12 Apps That Just Make Life Easier

http://www.matermea.com/blog/productivity-apps

“It takes a lot of support to manage your busy life. These 12 apps can keep you on top of everything on your to-do list.”

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Heatstroke Safety Tips

HEATSTROKE SAFETY TIPS from safekids.org

Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT.

A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.

C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.

T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

Go a Step Further: Create Extra Reminders and Communicate with Daycare

  • Create a calendar reminder for your electronic devices to make sure you dropped your child off at daycare.
  • Develop a plan with your daycare so that if your child is late, you’ll be called within a few minutes. Be especially careful if you change your routine for dropping off children at daycare.

Teach Kids Not to Play in Cars

  • Make sure to lock your vehicle, including doors and trunk, when you’re not using it. Keep keys and remote entry fobs out of children’s sight and reach.
  • Teach kids that trunks are for transporting cargo and are not safe places to play. If your child is missing, get help and check swimming pools, vehicles and trunks.
  • If your children are locked in a car, get them out as quickly as possible and dial 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to evaluate and check for signs of heatstroke.

 

Raising Kids Who Write

Raising Kids Who Write

Erin’s notes from “Raising a Boy Who Loves to Write”

One big challenge as parents we have is creating “an environment that fosters literacy and a love of learning.” Technology is all around us (ex. TV, computer games, video games, apps on tablets and smart phones). You may find yourself writing less like me.  There is an app for everything (ex. to do lists, grocery lists, calendar, notes, reminders, etc.).

“Centuries upon centuries of cultures have survived and even thrived with minimal literacy, if any at all…Language is a skill rendered effective through the immersion process, writing is not.  Writing is a learned skill and how we approach our children as we teach this skill will vary greatly depending on their gender and/or personal temperament.”

Our kids won’t want to write if writing hurts. Buy what works and don’t stop buying and trying until you find what works for your child.

  • pencil grips to place on pencils like The Claw Grip

  • short pencils (like golf pencils)

  • long, chubby triangle grip pencils by Ticonderoga

Pencil grip tips can be found here: http://www.hwtears.com/files/HoldOnYouHavetoTeachGrip.pdf

There are also videos on YouTube about how to hold a pencil. There are several but here are 3:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj4d7LdDc3E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIxUtwO29r8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZO26RwEyiU

Writing aids or programs (The items listed below can be found new and used on Amazon, Ebay, and the company’s website.)

Tips from Handwriting Without Tears:

  • Teach short, daily handwriting lessons

  • There are 3 Stages of Learning (Imitation, Copying, & Independent Writing)

  • Use small pieces of crayon and chalk to help teach proper grip for beginners.

  • Always start at the top (by the smiley face)

  • Have a place where kids can do graffiti like a board (My kids do their graffiti in their personal notebooks.)

  • As they become independent writers you can do the following at home: a letter writing station, family newspaper, movie posters, screenplays, start a blog, create comic strips, etc. (There are several free templates that can be found online. Printable Paper has tons of free templates.)

Things I use at home with my boys:

  • personal notebooks (1 subject notebooks for their graffiti. I’m thinking about getting them sketchbooks so their drawings can be in a central location 🙂

  • connect the dot workbooks

  • mazes My First Book of Tracing by Kumon (Kumon makes lots of great workbooks!)

  • clipboards

  • variety of writing tools in an easily accessible spot (crayons, markers, colored pencils, paper, dry erase boards & markers, etc.)

  • Roll a Dough Letters set from Handwriting Without Tears

  • writing letters in shaving cream on shower walls

  • writing letters in pudding (Jumesha)

  • sky writing (writing letters in the air with pointer finger)

  • rainbow writing (write a letter or word and then trace over it with several different colors of crayons)

  • I will be teaching lessons from the Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten teacher guide

Erin

“The secret of becoming a writer is to write, write and keep on writing.”

Ken MacLeod

 

The Kansas City, MO Chapter of Mocha Moms, Inc was conceived in the mind of Mocha Charito Redwood and with her dedication and determination the chapter became a reality in Spring of 2012. The intent of the chapter is to create a support group for mothers in the Kansas City, MO area who have made the choice to put the needs of their family first.

The Kansas City, MO chapter of Mocha Moms, Inc provides various opportunities for mothers to bond and network. The chapter holds numerous activities in support of moms, children, and families such as: Moms Night In, Moms Night Out, Support Group Meetings, Play Dates, Celebrating Black Families Seminars, and the list goes on.

We believe in having fun while staying focused on the mission of our national organization and our individual families’ missions. If you are looking for an awesome group of women to go through the journey of motherhood with, then look no further. The Kansas City, MO chapter consist of a wide variety of mothers from veterans, to new moms, and even some who have yet to become moms, but look forward to it. For more information please contact us at kcmochamoms@yahoo.com.