlady%2Fnot%2Fscn3%2Fpaper.htm (My Fair Lady paper dolls)

http://www.dltk-kids.com/ (a great preschool craft site)
http://www.momsminivan.com/index.html (travel games)
http://www.kidsgardening.com/ (lots of gardening info and activities)
http://guitar.about.com/library/blguitarlessonarchive.htm (free guitar lessons)

http://ac6v.com/help.htm#LIC (Ham radio sites)
http://storynory.com/ (free audio stories)
http://www.starfall.com/ (preschool–learn to read)
http://rainforestmaths.com/ (awesome math site for elementary grades)

http://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/kids/things_to_make/ (this is a great kids heritage paper craft page)

I hope you find something here that helps you with your summer plans.  Send me links you find fun and helpful!

 

great DIY videos and information March 24, 2008

Filed under: frugal,savvy thoughts,thrifty tips — savvychic @ 10:53 pm

I just found a great website for do it yourself information. Though there is a ton of written info on the web, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth a whole lot more than that.

It’s called ExpertVillage.com. It’s the worlds largest how-to video site.
This site had tons of info on tons of subjects. I just learned how to fix the flapper on our leaking toilet and how to flush the radiator for my vehicle. (I’ll have to let you know how the repairs go. . .)

I noticed there were subjects such as How to Bake a Traditional Challah Bread, Introduction to Bass Guitar Basics, Eyebrow Waxing: Hair Removal Tips for Home Spa Treatment, How to Raise Baby Chicks, How to Plan A Dinner Party, and Ankle Dribble Technique: Beginning Soccer Drill. That’s quite a range of topics. There must be at least one that would interest you. So check it out!

 

tie dye pancakes

Filed under: children,crafts,creative parenting,kids — savvychic @ 4:09 pm

I made some “really cool pancakes” (according to my kids) for Easter. I made the pancake batter and then dropped in food coloring-a couple drops each color at different parts of the bowl. (You might want to use more coloring to get a more dramatic effect. ) Then I barely stirred it and all the colors swirled around each other without blending. The effect was multicolored pancakes that were “really awesome.”

Note: Do NOT stir the batter very much after you add the dye. Otherwise you will end up with unappetizing gray batter.

(FYI: Much of the “cool” factor is diminished after the pancakes are cooked because of the browning–so make sure your kids are there when you pour the batter onto the skillet.)

tie dyed pancakes