Category Archives: Parenting News

Learning Resources: A Great Resource For Quality Educational Toys

I recently had the opportunity to receive and review three educational toys from Learning Resources. I was pleased to get this opportunity as we have purchased items from the before and we have always been pleased with the quality of the toys, the pricing and the fact that the toys engage our children’s imagination. With Christmas coming up, and people scrambling for gift ideas, I want to share information about each of these toys it may help you with your Christmas shopping.
If your child has never played with Gears! Gears! Gears!, they are in for a treat! My kids have a small set of Gears! Gears! Gears! and they have used it to make puppies that walk, cool looking aliens and other concoctions. That’s why I was excited to get the chance to add to their Gears! Gears! Gears! set with the 121 piece Lights and Action set from Learning Resources! This set comes with a motor and has parts that spin, sparkle and glow in the dark! I can’t wait to see what cool creations they make with it!

Gears! Gears! Gears! Motorized Lights and Action Building set contains 121 pieces with easy-to-assemble interlocking gears, bases, connectors, and lights that offer high action fun in daylight or you can watch them glow in the dark! The easy-to-use motor lets children control all the action!
This particular building set encourages children to figure out how gears work together. Because if you don’t line them up correctly, they don’t turn and your creation doesn’t go. This is a basic engineering principal that they are learning while they play! Get your child something new and different this holiday season! My kids guarantee they will love it!

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It is Interesting What A Difference One Word Can Make

I know that since my stepchildren were small, all I heard from the ‘authorities’ was to praise them for what they did. To say what nice colors they used in a picture (that looked like nothing) or to talk about their great grades. What I either missed or wasn’t told is that you need to be careful with the words you choose.
A recent study showed that children’s performances and the next task they were willing to tackle could be balanced on whether they were praised for being smart or whether they were praised for their effort.
In the one study, they gave children a puzle to do. For 1/2 of them, the test giver told them they were smart when they completed the puzzle. For the other half, the testers told them they put forth a lot of effort and worked hard. Then they offered all of these children the choice of another puzzle to do. The majority of ones who had been told they were smart, chose the ‘easy test’, the one that was like what they had already taken. The ones that were told they had put forth effort to complete their task, chose the harder puzzle (90% of the time).
Now, first of all, I find it interesting that the results give an exact number of how many kids chose the harder test, but would only say the majority of the other kids chose the easy test. Maybe the majority was 51%. I always question studies. What was their original hypothesis. How did they word the questions and do the statistics really support what they say or have they twisted them to do that. As a sociology major in college, I learned that statistics can say whatever a person wants them to say.
The next step of the test was to give each student the same test, one that they would fail (it was two years ahead of their grade level). For those who had been praised on effort, they didn’t get nearly as bent out of shape as those who were praised for being smart. The ones who had been told they were smart, now seemed to feel they had failed. Whereas the other kids seem to feel like they just needed to put forth more effort.
The bottom line is that words do matter. Instead of praising your child with the empty word of how smart they are (and really, what does the mean?), praise their effort, their work ethic, their perseverance. Give them the tools to feel like they can lick anything with enough work. Don’t give them empty words that sets them up for failure and feelings of mediocrity and for an unwillingness to take risks.
I highly recommend you read the complete article. There is lots of interesting information. As a parent, I want to help my kids to succeed in this competitve world.

Christmas Memories…Arrange for a Magical Phone Call From Santa

Childhood is a time for magic. Children grow up so quickly nowadays. The reality of the world is thrust upon them on a daily basis. I think it is important to help them to enjoy the innocence and magic childhood has to offer for as long as possible. I debate this with myself yearly. After all, I don’t want my children to feel lied to. But I have such fond memories of Christmas magic when I was a child, that I decided it was important for me to pass on to my children a taste of that same magic.
When I think back to my growing up years, I remember the joy of leaving cookies and milk out for Santa, the belief that I knew I heard those prancing and pawing hooves on my roof, and the delight when the next morning would find the milk and cookies devoured and presents left under the tree.
When I turned 6, I lost my two front teeth on Christmas Eve. Imagine my happiness to find money under my pillow on Christmas Day and presents under the tree. Remember my surprise when I noticed a square piece of foil…the same one that I had left under my pillow the night before for the tooth fairy! We quickly determined that Santa and the Tooth Fairy must have been at my house at the same time! (And I missed it!) They probably got to talking. I am sure Santa shared some of his milk and cookies (what a treat for the tooth fairy) and in the joy of their meeting, the tooth fairy forgot my teeth. I left them under my pillow again for her that night and she rewarded me with two more quarters. What a year that was!

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Get the Life Insurance You Need

None of us like to think about the fact that we will one day die. Wills, life insurance, guardianships for our children are all things that we tend to put on the back burner. It is almost like we believe that if we don’t do something about it,the event won’t come to pass. And conversely, it is like we believe if we do make those preparations, we are tempting fate. In fact the opposite is true. In homes around the world, spouses, children and even parents are relying on you. What if the unthinkable were to happen and you were to be involved in a fatal accident? Would your family be taken care of? Don’t put your family in a situation where they are not only having to grieve for you, but they are wondering if they are going to be kicked out of their home.
Don’t know where to start? Which type of life insurance to get? Let Advantage Life Insurance Company help. They can explain the different types of policies that are available. They will help you save money on insurance. Whether you want whole life insurance policay or a term life insurance policy. Whether you are overweight or a smoker, they can help you protect your families future.

Finding Money for College

Do you have a child heading towards college?
Do you have funds set aside to pay for those college years?
Some of you may be lucky enough to have a student who qualifies for a scholarship, even luckier if they qualify for a complete scholarship, but for the vast majority of us, college means needing to come up with tens of thousands of dollars. And most of us parents don’t have it. So what are the options? We live in a world where the need to have a college education is greater than ever before. More and more jobs are requiring a college education before they will even consider interviewing you. As parents, we want to help our child get the best start in life possible.
This is where federal financial aid can come in handy! Low interest loans for college students are available and they are usually available in a deferred payback situation (i.e., you don’t start paying them back until after graduation from college). I was the first in my family to go to college and we didn’t know about all of the options that were out there. We did qualify for a loan. My parents had most of the money in the bank for my college, but the payback rates were lower than the interest they were receiving on the bank where their savings was. So it was smart for them to take advantage of the federal loan and let their money continue to draw interest.
Plus, parents can be co-signers on these loans and allow their children to be the ‘main’ signers and the student can then be working on building their credit after graduation. Plus, the student is the one who ultimately benefits. I believe that it is not out of whack expecting students to pay for part or all of their college education.
There are a lot of different options. keeps you up to date on what is out there! They not only alert you to the different types of loans, but they help you to figure out which option is best for you. Your child’s last year in highschool is a busy one full of transitions and special events. Take this worry off of your plate. Turn to the people who know what they are talking about and let them help you sort it out.

An Awesome Day

I was up with the chickens again this week. I didn’t plan to get up quite as early, but I left my alarm set to wake me up at 5:00 (which is the time I got up for the yardsale last week). I didn’t want to get up until 6:00, but that’s just the way it goes. Since it was midnight when I went to sleep, I was a wee bit tired, but a shower woke me up. I did some work, then headed to town to help out with the 4-H bake sale we were doing today. I had made brownies and cookies. I was in charge of bringing tables and I brought signs with prices and I brought a chair to sit in. I didn’t bring children, That was my one mistake. I was envisioning four hours of boredom and my daughter, in particular, moaning about when were we going to go home and couldn’t I buy her something. I also wasn’t sure any of the other moms were going to bring their kids (I should have asked, but it just didn’t occur to me…too many other things on my mind right now).
So we went and got set up. We had brownies, peanut butter cookies, 1/2 a lemon pound cake, 4 loaves of bread, cupcakes, muffins, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter granola bars, and bags of popcorn. We started selling at approximately 9:00 a.m. and sold until 1 p.m. We had signs up that we were selling baked goods to raise money so we could send soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait care packages. We explained to people that we would be sending the care packages to unit leaders who would then pass out the items to those soldiers who didn’t get much if anything from home. People opened their hearts and their wallets.

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Want to Know How to Become a Better Driver?

GreenRoad Technologies has a product that is being hailed by businesses and insurance companies across the country. Their product provides private in car feedback to the driver so the driver of the vehicle knows what they are doing wrong and can improve it.
When we go through driver’s training in school, there is a lot of information given to us in a short amount of time. Plus we are more excited about the act of driving than learning how to do it correctly. Most states have increased the times that teens practice behind the wheel training, but that does have one flaw. As adults, we were once those anxious teens ourselves and we have probably developed poor driving habits over the years that we may then pass on to our children.
The GreenRoad system will bypass that and make us all better drivers and help to make the road a safer place to be. Check out these statistics!
Their customers have achieved dramatic results:
54% reduction in driver crashes
42% reduction in at fault crashes
50% reduction in risky teen
driving behavior
7% reduction in fuel consumption

School or Group Fundraising Ideas

I wrote a few days ago about how we are having to be involved with some fundraisers this year due to our involvement with our church youth group and 4-H. the 4-H group is looking for more fundraising ideas for later in the year and I found a site that interested me. I really don’t care for the popcorn, special candies, or teeny candles fundraisers that I have run across in the past.
ARC Marketing does have some fundraising options that interest me. They have a variety of personalized silicone bracelets and custom car magnets. And if you haven’t seen either of these items in your daily wanderings, you are not looking about you.
Custom car magnets show everything from support for Breast Cancer research to support of our troops to showing the world which football team you support. These magnets can be in the shape of ribbons, pawprints, or have your personalized logo printed on them.
The silicone bracelets come in a variety of colors and can show things such as an allergy, your school affiliation, or your favorite sports team.
ARC Marketing provides a quality product at a great price. For example, the standard cost for a silicone bracelet is 85 cents. Most people sell them for $2 or $3. This is a great way to make money and easy too. Most kids have a couple of bucks on them and are delighted to buy a personalized item such as a bracelet. For an order of 300 magnets, the price per magnet is $2.17. But if you order more magnets than that, the price decreases. Most organizations sell the magnets for $5.00. When was the last time you did a fundraiser that you could get excited about and make 100% profit on?!?!?
I will be passing the ARC Marketing website information along to our 4-H club at our next meeting.

First Fundraiser Experience

When my stepsons were attending school, I dreaded fundraisers. Actually, for the most part I hated them. I hated asking my friends, families and co-workers for their money. Partially because our own money was tight and the way this game works is that you would ask your friend, and then she would turn around and ask you to support her child. Does this seem a bit bizarre to you?
When my oldest needed to raise money for band trips, we didn’t do the fundraisers. Instead we went to grandparents and said, Bruce wants to go on this trip. It will cost ‘x’ number of dollars. Would you each be willing to contribute instead of us hitting you up for a variety of fundraisers. They always preferred to go that route. In other times, we would just give them the money ourselves (buying a few items for our home or as gifts) instead of going out looking for others to join in. After all, if I was going to spend say $20.00 either way, I might as well spend it by supporting my child and not by asking others to support him.

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$50 Gift Certificate Giveway Contest!

Do you spend much time in the car? Will you be traveling a lot in the holiday months ahead as you go over the river and through the woods to visit friends and family? Then this contest is for you! Madallie has A Children’s Travel Store and it has everything you can imagine to help those long trips go smoothly by.
There are books, blankets, crafts, and games all designed to entertain your children on those long trips. Be sure to bookmark her site because if you don’t win the $50 gift certificate, you are going to want to be able to find her store again and get stocked up before your next long trip.
Now about that $50 gift certificate. To win it, you need to visit Skimbaco for the details. It is as simple as spreading the word and having a lucky star shine on your name! Good luck!