Getting A Better Answer to “How Was School Today”

We ask our kids “How was school today?” and hear “Fine.” End of discussion.  Why do we ask it then every day hoping for more?  Because we want to connect with our kids.  Our intention is right, but the question is wrong.  We discuss ways to ask your kids about their day at school without asking the wrong question that gets no response.  The idea came from a post by Liz at Simple Simon and Company.  Check out their two lists of questions to ask your children instead of “How Was School Today?”

School Social Skills

We expect our children to practice their handwriting, their piano, and their jump shot to get good at them but we don’t often think that they have to learn and practice social skills to be successful at school.  One blogger starts the conversation on what social skills we need to teach our kids and we continue the conversation.

Here is her list to get the conversation started:

  1. Make eye contact, smile and say hi.
  2. Learn to converse: don’t monopolize, ask questions, pay attention, listen (be a reporter).
  3. Learn people’s names.
  4. Include everyone.
  5. Be kind.

What do you think and what ways have you found to teach these skills to your children?

Tips to Deal with Bullies

With some tips, your kids can learn to handle bullying (the garden variety).  We discuss what works in the elementary, middle and high school years.  Check out more tips on the website http://www.stopbullying.gov/.

  1. Be a Role Model—Don’t Be a Bully.  Show them how to treat others with respect and kindness
  2. Use situations to teach—if you see something in a show or in life that is wrong or right, point it out
  3. Role Play with your kids to help them respond under stress
  4. IF they get bullied, replay the situation and try out different responses
    1. Can your child say STOP and look the bully in the eye?
    2. Can your child deflect with humor?
    3. Is your child too shy and needs to walk away?
  5. Don’t downplay their feelings (empathize with them but don’t make them a victim)
  6. Teach your child how to stay safe:
    1. Stay away from places where bullying happens
    2. Hang where there are adults.  Most bullying happens when adults are not aroud
    3. Talk to someone so you don’t feel alone
    4. Read Wimpy Kid
  7. Teach your children to embrace their own uniqueness and not want to be just like everyone else
  8. Stand up for others and be kind to a kid being bullied.  Show them someone cares

Lunch Solutions

LunchWeekFreezerLunch boxes don’t keep your child’s lunch cold enough and you don’t have time in the morning. SOLUTION: Making Lunch on the Weekend and Freezing Them! Nancy explains how she makes fun lunches for the entire week including snacks and fun stuff in an hour or so on the weekend.

Nancy’s Tips to Make a Week of Lunches Ahead of Time and So They Stay Cold:

  1. make all sandwiches at once and freeze them in freezer paper  (if mayo—put in the middle between layers of meat). You can even cut shapes out and freeze them.
  2. bake and freeze cookies or muffins, then take some out everyday
  3. freeze yogurts or applesauce(even pudding freezes fine)
  4. freeze water bottles
  5. freeze cheese sticks so they stay cold
  6. cut up fruits and veggies and put in containers in the fridge
  7. make bags of dry goods that can be added quickly to lunches

MissingPieceWith everything already cut up, frozen and ready, you can just grab things in the morning for your kids!  Making lunches takes seconds this way.

Other things to check out:

PBJ Sushi RollPBJ Sushi–the TOTAL hit at lunch in Elementary and JR High

  1. Roll the bread thin and flat with a rolling pin.
  2. Spread the peanut butter on the bread.
  3. Add a slice of banana and a small amount of jam.
  4. Roll the bread tight (try to keep the jam in the first time you roll so it doesn’t spread further.
  5. Place the sushi rolls in the freezer uncut.
  6. Cut them when you make lunch.

PBJ Shushi

Since you have extra time, some days you can make some fun lunches

AngryBirdsLunch ShaunTheSheep

 

 

Getting Grants or Donations for Your Child’s School

Karen Reno shares her tips and ideas for how to get products and services for your child’s school.  If they need technology or even landscaping, there is probably a grant or a program to help.  Big businesses like Target and Lowes are ready to help and so are smaller companies in your community.  Learn how Karen was able to get donations for many things from shade trees to electronic classroom survey systems donated for very little effort.

What My Child Needs to Get to College

High school guidance counselor *** explains what our kids really need to be doing to make it to college including what extra-curricular activities pay off and what your child might be doing already that looks good on a college application.  She also explains why more activities don’t always lead to a better application and why some kids need to relax a bit.

What They Don’t Teach in School But Should

Your kids learn a lot in school, but some very important lessons are not taught in school.  Listen as we discuss several lessons that are not taught and how you as a mom can teach them to your children.

For more ideas about what should be taught in school, check out this article on 27 Things They Don’t Teach in School

Let’s Play Music

Stacey returns and shares her adventures with Let’s Play Music, an innovative music education program for children from 3-7 years old that prepares children to be amazing musicians (Nancy wishes she had found this program years ago).

Watch a Demo Video

Contact Stacey staceyplaysmusic@gmail.com

The Dreaded Science Fair

If you have a child in upper elementary grades or jr. high, you have probably faced the dreaded science fair. Listen with us and laugh about this rite of passage.  If your kids are not there yet, listen and learn what NOT to do and WHAT WORKS when helping your child with their science fair project.

Disney YES is a Dream Come True

We’ve done a show on Disney YES and here is a video of our experience of the program! It was a hit once Alex woke up and realized that school at Disney would be fun! Our teacher Tabia was incredibly energetic and happy while still teaching the kids great info. Tabia taught the kids about the first 18 presidents of the US and the challenges they faced creating the nation, keeping it together, and then expanding it West. We were allowed behind the scenes at the Hall of Presidents where we got to meet the presidents up close and personal–you could see every hair on the heads of their animatronic doubles. We also rode Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain before the park opened to other visitors–I really appreciated that later in the day when the wait was 60 minutes (I thought WDW was supposed to NOT be crowded in October)!

NOTE: The YES Program only recently opened to individual students and their families and is only available on select days but you should check and see if your dates coincide with YES programs because your school-aged kids 6 and older get an exciting experience in the park behind the scenes (along with a chaperon) and your entire family gets discounted park tickets (our discount was 50% off the regular ticket price—an incredible savings). Fore more information, check out their website at http://www.disneyyouth.com/individual-enrollment/ and check out my podcast where I interview the YES Marketing Director about the program and learn more details at http://www.themompodcast.com/2010/10/03/educational-opportunities-and-disney/

Teaching Preschoolers Joy with Joy School

Not found a preschool yet or looking for something more than the ABCs?  Want your child to be emotionally ready for school? Nationally acclaimed author Linda Eyre discusses how to teach children joy using the Joy School program.  Both Stacey and Nancy have had children in Joy School and found it to be an amazing experience.  Learn why!

AND–We were nominated for the Best of Salt Lake 2010 as the Best Resource for info for Moms!  Whooo Hooo!

For more information on Joy School, go to JoySchools.com and for more on Values Parenting programs, go to ValuesParenting.com.

Protecting Your Child’s Motivation

To stay motivated, your child needs small successes along the way. Whether it is in spelling, math, music, or athletics, the key is to protect that motivation. Maggie Stevens, author of Parent Fix is the mom of 5 children and has many down-to-earth parenting tips to share with us.

Choosing the Right School for Your Child

With today’s variety of public schools, charter schools, private schools, magnet schools and so forth, you need to choose the right school for your child.  Sometimes a move to a different school can make all the difference and sometimes it might make it worse.