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Ready for a Baby? 4 Essential Projects for New Parents

Ready for a Baby? 4 Essential Projects for New Parents

Expecting your first baby is scary. No matter how much you read and learn about what you might expect, you might still feel like Alice in Wonderland. Well, experience is what counts here and there is not a thing than can replace it, so just take things slow and everything will fall into its place in time.

However, you can prep the environment around you by taking certain steps. Everyone believes that babies are expensive, but the truth is they really don’t have to be. New parents are guided with “only the best for my baby” and that is the only way to go, but the best doesn’t have to be the most expensive. So, go through the next projects and see what you can do without breaking the bank.

Bad Habits? Quit them

There are two reasons why new parents really need to focus on this little project. First of all, it’s not healthy for a child to be around people who have bad habits – it can damage them physically and mentally and your child’s health is a priority. Secondly, bad habits are a black hole that sucks in money and you will cut your costs in half by getting rid of them.

Finally, this is also the time to think about your own health – in order to take care of your baby, you need to be absolutely healthy and full of energy and bad habits won’t get your there.

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Unsafe Home? Start Babyproofing

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    There’s a mistake new parents often make when it comes to baby proofing – due to a lack of experience they go to the store, get confused by all the items and purchase everything because the nice lady in the store told them they needed it.

    You don’t. Most security measures can be applied using things you already have at home. For starters, you need to secure your appliances by tying them down to furniture and you need nothing more than a strong thread to do it. While you’re at it, fasten all cords and move them out of sight – once again, a piece of string and some tape will do.

    Probably the most important thing to do is moving dangerous substances like medications and cleaning products out of range – an hour or two of moving objects and making a new schedule around your home will do it.

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    It really is as simple as that – create a list of things you need to do and take your time doing it. Shops really do take advantage of new parents that are confused and that’s something you shouldn’t allow.

    No Money? Do the magic

    Parents really are magical – once the baby is born and until it grows up (and after that happens), you will need to come up with various solutions that will seem impossible to conduct at the present time, but you will do it anyway. These supernatural skills will develop in time and you should start working on them before the baby is born.

    There’s a really important secret I’d like to share with mothers to be who don’t have health insurance – you can cut your bill significantly. How, you ask? Just go down to the hospital and ask someone to give you a list of things that are usually included in the delivery bill and simply exclude the things you don’t need. If everything goes well, you can even leave the hospital a day earlier, which will really make a difference in pricing.

    Speaking of bills – having someone throw a baby shower for you will get you many things new parents need and people will be more than happy to help out.

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    There’s one important thing you really will be grateful for having and it be worth every penny you pay for it – a good stroller. So, make sure to do your research before purchasing one.

    Another magical rule is to stay away from branded items, because the fact is that you’re paying for the brand name as well, not just the product. The best friends of new parents are discounts, so dedicate some time every day (half an hour will do) to browsing through online stores.

    Ready for DIY? Roll Up Your Sleeves

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      The fact that a new baby will require some funding doesn’t mean you must or should neglect your home. The aesthetics of your surroundings can have a calming effect on your mind, and it’s up to you to welcome your newborn and enable it to grow up in a loving and beautiful home.

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      Other than developing supernatural skills, you can and should work on your DIY skills. You will be amazed with what you can do with items that most homes have and several useful tools. This inexpensive way to beautify your home can be very entertaining and perhaps even become a family activity in time. You know where to start – online browsing through simple yet gorgeous DIY projects and reading about various methods to complete them is the way to go.

      Nine months may seem like enough time to prepare for everything but they will fly by, trust me. Just stay positive, take your time with each task you set in front of you and you’ll be just fine. Congrats to new parents!

      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/josh-willink-11499/ via pexels.com

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      Published on November 7, 2018

      How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

      How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

      In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

      The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

      Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

      How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

      After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

      Figure Out the Laws

      Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

      The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

      Decide on an Approach

      Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

      Supplies/Resources

      Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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      A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

      Find a Community

      Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

      Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

      7 Different Homeschooling Methods

      1. School-At-Home

      Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

      The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

      • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
      • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
      • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

      2. Classical

      One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

      Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

      3. Unit Studies

      Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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      For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

      • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
      • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
      • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

      4. Charlotte Mason

      This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

      Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

      5. Montessori

      Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

      With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

      6. Unschooling

      Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

      For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

      7. Eclectic/Relaxed

      As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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      Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

      How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

      One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

      Email

      Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

      It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

      Google Drive/Calendar

      Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

      With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

      Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

      Ebooks

      Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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      E-Courses

      When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

      From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

      The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

      Some recommendations:

      Youtube

      Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

      Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

      Some recommendations:

      Final Thoughts

      Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

      Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

      Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

      Reference

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