Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dear Mom Squad

The Mom Squad is gearing up for the summer transition: kids HOME from school all day! We received an e-mail from one fellow mom who needs some tips on how to keep the mind sharp over those lazy days of summer...

Like a lot of other Mom's, my child will be home from school during Summer break. He is 8 years old (going into 3rd grade) and is still having a little bit of a challenge with reading and his handwriting. He does well in math, but would like to keep that skill strong as the Summer goes by.

I'd like to know if any of you have some good suggestions for activities, workbooks or websites that we could check out for him to try over the Summer. I'd like him to work on strengthening these skills (or at the very least not losing any ground). Summer school is not an option as his grades were high enough so he was not required to go. To send him to any structured program would be an expense that we just can't afford right now. I know money should be no object when it comes to my child's education - but, in reality it is. Any suggestions? Ideas?

So far, we're looking at participating at a Summer reading program at the local library. Any other ideas - especially website suggestions, would be great. He loves to use the computer. But there are so many sites I'm not sure which ones are good.

Have no fear, the Mom Squad is here!!
Susan says:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis sounds familiar! My daughter is barely passing Kindergarten and will be going to summer school! I have lined up a private tutor for her as well this summer. If you check with teachers at school, they will often do this on the side for extra money. Also, if you go onto www.superduperinc.com, this is a website to order age appropriate learning books. Also, at Target, they sell workbooks to do at home. I have done this with my older boys and they seem to enjoy it. There are also computer programs out to use. Reader Rabbit has been a good one for us. We also set 30 minutes aside each day in the summer to read every day. This is my selfish way to get a little time for myself!! Let him see you and your husband read. Being an example is good too!!
Darlene recommends:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket For years we were homeschoolers and before making the choice, we reviewed several curriculum's and learning aids. The one we chose because we found it not only comfortable and fun for the children but also for me as the teacher was the Alpha Omega Lifepac. These packages I still utilize during summer though Micah now attends a Christian school. Ask the Listeners to tour the website completely for helpful hints and to see the other packages they offer but Lifepac is our favorite. You select the Grade and Subject and you will receive workbooks for your child to work through and the answer key/teacher's guide for the parent.


Also, they may want to input http://www.homeschool.com/ for a wider range of ideas and curriculum.

They can utilize the Internet or Yellow Pages for local Teacher Supply Stores and actually go to see what they have so they can make purchases right on the spot. They have some magnificent learning tools, workbooks, CD's and Tapes for children that are more audio, visual or hands-on learners. Which brings me to another bit of information which I share last but it is definitely not least.

Find out first what learning style works best for your child, and cator to that style. I think this is the best thing I learned as a homeschool Mom.
Hope that helps! To add tips or contribute, e-mail the Mom Squad! TheMomSquad@955thefish.com

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Listener tip!!

I have just found a great product that the mom squad should try. Its WINDEX OUTDOOR... this stuff is used with a garden hose and used on the window's of your house. I loved this product the windows didn't have to be paper towel dried.

Thanks for the suggestion!! We'll have to try it to keep our window's sparkling clean.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Recipe of the Week: Memorial Day!

Easy Baked Chicken

Marinate Chicken in the following:

Equal Parts:

Sugar, Ketchup, Soy Sauce

Marinate chicken for about 1/2 hr or overnight, Grill and serve with your favorite sides.

This is a great, tasty, and easy chicken for a picnic!

-From Susan in Richfield

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Recipe of the Week

Rice Casserole
This is an easy dish to prepare, it makes a lot and you can freeze it.

6 3/4 cups water
3 packages dry chicken noodle soup (Mrs. Grass is our favorite)
2 1/2 cups rice - not instant
1 Green Pepper chopped
1 Onion chopped
1 bunch Celery chopped
2 1lb packages of bulk sausage (Jimmy Dean works really well)

Bring the water to boil, add the soup mix and rice. Cover and simmer 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry sausage in skillet, remove the meat from the pan. Using the grease from the sausage, add the veggies to the skillet and cook until tender.
Mix the meat and vegetables with the finished rice mixture.

You are ready to go...ENJOY
-From Paula

Honoring Parents

Many parents are both Mom and Dad to their children. When occasions like Mother's Day and Father's Day approach, the children may want to honor that parent on both days. Sometimes it is difficult for a child to surprise their parent and may require assistance from you, a grownup relative, neighbor or friend. Please be prayerful for these families and mindful of their circumstances and as God leads, offer them your assistance.

Here are a few gift ideas, that with a little help from you, can be easy and fun for children to present to their parent:

Coupon booklets - Either homemade coupons for chores and services the parent can redeem with the child that would bring comfort and a smile, i.e massage coupons, hugs and kisses coupons, sandwich/snack coupons, dusting, sweeping, etc., or the child can cut actual coupons out of newspapers and magazines to help their parent save money when they shop.

Goodie Bags - Many merchants offer buy one get one free specials, free perfume/cologne samples and free gift with purchase of a product. Again, as you shop, gather little extras and offer them to children of single parent households so they can make a Goodie Bag for their parent.

Letter of Love - Help the child to gather their thoughts about all of the wonderful things their parent does for them and others or special things they love about their parent. Then put the thoughts on paper. The child may prefer to draw a picture or a series of pictures indicating how they feel about their parent.

Movie Pass - The next time you go to the movies, if you can afford it, purchase a movie pass or two for a single parent family and have the child offer it to their parent on a special occasion.

Nature Walk - Help a child to make a little picnic lunch and encourage them to ask their parent to take a nature walk. You may want to give the parent a heads up on this one. The parent can even go to the library or surf the Internet ahead of time to get information about nature that they can share. Encourage the parent to point out different kinds of trees, birds, butterflys and flowers. Opening the lines of communication between parent and child is a priceless gift.

Seeds - Packets of seeds are very inexpensive and make great gifts. A child and parent can make a memory, planting together and the gift keeps giving as the seeds sprout.

Time of Sharing - Children have so many special places and little things that they do that a parent may not know about. Encourage a child to share some of those special things with their parent. There might be a special area of their playground at school that they enjoy and would enjoy playing with their parent in that special area. They may have a little collection of rocks stashed away in a drawer or a special song that they like to sing. Ask them questions like, What's your favorite color, animal, game, etc. then help them to make a little list of questions like that to ask their parent. This may give the parent and child a chance to get to know each other a little deeper and the time alone in a special place will make for a wonderful memory.
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-From Darlene