Category Archives: Family

Have A Meaningful Conversation With Your Child

Have you ever wanted to know what happened at school, but can’t seem to find the right questions to ask to get the conversation going with your child? Here are some questions that will get the conversation going…

How To Have A Meaningful Conversation With Your Child

Going Beyond “How was your day?”

How To Have A Meaningful Conversation With Your Child

Questions to ask your child after school to get a meaningful conversation started:

  • What was the best thing that happened at school today?
  • What was the worst thing that happened at school today?
  • What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
  • Tell me something that made you laugh today.
  • Tell me about what you read in class today.
  • If you could choose, who would you like to spend more time with at school? Why?
  • What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?
  • Who did you sit by at lunch? What did you talk about?
  • Show me something you learned today?
  • What part of the school day is your favorite?
  • Tell me the names of 3 special people at school.
  • What was the most interesting or funny thing that your teacher said today?
  • What class rules does your teacher say are important?
  • Tell me one interesting fact about your teacher.
  • What’s your favorite time of day at school?
  • What are you looking forward to at school tomorrow?
  • Did you get frustrated with anything at school today?
  • Were you able to finish all of your work today?
  • Tell me about a new word you learned at school.
  • If I called your teacher tonight, what would she/he tell me about you?

I hope this helps you have a meaningful conversation with your child. I know how hard it can be to get little people to start talking about their day at school… With these questions at your side, this should get the conversation going a LOT faster.

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Back To School For The Special Needs Child

Back To School For The Special Needs ChildAfter years of bad experiences with back to school time, we have finally developed a routine that works best for going back to school with a special needs child. Since we finally developed a routine that works, I am hoping that sharing it here will help someone else who struggles like we did in the past.

Back To School For The Special Needs Child

Here’s my plan, as time moves along…

During the summer

During the summer, we do take a break, but we still make it a point to do some reading and writing every day. We make it a point to do one math worksheet, one writing project, and at least 30 minutes of reading every day.

Two weeks prior

We start waking up earlier. We slowly adjust our schedule by 15-30 minutes per day (depending on how late we’ve been sleeping.

We also contact the school to schedule a meeting with our next teacher(s).

One week prior

We meet with the school. We make it a point to meet with literally every person that my son will be working with that school year. We make it a point to meet in their classroom(s) so that he can get used to it, and have a feel for what the year is going to be like.

We also start getting up at the exact time we will have to every morning so that we can get dressed, brush our teeth, eat breakfast, and get to the bus stop on time. We actually walk all the way to the bus stop too, so that we know we won’t be late.

Open house

Even though we’ve already met with teachers, I feel like it is VITAL to go to open house, so that my son can get a feel of what the school is going to be like when it is crowded with other students. After all, he has had a 3 month break from the chaos.

The day before

We get up, go through our routine, and answer any questions he may have, to the best of our ability.

The first day of school

No matter how much I want to drive my kids, I put them on the bus so that we can get into routine. And, I take the day off and stay home, so that in case there is an emergency, I can make myself available and be at the school within minutes.

The first two weeks

I stick with the routine. No drop-offs, no pick-ups, no changing the routine unless absolutely necessary.

Helpful tips
  • Keep paperwork organized
    • Keep a calendar for school events, IEP meetings, and teacher conferences, as well as any other meetings or appointments
  • Start a communication log
    • Keep track of all emails, phone calls, notes home, etc. I suggest keeping all of this in a binder and notating dates and times of each of these.
  • Review the current IEP to make sure that it still fits all of your child’s needs
  • Establish a before and after school routine
  • Try to attend all school events. An involved parent is also an informed parent, and better capable of advocating for their child.
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Trail Mix Day

In keeping with my days of the year addiction, I found out that today is TRAIL MIX DAY! Now, I don’t really know why trail mix has it’s very own day, but I sure love it enough that I’m not going to complain. Heck, I could probably devote a whole week to nothing but trail mix. 😉

Homemade-Trail-Mix-Recipe7

Since my boys are still home from school (can September 8th get here fast enough?) and not really into my whole cleaning and organizing thing that I have going on for today, we are taking a small break to create our own trail mixes. After all, trail mix is designed to give you energy for strenuous activities right? So what better than energy for cleaning our rooms and getting ready for the school year!

Traditional old boring trail mix is nuts and raisins… We aren’t really big on boring trail mix in my house. And, to be honest, my boys love raisins, but I hate them, so they’re not going anywhere near my trail mix.

Things to consider putting into trail mix are:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Dried Fruit
    • Raisins
    • Dried apples
    • Cherries
    • Cranberries
    • Goji berries
    • Blueberries
    • Strawberries
    • Apricots
    • Banana chips
    • Figs
    • Pineapple chunks
    • Mango
  • Grains
    • Shredded wheat cereal
    • Pretzels
    • Whole-grain cereals like Cheerios or Chex
    • Bran flakes
    • Whole-wheat crackers
    • Granola
    • Toasted oats
    • Puffed rice cereal
    • Air-popped popcorn
  • Sweets
    • M&Ms
    • Chips of various kinds (chocolate, peanut butter, carob, butterscotch)
    • Cacao nibs
    • Yogurt-covered raisins
    • Chocolate-covered coffee beans
    • Mini marshmallows
    • Chocolate-covered nuts
  • Savory Extras
    • Sea salt
    • Curry
    • Ground ginger
    • Cinnamon
    • Nutmeg
    • Cardamom
    • Cayenne pepper

Now for our choices…

Mom’s Trail Mix

Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pecans, cranberries, and just a few dark chocolate chips.

It’s really yummy, healthy, and gives you lots of energy!

Micheal’s Trail Mix

Popcorn, peanuts, and M&Ms.

There’s a part of me that wonders if Micheal’s qualifies as trail mix, but he likes it, and it’s healthy, so we’re rolling with it.

Kyle’s Trail Mix

Banana chips, peanut butter chips, peanuts, almonds, dark chocolate chips.

I have to say that Kyle’s idea was actually better than mine! It was DELICIOUS!

Trail Mix Health Note:

As healthy as anything can be, it’s all only good in moderation. Therefor, it’s suggested to only consume about 1/4 cup of trail mix. Kyle and I measured ours out into bags that we can bring to school with us. I’m not sure how the popcorn will hold up, so our plan is to sit down for a movie and all munch on Micheal’s “trail mix” this afternoon.

Trail Mix - Baggies 2

 

Happy trails to you!

Alicia

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