Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Here are some practical tips for packing school lunches that are healthy and kid friendly
Back to school means back to packing lunches. Yikes! I have such a hard time coming up with new ideas. Peanut butter and jelly gets boring. Nutella has been a great backup especially paired with some strawberries, but that gets old too. Regardless, both options will be in my pantry for busy mornings but I need some more interesting solutions. Do you have any good lunch box ideas? I asked around and some other moms shared their tips with me. Elise S., a Cinnaminson mom of two, told me how she brightens up peanut butter and jelly or tuna sandwiches with a little trick. “I sometimes cut them into different shapes with cookie cutters or use a little gadget that cuts the sandwich into a circle with no crusts.” Kids love the “no crust” …
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Ironing dress shirts and packing lunches aren’t this columnist’s favorite things, but a regular routine is looking pretty good right about now.
Many parents are singing praises and thanking the heavens that school has begun this week. “I can’t WAIT to send the kids back!” I’ve been hearing. “This was the longest, hottest summer EVER!” But, this time of year is always bittersweet for me. My husband is a teacher, so he, along with my two sons, head back to the classroom for another year of homework, tests and interesting school stories. I go back to my routine of packing snacks and lunches, checking homework and rushing around in the morning to make sure everyone has their library books and art smocks. I always look back at our summer thinking, “Where did it go?!” But seldom do I have regrets. We pack every summer as tightly as we can, kicking things off with our annual garage sale…
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Gifted or special needs seem to be the two educational extremes. What if your child falls into the “grey area?”
I have two boys. The oldest, as are many first-born, is an over-achiever and thrives on praise and task completion. The youngest … well, let’s just say he’s got the gift of gab and aspires to be a professional circus clown when he grows up. Focus isn’t his strong suit. As my oldest has progressed through his elementary school years, my husband and I have often struggled with the fact that he’s not being challenged as much as he could be in school. He’s pretty smart (in my motherly opinion), but he hasn’t been identified as ‘gifted’ even though some of his classmates are in a special group where they do fun and exciting things. We’ve never pushed for that label – “gifted.” We don’t put value on that and truly just want him to learn at a …
Monday, August 20, 2012
Glow water made from highlighters has lots of uses.
You're probably aware of this (!) but school starts one short week from today, so this will be our last Kid Kraft Korner for the summer. Additionally, Jennifer Marangos, the very fun mom and Emmaus Patch editor who invented Kid Kraft Korner, is having some extreme fun of her own this week on a well-deserved beach vacation. We miss her. The good news is that even though the crack research team at Lower Macungie Patch is a grandparent now, she once had bored kids at home during the summer. Indeed, one of my most amusing memories is of the day my Jessica came in from playing outside and told me "there's nothing to do but sweat." Karma being what it is, she is now a mother and a speech pathologist who longs for the days she had nothing to do …
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Sad? Glad? Relieved? Guilty? No matter what emotions you experience as you pack that lunch or zip up that backpack, there’s probably someone else out there feeling that way too.
Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics. This week’s Moms Talk question relates to the emotions parents and caregivers experience as the kids head back to school. Are you tired of picking up wet towels and ready for the long hot summer to end? Or, could you use a few more days playing by the pool followed by nights of roasting marshmallows? Perhaps the start of the new school year brings out both sentiments in you – relief that summer is over and the wish that it would never end. Now matter what emotions you are going through as you switch gears from arranging play dates to overseeing math …
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Recollections of teasing, vomit, groping and George Carlin are keeping this mom up at night as the new school year approaches.
I sometimes dream about the school bus tortures I witnessed and also fell victim to during my school years. If it sounds a bit dramatic, it’s because it WAS. Standing and waiting for the bus was torture enough. Share your school bus nightmares in the comments below. I can remember “Dress Up Wednesdays” when my mom insisted I wear a skirt and flats (as opposed to my typical jeans, flannel button-up and Converse high tops). I was a tomboy through and through, but she tried to make me a lady. On those days in particular, I can vividly recall the ice beneath my feet as I gingerly slid from my front door, down our long driveway, across the country road and over to our neighbor’s driveway where the bus stop awaited me. At that point, I stood …
Monday, August 13, 2012
An inexpensive store-bought perler bead activity kit can provide hours of indoor fun.
I cannot tell a lie. Screens have become a bit of a crutch in my home over the past few weeks. As a result, this week’s kids’ craft activity evolved from this mom’s desire to wean the kids from their summer-time screen overload and ready them for the rapidly approaching school year. I am quite happy to report that it worked. And – get this – it’s a craft activity that required little involvement from me besides getting it out and setting it on the kitchen table and then operating my iron at the end. Ever heard of perler beads? They are tiny tube-shaped beads in a variety of colors that the kids place in various patterns on a plastic base covered in tiny teeth. After the pattern is completed you cover the base with wax paper and iron the …
Sunday, August 12, 2012
The transition back to school presents a whole new set of scheduling challenges. When you need someone to watch the kids, should family be expected to jump in?
Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics. This week’s Moms Talk question relates to childcare backup. The start of the school year brings a whole new set of scheduling challenges, with missed school buses, after-hours meetings at work and ferrying kids from sports to scouts and everything in between being just the tip of the iceberg. Babysitters are expensive these days. Plus, they are virtually impossible to find when a last-minute need arises. And, Murphy’s Law dictates that that last-minute need will come up as surely as the sun. So, here’s what we want to know: When you are in a pinch for …
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Most area schools offer half-day kindergarten as the norm. But is there a benefit for those who are given the exclusive option of a full-day class?
It’s official. I’m going to cry my eyes out on August 27. My youngest child will be climbing the steep stairs to the big yellow bus and heading off to kindergarten. For months, I was tormented by this decision. Should we send him now that he's five or would another year of preschool be better? Should we ask for full-day or half-day? Morning or afternoon? Decisions, decisions. What are your thoughts about the benefits of full-day vs. half-day kindergarten classes? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Back in the day, a child turned five (or close enough to it) and off they went to school. No tests to take, no evaluations - five equaled kindergarten. Now, parents often decide to hold their child back an extra year, sending them to …
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Is your kid starting a new school in the Easton Area? You need to know these dates.
- BACK TO SCHOOL
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Students in the Easton Area School District will return to class later this month. Before that, the district has scheduled orientation days for students starting new schools for the first time: