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Hate Being Ignored?

Hate Being Ignored?

Oct 6, 2014

By Elaine I hate being ignored. My guess is that most people do and some folks are used to it. They shouldn’t be. I always think of how life used to be 50-100-200 years ago. Now, I figure that 200 years ago being ignored was akin to having to wait 2-4 months for a letter to arrive. Times have changed. We think in minutes, hours, and days. If I send a text, I expect a response fairly quickly, 30 minutes tops, maybe 1 hour. Really, this is a phone conversation without words. After that, hey – you’re ignoring me! Pretty selfish huh. Here’s another one, email. How long does it really take to answer an email, 1 hour, 1 day, maybe 3 days? Unless you’re traversing the Andes 24 hours is enough for me. Granted I have older friends who aren’t “into” email. I give them longer. If they don’t answer I call to see if they’re breathing. There are lots of ways people ignore each other. I was watching TV news and a guy was in the subway with his headphones on, in his own world. He turned around and looked bewildered to see two ladies pulling a stroller off the tracks and saving a child’s life. Granted he had his back turned for a moment but hey, the guy is ignoring the world around him and ignoring the fact that he could also have been mugged. However, the baby lived and the guy’s an idiot. Ok, if you’re going to quote the constitution and pontificate on how it’s your right to wear headphones while doing public things, like running on a street, riding a bike in the city, or driving a car, well you’re all idiots. Go to a coffee shop or library and put them on. People will observe the sign and ignore you. However no crying when you get hit by a car or miss an opportunity to save a life. Really, just when did it become ok to disengage from the world all the time. When did we stop needing each other? How about this one, our government; not for nothing but when our country sends troops to another country...

7 Key School Supplies To Have At Home

7 Key School Supplies To Have At Home

Aug 13, 2014

By Erin D’Addio It’s that time of year again….back to school! It is a very busy time of year, and there are lots of purchases that happen between August and September. As a first grade teacher, I often hear my students say they don’t have supplies at home to complete homework assignments or reports. So, while you are checking off that supply list from your child’s teacher, consider purchasing an extra set of some key items to keep at home. Most, if not all, can be found at the dollar store. However, right now these supplies are less than a dollar at your local discount stores. 1. 24 count box of crayons 2. Blunt scissors 3. Glue or glue sticks 4. Pencils with erasers 5. Handwriting paper for younger kids and notebook paper for older kids. 6. Highlighters 7. Index Cards Make these items easy to access by setting up a “homework station.”  This link, found on Pinterest, has several ideas on how to do that. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. In fact, a simple storage bin works great. I love the idea of a cute “supply caddy” you can put in the middle of the table. Get kids in the habit of sitting down in a “special” spot, getting out their supplies, and working on their homework every day. It is a skill that will come in handy down the road. Show your children how to use the space. Do your homework along side them (reading Twitter articles, cutting coupons, etc). Help them put their spelling words on note cards (with the definitions on the back) and keep each week’s set in a card box. It’s a great visual representation to the all the  knowledge they’ll have accumulated by the end of the year. To help organize assignments, and keep you and your kids communicating, here is a free printable you can use to stay on top of assignments, set aside time for studying, and tests. Have a great school year! photo credit: jesuscm via photopin cc Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

Gifts of Summer

Gifts of Summer

Jul 23, 2014

By Katie Helms The summer season is represented in the Chinese Five Elements tradition by the color red, the element of fire and the sound of laughter. When I develop lessons for the summertime they are full of sorting, partnership, connecting, and awareness. As we design games in small groups, we build connections with each other and find ways to partner with our buddies. We take turns being the leader of the play we engage in. In our play, we develop empathy and joyful awareness of each other. One kind of energy we see in summer mimics the dancing quickness of flames. Another way that summer shows in our daily lives is in the slower more subtle and intimate or protected interactions akin to the embers of a fire. When we sit together with a trusted adult and explore simple materials, we use our sense of touch to learn about the world. We can connect deeply with children by witnessing their play with sensitive hearts. Dramatic play games that began indoors in the fall, blossom into a new fullness when we take them outside. This is a good time of year for dancing activities and Original Play. One job of the teacher in a summertime classroom is to help children build bridges between themselves and their peers. The best way that I know to help folks understand the spirit of summer is to remind them to connect to the spirit of play within themselves. Children are excellent stewards of the fire element, when we open to the energetic of fire, we open ourselves to joy and passion, to intimacy and lightness of being.   Katie Helms is an artist and a teacher living near Baltimore, MD. She offers adult and child workshops several times a year and is available to travel should you be interested in a group class outside of the Baltimore area. Her blog can be found at www.radlabs.wordpress.com and she can be reached at this email address. Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

Stress-Free Summer: 30+ FREE Online Tools for Kids

Stress-Free Summer: 30+ FREE Online Tools for Kids

Jun 16, 2014

  School is out! This is a transition time for anyone that has children. Children are less structured, at home longer, and staying up later!!  How can we make the summer enjoyable for everyone? Let the WLBPA lend a hand. We want to help you balance your time with family and your continuing responsibilities at home and work. Embrace the technology!! Whatever your thoughts might be on kids using technology, it is here to stay. Rather…it is here to continue growing…rapidly. A picture circulated on my Facebook feed showing a group of children at a restaurant, all quietly using an electronic tool with headphones, sitting and waiting for their food. I was a little shocked at the back-lash I saw in the comments section.  People were outraged that the family wasn’t enjoying the time “together” by interacting face-to-face. Honestly, I have no idea what this family looks like while out to dinner on a regular basis or how they interact with each other in life. What I can say is…WHATEVER WORKS! (If memory serves, there was a debate circulating not long ago about barring children from certain restaurants.) That said, we wanted to compile a list of the best FREE sites for kids. Whether you are at a restaurant, looking to boost learning over the summer, trying to teach your children to become comfortable with technology and proper internet use, or just need a moment of peace, you should find something here.  These sites are educational, safe, and FREEEEEE: Prongo (pre-K through middle school) Childtopia (pre-K to 6) FunSchool (pre-K through Grade 6) Karooba (Grades 3 and up) Funbrain (Grades K through 8) Discovery.com’s Games (Grades 3 and up) Sheppard Software (All Ages) National Geographic Channel’s Games Site (Grades 3 and up) PrimaryGames (Grades K through 6) Educational Games on NobelPrize.org (Grades 6 and up + Higher Ed) Power My Learning (Grades K-12 and based on common core) Learning Games For Kids (Grades 1-8) QuizHub (Grades K-12 and iPad compatible) Orsinal PBS Kids Go (PreK-6) Knowledge Adventure Games (Grades K-12) Room Recess (Grades K-5) Play Kids Games (Grades K-8) FitBrains (all ages) ABCya (Grades K-5) Starfall (Grades Pre-K-5) Sesame Street (Grades Pre-K-5) CSI Web Adventures (Middle and up) Arcademics (Grades 1-5) The Problems Site (Grades 5 and up) History.com...

Why Can’t I Stop Yelling?

Why Can’t I Stop Yelling?

Apr 29, 2014

“Get in your room. I said, GET IN YOUR ROOM, NOOOOOW!!!!!! What has happened to me? Just an hour ago I was June Cleaver, and my girls and I were happily making springtime crafts. All of a sudden, I’m a raving lunatic…or worse…my own mother!!! AHHHHHHH!!!! I realize I have put them to bed and it’s only 5:30 p.m. I feel terrible, but at the same time I also say a silent prayer that they will stay in their room, quietly, for the rest of the night. Tell me this happens to you, too… Today, I’m over at the Tampa Bay Mom’s Blog talking about my propensity for yelling while loving my children, and my desire to find a better way.  Read more here.   photo credit: Kat Cole via photopin cc Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

Now is Always the Right Time to Say “I Love You”

Now is Always the Right Time to Say “I Love You”

Apr 23, 2014

Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing the opening of Ghost: the Musical, courtesy of the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts.  I will forever be amazed by the theater’s power to enlighten, inspire, and educate. As my friend and I watched the musical, I felt overcome by the power of the present moment. Right. this. second. We’ve been talking a lot about mindfulness recently.  Mindfulness has the ability to keep us from anxiety and keep us moving forward when we feel like we are at the end of our rope.  This practice also keeps us connected to our tribe–our individual community of support. We have to pay attention to, recognize, and appreciate those whose support makes our lives easier. When was the last time you told someone how much you cared about them, thanked them for being in your life, or revealed what you find to be their best traits?  This goes beyond a quick, “Love ya’,” as your partner flies out the door.  When was the last time you gave your friend, lover, or child the gift of being seen?  Really and truly seen. In the musical, which follows the story from the 1990’s movie, Ghost, follows a long-term couple Sam and Molly.  “Unchained Melody” was a revived hit for years after, and we’ve all seen a parody or two of the famous “pottery scene.”  It had been a ling time since I’d seen the movie, and I had forgotten what it was really about. The musical reminds us, through beautiful songs and spectacular special effects, is how every person needs to be recognized for their true nature. Sam, who struggles with expressing himself through words, doesn’t get the opportunity to tell Molly what she needs to hear.  Molly, lost in her own need, is unable to see all the ways Sam expresses himself to her through loving actions. Take a second, right now, to send a text to your partner or a family member.  Let them know you are thinking of them.  Go a step further and mark a name on each day of your calendar.  In the morning, or when you have time on that day, send...

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