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Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts have been hand selected by our editors to bring you the latest and greatest products that make your life a little easer and a lot more stylish! Our product scouts have a variety of children from newborn to age 10 and are on the ground (literally) using and testing these products. Our reviews are honest and the opinions of the scouts are always their own.

In this season when many of us are resolving to eat cleaner and prioritize our health and how we fuel our bodies, it’s important to have go-to recipes handy. For those moments when you feel your day has been sabotaged by snacking and poor choices, when your kids are giving you a run for your money or when you’re feeling rundown and need a pick me up, I’ve got you covered. This is my go-to green smoothie when I’m looking for something to help me recharge and recover. And trust me, it works!

Pineapple and Mint Green Smoothie Recipe

It’s a simple recipe, but honestly, the combination is so refreshing and cleansing that it tastes much more complicated than it actually is. The mint leaves are fantastic for promoting digestion and cleaning your palette. And while you might not think of a smoothie as a winter option, if you can deal with the cold, it’s actually a great choice for many reasons including being a particularly good cold/cough chaser as its rich is antioxidants and vitamin C. In addition, the mint has the ability to soothe a cough and help relieve congestion.Pineapple Mint Green Smoothie

Pineapple mint green smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut water
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 generous cup chopped pineapple
1 heaping cup of spinach
Juice from half a lime
1/2 -1 cup of ice, depending on how you like it

Optional:
Add a banana
Swap out coconut milk in place of coconut water for a creamier smoothie
Use frozen pineapple and omit the ice

The BEST green smoothies to kick winter colds

I am constantly making this smoothie and it’s been approved by all members of our family. If you’re working on positive changes in 2017, don’t get discouraged by bad days or sick days because winter can be full of them, take a few minutes, sip a smoothie, refuel and recharge with something that makes you feel good.

Green Smoothies Kids Will LOVE

What’s your go-to smoothie recipe or what’s something you do to help reset yourself?

This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.

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There’s no better way to say “I love you” than with a handmade gift and this DIY silhouette project is even sweeter with the memories you’ll make creating it with your little one.

With this step-by-step guide, creating a unique, personalized Valentine’s Day gift couldn’t be easier!
DIY Silhouette for Valentine's Day

What you need to get started

Supplies:
White background
Camera phone
Printer
Watercolors and paper
Glue
Frame

Creating the silhouette

Set up a white background — a wall, sheet or poster board work great — and take a photo of your child’s profile.

Load the photo onto your computer and use PicMonkey to edit your photo into a silhouette using these easy steps:

1. Under “Basic Edits,” crop your photo to the appropriate size
silhouettecrop

2. Use the neutral picker to fix any discoloration and whiten the background

silhouetteneutralpicker

3. Set the saturation to 0

silhouettesaturation

4. Set the contrast to 100

silhouettecontrast

5. Under “Effects,” convert the photo to Super B&W

silhouettesuperblackandwhite

6. Using the “Draw” feature, fill in any white space remaining on your child’s portrait

silhouettedraw

Save your creation and print at home or at a local printer, such as FedEx. I recommend using a light card stock to prevent wrinkling. The final step for the silhouette piece is to simply cut around your little one’s sweet profile!

valentinessilhouettes

Creating the background

Now it’s your kiddos’ turn to get in on the action by creating a one-of-a-kind background to make their silhouettes really pop!

Simply grab a piece of watercolor paper and paints, and let their creativity flow! There’s no right or wrong way to do this part — have fun!

DIY Valentine's Day Gifts for Grandparents

The finishing touch

Once your watercolor art is dry, cut it to the size of frame you plan to use (8×10 shown here) and glue the silhouette in the middle. Place it in your frame and enjoy!

DIY Silhouette for Valentine's Day Gifts

This heartfelt craft makes a great Valentine’s Day gift for grandparents, but as a sentimental mama myself, I suggest making one to keep as well. 

Who would you make this watercolor silhouette craft for?

This post was contributed by Joanna Murnan. You can find more from Joanna on her blog, Makingmine.

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Our new baby isn’t the only thing that has made life worthwhile over the last several weeks. In fact, I am grateful for a lot of things related to postpartum life. I’ve learned that it’s the simple things that can help a mom keep her sanity after delivery.

Postpartum Life: What I'm Thankful For

Some things never change

After the births of my children, I go home from the hospital, walk straight to my bedroom and stay there for two weeks. Some may think I am crazy, but I do it because a) it is what every woman in my family has been told to do by our mothers and grandmothers, and b) to allow my body to get the proper rest and healing. For goodness sake, I just pushed out a seven pound ball of baby! During the following weeks, I stay cooped up in the house a lot. I mostly do it for the sake of the baby’s health, but I must admit, postpartum life isn’t always easy.

We welcomed our third daughter into the world just weeks ago. As we prepared for her arrival, my husband and I realized a lot has changed in the world of babies since the birth of our second child. There are tons of new gadgets, countless moms running their own baby product shops and many strides made connecting baby gear with technology. Some things about life with a baby, especially during the early weeks of postpartum, will never change, such as: not being able to wear those favorite jeans right away, staying away from the spiciest thing on the menu (a big no-no for breastfeeding moms) and the lack of sleep, amongst other things. 

All that being said, there are so many things I’m thankful for about postpartum life. These are some from the top of my list.

Postpartum life: 9 things I’m thankful for

Friends who come over with food
Need I say more?

Social media
Night feedings can be long. Facebook and Instagram keep me entertained and awake until Baby is done. What would life be without funny memes and viral videos?

Stores with online ordering and same-day pick-up
Sending my husband to the store for items doesn’t always result in getting exactly what I requested. Ordering online and sending him to pick up the order an hour or so later is perfection.

Hot showers
Two minute showers are an escape (and some days a luxury), except for when I turn the water on and off a thousand times thinking I hear the baby crying. Darn phantom cries!

My water bottle
Hormones go absolutely nuts post-baby. Having a stainless steel water bottle keeps my water ice cold and saves me from night sweats. Is this what it feels like in the Sahara desert?

Leggings
I shouldn’t have to explain why these things are heavenly. However, if you don’t know, leggings are always comfy. They never failed me, neither during pregnancy or postpartum.

Decaf coffee
Breastfeeding means less to no caffeine, so I pretend I am gulping a cup of energy. The smell of coffee alone allows me to decompress.

Hair cap and bonnets
I have gone days without doing my hair. What better way to cover the mess on my head so I can look halfway decent for visitors?

LEGOs
Where are my kids? Oh, they are playing with LEGOs for the second consecutive hour in a row. Winning!

Postpartum life: things I’m thankful for

What has made your postpartum life manageable?

This post was contributed by Teri Watters as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Teri on her blog, MommyWifeLife.

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The car seat industry constantly expands and improves, which is fantastic for parents but makes car seat shopping feel a bit daunting. Over five years ago, when we were getting ready to buy our first convertible car seat, I did a ton of research and asked my mom friends a lot of questions. We ultimately went with the Diono Radian RXT, and I’m glad we did. We continue to choose this seat for our little ones for five main reasons.

Best convertible car seats for three across
1. Smart and sleek design

Diono designed the Radian RXT well from the inside out. It’s an attractive seat made with premium plush interlock knit fabric and comes in great color options. One of my favorite features of this seat is its low-sitting profile, which makes it super easy to load kiddos in and out. It offers expandable sides and a long seat bottom to allow proper leg support. Installation is a breeze because of the unique SuperLATCH system.

Which car seat is best for having three kids across?
2. Allows three seats in a row

The narrow profile of this seat allows you to sit three seats across in the back seat of most vehicles. Many people will appreciate that they don’t need to upgrade their vehicle to fit a third seat, which is huge, or it gives you a lot more storage space. I currently have two Diono Radian RXT seats and one Diono Cambria High Back Booster in my van’s second row. My three boys prefer this set up, and it gives me lots of room for the dog, stroller and hockey bags in the trunk, which is priceless.

How to fit three car seats across the back seat

3. Longevity

The RXT has one of the longest lifespans I’ve seen in a car seat. As long as you are accident free, the seat is good for 10 years. It can accommodate kiddos from 5 pounds up to 80 pounds with the harness, and up to 120 pounds as a booster. We’ve had Radian RXT seats for years with our older boys, and they are still going strong. At ages 4 and 6, they both fit comfortably in the seat.

Three kids, three car seats: How to make it work in your car
4. Extended rear facing

Rear facing is recommended for children at least through age two, but the longer the better in my opinion. This seat comfortably accommodates little ones rear facing from 5 pounds to 45 pounds for maximum safety. Diono Radian RXT seats comes with premium plush head and body support cushions for newborns and infants.How long can your child stay rear facing?

5. Top notch safety features

The Radian RXT and other seats from Diono receive top-notch safety ratings and rave reviews. With a full steel frame and aluminum-reinforced sides, energy-absorbing EPS foam and side impact protection and a Safe Stop® energy-absorbing harness, this seat is hard to beat.

Certainly every seat has its pros and cons, but this seat gets high marks in my book. However, steel isn’t light. I take comfort in the sturdy design, but please note this is a heavy seat. When rear facing in the second row, the Radian generally works best in the middle because of the tall design. With my van’s current configuration, my youngest sits rear facing behind the driver’s seat and my tall husband has a hard time driving comfortably. We will likely be moving his seat to the middle.

I highly recommend bringing every car seat to a local CPS Tech to check the installation and fit.  Diono also offers some great installation videos to get you started, and you can check them out here. The Diono Radian RXT retails for $360, which is on par with top convertible car seats, but the lifespan of this seat — from birth to booster — really sets it apart.

Have you tried the Diono Radian RXT?  What are your favorite features?

This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.

Diono kindly provided me with a car seat for the purposes of review, but all as always all opinions are my own.

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If you’re a frequent reader of parenting blogs (like me!), you may have heard that having three kids changes everything. You might have read that after having your third baby, your mind, body and house will never be the same. All kidding aside, let’s face it, this parenting gig is hard, regardless of how many kids you have and like any addition to a family a third baby can be quite the transition. For me personally, the hardest transition was going from having no kids to being a new parent. I won’t sugarcoat it or deny having had my fair share of “end of my ropes” moments, but three kids has received some bad press lately, so after almost a year of being a mom of three I’m sharing seven reasons why having three kids is awesome!

7 Reasons why having three kids is awesome

1. There is always a playmate

I think part of the reason that the transition from two kids to three felt a little less crazy is that unlike the transition from one child to two, my older boys had each other and kept themselves entertained.  The beauty of a house full of three boys is that there is always someone to play with… and it’s half a hockey team!

2. They learn to share

Speaking as an only child, one of the great things about having three kids is that they learn to share, in all capacities. Learning to share toys, share the spotlight, pass down clothes and gear, celebrate their siblings achievements and appreciate their differences, is essential.

3. They have each-other’s back

The new dynamic of a third boy this past year has been really fun to watch. Yes, at times, hair-raising, at times overwhelming, but many times just as heart-warming seeing the way my big boys show their little brother so much affection (sometimes too much!) and seeing my oldest become independent and a good little helper.

4. Life is never boring

There is literally never a dull moment in our house. Someone is always in need of help, there is more often than not a hockey game going on, someone is always hungry, someone always has something exciting to share from their day and it’s all amazing.

5. Three times the hugs and kisses

The saying goes, “full hands, full heart,” and I couldn’t agree more. These boys of mine test my patience daily.  Sometimes when I plop into bed, I realize that it’s the first time I’ve sat down all day, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The hugs, kisses and sweet moments (yes, there are plenty) make it all worth it.

6. People rarely bother to give you unsolicited parenting advice

While you’ll get your fair share of “boy you’ve got your hands full” comments, by the time you have three kiddos it’s rare that anyone will bother to give you unsolicited advice. Honestly, you’re too busy to worry about it anyway.

7. You finally enjoy the ride

Yes, this is a generalization — everyone is different — but from personal experience, one of the biggest joys of parenting my third son has truly been enjoying the experience and the baby steps along the way.  While I’m still winging it daily, this time around there is so much less second guessing myself, scrutinizing every decision, general fear and worrying about what others think this time around.  I also found myself better able to roll with the punches and laugh at the chaos.

img_6960

 

Do you have 3+ kids? What would you add to the list?

This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.

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Moving, in general, can be the best/worst experience. There’s the packing and the purging and the tape… so much tape. But, on the other side, you also get a new house and new spaces to decorate, which is worth the rest of it. I think I could be considered a chronic mover. In my eight years of marriage, we’ve moved eight times. And I won’t go into how many times I moved growing up. So basically, moving and me are besties.

Recently, my family moved into a new house. This move was a bit different because I had two kids that were old enough to know what was going on. Even having moved so many times, this move felt like a completely new experience as I navigated packing, purging, physically moving our stuff and settling down with two child “assistants.” I made some mistakes and I had some sweet victories. Here’s my best advice for moving with kids.

6 Tips for Moving with Kids

1. Make a “priority box” and put the wine glasses in it

This is my no. 1 tip to anyone moving. Take a box and write Open First on it. Then, throw anything in there that you have to have within 24 hours of moving. Now you know where all those important odds and ends are. Mine had some paperwork, my computer charger, extra sippy cups, dark chocolate M&Ms and wine glasses in it. Oh, and don’t forget the corkscrew. That’s an amateur mistake.

2. Buy more boxes than you think you’ll need

I went back to the box store four times during this move. Kids have a lot of stuff. They hide it away in the deep dark crevices of the closet and you don’t realize how much there is until you start packing it. Toys are big and oddly shaped so they take up a lot of room in boxes. And don’t get me started on my shoe collection. I actually mislabeled some of the boxes so my husband wouldn’t realize how many there were. Which brings me to my next tip…

3. Pack while your husband isn’t home

If you’re like me, you may actually own way more stuff than your husband does. He doesn’t need to know that you have a collection of 17 cake stands or that you enjoy hoarding party supplies in the spare bedroom closet. Pack that stuff when he isn’t home. What he doesn’t know can’t hurt him… or you.

4. Hire movers

I know what you’re thinking, “That’s just extra expense.” Just wrap it into the cost of having children. They don’t really need to go to college anyway. If you have kids, you’re officially too old to ask your friends to help you move in exchange for pizza and beer. Do you want to help people move? Probably not. Don’t do that to your friends. Also, it’s really hard to juggle watching and entertaining the kids while carrying a king size bed up the stairs.

6 tips for moving with kids

5. Don’t let the kids in on your craziness

This is actually a serious one. Moving can bring on stress and anxiety. If your kids pick up on it, they may feel sad or nervous about the change. I wanted my kids to be excited about the new house instead of sad about leaving the old one. We let them pick out new bedding for their rooms and talk about what colors to paint the walls. My son, who is a little older, loved feeling like a part of the process.

6. If at all possible, find something for the kids to do on move day

Kids watching all of their belongings being broken down and moved is a little tough on them. My daughter cried every time she saw a piece of furniture or box leave the house. She’s only 2-years-old and she didn’t understand that they were literally just moving it into a different house. She basically thought someone was stealing all of our stuff. It was miserable. If at all possible, have the kids go somewhere else during the actual move — school, grandma’s, a friend’s. Even if they don’t get emotional, you’re going to have enough to deal with on move day.

At the end of the day, everyone will survive the move. There may be some tears shed and a few broken dishes, but as long as everyone gets to come home to the same house that night, I’ll call it a victory.

Have you had the joy of moving with kids? Was it stressful or was it a breeze?

This post was contributed by Lindsey McPherson, owner of The Nashville Mom. You can find more from Lindsey on Instagram.

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I sent my oldest off to kindergarten last year, and while that in no way qualifies me as an expert, I still feel compelled to share what I’ve learned… from one mom to another. Last year at this time I was a little anxious and navigating so many firsts preparing my son for kindergarten. I found the most reassurance and helpful tips came from other moms. So in no particular order, here are 12 tips I want to pass along:

12 Tips for a First-Time Kindergarten Mom

1. Give the bus a try from the beginning

If you are going to have your kiddo ride the bus at all during the year, have them start from the very beginning.  At least in our school system, the start of the school year is a time when they have additional adult support/guidance on each bus and have the kindergartners ride in the front. In the beginning of the year school, all the bus drivers and school staff have a heightened awareness of making sure the kids are comfortable and in the right place.

 2. Size up with the backpack

From our experience, in kindergarten you can no longer get away with the adorable, yet tiny, character packs. We found that our son needed a much bigger backpack than we would have anticipated. Between take home folders, library books, projects/artwork, a change of shoes, water bottles, and snow gear (which takes up a ton of room and for such a long season here in Maine!), we opted for a large backpack that he could still manage on his own.

3. Appropriate footwear your kiddo can manage independently

My son lives in sneakers, so not an issue for him, but our teacher was constantly reminding families to send kiddos in appropriate footwear. They had PE twice a week and three recesses throughout the day that required sensible and safe footwear. It’s also important that your child can be independent with their shoes. If he has not mastered laces, stick to Velcro.

4. Keep an open mind about your child’s teacher

In our little town, teacher assignments are sent home in the mail the same time every year, and we all run to the mailbox in anticipation. As parents, we get excited and we love to compare notes which is great, but one thing I’ve learned thus far is to keep an open mind about our assigned teacher. Every kiddo and every family is different, and no one’s experience will be the same.

Books to read about starting kindergarten
5. Read books and watch shows that talk about the transition

The start of kindergarten is a big transition for our little people. Every kiddo is different — some, like my son, are beyond eager to jump in full speed ahead, but others need extra reassurance. I’m certainly no expert, but I think all kids can benefit from talking about the transition ahead. There are many great books out there to help with the dialogue,  like Wemberly Worried and Kindergarten Rocks!and some favorite shows like Daniel Tiger have some great episodes helping kiddos through change by example

6. Label everything

We lost countless hats, mittens, and water bottles last year, but on many occasions, labeling saved the day. No matter how hard you try to find unique items, you will be surprised how many other kids have the same thing. Label everything… shoes included! There are lots of great options out there for labeling and monogramming.

7. Lead by example: show them excitement not anxiety

Show your child that you’re comfortable with with her starting school to help her feel more at ease. Certainly it’s a great time to have open dialogues with your kiddo about the transition and any of their fears, but show confidence in them and the experience. Try not to stress out about where you’re child is at in terms of skill set. My son literally could not write his name when he started Kindergarten, but he picked it up in no time.

12 Back-to-School Tips for Kindergarten Moms

8. Choose an easy-to-navigate lunchbox

Many new kindergartners haven’t had to navigate a lunch box on their own before. To help them with this transition, pick a lunch box that is easy for them to open and navigate. For us, a bento box style works best as it’s easy and efficient for my little guy to manage and also gives him variety. Also, don’t stress out if the lunch box comes back full in the beginning. Lunch time at school is short and they’re learning how to balance their social time and eating. They will figure it out and they will eat, but don’t be surprised if “I’m starving” is the fist thing they say when they get off the bus.

9. Go to all the school orientations, meet and greets, and play dates that you can

This seems like a no-brainer, but schedule permitting, try to get to all the school functions and orientations that you can. Many classes will organize a few summer play dates to get to know each other; definitely look into this or work on organizing one yourself. When school does start, be sure to check your child’s backpack daily and read everything that comes home.

10. Encourage independence

You might be having a hard time letting go — especially if this is your first kiddo — but as summer is winding down, be sure to encourage your child to try things on their own and give them a little extra responsibility. Picking out their outfit, regular chores around the house, reading time, packing their bag, labeling their gear are great places to start at this age.

11. Start your routine early

Kindergarten (especially if you have full-day, like we do) is a long day. These kids will be pooped, making sleep and routine key. If you’re like us, bed times have often been pushed later on these beautiful summer nights. Now is the time to starting shifting back to earlier bed times. It’s also good to start other elements of your school days routine before school actually starts, like having your child lay out an outfit the night before, working together to prep lunches and snacks, establishing a grooming routine, and practicing being all the way ready to leave by the time you would need to be out the door.

12. Ask your child more specific questions

Remember that your kiddo has had a long day, they will be tired (especially in the beginning!), and not always wanting to chat. With that said, I’ve learned that you get more information when you ask more specific questions. Who was your reading partner today? What was your special today? What sport did you play at recess?  In the beginning I would say, How as school today? and my son would give me a quick “good” and move right along. His amazing teacher sent parents weekly questions to ask that were probing and more likely to get the dialogue flowing, and it was a huge help.

 

What’s your best tip for newbie kindergarten moms? If you’re a newbie yourself, what has you most anxious?

 

 

This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.

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A new school year is about to start and that means back to schedules, carpooling, and packing lunches everyday. It also means a whole new classroom full of moms to get to know. I always think it’s great to know the other parents in my child’s classroom. One, because I’m overly social, but also because we have to have each other’s backs. We all need help with this crazy thing called parenting. I’m a firm believer that it takes a village and the parents in my child’s classroom are a great addition to mine.

5 Tips for connecting with moms at school

But, that raises the question: How do I connect with the other moms at school? I’m sure there are a lot of ways, but these are my best tips for connecting with the other moms and growing my own village.

1. Don’t be scared to break the ice.

Yes, this seems obvious, but I have witnessed a bunch of moms just standing in a room not talking. Don’t be afraid to be the talker. Say hi and tell everyone your name. Tell them which child is yours. Tell them why they should be your best friend and you should go have a glass of wine after this insane parent meeting.

2. Be yourself.

Again, this seems like a guide for middle schoolers, but I think moms seem to revert back to their childhood when it comes to connecting with other parents. You can’t expect to start a good relationship based on your fake alter ego. Don’t pretend you love to throw class parties or craft cute teacher gifts if you don’t really love to do that. Maybe your talent is writing great class newsletters, picking up the store-bought cupcakes, or just being the life of the party. Here’s a time when you shouldn’t fake it. Be true to who you are. People will like the real you better than the miserable fake you.

3. Don’t be judge-y.

The other side of being yourself is don’t judge others. Don’t judge them because of the way they parent, the way they love to bake homemade vegan cupcakes, or the fact that they have to work and can never make to any of the class activities. We’re all doing the best we can. If you’re judging everyone, you have no time to really become their friend.

4. Get involved.

This is one my biggest tips to moms looking to make friends. Whether it’s at school, playgroup, church, or even just the gym — get involved with something. You could join the PTA, help out in the classroom, be the room mom (if you’re brave), help out in the teacher workroom. Being active and involved in whatever organization you choose will help you connect with the other moms in that group. It’s basically forced friendship.

5. Just ask.

I’m betting if you just ask another mom at school if they want to hang out, they’ll say yes. If you want to connect with the moms in your child’s class, host a little brunch party at your house, invite someone for coffee after drop-off, or maybe even dinner or drinks one evening. The best way to connect with a new person is to ask!

I hope some of these tips will help you with the start of a new school year!

What tips or ideas have you used to help connect with the moms at school?

This post was contributed by Lindsey McPherson, owner of The Nashville Mom. You can find more from Lindsey on Instagram.

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Another school year is right around the corner, which means parents are gearing up for the classroom. This is the time when parents start receiving supply lists from teachers, take advantage of back-to-school sales at clothing retailers, pay tuition fees, schedule physicals and immunizations, and the list goes on. It can be exhausting and frankly, I don’t want any part of it. Here’s why.

The Benefits of Homeschooling

10 Reasons to consider homeschooling

My family has chosen to join over 1.5 million homeschoolers in a non-traditional educational journey. Homeschooling allows parents to have a hands-on approach to educating their children. I’m not referring to the type of homeschooling where children sit in front of a computer screen learning independently or being taught by a virtual teacher. Homeschooling has allowed us to focus on topics that will be most helpful in life and in creating a customized education for our children. Homeschooling takes some effort, but choosing this path is already proving to be beneficial for both my children’s education and our family’s lifestyle.

I have had no dealings with a public or traditional schooling since I graduated high school in 2005, but I remember what my mother had to deal with when sending my siblings and I to school — finding before and after school childcare, packing lunches, dragging us out of the bed at six o’clock in the morning, and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my traditional, public educational career and it helped me to earn a degree from one of the largest universities in the U.S. However, the school system has changed quite a bit and social media has provided a good look at what goes on in today’s classrooms. From large classroom sizes to Common Core math (what a nightmare) to bullying, traditional education appears to be more of a stressor than beneficial.

10 Reasons to Consider Homeschooling

10 Things traditionally-educated children and their parents experience

Waking up early
PTA meetings
School fundraisers
Carpools
Drop-off and pick-up parking wars
Teacher-parent conferences
School uniforms
Late night or last minute projects to help with
Guessing about school delays or cancellations due to weather
Astronomical enrollment fees or lotteries

OK, I know that the list above aren’t the worst things in the world to deal with, however, homeschooling allows you to experience your child’s education in a rewarding way. Homeschoolers have many, if not more, opportunities to learn about the world and practical living and to socialize. Co-ops, numerous play dates, homeschool specific days at local museums, zoos, and libraries are just some of the ways homeschooled children can experience diverse learning opportunities and environments.

Homeschooling May Be a Fit for Your Family

10 Things homeschooled children and their parents experience

Less time is spent on school work during after school hours.
Endless opportunities for field trips.
The ability to go on vacations all year long.
Parents can integrate practical life skills into lessons.
Quality time is spent with your child, allowing you to learn their personalities even more.
Being able to see your children grow and grasp an understanding of the subjects being studied.
More time to enjoy being a kid since fewer hours of school time are needed.
Sleeping in and not worry about packing lunches and backpacks.
Saving money.
Ability to teach the morals and values that are important to your family.

Homeschooling, just like parenting, has challenging moments, but is a great alternative for families who are looking to have a more hands-on approach to education. While the benefits of homeschooling are great, choosing what is best for your family and your child’s education should be the ultimate goal.

This post was contributed by Teri Watters as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Teri on her blog, MommyWifeLife.

 

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I am hands down a better mom when I’ve taken care of myself, and for me, workouts are an important part of that equation. While it’s not always easy to fit in a workout when we have little ones at home, it’s so worth it. With the school year winding down, I’ll soon have three kiddos home with me on most days. While it may not be the same workout or what I once considered the ideal workout, I will still be weaving one into my days.  DSC_0185

10 Ways to workout with kids at home
1. Early bird gets the worm

With my husband’s early schedule as a lobsterman, it’s not always an option (especially in the summer months), but whenever possible, I prefer to start my day off on the right foot with a workout. The upside to a morning workout is air is still cool, it’s peaceful, and you have the satisfaction of knowing your workout is done and don’t have to worry about the distractions of the day.

2. Make it a family affair

With the seasons of our lives, our workouts may have to look a little different. Right now, for us, that often means having kiddos in tow. Instead of getting frustrated that I can’t make it to a certain class or run longer, I’m trying to embrace these days and these workouts. My workouts often include a family bike ride (with a cart or seat for the little guys), strapping on a carrier for a hike in the woods, or a walk or jog with the stroller.

3. Invest in a quality jogging stroller

In the nicer weather, a good portion of my cardio comes from pushing a stroller around town. For me, a quality jogging stroller is key — I have a single and a double that I use, depending on who I have in tow. There are a number of good options available these days, but at the top of my list are BOB, Baby Jogger, and Thule strollers, as the easy push, smooth ride, and loaded features for Mom and Baby make a jog or walk a heck of a lot easier.

4. Find a gym with quality childcare

If your child will go willingly, and you find a gym with care you are comfortable with, and if it’s in your budget, this can be the easiest solution for getting a workout in. We are very fortunate to have a great YMCA just down the road that offers a clean and fun childcare room, and knowing that we use other services the Y provides, we can justify the expense.

5. Create a home gym

There are always those days when heading out is not in the cards, or maybe you only have a short window between pick ups or Baby’s nap time to a squeeze in a workout — carving a workout space at home can be a lifesaver. Your home “gym” can be as simple or elaborate as you chose.  My space is in my basement where I have a treadmill, free weights, and my favorite 30 minute workout DVDs.

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6. Look for parent focused classes

This works best with babies and young toddlers, but there are many opportunities out there to bring your little ones to an exercise class. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find everything from stroller boot camp to dance class with baby carriers, or a mommy and me yoga class.

7. Play with your kids

Lets face it, these days are long but the years are short — our time with our little ones is fleeting and some days the best choice is the best of both worlds. Be active while having fun with your kids. Have a dance party, play a game of soccer, walk the beach, play hide and go seek or tag, go for a swim, or make the playground your gym.

8. Ditch the car when you can

We are lucky to live in a small town where ditching our car is often possible… weather and temperament permitting of course! But when you head out this summer to the library, the store, or off to camp in the morning, leave a few minutes early and ride bikes, walk, or jog to your destination.

9. Dress the part

I often joke that my “mom uniform” on most days is workout clothes and sneakers. The upside of this is that I’m more likely to sneak in exercise throughout my day. If I’m already dressed for it, I’m way more likely to walk instead of drive, play instead of watch, or seize a short window of downtime for exercise.

10. Build support system

No one ever said this parenting gig was easy, but finding your village and working together and accepting help can make it a lot less daunting. Whether it’s finding a workout buddy to keep you motivated or getting childcare so that you can workout on your own, it’s important to have people in your corner that support your goals. I know many moms who do a babysitting swap with one and other and it’s a great way to get a break, have play dates for your kiddos with no cost of a sitter.

What’s your favorite way to get a workout in?

 

This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.

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