FAQ : New and Revised

I get on average 15-20 emails a week from readers asking all sorts of questions. From specific books they are looking for to their child’s development to where I got my kitchen island ( Ikea). Here are the most frequently asked questions. A Second installment will follow shortly.

Do you have a supply list?

Yes ! I Just finished my Supply List.  The craft supplies are linked so if you are having a hard time finding it you can find it online! The list is on my menu bar on the far right.

How old is your son? How old was he when you started doing crafts?

My son turned 3 in November 2009, he was 15 months when I started No Time For Flash Cards. He started out doing very basic things/parts of projects. A good rule of thumb is that when kids show interest in an activity to run with it, but expect the time spent to be short . When he first started out he was spending 5 minutes if that on crafts, now at 3 it’s still sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes much much longer.

What is your background?

I have been teaching children in various capacities since 1993, so you can imagine I have done my fair share of crafts, songs, and circle times. I started as a day camp leader at a local recreation centre while in high school. Taught various preschool age and after school programs through university and worked as a reading tutor while pursuing a second degree in elementary education. After graduating with honors I set out to teach, taught PreK for a year and ended up as a director of a large childcare center and preschool . I returned to the classroom after a year realizing pretty quickly that I belong in a classroom not an office.  My son’s birth brought me home and my love of teaching and helping other parents sparked the idea for No Time For Flash Cards.

Since starting NTFFC in early 2008 I have had the opportunity to contribute activities to some wonderful websites , become a staff blogger at FamilyEducation.com and have  written curriculum lesson plans for Itty-Bitty Bookworm a literature based preschool curriculum.

Do you have a daily schedule?

I get asked this a lot and there are probably 10 different ones floating around that I have made to reply to mom’s requests. They are all different because our routine is always changing. I like to provide my son with predictability but I also want him to be flexible. Generally speaking we do 1 mommy directed table activity in the morning ( art project, learning game, sensory play- this normally ends up as a post)  and one mommy suggested activity in the afternoon ( usually this is less structured- and isn’t a post or has been one in the past and I am pulling it back out for more play. sorting, color hunts, play dough) these are often put on the table and if he wants to do it he can but I don’t ask him to join me, I just let him know they are there if he wants to play. The rest of our day is filled with free play, reading books, going on play dates, preschool, errands, library visits, digging for worms and playing with trucks outside and me checking email while I guilty allow him to watch TV.  Meals, when we leave the house daily for school, classes or errands, and sleep times are pretty consistent so he knows generally what to expect but I have no set schedule.

When your baby comes will you still have your blog?

Absolutely! My baby girl is due in late June and I have every intention of continuing on. I love this blog, it’s anything but a burden and while I am sure I will have to have some changes I have no plans for an extended break in posting. I am a pro at nursing and typing thanks to my son so I am confident that not much will change!

Do you have a question? Leave it in the comments and I will help or add it to the next FAQ!

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  1. Sharon says

    Thanks for mentioning some TV time in there. While I am not a fan of using the tv and we never thought we would allow our 2YO to watch, we have found it to be necessary at times just to be able to get a few other things done around the house. I appreciate that you’re not afraid to mention it. I think most of us strive to avoid the tv, but many of us are also afraid to admit we do use it.

    • admin says

      You are welcome! I try to limit TV but of I didn’t mention it it wouldn’t be honest or fair. I am far from the perfect mom, but like all of you I am trying my best and sometimes that means some TV!

  2. Alicia says

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and especially love your letters of the week and the school bus craft! Ironically my little guy was born in Nov 2006 and we are expecting a little girl at the end of June! I’m not very creative (I’m an accountant which says it all!) so thanks for all of the fun ideas or my son would be doing a lot of boring coloring book activities!!

    • admin says

      Congrats Alicia! I know so many moms of boys born in 2006 that are expecting girls this spring and summer- something in the water! You are so welcome if it makes you feel better I am terrible at budgets and numbers. My husband is a banker, loves his financial calculator and has an MBA in finance… I’d fail miserably at anything with spreadsheets!

  3. admin says

    Kristyn- I actually just answered this question via email yesterday. Definitely a FAQ. I will be adding it to the next installment for sure.

    There is different opinions about which to start first. When teaching to read/phonics, lowercase are vital to know, since they are reading and sounding out letters that are 95% lowercase. If you are starting letters early I say go for it any way you want. Ideally teaching both together. My son picked up his letters very early through alphabet books and has been fine doing Upper than lower which is the way most toddlers end up learning them ( through toys/ books). We did upper first because he picked them up via a book with uppercase letters, then started purposefully doing lower when he started showing interest in phonics. Now that he is asking to spell we focus on lower more than upper.

  4. says

    I love reading your blog! I’ve been an email subscriber for a while now. I’ve gotten so many great ideas! My daughter is just a month younger than your son. I also have a 9 month old. I look forward to trying some of your older projects with him when the time comes 🙂

  5. says

    I loved reading the answers to your questions. I’m curious about what you do with all the crafts/art your son makes. I know we can’t keep everything, but some things are just too cute or my daughter is really proud that I hate to throw them away, especially the Letter crafts.

    Do you have a system of keeping vs. purging and how do you store or display the things you do keep?

  6. Josie says

    Do you cook and eat your beans/rice/lentils etc after you play in them?
    I love your blog by the way. I’ve been following it practically since you started and my kids and I love to do your activities. I’ve learned so much from you!

  7. admin says

    Karen – I do keep some things but I am so far from sentimental about crafts, we just make so much. I keep things he plays with, some special projects that remind me of a extra special time together but most get recycled pretty fast. I do have pictures and save all of those for photobooks.

    Josie – I don’t use them to cook after,I do bag them to use them for other crafts or to remake the sensory tub though. Even if it’s run it’s course a few months later it’s brand new again! Thanks for being such a avid reader- I am so so pleased !!

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