Posts Tagged ‘how to’

How to Make Your Child Hate Reading

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

How to Make Your Child Hate ReadingWhen my son attempted kindergarten, I was told that he was “unteachable” by someone in the school district. My son has ADHD and SPD and can learn easily when he is allowed to move. I promptly removed him from school and decided to teach him on my own. I spent 15 to 30 minutes a day teaching him to read using a book that was recommended to me. Within five or six months he could read quite well. I had proven the school district wrong! I had won! 

However, I quickly realized that something was not right. He hated reading. He was in tears at the thought of reading. I had made a big mistake.

Over the course of the next two years, I backed off on forcing him to read. I would ask occasionally to see if he would read. He was improving without instruction but was not showing any more interest.

Eventually I noticed him reading little things–signs, movie titles, video game instructions. Sometimes I would misread something in front of him and he would correct me. I would act surprised, “Oh! I didn’t know you could read that. Great job!” I started leaving comic books out, specifically Calvin and Hobbes. I allowed him to play Scribblenauts, a video game where you type in the object you want and it appears. His imagination soared and his reading and spelling quickly improved. I never pushed him to read but I gave him lots of opportunities.

He started taking books with him in the car so he could finish reading a chapter. He came to me and read me an entire Calvin and Hobbes storyline about Stupendous Man. He’s now reading chapter books about The Lego Movie and My Little Pony.

It took nearly two years of patience for him to embrace reading. During this time I learned that many children aren’t ready to read at the early age that they are being required to read. At a time when our country is pushing for early literacy, we need to push back and realize that our children will read when they are ready.

Shannon Smith is a homeschooling mother of two who enjoys crocheting and cold weather.

Packing the Perfect Diaper Bag

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

diaper bagI am the queen of rushed trips and am perpetually 15 minutes late everywhere I go. I’ve tried so many times to be more organized and plan better, it’s just never happened.

The only thing I’ve ever succeeded in is my ability to pack and keep packed the perfect diaper bag.

To start off, we’ll do a little time traveling back to when I had two kids in diapers. I needed a lot of duplicate items, but I was able to whittle things down so I didn’t need a suitcase everywhere we went.

First, you need a good sturdy diaper bag.

With my first I decided I would never use a diaper bag, and that my 10 year old messenger bag would do the trick. Spoiler alert: It didn’t!

So, I decided to splurge on a Ju-Ju-Be Be All when my second was born. I could rave all day about this bag, but it’s ability to be tossed in the washing machine and the magnetic closure were game changers in my diaper bag quest. Now that I’ve told you what kind of bag I used, I will give you the ultimate list of things to have for a day-long trip with a cloth diapered baby (or two):

1. Diapers! This is a no brainer, but I usually included 4-8 diapers. AIOs were my favorite because the took up the least amount of room and were the easiest to wrestle on a wiggling baby. Wool is also great to keep leaks in and not take up much space.

2. Medium Wetbag. You can go plain or wet/dry but medium is the size to go with. It’s the baby bear of day trip wetbags–just right!

3. Wipes. I used cloth because it was easier to throw the entire mess in the wetbag. No need for sprays because you usually have a sink handy to wet your wipes.

4. Aden & Anais Swaddle blanket. The AA swaddle can be used as a blanket, nursing cover, carseat cover, and even a towel if the need arises. It’s the Swiss army knife of baby products.

5. Water Bottle. Yes, you can grab one on the go, but having your own is not only better for you but better for the environment.

6. “The Baby Kit.” We kept this in a small wetbag, it included: sunscreen, teething tabs, CJ’s stick or any other diaper cream, Chapstick, bandaids, nipple cream, and kid-safe hand sanitizer. Keeping them all together in a wetbag will prevent spills and searching around for little things.

7. Two shirts or onsies, and two pairs of pants. It never failed that our first backup outfit would get puked on or fall victim to a massive blowout. A backup to your backup is always good with baby

8. Snacks for you and older kiddos. It’s better to be prepared with snacks you feel good about than having to run into a gas station and try to find anything healthy with a screaming toddler.

9. Toys. having a few handy is a good way to distract and avoid boredom!

It took me awhile, but eventually I realized if I replaced everything as soon as I got home, my bag was always packed and ready to go. I will always be a little scatter brained but I sure can pack a diaper bag.

What’s in your diaper bag?


How to Make a Sensory Table for $35

Monday, December 19th, 2011

I have been wanting a sensory table for my kids for a while now, however the hefty price tag has kept me from purchasing one. They average about $250+ depending on the style. Additionally it’s rare to find free shipping on this kind of item so add another $30ish dollars to cover the drop ship costs and I was looking at spending over $300 total including taxes and shipping. I would often visit various websites that sell sensory tables and a few times even placed one in my cart. Although I just couldn’t bring myself to hit enter and actually purchase one. On multiple occasions my hubby had said he could easily make one for a fraction of the cost. I finally decided to take him up on this offer and have him make one for a Christmas present for the kids.

Once we decided to make our own I was on a mission to find a table from a thrift store that we could convert into a sensory table. It had to be the right design/size, not too heavy, and at the right price. After a few weeks of searching I found this table and this bin at a thrift store. They were both the perfect size and shape and price! I spent $12 and walked out of there one happy customer! Next stop? Home Depot!

This was a coffee table which sits too low to function as a sensory table. So we first needed to figure out the best way to raise it up. After discussing a few options we decided to purchase two large dowel rods that could be cut to size and replace the existing legs. This seemed the best option because it would require the least amount of labor, be cost effective, be aesthetically pleasing, and result in a durable table, yet light enough that I could easily move it as needed.  At home depot we spend a total of $23. The dowel rods were $7 each (x2 = $14), the clearance can of paint was $6, and the hardware (bolts) totaled $3. Now we were ready for the easy part…making the table! It was a simple enough project to complete in a weekend. It involved basic skills/knowledge of power tools, woodworking, and measurement.

Making the table consisted of 5 basic steps:
1. Cutting off existing legs
2. Cutting dowel rods down to appropriate size
3. Cutting a hole in the table top for the bin to rest
4. Bolting in new legs
5. Painting table

Hubby cutting off existing legs with a jigsaw

Bolting in new legs

Finished table ready for sensory exploration!

Voila! A sensory table for $35 made with recycled materials from a thrift store! And I figure with the money saved from making one rather than purchasing one I can get some fun accessories to use with the sensory table! I am really excited for all the fun, messy, sensory play ahead of us!!

What simple DYI projects have you made for your children? Any special homemade Christmas gifts you would like to share ideas for? I would enjoy hearing from you!


PS. Tomorrow’s Tasty Tuesday is a recipe for one of my favorite vegan soups!

Front Cross Carry | How to Wrap your Baby Video

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Learning to use your new wrap? There are many different carries you can do depending on the age and type of your wrap.

This video gives you instructions on how to wrap a front cross carry. This carry is a very simple wrap that is great for beginners! You can use this carry for basically any age of baby as long as it is comfortable for you. It is also a great carry to tie before you go on your errands as you can just “pop” your baby into the wrap (as demonstrated in the video) when you arrive at your destination.

You can do this with a woven wrap, such as a Dolcino, or a stretchy wrap like a Moby Wrap. If you are using a stretchy wrap, you may have to wrap the carry a bit tighter as the wrap will “give” a bit. Also, with a stretchy wrap, if you have a large baby (not a newborn) you may not be as comfortable with this carry as the wrap will not be as supportive as a woven wrap.

Rachel and Sarah are using a 4.6 meter Dolcino Stromboli Woven Wrap.