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!
Thank you all so much for your continued support over the years. I appreciate everyone who has taken time out of their busy day in order to read an article posted here.
After much thought, I decided that I am going to start updating the categories and content featured here. I don’t really follow the social norm as far as blogging is concerned. I know a lot of folks pick what kind of blog they want and dedicate their posting around a certain topic. That never really worked for me because I like to represent on my blog what and who I really am.
I am a person who has worked (and still does) for over 17 years in the field of Human/Social Services working with families, children, and individuals with disabilities. I am a person who has worked and still works in the music/ entertainment industry not only as an artist, but in many different administrative functions. I am a person who has been an entrepreneur for over a decade and I am a person who not only talks about God, but someone who tries their best to walk that belief out in my everyday life.
I’ve done a lot of growing and maturing since I started this blog and someone very dear to my heart always has told me that everything God allows you to go through is to help someone else. So I feel inclined to give away everything that I’ve learned so that hopefully it will help someone else. With that being said, currently my life is so hectic I don’t fall asleep, I pretty much collapse at the end of the day. I am a full-time caregiver, I manage a full-time health staff and do 170 hours of payroll bi-weekly. I am a full-time care manager (which is someone who coordinates all health and community programs for an individual with a disability), I care for several children full-time Monday-Friday, I am the First Lady to Hell Razah’s (Wu-Tang Clan/Sunz of Man risendocumentary.com) Ghetto Govt Global Movement, I oversee the development and Management of two independent record labels, as well as work in my church administrative office while managing to make time for family and friends, and at some point attempt to work on my own music and book. Yes. I do all of this 7 days a week, I rarely get a break and if you ask me how, I can only spell out J-E-S-U-S, that’s how LOL.
So in my re-design, I’m going to keep a lot of things like music I’m involved with, interviews, Encouragement articles, Hip-Hop 101 for Independent Artists, and #TeamQueen but I really want to add a lot of stuff I’ve learned over the last few years like how to feed 8 kids on a budget, parenting techniques, time management, budgeting, and personal organization. I also want to address things that are important to me because after all it is my blog. I hope that you all will enjoy the updates, thank you all for your continued support!
April is Autism Awareness Month!
If you type “Autism” in the top of this blog’s search bar, you’ll find all sorts of helpful resources for parents with children that are autistic. For this month we are looking for your contributions on the subject! If you are a trainer, staff person or parent working or living with someone with Autism or hosting / know of a community event supporting awareness for this month, please submit your story or the information (please include photos, logos, or flyers you want included as well as your Twitter handle if available) and we will share it free of charge for the month of April! Email all submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
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