A 3-year-old’s Lesson in Spending

My 3-year-old's Lesson in Spending
The car my 3-year-old bought, and then realized it was a mistake.

Last week my 3-year-old walked up and handed me his little car, “I’m ready to give this to Ari,” he declared.  (Ari is the grandson of our next-door neighbor.  When my 3-year-old outgrows his clothes or toys, we pass them along to Ari.)

 

“Are you sure?” I asked.… Continue reading

Toilet Readiness, or Remembering to Simply Trust your Child

Toilet Readiness, or Remembering to Simply Trust your Child
Our remaining cloth diaper stash, ready to pack up and give away.

Whenever the topic of potty training comes up (and it does when you hang out with other parents of young children), I joke that our dog toilet-trained my oldest son.  And I say it only half in jest.  One night when I was cooking dinner, my son – at age 2.5 – came in and announced, “I peed outside, just like Mazel[-dog].”  He declared that he wanted to wear underwear, and he was going to pee outside like the dog all the time. … Continue reading

Getting Kids Involved with Preparations for a Special Day

Happy Thanksgiving
A Pumpkin painted by my 7-year-old.

Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I thought you might find a reminder about this post from over the summer helpful.  In it, my friend Lainie discusses how she uses a Sticky Note Wall to help involve her kids in preparing for a big gathering or celebration.

 

You can find the post HERE.

 

This is a great suggestion for families, especially once your kids can read.… Continue reading

Encouraging Self-Sufficiency: Teaching my 7-year-old to do Laundry

Encouraging Self-Sufficiency: Teaching my 7-year-old to do Laundry
My 7-year-old loading the washing machine.

Before my children move out of the house, there are a wide variety of skills that I want them to master.  Basic self-care, home care (HERE and HERE), basic repair skills, cooking, financial literacy, and many other things along these lines.  One of these skills is doing laundry.

 

My 7-year-old, who has watched me do laundry from the time I wore him as a newborn, recently expressed an interest in doing the laundry himself. … Continue reading

Making Art Bots at our Local Makers’ Space

Making Art Bots at our Local Makers' SpaceHomeschooling, and parenting in general, doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  One of the ways we expand beyond the personal resources my husband and I possess as parents is to search out resources within our community.  Sometimes this comes in the form of knowledgeable friends, and other times it comes in the form of institutions and teachers who become part of our learning community (and often become friends in the process).… Continue reading

Teach Kids to Help with Special Day Preparations: Use a Post It Note Wall

Teach Kids to Help with Special Event Preparations: Use a Post-It Wall
Lainie’s kids choosing tasks from the Post It Wall. *photo credit: Lainie*

My dear friend Lainie is back with another household tip.  This time, she discusses how she gets her kids involved with preparations for a special occasion.  Her tip about Teaching Kids to Clean with Lines has made a huge difference in our house.  I can see her suggestion about a Post It Note Wall being equally effective (especially once both of my boys can read!).… Continue reading

Finding Beauty in the Smallest Things: Hatching a Praying Mantis Egg

Finding Beauty in the Smallest Things: Hatching a Praying Mantis Egg
Our praying mantises, ready to be released into our garden. You can see the large egg case propped up on a small stick inside the jar.

My boys and I have watched several different types of insects move through their life cycles.  In past years, we’ve watched ants make amazing tunnels.  We’ve observed as tiny caterpillars grew large, secreted a chrysalis, and emerged as butterflies. … Continue reading

Letting my Kids Set Things on Fire

Letting my Kids Set Things on Fire
Setting a stick on fire using a parabolic mirror.

This week’s exciting learning experience: setting things on fire using a parabolic mirror.

 

While some parents might gasp – You’re encouraging your kids to set things on fire??!!” – I think it’s a good idea for children to learn about and experiment with fire.

 

After all, fire has been fundamental to the survival and development of humankind. … Continue reading

Teaching Kids to Clean with Lines

Teaching Kids to Clean with Lines
A Line, all ready to be picked up and put away. *Photo Credit: Lainie

 

This post comes from my long-time dear friend, Lainie. Her ideas about practical ways to help a household run smoothly even with small children underfoot (as well as so many other things) have encouraged me over the years. I hope you find the idea she writes about here helpful as well.… Continue reading