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Facts for All Ages
Parenting
child swimming

Safety in the Pool

Preventing Swimming Disasters Many children love to cool off on a hot summer day in a swimming pool. Did you know that swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States? Swimming is an ideal way for children and adults to stay physically active, and just two and a half hours of swimming per week can decrease the risk of chronic illness. When...

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reading

Break from School

Break from School It's close to the end of the school year for my household and we are already gearing up for all the summer activities. For most parents and children, there is a shift in routine. It becomes a challenge whether you are figuring out how to balance the hustle of taking your child to sports camps, band camps, additional educational classes, livestock shows, and/or games. T...

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I Can Do It!!! Helping Preschoolers learn Self-Help Skills

Preschool children grow and learn at an amazing pace. They can't wait to feel busy, successful, grown-up, and independent. They begin practicing self-help skills at age two during the "me do it myself" stage. Even though this is annoying to adults at times, it paves the way for their development of essential skills for school success. What are Self-Help Skills?...

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Child with Apple iPad

Screen Time and Young Children: A Q& A from the Illinois Early Learning Project

Screen Time and Young Children A big thank you to the Illinois Early Learning Project located at the University of Illinois for their partnership, support and permission to share this information on our blog! "Screen time" refers to time spent using a device (e.g., television, game console, tablet, computer, smart phone). Increasingly, children are spending more time using...

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Helping Your Child Make Decision for Higher Education

Helping your child make decision for higher education Decision making While I was attending a dual credit meeting for my daughter, I was thinking about all the decisions that high school juniors and seniors are making. High school students are planning and thinking about their future; if they want to attend a trade school, work at a local business, start their own busin...

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Don't Put Off Reading This Article!

Mark Twain said "Never put off til tomorrow, what you can do the day after tomorrow." As I've been helping my son during his senior year of High School, I hav...

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Too Much is NOT a Good Thing

Originally printed in March of 2017, but thought it would be worthwhile to release again. While on vacation a few weeks ago, I noticed there were many elementary and middle school aged children present at our resort. I also noticed tha...

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Building Your Baby's Brain

      Building Your Baby's Brain was originally posted in March 2016. The complexity of the human brain is nothing short of amazing. The changes which occur in a baby's brain are significant from the time of conception to three years of age. As a caregiver of a baby, it is your goal to support healthy brain development. Here are a few suggestions to help:...

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Fun at Home with Preschoolers: Getting Ready to Read!

Used with permission through a partnership with the Illinois Early Learning Project.  www.illinoisearlylearning.org Is your child between the ages of 3 and 5? If so, you can do a lot to make getting ready to read a natural part of daily life. Most 3- to 5-year-olds still have a way to go before they are ready to read and write. There's no need to rush this natural growth, but you ca...

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5 cures for cabin fever

5 Cures for Cabin Fever

With much of the state covered in snow and plunging into the deep freeze this week, I thought I'd re-share this blog originally posted in 2016. "Mom, he's touching me." "No, mom, HE's looking at me." "MOOOooooM, tell him to stop touching MEEEEEE." "I'LL STOP touching you when you stop...

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Your Teen's Developing Brain

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Tips on Handling Tantrums

Tips on Handling Tantrums Can you think of a time where either you had a toddler or you witnessed a toddler in the store checkout line throwing...

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Fun at Home with Preschoolers: Let's Measure!

Fun at Home with Preschoolers: Let's Measure! This is used with permission from the Illinois Early Learning Project https://illinoisearlylearning.org/tipsheets/fun-measure/ Your preschool-age child hears you talk about miles, inches, pounds, liters, acres, and minutes. He sees you measuring things. He may wonder how tall he is or how long he can stand on one foot. Here are so...

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Family Holidays…not always merry & bright

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Gifts Kids Really Want

Despite the title, I am not going to talk about the latest video game or Monster High doll! According to authors Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock-Staeheli in their book Unplug the Christmas Machine, as early as the age of four or five kids can l...

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Winter Fitness

Winter Fitness Now that winter is upon us, it is quite comforting to sit down with a movie, hot chocolate, and your family for some quality time together. Although it is important to do some enjoyable and relaxing activities, it is important to try to incorporate some plans that include physical movement for overall fitness. Even though you may have to be creative in yo...

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Achieving Balance in Your Life

Periodically, I am asked to do a presentation on work/life balance. Everyone is so busy juggling work, school, family, friends, household duties, self-care, etc., that they want to know how to fit everything in their schedules. This can be a very tricky thing to accomplish s...

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Holidays and Traditions ~ tis the season

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Practicing Daily Gratitude

Practicing Daily Gratitude

Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday and with it quickly approaching, I thought I would re-share a blog post from 2015. Food, family, and of course remembering what I am thankful for makes turkey day the best day for me.  I also relish this time of year because it seems as if EVERYONE is practicing more gratitude.  Scrolling through social media, you will likely find at least on...

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Stay Mommy, Stay!

When my son was very young, I remember dropping him off at the child care center and then preschool. I recall seeing little ones crying, clinging to their parents – and then seeing those same parents crying in the parking lot. It is very...

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Making the Grade

        School has been in full-swing for a while and…ready or not…the...

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Be proactive! Create a Family Disaster Supply Kit!

Information in this blog comes directly from the University of Illinois Extension Disaster Resources Web Page The images from Hurricane Florence had me thinking this morning.  Would my family be prepared for such a disaster?  Sadly, my answer was no. When disaster strikes, loc...

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Make Family Mealtimes Happen

With many families in back-to-school busy mode, it can sometimes be difficult to enjoy having meals together. However, research shows that having meals together is beneficial for individuals as well as the whole family. F...

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Back to school! Ease those First-Day Blues! A tip sheet from the Illinois Early Learning Project

Ease Those First-Day Blues! A tip sheet from the Illinois Early Learning Project! Separations, sadness, fears, and tears—a young child's first day in your program can be challenging for children and adults! These strategies can help teachers and caregivers make it easier for children and parents to get through those first-day blues. Help families prepare....

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Bullying or Peer Conflict

Back to School, Back to Bullying?

With the start of the new school year, I thought I'd re-share a blog post on bullying I wrote in 2015.  This timely information is a great reminder for us all in how to tell bullying apart from peer conflict. A concerned parent once approached me with a myriad of questions on bullying. Why was her child being excluded from the peer group? What about name calling – is that bullying? Why...

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