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Baby Shower? Fret Not, Here Are Some Great Ideas To Get You Started

Baby Shower? Fret Not, Here Are Some Great Ideas To Get You Started

The news of a pregnancy is not fully realized until it has been announced to excited friends and family members. A baby shower is the ideal way to bring everybody together once this has happened, and to make it clear to the expectant mother just how much love and support she has to fall back on as she embarks on this new adventure.

A new baby is always a cause for celebration and we offer a wealth of handy tips, tricks, and advice for planning a truly great shower. Before throwing the party, some plans need to be laid out and finalized, which typically involves things like:

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  • what foods to consider, bring, or prepare
  • who the majority participants of the shower are
  • what the color or overall theme of the party is
  • should you host activities like Gerber baby contest[1] or Guessing games
  • the kind of gifts that people should bring

Should I throw a baby shower for the mother-to-be?

For centuries, the throwing of a festive event, designed to congratulate a mother on the arrival of her baby, has been commonplace. Fortunately, there are lots of articles out there that gives you support, assistance, and advice needed to host a wonderful baby shower. Sometimes this can be overwhelming.

However, the primary objectives of a baby shower are to ease some of the financial pressure put on expectant parents (by providing gifts relating to the care of a newborn), and to offer an entertaining distraction for parents who have been entirely immersed in preparing for the new arrival. It is important to remember that pregnancy can be a stressful time and that most women appreciate a break.

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What gifts should guests buy for the expectant couple?

Whilst there are no hard and fast rules relating to what is and is not a good gift, the general rule of thumb is to pick out something specifically related to the baby. For example, clothes, nappies, changing accessories, and toys are all very popular choices. For inspiration, browse through different baby shower gift ideas and place an order on any online stores today. Remember to shop wisely for baby clothes instead of just randomly picking. You may also request to ask the recipient of the baby shower gifts for their baby registry.

One of the best ways to make sure that your baby shower gift is one to remember is to add a personalized note, card, or engraving. This can relate to either the name of the baby or the name of the mother or parents and tends to be reserved for special keepsakes, like ornaments, trinkets, and mantelpiece accessories – things that are going to be kept for a long time.

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What kind of gifts can be personalized?

Obviously, almost any gift can be personalized – mint tins, candles, chocolate bars, cookies, diaper bags, baby clothes, lip glosses, cosmetic accessories, and much more are all fully customizable with a name or short personal message. You can also customize the labels, tags, gift wrapping, and ribbons, in case you want to personalize a gift but prefer the effects to be temporary.

A lot of people disregard the choice of edible gifts as favors, because they believe that presents have to be expensive or long lasting. This is not true, and edible items are a great way to elicit a smile, laugh, hug, or appreciation. Any food gifts are appreciated – be it a box of cookies or a basket full of foods that offer natural sunscreen protection, like green tea and dark chocolates.[2] If you think about it, what expectant mother would not react enthusiastically if presented with a personalized chocolate cake or cookie?

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Reference

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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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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