This is not something I’d normally post but I know that there’s a lot of animal lovers out there and I think this is worth a post.
This is Hamilton. Hamilton was adopted by my Sister, her husband, and their three children. He was a rescue pup and although he’s not supposed to be on the couch as pictured above, he’s a cutie.
So Hamilton is now in the running for the 2019 Stew Leonard’s “Bubba Biscuits” photo contest. So if you like awesome happy endings, click the link and vote for Hamilton so the pup who was rescued gets to be the new face of Bubba Biscuits.
During the Summer, I have a few close friends (more like family) that entrust me with the responsibility of watching their kids. My oldest is 12, so she’s basically staff at this point and the others range from 2-10. On a full day (with at least 3 adults present), I’ve had 8 smalls. I’ve gotta tell you, having a classroom of 20 for a few hours in Sunday School is a whole lot different then having that many kids for two meals, two snacks and an entire day.
For anyone who has multiple children during the Summer months, I have found that creating a daily schedule and weekly menu helps tremendously in organizing what could potentially be chaos. All school age children have some sort of Summer Reading or Summer Homework that needs to be done so that should have a designated time. I have also found that listing “snack time” in-between meals prevents you being asked for a snack fifty thousand times. Recess, free time, arts & crafts also help take up some time slots. For my smalls, I’ve had all of them in Sunday School previously, so in my schedule we have a bible lesson also worked in.
For the little ones who can’t read yet or don’t have Summer Homework, I found a bunch of free learning apps on the for my I-Pad which I use with the little ones during this time and I also give the bigger kids reading credit if they choose to read a book to a smaller child. This helps the little ones learn to sit still which may not seem that important but it will be important when they start pre-school. Kids also learn from each other so don’t underestimate the impact of a bigger kid reading to a little one, most of them love it. In the back firing sense, I now have a two-year old goddaughter who tells me “sit” so she can read to me, which is mainly her flipping through the pages at top speed and going to get another book. Could be worse.
I know a lot of people don’t like to allow children to help clean up because they have to re-clean what the kids have cleaned. Honestly, that’s how I felt until I realized how much the kids actually enjoy helping so I try to give them tasks at the end of the day so everyone’s helping. For bigger kids? Give them the steam mop, it’s hard to mess up steam mopping unless of course it’s an 8 year old who decides it’s a weapon, then of course you’ll have to ban them from future steam mopping.It happens. I have also learned Lysol Wipes can be used on electronics and Clorox Wipes can not. So if you’re giving a kid a wipe (make sure it’s a child old enough not to eat the wipe), make sure it’s Lysol if they’re cleaning in a room that contains electronic devices. Also as a side note, don’t let them plug in the vacuum in the same room that an Air Conditioner is on or you’ll be taking a trip to the fuse box.
Rewards are also helpful. Kids love having something to earn or look forward to. I build in recess time because they have it at school and I have found it helpful to follow their regular pattern. I do Popsicle at the end of the day after clean up and I try to do a fun lunch on Friday (i.e. Pizza) if we have good behavior all week. Pizza can be expensive so things I’ve found helpful in that department is the party size pizza which is normally $20 and feeds at least ten people, Little Caesar’s has a $5 large pizza special (I have two kids with a milk allergy, but Little Caesar’s will make a sauce only and you can pay the extra dollar for meat), or you can do pizza bagels yourself.
I certainly don’t have all the answers folks, but the little I’ve included above has really helped me manage a lot of kids at once without loosing my mind. Hope it helps, feel free to comment below!
House of Esther International kicks off it’s 2nd Annual Winter Drive to purchase blankets and socks for homeless residents in Connecticut and New York City areas. Every little bit helps, even $1 buys a pair of insulated socks for someone in need.
Many homeless individuals are battling untreated mental illness and at least half of homeless women and children are fleeing domestic violence.Consider being a blessing and check out the Go Fund Me page for this year’s drive! http://www.gofundme.com/HEwinterDrive
Shelter information for New York:
Shelter information for Connecticut:
I hope everyone is enjoying their Holiday season & remembering those less fortunate.
Isn’t it funny how you can get some people to give during the holidays but never at any other time of the year? Not all people though. Some of us are givers as a lifestyle.
First of all everyone has it in them to give. Most of the time when people lose the ability to be giving it’s normally because they have been hurt as a result of giving too much to the wrong person so instead of being a more careful giver, they become a bitter non-existent giver.
A giver isn’t always necessarily someone who gives material things away. Don’t make that mistake! There are quite a few folks that give material things only because it’s a tax write off or because it makes them look good. Here’s how you can pick those out, they talk about it or tell you about it & everyone else. When people give things and never let anyone forget it? It wasn’t a real gift. Giving comes from your heart and when you truly are giving out of your heart? You forfeit the right to bring it up again if it was done in love.
Giving should always be done from the heart and in love. I was talking about this this morning with one of my girlfriends. It came up because we work in Public Housing. We have senior and elderly residents in our building and for their Holiday party, I asked them to nominate a neighbor. Basically, the folks where I work can’t afford to give gifts most of the time so I bought the gifts, they nominated the neighbor. This morning she and I were going through the gifts I purchased and not for nothing? Walgreens had some really nice $5 gifts. That’s how the whole thing started. We were impressed with what we were able to get for $5 and I asked her “Isn’t that crazy? This is a nice gift that says I thought of you and for some people they wouldn’t even appreciate it because it’s not enough? What happened to it’s the thought that counts?”
I’m not sure what happened to the way of people’s thinking. Maybe it started to change when parents assumed that having a TV, DVD Player, & gaming system in a child’s room was just part of the furniture and not something that should be earned as a privilege. Maybe it was when people forgot that having new shoes & clothes for school didn’t mean it had to be $100 shoes or jeans. Maybe it was when the imposter hip-hop took over and started brain washing both parents and kids that the only way to live or the definition of “arrived” is when you have a weekly budget for booze, cars, clothes, hoes, and the club. Maybe it was when parents started giving eight year olds $600 phones. Not sure, don’t care.
There is truly a lack of kindness in the world and it honestly makes me sick. I chose not to live like that and yes, there are drawbacks like giving your love and kindness to a person and they turn around and snake you. But you know what? That’s on them, not on you. Don’t let it change you. One day and we all know we’re not promised tomorrow, you will give an account for your behavior. If you died today, would you be happy with the answer?
Just a little soul food Fam.
Every child receiving special education services are covered under the Federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). This federal law names the ways in which children who receive public education are protected and what they are entitled to for special education. It is important to know that every state has to abide by what IDEA lays out. However, every State is different. The only variation allowed is if the State chooses to make principles of IDEA more stringent (ex: timelines shorter) for their individual state.
What you need to know if your child has an IEP:
If your family moves to a new state, IDEA is clear that the services your child received in the State where they originally received Special Education services transfer across State lines. So for example, if your family lives in Minnesota and your child receives 5 hours of resource support and 1 hour of speech therapy, when you pick up and move to New York, IDEA protects your child’s educational rights to continue to receive 5 hours of resource and 1 hour of speech therapy in their new school. This goes the same if you move within the same state too! IDEA maps out what EVERY IEP MUST HAVE ACROSS THE NATION, however, each states IEP may physically look different.
Q: Can the receiving school change Your child’s IEP because they don’t have the same exact programs as your previous school?
A: Yes and No. The school can absolutely NEVER make changes to your child’s IEP without a Planning and Placement team meeting (IEP meeting…every state uses different terminology too!) or without your consent. As the Parent, you are the foremost member of a team. If the receiving school does not offer specific programs or certain support services that existed in your former state, it becomes the responsibility of the new team (yes including you the parent) to determine what services can be provided that resemble the child’s previous IEP or if there is a different placement available within the new school district to give the child what he/she needs. If your child had something specific like a 1:1 aide or behavioral therapist, it is absolutely imperative that the new school complies with similar recommendations. They are legally bound under the IEP, which is a legal document, to honor the services that have already been determined are necessary for that child’s educational success. If the school system states that they “don’t do that” or “don’t have that resource” they are out of compliance and you need to contact the school systems Director of Special Education or even the State immediately. Always put your concerns in writing to make a paper trail documenting your concern (this includes email).
If it is a question of hours or service delivery, use your judgement. Go with your gut. If you feel the school is proposing something completely irrational (i.e. cutting 5 hours down to 1) disagree with the proposed change. Legally if there is a disagreement, the old IEP must remain until a new one is agreed upon.
If you feel the school is proposing something appropriate, again go with your gut. For example, if the school wants to change 5 hours of pull out resource support to 2 hours pull out and 3 hours in the classroom because the resource teacher co-teaches reading this may be an acceptable service delivery alteration. It’s not changing the service being delivered just the setting. Just always remember: YOU CAN CALL A PPT WHENEVER YOU WANT!
Again, your parental right under IDEA is to hold a meeting whenever you want to discuss or make changes to your child’s IEP. Team meetings may suffice too, but if it ever comes down to changes in IEP services, hours, etc. hold a PPT/IEP meeting.
If you are ever in the situation where a new school system does not honor an IEP or attempts to remove services, you should immediately hold a PPT meeting and document your concerns or disagreement. You always have the right to contact your State department of special education and file a formal complaint against the school district. Should it become a legal issue, you may want to exercise your right to due process and search for educational advocates or attorneys that specialize in educational law.
Jodi L. Everone, M.S., CCC-SLP