“Homework” during summer break…No Way!

Ladybugs_crawling_on_summer_text_lg_clr Like the kids, we’re off having fun, communing with nature, celebrating family and friends, and taking a break.


But never fear….we’ll be back publishing the Back-To-School issue of the newsletter next month.  YAY!!!


Computer_to_computer_email_lg_clr If you’d like a reminder about when the newsletter is available for viewing, send me a quicky email at mailto:judy@HomeworkSuccessNetwork.com with the word “newsletter” in the subject line.  In the message area of your email, say “Hi, I’m ….” and your first name.  It couldn’t be easier.



I HATE SPAM as much as anyone. 


I never let anyone-else have my mailing list…not ever!!!

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Calculations for “RegiftingRobin”

OK, here’s the deal…


Choose a two-digit number (per Robin’s instructions any two-digit number will work).


Speaking algebraically, let “X” represent the first digit and let “Y” to represent the second digit….and let “N” represent your 2-digit number. 


so:  N = 10X + Y


Then Robin asks you to subtract the first digit (“X”) and the second digit (“Y”) from your original number.  You’ll use the resulting number (let’s call it “G”) as the “code” for a specific gift name you’ll find on the chart.


so:


G (Gift name) = N (2 digits)X (1st digit)Y (second digit)


     or algebraically:   G = NX Y


Using substitution in the above equation:


        G = (10X + Y) – X – Y   =  9 X 


So, when you go the the chart, for whatever 2-digit number you’ve picked the code name will be a multiple of 9.  And, then when you check out the chart, find your number (what’s the gift?)…then add nine (what’s the gift)…then add 9 (what’s the gift?) 


Chart 


All the rest of the gifts on the chart are just there to distract you.  Check it out…Nifty, eh????

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Got Two (2) Minutes?…and a pencil?

Kid_stuff_md_wht Kids often get the notion in the summer that it's all "play" (partly because we call it "summer vacation", suggesting a break from learning).  However, here's a little idea that takes only two minutes a day and gets great results…if one of the results you want is engagement and another is practicing creative expression. 

Start with a notebook and a pen/pencil.  Put a date at the top of a page and write (for no more than 2 minutes), something you did today or something you enjoyed today or something that made this day different from yesterday or tomorrow.  If you join your kids in the journaling (you in yours and them in theirs), you'll be spending just 3 minutes in process (including getting and putting away your journals) providing a subtle message about the value of writing. 

You'll have an opportunity to prompt a discussion about what to write or what was written.  Kids'll be practicing their handwriting skills and their writing process AND their communication about what they've written.  All in just TWO MINUTES (set a timer!) All of these skills are going to be useful in the fall when school starts again.  AND, you'll have a "diary" of what happened the rest of this summer.  Heck, it could become a family tradition for next year. 

For more information and suggestions, check out  Today is Fun    (Thanks Valentina for the great suggestion!) 

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Just ‘Cause they’re TOO CUTE…Baby Pictures (awwww)

Orangetan Sometimes I find a link that is too fun to not pass along.  If you and your kids like baby animals (and who doesn't), go check out Zoo Borns.  Orangutans are my favorite, but you'll find babies from all over.  Enjoy 🙂

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Got Conflict? Keep your Ego out of it.

Mma_man_fist_pound_lg_clr At any moment in a conflict with our kids, there are at least three (3) participants: 1) You, 2) Your Kid(s) and 3) Your Ego.  You know who "YOU" are…you are the person who is speaking or acting.  You know who your "Kid(s)" are…they are who you are in conflict with.  But the ego is a tricky participant.  It seems to have a mind of its own and sometimes seems out of control. So how do you kick the Ego out of the interaction with your kids (or anyone-else)???

We all developed an Ego when we started absorbing our parents' ideas about "how things should be" or an emotional rightness or wrongness about something.  Our ego's response to a situation is an automatic reaction whether what we believe makes sense or not.  Our ego is the "devil" on our shoulder arguing with the "angel" on the other shoulder.  Its job is to keep our focus on me-me-me and to keep us protected or strong against other people…including our children. 

For a quick peek into how the ego keeps us in conflict and tips to keep the ego out of it, you're invited to read Heather Luszczyk's entire article: "Conflict: The Ego's Favorite Game and How to End it" at   OpenZine.com.  Heather provides an enlightening view of how "conflict" is often heightened by the ego's antics.  And, the next time you're getting ready to go head-to-head with your child, Stop, Think and then try out one of her suggestions to keep your interchange between just the two of you…without ego involvement.

You can access Heather's website at  Living A Magical Life.  She's a great resource for coping with stress.

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Do You Have the Confidence to “Just Say NO”?

Scale_yes_no_lg_clr What keeps you from "pressing" your kids to do what's good for them?  According to a recent article at Medline Plus CONFIDENCE is key.  It appears that parents who are more self-confident are most likely to implement and enforce changes in their children's behavior.  The study suggests that parents who aren't sure of themselves and their parenting authority are less effective in promoting physical activity for their kids, limiting TV time and guiding them to resist unhealthy foods.  

How would you rate your own parenting related to getting your kids to do what YOU want them to for THEIR own good?  If you find yourself reluctant to nag (because it doesn't do any good) or to demand (because they don't pay attention anyway), this could be the summer to make a difference before school starts. 

To read the summary of the study about Parent Confidence, read the  Full Story at their link. 

And, while the kids are working on their summer reading list, may I suggest a book that may change your vision of your role as a parent? It'll give you a bit more confidence when you say NO when the author gives you some really good reasons why "NO" is good for them.  

Check out  "No"–Why Kids of all ages need to hear it and ways Parents can Say It!  Come the new school year, you'll be glad you prepared your resolve and discovered some new parenting skills!

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Too busy to research summer activities for your kids?

Challenge Here's a suggestion… Education.com  is a great resource for all things educational!!!  And, this year they have created a FREE challenge you can use "right out of the box". 

Keep the learning going this summer
Taking a break from school doesn’t have to mean taking a break from learning. While you don’t want to torture your child with spelling tests and math drills this summer, you do want to keep their brains going!

Get your kids ready for the next school year
Let’s face it, next year will be more challenging for your child than last year was. All of our activities are organized by grade. Do some activities for the grade your child is entering to give her a taste of the skills she’ll be working on next year.

Have fun with your kids!
Research shows that parent involvement is one of the most important predictors of a child’s educational success. Spending time with your child doing fun and educational activities is a great way to participate in his education.

There's a b'zillion ideas (well, not quite) for all age groups.  You'll love 'em and want to do some of the projects yourself.  To join the challenge, visit  Summer Activities Challenge .  What could be easier?  This'll keep your kids busy and actively learning all summer.  It's a no-brainer 🙂

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“Tricks” to get your kids to read…Really!

Father_reading_to_son_lg_clr Getting kids to read more (and to think they thought of it) is a real trick….a real(ly) sneaky trick!  According to an author at MyExcitingWorld.com  here's three suggestions:

1. The Early Bedtime trick. By establishing an earlier bedtime, they can "stretch" their actually lights out if they are ready for bed by "bedtime" and they choose to "stay up and read for a bit".  Their bedtime is established by YOU the parent…but they have an option to stay up just a little later if they want to.  The key words here: "if they want to".  Sharing the power about bedtime is sure to make a hit with any kid–which kid doesn't want to stay up just a few more minutes???

#2 Summer Reading Incentives.  Check out your local library–they almost always have a summer reading program you and your kids can join.  Or look on the internet to find recommended reading lists for your kids' age groups.  Then create a unique rewards program–one that you and your child will be glad he/she has achieved. 

 
#3 Read the Book before you see the movie.  Advertising for movies coming out this summer whets the appetite.  As soon as you see a new movie advertised, check out if there is a book that precedes it, i.e. The Harry Potter Books or even "Horton Hears a Who". 
For more details about how to use these "tricks", visit Inspire Your Children to Read . And, as always, keep involved in what your kids are reading–Read with them, Talk about what they are reading, Ask questions about what they would do differently than the characters in their books. 

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And, what’ll You be doing this summer???

This summer, lots of kids will think that "thinking" is on vacation.  They'll find things to do (humans always do!)…but what will they be doing?  How can you guide them (sneakily, of course) to keep in mental practice?

I found this video on YouTube…check it out.  It's thought-provoking and likely to prickle just a little guilt. But be brave!  It might suggest what we adults can do to stimulate creativity and thinking?  How can we use resources that involve and intrigue our kids to keep their developing brains on a path of developing minds?

"

Read on for some suggestions: 

Continue reading

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A Story-book Story in “Real Life” –“Make Way for Ducklings”

Ducklings How can we get our kids to read more this summer?…  Make the subject relevant.   This year in Spokane we had a "blessed event"–duck-style.  A mama duck decided to build her nest and prepare for her ducklings on an overhang on a downtown building.  Sure, she was protected and away from foot traffic when her ducklings were teeny…for a day…but she needed to move 'em to the river area a block away when it was time.

Just like the story "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey, our down-town passers-by had to stop and watch what happened next.  The mother duck jumped to the sidewalk 12 feet below the overhang.  Then her ducklings leapt to follow her.  Fortunately, there was a kind-hearted and agile gentleman who caught them as they fell. 

Hooray!… the ducklings made it safely to the sidewalk and well…you can read the rest of the official story at "Ducks Make Splash With Parade of Their Own"   It'll make you smile!!! You can even watch a video/slide show of the whole event by clicking on Video/Slide Show

This is a perfect example of how we parents can encourage our kids to read about their world and then seek out additional books or stories on a topic that intrigues them.

So, as you're reading your local news, be on the look-out for stories you can share with your kids.  And then….and then….suggest a trip to the library or surf the web together for stories you can read together about related issues. 

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