Category Archives: Homeschooling

The Happy Mommy Handbook…Real Help for Real Moms

I’m so very excited today!  Do you know why?

It’s because I’m reviewing a fantastic book that will help EVERY parent of toddlers and preschoolers: The Happy Mommy Handbook by Katie Norris (a real mom with two small children) and Susan Case (a retired kindergarten, Special Education and early childhood teacher).

And, if you click on this link, you’ll be able to take part in an amazing LIVE Google+ broadcast…there will even be a chance to interact with the authors when the short presentation is over.  It starts on Wednesday, August 22 at 11am CDT (Texas time).  Susan and Katie will be uploading the broadcast to YouTube, so if you miss it, you will be able to see it at a later time.

 

 The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn

Written by Katie Norris and Susan Case

Themes:

Toddler & Preschooler Activities, Real Help for Real Moms, Nuturing Yourself So You Can Nuture Your Children, Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten, Helping Your Child Learn to Read and more.

Synopsis:  

Real moms have real problems as they parent their children.  The Happy Mommy Handbook begins each section with Mommy’s Dilemma…a common scenario any parent might experience.  In Chapter One, a mom is overwhelmed with all that she has to do…ready to turn on the television AGAIN to keep her toddler busy while she starts dinner.  Instead, she opts to set her child up with a bunch of cups and a bowl of sand at the kitchen table.  After sitting with her child for a few minutes, showing her how to fill the cups and transfer the sand from one to another, the mom was able to leave the child, happily “playing” while she went to make dinner…and she even had time to sit down at the table and pay the bills.  In each chapter, Mommy’s Dilemma is followed by Teacher’s Advice,…a simple explanation of the theory behind the activity and why a child needs to have time doing that particular activity.  The book is filled with dozens of simple fun-filled activities, suggestions for books that build self-esteem, recipes for staples like clay and lists of materials to have on hand that will encourage your child to grow in learning and confidence.  The authors also address topics such as fine and large motor skills and the importance of play, both indoors and outside.

Why do I like this book

I love this book because it gives quick and easy solutions to problems that parents face every day.  The explanations will help a parent understand the importance of each activity.  The book encourages moms to keep it simple and positive…which makes for a happier home for everyone.  I even love the size of the book…small enough to slip into a handbag…but chockfull of everything a parent needs to know about keeping young children happy and busy.  This is a book I wish I’d had when my kids were little!  I’m so thrilled that it is available now…what a great gift for any busy mom or grandmom…and a wonderful resource for babysitters, daycare providers and nursery and preschool teachers!

The Happy Mommy Handbook is available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.  If you’d like to know more about Susan Case, you can check out her blog, Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers.  If you want to meet Katie Norris, visit her blog, Mommy With Selective Memory.

Please don’t forget we are accepting nominations for your favorite school or classroom to win a copy of Show Me How!  All you have to do is leave a comment on one of my posts…telling which school should get a copy.  At the end of September, we will select a dozen winners using Random.org.

And remember to tune in Wednesday, July 22 at 11am CDT to the LIVE Google+ broadcast of The Happy Mommy Handbook with Susan Case and Katie Norris.

If you come by my blog on Friday, there will be another treat in store for you.  Do you want a hint?  Another book review…this time it’s a brand-new chapter book for kids ages 7+ by a fellow SCBWI member, Marty Banks…and there will be a code available for a FREE download of the ebook ALL WEEKEND!  Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

Autumn is in the Air: Time to Turn on the Oven and Bake a Cake

 

I love the fall…cool crisp mornings and warm sunny afternoons.

Here in Colorado, the aspen leaves will be turning to gold, while back in New England where my daughter and her family live; the maples will be wearing flaming headdresses of scarlet, crimson and purple.

 

Many parents will be helping their children plan their Halloween costumes and decorate the house with pumpkins and sheaves of autumn wheat and Indian corn.  Years ago, our local library had an annual pumpkin-painting contest and all of my children looked forward to choosing the “perfect” pumpkin to decorate and enter…hoping to win the coveted first place prize ribbon.

 

As the weather cools down, many of us start getting out the muffin pans and cookie sheets in preparation for holiday baking.  I encourage parents to include their children in meal preparation…and holiday baking is an especially fun time to have your kids in the kitchen. If you are looking for simple child-friendly recipes, you’ll find dozens of them in my book, Show Me How!

Here’s a wonderful recipe for Carrot Cake that doesn’t appear in the book.  It’s special enough for festive occasions, but simple enough so that young children can help.

 

The best thing about this cake is that it is very nutritious (one pound of carrots in each cake) and easy on the digestive system.  I recommend it for anyone who suffers from IBS or GERD problems.

CARROT CAKE

You will need: 1½ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, 1½ tsp baking powder, ¾ tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 egg beaten, ½ cup canola oil, 1 tsp vanilla, zest of 1 orange, 1 pound baby carrots grated, ¾ cup pineapple chunks with juice (about ½ cup), 2 bowls, 1 Bundt pan lightly greased, blender or food processor.

  1. Mix in large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  2. Mix in another bowl: brown sugar, beaten egg, canola oil, vanilla, orange zest.
  3. Use a blender or food processor to grate the carrots and add the pineapple chunks and juice and blend until fairly smooth.
  4. Add the carrot/pineapple mixture to the brown sugar/egg mixture and stir well till blended.
  5. Add this to the flour mixture and stir gently but thoroughly..
  6. Pour/spoon into lightly greased Bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  7. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.  After 30 minutes or so, turn upside down on a serving plate and allow the cake to continue cooling.
  8. For storage, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator up to one week.

                                                                     For parents who are local to the Colorado Springs area

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE

STAYING HEALTHY

THIS SCHOOL YEAR!

SHOW-ME-HOW STORY-TIME PROGRAM

Saturday, September 24, 2011

12 to 12:45pm

Family Christian Store: 7165 N. Academy

719-598-1500 to RSVP

Or email vivian@positiveparentalparticipation.com

  • Bring your young children and listen to a story
  • Help your child make a simple craft project
  • Get a free flyer: Have a Healthier School Year

Vivian Kirkfield is a local author, former kindergarten and Head Start teacher and mom of three. Her parenting program and award-winning activity book for ages 2-7, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, has helped thousands of parents build self-esteem, develop pre-literacy skills and create a stronger parent-child connection.

Five Simple Steps for a Healthier School Year


 Your child is going to school.  As a parent, what can you do to make it the healthiest year ever?

Perhaps your child is a preschooler and will be attending a daycare or nursery school.  Maybe your child is already in elementary school.  Here are five simple steps that may keep your child from getting sick.

  1. Wash hands often: everyone should have their own towel…perhaps a different color for each member of the family.  This helps colds from spreading like wild-fires!
  2. Dress appropriately: when it is cold, children should be dressed warmly, with hats or hoods on their heads…no ifs, ands or buts!
  3. Get enough sleep: young children need LOTS of sleep so set up bedtime routines and stick to them.  Our body renews and cells regenerate during sleep.  Did you know that children between the ages of 2 and 5 need 11-14 hours of sleep?  For more information about sleep and young children, you can go to: http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/sheet.html.
  4. Make every meal and snack count:  a good breakfast is a MUST and snacks can provide additional important nutrition, especially for picky eaters.  For more ideas on healthy meal planning for the whole family, you can visit: http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/habits.html
  5. Keep a sick child home: I know it is difficult, especially when parents work…but your child will get better sooner and the teacher and the other children in the class will thank you.  With these tips, your children may stay healthy this school year and you won’t have to keep them home.

On September 24th, the Show-Me-How with Miss Vivian program will be at Family Christian Store, 7165 North Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO.  There will be one presentation from 12 to 12:45pm.  I’ll be reading Johnny Lion’s Bad Day to the parents and children and then we will all make Paper Plate Lions.  This program is appropriate for children from two to seven years old.  In addition, there will be a flyer for parents to take home about staying healthy this school year.  I hope we will have a good turn-out…please spread the word and tweet this and post to Facebook…maybe some of your followers are local to Colorado Springs.

SAVE THE DATE

STAYING HEALTHY

THIS SCHOOL YEAR!

SHOW-ME-HOW STORY-TIME PROGRAM

Saturday, September 24, 2011

12 to 12:45pm

Family Christian Store: 7165 N. Academy

719-598-1500 to RSVP

  • Bring your young children and listen to a story
  • Help your child make a simple craft project
  • Get a free flyer: Have a Healthier School Year

Vivian Kirkfield is a local author, former kindergarten and Head Start teacher and mom of three. Her parenting program and award-winning activity book for ages 2-7, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, has helped thousands of parents build self-esteem, develop pre-literacy skills and create a stronger parent-child connection.

For more information: 719-237-3111 or vivian@positiveparentalparticipation.com

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