Coping With Back To School

Written by lyricsmama on August 17, 2015 – 1:16 PM -

The new school year is on the horizon, or maybe your kids have already started, either way it can be a fun but trying time for parents and kids alike. That can be especially true if you have a child who struggles with school, attention, and focus, amongst other behavioral challenges. It’s never easy getting kids transitioned into a new school setting. Been there, done that! Understanding and advocating for our children is so important.

understood pic

One in five children struggle with issues related to reading, math, writing, focus, and organization, yet many children with learning and attention issues do not have a diagnosis. The adults in their lives often have a hard time understanding their issues due to misconceptions and a lack of information and resources. As a result, children with learning and attention issues often face both academic and social challenges. Sometimes returning to school after a long summer break can bring out some pretty tough emotions for kids.

If you are sitting there reading this, stressed out and feeling alone, don’t be. You are definitely not alone. There are so many others who have been sitting right where you are. Understood is an organization that was created by a coalition of 15 nonprofits, and its content and tools were informed by a survey of more than 2,200 parents of children with learning and attention issues. Understood offers free daily access to experts through chats and webinars, a safe online community that encourages parents to reach out to and learn from each other and a suite of specially designed, first-of-their-kind tools that will help you prepare your child for back to school and cope with everything that comes along with it.

Understood provides parents with clear explanations about learning and attention issues. The resources they provide will give you advice on how to help your child cope with those issues when returning to school and throughout the school year. It offers practical advice for parents on everything from how to partner with their child’s teachers, Back to School preparation, and help with homework to how to cope with the anxiety that comes with back to school. Here are some of the tools that you can utilize to discover what Understood has to offer:

  • Back to School Preparedness Countdown – Start the new school year off right! There’s a lot going on—and a lot to keep track of. Download this one-month planner, which has daily tips to get your child with learning and attention issues ready for going back to school.
  • General School and Learning Section – Read through each section to see what we have to offer. Complete your profile and let us show you how we can help.
  • How to Help a Child Cope with School Anxiety – My son is anxious about going back to school, and the closer we get to the first day back, the worse it gets. He’s been acting out and throwing tantrums, saying he refuses to go. What can I do?
  • Working With Your Child’s School – Parents often don’t want to bother teachers in September and October. But talking early in the school year can set the stage for strong communication throughout the year. Here are topics that can get the dialogue going.
  • How to be an Effective Advocate for Your Child – As a parent, you are your child’s best education advocate—until he’s old enough and informed enough to speak up for himself. You know your child’s strengths and challenges, and you can help identify and push for the resources your child needs to succeed. Here are some tips to help you advocate for your child at school.

Maybe you are a parent of a struggling child, or even a friend or family member who is watching the struggle from afar. Understood has resources for everyone to learn how to help these kiddos face these challenges together. The You & Your Family section helps families with practical solutions and advice for social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. This may give you more opportunity to prepare them for the coming school year, as well as engaging in fun family activities.

Children, family and education are such an important part of life. Sometimes you have to take the hard with the easy, the bad with the good. If you know someone who is struggling, be it a parent or a child; encourage them to check out Understood. They may find exactly the help and inspiration that they need!

Disclosure: I am sharing this as part of a Bloggin’ Mamas Social Good Campaign conducted in conjunction with Element Associates. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

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Back To School With SanDisk and Best Buy! #SanDisk

Written by lyricsmama on August 10, 2015 – 10:18 AM -

Ah yes, it’s that time of year again…. Back to school! Some parents are thrilled, me not so much, I love the summer, I love traveling in the summer, and back to school means it’s all over …. But….The kiddos go back to school, so I guess that’s a plus. Besides summer coming to an end, the other bummer is back to school shopping… It’s so expensive these days! The kids need so many more things than we ever did for school, and that includes new technology.

It’s a must have for most kids now, at least in one form or another. Tablets, laptops, headphones, flash drives and memory cards, these are the things you’ll see on some of your class supply lists. Best Buy and SanDisk want to make your shopping easier and affordable by providing you with the products that your kids will need all in one place with the experts who can help you. Best Buy being the place you can get a memory card to support safe storage for all of your devices.  Visit the site to learn what card is right for you.

SanDisk

SanDisk offers a wide range of products including:

– SanDisk for Digital Imaging: SanDisk products, from professional-grade camera memory to point-and-shoot SD cards to microSD cards, deliver industry-leading performance and reliability. SanDisk SD cards are also designed to meet the security, capacity, performance, and environmental requirements of next generation devices—because your stories span generations and your memory solutions should too.

o   Capture more fast action , Record more 4K Ultra HD and Full HD video, AND Transfer speeds up to 60MB/s FOR SMARTPHONES, TABLETS AND ACTION CAMERAS

o   Over 10X faster than ordinary cards3 AND Transfer speeds up to 80MB/s FOR DSLR CAMERAS AND CAMCORDERS

– SanDisk microSD card: Add one to your smartphone or tablet, and you can carry more of the media and apps you love. Thin and light computing devices, tablets, and smartphones demand the compact form factors of SanDisk microSD cards.

– Mobile devices: They help you share stories every day, no matter where you go. Make sure their performance can keep up. SanDisk microSD™ cards give your smartphone or tablet a more responsive camera function and smoother media playback. Whether you want more storage for your phone or a card that makes it easy to shoot high resolution video on the go, you can choose the way you want to add fast, reliable data storage with capacity options from 4GB to 200GB.

o   USB FOR IPHONE AND IPAD  ALLOWS FOR Easy transfer between iPhone, iPad, and computers AND Frees up iPhone and iPad memory with both lightning and USB connectors

o   Dual USB for ANDROID devices ALLOWS FOR Easy transfer between Android™ device and computers AND Frees up space for photos, videos, music and more

SandiskMicroSDBack to school means the kids taking their own devices, to do their own things. From taking photos, taking notes, and using their calendars on their phones, technology isn’t something we can ignore anymore when it comes to education. The SanDisk microSD card allows them to keep their videos, photos and more in their devices to carry all of their media with them with more space added to their devices. MicroSD cards come with storage capacity from 4GB – 200GB.Sandisk1

If they’re working on a project at school that they want to continue to work on at home, SanDisk memory devices allow that with their easy transfer capabilities using Lightening and USB connectors making it easy to use and transfer your items no matter what device you have.

Best Buy is the one stop shop for all of your back to school techy needs for you and your kids. Visit your local store today, or make your purchase easily online for free pick up or delivery.

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
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Easing Back-to-School Jitters

Written by lyricsmama on August 13, 2014 – 9:49 AM -

back-to-school

School bells are ringing and kids are everywhere. As you drive slowly through school zones, you can see and feel the excitement in the air. Kids are walking to school, getting out of buses, and being dropped off on the curb. Some of them look excited and are laughing, while others look confused, withdrawn and afraid. Parents have a powerful influence over their child no matter how old their child is in regards to their school-year success. Easing back-to-school jitters is an important step that parents should prepare for and encourage their child to prepare for as well.

School jitters don’t begin the first day of school. Most likely, they were going on during the last third of the summer. Sometimes parents are so busy with work and vacations that many forget to look for the signs. Did your child act more moody, restless, fatigued or erratic? Many kids have these feelings and adjust fine after school has started, but 15% do not. These 15% may have difficulty adjusting to the school year, and may require parental interventions to help them get on track.

How can you, as a parent, help your child adjust, so they feel confident and capable to handle the requirements for their grade level?

Begin by talking to your child and listening. Ask them how they feel about the new school year and if they are nervous about any particular aspect. If they tell you their fears, DO NOT try to talk them out of it. Listen and validate how they feel by telling them you can understand how their fears would be worrisome. Then help them write down alternatives they can act on if their fear comes true. For example: if your child is afraid they won’t have anyone to sit by during lunch, then write down three actions they could take. In this particular example, they could choose to sit with someone or organize a pizza party at their house to meet more kids prior to school beginning. This would help them break the ice in the comfort of their own home. Another option may be to have one friend they can call the night before school begins and make plans with that person to eat with them during lunch.

Do not ignore signs of distress. If sadness, anxiety, crying or anorexia goes on longer than two weeks, it isn’t a stage…it is a problem. Most problems that bring kids to counseling were not serious when they first began. They were denied until they became serious.

Plan with your child what supplies they need prior to school. Do they need a desk, computer or quiet area for schoolwork?

If your child is going away to school, they will be more secure if the structure of their room is complete. Kids away from home do better when they like their room and feel secure there. The same is true for your child at home. Everyone does better when they have their own space to work.

Encourage your child to set healthy expectations. It takes time to get into the groove of a new school year. This is true whether you are in college or grade school. After a short time of adjustment, you can raise your expectations as you have more experience to draw from in regards to what is expected.

If your child is going away to school, stay connected to them, but not intrusive. Let them know you are there and they have a secure home base. Be available, but give them space to work out their problems without intervening unless necessary.

If you notice your child is struggling and not able to cope, begin to talk to your child about visiting a counselor. Many times children do want help, but are afraid to ask. If parents talk to their children and reassure them that a counselor will be helpful, most children can talk to a counselor in regards to what they are feeling and how to better handle their concerns.

Here’s to a happy, healthy new school year.

Guest Article by Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at www.StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at www.maryjorapini.com.

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School Is Back In Session, Time To Shop For Homecoming Dresses!

Written by lyricsmama on August 29, 2013 – 3:29 AM -

The kids are back in school, and if you have a teen, you know that means that soon they’ll be looking for the perfect dress for homecoming.

Instead of walking the mall for hours, driving around the city, why not do some research online first to find the perfect dress? Homecoming is one of the most important dances of the year for a high school student, and you also know how picky they can be, so why waste your time, or hers traveling around when you can stay in the comfort of your own home and have her look for dresses on her own time right on her computer.

Homecoming dresses can be so much fun to shop for, and so time consuming, and argumentative. DressFirst has some amazing choices on their site, ones I’m sure both you and her can agree on.

Check just some of the choices below, maybe she’d like a A-Line/Princess Sweetheart Asymmetrical Chiffon Homecoming Dress

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Or a A-Line/Princess Scoop Neck Knee-Length Chiffon Tulle

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One of my favorites is the A-Line/Princess Sweetheart Short/Mini Taffeta Tulle Homecoming …

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There’s so many dresses and different styles to choose from, something for any girl out there, and I’m sure, shopping online will save you both the headache from traveling to multiple stores before she finds her perfect dress that you can both agree on.  Make DressFirst.com your first stop when shopping for your next dress.

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10 Tips: Back to School Resolutions for Parents

Written by lyricsmama on August 5, 2013 – 11:15 AM -

Back to school resolutions

Each new school year is a chance for children to start fresh and establish new routines.  The same is true for parents, who play a huge role in a child’s education.   As you send your children back to school this year, consider making a few resolutions of your own to make this a successful academic year.  Most importantly, share the list with your child to help set expectations for both of you.

Education expert Renee Thompson, Kiddie Academy, offers the following thought starters for resolutions parents may wish to make, along with the reason why each is important.

Parents’ Back to School Resolutions:

1.      I will give you a break after school if you need it before asking you to start homework.

Why: some children can jump right into homework and others are more focused after having some time to unwind.  See what works best for your child.

2.      I will stay in touch with your teachers throughout the year.

Why: Communication is the key to early detection of potential problems.  If your child is struggling, an open line of communication with the teacher will help in resolving the issue.

3.      I will ask for positive feedback from your teachers.

Why: We’re all busy, including teachers, meaning that sometimes parents only hear when there is a problem.  That’s not really fair to your kids or to you – if you’re going to endure the bad stuff, you both deserve to hear the good stuff, too.

4.      I will offer guidance and assistance, but not a full solution, when you encounter a challenge.

Why: Children need to develop problem-solving skills.  If their parents are constantly “fixing” things, the child will never learn to negotiate the inevitable bumps in the road.

5.      I will enforce a consistent bed time, even if you fight me on it.

Why: Getting a good night’s sleep will allow your child to start the school day refreshed and ready to learn.

6.      I will provide a healthy, nutritious breakfast.

Why: Just like sleep, your body and your brain need fuel to function at their highest level.

7.      I will stock up on school supplies so you’ll have what you need.

Why: Nobody wants to run out of paper or glue when finishing a project.  Stock up in the fall, when prices are low, and keep the supplies in an easy-to-access location.  Consider making a Homework Bin – you can find directions here.

8.      I will listen to your opinions on Back To School fashion choices, and do my best to accommodate your requests — within reason.

Why:  It’s important to show your child that you respect and value their opinions, even if you don’t agree with them.  You can still have the final say; however, listening is key.

9.      I will document your FIRST day of school with a photo every year.  I will be discreet and take the photo at home.  I will not follow you to school or ride the bus to get candid shots.

Why: One day, your child will want to look back and remember how they looked as they grew up.  You can save the memories for them until they’re old enough to appreciate them.

10.      I will take a picture of you on your LAST day of school each year.

Why: It’s amazing how much kids grow over the course of a school year.  Take a photo and compare it to the first day of school picture.   Sharing the photos with your child is the perfect opportunity to review the year’s accomplishments.

To download a PDF list of Back to School Resolutions, with space to add your own ideas, visit the Kiddie Academy Family Essentials blog at kafamilyessentials.com.

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