Wednesday, February 13, 2013

5 ways to help the WAHM (work at home mom)

If your a stay at home mom like me who is trying to run their own business and juggle it all... today I give you 5 great ideas on how to stay afloat. I write this on the same day I wrote... "I chose to be a stay at home mom, not a stay at home maid." It was a harder day today for me. I write to inspire not only you but also myself.

1. Priorities

Being a parent and business owner is all about choices and priorities. For myself, it's important to homeschool my boys and their education comes before chores, blogging, and even my business. Make a list of your 'wanted priorities' and then number them from important to not so important. If you have 10 things, try to scale your priority list back to 5 in a day. Be realistic with your time.

2. Communication & Boundaries:

This means communication and boundaries with your partner, spouse, children, employees and anyone else who will be affected by your business hours and location of your office (especially one in your home). Make sure it's very clear what your office is for, and what it isn't for. Communicate or display your schedule include days off.

One way I communicate with my hubby is we have a shared Google Calendar. (if you haven't already, research this - great benefits) I am able to post tasks on his calender and share my schedule with him, so we don't overlap.

3. Technology

Smartphones are changing the face of business - for good. If you are a mom with a business, it's almost critical you have one. Having access to important email and information gives you peace of mind when you are out and away from your laptop. It even gives you an opportunity to get away from the laptop entirely!

Be careful your not always on it. If you have ever sat across someone out for dinner and experienced being ignored due to their incessant cell phone action, you'll know what I'm talking about. Just like everything else use technology to benefit your business, not overwhelm it.

4. Make Your Office Tidy and Accessible

If your not comfortable in your space, you'll find your space reaching the other areas of your home. Papers in the kitchen, notes in the bathroom, piles on the floor.

Great organization help:

5. Fuel up

Who's the owner? Who's in charge? Who needs a recharge? YOU!

Date your spouse, see your friends, take a bath, massage, yoga class, exersises, eat well, sleep 8 hours. A more well-adjusted parent and business owner makes a happier family and homelife.

Got any more idea, feel free to share!


Monday, February 4, 2013

My Home School Life pictures added

As some of you know I decided to homeschool my little ones. I thought it would be difficult and I was nervous. But after starting in Sept, I have found it to be quite simple and lots of fun. We don't put a lot of pressure on ourselves and I school with a child led approach at this time. I have read up on homeschooling and learns bits here and there about no schooling and registered schooling etc. I haven't decided how I will continue but so far with the babies being so young, I have done a mix of Montessori approach, no schooling and some conventional seat work for my 3 year old, who loves it.

 Geran and Nashville doing stamping in their art corner. They love the little chairs their size. The often eat snacks there now.

 I moved the homemade vine lamp from the babies old room to this corner to light it all up. That way they have a soft light over their work.

All art work get clipped up on this string with tiny clothespins I got from the dollar store. I use them for crafts too. They love to display their artwork. When we change it over, I file their art in a file folder for keepsakes and to show what they have accomplished.

We have the letter of the week that we create and put up in the boys room. I am a bit worried we are going to run out of wall space soon. Geran is always proud to tell daddy what he 'created' today.
 Often I find the boys going over to their homeschool shelf. As they get older I will be labeling it math, science, language arts etc. Then I can ask them to choose what math they'd like to do. I've started some creative way to play with letters/words. Playdoe with letter cut outs, magnet letters for fridge or magnet board. Letter puzzle, painting letters, and using pipecleaners or bendy crafts for letter shaping.

 I got this shelf off facebook buy and sell. I use old baby wipe containers for math pieces or magnet letters. I have some books and puzzles there now. I change it up monthly so they get a nice surprise going to the homeschool shelf. Nashville really loves putting little letters in and out of containers. He pretends he knows them and says, "A, T, B, P, T" for all the letters he puts in the bucket. hehe Love 19m old's.

We have a parachute, a large room, scarves, slides, trampoline, ride on toys for all their daily exercise activities. They get to choose what exercise they want to do from a container full of ideas. Or they can create their own. Geran loves choosing what he will do for exercise. I don't put it on a timer, they can play for as long or as little. If I help 'facilitate' they often will play longer. Parachute and scarves usually need my attention to help direct and add music to it.

This is the list of ideas. When Geran picks yoga we utube kids yoga and he loves to copy it with mommy. This is one of the links we have used.

                                                                      Daddy and Geran read a lot together in the evenings. We read books every night to the boys before bed of course. But they often read books throughout the day. With Nashy knowing sign now, he tends to sign all his books as well as saying what he sees. Signing has really boosted both my boys language skills. Geran can read small words using phonics. He can read cat, dog, mom, dad, Geran, Nash, hat and other little words like a, the and no.

This is my latest purchase. From Easy Daysies. I got this at chapters. I show Geran the 'shape of the day' and when a task gets completed, he moves the finished task from the left to the right. This helps reduce any anxiety of what will come ahead. Kids love to have autonomy and be independent. This is a great way to have them be part of decision making. I leave small choices up to Geran, like do you want to do centers today (homeschool self or free play) or numbers? Then he picks.  If you want more information on scheduling..

So far I love my homeschool life. I only wish I had more hours in a day to do all the things we love to do.

Happy Parenting!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Which teaches your words or your actions?

As a mom of three boys let me tell you I know all about actions and loud households. With my first child I was more of a yeller and I would get easily frustrated. It's funny that my now 21 year old can be a yeller and is easily frustrated. I know it wasn't all me, but I do know a lot more now then I did back then and I parent very very differently. My 3 year old and 19m old have not heard me yelling and flying off the handle. I try to teach them more by doing than by telling them what to do and once more it has worked!

If you recall I talked about mirrored neurons in the past. Let me refresh your memory. Have you have every wondered how your baby learns to wave, clap or give high fives? Researchers recently discovered the presence in the human brain of "mirror neurons" which perceive physical action, facial expression and emotion. They teach baby to duplicate what he sees. Now you know why sign language comes so naturally to babies. Playng peek-a-boo, signing, using lots of facial expressions and emotions have a strong developmental effect on babies. In the same way when you are angry, excited, anxious, his mirror neuron will 'catch' your emotion and create that same feeling inside him. This is why we say anxious parents create anxious babies. It's best to try to fake your bravery when it comes to spiders, or close spaces if that is your fear. You could be accidentally creating those same fears into your child.

Concider what you are teaching your little one. If you want to teach them to be kind, gentle, in self control, then you must model it. What will your child learn if he sees you tossing the cat out angrily after scratching the furniture or you say no hitting as you spank him? Will your child learn compassion for others if he watches you sit comfortably while an elderly passenger stands by? Will he be polite and respectful if he hears you hollar across the room to squabbling youngster to "quit yelling!"? Which lesson will children remember? Your words or your actions? Research says it's your actions that speak louder.

If you want your babies to grow up to be gentle, kind and thoughtful, you must be a parent who hugs instead of hits, who shows compassion instead of impatience, who shows retribution and who listens instead of lashing out.

I have taught both my young boys to be kind, gentle and compassionate. I work very hard everyday to watch my own behaviour and try to 'show' them the person they can become. I've come a long way in 21 years and it's a conscious decision each time an obstacle occurs. Each time the milk spills, or Nashy dumps Cherrios all over the floor or gets into the toilet... each time Geran walks through the house with muddy boots... I stop myself, breathe and THINK first. I ask myself what kind of person do I want them to become... this is a teaching moment and then I proceed.

None of us are perfect, but we are the adults and have the ability to slow down and model what we want our children to be. It's our number 1 job right now. They are only little ONCE, it goes so fast.

Happy Parenting.


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