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Avoiding Brain Drain During Winter Vacation

For thousands of school children, a magical time has arrived:  Two weeks of winter vacation! This time of year is wonderful for spending time with family and friends.  Whether you’re baking cookies, telling stories, or just relaxing, these two weeks are a much needed break for many people.  But what about your brain?  Is it taking a break too? Research shows that a stimulated

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Puddles, Science, and Math

The past month or so, we have had a lot of rain. It even rained every day all day for two whole weeks. Looking around town, one can tell – the ground is softer, the rivers are higher, and some of the roads have crumbled. We’re thankful for any piece of blue sky we see. But my kids are also thankful for the puddles.

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Basic Auto Maintenance for Kids

Though my son is still a few years away from driving himself, I thought it would be good to start some basic car maintenance (http://www.nationwide.com/rss/car-maintenance-tips.jsp) now, especially since he’s interested. It’s knowledge that will be ingrained in him by the time he’s ready to get on the road if we perform those tasks together now. This will certainly make all of us less nervous

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Death and Dying

Our children have been fortunate up to now to never have experienced the death of a close family member or human friend. When our elderly family dog passed away, our son was devastated, but seemed to grasp about our dog’s frail body giving out. Recently, a puppy we fostered for the shelter became sick and passed. This wasn’t as easy to explain. Death and

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Homework Success

Homework success is possible with some planning and scheduling. When homework time is organized and effectively managed, it creates a good foundation for students and provides an environment that is the enemy to distraction. Setting up a homework routine can effectively reduce disruptive behavior. Organize a homework environment by: – setting up a predetermined schedule -establish a predictable routine -create a safe and productive

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Activism

There is still plenty of time this summer for our kids to learn and participate in social and environmental activism. By helping, changing a life, making a difference, kids can learn how good it feels to get involved in a meaningful way and give back. Activism is not just for adults. Children of all ages can bring about vast change in the lives of

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Bug Watching

One of the most fun past times is watching bugs in their natural environments. Even the initial search is an adventure.  Play the great bug search satisfies kid’s exuberant curiosity and wonder for hours on end. All bugs are interesting but ants in particular are so busy they are endless source of entertainment and education. As your child watches the ants,  he can learn

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Learning Fire Safety

We spend a lot of time teaching our children about the dangers of the world- not to talk to strangers, what to do if they are lost etc. When I received a flier from our local fire fighters about fire safety, I realized I had not imparted important fire safety tips or an evacuation plan to my kids. Being prepared for incidents such as

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Encouraging Independence and Self-Reliance

The line between parental responsibility and coddling can sometimes get blurred. I am guilty of it.  I remember all too well how hard being a kid was for me. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to do everything for children. Take afterschool, for instance.  After a long day of learning, I find myself thinking poor baby, he needs a break. I used

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