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Amazing Song For Parents – ‘You’re Gonna Miss This’

It’s August which means I have to face the fact that Francesco will be heading off to full days of Grade 1 in September. Everyone says how fast the years fly by, but you start to really understand this once your kids start school. My personal goal for this summer was to connect with Francesco, spend quality time, and have meaningful conversations everyday. It’s been at the forefront of my days because I know this chapter of having him home all the time will end in a matter of weeks.

Then I have my twin 2 year olds that make me wish I could speed up time some days. Those little girls can sure tantrum when they put their mind to it. But no matter what stage your children are experiencing, I heard a song at the end of last season’s The Apprentice that put everything into perspective for me. Have you heard the Trace Atkins single “You’re Gonna Miss This”? I’ve been listening to this song a lot lately and the lyrics help me focus when the girls are acting up or when I’m feeling like the boys are growing up too fast. All parents will connect to this beautiful song…here is a sample:

You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this

Click here to listen to a sample of this song via Puretracks. Yes. . . Canadians can purchase music at this site too – PC users only. MAC people can go to itunes Canada.

US residents can purchase this single via Amazon.

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Making Math Fun – Easy Tips For Young Children

My friend Jackie is an elementary school teacher and a fireball of energy with great ideas.  She shared a few teaching tips because Francesco has shown such an interest in math lately.  Also, since I purchased a calc-u-colour book for Francesco at Pedagogy Toys, he has been adding and subtracting like crazy.  These tips and his calc-u-colour book have really kick-started a love for math. I wanted to share these ideas which have worked so well for him.

Tips for Introducing Math:

Counting by 2s
Counting by 5s
Counting by 10s to 100.

Learning even and odd numbers.  To help a child understand which numbers are even, have them say the number 1 in a normal tone, then number 2 very loudly.  Repeat with number 3 (in a normal tone), then number 4 in a loud voice.  It helps them distinguish a difference in the number sequence.  Switch the tones and have them repeat the odd numbers loudly. 

Counting by 10s.  Don’t just encourage your kids to only count by 10, 20, 30, 40, etc. try starting at 13, 23, 33, 43, etc. so they learn that it’s just the first number that is changing when counting by 10s.

Learning when adding two numbers in their head or on fingers to always start with biggest number.  So if you ask “4+8= ?”, so which number do you put in your head?  The child would visualize the 8 and then tap out 4 or put 4 fingers up and proceed to add on the 9,10,11,12.

Cut out numbers from scraps of paper, mix them in a hat, then ask your child to put them in order from smaller to largest.  Then start again and try largest to smallest.

Working with math squares.  You can print off a 100 square chart like this and ask your child to highlight all of the even numbers from 1-100. Next day re-print and try all of the odd numbers. Count by 5s, etc. A great tool on this site for practicing writing letters and counting is this chart that have fill in the blanks or this one that counts by 2s. They have loads of free printables, especially for grades Grade 1-4.

This site also has a blog called Homeschool Math Blog and I loved the categories where a parent like me that doesn’t have a teaching background can check what level (based on age) a child should be at.

If you are highly dedicated to working on math at home with your child, there is this site with a membership fee ($9.95 per month or $79 per year) and your child can complete practice drills and the questions will even increase in difficulty as they improve. That’s pretty cool although there is a cost, but worth it for a child that’s keen on the computer and math. Here is a link to this site. ** If any teachers have tried this site and would like to comment, please feel free using the comments feature of Mommy Footprint. **

Francesco is really enjoying a calc-u-colour book by Buki that I picked up at Pedagogy Toys. This is one of the best workbooks I’ve seen for the 5-7 year old range. It is a picture broken up into small shapes with math problems and based on the answer, you color that section of the picture a specific color. Each number from 0-10 is a different color and when you’re finished with the math problems and coloring, you can see what the picture is. Just fantastic! A great purchase if you are going on a road/plane trip this summer. Locally, you can try the Village Toy Shop or Pedagogy for Buki work books. I found one on Amazon called Calc-U-Draw – Fun with Arithmetic, but it was hard to source them on-line. We’ve also tried their dot-to-dot and maze books..my kids love them!

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Non-Toxic Sunscreen For Kids – Badger, California Baby, Blue Lizard, TruKid, Alba Botanica?

Please note: In May 2010 the EWG strengthened their safe sunscreen requirements so the top list has now changed in the EWG sunscreen database. To read more on these new recommendations, please read the latest Mommy Footprint article called EWG Sunscreen Guide & Surprising Truths Parents Need To Read.

Well, I didn’t know when writing my previous article on safe sunscreen for children, that it would be this difficult to actually get my hands on the brands that came highly recommended by EWG (Environmental Working Group).  It has been a challenge to source these, but I have some tips and hope it saves you research time.

Badger sunscreen SPF 30 if very difficult to find in stores.  Whole Foods and Planet Organic would love to carry it but are having a tough time sourcing it.  My friend Leah (thank you Leah!) sent me the link to Victoria’s Health that sells Badger online, BUT after you pay for the sunscreen and shipping you are looking at $30 per bottle (82 g).  I will need about 5 bottles to last my kids this summer, so it’s just not a practical solution for me.  Still, I’m not deterred….I figure this can’t be hard.  Hmmmm keep reading. Continue Reading →

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