A New Fitness Regimen We Should All Have

Sometimes, there are things we know we should do but put off again and again.  We always have excuses. We have more urgent things to do. There are more important things that require our attention. I am so guilty of this! (Although I really have my hands full right now! Promise!)

One thing that I have been putting off was starting my journey to financial freedom. Last June (my goodness! That was months ago!), I received a financial journal from Avida Land.  I did browse through it when I first got it but never took time to really delve into it. I realize now I should have made time for it sooner!

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The journal includes very specific actions we can take on our path to financial freedom.  It starts with a guide on how to determine whether you are financially fit.  Once you have figured out where you are financially, you are then guided on how to make your own roadmap.  It also lists several investment options and advice on how to choose which one is most suitable for you.  As you go through the journal, you are encouraged to make a commitment to achieve your long-term financial plans.

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Taking the First Step

As with everything we do in life, it all begins with the first step we take.  In this road, our first step is to determine where our finances lie by creating a Cash Flow Statement and a Statement of Assets and Liabilities. Sounds daunting, right?! Good thing the Avida financial journal has made this easy by providing step-by-step instructions on how to make them.  What wasn’t so easy was finding out that we’re not in such a good state.

Thus, I now feel compelled to start a new fitness regimen – a financial fitness regimen!

 

What I Should Do!

The same way we discipline ourselves in the way we eat or exercise, we must also learn how to discipline ourselves financially.  This is my focus now.  We really don’t spend much on unnecessary material things and don’t splurge on expensive branded clothes and accessories, but we do spend a lot on food and leisure activities. Before I move forward to finding investment options, we must make sure we have enough to invest in them.  So, this is my  mantra now:  SPEND LESS THAN WHAT YOU EARN

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By cutting down on some unnecessary expenses and going back to our habit of setting aside a portion of our income, I think we could get back on track soon.

My Fitness Regimen

So far, here’s what I’m committing to do:

  1. Allot a portion of our income to savings. Set them aside right away!
  2. Eat out less often.
  3. Make a budget and stick to it!
  4. Do a weekly review of expenses.
  5. Find other sources of income. (business ideas anyone?)

With my new financial fitness regimen, who knows, maybe we could have more than enough for that dream house we’ve been pining for.

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Math Fun With Affordable Math Manipulatives

How do we make Math fun in Camp Espino? We play!

Among the academic subjects we study here in Camp Espino, Math along with Araling Panlipunan is the most challenging one.  My two little ones’ love for Math is indirectly proportional to their love for Reading and Science.  This is why one of our major academic goals this year is for them to learn to appreciate and to love the beauty of numbers. 🙂

One way we’re doing this is by making them realize that Math is part of our everyday life.  At home, they measure ingredients when we bake or cook.  They learn the concept of division when they share toys or candies. When we go out to eat or to buy groceries and other stuff, I ask them to place their orders or to pay for their purchases. This makes Math “real” to them.

Another way we’re trying (trying is the operative word here!) to make learning Math more fun is by using manipulatives during our study time.

Our Math Manipulatives

Before we started homeschooling, I bought the Gigo Linking Base Ten set from Learning Plus.  It’s a great tool for helping kids learn place values and other basic Math skills.

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This has been very useful during the first part of our lessons this quarter but as we progressed, I realized we needed other manipulatives when dealing with bigger numbers.  Since, I can’t afford to shell out thousands more for a Place Value Discs set, I opted to improvise using poker chips and stickers!

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I bought a set of poker chips from NBS and wrote the values on them using permanent marker.  The chips set only had three colors I covered the others with pre-cut round stickers which is also available in bookstores.  This entire set just cost a little over a hundred pesos!  We’ve been using these chips for our lessons in addition and subtraction.  We’d most likely need to add another set of chips when we start studying multiplication.

For their Math bonds practice, I got some inspiration from the Fact Family Blast Off game. I printed templates on regular bond paper then inserted these into card cases.  Now we’ve got an easy wipe-erase activity board!

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Aside from these, we also use their Legos and other building blocks to study Math.  Since my son is highly kinesthetic, we incorporated some games into our learning.

Games Make Learning Fun!!!

For one of our games, I just wrote different activities to do on strips of cardboard.  The activities are a mix of lessons from different subjects including PE and Music.  We call this game “Ready, Get, Do!”

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Math – kids have to finish one Blast Off card, skip count, or do Math operations; PE – kids have to do a locomotor/non-locomotor activity; Music – kids have to name notes on the staff or play them on the keyboard; English – make a short poem about the word; Filipino – think of a rhyming word and make a two-line poem. 

When I attended Milona Barraca‘s workshop on How To Make Learning Math Fun At Home at the Learning Plus last June, I learned that even something as ordinary as playing cards can be used to make learning Math fun.  I taught the kids how to play “Go Fish! The Tens Edition” to help them master their 10-bonds.  🙂  They don’t even realize that they’re actually learning while playing!

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Instead of making the usual pairs, the kids have to make pairs of tens. No one loses in this game!

Do the kids love Math already? I wish!!!!

Oh well, it may be far from being their favorite subject but at least they’re having fun learning it!

How about you? What Math manipulatives do you use at home? Would appreciate your sharing your ideas with me so we could try them out in Camp Espino. 🙂

Making the Most Out of Holiday Parties for Kids

Parties for children are often much different than they are for parents. Instead of just meandering and interacting with others while holding a drink, kids love to delve right in and play. So, why not make holiday parties something the little ones can get into? In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t take a lot to engage a child. For example, official cornhole boards may keep their attention for hours on end.

Fun and Games

Adding fun and games to any party makes it a memorable experience. When setting things up for the kids, simple games can turn into intriguing activities. As long as you can stay true to the holiday in question, games can be quite easy to organize. For instance, a bucket of pumpkin innards with a prize at the bottom could be a fun and disgusting game of “Hide and Seek” when a child’s eyes are blind folded. Obviously, this is one you’d want to reserve for Halloween.

The main thing to understand about children when it comes to games is that they are easy to please. As long as the game isn’t too difficult, a child could be enthralled for hours.

Arts and Crafts

A lot of parents host a party with arts and crafts the kids can do on their own. Most of the time, this can be done without spending a great deal of money. Perhaps your little guests could make their own snow-people with a bag of cotton balls and dollar-store stickers during the winter holidays. Maybe you could help the kids make animals out of pine cones you find in the yard during Thanksgiving.

Arts and crafts can be an excellent way to engage a child’s imagination while giving them a chance to build something on their own. As a result, these crafts often find themselves in keep-sake boxes of parents for decades on end.

Prizes and Rewards

Giving out prizes and rewards doesn’t have to be an expensive project. Remember, kids are easy to please. Most of them would be happy with little plastic trophies from the dollar store. At any rate, prizes and rewards can also be beneficial for the child’s social development. Winning something can inspire confidence within the little one, which can be a boost to self-esteem as well as social interaction. As simple as it may sound, something as small as a fifty-cent prize could be more impressionable than you might think.

The more engaging the party is for children, the more control you retain of the experience. Having a structured layout for activities will help reduce the chaos and mayhem that may ensue.

Image by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhoto.net

Images by Stuart Miles from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Evolution of Safe Trampoline Design

Trampolines are a great outdoor activity. They promote a fun and active lifestyle. However, if you pay attention to the news you can probably recall several incidents involving trampoline injury. Thousands of people are injured yearly. Sadly, there are no improvements to or advances in trampoline safety standards in the US. Trampoline designers have made a few sundry attempts to address this problem — traditionally by installing weak foam padding around the springs and frame that lost most of its absorbency after initial contact.

While they are fun to jump on, trampolines come with a list of possible injuries and even the risk of death. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, accidental deaths on trampolines can occur by:

  • Bouncing into another person
  • Not properly landing while jumping or doing stunts
  • Falling or jumping off of the trampoline
  • Falling on the springs or frame of the trampoline

Indeed, from 2000-2009, there were 22 deaths in the US resulting from these types of occurrences.  There have been so few trampoline safety improvements over the years that when one finally came along, people took notice. Based on the designs of a mechanical engineer and proactive parent from New Zealand, Springfree Trampoline introduced a series of design improvements that have completely changed the game.

One interesting and unique improvement is the SoftEdge mat. This innovative mat absorbs 30 times the amount of shock than traditional trampoline pads. Combine this with the removal of the springs from the trampoline equation and the concealment of the frame beneath the surface, and suddenly you’ve removed 90% of product-related injury. This is why the hidden frame approach works the best — and only Springfree uses this approach. This method eliminates the need for springs.  It also reduces the potential threat of jumpers coming into contact with the frame. This means that when you buy a 10ft trampoline at Springfree Trampoline you are interacting with composite rods beneath the mat, rather than dangerous springs on a horizontal plane with the mat. This makes the experience safer than ever before.

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In 2006, 80 percent of trampolines came with safety nets. While this helped to reduce the injuries resulting from falling to the ground, new dangers were created due to the risk of colliding with the support bars of the net. This is why Springfree has introduced the FlexiNet enclosure — which uses pliable composite rods in place of rigid steel poles which help to guide bouncers safely back to the mat. These poles are curved outwards and act as a guiding mechanism instead of a potential threat.

After safety concerns, your next question should concern quality manufacturing. If you are searching for safe trampoline alternative for you family, you don’t want to have to replace it every year. Every quality piece of athletic equipment needs to be made with highest quality materials where each component is thoroughly tested on-site for quality assurance. Quality trampoline parts will also be able to withstand the hot summers and wet winters, without losing any structural integrity. Make sure to find a company with a weather resistant guarantee to ensure that you aren’t buying another trampoline in a few short years. Follow these steps, and you’re sure to find the right trampoline for your backyard in no time.

Easy Ways for Moms to Make Money from Home

As a stay at home mom, you know that taking care of your little ones is a full-time job. However, it can sometimes be challenging to cover all of your expenses on one income. If you are looking for some extra cash, you don’t have to leave your baby and head back into the workforce. Instead, try out some of these ways to make money from home.

Offer Babysitting Services

You’re already spending time at home with your kids, so you might want to consider watching other children in your home, too. Some moms choose to open home day cares to do this full-time, but you can also choose to babysit for just a few hours each week. Your children will enjoy having extra companions to play with, and you can earn some extra cash by playing games, making snacks and ensuring that everyone gets a good nap.

Kids Handprint Indicates Colourful Children And Human Stock Image

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