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parenting 101 tips and tricks

Great Gift Ideas to Give Your Teen Before University

You’ve watched them grow into the wonderful, talented young people they are today. They’ve worked hard at school, at their extra-curricular activities, and in their social lives. You couldn’t be prouder of them ~ of what they have achieved, of who they are, and of their dreams. Their birthday, or even their graduation, before they move out of their childhood bedrooms and into their university dorms is the perfect time to give them a great, useful gift that will help them succeed.

A New Laptop

tips and tricks, parenting 101, College, parenting tips, school, gift ideas

Your child will be going off to study at a prestigious university, and for that, they need a new laptop. They will be working long hours, writing down notes, essays, reports, and presentations. Your old, second-hand computer won’t cut it. They’ll need a fast and reliable machine that can handle all the programs they need at once. Their laptop will be their lifeline. They’ll use it to call you, to watch their favorite movies and TV programs, to work, to message their friends, and more.

Laptops are the salvation of the present age. Give them a great laptop for them to use throughout their time in university.

A Car

All parents hate watching their children move out, which is the personal reason why many parents opt to buy their child a car for university. Naturally, you would never waste your money on a new car – the value depreciates the second you drive it off the lot – but you can certainly get your child a used car. Not only will your young adult have the freedom and ability to travel to places near town, but they also have a means to support themselves. Do they need food, but it’s pouring rain? Now you no longer need to worry about them starving.

tips and tricks, parenting 101, College, parenting tips, school, gift ideas

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Jared mum's thoughts parenting 101

Surviving Our First Week Back To School

back-to-school, mum's thoughts, parenting 101, Jared
I got a thumbs up from my first grader! :)

Today marks the little one’s first week back to school. If truth be told, I cannot believe how quickly time zoomed by and I now have a first grader! Half of me cannot wait to witness all the beautiful things that are about to happen to my first-born, while the other half wanted to freeze time and cocoon my little one so he can stay small for just a bit longer or until mum is ready to let him out into the great big world!

And as if the inner turmoil is not enough, Jared went to school and back home after class on his own for the first time today, too. As I kiss him to send him off for what seemed to be the longest day of my life, thoughts are careening in my head one after another ~ can he manage to travel on his own? Is it okay to let him go alone? But he was too young to be alone? The internal monologue enumerating the pros and cons of letting him on his own continued until it is time for mum to wait for the school boy’s arrival early in the afternoon. I quickly checked how his travel and ride went and if he was behaving while traveling. He answered that everything went well and asked if he can travel to and from school alone from now on.

So, yeah, I guess it is safe to assume that my little one is slowly maturing and that he is starting to gain more independence and would soon be needing mum less. Although I welcome the change, as well as the longer hours of peace and quiet at home leaving me with more time to do chores, work, rest, or whatever it is that I love to do at a given time, the house and I felt like an empty nest without the flurry of activities and the cacophony of Jared-related noise. Yeah, it is easy to tell that I am emotional at some point at this sudden turn of events.

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Jared jared's nook tot schooling

The Little School Boy’s Grades Are In!

school, tot schooling, Jared, jared's nook, preschool

I was at the little man’s school earlier today to get his report card for the first quarter of this school year. Given that the little guy is a first-time schooler and is just beginning to develop a good study habit, I must say that he did a great job! I cannot help but be anxious as to how his very first major exams will turn out as Jared would rather play with his toys or watch movies on the telly if he will have his way. Sometimes when he is in the mood, he’d ask for his homework before doing anything else once we got home from school. But more often than not, he’d rather put it off until early in the evening and opts to do something else. I am a firm believer of taking the child’s lead as the best way for the little ones to learn, but early in his life I would also want for my son to develop a sound study habit so he can avoid cramming, or worse failing exams, in the future.

school, tot schooling, Jared, jared's nook, preschool

I try as much as I can to ensure that Jared understands each lesson, as well as ensure that he do all his homework by himself with mum supervising on the side. For his major exams, we reviewed the lessons included in his pointers and I printed a couple of worksheets for him to practice on. He was a little confused with ordinal numbers so I made sure to include those in the reviewers.

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mum's thoughts tips and tricks

10 Back-To-School Tips For Kids

tips + tricks, school, oral hygiene, Unilab
image is from freedigitalphotos.net

The beginning of yet another school year is not only quite challenging for the students who will go to school each day but more so for the mums who need to make sure their children wake up early so they get to school on time, do their homework, pass their exams, while making sure they are well-nourished and continuously fed with healthy and nutritious meals that will enable them to perform well in school.

The little man goes to big school for the first time this year and I am certain that we shall be entering yet another exciting and challenging chapter in our wonderful journey together. Although it may take a few more years before I can finally have a very serious conversation with him about the do’s and don’ts while in school, I am stocking up on little nuggets of wisdom this early so I will be sure to give my son just the right amount of reminders to ensure he makes the most of his time in school. Here are 10 back-to-school advice off the top of my head which I am sure most mums with school-aged kids will find handy:

  1. Sleep Early ~ this might be an over-used cliche, but waking up way too early in the morning sure needs a lot of practice . To make sure the children wakes up very early in the morning it is a must that they have enough sleep the previous night. It also pays to have a very well-thought morning routine so the children can easily prepare for school.

    tips + tricks, school, oral hygiene, Unilab
    The 3 variants of Swish Mouthwash: Peppermint Fresh, Arctic Chill, and Mangosteen Mint
  2. Use the grooming kit stashed in your bag ~ mums see to it that you maintain good grooming  and excellent personal hygiene even when you are busy honing your talents, improving your skills and stocking up on knowledge while in school. It is good that mums can rely on Swish Mouthwash to take care of your chompers and your fresh breath while in school.
    tips + tricks, school, oral hygiene, Unilab
    Swish Breath Spray in Peppermint Fresh Flavor

    It comes in a variety of flavors that I am sure any student will like. What is good about them is that they are alcohol-free so they are ideal for use even for children as young as 7 years old. They also come in handy 60ml bottles that mums can easily include in the children’s grooming kits. Not only that, they also come in a very handy and convenient Breath Spray form so the kids can easily have clean and fresh breath without breaking a sweat. Swish is also a quality product of Unilab, a brand trusted by most mums.

  3. Eat your snacks {which I have especially made for you!} ~ nothing is more delighted by your eagerness to learn and fraternize with your classmates than mums, but please eat your baon and do not skip meals in school just so you can have more time to play or study. It requires a well-nourished body to achieve a well-educated mind so it is a must that you finish your snacks and meals first, especially that we prepared them to ensure that you get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals to keep you going in school.
  4. Be mindful of the labels in your school stuff ~ mum lovingly put those labels in your school stuff so you will find it convenient to locate your things at any given time. It is also very handy in making sure you won’t misplace your things.
  5. Establish a regular study time at home. It will prove more effective if you will create a schedule at home for your homework and review. Make sure that you coordinate with mum so she can free up her schedule and tutor you with your homework or review you for an upcoming exam. Know that your study time will always be one of mum’s top priorities for the day.
  6. Good grades are great but it is more important that you learn in class ~ Grades may be a very great indicators of how well you are performing in class but mum wouldn’t mind if you get less-than-exemplary marks at times as long as you tried your best to pass and you do understand the lessons your teacher are discussing. You can always do better next time so just keep trying!
  7. Listen to your teacher ~ this is something that I have to stress everyday for my little man considering that he only started going to school and has yet to fully grasp its dynamics. But it does pay to remind even the bigger kids to take heed of the teacher’s reminders as the teachers, after all, are the students’ parents while in school.
  8. Make friends ~ school can be a grind sometimes, plus you will stay there for the most part of your childhood so it does pay to have good friends whom you can share the good and the not-so-good times. They make life all the more exciting and enjoyable while you spend time in school.
  9. Books are your best friends ~ these little things are a treasure trove of information that you will find valuable in a quiz, in term papers or in major exams. Mum will make sure to cover them properly at the beginning of each term but it is up to you to care for them and keep them safe as you go about your daily school activities.
  10. Enjoy school ~ in whatever you do it is ideal to inject a bit of fun in it to make it all the more exciting and something to look forward to. So while learning and struggling to pass every exam, do not forget to enjoy every minute you spend in school!  :-))
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products and brands

A Few More Back-To-School Essentials

tips + tricks, mum's thoughts, school
cheap address label, tableware + face towels

A few more weeks and we are saying goodbye to the beautiful summer season and ushering in the cold rainy months {at least in our part of the globe}. Along with the wet weather, we also welcoming the new school year and I am sure as early as two months ago mums of school-aged kids are already hoarding on school stuffs like bags, books, shoes and uniforms. Shopping for these items early will prove to be beneficial as prices are expected to hike up once the opening of school nears. Plus you also get to avoid the maddening crowd that almost always comes with last-minute shopping. If I were to shop for the little man’s school stuff, I know I will visit the mall or the bookstore earlier to avoid the rush and the stress that goes with it.

Anyway, am sure most mums are probably set and ready for the new school year, but for those who will be doing another quick visit to the bookstore to get things that they might have forgotten the first time, you might as well stock up on these essentials, too.

  • Cheap address labels ~ are most ideal especially for pre-school kids who might have difficulty figuring out which notebooks are theirs in a mound of several dozens of identical notebooks. I recommend you get those personalized address labels and add a couple of your little one’s favorite cartoon character or super hero in them so that he can spot his stuff easily.
  • Colorful face towels ~ get the 100% combed cotton type which are perfect for children who perspire profusely. They can use them to wipe sweat and dirt from their skin and double as a perfect cloth to put on their backs on a hot afternoon. I am a fan of these face towels and I got mine from Bench. They sell for Php69 each and are available in a wide array of colors so you can get a set for your little boy or your fashionista little girl
  • Spoon/fork/chopstick set ~ this is perfect for mums who prepare their children’s meal for school. Throw in one of these set and your kiddos are good to go. It even comes with a cute bag to stuff the tableware in so they can easily stash it in their bags or lunchbox. I found this at  Landmark in Trinoma. The bag comes in different colors so you can get the one in your little tots favorite shade. They sell at Php49 a set.

I am sure you have a few more back-to-school essentials to add to this list so do not forget to drop a comment and tell me all about it! Here’s to another great school year ahead!  :-D

first image is from www.colorfulimages.com

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mum's thoughts

Reedley International School: An Anti-Bullying School

mum's thoughts, issues concerning mums, school

Bullying is such a big issue that concerns parents like me and it is a big threat to children and adults alike. That is why when a dear friend of mine invited me to attend the Reedley International School talk on bullying I readily agree. I wanted to know everything I can about this issue and hope that my little man will not be able to experience it or do this to other people when he grows older. I know mums are a tad worrier but who ‘s mum in her right mind wouud like her child to go through this kind of situation, right? The more I know about it, the more I can prevent this from harming my growing son.

No To Bullying

mum's thoughts, issues concerning mums, school
Headmaster Jerome Castro, sharing the secret to their bully-free campus

It is quite a relief to know that an international school takes this issue very seriously and painstakingly align their school vision to fight bullying. I do not think I would agree that bullying is something normal and that all students go through it as some sort of “rite of passage.” I’ve seen the news and I read stories of how bad bullying can go and drive young students to quit school, or worse, take their own lives! This is something no one should ever go through and I do hope other schools in our country will follow suit and will grab bullying by it horns and devise ways and measures to eliminate them in their classrooms and campuses.

Anatomy of Bullying

mum's thoughts, issues concerning mums, school
the various ways to prevent bullying, from Teacher Nico’s piece