Three Simple Strategies For a Great Start to the Virtual School Year by Kelly.

School is ramping up again and I was wondering how is everyone doing and how are you preparing to make virtual learning 2.0 a positive experience? I love the theme “Looking for Silver Linings!”. Here are some healthy strategies I’m prepping this week after talking with counselors and educators this summer.

1. Sit down with your kid individually and have them generate their own list of ideas for how to calm down and recenter. Ex. Breathing, read a book, do yoga, run, dance, take a walk outside, call/zoom with a friend, etc. Then print out this list and keep it near their work space. When they are experiencing frustrations, have them pick something off their list and break for 5-10 minutes. It gives them control over the situation (removes the parent from the situation) and teaches them mindfulness. (Also, parents make your own list and keep it near by).

2. Sit down with your kids and generate a list of their favorite upbeat songs that will always result in a dance party. The physical movement and music releases endorphins and will help boost moods and improve mental focus. I’m aiming for 2-3 dance parties a day.

3. Trying to carve out time individually with each child for 20 minutes a week. Do a no-fail fun activity meaning there is no chance of power struggles or disappointments. Just something simple like sitting down and play legos, riding bikes together, staying up late for 20 minutes and looking at the stars, etc. Whatever allows you to connect with your child positively for 20 minutes – it will greatly improve/maintain a healthy relationship especially during times when you have another role as educator.

Sending virtual hugs to every parent & educator!

Our family’s schoolroom under construction.

Value Your Artist by Sally

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I recommend spending the money to purchase a good quality artist portfolio for each of your little artists.  You can get one from any good art supply store such as Michaels. Be on the watch for coupons. I’ve kept everything from the large scribbled butcher paper drawings of my not yet 2 year old to the senior designed yearbook entry of my 18 year old.  0
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Not only do these portfolios provide a simple, convenient spot to keep these masterpieces safe.  It allowed a seasoned Mom like myself the gift of re-reading “thanks for being my mom” from her sweet 12 year old……18 years later.

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Tip: write your child’s name and age/ date on the back of every piece they hand you…. that way the ones you keep will already be labeled.

15 Minutes With Mom by Andrea

Life is busy. Life with 4 kids, school, sports, managing a team of post office/licensing clerks and a cleaning business is (crazy) busy. As it is every new school year, getting back into our routine is hard. Our day is probably very similar to yours.

We wake up and it’s a mad rush to get ready. We wake 3 of 4 kids up for school. While I am getting ready myself, I have to gently remind the 3 to keep moving as they don’t have much time. After finding missing socks and backpacks we are ready to head out. We give kisses and say our goodbyes. Daddy drops 3 of 4 kids off at their elementary school and goes back to pick up our big middle schooler.

After an insane day at work, I return home and go straight into momma mode. I am picking up kids and head to sports. I have two in flag football and two in basketball. Practices are almost every day of the week along with homework and school activities. Did I mention my husband and I also run a full-time cleaning business? Some nights we start our second shifts after the kids are in bed, returning home in the early hours and relieving either a grandparent or sitter of their nightly watch duty.

After learning about my daily routine, you can imagine it’s hard for all my little ones to get their one-on-one time with their momma. So I have come up with an idea that we started at the beginning of school called “15 minutes with Mom”.

Each night I ask the kids to get ready for bed around 8 and brush up. Once they are in the beds, I will come around and either lay with them and chat about their day or rub their back. This allows great one-on-one time and I get to hear how school is going. Since starting this, it has been an awesome way to reconnect with my two oldest daughters. I get to hear all about their days when its quiet and we can focus just on our conversation. I suggest every busy momma to try this. Slow down, even for 15 minutes, to reconnect after the chaos of each day has ended.