Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fit Families, Healthy Kids

fit family

It’s no secret that today’s generation of kids is more sedentary than past generations. Many children today spend a huge chunk of time sitting in front of televisions, computers, and video games. Physical education programs are being cut in schools across the country as schools try to squeeze in more time for academics. How can a parent encourage their children to become more active?

I believe that parents are fitness role models for their children. If kids see their parents enjoying an active lifestyle, they are more likely to be active themselves. So if you retire to the couch after dinner and lie around all evening watching sitcoms, don’t be surprised if you kids are couch potatoes too. Here are some suggestions of how you can get off the couch and encourage your family to live a more active lifestyle.

Do Household Chores Together

Instead of just asking your kids to clean their rooms, get them involved in more active household chores. Go outside and rake leaves together or shovel snow together in the winter. Younger kids can weed flower gardens while teenagers mow the lawn. If the whole family washes the car together, it will get done in no time. When you are finished with the outside chores, the whole family can celebrate by having a cookout in the backyard or going for a swim together.

Make Exercise a Game

Kids don’t need to go to a gym to get physically fit. They prefer activities that involve playing. Take your family to the park. Kids and adults will both enjoy slides, swings, and see-saws. You can take a kite on a windy day and take turns holding the string as you watch the kite glide across the sky.

Give Kids More Options

Kids are more likely to go outside and play if they have more options. They won’t get bored if you install a basketball hoop on the driveway, put a soccer net in the backyard or string a volleyball net across your pool. Invite other kids in the neighborhood over for a friendly game of basketball or soccer.

Go Camping Together

Taking a camping trip together is a great way to jump start your new active lifestyle together. Go for a long hike in the woods and take pictures of the wildlife. You could also take your mountain bikes along and ride on some trails. If your family likes the water, why not try a paddle boat or a canoe?

Take a Trip that Involves Walking

Instead of sitting home on the weekend watching TV, go on an outing together that involves a lot of walking. A visit to the zoo is a great way to combine walking and fun. Kids won’t even realize how much exercise they are getting. A water park is another great way to combine fun and exercise. Have you ever tried climbing all of those stairs to the top of the water slides? It’s a lot of work.

I hope that you try some of these activities with your family. Once you get up and start moving, it will become a habit. Your children will reap the benefits of your family’s new active lifestyle by becoming healthier and happier. Have fun!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ten Tips for School Success

school bus

Success in school is not just a matter of luck. Parents can help their children become successful in school by starting early and helping their children establish good habits. If you get children off to a good start during their first few years of school chances are the following years will go much more smoothly.

Here are some tips that have worked very well for my own children:

Establish Good Study Habits

Young children must learn good study habits and develop a homework routine. First, you need to find a quiet place where children can do their homework. I have found that the kitchen table works very well for young children. A large table allows a child space to spread out and they don’t feel isolated and alone while working on homework. Parents can cook dinner while monitoring the child’s homework. Let children try to do their own work, but stay close enough so they can call for help if they need it. When children get older they may want to retreat to desks in their bedrooms for a quieter environment. My kids still tend to gravitate to the kitchen table.

Communicate with Your Child’s Teacher

Teachers want every child in their class to succeed. The likelihood for success is increased when parents and teachers communicate regularly. Attend parent/teacher conferences. Express your concerns. Parents usually know what is best for their own child. However, have an open mind and listen to what they are seeing in the classroom. Children often exhibit different behavior at school than in the home.

Spend Time at your Child’s School

The more time you can spend at your child’s school, the better. Children love to see their parents at school musicals, plays, and performances. It makes them feel special. Volunteer to help their teacher if you have time. Younger kids especially like to see their parents in the middle of the day. Transitioning to school after staying at home with a parent can be a big adjustment. The more time you spend at the school, and the more you learn the school routines, the more you will be able to contribute to conversations with your child about his or her day at school.

Establish a Bed Time Routine

One of the most important things a parent can do is to make sure their child is getting enough sleep before going to school. Set a bedtime and stick to it. Children who are sleepy cannot pay attention to the lessons.

Read with your Child

Many parents of young children (Kindergarten – 2nd grade) do not realize the importance of reading with their children. Being a good reader is critical to success in school. Good readers can read passages from text books, and can comprehend test questions better. Children do not become good readers over night. The only way to become a good reader is by reading. Try to read a book or two together every night. You can take turns and let your child read one page and then you read the next page and so on. This makes the task of reading an entire book much less overwhelming for a young child.

Ask Your Child About School

When your child gets home from school, you should ask them what they did each day. Children will feel as if you really care about what is going on in their life. If they respond with “Nothing,” you can pose more specific questions. Don’t just ask about the school

Sunday, July 22, 2007

To Be or Not To Be!


Complete these words with "be" in them:

1. Lower place BE_______.

2. Shared by BE_______.

3. Uncertain _______BE.

4. To be a member BE_______.

5. Good conduct BE_______.

6. Past tense BE_______.

7. In front of BE_______.


1. below
2. between
3. maybe
4. belong
5. behave
6. been
7. before

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Test Your Science I.Q.


Each of the items listed below is a solid, liquid, or a gas. See if you know the difference.


Solid - has a definite shape and volume
Liquid - takes the shape of the container it is in
Gas - has no shape or volume

1. chair
2. coffee
3. water vapor
4. dog
5. orange juice
6. oxygen
7. tomato soup
8. apple
9. ice
10. carbon dioxide
11. syrup
12. marble


1. solid
2. liquid
3. gas
4. solid
5. liquid
6. gas
7. liquid
8. solid
9. solid
10. gas
11. liquid
12. solid

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Nature Walk


You started down the grassy trail and looked all around. You saw 2 squirrels, 3 butterflies, and 10 ants. Some grasshoppers flew past that totaled 5 more than the total of butterflies you'd noticed before. Then 5 fewer bluejays than the ants you'd seen circled overhead with a robin. A butterfly drank nectar from a nearby flower as you shooed away 4 bees with your hand. 2 more squirrels peered at you from behind a tree as you reached the end of the path.

How many of each animal or insect did you see on your nature walk? How many in total?


Squirrels = 4
Butterflies = 4
Ants = 10
Grasshoppers = 8
Bluejays = 5
Robin =1
Bees = 4

Total animals and insects = 36

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Red, White, and Blue


Unscramble these Independence Day related words:

1. cluen mas

2. gpelde

3. sfierwkor

4. eaprda

5. mearaci

6. gfal

7. smiuc


1. Uncle Sam
2. Pledge
3. Fireworks
4. Parade
5. America
6. Flag
7. Music

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's For You


Solve these riddles to figure out what Alexander Graham Bell invented in 1876.

I'm added to in to make tin. ____

I leave meat to to mat. ____

I can make a sow slow. ____

At can become ate. ____

I can turn a lot into a plot. ____

I can jump into all to make a ball. ____

I can make a son come home soon. ____

From on I become one. ____

Answer: Telephone