Monday, November 30, 2009

Get Involved With Your Child's Education!

Most parents are truly concerned with their child's education. They really want the "best education possible" for their child, but don't know how to make that happen or are simply intimidated with the school environment. In order for a school to be the "best" possible there must be a total commitment from the school leadership, teachers, parents, and students.

The reading and math curriculum is very different from when most parents and grandparents were in school. Therefore, many parents are unable to understand the homework and cannot help their child after school. So, what is a parent to do if they want to help with homework? There are some websites that can help you. For parents of kindergarten and first grade children go to This is an excellent website! For parents of older children google "homework" or "parent university". Parent university will show you different states and school districts that are offering parents classes to learn how to help with homework today.

To find out what your child needs to master in the beginning, middle, and end of grades K-6, purchase my book, "A Parent's Handbook: How to Get the Best Education Possible for Your Child K-6 Grades". This handbook/workbook will give you a pacing guide on what your child should master and the time of year they should master that skill. It will also give you important tips on making sure your child is getting the "best education possible." Parents that are involved with their child's education do better than children with little or no parental support. If the child knows that doing well in school is expect and important, the child will feel the same way. So, GET INVOLVED!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Why Should I Be Thankful?

Why should I be Thankful when there are wars and rumors of wars?
Because you are living in a free country and have choices and more.

Why should I be Thankful when children are staving and poverty is their fate?

Because you are able to go to school and make a difference before it's too late.

Why should I be Thankful when there are prejudice and greed in this world?

Because you can show others that love is more important then diamonds and pearls.

Why should I be Thankful when everyone doesn't have basic health care?

Because you are able to express various opinions and vote to make it fair.

Why should I be Thankful when our leaders say things that will never come true?

Because you are an American and freedom and choices are here for you!

Why should I be Thankful give me one reason or two

You should be Thankful because God truly loves you!!!!

By: Debra E. West

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How To Be Stress Free In 7 Days

Stress is all around you. Stress is a metal condition generally brought on by worrying about things you cannot change and/or feeling overwhelmed by a situation. Kids are suffering from stress probably more than ever these days, but stress can be managed. According to Ann Steward, here are 7 days of stress eliminating methods. You should add 1 each day until you have incorporated all 7. Include your stressed child if you feel it is appropriate.

1. Acknowledge that stress is good - Make stress your friend. Your body reacts to stress either by fighting it or fleeing from it.

2. Avoid stressed people - Stressed people like to talk about problems and it can affect you.

3. Learn from the best - When you see others coping well with stress, watch them! Why are they different? What is their attitude? What language do they use?

4. Practice breathing techniques - Breathe in slowly for a count of 7. Then breathe out for a count of 11. Repeat the 7-11 breathing until your heart rate slows down.

5. Put a stop to stressful thoughts - Most things are out of your control or never happen. Try not to put energy on worrying needlessly.

6. Isolate your trigger points and hot spots - Make a list of stress points. Examples of stress points might be presentations, interviews, meetings, or taking a test, public speaking, feedback from a supervisor. Once you know your stress factors take appropriate steps to reduce them.

7. Take care of your body - Lack of sleep, poor diet, and no exercise will add to stress.

For more information on how to be stress free in 7 days go to

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cure For Thanksgiving Tummy Ache - Peppermint

For all who over-ate at the Thanksgiving Feast there is a herb for stomach upset. I have used peppermint tea for tummy aches and it really does help. Start by brewing a cup of peppermint tea with lemon, sugar or honey. If that doesn't do the trick, you might like what James A. Duke, author of "The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods" suggest:

Make a mint julep. Alcohol extracts more of the plant's medicinal oils than water. To make a mint julep;

1. Place 2-4 sprigs of fresh mint in bottom of a glass

2. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to glass

3. Crush the mint and sugar together with the back of a spoon

4. Add 1 ounce of bourbon and a splash of water

5. Stir until the sugar dissolves

6. Top off glass with crushed ice

7. Stir again and sip slowly

I personally haven't tried the mint julep, but the peppermint tea is something I have used for years. Hope some peppermint tea or a mint julep with help that Thanksgiving aching tummy. To read more about peppermint tonic for the tummy read the December 2009 issue of Better Homes and Garden.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 15: Thanksgiving Card Activity

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!!!
My family is sharing Thanksgiving with our youngest daughter's in-laws, the Fulford. They are such a wonderful, loving, close family and for them to open their doors to my entire family is truly a blessing. I am roasting the turkey, making the gravy, and making the rolls. It is such a blessing to share the cooking with other women who can REALLY cook!!!! I am so thankful that Debbie has a husband that loves her and her two sweet children, and his family loves her too. It thrills my heart!!! It is wonderful to see your children growing up and building a life for themselves. Remember to bless someone else today with a kind word or deed. Don't forget to share your Thanksgiving entries with your loved ones today. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 14: Thanksgiving Card Activity

Here is my 14Th Thanksgiving Card entry:

14. November 25, 2009 - I am truly thankful for having the ability and skills to prepare and cook a Thanksgiving meal. My great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, aunts, and other relatives were all outstanding cooks, and I'm thankful that many of the recipes and traditions didn't die with many of their passing. My mother-in-law was a caterer, and she taught me many of her secrets. It is truly a blessing to serve your family and friends a delicious feast. I am thankful for being able to cook and know my children will carry on the tradition. By the way, please share your recipes with your family so the good meals can continue!

Save With Social Network

I was watching "Good Morning America" this morning and they had a special segment on "Saving With Social Network". If you want to get my attention, just mention, "save money" or "lose weight". lol!!

Anyway, on November 23, I gave some information on Cyber Monday. This is just some additional information to help you save this holiday season. If you sign up for a free account on Facebook and Twitter, you can search and "friend" your favorite store. Those store will then send you tweets or notices about secret sales, stream of coupon codes, free shipping, and members only sales delivered directly to your account. All of this before Black Friday or Cyber Monday!!!

To read more information about saving with the social network go and go to seasonstweeting: Save With Social Network or get out there on Black Friday, and SHOP! SHOP! SHOP! and SAVE! SAVE! SAVE!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 13: Thanksgiving Card Activity

Here is my 13Th Thanksgiving Card entry:

13. November 24, 2009 - I am really thankful for the completion and publication of my book, "A Parent's Handbook: How to Get the Best Education Possible for Your Child K-6 Grades." I hope this handbook/workbook will be a useful tool for parents who want to get involved in their child's education. I worked on this project for more than 9.5 years and to see it completed, I feel so grateful and blessed!

To read more about the Thanksgiving Card Activity read my November 8Th and 9Th blog at .

Keep Kids Moving

According to Korohen Jones, the manager of the Huntsville Hospital Wellnes Center, kids must remain active throughout the year. She states that kids have probably been very active during the summer, but wintertime may lead to kids hibernating on the sofa.

During the winter, studies show that children burn half as many calories while consuming more calories than they do the rest of the year. It's not that kids are less energetic during the winter season; they just lack the self-discipline to seek physically engaging activities.

It is up to parents to get creative with opportunities for physical play. Here are some of Korohen's suggestion to make cold weather activity fun and easy. She recommends 60 minutes of daily activity for kids.

1. Go outside and play - Make sure your child is layer closest to the skin is a moisture-wicking fabric. Keep cotton layers away from your skin because they have a tendency to hold moisture. Bundle up with gloves, a scarf and headgear, and play in the backyard or at the neighborhood playground.
2. Have a dance contest - Freestyle or work on a routine to perform for the family.

3. Build a fort - Use some chairs and a sheet to build a fort. Then go on a "bear hunt". Just use your imagination.

4. Scarf Catch - This is fun for younger children. Throw the scarf up in the air, and try to catch it before it hits the ground.

5. Create a parachute using a sheet - Throw some balloons or balled up socks on top to create a wave of excitement.

6. Try a walking challenge for older kids - Use pedometers to challenge the family to see who can get the most steps by dinnertime.

7. Hallway bowling - Use two-liter plastic bottles as pins and a tennis ball as the bowling ball.

Just come up with fun activities that the family can do together and keep active during the cold months.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 12: Thanksgiving Card Activity

Here is my 12Th Thanksgiving Card entry:

12. November 23, 2009 - We have a new grandson, Kalel Ryder West. He was born today at 1:32 P.M. Kalel weights 7lbs and 3oz., and he is 20 inches long. Karim and Katie were so happy it was truly moving. He is the most beautiful baby boys ever and I am thankful he is healthy, beautiful, and strong as Superman! Now Don and I have another grandson to spoil.

For more information on the Thanksgiving Card Activity read my November 8Th and 9th blogs at .

The New Black Friday!!

According to the November 2009 "Better Homes and Garden" magazine, the new Black Friday is Cyber Monday! On November 30Th, tap into 500 virtual vendors that will offer special discounts on everything from clothes to electronics. Shopping online can make shopping easier by not having to fight the crowds and getting some of the great deals out there from your favorite stores. Stores like JC Penney, Barnes & Nobles, Petco, and too many to list. If you haven't tried cyber shopping, you will be surprised how easy and fun it can be. Make sure you are shopping from a legitimate and secure site.

Watch for early shopper and first-time buyer deals. Just visit for the retailers or and look for Cyber Monday deals.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 11: Thanksgiving Card Activity

Here is my 11Th Thanksgiving Card entry:

11. November 22, 2009 - I am so thankful for our home. We are blessed to be able to have all of our children, their spouses or friends, grandchildren, and extended family over for special occasions or holidays. My children and grandchildren know they are always welcome HOME!! For that I am truly thankful.

To learn more about the Thanksgiving Card Activity read my November 8Th and 9Th blog at .

Spend Some One-On-One Time!

Spending some one-on-one time with each of your children is a good way to build a strong and lasting bond. This is time that is special and custom to the two or three of you. Fathers and mothers should consider either spending time with each child together or doing this individually. It really doesn't matter as long as it is planned and meaningful.

Here are some ideas to get started:

1. Explain at a family meeting about the one-on-one time and how everyone will get a chance. to spend individual time with each parent or the parents together.

2. Have some ideas of things they can choose to do, like movies, museums, train ride, bus ride, spa, fishing, golf, bowling, tennis, hiking, or horseback riding.

3. Try to experience something new with each other.

4. Maybe dad could take one child and mom could take the other. If there is a third or fourth child get grandparents or aunts/uncles involved.

5. Just make lasting memories. That is what life is about!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 10: Thanksgiving Card Activity

Today is the 10Th entry to your Thanksgiving Card thoughts.

Here is my 10Th Thanksgiving Card entry:

10. November 21, 2009 - I am so thankful for Don now celebrating 5 years cancer free. He has been through so many treatments and operations, it is such a blessing to see him regaining his strength every day. I am thankful for every day we have together.

For more information on how to get started on the Thanksgiving Card Activity read my November 8Th and 9Th blogs at .

Tips On How To Drop Five Pounds

As I told you before, anything giving ideas on how to lose weight always catches my attention. A really good tip on how to lose 5 pounds is portion patrol!!! With Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season approaching, making wise choices will be the key to not gaining those extra pounds. Another tip according to an article in the December 2009 issue of "Good Housekeeping" is to snack on the 100 calorie snack packs. They suggest you think of them as training wheels for dieting.

In a University of Colorado Denver study, 59 adults ate snack food daily for two weeks. Half of group munched from 100-calorie bags for one week, followed by the same treats from large bags the next; for the other half, the order was reversed. The outcome was that those who first "trained with small packs took in 852 fewer calories from the big bags.

This is a good thing to do with our children. Everyone will be able to recognize the right amount of snack to eat, and they will soon be able to hopefully know when enough is enough. There are so many choices these days. Just making wise decision on portions can make a difference in you and your families waistline. Another tip for getting smaller portions is eating from smaller plates. You just can't fit as much food on smaller plates. Try it and see if it makes a difference!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 9: Thanksgiving Card Activity

Today is the 9Th day to enter your Thanksgiving Card thoughts.

Here is my 9Th Thanksgiving Card entry:

9. November 20, 2009 - I am very thankful for working for administrators, teachers, and support staff who are extremely skilled, professional, hardworking, and caring. The Academy for Academics and Arts is more like a family then a work place. We have some of the most supportive parents you could ever ask for. I am thankful because everyone believes that every child can learn and every child is gifted. I am just grateful to be apart of this magnificent school.

To learn more about the Thanksgiving Card Activity look at my November 8Th or 9Th blog at .

Earth's Stage

With people moving to and foe,

I'm wondering where everyone will go?

When there are no more schedules to keep.

With people so full of anger and hate,

What will happen when it's far too late?

To ask for forgiveness to those done wrong.

With people claiming they love the Lord,

But have no desire to help or afford?

To give a hand to those in great need.

We all better stop wondering and proclaim,

What we do in God's name,
Or His light may be removed from Earth's stage.
By: Debra E. West

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 8: Thanksgiving Card Activity

This will be the 8Th entry for my Thanksgiving Card Activity.

8. November 19, 2009 - I am thankful for working as an educator for almost 21 years now. I am currently working as the Reading Coach at the Academy for Academics and Arts with the Huntsville City School System. I have learned so much about how children learn and how to help children who struggle. It is truly a blessing to go to work energized, excited, and happy every day knowing a child will be helped. I am truly thankful for my job!!!!
To learn more about the Thanksgiving Card Activity, read my November 8Th and 9Th blog for details at .

Home Remedies

With all the flu, virus, and infections plaguing thousands of people, grandmothers all over the world have their own home remedies. These age-old antidotes can help heal and soothe what ails you, and almost all the ingredients used can be found in just about any kitchen. Make sure you play it safe by talking to your doctor for any serious conditions don't don't heal quickly with home cures. Here a few home remedies according to an article in November 2009, "Better Homes and Gardens."

Sore Throats - gargle every tow hours with a glass of hot water mixed with a tablespoon of honey and vinegar. The vinegar works as an astringent to secretions and restore pH balance, and it discourages bacterial growth. Honey is an anti-inflammatory.
Minor Burns - Vitamin C, Vitamin A and phytonutrients all work to heal wound. Also, spreading honey once a day on a minor burn is a terrific natural way to treat it.

Muscle Aches - The use of cayenne can ease sore muscles. Cayenne contains capsaicin, which works by overstimulating nerves, decreasing their ability to carry pain signals.

Nasal Congestion - In a bowl, juice one clove of garlic, with a garlic press, add a half teaspoon honey, and squeeze out the inside of one aloe vera leaf. Then soak two cotton balls in the mixture and insert them loosely into your nostrils for about five minutes. Garlic has a powerful antibacterial properties, honey also is antibacterial and works as an astringent, and the aloe moisturizes sore nasal tissue.

For more information read the entire article from the November issue of "Better Home and Gardens.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 7: Thanksgiving Card Activity

Today is the 7Th day to enter your Thanksgiving Card thoughts.

Here is my 7Th Thanksgiving Card entry:

7. November 17, 2009 - I am truly thankful for finding a church and church family to worship with and grow spiritually. It is a blessing to study and learn about God's word, sing His praises, and worship Him in spirit and in truth. I pray everyone who desires to find a place of worship finds that special place, because it will truly enrich your life.

Childhood Obesity

Many children in this country face lifelong health issues due to obesity. Alabama is sixth in the nation in childhood obesity, with 36% of our youths overweight or obese. Obese children and adolescents are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes. The sad part is most of these children will not "grow out of it," and this condition will follow them into adulthood.

Too many of our children who are living in poverty have poor eating habits and lack getting daily exercise. In order to beat these odds we must encourage everyone to eat nutritional meals at home and at school. We also must become more active and have a daily exercise routine.

As adults, we must take the responsibility of speaking to our children about good eating habits and learn to shop and cook for health. Childhood obesity can be beat and we must beat it!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 6: Thanksgiving Card Activity

Today is the 6Th day to enter your Thanksgiving Card thoughts.

Here is my 6Th Thanksgiving Card entry:

6. November 17, 2009 - I am so thankful for having 2 sisters who are not only my sisters, but my best friends. They are my heroes and I have always tried to follow in their footsteps and live up to the standards they always set high. They are wonderful mothers and have blessed me with beautiful nieces and nephews. I am who I am in part because of their love, support, and prayers.

For more details on how to participate in the Thanksgiving Card Family Activity, read my November 8Th and 9Th blog entries at .

A Student's Responsibility

We all have things we are responsible for, and a student is responsible for always being prepared for class. This means having all the materials, tools, and mindset for learning.

The basic materials and tools that a student is responsible for are, books, pencils, pens, paper, or whatever the teacher may request for a particular class or project. Failure to have the basic materials could create time wasted and failure to complete assignments, which could hampers learning. This is what is called physical preparedness.

Once a student is in class they must be mentally ready to receive the information a teacher is trying to relay to them. If a teacher is prepared to teach and a student is ready learn the stars will align and the mission will be complete. This means the student must be focused by giving the teacher their undivided attention. This is called mental preparedness.

Make sure your child is well aware of "his/her responsibility" as a student. It will make the school experience more successful, rewarding, and happy. To learn more about getting involved in your child's education just order my book, "A Parent's Handbook: How to Get the Best Education Possible for Your Child K-6 Grade." You can order my book at or .

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 5: Thanksgiving Card Activity

Today is day 5 to enter your Thanksgiving Card thoughts.

Here is my 5Th Thanksgiving Card entry:

5. November 16, 2009 - I am so thankful for having loving parents growing up. My mother and father were so supportive of everything my sisters and I were trying to do. My mother has been gone from us for almost 21 years. It is so hard to believe and I miss her still. My father is still with us, healthy, happy, and remarried to a wonderful woman. I am so thankful for having him and love him dearly!
For more details on how to participate in the Thanksgiving Card Family activity, read my November 8Th and 9Th blog entries at .

Hannah's Holiday Sock Drive

On a very cold Thanksgiving Day in 2004, a young lady Hannah Turner was helping her mother serve meals at a homeless shelter. Hannah saw something that truly bothered her. It was a man with ripped shoes and no socks. Pulling off her tiny pink socks she offered them to the man. The next day, she and her mother donated 100 pairs of brand-new socks to the shelter and Hannah's Socks was born.

Hannah's Socks, is a nonprofit organization with the philosophy that "no man, woman, or child should go without something basic as a pair of socks." Hannah's Socks had already collected and donated 100,000 pairs of socks to neighbors in need. In this season we can remember that a small gesture, like Hannah's, can make a huge difference. Why not support such efforts as Hannah's Socks or think of other needs in your community. It will make a difference in someones life and better yet enrich your families life.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 4: Thanksgiving Cards Activity

This will be day 4 for entering your Thanksgiving Card thoughts. Below are my Thanksgiving Card entries:

1. November 12, 2009 - I am truly thankful for the knowledge and personal relationship I have with my Lord and Savior who loves me, protects me, forgives me, and directs my life. I am thankful, grateful, and humbled.

2. November 13, 2009 - I am so thankful for sharing 36 years of marriage with a man who loves me and our children. It is truly a blessing to have a love for one another that grows stronger with time. I am thankful for experiencing such love!

3. November 14, 2009 - I am thankful for my 5 children who are so bright, gifted, and talented in very different ways. I am grateful that they love us, each other, and all are doing well. What a blessing.

4. November 15, 2009 - I am thankful for my 5 grandchildren and 1 on the way in about 10 days. They are the joy of my life and I love them more than I thought was humanly possible. I thank God for everyone of my babies, because they warm my heart and put a smile on my face.

For more details on how to participate in the Thanksgiving Card Family Activity, read my November 8Th and 9Th blog entries at .

I Give Thanks

I give thanks for all the flowers and the trees.

I give thanks for the great blue herons and the bees.

I give thanks for every cloud in the sky.

I give thanks for robins that fly by.

I give thanks for the sunshine and the rain.

I give thanks when I awake with no pain.

But most of all I thank You for loving me this way.

I give thanks for life, love, and living blessed every day.

By: Debra E. West

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 3 Thanksgiving Card Activity

This will be day 3 for entering your Thanksgiving Card thoughts. Think of something that happened today that you are thankful for or something in general you want to express thanks. Below are my Thanksgiving Card entries:

1. November 12, 2009 - I am truly thankful for the knowledge and personal relationship I have with my Lord and Savior who loves me, protects me, forgives me, and directs my life. I am thankful, grateful, and humbled.

2. November 13, 2009 - I am so thankful for sharing 36 years of marriage with a man that loves me and our children. It is truly a blessing to have a love for one another that grows stronger with time. I am thankful for experiencing such love!

3. November 14, 2009 - I am thankful for my 5 children who are so bright, gifted, and talented in very different ways. I am grateful that they love us, each other, and are all doing well. What a blessing!!!

For more details on how to participate in the Thanksgiving Card Family activity, read my November 8Th and 9Th blog entries at .

Excellent Early Childhood Websites

There is nothing busier than the field of early childhood. The children are very active and come with short attention spans. The computer can be a good and easy activity for those busy minds. According to Rebekah Elle, there are excellent websites for teaching a preschooler. The websites that can be used for resources and materials for preschool teachers and parents are:

1. First-School Preschool Activities and Crafts: This site can be translated into 9 different languages. It has theme based lesson plans, activities, coloring pages, excellent links to sister sites, alphabet printable, and holiday project ideas.

2. DLTK-Kids: This site has theme based crafts and excellent alphabet resources. It also has Sunday School Crafts, recipes, puzzles, and printable.

3. Everything Preschool-Earl Childhood Education Made Easy: This site has over 170 themes! It works with the concept that children learn best through hands on learning.

4. Scholastic Teacher: This site give access to the literary resources that Scholastic offers along with lesson plans, activities, news, and articles about favorite authors.

5. NAEYC -National Association for the Education of Young Children: This is a professional site and keeps one up to date with the latest new regarding early childhood. It has access to all of their materials and excellent articles about good toys for young children.

To read more excellent websites and resources for preschool children go to , and look for rebekahelle articles.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 2: Thanksgiving Card Activity

This will be day 2 for entering your Thanksgiving Card thoughts. Think of something that happened today that you are thankful for or something in general you want to express thanks. Below are my Thanksgiving Card entries:

1. November 12, 2009 - I am truly thankful for the knowledge and personal relationship I have with my Lord and Savior who loves me, protects me, forgives me, and directs my life. I am thankful, grateful, and humbled.

2. November 13, 2009 - I am so thankful for sharing 36 years of marriage with a man that loves me and our children. It is truly a blessing to have a love for one another that grows stronger with time. I am thankful for experiencing such love!

For more details on how to participate in the Thanksgiving Card Family activity, read my November 8Th and 9Th blog entries at .

Read! Read! Read!

Did you know that the most important indicator of a successful reader is the amount of time spent actually reading?! I received this information in an email and I wish to share it with you.

Student A reads 20 minutes 5 nights of every week.
Student B reads 4 minutes a night or not at all.

Step 1: Multiply minutes a night x 5 times each week.
Student A reads 100 minutes a week.
Student B reads 20 minutes a week.

Step 2: Multiply minutes a week x 4 weeks each month.
Student A reads 400 minutes a month.
Student B reads 80 minutes a month.

Step 3: Multiply minutes a month x 9 months for the school year.
Student A reads 3600 minutes in a school year.
Student B reads 720 minutes a school year.

By the end of 6Th grade if Student A and Student B maintain these same reading habits:
Student A will read the equivalent of 60 whole school days.
Student B will read the equivalent of 12 whole school days.

Which student do you think will be the more successful reader and student?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009 Thanksgiving Card Entry

Today is the first day to enter your Thanksgiving Card thoughts. Think about what you are truly thankful for and put it down for number 1.

Here is my first Thanksgiving Card entry:

1. November 12, 2009 - I am truly thankful for the knowledge and personal relationship I have with my Lord and Savior who loves me, protects me, forgives me, and directs my life. I am thankful, grateful, and humbled.

For more details on the Thanksgiving Card Family activity, read my November 8Th and 9Th blog entry and have fun!!

The Homeless Children in America

With this month of of November and Thanksgiving approaching, we must never forget the less fortunate. I was shock to find out that 1 in 50 children in America are homeless. With higher unemployment, home foreclosures, prices rising in gasoline and utilities, many families are without homes. How can we help these families and children? According to an article in "Better Homes and Garden's", November issue here are few things you and your family can do to help:

1.Donate "comfort items," such as teddy bears and soft blankets that the children can keep for themselves.

2. Go in with a friend and host a pizza party for kids at a local shelter.

3. Buy new school clothes supplies for a shelter. Items such as notebooks, backpacks, and books are needed.

Explain to your children the what it is like to be homeless and hopefully it will give them an understanding and compassion for the homeless children who are the innocent and sometimes forgotten victims of homelessness.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Start Thanksgiving Cards Tomorrow!

Don't forget tomorrow is the first day to start your Thanksgiving Cards! Just write a short entry everyday until Thanksgiving.

1. November 12, 2009 I am thankful for all the men and women who have served and are serving this country in the Armed Forces.

2. November 13, 2009 I am thankful for my loving husband and all the support he has given me throughout the 36 years we have been together.

By Thanksgiving Day there should be 14 entries of Thanksgiving. Start your children tomorrow and share the words of thanks with each other. Read my November 8Th and 9Th, blog for the full details on this Thanksgiving family activity.

Thank You Veterans

Today is Veteran's Day 2009. In 1918, on the 11Th hour on the 11Th day in the 11Th month, World War I fighting officially ended. Today on November 11Th we remember all the men and women who serve and served in any of the Armed Services for our country.

This year holds significant meaning because of all the men and women currently serving overseas and those serving here at home protecting our freedoms. Also, this year is significant because of the events at Fort Hood, TX, the needless attack that killed 13 men and women. Our country grieves over the lost of these faithful soldiers. Let's remember all of our brave men and woman and keep them in our prayers. Remember to keep their families in your thoughts and prayers. We will continue to stand strong together! Teach your children about those that serve and risk their lives for us. God Bless Our Troops and God Bless America!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Sesame Street

It is hard to believe that Sesame Street is 40 years old! This show has educated preschool children for all of those years! It has offered quality programming for my children and now my grandchildren.

Happy 4oth Birthday Sesame Street and may you have 100 more! We need more educational programming and less violence, sex, and profanity. Thank you Public Television for 4o years of teaching our children their ABCs and 123s!

Thinking Young Can Keep You Healthy

Studies show that holding negative feelings about getting older may be harmful to your health. In a long-term study at Yale University study shows that younger adults whose views on aging were the mostly negative were almost twice as likely to later have a heart attack or cardio problems as those with more positive attitude on aging. (25% versus 13% , 30 years after the study 's start).

According to a December article in Good Housekeeping magazine, people who fell pessimistic about getting older take poorer care of their health, so forming unkind feeling becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, explains study leader Becca Levy, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology.

Levy states, "To break the cycle, think about independent older people you know or see on TV, and ask yourself if your views would apply to them."

Try to make sure your child or children have positive contact will older adults. It should be a good experience for the children and the older adult. It can be great-grand parents, grandparents, family friends, aunt, uncles, church members, or neighbors. With good relationships with older adults, you and your child should develop a more positive attitude about growing older and actually live longer yourselves in the long run.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Cards

I am repeating the Thanksgiving Card activity because I hope everyone will share the idea with all your family and friends. With so many terrible thing happening around us, we must stop and teach our children how to recognize the blessing all around them. This is so they don't get caught up in the negative events, but have gratitude for the wonderful things happening everyday. This is an activity that everyone can participate in.

First, everyone creates a Thanksgiving card. It can be as simple as a piece of lined paper or a fancy as a wedding invitation. Next, you will number from 1-14 leaving space to write a thought on each number. Then, on Thursday, November 12Th - November 26Th, you start to write something you are thankful for that day or anything you are thankful for. Finally, on Thanksgiving day you will share your Thanksgiving card with your loved ones. Everyone should have 14 entries. Below are the suggestions for sharing the Thanksgiving Cards:

1. Share the cards aloud before the Thanksgiving dinner.

2. Have a contest for the most creative Thanksgiving Card.

3. Give out prizes for the most meaningful Thanksgiving Cards.

4. Pick partners and share cards, then the partner picks the most memorable entry.

5. Share Thanksgiving Cards after dinner.

6. Put cards in a pile and read them aloud, while everyone tries to guess whose card it is.

7. Only have the children and young adults make or share cards.

8. Everyone share 1 or 2 entries.

9. Make Thanksgiving Cards a new family tradition.

10. Come up with original ideas to share cards.

Have family fun and a positive experience on Thanksgiving with Thanksgiving Cards. Let me know how it turns out. Debbie

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fun Thanksgiving Activity

Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Thursday, November 26Th. This is a time our country stops and takes time to contemplate on all the blessings of the year and feast shamelessly. With so many people having hard times in this economic climate, we must remember there are still many blessings to be thankful for.

This year why not make it special and do something everyone can participate. Have everyone in the family or friends start a Thanksgiving Card on Thursday, November 12Th. They can use whatever materials they choose. It can be as simple as a piece of paper or as elaborate as what your imagination will come up with. Inside will be dated November 12Th - November 26Th, 2009. Every day participants will write down (1) thing they are truly thankful for this year. On Thanksgiving Day, everyone will share their cards in whatever creative way you come up with. Here are a few suggestions on sharing the Thanksgiving Cards:

1. Share cards out loud in a group setting before dinner.

2. Have a contest on the most creative card.

3. Give prizes for most meaningful card.

4. Pick partners and share cards and have partner share the most memorable entries.

5. Share cards out loud after Thanksgiving meal.

6. Put cards in a pile and guess whose card is being shared.

7. Share 1 or 2 most meaningful Thanksgiving entries.
8. Only have the children and young people share cards.

9. Come up with your own creative way of sharing cards.
10. Make it a new family tradition on sharing Thanksgiving Cards!

I hope this gives you something to think and share during Thanksgiving. Hopefully, your children will really enjoy this activity and it will give your family and friends an opportunity to communicate and become closer. It will also be a way to communicate positive feelings with one another, along with stopping to think about all the wonderful blessings you can recognize on a daily bases and throughout the year. Get your family started on this Thursday and have fun with the Thanksgiving Cards Activity!!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

One of the Great Equalizers

What is one of the great equalizers? "POOR HEALTH"!!! How is poor health a great equalizer you ask? It doesn't matter how rich, poor, old, young, republican, democrat, independent, black, white, brown, yellow, Christian, Jew, Muslim, or Buddhist, poor health does not discriminate. It can and will attack whatever and whoever it can. We must all take care of ourselves because there are some things we can do to keep the great equalizer from visiting our door.

1. Eat right

2. Exercise

3. Get 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Children need 8 to 12 hours.

4. De stress

5. Drink 6 to 8 cups of water a day

6. Go to the doctors when you are ill (This is why everyone needs and deserves health care)

7. Vacation or spend quality time with loved ones

8. Get as much education as possible for you and your children so none of these suggestions are an issue.

I wish you peace, joy, and good health! Don't let the great equalizer "Poor Health" catch you if you can.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Have You Ever Wondered Why?

Have you ever wondered why there is war among nations?

Could it be our leaders have no love, fear, or patience?

Have you ever wondered how a father could leave his child?

Could it be he's afraid child support could be filed?

Have you ever wondered how a mother could be on meths?

Could it be her heart is cold and she wishes for death?

Have you ever wondered why so many people are crying?

Could it be terrorist bombs causing hundreds of dying?

Have you ever wondered how a child could kill and commit crimes?

Could it be there's no guidance and no hope makes hearts blind?

Have you ever wondered why a woman give her body to sell?

Could it be she is already living in a horrible hell?

Have you ever wondered how a man could put drugs in his vain?

Could it be he is trying to cover up all the pain?

Have you ever wondered why everyone can't get good medical care?

Could it be we turn blind eyes to what's humanly fair?
Have you ever wondered why everyone doesn't "get the best education",
Could it be politicians don't make the right allocations?

Have you ever wondered how to make all this madness stop?

We must learn to love and put humanity at the top!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Veteran's Day

Next Wednesday, November 11, we will celebrate Veteran's Day! Explain to your children the meaning of honoring and remember the young men and women who sacrifice their time, talents, and sometime lives to serve in the Armed Forces to protect this country and our freedoms.

This is also a time that your family or your child's classroom can take on a very meaningful service learning project. Suggest to the teacher that the class send holiday cards and messages of cheer to our troops serving over seas. If the teacher is not interested in doing such a project, just make it a family project. There is a Holiday Mail for Heroes Program, run in partnership with the Red Cross and Pitney Bowes. This will be the third annual drive. The kick off date is November 11Th and will continue through December 7Th.

Service learning is a method the teacher can use to teach academic objectives while encouraging their students to do community service, while learning at the same time. It is very important that our children understand that there are many people who are less fortunate then themselves and our children need to see the need around them and around the local and global communities. Children of any age can learn to make cards, write letters, edit, fill out mailing envelopes, learn about the Armed Forces, study about where our troops are currently stationed and why and how they are protecting our freedoms. For more information on the Holiday Mail for Heroes Program go to . Let us not forget about our troops and those who sacrifice their lives everyday this Veteran's Day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Kinesthetic or Touch/Experience Learner

The kinesthetic or touch/experience learner learn by touching and doing. Here are somethings kinesthetic learners have in common:

1. You need to be active and when studying you need to take frequent breaks.

2. You speak with your hands and with gestures.

3. You remember what was done, but have difficulty recalling what was said or seen.

4. You find reasons to tinker or move when bored.

5. You rely on what they can directly experience or perform.

6. You enjoy activities such as cooking, construction, engineering, and art. These kinds of activities help you perceive and learn.

7. You enjoy field trips and activities that involve moving materials.

8. You will try to sit near the door or somewhere you can get up and move around.

9. You are bored and uncomfortable in classrooms where there is a lack of opportunities for hands-on experiences.

10. Communicate by touching and appreciate physically expressed encouragement, such as a pat on the back.

If a kinesthetic learner had to do a task at home they would buy the materials and get started. They don't read instructions or ask any questions. They keep working until they will eventually figure it out. If an touch/experience learner is studying they can listen to music and move around and study. They will need to take frequent breaks and not just sit still. If they are studying spelling words, let them trace the words with their finger, jump the words to a beat, or sing and make a game of the words. If they do these activities everyday, by Friday they should past the spelling test.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Auditory or Listening Learner

If you or your child learn by hearing or listening you are considered an auditory learner. Some characteristics of auditory or listening learners are:

1. You sit where you can hear the information, but you don't need to pay attention to know what is happening in the front of the room.

2. You may not coordinate colors or clothes, but can explain why they are wearing what they are wearing.

3. You will hum or talk to yourself or others when bored.

4. You learn and remember more when you read aloud.

5. You remember things by verbalizing lessons to yourself. If you don't verbalize the information you will have difficulty reading maps, diagrams, or handling assignments like math.

If an auditory or listening learner has to do a task around the house, they will call someone to explain the steps, ask for instructions, or go to the store and ask questions. An auditory learner will need to study by hearing the information. If they are studying spelling words they should spell the words aloud every day and the day before the test should practice writing the words down. Many listening learners like to tape record lectures to listen to the information over and over again.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Visual or Seeing Learner

If you or your child is a visual learner you will learn by seeing and looking at the information. The following examples will help you decide if you or your child are visual learners.

1. You take numerous detailed notes when receiving information.

2. You prefer to sit in the front of the room.

3. You are usually neat and clean.

4. You will close your eyes to visualize or remember something.

5. You will find something to watch if you have time or are bored.

6. You like to see what you are learning.

7. You do better from illustrations and presentations that use color.

8. You really enjoy written or spoken language that is rich with imagery.

9. You prefer not to have any outside distractions when learning.

10. You find quiet surroundings ideal for learning.

When a visual learner wants to know more or learn how to do a certain job, they will research online for answers, read several websites, go to bookstores and find books and magazines, go to a store and read the back of labels, or watch a course at the store. I you or your child is a visual learner they must see or read it. So, when they study it usually needs to be quiet, organized, and they must have the information written down. Have them write their spelling words and have them look at the words. If they write the words and look at them for just a few minutes every day, they will usually pass the spelling test on Friday.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Three Different Learning Styles

People learn in different ways and no learning style is better than another. Gardner and other experts say there are as many as eight different learning styles, but it is easier to break it down to three types.

1. Auditory learners - listening learners
Listening learners heard their mother say the stove is hot and they believe the information and never touch the stove.

2. Visual learners - seeing learners
Seeing learners watch their brother touch the stove and never touch it because they believe the stove is hot because they saw what happened.

3. Kinesthetic learners - touch/experience learners
Experience learners will touch the stove to see if it is really hot, but only have to touch it once to know that it is hot.

Monday-Wednesday, I am going to explain the three different learning styles in detail. By Wednesday you should know your child's learning style or if the child is still too young at least know what to look for. Knowing the learning style is going to help the child study and perform better academically in school. It will also help your child's teacher and you understand how the child process information. I know this will be extremely informative and I hope it will help your child "Get the Best Education Possible".

Good Luck in Education,
Debbie West

About This Blog

This weblog seeks primarily to be a resource to parents and their children facilitating, "Empowerment & Personal Responsibility through Education."

This weblog is an extension of BestEducationPossible-theCommunity an online community dedicated to Parents and their efforts to empower their children through Education.

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