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Co-sleeper or crib? That is the question

There are so many ways for a baby to sleep, but most parents will choose from one of three ways – full crib, full co-sleep or half-crib and half co-sleep. There are so many reasons that you choose the sleep pattern that you do. However, with three kids and three different ways of teaching them to sleep I have had a lot of experience in doing it the wrong way. Co-sleeper or crib? Let me say that I have slept with babies in my bed as well as having babies exclusively sleep in a crib. Co-sleeping is almost as controversial as the vaccinations. Many women feel guilty about co-sleeping – but I don't. The Crib Sleeper - As a new parent I thought what all of the ‘older and wiser’ people were telling me was the truth. So without question I listened. However, there is some research that says that it might not be best to co-sleep. The number one problem is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In the western cultures there are so many different types of bedding and even mattresses that can make a big difference when thinking of co-sleeping. Out of my three children my oldest one is the one that never spent a day in my bed as a baby. He was the child that was laid down in his bed and was allowed to cry it out to help to acclimate him to being alone. Man was that a mistake. After he was old enough to walk he would climb out of bed and crawl all over me. To this day as a teenager he still tries to climb on of me and snuggle. This makes me feel that maybe he missed something as a baby. My half-crib and half co-sleeping baby - Once realizing the older and wiser might not ALWAYS be correct, I went with my gut a little more when considering a co-sleeper or crib. Even though I thought about SIDS, sleep deprivation won in this case. Unlike my previous child I decided to breastfeed this baby. Waking up in the middle of night to walk across the house was horrible, and cold, so we did the dreaded co-sleeping. It was so much better than the constant waking him up to sleep. There were some cons to co-sleeping. Co-sleeping can encourage breastfeeding, which made it easier for me...
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Parents should use teacher tools to silence kids

At one time or another, all parents need to take on the role of teachers in a classroom, using teacher tools that help manage children. Managing classroom noise level with common sense is not all that common, after all. But it will happen to you – it might come at a church retreat or a large babysitting party where kids are gathered for a game of learning. Regardless, it can be daunting to understand how best to coral their spirits while keeping things flowing and fun. Existing teacher tools can help.

Rob Plevin’s tutorial for taking control of kids using his Classroom Management Strategies have been followed by thousands of teachers. Now, it’s worthy for us parents to also evaluate these ideas for our own use with the kids we undoubtedly have to manage from time to time.

Managing classroom noise level with common sense

I remember waking up before school and telling my mother I didn't want to go. "Give me two reasons why you don't want to go?" she asked. "Well, the kids all hate me and the teachers hate me, too," I replied. "Oh that's not a good reason not to go to school. Now, get up and get going!" I resisted and begged with my mother, "Give me two good reasons why I should go to school today?" She didn't miss a beat and said, "Well, you're 25 years old and you're getting paid to teach!" I started teaching in a school in the Philippines last month and was very excited about it. The job in Asia was offered to me suddenly, only days before the start of school. I do have teaching experiences during an internship, but this would be my first experience with teaching as a profession. I've never had to think about managing classroom noise level, but I figured it would be easy during my first day as a teacher. I was wrong. classroom noise level with common senseMy first day on the job didn't start well. I was sick. Nonetheless, a teacher should always be ready – just like a boy scout. I sniffled my way into the classroom after downing ample amounts of cold medicine, the same cold medicine parents use to get their kids to sleep. The first hours I felt like my head was in a fishbowl. The kids seemed to realize immediately that there was something different about their teacher. I was not managing classroom noise level because I could hardly hear it. "Do you have a cold?" one of them screamed. I responded that my cold didn't inhibit my ability to hear them in the classroom. "Why is everyone screaming all the time?" I asked again, quieting the class after my ears popped and everyone seemed to be in chaos. I must admit that I found the level of noise surprising. Of course it's all made worse because of the communication gap – they cannot understand me when I speak only in English, so I translate despite the fact they sometimes don't understand me. I'm not fluent in Aklan – many students' mother tongue – so it's all quite complicated at times. But my training has taught me to focus on activities instead of speaking too...
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Homeschool stigma fades while numbers rise

Last year, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics released that there are 1,770,000 homeschooled students in the US.  This is a huge jump from 1.5 million students in 2007. Now, 1.7 million may not sound much since it represents just 3.4% of children of school age, but the fact still remains that the number is on the rise since it was first tracked in 1999 when there were only 850,000 homeschooled students. Right now, there are two options when it comes to schooling – institutions and homeschooling. Of course, most parents prefer the traditional form of sending them off to public or private institutions. Only a little more than 3% of parents homeschool, a statistic so lopsided as to stigmatize those parents who do decide to teach kids themselves. It’s easy to see why this is the case. After all, most parents were traditionally schooled, so the idea of something that doesn't always seem viable. I admit that I didn’t want to be homeschooled because I didn’t want people to think that I was weird – only religious nuts and actors were home-schooled. There's many an article that argue that most homeschooled kids ended up weird. Homeschooling PaceBut homeschooling is on the rise. There are social media homeschooling websites where families have a dedicated community. When I started digging into the reasons why parents homeschool, the first thing I found was that private pre-schools are run as commercial institutions meant to maximize profits. It’s like every move your kid makes there’s an attached fee structure that provides the school with the opportunity to increase tuition. Sure, I know that they have to pay the bills, but so do I. By homeschooling my kids, I can save a lot of money. For starters, I’m going to save on $4,460 to $13,158 per year, the average cost for preschools in the US. You’re probably thinking ... what the heck do I know about educating kids? Well, I'm keenly aware of the work that lay ahead of me. There are homeschooling programs to follow, some for a fee, which teach parents the methodology and provide the lessons for children. Many of these homeschooling programs are actively promoting themselves as ways to teach children to learn, not teach children to take tests. Many of today's academics are  betraying their...
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