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19 Life Hacks You Should Teach Your Kids

19 Life Hacks You Should Teach Your Kids

In spite of having the suspicious word “hack” in their term, life hacks are actually beneficial in nature and don’t require any form of actual electronic hacking to work. Because they save time and free up (or even make) space, and because they require little effort and the simplest of things to work, life hacks are usable and doable by virtually anyone, including kids.

With proper parental supervision, kids learn faster through the first-hand experience of the life hacks. As supported by Dr. Robert Lehman from the Pediatric Affiliates of Hampton Roads, “Involving your child in mind-stimulating activities, as well as providing support to meet his optimal needs, results in more positive outcomes including greater school success, healthier behavior, and improved family relationships.”

Here are but a few of the plethora of useful life hacks that you can use with your kids around the house for extra convenience:

1. Use a hanger for accessories.

hanger

    ©Thinkingcloset.com

    Maximize the use of any spare hangers by using them to hang up your children’s accessories as well as your own. Watches, necklaces, eyewear, and even wired gadgets like earphones can be hung onto them for easier access and less hassle. Have your kids put a spare carabiner as well and they’ll be able to hang up smaller stuff like ponytail bands and rings.

    2. Fold clothes using cardboard cutouts.

    gallery-1452632658-justagirlandherblog-clothes-vertical

      ©Womansday.com

      With a few cardboard cutouts, you can actually save your kids the hassle of pulling out their clothes with reckless abandon and save yourself from rearranging the resulting mess. Simply fold the clothes around the cutouts, arrange them vertically, and your kids will be able to pull them out more easily.

      3. Open bottles with a seat belt buckle.

      xve9dmi

        ©Imgur.com

        Naturally, road trips with children mean that you have to stop every once in awhile for gas and food. If your kids buy beverages with bottle caps, you can use your car’s seatbelt buckles as instant bottle openers.

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        4. Wrap books with an old belt.

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          ©Designsponge.com

          For those who have kids that love bringing books along on road trips, prevent their hardbound treasures from waging war with their clothing by wrapping and buckling an old belt around them. This makes for easier and safer storage and may spare your kids’ books any unnecessary wear and tear.

          5. Reuse Smarties tubes as cord storage.

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            Never throw your children’s Smarties tubes as it’s a smart way to store charger cords and even earphones in these empty canisters. Reusing them allows safe storage in tight areas such as luggage bags and pants pockets.

            6. Recycle condiment shakers to glitter or pet food dispenser.

            glitter_shaker_sample

              ©Edartsupplies.com

              Hit two birds with one stone by recycling your old condiment shakers. Not only will you free up space in your cupboard, but you’ll also let your children have more mess-free fun. Young artisans can use them for glitter and confetti-based art decorations, while those with small pets like hamsters or goldfish can use them as pet food containers.

              7. Pick up shards of glass with a slice of bread.

              1213-rs-new-124-c022_gal

                ©Realsimple.com

                Kids are clumsy. For some reason, they always tend to break things around them. Help them clean up the broken glassware by mopping up the shards with a piece of bread. The shards will cling easily to it, helping you and your kids clean up any little pieces. Of course, safety for your kids should always be a primary concern, so don’t forget to put some gloves on your kids’ hands when helping them clean up a mess like this.

                8. Post important reminders on the door.

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                  ©Family-budgeting.co.uk

                  Help your kids remember anything they might have forgotten to do or bring before they leave the house by posting reminders on the front door. That way, they’ll be able to spot the notes and do a quick recap before leaving the house. Just make sure they exit the house through the front door, though.

                  9. Prevent a tangled necklace with a straw.

                  straw-tanglepreventer_300

                    ©Realsimple.com

                    Prevent your kids from finding out the hard way what a Gordian knot is by using plastic straws for their accessories, like necklaces. Putting one end of a necklace chain inside a straw can prevent it from tying itself up when storing them away in the dressers.

                    10. Wipe away scratches with a dab of toothpaste.

                    4efc476f22b247af8dec936e4e8b9b9da8c4a896

                      ©Apartmenttherapy.com

                      In case your children accidentally scratched glass surfaces such as mobile device screens, help them out by dabbing some toothpaste onto it. Wow them with a magic trick of sorts when you wipe away the toothpaste to reveal that the scratch has vanished.

                      11. Always keep a garbage bag on hand.

                      trash-bags-2

                        ©Offthegridnews.com

                        Remember to pack any spare garbage bags in your luggage to use as impromptu raincoats for both you and your luggage during a sudden downpour. This will keep your kids dry as well when they are walking home from school in the rain when no umbrella is at hand.

                        12. Tie together sock pairs to prevent them from separating during laundry.

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                          Instead of telling your kids about the myth of the sock-eating washing machine or dresser, prevent their socks from separating and even vanishing by tying them together before washing or storing.

                          13. Reuse pump bottles as paint dispenser.

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                            ©Elementaryartmoments.blogspot.com

                            Add more convenient fun to art and games by recycling those pump bottles and empty ketchup containers. Filling them with paint helps your kids replenish their paint palettes in a more mess-free way. Filling them up with water instead turns them into refilling stations during water balloon fights.

                            14. Label luggages with bread clips.

                            bread-tie

                              ©Bits-n-bytes-tech.blogspot.com

                              Help your kids find their luggage bags more easily during a road trip by writing down any details like “Mary-Clothes” or “Jim-Tools” on color-coded bread clips for simple, convenient labeling. One thing’s for sure: There’ll be anything but bread in those bags.

                              15. Use a paperclip as a luggage lock.

                              use-paper-clip-luggage-lock

                                ©Popsugar.com

                                Nowadays, people can never be too sure when it’s safe to walk around with luggage in tow. Prevent sneaky hands from pilfering anything inside your family’s luggage bags by locking the zippers together with a paperclip. Someone wanting to unlock your bags while on the move will have a tougher time doing so.

                                16. Remove glassware rings with toothpaste.

                                toothpaste-water-stain-table

                                  ©Charlesandhudson.com

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                                  More often than not, children can’t help but bring cold beverages with them in the living room or at the computer desk. Help them wash off any of those unsightly water rings their drinks left on the tabletops by applying some toothpaste with a wet cloth

                                  17. Recycle coffee cups as paint and brush holder in one.

                                  starbucks-paint-cup

                                    ©Theupcycleblog.com

                                    Provide even more convenience for your children during arts and crafts by recycling those plastic cups with dome-shaped lids (like the ones usually found in coffee shops). They can function as paint cups, paint brush holders and paint brush filters all in one!

                                    18. Use plastic cups to cover hands.

                                    img_5600-700x467

                                      ©Fabulesslyfrugal.com

                                      Quash that fear of sparkles doing more harm than good during New Year’s Eve by punching out holes in plastic cups and protecting your kids’ hands with them. This way, they can hold as many sparklers as they want without fear of getting their fingers hurt!

                                      19. Waterproof written labels with a clear nail polish.

                                      alternative-beauty-tips-4

                                        ©Forgottothink.com

                                        Waterproof your children’s labels on their belongings using clear nail polish. This helps especially in certain rooms in the house where water tends to get everywhere, mainly in the bathroom. Labeling their toothbrushes or medicine bottles before waterproofing them allows for more convenience for both of you.

                                        These life hacks not only make things for the household more convenient but will also help your children become more productive and creative. Kids do learn by example. Share these tips and tricks to them and become the coolest parent of them all.

                                        Featured photo credit: Fabulessly Frugal via fabulesslyfrugal.com

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                                        Jane Dizon

                                        Nurse, Ninja Mom, Digital Marketing Specialist and Writer

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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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