Articles for parenting

I don’t make it to my children’s school often. I am lucky to live in a small town where the kids still walk to school. However today a lightening storm started 10 minutes before the bell rang so I decided the mom bus needed to be started. What does this have to do with homework ? Well My daughters teacher told me ‘Abbie doesn’t seem to be interested in doing any work at school” guess what that means – we don’t finish our work at school …..

Then Darryl’s teacher says ‘Darryl doesn’t seem to be interested in doing his school work’. Sigh, I have to admit I have NOT been keeping the kids school events and homework organized. I have no homework system or home work routine. So in a hope in becoming the organized mom again I took my daughter to the dollar store to get a system in place for her.

The boys each have a school agenda, that I NEED to be using. Abbies is primary and the school doens’t order school agendas for the primary grades. So I needed to create one for her (actually it’s more for mom).

So here is our solution for organzing Abbie’s school homework.

Total cost: less then $7.00

Large zip locking bag (with a slider because the other ones are frustrating for little fingers and won’t get closed = lost homework organizers). ( I usually have these in my box but I bought 8 for $1.00) Read More→

Introducing another real ‘Almost Always Orgnized mom’ Cheryl Phillips;

cherylHow do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
I don’t overload my children with activities. If there is an activity they want to join (dance, etc) then that is fine. However, my belief is that concentrating on doing well in school and creative play at home are the best way to raise a child. I’m probably not going to be popular in saying that, but I see too many children “overscheduled”.

I like to eat dinner together every night. If there are activities, parties and other events going on, I just keep everything up on the family calendar (right on the refrigerator) so everyone knows what’s going on.

Do you use a particular day planner ? I used to. Then I’d leave it in my car and fall asleep before I could go out and get it.

Do you own a blackberry? Yes! I’ve had a BB for three years now. I went two months without it to test my endurance. I won’t do that again.

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
I believe in doing the same routine every day. My children actually help me save time. They all have to put their things away after school, set the table for dinner, clear the dishes, etc. So, the biggest time saving tip has been for me to teach my children to help out. I rarely have to tell anyone to put away shoes or throw their laundry in the hamper. It becomes routine when everything has a time and place.

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family? Yes. It’s a really basic recipe and dinner is ready in 15 minutes. Home made macaroni and a wayyyyyy lot of cheese, salad and fruit. Read More→

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Moms need sleep

Moms need sleep

I was reading a blog written by Karlana this morning where she talks about restless sleeps and a hard time shutting off her mind at night.

When I get into a ‘to do’ frame of mind (which often reminds me of those days of nesting as a soon to be new mom), I have a hard time shutting off my brain at night as well. Leaving this mom tired and grumpy in the morning.

My tips for moms needing to fall asleep faster:

  • Turn off all TV’s off in the house by 9:00
  • Create a calm environment with more lights off (energy saving too ;) and calming music.
  • Keep your bedroom tidy and a place of sleep.
  • Turn your computer off at least one hour before heading to bed.
  • Write a mom to do list each night before bed so you are not worrying about what you will forget the next day.
  • Go to sleep when you feel tired and learn your natural sleep rhythm. Some people only require 6 hours of sleep others (like me) need at least 8 to function coherently the next day. Not getting enough sleep will reduce your productivity the next day.
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Guest Article by Cathy Bates

It’s that time already – back to school time!  A Staples commercial once said “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”  What are your thoughts on back to school?  Here are some tips to help make it a wonderful time:

* Stock up on supplies needed throughout the year and create a homework center.  A clearly labeled, plastic draw unit makes a great homework center where you can store paper, pencils, markers, glue, and anything else your student needs to complete assignments.

* Set up a command center with files or bins for school papers that must be signed and returned to school, homework or projects that are ongoing, library books, and anything else that comes to and from school.

* Install hooks near the door to hang backpacks, and jackets.

* If your child packs a lunch, set up an area in the kitchen to store prepackaged lunch items and the supplies needed to assemble sandwiches, etc.

* If your child purchases a school lunch, post the menu inside a cabinet door or on the refrigerator.

* Post a calendar in a central place to track all of your family’s activities.

Studies show students thrive in an organized environment.  I hope these tips will help your students have their best year ever and a little extra time to just be kids

Once the kids are settled into their school schedule, it’s time to gear up for some organizing of your own.  It’s the perfect time to catch up on organizing projects around the house so that by the time the holidays arrive, your home is organized and you are able to enjoy the festivities without all of the stress!

Cathy Bates is owner of Practical Solutions, a professional organizing company that provides organizing services for your home or office.  Practical Solutions is offering a free organizing workshop on Monday, September 8, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. at Citibank in Yucaipa to jumpstart your organizing efforts.  You can register at or call (909)810-3719.

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I wanted to post about co parenting as it’s a subject close to my heart. Some of you may know that I volunteer (how I fit that into my schedule you wonder ;), well I volunteer allot but one of my favourite volunteer positions is as a family advocate. Why? Because I feel it our responsibility to giver back, and to help create healthy families. Defining what a healthy family is is definitely a post all on its own, but this post is about co parenting. One of the reasons I volunteer as a family advocate is so that I have the opportunity to teach others about co parenting. A divorce or separation is hard on everyone, but co parenting and being organized about it helps prevent unneeded hard feelings and arguments.

One of the books I have read suggests that the more naturally “organized” partner create the schedule, this does not mean dictate the schedule, simply put it together as agreed upon and print copies for everyone.
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