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The little book with BIG resources!

10 Best & Easiest K12 Homeschool Curriculum Ideas

Are you considering homeschooling or have homeschoolers that need a fresh start?! Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team is back with her two-part series sharing her top 10 homeschool curriculum ideas for families today on the blog. Take a look…

homeschool ciriculum

Hello, Kansas City! Last year (relax, it was only a few weeks ago), I shared several different homeschooling programs that are available to your family in the first part of my two part series on homeschooling. Today, I’d like to share some of the best and easiest homeschooling curriculum options to get you started. When my family started homeschooling, there were already many k-12 homeschool programs out there but, to be honest, I feel that number has likely trippled in the short time my homeschoolers have been learning.

Starting a journey like this can be overwhelming in many different ways. You will begin to question your every move (and so will onlookers who are watching you). Knowing that you have a solid, well-rounded, and liked curriculum will take so much of the pressure and self-doubt off of your shoulders. So, let’s get the ball rollin’! Here are 10 of the best and easiest homeschool curriculums to start with!

10 Best & Easiest K12 Homeschool Curriculum Ideas

homeschool ciriculum

#1 All in One Homeschool

I debated if I would let our curriculum choice be known, but I love it so much I had to just tell you! This was our third curriculum choice and it had been perfect for us! Most of the work is online but there are options to print a lot of it out. This curriculum is free and is fitting for grades Prek- HS. I am able to keep track easily with their daily tracker and layout.

#2 ABCMouse

This is another favorite in our house! This is designed for toddlers- 3rd grade readiness. While this one is not free, it is very reasonable and  has a lot of “life learning”. Kids can take care of pets, clean rooms and even dress their avatars. ABCMouse has a learning path for each level to ensure they are learning age appropriate lessons. Students can even head to their classroom to pick their own interests!

#3 MobyMax

This was our first curriculum and since we started using it, it has undergone some major improvements! MobyMax is great for elementary middle school students. MobyMAx was designed to fill gaps in subjects and to help students learn at a faster pace. With this program, you are in charge if picking subjects, time frames and how often it should be completed. While they do track progress in subjects, you will need to keep a daily log of subjects to make sure your child is working on all the appropriate lessons.

#4 Time 4 Learning

This program is for Pre K HS. Time 4 learning is also mostly online but does offer printable lessons as well. With this program, you can change grade levels on individual subjects to fit your child’s needs. They even keep track of your child’s work for your HS portfolio.

#5 Abeka

This is a Christian based curriculum and can be done in 3 ways. Abeka offers “School in a box”, digital curriculums and video lessons. With Abeka, you really can’t customize each subject for your kids. If they are ahead or behind on a specific subject, you may need to use a different resource for supplemental materials.

#6 Sonlight

This is also a Christian based curriculum set. Sonlight is for those wanting to only use book and can be used for Prek- 12th grade. They even include college prep lessons as well. Sonlight is a little more customizable than Abeka as you can purchase individual subjects. If you are not sure which lesson to purchase, they even have a shop by level so you can ensure you are selecting age appropriate material.

#7 Starfall

Starfall was a program we used when Thai was in kindergarten. We used the free version to help with her reading and it was wonderful! Starfall also has a membership program which opens up more learning activities. Starfall is designed for Prek-2nd grade and is 100% online with the option to create printables to supplement.

#8 Alpha Omega Publications

This is a one stop shop for Christian homeschooling. They offer options for book learning, online learning and student or teacher led learning. You can select which style works best for you and your family.

#9 K12

This is a public school at home option. Even though you will be at home, K12 offers teacher led classroom lessons, projects and check ins with you! K12 is designed for students in Kindergarten – 12th grade. K12 offers private school education or public education and they provide you with most of your materials needed for learning.

#10 Create Your Own

This method may or may not work with your family. All of the planning, teaching, reading and record keeping is your responsibility. While it may take more time organizing lessons and projects, you will be able to fully customize your child’s own curriculum. This will ensure your child in interested and you know what and where their strengths and weaknesses are.

All of these homeschool curriculum ideas have been used for years by many families. Each one loves one for their own reason! When picking a curriculum, keep in mind that it’s not about the most expensive, the most elaborate or the one with the most books. The best curriculum is one your child loves to work on, keeps them interested and pushes them to do more! I hope this 2 part post has helped you get ready to start your homeschooling journey!

From iFamily to Yours,


9 Apps That Will Help You Reach Your New Year’s Resolutions

It’s time to check in on our New Year’s Resolutions list, Kansas City?! 8 days in, how’s it going?! Are you worried that you’re not going to make it? There’s an app for that! Burton, our resident tech expert here at iFamilyKC shares 9 great apps that will help you reach your resolutions this year. Take a look…

New Year's Resolutions

9 Apps That Will Help You Reach Your New Year’s Resolutions

Ready or not, the new year’s here! The beginning of a new year always presents new challenges and adventures for all of us. Many of us want to be better than we were the year before. Thanks to technology, there are hundreds of apps that are designed to make our lives easy and help us achieve our goals. To help you get off to a great 2018, here are 9 apps I recommend to help you improve your life and rock your new year’s resolutions.

#1 LastPass

One best New Year’s resolution all of us needs to make is to protect your digital information. LastPass allows you to create complex, multi-character passwords for all of your online accounts and not even have to remember them. It syncs between all of your devices so you can store your login information, credit card numbers, personal identity information, and more.

#2 Credit Karma

Credit Karma allows you to look at your credit scores for free. It gives you weekly updates and gives you access to daily credit monitoring. It will also give you tips on how you can improve your credit score and tools to help you keep track of all of your accounts.

#3 Coach.Me

Coach.me is a coach that goes everywhere with you, helping you achieve any goal, form any habit, or build any expertise. Whatever your goals for 2018 are, Coach.me will help you stay on track with some encouragement. It sets you up with a one-on-one pro for whatever area you’re interested in and they will then help you devise a plan of action and  check in with you to see how things are going and motivate you along the way.

#4 Brightnest

BrightNest helps you tackle important tasks around your house with home tips, a personal scheduler and helpful reminders. From simple cleaning tricks to interior design ideas, this app will help you with everything you need to shape up your home and simplify your life.

#5 Curiosity

This app helps you learn new stuff a few minutes a day. You can watch hand-picked videos on five fascinating topics or look at infographics to learn something new in seconds.

#6 Mint.com

Mint.com is another fan favorite when it comes to money managing apps. It helps you manage your spending, saving, budget, and earnings, and can even sync to all your accounts, from your 401(k) to IRA to savings accounts.

#7 Map My Fitness

When you first start a fitness routine, you always want to keep track of your progress. Thanks to Map My Fitness, tracking your distance is a breeze. This app keeps track of how far you’ve traveled, and how many calories you’ve burned during your routine. You can also connect your smart shoes and fitness bands which allows you to keep track of your workout routine in one place.

#8 Yummly

This app has a search feature that looks through food blogs to find healthy food choices.  You can create shopping lists for each recipe and access or organize them on any device. Yummly will also find recipes that fit your nutritional goals and help you avoid you are allergic to.

#9 Libby

If you’re looking to read more books this year, Libby will give you access to hundreds of ebooks and audio books that are in your local library. Now there’s no excuse not to keep up with your favorite books.

What apps do you turn to to help you achieve your new years resolution?  Drop me a line and let me know. Thank you for reading. Please share this information with everyone.

From iFamily to Yours,

Burton

Check in with Integral on social media at FacebookTwitterInstagram, Linkedin , YouTube  and Google+  for more tips on helping you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or office.

I’m Burton Kelso and I’m a Kansas City based Tech Expert and the Chief Technology Expert at Integral, providing on-site and remote support for computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, printers, and any device that connects to the internet. I regularly appear as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find me on Facebook, InstagramLinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com 

 


Staying Motivated in the Winter: 8 Wellness Ideas for Moms

The weather has been so bitterly cold lately and that makes it really hard to stay motivated with your fitness goals. But, let’s be honest, we’re moms and nothing can stop us! Not even Mother Nature…Connie, our resident fitness guru here at iFamilyKC has got 8 great ideas for staying motivated this winter. Take a look…

staying motivated

Staying Motivated in the Winter: 8 Wellness Ideas for Moms

I hate Winter.  I hate being cold.  I hate being even slightly chilled if I’m being honest.  I hate how gray it is outside.  I hate that it gets dark at 4pm.  I hate Winter.  And I know I am not alone in that.  But even if you don’t share my strong feelings about the season, it is true that winter is a challenging time for people and motivation.  Personally, Winter makes me want to curl up on my couch in sweats with a blanket and stay there until Spring comes.  How do I get past this complete motivation suck?  Here are few tips to staying motivated this winter:

#1 Start Early

I get up every morning during the week before my children at the ghastly hour of 5am.  And there are many days that I don’t want to do it.  My bed is so warm and comfortable and my kids won’t be up for at least 2 hours.  But I get up.  I have to.  If I don’t get up early and start moving, I don’t ever get moving.  I can’t find my groove.  I get up and I hit the gym because that is what motivates me for the rest of the day.  I feel energized, and I feel like I got something accomplished.  I fell centered and ready to tackle the day.  Working out early isn’t for everyone, and I understand that.  So get up early and have a cup of coffee, check your Facebook, read your favorite blog (I heard iFamilyKC is a pretty great one) and just get going.  Don’t let lackluster energy outside invade your morning.

#2 Have a Project or a Goal

I have to constantly repeat to myself (as incredibly annoying as it is) the fitness cliché “Summer bodies are made in the winter.” Winter means sweaters and hoodies and long pants and the ability to hide seasonal weight gain under layers of warm clothes.  It means that I have 6 months before I have to worry about putting on a swimsuit.  It means pale legs and lazy days.  But I can’t let it mean that.  Every winter I try to add something new to my fitness routine.  I either try a new class, or start a new weightlifting program or set a new cardio goal for myself.  I have to have something I am working toward or I get lost in the routine and I lose motivation.

#3 Update Your Playlist

This is my go to when I need a pick me up.  I don’t always have to find brand new songs, it can be my jams from back in middle school as long as its something that I haven’t heard in a while that adds new energy to my workout.  I get excited every time I add new music to my playlist.

#4 Drink Lots of Water

Since we don’t break a sweat as much in the winter, its easy to find yourself not feeling as thirsty as you do during the Spring and Summer.  When winter grayness has me feeling tired and unmotivated, I typically reach for a tea or soda.  Anything with caffeine.  But we need just as much water in the winter as we do any other time.

#5 Get Your Heart Pumping

Get in and do some kicking intervals on the wall.  Anything that gets your blood pumping and your heart rate up is going to provide all day motivation.  Take the kiddos and make it a family activity.  Race the kids around the pool.  Challenge them to a splash fight.  Make it fun and get some of their energy out while increasing your own.

#6 Take Some Time for Self-Care

Motivation and wellness doesn’t just pertain to fitness goals, but to your overall health and happiness.  Take a time out to treat yourself to something that makes you feel good about yourself, whether that be a manicure, or a coffee date with friends, or a glass of your favorite wine.  Winter is hard.  Do what you have to do to take care of you.  I tend to be much crankier during the winter, and that ends up carrying over into my interactions with my kids.  I always find I am far less cranky after I do something for myself.  I take 20 minutes and sit and read a book, or I go get a manicure or paint my nails at home.  I take a walk around my favorite store and window shop.  Anything that allows me a minute to unwind tends to improve my overall mood and motivation.

#7 Dance It Out

Meredith and Cristina used this as their way to survive anything life threw at them.  I know Grey’s Anatomy isn’t real, but I have found this bit of it to be solid advice.  Turn on some music and dance it out.  It doesn’t have to be in public, it can be in your own bedroom, after the kids are at school or in bed.  But there is just something liberating and energizing about an all-out, I don’t care who’s watching, dance party.  Even if its just one song and you just sway a little bit.  Turn on something that elevates your mood and move to it.  Trust me, you’ll feel better.

#8 Plan Fun Activities

Winter doesn’t have to mean that you are stuck at home.  You can bundle up and head outside for a brisk winter walk.  Go ice skating as a family.  Or explore indoor attractions such as a museum or a trampoline park.  Find something to go do that excites you and makes you want to get up and get out and be productive.

Winter is the worst.  Winter means cold and flu season and stir crazy children and stuffy houses from furnaces running for months on end.  But it also means Christmas and New Years and family time and that spring is coming.  It means that we have to make sure we keep the winter blues away so that we don’t become overwhelmed by them.

From iFamily to Yours,


Fun and Creative Thank You Notes from Kids

Growing up, my grandmother was always a stickler about expressing gratitude after recieving a gift. In this modern age, which technology at our fingertips, the art of letter writing seems to be lost…but it certainly doesn’t have to be. Liz shares three fun and creative thank you notes from kids with us today on the blog that we hope will inspire your family to send some gratitude out this month. Take a look…

creative thank you notes from kids

Fun and Creative Thank You Notes from Kids

After receiving many thoughtful gifts from family and friends this Christmas I feel it is important to teach my kids the importance of thank you cards and being grateful for what they have been given!  I have always made it a priority to write cards after all holidays, birthdays etc. but this is the first year I had my 3 year old make her own with my help. She was so proud of herself for what she created! Here are the 3 thank you cards that we created this year. Choose whichever one your kids would enjoy doing! My kids are young so I need to wait until they are excited to do artwork and get them done as quickly as we can.

Crayon Resist Thank You Notes from Kids

creative thank you cards from kids

A white crayon, watercolor paints and white paper is all you need! This is a fun project for kids of all ages, even toddlers with the help of an adult.

Supplies:

  • White crayon
  • Water color paints
  • Water color paper, white card stock or blank cards
  • Paintbrushes
  • Small cups or ice cube tray for water

Have your child or yourself write out words on the paper with the white crayon. It’s a little challenging to make out what you are writing but do not worry about it being perfect because the end will result will be awesome!

creative thank you notes from kids

Next, your kiddo will simply swipe watercolor paint over the paper to the reveal the message that was written! It’s such a fun process and a fun result! After letting the watercolor dry we glued our artwork to a different color piece of paper. The paper tended to curl up a bit so this gave more of a flat surface. We turned it over and wrote our thank you message on the back!

Thumbprint Thank You Card

creative thank you notes from kids

These cards are so easy and cute! They are also so easy to do that you can make a good amount in one sitting, pending your children are cooperating. I used a stamp pad with my kids but you can also use a washable marker to make the print. Decorate your card with extra embellishments, such as colored taped, stamps and stickers!

Colored Card

My daughter is in a stage of coloring in the lines, so this card was so much fun for her! You can printable cards on line or make your own! I drew out THANK YOU in block letters with a sharpie and let my daughter color away with markers and crayons. We flipped the card over to write out our thank you note.

My daughter is too young to write so I “write” the note for her but have the card be from her. Her little brother is just a baby so she will mention him in her note with how much he loves his toys. I have gotten compliments over the years on the personal touches I try to add to my thank you notes. They go such a long way in making someone’s day! Hope these thank you card ideas work for you and your littles! Happy New Year!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 


Starting Exercise-Routines: A Gym Guide for Newbies! 

 Heading to the gym for your new fitness routinue?! You’re not alone! Many of us are starting (or re-starting) our workout exercise-routinues after a heavy holiday season. If you’re feeling a litle overwhelmed, this post is for you! Connie, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, is here with some great tips for newbies! Take a look…
exercise-routinues

  Starting Exercise-Routines: A Gym Guide for Newbies!

January means full gyms.  It just does.  And while that makes my heart happy as a fitness instructor, as a gym regular it fills me with dread.  Not that I don’t welcome new gym friends and wish for their success, but I want to be able to do my work out without tripping over someone who doesn’t know how to put their weights away or waiting for someone who sits on a weight machine while they respond to text messages and take a call from their mother.  And I was new once too.  I hated being the one getting in other people’s way and taking more time than I needed to get through my sets.  So here’s some common gym courtesy guidelines and tips to help make the new gym transition a smooth one.

#1 Clean Up After Yourself

Whether you are using a treadmill or a weight bench, clean up when you are done.  Wipe down the bench or the machine before moving on.  Its cold and flu season, and germs are everywhere.

#2 Bring a Towel With You

Gyms are made for getting sweaty, but it keeps things much less, well, wet if you have a towel with you to wipe your face and hands when things start getting particularly taxing.

#3 Don’t Make Assumptions

People can’t hear you when they have earbuds in. I say this because people are often mistaken for rude or standoffish because they don’t respond to a greeting or question while they are working out with earbuds in.  It could be that they just didn’t hear you.  On the other side of that, some people wear earbuds when they work out because they aren’t there to socialize.  They have a work out to get through and they don’t want to chat.

#4 Be Efficient

Some exercises require more time than others.  Some workout programs call for more reps.  But when the gym is crowded, be efficient in your workout.  Get on your machine and do what you need to do and then move on.  Don’t respond to 20 text messages in between sets while other people are waiting for the machine.  Don’t take a 5 minute break between sets and stare off into space.

#5 Share the Machines

Allow other people to work in in between your sets. If you are doing a circuit and doing more than one exercise per round, let someone hop in on a machine you’re using in between sets.

#6 Ask First

Ask before jumping on a machine you just saw someone using. Just because they stepped away for a second doesn’t necessarily mean that they are done.  Generally people take at least 45 seconds to a minute in between sets on weight machines.

#7 Clean Up After Yourself

Rerack your weights when you are done using them. If you are using a machine where you add weight plates before you do your reps, put those weight plates back when you are done.  Odds are that the person using the machine after you probably doesn’t use the same weight you do, and they shouldn’t have to rerack your weights before they can set their own.

#8 Ask Questions

If you have no idea how to use a machine, ask someone.  Ask someone who works at the gym or someone who appears to know what they are doing.  I would much rather someone ask me how to use something than hurt themselves or break a piece of equipment doing something the wrong way.

#9 Try Not to be Intimidated

Yes, you’re the new kid.  Yes, being the new kid sucks.  But regulars can smell fear.  Go in there and act like you belong.  Everyone will respect you for it.  All the new equipment, new people, new routines, it can all be very overwhelming and intimidating.  I promise it will get better the more you go.

#10 Don’t Let the “Regulars” Make You Feel Unwelcome

I would love to tell you that gyms, just like schools or jobs are all sunshine and rainbows and everyone is welcoming and excited to have you there.  And there will be loads of people that are excited that you are there.  There will also be people who think that a certain elliptical is their elliptical machine every morning at exactly 7:30 am and they will be annoyed that you didn’t just know that.  Guess what—they don’t own that machine, or that gym and you have just as much right to be using the equipment as they do.  Be respectful and polite of course, but if you were there first, you have every right to finish your workout whether they are used to using that machine or not.

#11 Try it All

If you are brand new to the gym scene, there is no way to know what you are going to like and what you will dread unless you try it all.  Use the elliptical and the stair climber and the treadmill and the crossover machine.  Try lifting free weights and using weight machines.  Try group classes.  If you try something and hate it, there are tons of other options.  Don’t give up.

#12 Remember That You Won’t Be New Forever

As both and instructor and a regular, I see so many people quit because they get tired of being new.  They get tired of feeling like they don’t know what they are doing or they are in the way.  You’ll get through that awkward new gym stage.  Soon you will be the one who thinks of the elliptical as theirs and you’ll be rolling your eyes at the new person on their phone on a weight machine.  Stick it out.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 


Got Summer Camps? Let iFamilyKC Help You Fill Them Up!

Kansas City parents seek out our Summer Camps Guide every year. Make sure they find your camps, classes & programs.

Summer Camps Advertising 2018

We work hard building quality relationships with our readers and with our advertisers. iFamilyKC is officially #1 in engagement with local families online, in print, in person and especially on Facebook. KC parents trust us, and look to us for ideas & information about spring break & summer camps/programs. Make sure they find your classes, camps, programs and VBS this year. You’re working hard to make your camps and programs a huge success, but don’t stop there. Let us help you fill them up; utilize our established features for your summer camps advertising to local families. We love connecting great kids with great camps!

We’ve got options. It’s always great to have options 🙂 ​​​​​​​Our Display Ad packages INCLUDE so many additional bells & whistles to promote your spring break and summer camps, party resources, services, classes, enrichment programs, products, destinations and events. Plus, we have a few a’ la carte options available to meet your custom needs.

Maximum success & results come when you make use of all of the different platforms and methods we provide:

1. Change up your ad periodically, presenting a clear, concise message.
2. Make sure you have a call to action in your ad.
3. Utilize your social media platforms so we can SHARE & promote from them.
4. Let us know when you ADD a new social media platform to promote your business.
5. Submit your events to our online calendar which gets TONS of traffic and clicks.
6. Submit guest blog posts to educate area parents about your industry.
7. Email us when you have a new class, camp, product line, offer, service or event that we can showcase.
8. Host one of our iFamilyKC Kids Club events to get new people into your location.
9. Give us marketing materials that we can pass out at our events.
10. Reserve a Dedicated eBlast to send out to our readers, followers and fans. Display Ad advertisers get almost 50% OFF of our regular eBlast rates.
11. Do you serve groups, troops, classes & teams? Then you NEED to be in our Annual Field Trip Guide.
12. Have you scheduled one of our NEW Facebook LIVE Video promotions at your location? Includes the LIVE video promo on our iFamilyKC Facebook page with over 100K fans, boosted post, download and reuse of the video on our blog, ALL for only $275. Call or email today to LOCK IN YOUR DATE. No other local media entity even offers this type of promotion. We truly provide the best value for your marketing budget.

ALL of these pieces working together is what garners maximum results. We have camps that have been advertising with us every year for well over a decade.

Need help with any of these features? Have questions? CALL or EMAIL today.
913-744-1400 or info@iFamilyKC.com We are here to help.

The top 3 reasons you need to have iFamilyKC working for you:

1. Your mission: we understand serving area families & parents, and we do it successfully daily. Let us help you.
2. Your support needs: we have a quality reputation for offering the best customer service, along with results.
3. Your budget: we are the only company in the Kansas City metro with these features & benefits. We truly provide the best value for your marketing dollars. USE all that we offer!

What we do WORKS!
Get started today. Text Listings are only $75 per month; Display Ads start at only $180 per month.

These same features & benefits are available to advertise your Party Resources, Enrichment Programs, Health & Wellness Providers, Tutors, Products & Shopping for Children, Events & more!

Media Guide with all ad sizes and corresponding rates HERE, get Ad Agreement form HERE, Summer Camps Text Listing form HERE Just fill out and return to guarantee your space!

iFamilyKC is officially #1 in engagement with Kansas City parents.

Be careful when choosing who to partner with in your marketing endeavors.

Did you know some entities BUY Facebook followers & Twitter fans?
Building a community of over 107,000+ combined fans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest, takes time, a commitment to quality content and focus on serving our local community. It’s taken us many years and lots of learning to steadily grow to this level. iFamilyKC has never and would never purchase social media followers or fans and we encourage you to ask this important question when you are researching places to collaborate with & advertise.


New Year’s FUN: Enter2Win a Wonder Movie Prize Pack!

Special New Year’s Giveaway! Enter2Win a WONDERful Prize!

2018 is here and we are so excited for the exciting things in store for you this upcoming year! To kick it off, we thought it would be fun to do a GIVEAWAY! One of my personal goals for the upcoming year is to find ways to spread kindness in our community, and that happens to be one of the beautiful takeaways from the movie “Wonder”. The movie, based on the best selling novel, follows the true story of a little boy born with a facial deformity as he acclimates into a community for the first time. It’s as much the tale of a group of children learning to embrace and love others as it is the story of self-acceptance in a world that can be harsh to grow up in.

Entering into our giveaway is simple, all you have to do is click on the blue “Enter2Win a Wonder Prize Pack” button below this text. That’s it! We’ll randomly draw and notify a winner next week by email. Help us spread the word by sharing this blog post with your friends and look below for details about the story below. Good luck!

Enter2Win Your Wonder Prize Pack Below:

wonder

About “Wonder”

“August “Auggie” Pullman is a fifth-grade boy living in North River Heights in upper Manhattan. He has a rare medical facial deformity, which he refers to as “mandibulofacial dysostosis.” Due to numerous (27) surgeries, Auggie had been homeschooled by his mother Isabel, but as Auggie is approaching middle school age, Isabel and Nate decide to enroll him in Beecher Prep, a private school, for the start of middle school. At first, Auggie is ostracized by nearly all the student body, but he is soon befriended by a boy named Jack Will.’

 

“During a school trip to a nature reserve, when Auggie and Jack are accosted and threatened by a group of seventh graders from another school, several of their classmates come to their defense. At the year’s end during the graduation ceremony, Tushman announces that Auggie has been selected for the Henry Ward Beecher Medal for standing out; Auggie receives a standing ovation, and the movie ends with everyone applauding Auggie, and Isabel commenting on him being a wonder.” {Text Source: Wikipedia.org}


A How to Guide for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution List

Happy New Year, Kansas City! It’s hard to believe that 2018 is actually here and bitterly cold weather has settled into the metro area for the forseeable future. With temperatures close to zero, it’s hard to maintain the motivation to realize and achieve your New Year’s Resolution goals. Connie, from our Mom Squad team here at iFamilyKC, shares some great tips for us today on how to keep up with your plans for the upcoming year. Take a look…

new year's resolution

A How to Guide for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution List

We’re all guilty of the same thing around this time of year. We have a motivating start to January with a plan to attack our New Year’s resolution list with the very best of intentions. We tell ourselves that this is the year we will keep our resolutions…and we get super into it. If your resolution is to eat healthy, you buy all the produce the grocery store carries, you pin all the healthy recipes and you plan your meal prep day. Things go really well for about a month and then suddenly– you’re over it.

If your resolution was to be more patient with your children, you start reading all the Love and Logic books and articles, you remind yourself to breathe everytime one of your children cries because you can’t control the weather or they can’t have the 18th snack they’ve asked for that day.  And then you lose it.  It’s too much, you can’t take it and your newfound patience is gone.  Sounds all too familiar, right?  Happens to me every year!  This year will be different.  Here are a few tips to help you stay on top of your New Year’s Resolution list this year.

#1 Create Measurable Goals

First things first.  Make a resolution that is measurable and specific.  Instead of “I will be healthier this year” try “I will workout 3 times a week and lose 15 pounds by the end of the year.”  The more specific the better.  Instead of “I will be more patient with my kids” try something like “I will count to ten before I react when my kids are upsetting me.”

#2 Have Benchmarks Throughout the Year

Have benchmarks that keep you on track throughout the year.  Let’s say your goal is to run a half marathon before the end of the year, try setting monthly distance goals, so that you are staying on track to make it to half marathon distance.  If you are trying to be more involved at your kids school, start by attending monthly PTA meetings or emailing your child’s teacher about volunteer opportunities.  Or, if you’re aiming to lose 20 pounds, set a monthly goal of 2 pounds.  Weigh in weekly to keep yourself on track.  That way you’re not trying to lose 20 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years.

#3 Make a Visual

Make yourself a visual.  Whether it just be a post it note on your desk at work, or a calendar where you put a checkmark on everyday you made it to the gym, or a jar containing a marble for every pound you want to lose, with an empty jar to place the pounds lost marbles in.  Whatever will serve as a reminder everyday of what you are working toward.

#4 Reward Yourself

Treat yourself for sticking to the plan.  Maybe if you make it to 5 pounds lost or 7 miles run, you buy yourself a new pair of workout pants or a fun new top or water bottle.  If you remain patient with your kids for a couple months, you treat yourself to a manicure or a bottle of wine.  Whatever motivates you.  Change is hard and you need a reason to keep it up besides some tired promise you made to yourself at the beginning of the year.

#5 Find an Accountability Buddy

Enlist an accountability buddy.  Another mom friend who is more patient than you, or maybe less patient to make you feel better, whatever works.  A friend at the gym who will shoot you a text if you miss a class.  A friend who already volunteers at school and can tell you about opportunities for you to do the same.

#6 Adjust When You Need To

Adjust your goals if you need to.  Sometimes a goal is harder than we thought it was going to be, or in the case of fitness goals, our body just doesn’t want to cooperate. Like me, if your knee won’t allow you to run that half marathon distance, adjust your goal to a 10k.  If being patient with your kids all the time is just not happening, make a goal of not raising your voice at least 3 days a week.  When you are doing everything right but the scale is just not cooperating, change the way you measure your success and either start measuring inches or judging by the way your clothes fit instead.

Keep in mind that no one is perfect.  There is no reason to completely quit on your resolution just because of a little bump in the road.  As Jillian Michaels says “Sometimes we miss a workout or eat something that isn’t ideal, but if you had a flat tire on your car, would you puncture the other three?  Of course not!  If you slip, just shake it off and do better the next day.”

Happy Resolution Getting!  We’ve got this!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Websites for Kids: Ten FREE Learning Games They’ll Love

Do your children love to go online?! Ruth, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad, has compiled a guide of incredible websites for kids that the whole family can enjoy! From great online learning games to educational videos, recipes for kids, and everything in between…if you’re on the hunt for a great learning website, we’ve got the scoop. Take a look…

Websites for Kids: Ten FREE Learning Games They’ll Love

Technology is a bit part of our lives and kids are no longer immune to screen time. Computers are no longer just used professionally but they are useful tools for kids in school and it prepares them for the world in a lot of ways. Technology also has a lot of disadvantages. There is a lot of junk out there to be found on the net and, if your kids are like mine, they enjoy YouTube videos about other kids opening toys, toy reviews and other mindless garbage that I would have never taken an interest in as a child. Kids love the opportunity to get on the tablet or other devices. If you are looking for some ways to make screen time more educational, then this guide is for you. We’ve got ten websites for kids that offer free learning games all year long.

websites for kids

 

#1 Make Me a Genius

Make Me a Genius is a website that features many educational videos about science for grades 1-7. They can learn about anything from the seasons to erosion, electricity to the elements, and plants and planets. These kid friendly videos are animated and easy for follow with separations for intended grade level.

#2 Kids National Geographic

National Geographic for kids is an incredible resource for schoolgoers. They have links to videos, information and facts for both older and younger kids.

#3 Discovery Kids

Discovery Kids is a learning website created by The Discovery Channel. It is a website just for kids so they can learn and explore. The have activities, games puzzles and more.

#4 Kids Almanac

Kids Almanac is a learning website created by The Farmer’s Almanac. It is designed to give kids a chance to track the weather at home, do quizzes and fun activities by offering fun free games for people of all ages.

#5 Go Noodle

Go Noodle is a learning website that was designed to get kids up and moving. They have videos and activities that kids can do and follow along and get some exercise. You can create an at home account that the whole family can enjoy together!

#6 Spatulatta

Spatulatta is a great learning website that offers FUN cooking tipps for kids! They can explore kid friendly recipes that are fun and healthy!

#7 DOGO News for Kids

DOGO News brings real world news to your child without all the drama that goes with the media. Here they can read real articles written in a format suitable for kids all compiled in one learning website.

#8 NASA Kids Club

NASA Kids Club is created by NASA, It informs kids about space while giving them fun ways to explore with games, videos, photographs and downloads they can enjoy! It will be one of favorite websites for kids this coming year!

#9 Prodigy

Prodigy is a math gaming website known as Prodigy. You can create an account for all your children and they can play an interactive fantasy game that prompts them with math questions to solve in order to move through the battles in the game. When you sign up, you create a separate screen name for each child and include their grade level. Prodigy challenges them as they move through the game and you can even check up on their progress!

#10 CODE

CODE is a website that your whole family can enjoy. If your child has an interest in learning CODE in a fun way this website will not only keep it fun but challenge their mind at the same time! If you think it sounds fun, give it a try yourself! It will give your brain a workout! This one might be on the list of websites for kids – but adults will enjoy it, too!

These websites will stimulate the brain and keep your child engaged with fun learning opportunities.

From iFamily to Yours,


Healthy Year, Healthier YOU! The Importance of Self Care in the New Year 

 

It’s hard to believe that New Year’s is already upon us here in the metro area. As we say goodbye to 2017, it’s important to thinkin about ways you can practice self care in the new year. As moms, it’s easy to get burned out balancing a busy schedule with work, family, and everything else in between. When’s the last time that you spent some quality time with YOU?! Liz, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares some great ways you can practice self care in the new year. Take a look…

self care

Healthy Year, Healthier YOU!

The Importance of Self Care in the New Year

With the New Year comes excitement and anticipation for the upcoming months ahead. It also comes with the stress of the traditional resolutions and how we can better ourselves in the next 12 months. It can be overwhelming to even think about all the things we want to achieve. Your list may look something like this: I will go to the gym every day and have great weight loss, I will cut back on caffeine, I will have more patience with my kids, I will finish my 5 year old’s baby book, I will cook more recipes for my family to focus on healthy eating, I will do more Pinterest projects with my kids and I will organize every single room in the house before February. Sound familiar? Let’s break it down and be real. You will probably not have every room in the house organized and you will probably lose your wits with your child on New Year’s Day while attempting to finish his baby book.

If you are going to make one resolution this year that involves all of the above, take some time for you mama! When you put everyone else’s needs before your own needs, it’s only natural that you are going to break down.

I am going to share some tips and ideas on how to implement some simple ways to keep your cup (not just coffee) and heart filled. I hope this ignites some self-care habits that you can use for yourself this New Year.

self care

#1 Get Outside

I will be honest, this is not my favorite thing to do when it’s chilly and windy but living in Kansas City there is the chance it will hit above 50 once in a while in the winter so make it a habit to get outside at least once during the day, either alone or with your kids.  After a little fresh air I instantly feel refreshed and ready to tackle whatever is next.

self care

#2 Take a Bath or Hot Shower

Get a good clean while using some bath salts and essential oils for added detox and relaxation.

self care

#3 Rest

Even if only for 15 minutes. Close your eyes. Sleep if you wish or just do nothing. This can make a huge difference for your mind and fuel up some energy to get through the rest of the day.

self care in the new year

#4 Exercise

Pick your favorite. It doesn’t have to be running miles outside or making to the gym. Crank up the music and have a dance party in your kitchen, google yoga moves, get yourself an at home workout that you can do in 30 minutes while the kids are napping. Would you rather be binge watching Netflix? I give you permission to turn it on, get on the ground, do some push- ups, crunch some sit-ups and stretch. Also, stretching will make all the muscles in your body feel amazing. Our mom bodies get over worked with all the carrying, leaning, chasing, bending and squatting we do throughout the day.

self care

#5 Try a New Recipe

Don’t think you need to change the ways of your kitchen by adding in a new healthy recipe every night. Start out by searching for some ideas and try a new meal once a week.

self care

# 6 Say No

As mothers and natural nurturers we aim to please. This can be hard but there are some things on you’re to do list that are not critical to the needs of your family. Give yourself permission to say no and focus on what really matters. Create that extra time and space in your day to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

self care

#7 Get Creative

Ignite the creative spark within you! Think about what you use to fill your time up before you had kids. Did you paint, draw, write, craft, cook or garden? Find time to invest in a hobby that you love.

SELF CARE

# 8 Keep a Gratitude List

A daily gratitude list or journal is a great way to shift your prospective and focus on what really matters. Also, you can look back on previous lists when you need a little boost of happiness.

From iFamily to Yours,