13 ACTIVITIES TO CHECK OUT DURING JUNE HOLIDAYS!




8 Essential Skills You Never Learn In School -- Thus Should Teach Your Child

Here are eight vital life skills that children aren’t taught in school:

1. Independence: Teaching children, a little at a time, to be independent, can show them that they can make decisions on their own. Letting them make their own mistakes can teach them valuable lessons they’ll carry with them.

2. Compassion: Compassion is needed to work well with others, to care for other people and to find happiness through making other people happy.

3. Individuality: They need to be taught that we come in all sizes, shapes and colors, and it is perfectly OK to be unique.

4. Welcoming Change: Teaching children that change isn’t something to be afraid of – just something to prepare for – can help them in so many aspects throughout their life.

5. Happiness: Many parents coddle their children in an attempt to keep them happy and safe, but it can make children rely on their parents for their happiness. Teaching a child from an early age that they can be happy on their own, by things like playing, reading and imagining, is a valuable life lesson.

6. Finding Passion: Many people struggle with finding their passion. Helping a child find what he or she is passionate about by allowing them to try a bunch of different things can help them find a source of lifelong internal happiness and motivation. Encourage the adventure, but let children decide on their own, where they find passion.

7. Asking questions: Teaching children that asking questions is a good thing, can encourage their curiosity and help them continue to seek knowledge in different aspects of life.

8. Solving problems: Constantly solving a child’s problems for them won’t help them as they grow. They need to know that they can solve problems on their own. New skills, a new environment, a new job – they’re all just problems to be solved. Modeling problem solving and allowing children to come up with their solution ideas can help them develop confidence and let them know that whatever comes their way, they are capable of handling it.

8 Healthy Vegetables That Can Sometimes Harm You

1. If you have digestive upset: An unidentified substance in tomatoes and tomato-based products can cause acid reflux. People with digestive upset could try eliminating tomatoes for two or three weeks to see if things feel better.

2. If you take a blood-thinning drug such as warfarin (Coumadin): It’s important to maintain steady blood levels of vitamin K (e.g. kale, spinach, turnip greens) —sudden increases can lessen the effects of the drug.

3. If you have a history of kidney stones: Limit oxalate-rich foods, such as rhubard, spinach, beets, and beet greens.

4. If you have gout: Watch your asparagus intake.

5. If you have certain allergies: Eating such foods as artichokes may provoke an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to ragweed allergens. People sensitive to latex may have an allergic reaction to avocados. Many people sensitive to aspirin may suffer an allergic reaction to radishes, which contain salicylates, compounds similar to the drugs’ active ingredients.

6. If you have an inflammatory GI disorder: Avoid or minimize your intake of cabbage, which contains bacteria that live naturally in the intestinal tract and cause gas and bloating.

7. If you're watching your weight: Be picky about eggplant-based dishes. Eggplants’ spongy texture soaks up fat. In fact, deep-fried eggplants soak up four times as much fat as French-fried potatoes.

8. If you have an underactive thyroid: Turnips contain two goitrogenic substances, progoitrin and gluconasturtin, which can interfere with the thyroid gland’s ability to make its hormones.

Navigating Your Identity as a Parent and an Educator

Tips for Parent-Educators: These are the top things I wish someone had said to me as I offered my first born to his first school.

1. Be a parent, first and foremost. That's what your kid needs most from you.
2. Proactively build a relationship with your child's teacher at the beginning of the year. Don't wait until there's a problem to sit down with them.
3. If a teacher doesn't ask about your child's strengths and interests, share those.
4. Also share anything you think the teacher should know about your kid that would help them be effective, such as that your kid is an introvert and won't often participate in whole-class discussions. (Again, hopefully they ask this question, but if not, share it.)
5. If your child complains about being bored, class being too hard, not being treated well by peers or adults, listen to your child. Don't hope it'll get better. Go to school and talk to people. Observe classes.
6. Don't be afraid of talking to the principal. Don't be afraid of making requests. You can do this kindly and thoughtfully, but your job, again, is to advocate for your kid.

My Parenting Style: Survivalist

To me, the definition is simple. While most of the time I try to raise my kids in a nurturing, educationally rich, nutritiously sound environment, sometimes, the s*@# just hits the fan (or, more likely, my most expensive rug). And when temper tantrums, fevers, or general fussiness is the order of the day, all bets are off . . . and the cartoons come on. And I am totally, 100 percent OK with that. So how do you become a survivalist mom? Here's my handy guide to my "whatever gets you through the day" philosophy.

10 Things That Are Impossible To Do After You Have Kids

There are some things I used to do before I had kids that are impossible now that I have three. Remember the things you used to dare try because you had silence, the time, and the patience — back when these things weren’t considered luxuries like they are to so many of us now because we have little hellions running around ruining everything they touch? Here is a list of 10 things that are ill-advised once you start breeding. Believe me, I have tried them all.

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

We've somehow decided that little kids can't understand these complex topics, or we want to delay exposing them to injustices as long as possible (even though not all children have the luxury of being shielded from injustice).

However, young children have a keen awareness of and passion for fairness. They demand right over wrong, just over unjust. And they notice differences without apology or discomfort.

Racial identity and attitudes begin to develop in children at a young age. Two- and three-year-olds become aware of the differences between boys and girls, may begin noticing obvious physical disabilities, become curious about skin color and hair color/texture, and may also be aware of ethnic identity.

5 Elementary Strategies

1. Use children's literature: There's a wealth of children's books (check out here: http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/books-matter/#.VwQW3_krLcs) that can be read aloud and independently to approach the topic of bias, diversity, and social justice.

2. Use the news media: Find topics and news stories that bring forth these themes and discuss them in the classroom -- like the nine-year-old boy who was banned from bringing his My Little Pony backpack to school because it was the source of bullying.

3. Teach anti-bias lessons: Social and emotional skill development lessons are the foundation, and then teachers can move to lessons on identity, differences, bias, and how bias and bullying can be addressed individually and institutionally.

4. Give familiar examples.
Take advantage of children's interest in books, TV shows, toys, and video games, and use them as opportunities to explore diversity, bias, and social justice.

5. Explore solutions: Re-think the concept of "helping others" to include discussions about the inequities that contribute to the problem and consider actions that can address it. For example, while it's useful to provide food to homeless people, we want to deepen the conversation to convey a social justice perspective and a wider lens with children. Therefore, discuss the stigma and stereotypes of homeless people, learn about unfair housing policies, and reflect on solutions that will reverse the problem in a lasting way and encourage students to take action.

5-INGREDIENT MAGICAL FUDGESICLES

These are so lusciously creamy, sinfully rich-tasting – the kind of thing you put in your mouth and kind of can’t believe what’s happening. Vegan, almost raw, and full of whole food ingredients, they are also downright filling!

5-Ingredient Vegan Magical Fudgesicles
Makes 4 cups / 1 Liter / 10 fudgesicles
Ingredients:
1) ½ cup / 75g unroasted, unsalted cashews
2) 1 14-oz can / 400ml full-fat coconut milk
3) 1 large, ripe avocado
4) 1 cup / 250g pitted, packed soft dates
5) ½ cup / 55g raw cacao powder (cocoa powder will also work)

Optional add-ins:
1) a few pinches sea salt
2) vanilla (seeds from 1 pod, powder, or extract)
3) a few drops of food-grade essential oils (peppermint, orange, almond etc.)
4) finely diced fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango etc.)
5) a pinch of cayenne pepper
6) espresso powder
7) finely chopped toasted nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios etc.)

Optional toppings:
1) melted raw chocolate (recipe here) or melted dark chocolate
2) cacao nibs
3) finely chopped toasted nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios etc.)
4) dried fruit (I used raspberry on the ones pictured)
5) citrus zest (lemon, orange, lime)

Directions:
1. Place cashews in lightly salted water and let soak for 4-8 hours (overnight is fine).

2. Drain the cashews and rinse well. Add to a blender (a high-speed blender is highly recommended) with the remaining ingredients (and any flavourings, if using) and blend on high until as smooth as possible. Add water only if necessary – you want to mixture to remain quite thick.

3. Spoon mixture in popsicle molds. Firmly knock the molds on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Insert a popsicle stick into each mold and place in the freezer until set – at least 6 hours. To remove popsicles, run the mold under hot water until you can easily pull a fudgesicle out.

4. If you want to decorate your fudgesicles, dip or drizzle them with melted chocolate and sprinkle with desired toppings. Eat immediately, or place back in the freezer to set until ready to enjoy.

Work-Life Balance: It's Possible

Good work-life balance - what does it really look like?

Its contours are vague, definitions different.

"What constitutes a healthy work-life balance will vary substantially between individuals and families. Some people may be able to tolerate more demanding working conditions than others," says Dr Jonathan Ramsay, a lecturer at the Human Resource Management Programme at SIM University.



He offers a working definition.

"For most parents with office jobs - especially those with young children - a work-life balance would involve being able to spend the majority of their evenings and weekends with their children," he says.

10 Simple Tips To Boost Your Toddler’s Memory

The first few years of a child’s life are crucial for their cognitive development, also known as the formative years, whereby neural connections are being made and the brain is “wired”. The first 3 years of life have been identified by neuroscientists and developmental psychologists as important for domains such as early language and joint attention. The brain has many functions and interestingly, studies have shown that “attention control” and “working memory” are two faculties that largely develop after birth. The ability to choose the right information to focus on, and thereafter retain it, is important for learning.