Category Archives: Parent Advice

DownloadsByLilah – Homeschooling Help for Moms

The past few years have changed the way we view our daily lives. During the most problematic days of the pandemic there was a notable move towards not only working from home, but also homeschooling. Many moms have continued to school children from home, having perhaps found the experience to be more fulfilling than sending kids to school. Others simply prefer to home school as they are not happy with the education system.

The problem is finding usable and quality curriculums and material to work with. That is where online stores such as DownloadsbyLilah become part of the picture. A clever and innovative online store offering quality workbooks on various subjects and at a series of different levels, this should be a go-to shop for any moms wishing to homeschool her kids – and dad too! Let us have a look at what DownloadsbyLilah can do to help you with your home education routine.

Wide Choice of Workbooks

Home schooling is not for everyone and yet it does have its benefits. For example, the lack of travel is a time and cost-saving benefit, and the ability to work in your own time when is convenient – rather than being held to a school’s strict timetable – is also a benefit. However, it can be difficult to keep to a plan, yet with these workbooks things become much easier to manage.

The workbooks cover a variety of levels of teaching and are mainly aimed at the core subjects of mathematics and English. This is important as these two subjects form the central basis of any education program. The worksheets are provided in bundles and will cover the subjects from Grade 1 to Grade 6 in both grammar and mathematics. This gives homeschooling moms a comprehensive education routine to work to.

Carefully Planned Content

The content on the worksheets is carefully chosen to enable a graduated education routine that a child can follow in their own given time. For working moms this is a bonus as the time taken to complete a worksheet is not set in stone. If a child is struggling, they can go back to the worksheet as many times as they wish.

Some children will progress more quickly than others, and this is only natural, and this gives the worksheet method even greater credence. Homeschooling will only work if targets are set and kept, but unlike with regular school those targets do not have to be set and can move when needed. This is another benefit of the home education option.

Get Yours Now

These worksheets are nicely produced, good quality, and cover the curriculum necessary for a good standard of education on grammar, English, and mathematics, and they are far from expensive and will certainly help any mom who is homeschooling a child or children.

We recommend you check out DownloadsbyLilah right now and see how these innovative and helpful worksheets and workbooks can make your life easier and enable your child to achieve the level they are capable of while being home schooled.

 

 

Benefits of STEM Toys For Kids

You have probably heard a lot about STEM. It includes elements of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and is designed to give children a basic understanding of those different subjects. Did you know you can buy stem toys for kids? Even kids as young as toddler age can take advantage of toys with a positive STEM slant.

If you need further convincing that STEM toys are worth investing in, take a look at some of the great benefits of incorporating them into your little one’s playtime.

Encourage Creative Thinking

When kids are young, one thing you want to do more than anything is encouraging them to expand their active imaginations. With toys focused on STEM concepts, even young children are pushed to employ creative thinking that in turn helps them to develop such skills as spatial reasoning, problem-solving and more. The overarching effect will be that your kid’s confidence is also built and will inspire them to keep pushing and learning more.

Great for Increasing Cognitive Skills

STEM toys can also help to enrich and expand your kid’s cognitive skills as they are being developed. This includes critical thinking, problem-solving and logical reasoning. STEM activities involving many of the toys available are less about just memorizing figures and facts and more about thinking about those facts and figures and assessing the evidence to determine the best course of action or solution to a specific problem.

Enhance Fine Motor Skills

Like all good toys should, STEM toys help to build up your child’s fine motor skills. Whether it is messing around with intricately designed puzzles or building with toy blocks and bricks, their hand-eye coordination and overall dexterity will sharpen in time.

Learning is Made Fun

Learning should always be fun. The bonus with STEM toys is that because toys are fun, it helps your children to associate those subjects that can often be difficult and challenging with enjoyment and excitement. You will find that children are more likely to find that math and science provide them with a world of discovery and freedom. Whether it’s when they are learning the most basic mathematics concepts or creating a complicated scientific concept, STEM toys are ideal.

Make it Easy to Enjoy Some Excellent Parent and Child Bonding Time

A lot of parents tend to forget that they have a crucial role to play in their child’s development. There have been lots of studies conducted that prove there is a connection between parents who regularly participate in the education of their children with kids who perform better academically. For some parents, admittedly, it can be a struggle to do this, because we don’t feel we have the skills or knowledge. However, when you invest in some high-quality STEM toys for tots, you have all you need to work with your children on the type of projects and concepts that will benefit them in later life.

Simply put, if you have not yet invested in STEM toys for your children, now’s the time to change that.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Teenage Depression You Need to Look Out For

To most adults, teenagers would appear to have carefree and simple lives. However, the reality is rather different as many teens struggle with similar problems to adults, such as depression. How can you tell when the hormonal blues you may expect a teenager to experience are more and actual depression? There are various signs and symptoms you can look out for and in the following post, we are going to highlight some of the most crucial.

A Deep Sadness

One of the most noticeable signs of depression is sadness. We are not talking about just one day when they feel a little in the dumps. We mean a deep sadness that lasts for longer than 2 weeks. Teens with depression often talk or think about suicide or hurting themselves. Often kids find it hard to talk to their parents. That is why it is a good idea to make friends with your children’s friends.

Weight and Eating Habit Changes

There is a strong correlation between teenagers who have problematic eating habits or weight changes and those who have depression. If you notice sudden and unexplainable changes in your teenager’s eating habits or weight, this could be a sign of depression.

Activity Levels and Sleep Pattern Changes

Teenagers that are suffering from depression are also more likely to have slumps in their activity levels and to be less interested in doing things from one day to next, compared to how they did before.

Just as it can affect the sleep patterns of adults, depression can interfere with the sleep patterns of teenagers. While some teenagers will start to show signs of insomnia, others will spend too much time in bed.

Behavioral and Mood Changes

Other telling signs of teen depression are changes to your child’s behavior and moods. If your once easygoing and well-behaved child starts getting into trouble more or abusing alcohol, it could be a sign that they are depressed.

Teens often go through feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt and this can be exacerbated by depression. They are also more likely to have flare-ups in their mood, flipping from normal and calm moods to tempers.

Drops in Self-Esteem

A knock-on effect of everything we have mentioned so far is that your child’s self-esteem could be badly affected by depression. Although it can be easily overlooked as a rite of passage or just a phase, if your child starts being overly concerned about their looks and appearance or tries to avoid social events or spend too much time getting ready for them, this could be a sign of something more serious. As we noted above, if they feel worthless, guilty, or unlovable, this may drive them to constantly look for reassurance contrary to what they believe.

Withdrawal

Kids go through changes as they grow up – that is part of life. However, if a normally confident and sociable child starts to withdraw and does not want to spend time with people like they did before, this could be a sign of a more serious issue instead of it just being hormonal changes. It could be a sign of teen depression.

What do you do next? Fortunately, knowledge and research of teenage depression as improved over the years and there are various teenage depression treatment options available.

 

Could Gas and Air Make You More Open To Suggestion during labour?

The situation may arise during labour whereby gas & air may be required. Now you may have heard of gas and air (the official name is nitrous oxide) as it’s the most commonly used pain relief during labour in the UK. You will find that friends who talk about their birth experience will have a funny story to tell about the ‘laughing gas’.

Gas and air is a popular pain relief because it is easy to use and once you have stopped taking it, it leaves your body quickly. A lot of new mums do not stay in overnight after taking this form of pain management. But while it helps some people during birth, for others they don’t enjoy the experience (feeling sick or light-headed is a common side effect). For some mums-to-be, they find it a useful tool alongside other forms of pain relief such as moving around the room, hypnosis and massage.

But…

How could gas and air affect my decision making?

The thing about gas and air is that there hasn’t been much research into how it affects the mum-to-be’s ability to make clear decisions. Some studies on the form of pain management have shown mums might be more inclined to agree to ideas and be open to suggestion after gas and air. After all, the nitrous oxide leaves some birthing mothers feeling dazed and sleepy.

And if you are planning to use this form of pain relief during labour, you might not realise how powerful a suggestion can be during birth. It can lead you to make unplanned choices. Of course, I’m not saying suggestion can force you to do something you don’t want to do. But it can certainly affect our decision making and confuse us if it’s said with intention. And ultimately we want to keep our baby safe so we might follow a suggestion to achieve this

So who might make a suggestion? 

Now while health care providers such as doctors and midwives are there to protect and guide us during labour, they can offer suggestions that might cause us to have interventions that we did not research or agree to prior to the birth. And with gas and air in our system, it might sound appealing.

Direct and indirect are two types of suggestions they might make during labour. For instance, a midwife might suggest they break your waters as it’s very easy to do and the contractions will speed up. Without gas and air, you would be able to say clearly this is not what you want unless the baby is in harm’s way. But without a clear mind, this type of language might make you decide to go with this decision.

Also, an indirect comment such as women often decide to have their waters broken if labour slows down to get contractions going can make you think there is something to worry about. Referring to other labour stories could also affect your decision. While it might have worked in some circumstances, it’s always worth thinking about you and your own unique experience. With gas and air, you might not go through the full decision process.

Should I not listen to suggestions?

Of course, I’m not saying all suggestion is bad. I found that some gestures and suggestions during labour did help and guide me on my way to the birth of my baby while using helpful techniques learned from hypnobirthing classes in Surrey. And positive language does often lead a birthing mother to have an enjoyable experience. Compassion and kindness help during labour. A good form of direct suggestion would be that while it’s completely normal your contractions have slowed down, shall we talk about what choices you have now. And an indirect suggestion could also be that while some women choose to ask for further help, other mums choose to wait and some consider their options when contractions slow down. This type of language will help you to make a personal, informed decision.

 

So how do you ensure you aren’t led by suggestions?

 

It’s so important that you are ready to stop and think before going ahead with a suggestion. Take some time to plan how you might react in a particular situation. In my experience, I would stop and think for a few minutes about the decision and how it would affect my birth. Ensure an intervention is your decision, not something that you have been pushed into.

 

If you are going to use gas and air and are faced with a suggestion, do make sure you think about the benefits, risks and alternatives before making your decision. As we say in hypnobirthing, you need to use your BRAIN as a decision-making tool for the birth. And not just you; make sure your birthing partner is aware of what you want during labour. I made sure my partner knew that any decision needed to be discussed in a peaceful, stress-free environment. If you decide to take up a suggestion, it’s worth writing down why so that you are aware of what you are doing and what might happen next.

 

To use gas and air or not to use gas and air?

 

Of course, I see the benefits of using gas during labour. But when it comes to suggestion, if you are taking gas and air and do need to make a decision, it’s worth stopping for a short period so that you have a clear head to reconnect and decide on your birth experience. The two can work together; just make sure you plan ahead if gas and air is part of your journey.

 

I hope this helps you to make a decision on whether gas and air is right for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop the Excuses: Finally, a Family Planner That Works!

Do you find it hard to keep a track of everything you and your family need to do over the course of a week or month? Perhaps all it takes for you to get off track with any schedule you design is one missed appointment or the kids feeling ill and being off school for a day. While you may think this is only a problem you and your own family are experiencing, take heart to understand that this actually happens to everyone.

No one’s perfect and no family made up of imperfect people are ever going to get it 100% right 100% of the time. You need to have reasonable expectations. But, if you are really interested in being more in control of your life and having a schedule that works, the company My Organiza may have the perfect product for you. The Magnetic Fridge Calendar, Chore Chart, and Chalkboard Family Set.

What is the Magnetic Fridge Calendar, Chore Chart, and Chalkboard Set?

This is an incredibly practical and easy-to-use scheduling tool that you’ll wonder how you ever managed without. It is basically a three-in-one planner for your whole family, that can be stuck on your fridge doors along with the magnetic chalk markers, so you never lose them or have no excuses that you or your kids forgot about particular plans, appointments, or anything else.

Let’s look at each component separately.

  • 6 Full Weeks Calendar Planner – a calendar is a must for any busy household where different individuals have different appointments, play dates, study sessions, school, work, socializing, and other activities. Rather than featuring pre-determined time slots, it is just left blank with 31 squares to fill in with all the details of what your family is up to over 6 weeks. In each slot, there is also enough room for everyone and because it comes with five different colored chalk markers, so everyone in the whole family can be assigned a color.
  • Zero Excuse Chore Chart – It is so easy to avoid doing the things you should be doing, whether it’s around the house, in the garden, or something else. Rather than just amble along aimlessly, why not add a touch of accountability to your plans with this chart. It has space for all the chores that need to be completed.
  • Catch The Rest Black Blackboard – For everything else you need to know from a day to day or week to week basis, there is this excellent blackboard. When you have a family, it’s not always so easy to just tick boxes or do things in a specific way. Sometimes things happen, plans change and when things go awry, then you can use the chalkboard to note reminders, messages for members of the family, or even just a quick shopping list as you are looking in the fridge. This is possibly the best dry erase board for fridge door use we have come across.

Summary 

Although it’s true not everything in life goes exactly the way you want it to, especially when you are in a family. However, when you have sufficient plans in place and make use of an effective aid like this magnetic three-in-one time-saving chart, you reduce the chances of things ever completely derailing.

 

Making Book Reports Fun!

Of all the tasks that kids are set providing a book report is one that many find daunting. Yet this doesn’t have to be the case. There are many ways in which teachers can give the children inspiration for their reports, many of which involve them more readily and are surprisingly innovative.

We found a great resource listing some cool ideas that will get the children into their books and give them ideas that they can use in their reports. Let’s talk about the best ways to give kids something interesting to get to grips with!

Inspiration for the Kids

We found a great site called Appletastic learning that is dedicated to sharing creative teaching and book report ideas. After all, the best way to engage kids is to make the mundane enjoyable, and as we’ve mentioned, book reports can be boring. But what if you asked the kids to dress as one of the main characters from the book, to deliver their report as the character itself? That’s just one simple and yet innovative idea that could make things a lot more exciting!

Or you could try one of the suggestions we really liked which is the ‘Paper Bag’ book report. In this, each child is given a small sized paper bag into which they must find 5 items that are relevant to the book or the characters in the book in some way. The next class involves sharing the items with the child explaining how and why they relate to the story or the characters involved.

This is a great way of giving kids the incentive to start thinking about the book more creatively. Yet there’s more, as this very inventive website offers a great deal of options on this and other subjects.

Further Fun Ideas

Another way to get the class more involved in their book reports is to have them construct a diorama of a scene. A cardboard box is a starting point, and the teacher can demonstrate ways of creating 3D depictions of characters and notable scenes. This is a good talking point for a class discussion, and you may want to split the class into teams to create their dioramas.

One other creative suggestion is to ask the children to design a book cover. This can be anything they think relevant to the story involved or the characters within, and is a great way of encouraging them to express themselves in art. These simple ideas are just of few of many that we enjoyed reading at the Appletastic Learning website, and there is plenty of inspiration to create more ideas.

Engaging and Fun

Book reports can be an engaging and fun task when tackled in some of the ways we have mentioned, and in others that are described in addition to these, and we believe that there is a creative element in every child. Why not bring your book reports to life by working with the class on one of these great ideas, and you’ll see how you can interest them further.

 

Why You Should Try the New Pre-K Preschool Games for Kids App

All parents of toddlers want to do their best to help their little ones develop. There’s no doubt about that. Preschool education can help your child to grow and develop, but whether by choice or because of lockdown restrictions you are unable to send them, you may be looking for suitable alternatives they can use at home to get the same experience.

If you find yourself in that situation and are wondering what tools and resources are the best, don’t panic, as there is a brand-new app that has recently been published called Pre-K Preschool Games for Kids, that might just be the thing you need to ensure your child is ready for kindergarten and preschool.

Before we look at the app in greater detail and discuss a great promotional offer the game’s developer has launched, let’s look a little at why games are an important part of education for children.

Why is Play Important for a Toddler?

The app features some great preschool games, but you wonder why play is so important. Well, it is through play that children can develop important skills and characteristics such as their social skills, creativity, emotions, language skills, cognitive abilities, dexterity, physical strength, and imagination.

Play is one of the best ways for children to interact and engage with the world around them. So, although play is undeniably fun, it is doing more than just providing your toddler with entertainment.

Why Choose Pre-K Preschool Games for Kids?

Now that we’ve established that play is an integral part of your child’s learning, why should you give this app a try? It has been designed by educational experts and teachers to encourage children to learn new things efficiently and quickly. It can help you to measure and help improve their development in several areas.

Key skills that your child has the potential to develop and improve while playing the app’s many fun and exciting games include:

  • Cognitive skills
  • Vocabulary
  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Logical thinking
  • Motor Skills
  • Visual Perception

It does this through 32 different categories covering the basics such as small and capital letters, colors, shapes and numbers, and onto more challenging aspects of the world around them and what is in I like vehicles, furniture, toys, food, drink, and animals.

With an amazing 696 vibrantly colored and interactive flashcards and more than 100 game levels, there is so much to keep your child entertained and that will push their skills to the max.

Promotional Offer – Further Incentive to Give it a Try

Now that we’ve looked a little at what the app has to offer if you are still on the fence about whether this is the right app to help with your toddler’s development, there is further incentive to give it a try. There is an exclusive promotional offer running to coincide with its launch that gives you and your children the chance to use and enjoy exploring the game for free, saving $6.99, using the code LOVE4KIDS.

Given what the app includes and how it can help your child’s development during this important time in their life, you literally have nothing to lose. Why not give it a try today!

 

4 Great UK Home Stores for Parents

For parents of young children, shopping is a chore rather than a fun experience.

As such, many parents seek stores from which they can get all their home shopping needs at one point. There are several big-name stores where parents can get this.

However, here are 4 great home stores for parents to enjoy shopping for their home and kids.

Debenhams

Debenhams is one of the leading home stores for parents to shop from. Parents can shop from the comfort of their homes on the Debenhams online store or visit any of their conveniently located stores.

Debenhams stocks a variety of home products. They range from simple mats, assorted home furniture, kitchen appliances, gifts, toys and even clothes for the whole family.

One of the biggest advantages that you have as a parent shopping from Debenhams is their return policy. Debenhams returns policy provides showers with unique ways in which they can return any of the products that they buy and does not suit their needs.

Argos

As a parent, you need a reliable store where you can shop for a myriad of your needs. Argos is one such kind of store.

At Argos, you can upgrade to a new and better cellphone of any brand that you prefer among other electronics. You can also buy DIY equipment for your home such as a lawn mower. You can buy clothes and even toys and playing mats for the children.

At Argos, you can even join a credit scheme where you can receive a credit card for your purchases.

B&M Bargains

Are you a busy parent looking for unique and affordable cleaning products, specialized gardening equipment, outdoor equipment such as a readymade gazebo and even toys?

Then you have your partner at B&M bargains. At this store, there is a vast selection of items for the home that you can buy. As the name of the store suggests, prices in the store are affordable and help you make large savings.

You can also gain loyalty points that you can redeem for your shopping needs when you are low on cash.

Poundland

At Poundland, parents find a friendly store from where they can satisfy all their shopping needs. Parents can buy food for all meals from breakfast to dinner. You can also purchase health and beauty products, toys, party accessories and other outdoor fun products fro your home.

Poundland offers great discounts on all their products. Their physical stores are well laid out and one can navigate quickly around them to find whatever it is one is looking for quickly.

With a variety of products, this is a good home store for the busy parent.

Conclusion

A lot of times, we parents get overwhelmed looking after our little ones and all other responsibilities we hold that we sometimes forget to shop.

With these four stores listed here, we are able to quickly buy what we need from the comforts of our home or office and have it delivered in good condition. It is also easy to return products that we do not like for an exchange or a refund.

 

Crafts to Do with the Kids

If your kids are crafty you can try and develop their creative nature with fun and easy craft ideas. You don’t have to be a crafting specialist to help your kids create cute DIY crafts.

You can even convert your kid’s creative ideas into custom stickers. Did you know that children can communicate what they feel through crafting? Here are three craft ideas you and the kids can try at home using cheap and readily available materials.

Shine in the Dark Jellyfish 

Materials  

  • White yarn
  • Shine in the dark acrylic paint
  • Heavy-duty paper bowls
  • Painting supplies and brushes
  • Ziploc bags
  • A pair of scissors
  • A sharp pencil or skewer

 How to do it 

Paint the bowl both on the inner and outer sides. Use multiple coats of paint to achieve an intense glow.

To make the fingers (tentacles) cut around 12 pieces of yarn and ensure they all measure 36 inches long. Put them in your Ziploc bag with a few splashes of glow paint before sealing the bag.

Press until the yarn is covered with paint. You can add more paint until you achieve your desired tone color. Add some water in the bag if the paint turns out to be too thick and hang the yarn to dry.

Use a sharp pencil or skewer to poke two holes at the center of the bowl. They should be approximately 0.5 inches apart

Cut around 40 inches of length of yarn and pass it through the two holes until both ends are suspended at the bottom of your bowl.

From the internal part of your bowl, drag the yarn to create a small loop. Once your fingers are dry thread them roughly through the center just under the loop.

Twist the bowl, drag the yarn taut, and connect a double knot.

Hold the fingers as a single bunch and fasten a single knot. Your shine in the night jellyfish is now ready. Hang it under a bright light for around thirty minutes before turning off the lights to enjoy the glitter.

Paper Bag Monster Puppets

Materials you’ll need 

  • Paper lunch bag
  • Colored cardstock paper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Scrapbook scissors
  • A pair of scissors
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Circle punches

How to go About it

Paint the front and bottom part of the paper lunch bag with your kid’s favorite color and give it time to dry well.

Let kids use the colored cardstock paper, circle punches, scissors, and markers to draft any monster you can think about.

Allow them to exercise creativity with their designs. Rather than guiding your child, you can practice together to make the whole exercise more fun.

Some of the features kids can include on their monsters include: pointed horns and ears, long eyelashes, huge teeth, and eyeballs, as well as fun patterns to demonstrate a real monster.

Once the activity is completed you can sit back and enjoy watching your kids as they have fun with their crafts

Custom Stickers

When it comes to custom stickers, your child may design crafts and you can have them professionally printed. Custom stickers can range from their favorite cartoon characters, fruits, vegetables, or letters of the alphabet. The kids can use these stickers to decorate their rooms or create themes for their birthday celebrations.

Finally

Crafts are a good way of keeping your children occupied. They are also a great learning opportunity that they can use to enhance their creativity skills.

Tips When Organizing and Ordering Graduation Invites and Announcements

There is not many days more important than graduation day. Whether it’s your graduation from high school, college or university, these are occasions you will want to celebrate with as many of those close to you and who have had a part in your progress. It can feel like a mammoth task, whether you are organizing the invites and announcements for your child or yourself. However, it doesn’t need to feel intimidating or even stressful.

In the following post we want to show just how easy it is to get organized and arrange for invites and announcements to be sent out related to your big day.

When Is Best to Order Graduation Announcements?

This is question that many people have, and it is bit of a judgement call really. In our opinion, you are best ordering graduation announcements and invites around 3 to 4 weeks before you plan on sending them out. This gives you enough time to fill out the envelopes appropriately. It also ensures you have something of a grace period so that if your order is incorrect in anyway, you can still correct it before you need to start sending those announcements and invites out.

Who Should Get Announcements and Who Should Get Invites?

When you are sending invites to your graduation or that of your child, you need to think carefully about who you are going to send them out to. It is always best to invite as many people as you would like to come as possible. Don’t be put off inviting those who live a little further away, as they will appreciate the fact they were remembered, even if they were unable to attend.

If there are any problems with inviting quite as many people as you would like, that is when you should opt for announcements, like no photo graduation announcements, so they are aware it is happening and at least feel part of it all in some small way.

Keep Aside Some As Keepsakes

Given how exquisite graduation announcements and invites are, like the beautiful full color 2 sided graduation invitations are, they are perfect keepsakes. You can keep some for yourself and give some to your parents and even grandparents as mementos. If you plan things out properly, you can even invest in portfolios to hold everything, so it is nicely presented.

Always Round Up the Amount You Need To Avoid Reprinting Costs

Printing companies always receive calls from panicked parents and students who request extra prints beyond the order they have already put through or even received. The cost of reprinting especially when it is a relatively small quantity, is more expensive than the cost of ordering potentially more than you need all at once. Therefore, it is far more economical to round up the amount of invites and announcements you need, so that you have enough to cover the full list of recipients, as there always seems to be new additions that arise further down the line as you remember them.