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10 Fun Activities to Do with Kids In Between Online Classes

October 5, 2020

With the closure of schools also came the closure of playgrounds and other places where our kids could go and enjoy themselves. However, being at home doesn’t have to be ‘boring.’ Below I list 10 fun activities that don’t take up too much time and can be done with your children when they have free time after their online classes. Not only will these slow down the inevitable “mom I’m bored,” but the time spent together doing these activities may also help develop your relationship with your child. Watch educational videos together Who says learning has to stop once the online classes stop? Keeping your child engaged through other forms of education such as watching interesting videos will help keep them in the learning mindset. Play games together Bringing out the board games and the cards and sitting down as a family to play these games keeps the excitement. It also gives your child something to look forward to after their online classes. If your child played sport in school, this could be a great way to let them bring out their competitive side. Get crafty Letting your child be creative through drawing and art allows them to express themselves and fosters mental growth. Giving your child this opportunity allows them to try out new ideas and new ways of thinking and problem-solving. Exercise together Find fun ways of staying active with your child, such as dancing or yoga classes. Studies have shown that kids who are physically fit are more able to handle physical and emotional challenges. It can also give them a feeling of accomplishment so they’re more ready to learn. Allow them to cook with you Teaching your child valuable life lessons such as cooking can help them prepare for their future. It can be something as simple as weighing out the ingredients, so that they can have fun in the kitchen while still staying safe away from knives and heat. Have an indoor picnic You can take the food you made together and have a picnic in your house as a little change from the regular dining table meals. Doing this also teaches your child the reward of enjoying the meal you cooked, and how the hard work is worth it. Practice a new skill Learning something other than what your child is being taught in online school keeps them well-rounded. Helping them learn something new like juggling or origami also gives them something to show off to their friends once physical school starts up again. Let them present their learnings Allow them to get creative with what they’ve learned. Encourage them to make their own interesting presentations about what they learned in their online classes. Showing that you care about their learning motivates them to pay attention to new information. Introduce them to chores What better way to teach your child the importance of chores and how to do them than when you’re stuck at home? It can be as simple as encouraging them to tidy up after themselves, so they learn a sense of responsibility. Let them rest Finally, let your child rest so they have time to recover from their online classes and they feel more energized for activities later in the day.

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How to Create a Productive Learning Space at Home

September 4, 2020

One of the main struggles of homeschooling parents today is figuring out how to effectively engage their children in their studies. Parents who have been to their child’s classroom know the value of a colorful and visually pleasing educational space. It’s important to replicate this at home to help develop your child’s creativity. This can also help maintain your child’s focus and help him stay motivated to learn. Here’s how:  1.    Separate the learning space. You don’t need a big room to create an effective learning space for your child. A simple table in the corner of the room will work just fine. The key is consistency. Ensure that your child only uses this space for learning so that they can stay focused when completing their tasks.  2.    Learn what works for them. Parents understand the pressure of creating the “perfect” learning space. However, what’s more important is creating it specific to your child’s needs. This way, he will be more willing to do his tasks. For example, place images or colors that your child likes around the area. Also, if your child prefers to work in a quiet space, make sure that he is far from any noises.  3.    Lessen distractions. As a parent, I’ve learned that less is more. Too many toys scattered around the room may distract your child from focusing on his studies. With at-home learning spaces, it is best to keep the room as organized as possible.  4.    Make it comfortable. Like adults, children will work better when they feel better. Therefore, make sure that your child is comfortable by playing quiet music or giving them a soft pillow while studying.  5.    Provide visuals. Our brains are naturally stimulated by visuals. This said, put creative and inspiring images such a maps or animal posters around your child’s learning space. Doing so can help him focus on educational topics that may be useful to him. While it’s important to spark your child’s interest, remember not to overdo it by putting too much information around him.  You know your child’s needs better than anyone, so remember to approach learning at home with a positive attitude. We can do this. Good luck!

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Distance Learning: Overcoming the Challenges

July 16, 2020

In the previous article, we discussed the challenges that we face as we transition to online learning. It might be a little overwhelming to some of us considering that this is the first time we’ve experienced this kind of setup. So, how are we going to overcome the stress of transitioning to online learning? How can we balance our work as well as our children’s needs? We’ve listed down a few tips to help you out. Challenge 1: Keeping children focused Your child’s dependency on electronic devices and other online activities will definitely increase with the need to be online more frequently for classes. What you can do: Before the start of their class, remind them first of how important studying is — whether it is by going physically to school or doing it virtually. Motivate and give them a reward whenever they accomplish something. A simple hug, a pat on the shoulder or even putting on a star sign on their work can go a long way to motivate them to focus and do better. Another option is to restrict your kids from switching their screens on other websites or apps. Try installing mobile apps that have the option to lock other apps you don’t want your kids to access during their online classes. For Apple users, you can visit the settings of your phone and just search for “Screen Time.” Challenge 2: Establishing a routine It can be difficult to structure your day with your child when you’re unsure what activities need to be included every day. However, this is only a short-term and temporary challenge that can be overcome with time and experienced with the ‘new normal.’ What you can do: Many of us are not familiar with how homeschooling works or how to structure a day of distance learning. Being at home means that you can do things at your most preferred time. However, this might be hard when you also have a child that you need to attend to. Make sure to set a schedule of their day and your day too, the day before. Designate certain times for learning, socials, meals, and don’t forget to set a fun time as well. When you’ve already established a schedule, make sure to stick with it. Challenge 3: Balancing work and responsibilities with teaching It’s important to cater to your own needs as well as your child’s, which can be difficult when they need extra help understanding how to adapt to this new method of schooling. However, this adaptation can happen pretty quickly and before you know it, you’ll be able to multitask even better than you currently do. What you can do: Be transparent with your company about your conflicting priorities and make sure everyone knows what they can expect from you. Balance is a huge key here, though with a lot of trial and error — and that’s okay. Putting on a boundary setting on your kids might also be a great help. Tell them that while they’re in their online class or after you teach them, you’ll also have to work on your own things. See to it that they understand the current situation in the best way possible. Challenge 4: Understanding content Understanding content that you haven’t learned in years can be daunting, but you likely have more time now to catch up on this so you can be a better teacher to your kids. What you can do: Understanding the lessons you comprehended from long ago may be different now. Therefore, stock up on the latest reading materials. There’s a lot of downloadable files out there that can help and guide you. Take this chance to discover new things together with your kids as this can add up to your bonding moments as well. Challenge 5: Reducing anxiety from real-world concerns The news can be overwhelming at the moment, but distracting yourself from it by investing your full attention to your child’s homeschooling and wellbeing can help you forget about these worries. What we can do: The overwhelming news popping out everywhere is one of the causes of our stress nowadays. Just make sure that it doesn’t consume you. Be reminded that your kids need you now more than ever. Remember too that we are all experiencing this uncertain crisis. Stay calm and don’t let this pandemic affect you and your relationship with your children. This is the time where we can get closer to our family. A blessing in disguise that we never asked for, but have come to realize, also has great benefits. No matter what your situation is, the most important thing is to optimistically deal with the trials you have no control over and be strong enough to overcome them as a parent and as an individual. Take things one day at a time and accomplish whatever you can, Mommies! We know you can do it!

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Distance Learning: Challenges for You & Your Kids

July 9, 2020

With schools transitioning to online learning at home, many parents are wondering what they can do to support their child. If you’re wondering the same thing, you’re not alone. Distance Learning and Homeschooling are unchartered territories for many parents, but these challenges can easily be overcome. Here, we list those challenges so that you can prepare and ensure a swift transition from classroom learning to distance learning. Keeping children focused Your child’s dependency on electronics and other online activities will definitely increase with the need to be online more for classes, which can lead to distractions from online games. Establishing a routine It can be difficult to structure your day with your child when you’re unsure what activities need to be included in every day. However, this is only a short-term and temporary challenge that can be overcome with time and experience with the ‘new normal.’ Balancing work and responsibilities with teaching It’s important to cater to your own needs as well as your child’s, which can be difficult when they need extra help understanding how to adapt to this new method of schooling. However, this adaptation can happen pretty quickly and before you know it, you’ll be able to multitask even better than you currently do. Understanding content Understanding content that you haven’t learned in years can be daunting, but you likely have more time now to catch up on this so you can be a better teacher to your kids. Reducing anxiety from real-world concerns The news can be overwhelming at the moment, but distracting yourself from it by investing your full attention to your child’s homeschooling and wel-lbeing can help you forget about these worries. So, while these challenges may be scary or overwhelming, remember that we’re in this together. Stay tuned for the next article, where we'll talk about how to overcome the challenges we've listed here.

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I’m a Young Mom and Proud of It

June 5, 2020

There is no book or class out there that could possibly prepare you for the adventures you are about to endure as a parent. When I was 21 years old, holding a positive pregnancy test in my hand, I felt my world stop – all the things I had planned, my goals, my career, my future – just blurred out of focus. I was shocked. I never thought I’d be a mom at 21. I cried and felt hopeless. It felt like I hadn’t lived my life to the fullest and I was not ready. But I guess no one ever really is, whether a pregnancy was planned or not. Obviously being a young mom, I heard a lot of “but you’re still a baby yourself”, “what about school?”, “can you really handle being a mom at your age?”, “you just wasted your future” – and so much more. I was constantly criticized for getting “knocked up” too soon and not doing things “how I was supposed to”, but to be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing. Yes, I’m a young mom, but that doesn’t mean my life is over. Do I regret it? No, I don’t. Some might say that I missed out on my twenties, and it did kind of feel like that at first. But the moment my daughter was born, everything changed. I realized that my life was so much more than parties, drinking and dating. And I most definitely do not regret putting my career on hold just to be able to take care of my baby and be with her every day. I truly cannot imagine my life without my husband and my daughter and I wouldn’t trade any of the sleepless nights for one minute away from the two of them. My baby’s smile lights up the entire room and makes me love her so much it hurts, and to me, there is nothing better than that. Now I’m taking my third year as a mom, and although it’s been tough at times, I can proudly say that I’ve grown so much as a woman and a mother. I’ve also discovered some little-known perks of being a young mom and I’d like to share them with you. Easier adjustment Transitioning into motherhood could be quite disorienting. Yet, when other moms complain about how difficult it was to switch gears and give up the lifestyle they’ve been accustomed to, I couldn’t relate. I went from being a college student to a young mom. I didn’t have a decade of “me” time, lazy Sundays or a vacation. I was already on hustle mode at 21, so everything from that point on felt like progress. Sharing accomplishments I’ve heard a lot of young women say that they’re waiting till they’ve “accomplished everything they want to accomplish” before having kids. And again, I just want to say that your life does not end when you have a baby. I think it’s beautiful to be able to show your kids how to get from one point to another despite the countless obstacles and setbacks. To grow a life alongside your child and be able to share your accomplishments with them like having them watch you accept your Master’s degree or starting your own business. Refocused goals and ambitions Nothing will change your perspective quite like bringing a new life into the world. It could be a desire to do good, a spark of creativity or a fundamental rearrangement of priorities. Becoming a mom can change us in ways we never expected and it gives us a reason to do more and be better. Many young moms, including myself, are grateful to have had that shift sooner rather than later. A reason to grow-up Your 20s are a time for self-growth and self-discovery, a time to define adulthood and ourselves. Others would think that the only way to find one’s self is alone, somewhere, in solitary introspection. In my experience however, there’s nothing quite as introspective as motherhood. It will show you your flaws, shortcomings and deep-set issues. Seeing yourself through the lens of a new life can be transformative and has given me an urgent reason to grow up and be my best self. “When I had my son, it wasn’t just about me anymore. My thoughts revolved around him and how I could give him a better future.” – Mommy Audrey Grandparents Giving birth to my daughter at a young age also means that my parents are still young. Not only will they be able to spend more time with her, but they’re able to share their knowledge and help me as well. I’m thankful for the support and love they’ve given me and my daughter. “I was a teen mom. It was in high school when I got pregnant. I had no idea how to take care of a baby, I could barely take care of myself. That’s why I’m so thankful I had my parents with me. They showed me how to do everything – from changing diapers to putting my son to bed. And I love how they get to be very involved in his life.” - Mommy Nela Spending more time with them This is the best perk for me. Having my daughter at 21 instead of 31 means I have an extra decade to be able to watch her grow into the person she’s meant to be. An extra decade of love, growth, warm hugs, hand holding and heart tugging. And that to me is precious. So yes, I am a young mom but my life is far from over– in fact, I think it’s just getting started. To all the young moms out there, face this stage with optimism. The love and joy that your child will bring you will be immense. Planned or not, a baby will change your whole life, and with them you can live the greatest adventures ever imaginable.  

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The Essential Guide to Postpartum (After-Birth) Care for Mothers

May 29, 2020

The postpartum period (period after giving birth) is a time when you physically and emotionally – yes both, again – move through changes after delivering your baby. At the same time, you’re learning how to deal with the fact that you’re now a mother, and that you and your partner will be taking care of the smallest and newest part of the family. Believe me, none of that would be easy, which is why being aware of postpartum care is essential for you right now. Don’t let yourself get lost in all the changes. Here’s a quick guide of postpartum care for mothers! PHYSICAL CHANGES & HOW TO COPE WITH THEM: 1. Breast Swelling and Afterpains. Days after giving birth, your breasts would fill with milk and you’ll feel some swelling and tenderness. You may also feel afterpains after breastfeeding. These are crampy contractions but are signs that your body is working properly. It would eventually become more comfortable if you keep feeding your baby regularly. To ease discomfort, apply a warm or cold compress to your breasts to reduce the swelling. 2. Toilet Time. Since your uterus has been accustomed to the heavy weight during pregnancy, the sudden disappearance of that weight would have your body adjust again. Eating high-fiber food would regularize bowel activity, as well as drinking plenty of water. 3. Pelvic Floor Changes. The area between your rectum and vagina is the perineum or the perineal area. Most of the time, it tears during birth, and the stitches may become uncomfortable while they heal. However, even without stitches, the area around your vagina may feel bruised and swollen. To help the process of healing, you can: Always keep the area clean with soap and water during bathing/shows. Ice the area with cold packs wrapped in towels to help reduce the swelling. Sitting on a pillow. Use a plastic squeeze bottle (or bidet if you have one in your restroom) to gently squirt water as you urinate. Do Kegel exercises to tighten and release the vaginal muscles and increase the flow of blood to the area.   4. Uterine Pain. Cramping can be caused by the shrinking of the uterus, but don’t worry. The pain would subside over time. However, you can ask for a medication from your doctor for the pain as well. 5. Vaginal Discharge. This is normal, and you may experience it for two to four weeks after giving birth. Wear sanitary napkins until it stops, however, it’s advised to go without a pad for at least an hour each day to allow air circulation. PHYSICAL HEALTH CARE While dealing with your body changes and adjustments, you’ll also need to look out for your physical health. Rest whenever you can and sleep when the baby sleeps. Avoid stair climbing as much as possible as well as lifting anything heavier than your baby. Save steps and time by having your baby’s bed and needs near you. Ask for help from your family and friends when you need to, especially for heavy household chores or buying items from the store. Taking a walk and doing simple exercises would be a big help as well.   PHYSICAL NUTRITION Besides physical health care, having a healthy diet to support your postpartum care for yourself is essential not just for you, but for breastfeeding your baby as well. For postnatal care, continue taking your vitamins daily as well as eating healthy meals. It’s best to avoid alcohol and caffeine intake during this period as well. Eating grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein foods would be the advisable ones. Drinking fluids, such as water and milk, would help you refresh the body fluids that your body releases.   MENTAL HEALTH If you’re questioning yourself right now of all the doubting and other feelings you’re experiencing right now, it’s normal. However, you need to distinguish the difference if you’re having baby blues or if it’s already postpartum depression. Baby blues are caused by major hormonal changes, and it may include: sadness, mood changes, unexplained crying, irritability, insomnia, and restlessness. However, these won’t last very long. Postpartum depression, on the other hand, can be caused by a familial or personal history of depression, traumatic birth experience, or stressors during the last few months of pregnancy. Its symptoms are extreme mood swings, loneliness, exhaustion, irrationality, aggression, and feelings of anxiousness. Some moms even have thoughts of harming themselves or their babies. MENTAL HEALTH CARE It’s okay to cry if you want to. Talk and listen to your partner about parenthood and discuss how you’ll both be raising your baby. Invite someone from your family or circle of friends to visit you at home. This would help you catch up with them and they can help you with your household chores as well. Get out of the house. Go for walks and alone time to give yourself a breather. Be good to yourself. Stop focusing on being the perfect wife, mother, or having the perfect home. Take things at your own pace each day and reward yourself for getting through the day. Find your rhythm with your baby. This would help you ease into the motherhood phase and help you find out how you can better bond with him/her. Do not punish yourself for pregnancy weight gain and aim for a drastic weight loss after giving birth. Eating healthy and having simple daily exercises would get you back in shape in no time. Motherhood and building a family are never easy. Postpartum care may sometimes even feel like a chore to you. But treasure the moments when you see your partner carry your baby as if he/she was a precious gemstone. Treasure the moments when your baby suddenly grasps your finger and you catch yourself smiling and crying. By the end of a tiring day, despite the body changes and the cycle of postnatal care you had to go through, you’ll know. It’s all worth it.

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