How To Prepare Your Kids For School From The Inside Out #QuakerUp

quaker up

School supplies, new shoes, maybe a new backpack too. These things are important but this post about being prepared for school is about being prepared on the inside. As a paid Quaker For Classrooms Ambassador I have been sharing ways to get your kids ready for school as well as my own teacher appreciation story.  My own children go back next week and these are my tried and true steps to making sure they are ready on the inside for the first day of school.

1. Everything is easier with a good night’s sleep.

A good night’s sleep is imperative for kids who tend to worry. It can also be a really really hard thing to get when you are a natural worrier. A calming bedtime routine with ample time to wind down is a must.  I find that laying down in the dark after reading and just chatting with my son is the magic recipe for him to open up and tell me what he’s worried about. I don’t always have the answers but worries usually lose a lot of their power once they are spoken out loud, even if no solution is offered up.  For children aged 5-12 a full night of sleep is between 10-11 hours. While some need more very few typically developing children need less. If your child is expressing school anxiety while you try to address more specific causes, try adding in some more shut eye so whatever else is troubling them they are better prepared to deal with it.

 

 2. Hungry = Hangry

A full belly isn’t just about physical energy. Have you ever noticed how angry you can be when you are hungry? Distracted, emotional, impatient… and that’s just me! Kids need to have a full belly to handle all the challenges both emotional and intellectual at school. There is not a ton parents can really control ( even if we may want to) after we send our kids off to school but we can make sure they are ready and a nutritious breakfast is something wee can do. For parents that can’t many times teachers step in.quakerup

Quaker and Adopt A Classroom is trying to change that. I’m inviting you to join Quaker in supporting teachers nationwide. From July 7 to Sept. 30, purchase specially -marked Quaker products and enter the unique package codes online at www.QuakerUpForClassrooms.com. For every code entered online, Quaker will donate $1 to AdoptAClassroom.org up to $250,000 (minimum donation of $150,000) to help fuel classrooms across the country. Plus, you’ll get a coupon for $1 off Quaker products. Learn more at www.QuakerUpForClassrooms.com.

When children are able to focus on the task at hand they are less likely to end up in situations that might create new worries.

3. Get A Sneak Peek

kindergarten

Keeping children (especially those who worry) in the loop about what they are expected to do is really important.  If you have a meet and greet do not skip it. Even if you can’t go and have to send a babysitter or grandparent for those kids that worry about the unknown these lower pressure events are perfect. If you do go take a bunch of pictures. You can make it seem like you are super awesome scrapbooker who documents everything when in reality those pictures are to pour over for the next few days to prepare your child who needs that extra prep. The 5 photos I grabbed of my son’s kindergarten class during the open house really helped him feel ready to walk in the doors a few days later.

I love this post from Modern Parents Messy Kids on preparing a child for preschool. They use pictures as well!

4. Practice Your Morning Routine.

Even a well fed, well rested, and generally chill kid can be completely thrown off by ” Oh my gosh we are late, shoes, get your shoes, where are your shoes? What? You have gym today? Crap where are your socks, we are going to be late just put them on on the bus…”

Know how long it will take you to get out that door  and practice it. Everyone will be calmer because of it.

out the door

5. Connect Before School

If you are able to make friendship connections before school starts that is ideal, though not always possible. Play dates early on in the school year can help insecure children feel like that classroom is a more friendly place.

6. Read About School.

I would be completely inauthentic if I didn’t include the advice to use books as tools to prepare and break the ice about worries. Here is a list of books about school for you to check out!

 

As stated above I was compensated by Quaker for my role as a classroom ambassador. All the advice is just from me.

Be Prepared For School Every Day – Super Simple Drop Zone

daily drop zone

This post is sponsored by Quaker.

Being prepared for school means getting enough sleep, having a full belly, homework in their folders, permission slips signed, and a lunch box that actually makes it on to the bus!

I can honestly say that there was more than a few days when last year when I dropped the ball on one or two of these. I want to teach my children responsibility but I also want to set them up for success. Creating this drop zone is a great way to stay organized and teach my kids responsibility too.

Sleep and food are not a problem for us but going to school hungry is a real issue for many kids. Last week I shared that as a Quaker Classroom Ambassador, I’m inviting you to join Quaker in supporting teachers nationwide. From July 7 to Sept. 30, purchase specially -marked Quaker products and enter the unique package codes online at www.QuakerUpForClassrooms.com. For every code entered online, Quaker will donate $1 to AdoptAClassroom.org up to $250,000 (minimum donation of $150,000) to help fuel classrooms across the country. Plus, you’ll get a coupon for $1 off Quaker products. Learn more at www.QuakerUpForClassrooms.com.

Signed permission slips, keeping homework organized, and making sure lunch boxes are on the bus with my son are not always givens. His bus comes before 7:30am can you blame me? It’s going to be different this year. I prepped this insanely simple drop zone and we will use it too!

super simple drop zone

There are 3 simple parts to our drop zone :

1. Hook for backpacks. They come home and go here- they stay here until they are put back on to go out the door the next day.

2. Bin for lunchboxes. After I make lunches in the morning they go in here. No more ” Did you leave it in the fridge? Is it on the counter?” it’s in the red bin. After school it goes back in there and I empty the scraps and pop the cold pack back in the freezer. Kids don’t touch it until it’s time to dash out the door.

3. Tray for homework. All notices and homework folders go in here. I will look through them and know what needs to be done.

I will never be a super organized person, it’s just not who I am, but a little help goes a long way!

quaker up sweep

SWEEPSTAKES

Quaker wants to help one lucky winner with a super fun get ready for the school year with a rad gift pack. The gift pack will feature a variety of back-to-school items and Quaker products, including:

  • An LED Light-up Alarm Clock featuring a color-changing display, dual alarm clock perfect for busy families and music player compatible with any music-playing device
  •  A Travel Oatmeal Bowl & Spoon Set for breakfast on-the-go
  • A Collapsible Lunch Container ideal for packing school snacks and lunches in one
  • A $25 Visa gift card to create your very own teacher appreciation gifts
  • A variety of specially-marked AdoptAClassroom.org Quaker products, including Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Life Cereal and Quaker Oatmeal Squares

Total Sweepstakes value is approximately $92.00

Quaker is providing the prizes for this program at no cost to me. This program is not administered or sponsored by Quaker or its affiliates, but solely by No Time For Flash Cards.

 

How to enter :

Comment on THIS post with your own teacher appreciation story. You MUST include the hashtags:  #QuakerUp  #SweepsEntry  ( hint copy and paste them in now! )

Fine Print :

This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must leave a comment on this post with your own teacher appreciation story and include the hashtags #QuakerUp and  #SweepsEntry . 1 winning entrant will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Saturday August 30th 2014 at 8:00pm PST. The winner will receive one Gift Pack detailed above. The approx. value is $92.00 After the winner is notified he or she has 72 hours to respond with their mailing address to ship their prize package to,or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

 

Teachers Feed Much More Than Minds #QuakerUp

1983 Allie School Pic2Do you have a favorite teacher?

I do. Her name was Madame Obadia. That’s us in 1983.

She is the reason I studied education and became a teacher.The gift she gave me is what I try to pass on to every student I have. She made me feel safe at school, she made me feel loved at school, and she made me want to come back the next day.

That wasn’t always the case.

One day Madame Obadia was gone and I blacked out in class. The teacher who was there did not believe me. That set me off. The next day I flat out refused to go to school. I didn’t feel safe and I told my mom I wouldn’t go. I am not sure how many days I stayed home but I remember meeting with Madame Obadia after school where she told me she did believe me and she had a plan to make me feel safe at school. She rewarded me for my bravery and I still have the little crocheted bookmark I earned. She didn’t have to do this, getting me to school was my parents job but she saw my needs and met them. What I really left her classroom with was a sense that school was a good place, school was a place I would be heard, and my needs would be met.

30 years later teachers all over the nation are doing exactly the same thing Madame Obadia did for me, meeting their students needs whether it’s part of their job description or not. Those needs are often in the form of food, in fact according to No Kid Hungry “three in five K-8 public school teachers say their students regularly come to school hungry, and as a result these teachers typically spend $37 per month from their own paychecks on food for their students.” Teachers should not have to feed their students but they know that a hungry child is not a child ready to learn.

quakerup

Quaker understands the importance of helping to fuel health and wellness in schools – so they are teaming up with AdoptAClassroom.org to help teachers give their students the tools that can help them succeed. I am helping them spread the word.

As a Quaker Classroom Ambassador, I’m inviting you to join Quaker in supporting teachers nationwide. From July 7 to Sept. 30, purchase specially -marked Quaker products and enter the unique package codes online at www.QuakerUpForClassrooms.com. For every code entered online, Quaker will donate $1 to AdoptAClassroom.org up to $250,000 (minimum donation of $150,000) to help fuel classrooms across the country. Plus, you’ll get a coupon for $1 off Quaker products. Learn more at www.QuakerUpForClassrooms.com.

 

Specially-marked Quaker products include:

  • Instant Quaker Oatmeal Maple Brown Sugar – 10 ct.
  • Instant Quaker Oatmeal Apples & Cinnamon – 10 ct.
  • Instant Quaker Oatmeal Regular – 10 ct.
  • Life Regular – 13 oz.
  • Chewy Chocolate Chip – 8 ct.
  • Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip – 8 ct.
  • Quaker Oat Squares Brown Sugar – 14.5 oz.
  • Life Cinnamon – 13 oz.

 

How much easier could they make it for us to support teachers? You don’t have to be crafty or spend a bunch of money. You just have to take a few minutes to enter the codes and know that it will make a difference!

Over the next few weeks as a Quaker Classroom Ambassador I will be sharing more about this campaign and host a fun giveaway as well. To see more great back-to-school content from myself and the other Quaker Classroom Ambassadors and join the conversation with your own teacher appreciation stories, simply follow and share with your social networks via the #QuakerUp hashtag.

I am participating in the QuakerUp campaign as a paid ambassador.

 

5 Ways To Survive Back To School Shopping with Target {Sweepstakes!}

win $300 Target Giftcard sweepstakes

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated by Target for my participation and the sweepstakes.

My son hates shopping.  I know that hate is a strong word  but it’s true. He is normally pretty well behaved ( at least outside of the house) but when you take him shopping for clothes it’s like we are on a road trip but “Are we there yet?” turns into ” Are we done yet?” he can not wait to just leave!

Over the years I have come up with these five ways to survive back to school shopping.

1. Go right after breakfast.

Even kids we think of as “older” are at their best right after breakfast. So gobble up your cereal and hit the road.  If you can’t do it then have a healthy snack on the way to keep your child from getting “hangry”.

2. Make a list so he knows the plan.

Just the same way I show my children maps of road trips to help them feel like they have some control and knowledge about what is coming next, I do the same for shopping trips. With younger kids you might want to make a visual checklist with pictures , for my 7 year old I just made a plain list. Make sure everything is on the list. Going to browse the handbags might seem like no big deal to you but for a kid who is obviously not at all comfortable shopping it can be frustrating. I am not saying don’t browse, just add it to the list.

target shoes

After shoes he knew we still had to look for a backpack, lunchbox and water bottle.

3. Give him as much control as you are comfortable with.

I gave my son a budget for his outfit and let him decide what to do with any extra as long as he got all the items I had specified. This teaches him some responsibility and keeps his mind busy which for him is half the reason he hates shopping, because it’s boring.

backpacks target back to school

He’s pricing the different backpacks!

4. Turn it into a date with you.

Leave siblings at home and add in a special stop to a favorite park or small treat. I know this one won’t be possible for everyone ( we could only do this because my husband had the day off)  but it certainly lowered our stress levels to be one on one. Being able to give each other all the attention makes everything feel less frantic.

5. Double ( or triple) up.

If you are buying a bunch of clothes for your less than enthusiastic shopper find clothes that come in tons of colors and or patterns. You can send your child into the dressing room with one outfit but go back to the display and grab multiples and fill a closet with only one trip to the dressing room. I don’t know about you but for my kiddo that seems to be the worst part of shopping. Keeping it to a single trip helps.

We got everything on the list :

  • hoodie
  • new gym shoes
  • tee shirt
  • socks
  • shorts
  • backpack
  • water bottle
  • lunch box
  • and a Pokemon card set with the money left over from his budget!

target sweepstakes back to school

and he was still smiling in his new clothes!

 

What are your tips for easy and productive back to school shopping? Share them in comments or even better on our No Time For Flash Cards Facebook page here.

target

Now get this. You get a chance to win a $300 Target gift card for back to school clothes ( or anything else you want) !

Enter Here

 

Fine Print

This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must fill out the form above ( click on ENTER HERE) 1 winning entrant will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Saturday August 23rd  2014 at 8:00pm PST. The winner will receive one $300 Target Gift Card After the winner is notified he or she has 72 hours to respond with their mailing address for Target to ship their prize package to,or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

 

 

Back To School with Target {sweepstakes}

back to school sweepstakes with targetThis is a sponsored post. I was compensated by Target for my participation and the sweepstakes.

target logoHave you started your back to school shopping yet? Yesterday I managed to make my way to Target and get all the school supplies we need this year and feel good about it too. I wasn’t just feeling good because I was at Target with zero kids in tow ( oh what a rare day it was) I felt good because Target has come up with a great way of helping those in need with their back to school expenses. Did you know the average American family spends $600 on back to school shopping?! Right now through August 2nd for every select up&up school supply purchased, Target will give one school supply to a student in need, potentially impacting nearly two million kids this back-to-school season. 2 million!

The program was inspired by Yoobi, a Target-exclusive brand of school supplies with a“One for You, One for Me” mission. Target will distribute the school supply donations through the Kids In Need Foundation, which operates a national network of resource centers that provide free school supplies for students in-need.

As I was picking out our supplies I looked for these signs so I could make sure my purchases were doing double duty!

target post 1

Even though dry erase markers weren’t on our list I couldn’t resist. I also grabbed some washable markers for my own classroom since I am returning to teaching in the fall. I am so excited.

target supply

 

What is just as exciting  is that I get to giveaway a $300 Target Gift Card to one reader !

SWEEPSTAKES NOW CLOSED

 

ENTER HERE 

Please read the fine print below.

 

This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must fill out the form above ( click on ENTER HERE)  1 winning entrant will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Wednesday July 23rd . 2014 at 8:00pm PST. The winner will receive one $300 Target Gift Card  After the winner is notified he or she has 72 hours to respond with their mailing address for Target to ship their prize package to,or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.