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March 15 Application Deadline for Education Scholarship Trust Fund


March 15 Application Deadline for Education Scholarship Trust Fund

5,000 scholarships will provide more K-12 options for low and moderate income families

The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) is reminding South Carolina families that the deadline to apply for the Education Scholarship Trust Fund (ESTF) Program is March 15, 2024.

The program, signed into law by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster in May 2023, allots $30 million to be used for scholarships for educational expenses. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first served basis for up to 5,000 qualifying South Carolina families for the 2024-2025 school year.

At $6,000 per student, the scholarships can be used to support a customized, flexible education. Families can use the funds to pay for tuition, textbooks, curriculum and educational materials, as well as for tutoring, online courses and a wide range of educational therapies including speech, physical, occupational and vision. Approved applicants will receive their first quarterly payment of $1,500 in late July 2024.

“For over a decade, policymakers have diligently worked toward allowing parents this type of ability to customize their child’s education,” said State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver. “This program has the potential to truly transform lives and make sure the unique learning needs of every child are met.”

Easy Three-Step Process to Apply

To apply for Education Scholarship Trust Fund scholarships, families need to complete this three-step process:

Step 1- Complete a simple application, available at: 

A) Proof of guardianship (tax return with dependents listed, birth certificate, etc.)
B) Proof of income (2022 or 2023 tax return documentation. If they don't file taxes, they’ll need to provide information on income.)
C) Proof of residency (driver's license or state-issued ID, utility bill, etc.)

After the application has been reviewed to verify eligibility, families will receive another email notifying them of the eligibility decision. The application review process and notification may take up to 14 days. To help determine their students’ eligibility for this program, families can refer to the frequently asked questions at

Step 2- Access scholarship funds:

Once a student is approved, the family will receive a welcome email from ClassWallet, contracted for programmatic support and to manage the distribution of scholarship funds to participating families, with the next steps on how to access their scholarship funds. Support and training will be provided to answer any questions families may have regarding how the program works.

Step 3- Use scholarship funds:

Families will be able to make payments and purchases for approved expenses using their students’ scholarship account.

Can Video Games Actually Be Helpful to Kids?

Have you ever wondered if video games are harmful or actually helpful to kids? There are arguments on both sides for good reason. You can definitely have too much of a good thing, but are video games for kids that bad? 

No matter how much you try to escape it, technology is a huge part of everyday life. We rely on computers and smart phones for just about everything. Workplaces and schools require using computers. I remember when my kids were little, I was the anti-gaming mom. I only saw the negatives in it. It turned out that I was so wrong. I came to the realization that gaming can be a tool for learning. If your child is just starting out on the computer, gaming can help them learn more about the keyboard which aids in typing practice. That is how my son improved his typing skills. 

For younger kids, some games can help them perfect using the mouse properly and how to use the arrow keys. There are so many fun games for kids that help with matching, math, reading and just for having some downtime. I highly recommend Penguin Cafe Restaurant simulation game. It definitely helps with focus and coordination, while having fun. Your kid will have no idea they are learning! 

Can I tell you something? I enjoy playing computer games myself. I can play Solitaire for hours. It helps to keep my mind stimulated in a positive way. I am always trying to beat my previous score on each game. I need to try some other versions of Solitaire like my daughter does. 

Obviously, you don't want your child to be playing computer games for hours on end, so it is important to set time limits. You can even give them an incentive of extra gaming time if they did a good job in in school or got their chores done early. I have really changed my mind with gaming. It has been very beneficial for my son since he is in virtual school. His typing skills have greatly improved as well as his reading. As a parent, gaming can be a stress reliever. 

Do you have a favorite computer game? 

Two Subscriptions to Buy Your Child to Encourage Learning

The Covid-19 pandemic crippled the education system due to widespread school closures. As a result, parents, teachers, and students were left to seek ways to educate their children, with a significant number opting for homeschooling. On the other hand, educators sought out ways to encourage children to keep learning, which has brought the need for subscriptions. These subscriptions help provide kids with the necessary tools and knowledge that encourage learning.

Try the following subscriptions if you want to join the new schooling system and encourage your child to learn. 

Box Subscriptions

Subscription boxes are packages that will encourage your child to learn. This hot trend involves subscribing to a particular educative company to ensure that you receive a box with items and directions regarding a particular education subject, including art, math, and reading.

These boxes cover a wide variety of subjects; do you want to encourage your little one to write? Try a writer's box. If you want to make them inquisitive of the world around them, subscribe to the science subscription box for kids.

Choosing an Ideal Supplier

When subscribing, however, ensure that you choose a supplier whose boxes are written, curated, and created by teachers or educators with master's degrees and a love for teaching and inspiring people. It would also help to get box subscriptions from a site with an online presence to stay updated with new trends. 

Online Subscriptions

In addition, to getting monthly educational boxes for your child, you may subscribe to online platforms that provide educational lessons. While online subscriptions won't provide your kids with tools, they will provide comprehensive education and instructions. For instance, if your kid is a little scientist, you can find online platforms with DIY scientific videos for kids.

It would also help to subscribe to platforms that provide daily education lessons to ensure that your children get the necessary educative interaction. This way, you will remove the monotonous of having just you as the teacher or books as the main source of information. Ideally, before subscribing to an online educational platform, it would help discuss and encourage your kids to undertake these lessons.

Besides, online subscriptions will allow your child to access the specific educational content they need. For instance, if they miss a school lesson or don't understand more about a written topic, they can search that content on the subscribed platform. This way, they will have the content they need at hand.

Choosing an Ideal Platform

When looking for a site that provides educational online subscriptions, you will find platforms that provide education on a particular subject like art, science, or art. Others are more like schools, where different teachers provide learning in their specific fields of expertise.

Both options will help your child learn. However, getting multiple sites with specific subjects can be expensive. However, it will have more content than a general platform. By the end of the day, it's a matter of budget and preference.

Whether or not you are homeschooling your kids, you can help them reconnect with their love for learning with subscriptions. These subscriptions will teach them the ins and outs of math, science, technology, reading, and art. In addition, you can get monthly subscriptions to ensure that your kids receive updated boxes regularly. 


5 Tips For Instilling the Love for Learning Early On

We as parents have an all-encompassing role in instilling the love for learning early for our children. From getting them motivated in finishing their homework, participate better at school to learning to love any form of study, it’s all about proper conditioning and the right balance of encouragement and rewards.

Life requires us to learn new skills and gain knowledge, and it’s up to us to raise children that are ready for this challenge. Because learning starts when we’re children, it’s also the best time to foster a love of learning. Here are a couple of ways to help our kids love learning.
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Identify any learning barrier and plan ways to overcome them. It’s hard to love something when you struggle with it. Be vigilant about signs of issues that could impact your child’s ability to learn at school and taint their enjoyment of learning.

Issues could be social, emotional, or potential learning disorders. While teachers are on the lookout for these, kids sometimes hide it by overcompensating.

If you believe there’s a problem, talk to your child in a comfortable, safe environment. See if you can find any suggestions for stress or avoidance about a particular subject or activity. Questions to ask include asking what their favorite and least favorite part of the school is and why/why not, what are the hardest things they did and why.

Help them engage. Education experts believe that under-performance in school can be caused by a lack of engagement. There’s a plethora of strategies and reforms in place to improve classroom engagement, but parents have the starting reins to work on this lack of engagement at home.

Start by regularly asking your kids what they learned at school. This will help them be proud of their newfound knowledge. Many kids also relish the opportunity to teach something to their parents. This will also encourage them to think more critically about their learning in school, and to learn better. Your questions will need to be age-appropriate.

Make learning enjoyable. Check out your child’s curriculum, textbooks, and homework. There are many examples, but you should be able to find examples to use for activities. If you’re reading this during the current COVID-19 pandemic, then you’ll have plenty of time to revisit and try out more activities.

Assess your child’s curriculum, textbooks, or homework. It can be as simple as counting games, getting them to spell words from their favorite books. For older kids, assist them to discover their passions and interests.

Remove the pressure. We’ve all been there. Academics do put pressure on kids. This includes grades, peers, and parent approval. Giving them a hard time or punishing them for poor results can backfire and make them dread the learning process.

So instead of punishing poor performance, offer support both emotionally and academically. Allow them to be free to express their disappointments without fear of your judgment.  Speak with them, listen well, and collaborate to find ways to help them improve and enjoy school.

Choose the right learning institute. The kind of school where you enroll your child will serve as a beacon in developing many aspects of his or her character, which is why choosing an appropriate one is of paramount importance.

Some curriculum is better than others when it comes to the learner. For instance, expat children and those with international connections should prefer international schools. Consider schools that offer inquiry-based programs like GMP Montessori which not only fosters the development of cognitive, expressive and motor skills but also induces a sense of social responsibility, cultural awareness and environmental consciousness - all key components of GIIS's holistic pedagogy.

Encouragement during this stage must come from you. You need to walk the talk. The values you teach should also be present in you because your kids innately look to you not just for support, but for inspiration as well.

These tips can help to make the school what it needs to be for children — a fun, secure location, where they can learn about the world, themselves, and find out who and what they want to be.

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Exam Time? How To Reduce Your Teenager’s Stress

When teens are studying for their exams, your home might feel full of stress. Emotions are running high, and the pressure to perform well and potentially get into college can be overwhelming. As a parent, it can be difficult to watch your child going through such a stressful period. You remember what it felt like to be at school, and it’s probably a time you wouldn’t want to repeat!

So, as a parent, it’s important to help to reduce your teenager’s stress. While you can’t eliminate exams altogether, you can help to make the period as smooth as possible.

Educational Support

As a parent, it’s important to give your teenager educational support if they need it. Whilst you shouldn’t be overbearing or pushy, if they’re struggling in a certain area you might be able to help. Quizzing them and reading the answers is a good example of this. If you’re not sure of the solution or answer yourself, you can always do some research and find online tools to help, such as this free tool for citation. Alternatively, you might wish to find a tutor for your teenager, who can give them additional support in the exam period. 

Limit Distractions

While your teen is revising for their exams, it’s important that you try to limit any distractions in the house. It might be difficult to prevent them from going on the internet, but you can potentially limit their screen time, and make sure that the TV isn’t on in the background. Plus, if your teen’s siblings are being distracting, you can take them out to give your teen some quiet time in the house. Just make sure it’s being used for revision and not gaming!

Cook for them

During the exam period, it’s important that your teen stays well nourished. They won’t be able to concentrate on their revision if their stomach is rumbling! Plus, the time they spend cooking could be used to revise. So, make sure you’re cooking healthy, nutritious meals that fuel their brains and stop them from being hungry. This is especially important on exam days. They will need a big breakfast so they don’t feel hungry during the exam and can concentrate on the paper in front of them.

Emotional Support

The exam period is a stressful time for your teen, and you need to make sure that they’re coping. This means making sure that they’re talking about the way they’re feeling, and not bottling up their emotions. Whilst they need to spend the majority of their time revising, you should make sure that they’re taking adequate breaks and still taking the time to do the activities they enjoy.

Their mental health will suffer if they can’t have fun or see their friends, so encourage them to go out and socialize. If your teen knows that you’re there for them and supporting their decisions, they will feel less stressed and more able to perform well in their exams.

Thanks for stopping by today!


The Internet's Impact on Homeschooling

Just like the Internet has changed the way we shop, communicate, and conduct business, it has also revolutionized the world of education. Now more than ever, it is easier to learn outside a traditional classroom setting. Many college students take at least one online course to earn either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Online education has extended past college students and now includes K-12 students, as well.

Homeschooling families have more freedom and flexibility when it comes to education options. The Internet has significantly increased education options, homeschooling resources, online forums, and curriculum programs. The following are ways that the Internet has completely changed homeschooling.

Allows for More Student Independence and Less Parent Involvement

The Internet has brought about more and more at-home education methods. Accredited virtual schools and online homeschooling curriculums don’t require as much parent involvement as other at-home education methods.

Many parents assume that homeschooling will be time-consuming because it requires a lot of hand holding. Although this may be true for young learners, high school level students develop more independence around their education, especially if they are taking online courses. For most homeschool curriculums, parents or hired tutors must grade and review work to ensure the student is making progress.

Online schools require even less parent involvement because online teachers do the grading. This structure is especially helpful for parents who don’t have formal teacher training or work full- or part-time jobs.

Increases Education and Learning Options

Before the Internet, homeschooling families relied on textbooks and workbooks for their curriculum or created their own. Parents had to take charge of the entire learning process to either select or create a curriculum and teach their students the necessary subjects. The Internet, however, has made way for more and more education and learning methods. It really is impressive. So with so many dependent on the Internet and the knowledge that it brings, it's no wonder that many look to see how satellite internet works.

The Internet provides endless resources to help your student learn at home. Many different online curriculum programs and virtual schools are available to homeschooling families. Online homeschool curriculum provides Internet-based courses and resources for parents and students to be successful.

Online or virtual schools for K-12 students are also increasingly popular among families seeking alternative education methods. Online schools allow students to learn from teachers who are states away while attending classes from their home.

Many of these online schooling options are self-paced, so students can work through lessons as they master individual concepts. At the same time, if a student is struggling with a particular topic, they can receive extra help in this area. This is very beneficial for students with chronic illnesses or learning disabilities who may need frequent breaks.

Provides Online Resources and Technologies

The Internet gives homeschool students access to countless resources at home that helps them learn. Homeschool resources and learning technologies were limited before the Internet age. However, continuous advancements are being made in learning technologies.

Today, students can learn via e-readers, tablets, apps, digital coursework, and virtual schools. Parents also have access to a variety of resources to help them and their students get started with at-home education.

The Internet offers a plethora of information and resources. No longer are the days of students needing to spend hours sifting through textbooks or encyclopedias to write research papers. With the help of Google, information and multimedia resources are at students’ fingertips.

Makes Learning Fun with Gamification 

Games are a new way of learning. Gamification has helped create educational video games for students to learn about numerous subjects, such as coding, spelling, and foreign languages. These games allow students of all ages to learn about different topics and practice different skills in a fun and exciting way. The gamification of learning has also allowed students to study while riding in the car, traveling for the holidays, or waiting for appointments. Learning has become much more fun with the availability of learning with games on their phones, tablets, or computers.

Helps Students with At-Home Education 

Online schools and homeschool curriculums allow students to complete school and progress through grades from the comfort of their home or wherever they have Internet access. Students with disabilities, anxiety or depression, or chronic illnesses don’t have to worry about falling behind. Many students struggle to keep up in a classroom setting, so online education methods allow them to work at their own pace without falling behind in a traditional classroom setting. Likewise, students who are receiving treatment and recovering from an illness can make feeling better their number one priority.

Offers a Space for Online Homeschool Communities

Fostering a successful at-home education requires a support system. The Internet has made it easier for homeschooling families to connect with others who chose non-traditional schooling methods. Online forums and Facebook offer spaces for parents to discuss curriculums, education options, and homeschooling tips. Families can even connect with others in their area, which lets children make friends who are homeschooled, as well.

The Internet has affected almost every area of our lives, both positively and negatively. However, the impact that the digital age has had on education continues to benefit homeschooling families.



Benefits of Homeschooling at Night and Other Odd Times

As parents embark on the homeschooling journey with their children, often creating a schedule becomes the most complicated part of the entire homeschooling process. Usually, when the idea of schoolwork comes up, people think about the schedules that kids in school systems are put on. Days usually start by 8 a.m. and conclude by 3:30 p.m. or so.

However, one of the benefits of homeschooling is that you don’t have to abide by someone else’s schedule. Not all kids are their most productive at 8 a.m. Maybe your child is a night owl who performs better after 6 p.m. There are quite a few benefits to starting homeschooling at night or other “odd” times throughout the day.

1. Allows You to Do Schooling Around Work Schedules

When parents in a homeschooling household work odd hours, it might be challenging to complete coursework during the normal school day hours. If someone works overnights, starting schoolwork at 8 a.m. isn’t going to be conducive for their lifestyle. Instead, you might decide that 3 p.m. is a better time to do schoolwork. For those who work 12-hour shifts, your homeschooling schedules might look completely different than those who work a normal 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job or stay at home with their children.

2. Makes It Easier to Schedule Appointments

We’ve all had to try to schedule doctor’s appointments around the many other commitments we have. By leaving more time open during the day, you can schedule all of your doctor’s appointments as well as other things like tax appointments during regular business hours without much hassle. Plus, doctors often have patients competing for the evening appointment times, so it might take a while to get in to see your doctors.

3. Gives You Time for Field Trips and Other Activities

It is not fun to sit around doing regular schoolwork all of the time. From time to time, it is important to schedule additional activities and field trips. You might be using these outings as learning experiences as well. Maybe once a month you have an afternoon outing to a place with some educational value like the zoo, botanical garden, or museum.
Taking time out of the morning or afternoon allows you to go to those places when they aren’t going to be crowded and busy like they would be in the evenings and on weekends.

4. Allows Others to Help with Teaching

In some households, a spouse might be a better teacher in one subject than the main teacher. If one parent is a whiz at math but works all day, it might be best to hold off on math lessons until that parent is back from work.

Additionally, some parents like to wait until they have some helping hands to do science experiments and art projects because they can get messy really fast. There is no shame in pushing some lessons to later in the day if that is what works best for your family.

5. Allows Students to Work When They Are Most Productive

Like we mentioned before, not everyone is a morning person. In some cases, children do their best work in the evening. It is important for many parents to allow their children to work on schooling when they are at their most focused and productive. This means that some children will need to have night homeschooling as an option.

Doing class work at night allows these kids to sleep in until they are well-rested without compromising on the amount of time they have to get their work done.

6. Allows a Tutor to Teach Students

Not every homeschooler is taught by a parent. Some children are homeschooled by a tutor who has other students or works full-time, which means that lessons need to work around a different schedule. If you’re interested in homeschooling, but don’t want to teach your children yourself, you will need to have a little flexibility when it comes down to the timing of your children’s education. You might be able to find tutors that can even teach your child when it best suits the student.

There are so many reasons that a parent may need or choose to homeschool at a time that isn’t considered normal schooling hours. However you need to work homeschooling into your routine is fine, as long as it works for you and your family. Find a homeschooling curriculum that works wells for your family and work it in however you need to support your child’s education.

The Top Six Apps & Resources For Home Schooled Students

We are in the final stretch of finishing of fifth grade, and our fourth year of virtual school. It has worked so well for us, and William feels ready for the next chapter: middle school. I am trying not to panic over the fact that the workload with be much heavier and harder. Fifth grade was a tough one. I am not ashamed to admit that I have to Google things all the time, because I simply do not always know the answers or solutions to problems, especially in math.

Over the last couple of years, I have found some life-saving extremely helpful apps and sites that have been a vital part on my side of things. Even if you don't home school or do virtual school, homework help is essential for all parents.

Here are some of my go-to sites for Math:

Hack Math is so good when you need to check over answers. I love that you can type in complicated math problems, and in most cases, find the solution.

Photomath is an app that you have to download on your smartphone. This app is especially helpful since they have a feature where you can use your camera to scan a math problem. The app solves the problem and gives step-by-step explanations. I tend to use Photomath so I can learn different ways to solve a problem. If you don't have this app on your phone, go get it now! Of course, it's free.

Math Antics is another great resource that offers videos for all levels of math. William has this one bookmarked on his computer and uses it frequently.

For Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies:

Quizlet has really been so good for all of the subjects outside of Math. If you Google a specific question and add the word Quizlet on the end, it will give you all the information you need. It works so well when you need a study guide for a specific unit, especially for Social Studies and Science.

Kiddle is a must-have for kids to do safe searches.

Khan Academy is one of our favorites for practicing and studying. The videos are a good way to have your student see a problem being done step-by-step. You can watch a video as many times as you need until you really understand.

Aside from the sites and apps listed above, we have found that Minecraft has been the secret weapon to help with improved keyboarding skills. It isn't always easy for elementary aged students to type out a paper in a short time. With Minecraft, we find that William is so engaged in the game that he doesn't realize how much typing he does.

If you have any useful resources that help with homework, feel free to leave a comment. Thank you so much for stopping by today!

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44 Overused Words & Phrases To Be Aware Of

I'm sharing this one, because I feel like most of us are guilty of some (maybe many) of overusing certain words or phrases. I do agree with many of these, especially 1, 3, 16, 21, 24, and a few others. How about you? Which ones stick out the most to you?
44 Overused Words & Phrases To Be Aware Of (Infographic)
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4 Tips for Mom Nurses Trying to get into Anesthesia School

Many moms work in the medical field and they want to earn more money per hour so they can either work fewer hours for the same pay or earn more overall. Anesthesia certification offers them exactly this opportunity, but first, you have to get into the anesthesia program. Here are four tips for mom nurses applying for anesthesia school.

Meet and Exceed the Minimum Academic Requirements

If you barely completed some of the classes that are considered prerequisites for nurse anesthesiology, consider retaking the prerequisite classes again before you apply for the nursing anesthesiology program. First, it ensures that you know what you need to know to succeed in the program. Second, it could boost your GPA, making you eligible for admission. If your prior BSN was years ago, retaking the prerequisites and getting good grades now will demonstrate to the nurse anesthesiology program that you’ve got your academic act together now. In fact, you may want to take courses like statistics now so that you don’t have to take it as part of the CRNA program. If you’re balking at going back to take refresher classes, remember that you’ll be required to enroll in CRNA CEU or take some suitable continuing education units regularly to maintain your certification.

You’ll stand out ahead of the pack if you’ve taken master’s level nursing classes on your own prior to applying to a nurse anesthesiology program. If that’s not an option, go above and beyond the minimum continuing education standards as a BSN.

The Right Type of Experience

Anesthesia programs typically want people who have on the job experience related to the profession. One year of experience in critical care nursing is a minimum, but two years puts you at the top of the list. This experience prepares you for the clinical portion of the anesthesia program. Yes, a few programs will take you if your primary experience is in pediatrics or neonatal care. At a minimum, you’re making professional contacts with people likely to hire you as a nurse anesthetist later.

Where possible, job shadow a CRNA several times. This gives you a good understanding of what the job entails, so you don’t apply for the program and then drop out because it isn’t what you expected.

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The Right Certifications

Some nurse anesthesiologist programs require you to have a CCRN certification; a few have even waived the GRE requirement if you have the CCRN certification. Nearly all programs give preference to those who possess it. It demonstrates your knowledge of critical care nursing. If you don’t have two years of experience in critical care, holding the certification may make the difference between admitted and not.

Understand Your Options

Don’t rush through your application to the top ten anesthesiology programs. Consider both online and in-person classes before you sign up for a nurse anesthesiology program., and select one that fits your budget and your intentions. Always verify that the anesthesiology program is accredited and would issue a credential that lets you work as a nurse anesthesiologist in the state you want to work in.

Also, research your options for earning CRNA CEU through programs like Valley Anesthesia so that you know where you can take the necessary continuing credit classes well before they come due.

Getting accepted in anesthesiology school is definitely possible if you are ready to do the extra work and gain the qualifications you will need to expedite the process.
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September 27th Is Math Storytelling Day

Monday, September 25th is Math Storytelling Day and here are some great short stories to share with your kids. These are courtesy of the Numbers Lady, Dr. Rebecca Klemm. You can check out her site here
Thanks for stopping by today!
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We Are Officially Back-To-School

School is officially back in session around these parts. William is entering his third year of home education. He is well prepared for 4th grade and so far he has picked up where he left off. I admit I did not really push him super hard to do school work all summer long. We both really needed a break and now we're ready to get back to learning. 

I have to adjust my schedule a little bit to accommodate his lessons, especially after having three months off. I enjoyed my non-schedule all summer long. It's back to business and I will be sure to update with William's progress and share any resources I come across that can help others.

Are your kids back to school yet? Wishing all parents and students a fabulous 2017-18 school year. Thanks for stopping by today!
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Why Care And Nursing Work Is Good For A Parent

Parents know and understand that simply being a parent is a full-time job in and of itself, so pointing out how another job such as nursing would be fitting may seem a bit odd, perhaps asking too much. Becoming a nurse is difficult, and requires study and an eventual qualification. For parents looking for a job that provides a nice paycheck, there are some important points to consider when it comes to training and being a nurse.

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Being a nurse requires being able to care compassionately for people who are complete strangers. If you are a parent, you probably have a higher amount of compassion and empathy for others simply because you have children you care for. You know what it means to take care of someone who needs help because he or she cannot help him or herself. You learn from your child what it is you need to do as they grow up, and it is not only hard work, it is really rewarding work. As you grew as a parent, you probably were not thinking of all the skills you were learning, like communication and understanding non-verbal cues, planning, supervising, and critical thinking. Yet all of these skills are necessary in dealing with patients as a nurse as well, so the gap between parenthood and nursing should seem a bit smaller now.
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What is it that would be expected of you should you become a nurse? Let's look at what nurses working with children do as an example; especially since it may be a job you would be interested in doing. Nurses who have become Nurse Practitioners (NP) by passing their classes and the test can treat common illnesses, order medical tests, do some tests and procedures, write prescriptions, answer questions about health problems, and specialize in and manage chronic illnesses, along with so much more. Nurses have such a huge impact on family life, and often the nurse is the one who sees the patient for a longer amount of time than the doctor, so developing a relationship with patients is a gift nurses have that can come from parental experience.

There is always the issue of when you would go to school; are there even any schools nearby that offer a nursing degree? Is there anywhere that is flexible to be there for a parent trying to gain a degree? The good news is that there are educational establishments that offer online courses, such as Maryville's master of science in nursing. The flexibility of these courses means that even those of you raising children on your own have a way to find a good fit for your schedules, as hectic as they may be. So you can continue working your side job to raise your child and take your classes online while your child is at school or asleep, and when you get your degree you can decide on working hours that suit you.

There are different nursing degrees you can go for that can also decide when and where you work because the degrees themselves focus on different patients. As far as ideas for places to think of working at, being a school nurse means you can be close to your kid while you can also be a home care nurse to look after the elderly. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) require the least amount of training compared to Registered Nurses (RN) who need to pass a two-year program. Nurse Practitioners (NP) require even more training with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) being the minimum degree required to be an NP. You can learn more about nurse practitioner programs at GMercyU, and once you receive your degree it is an option to then focus on different concentrations, such as being a Certified Family NP (CFNP) or a Certified Pediatric NP (CPNP). Parents will find they will most likely relate to the CPNP since this certificate focuses on kid's health. Both of these concentrations would allow a working parent to find a job outside of a hospital easily if it is more doable for the parent to get the job done during the day instead of at night.

Downsides? Of course, there are some; especially given the hours you may be studying and working while your child is sleeping or going to school. Another mom talks about her love for her work but also feels worried over how her daughter is unable to attend sports activities because she helps so much with her two youngest daughters. She appreciates it greatly, but this is still a big sacrifice. However, she also feels that nursing has taught her to be a better mother as well as the reverse being true. Her family understands that you cannot take anything for granted, a lesson she has learned from this job as well.

As a parent, and single parent especially, this choice is very difficult to make, but there are some great pros to come out of having this career that go even beyond the higher salary. However, it is a decision that is truly up to you, so consider all the elements carefully.

Math Skills- Subtraction Practice For Third Grade

Math is one area where most kids struggle or bump into some sort of challenge. I was really excited to be contacted by to share some practice work and strategies to help my son really grasp some math concepts. You can't ever have too much practice in math, although I am sure he would disagree. Below is a fun activity to help with subtraction.

Subtraction Action

Most parents probably wouldn't mind subtracting 8-9 years off their age. Here's a fun subtraction activity for your child that will do just that—in theory, anyway. It's also a good way to boost third grade subtraction skills and make them real and relevant.

What You Need:

What You Do:

  1. Explain to your child that his mission is to find out how old everyone was when he was born. Encourage your child to go around and record each family member's current age--don't forget grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunts! Use the adult's age as the top number, and your child's age as the bottom number. Have your child set up the equation and subtract.
  2. Now that your child knows how old everyone was when you were born, try it this way: Add his age to every family member’s age today. When you get the result, have your child make a line graph with numbers 0-100 on the y-axis (vertical) and names of family members on the x-axis (horizontal). Ask your child to plot the ages and connect the dots to see how large of an age difference there is between family members.
  3. Write a word problem with your child using the ages collected above. For example, when I was born, mom was thirty years old. Now I am 9-years-old. How old is mom? Word problems in abundance!
  4. What's going on? You're tying abstract math skills--the stuff on flashcards and worksheets--to real life. These kinds of activities help your child build lifetime skills, and they help make related topics--like the timelines of history--make perfect sense. Don't be surprised, of course, if you also end up with some cherished family stories while you're at it.


Homeschool Updates Spring 2017

We are headed into our final two months of third grade with William and thankfully next week is Spring Break. We both desperately need the break. I now understand why school teachers used to act like they were about to blow their top at this time of year. I admit, I am burned out. Some days wear me out to the point of aggravation. I am SO ready to get our last day out of the way so that we can relax for a week. I make sure that I take a power nap in the afternoon if I start getting too crazy. It has come to a point to where William recognizes that I need a little breather.

Don't get me wrong, William is a great student when he's not being lazy or getting distracted. He is doing so well and is currently making all A's with a 96% overall average. Let me tell you though, those good grades don't come easy! We both work hard to make it happen. I am so thankful that I can pinpoint what he struggles with so that we can review for as long as it takes until he gets it. I am grateful I have the gift of patience, because some days are trying.

William has really been enjoying learning about different cultures in his current unit in Language Arts and seems to really love math. He sometimes stumbles while learning new skills, but once he understands it, he aces through the work. One of the things I love is when he learns something that his dad recently taught him, which is usually about money, spending, or making smart choices. He geeks out and tells me he can't wait to tell his dad what he learned in school that day.

He is enjoying his life as a homeschooler and never complains about being bored or lonely. That was one of my biggest fears, but thankfully he is like an old man who enjoys the most simple things. We break up the day with outdoor play or having lunch on the back patio. I think we are both going to enjoy Spring Break and hope to be back refreshed and ready to tackle the end of year testing and final assignments. I have noticed that my friends with kids in public school have been going nuts with all of the spring festivities and craziness that comes at this time of year. I can definitely say that I do not miss any of that!

Anyway, I wanted to share the latest regarding William's school progress. Have your kids had their Spring Break yet?

Enroll in a Teaching Position for Amazing Benefits (Guest Post)

There are one too many reasons one enrolls into a teaching job. We’ve all had those teachers who were an inspiration and contributed towards the people we are today. Not only do people not forget about their influence upon us, but they will surely remain remembered for as long as we live. Many people who wish to enter the education system want just that and tuition jobs (click here to sign up as a tutor) are the place to start.

The benefits of becoming a tutor are endless as there are a lot of subjects to be taught and not only will people have the opportunity to help other people to become more self-aware individuals, but also people who enroll in the teaching position will never get bored as classes are extremely interactive and simply amazing taking into consideration that you will work with a whole lot of different people from different backgrounds. A tutor positions has a lot of advantages and they should be highly regarded if one desires to make the big step in becoming a teacher.

Chance to Earn Amazing Money

Teachers do not usually earn a whole lot of money in one single go but salaries are extremely competitive to other professions. Teaching careers will give those who opt for such professions to get promoted over time and will have the option to give private tutoring classes in order to supplement their earnings.

Important Benefits

There are a lot of extra benefits of becoming a teacher and these include health insurance as well as some amazing pension plans which are becoming rarer among other professions but one can count them as an added perk in a career which involves teaching. Other benefits which come from being a teacher involve sick days as well as tuition reimbursement and one could easily find that a teaching job offers a lot more than one would initially think.

Amazing Education Career

One has to take into account the happiness factor when enrolling in a profession but teachers usually have it all when it comes this factor as their job is generally stress-free and motivating to do. Teachers will feel extremely motivated and confident when they are practicing their job and a lot of people will benefit from these factors starting from students and going up to friends and family as you will always be energetic and invigorated. A career in education will always yield some amazing opportunities to develop as an individual and feel great about the job.

Mastering a Subject by Teaching It

There’s an old saying stating that it takes some years of teaching before one could state that he or she can master a subject. One of the best ways to learn a favorite subject is teaching it as students might ask you questions which require some research in order to clearly explain it. Being a teacher will always come with opportunities for improvement and research.


Homeschool Updates

We are a couple months into our second year of school from home and so far, everything is going smoothly. Third grade is certainly very different from second grade. The work load has been a lot more and it can been very tiring some days. I find myself telling William to go take a break while I do the same. I am lucky to have a child who almost never complains and is easy to work with. We have a flexible routine that has been working well for us. 

I make certain every couple weeks to ask William how he is doing and if he misses going to traditional school. He always responds with how much he loves home school and never wants to return to public school. This makes me happy to know that he is genuinely happy and feeling like this was a good choice for him. 

One of his new favorite things to do is to go outside and read while he watches the birds and dogs play. Hey, anything that encourages him to read works for me! As a matter of fact, his reading has improved tremendously and we are working on being more animated when reading out loud. He still has his stubborn boy moments, but he understands that he has no choice with getting his work done. He takes pride in checking off assignments as he completes them, and loves tracking his grades.

A lot has changed for me as a homemaker. A huge chunk of my day is dedicated to William's schooling, so keeping a super neat and tidy home just isn't a priority like it used to be. I try to get things done throughout the day, but don't beat myself up if I don't get to it all. I make time for myself each day just to do whatever I want, whether it's watching my favorite show on HGTV or taking a nap. I have learned the importance of self-care and refuse to allow myself to feel guilty about it. Do I have bad days where I feel like I'm failing? YES. Yes, I do. Thankfully those aren't too often.

William continues to go to his karate classes and swimming. It's funny how much more social he is since doing school from home. He is not shy at all and will chat with anyone who will listen. We still get a lot of people when we are out and about during school hours ask him why he's not in school. He proudly tells them, "I'm home-schooled!". Of course, some people are still very shocked by that and tell me I must be a "saint". I simply laugh it off and realize I too thought the same of parents who home-schooled their kids.

Right about now I am SO happy that I'm not on Facebook trying to push school fundraisers on any of my friends. Yep, don't miss any of that! Overall, we are very happy with school and plan to continue all the way to high school. If you have ever considered homeschooling your child, I suggest you try it out to see if it works for your family. You definitely won't know unless you try. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

13 Reasons Why Home School Works For Us

We are wrapping up our first (almost) full year of virtual (home) school with William. I have to say, if you have ever questioned if you should do it for your child, you should give it a shot. It has been the best decision we could have made and plan to continue all the way through high school. I got to thinking about how much we don't miss public school. Even William shudders at the thought of ever going back. I came up with a list of reasons why our choice to home school works best for us.

  1. No being on PTO or PTA. No meetings, no stress about school activities, and no planning school activities or fundraisers. Yes, NO FUNDRAISERS! 
  2. No volunteering. Although I really enjoyed it, sometimes you become the default parent who ends up helping with EVERYthing. This leads to a severe case of burnout. 
  3. Your kid doesn't get invited to 29,452 birthday parties. That's money saved. 
  4. No car pick-up/drop-off line. I have been able to get back a good hour+ into my life each day. It also saved on gas from sitting in the cold with the heater on or the heat with the AC on. Again, money saved. 
  5. We have recess any time we want and as often we would like. P.E. is not longer a once or twice a week activity. It's daily. 
  6. No dress code. We can do school in pajamas or anything for that matter. 
  7. No outside influences. 
  8. Freedom to go on field trips or travel any time we want. School can be done anywhere as long as we have a wifi connection. 
  9. No distractions! This is a big one for us. William could easily slip away into dreamland if he gets bored. Being at home allows me to bring him back to focus easily. 
  10. No stress. This has been the most stress-free school year we have ever had. William is having a positive school experience that goes according to his learning style and pace. 
  11. I get to know all of the details of assignments. Being hands-on allows me as his teacher/learning coach to really understand what he needs to learn. This makes it easier for me to teach lessons and for him to really learn and retain information. 
  12. Time. Having time is priceless. We can do our work on our own time. This makes life easier when it comes to scheduling doctor or dental appointments or travel planning. 
  13. William has become very social! Yes, a child who learns from home can be extremely social. If you give him the time of day, he will chat you up for hours. 
William got to meet and chat with our county Sheriff, Leon Lott. Sheriff Lott was quite impressed with William's ability to speak confidently. 
Honestly, I could go on even more about how great homeschooling is for us. I never thought it was something I would be capable of doing for my child, but here I am! William will finish second grade with straight A's. This makes us know we are doing the right thing that is working for him. He is having a great school experience and has a thirst for learning. His favorite subjects are math and social studies. He is a history geek. We plan to do some enrichment activities over the summer to get him prepared for third grade. Thanks for reading and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. 

Homeschool Pluses for Families

Online education is becoming very popular, with an increase in growth every year. Children receiving homeschooling do exceptionally well on standardized tests. Colleges and universities welcome homeschoolers, and are known to be self-directed learners and employees which are reliable, as adults. There are numerous pluses for families who decide to have their child participate in an online education.

Closer Family Relationships

Families that have a child participating in eLearning have each stressed how much closer their family relationships have become since beginning these courses. Due to more time being available than with attending a physical schoolroom, parents are able to have more quality time with their children. Siblings tend to have better relationships, spending time together during their online education classes help bring them together in a positive light.

Families with Emotional Freedom

When children are bothered by competition, peer pressure, bullies, and boredom – which are a normal part of the traditional school day – they can bring these stressors home. These stressors tend to lower a child’s self-esteem, mostly in middle-school girls. Studies have shown, online homeschool girls do not have these issues. Their self-esteem stays intact and they continue to thrive throughout their teenage years. When a child experiences these stressors, entire families tend to feel it. With eLearning, there is no stressors to put onto these families.

Remaining Stable During Difficulty

There are some times that families may seem as challenging, and difficult. Possibly an illness, a new baby, or family death, and homeschooling is a way that has helped families cope through these challenging times. Online homeschool is a stabilizing factor in a family’s life where so much more is mixed-up for the time being. During the time they are eLearning, everything is settled and normal. brings many pluses to families with their online education of math and English courses. Families become closer together, making the most of eLearning.


How You Can Support Your School With Red Robin's Burgers For Better Schools ($75 GC Giveaway)

Closed- Winner is Saira H. Congrats! 
Are you a Red Robin Royalty Rewards member? I have been for about two years now and we enjoy the perks membership comes with. The fact that it's FREE is number one. I love seeing the number of entrees we have purchased add up to a freebie (every 10th item is free). It is really nice receiving email updates about daily meal deals and promotions. Oh, and let's not forget your FREE Birthday burger! Red Robin is a fun spot to celebrate birthdays.

Red Robin has recently added another perk to their Royalty Member card with their Burgers for Better Schools. By being a member, you can log into your account and add a K-12 school of your choice. A percentage of your dining bill will then be given to that school. This is such a great idea since so many families dine there regularly. This is like fundraising for your child's school without feeling like a chore. This is a win-win for parents and their PTO/PTA. I really encourage you to add your child's school.

Information about Red Robin’s Burger for Better Schools Program:

·Burgers for Better Schools is an extension of Red Robin’s loyalty rewards program. Red Robin Royalty provides members with added perks when they dine at Red Robin restaurants throughout the year, such as granting every 10th item purchased as free, a free birthday burger, exclusive surprises and more

·Burgers for Better Schools gives Red Robin Royalty members an opportunity to support local K-12 schools simply by dining at participating Red Robin restaurants and using their Red Robin Royalty member account. When a Red Robin Royalty member’s account is presented at the time of purchase, Red Robin will donate one percent of the total bill to their school of choice (excluding taxes, gratuities and gift card sales)

·Participating in Burgers for Better Schools is as easy as becoming a member of Red Robin Royalty. Red Robin Royalty members can sign up for Burgers for Better Schools on their account dashboard on Red Robin’s website or by visiting If you are not already a Red Robin Royalty member, sign up for free and select your child’s school BEFORE your visit!

· Through the Burgers for Better Schools dashboard, Red Robin Royalty members can select their school of choice to receive support, and change their school selection at any time throughout the year

· Members who have opted into Burgers for Better Schools can follow their progress in supporting a K-12 school of their choice on their Red Robin Royalty account dashboard. Details include individual contributions, how many others are supporting that school, and total donations raised by all supporters

· At any time, Red Robin Royalty members can donate an additional sum to the school of their choice by using the credit card option featured on the Burgers for Better Schools homepage

· Red Robin also makes it easy to help spread the word about the Burgers for Better Schools program at school, online and socially with a variety flyers, website banners and social media-friendly content in the online digital tool kit
We dined there on Labor Day to celebrate our younger daughter's 19th birthday. We had a party of 6 and as usual, we were well taken care of despite the restaurant being jam-packed. Their servers always seem to have a lot of energy and even with many tables to wait on, they never make you feel like they have forgotten about you. My daughter was thrilled with her complimentary birthday sundae and song. They put on quite show at Red Robin.

Our entrees were cooked to perfection and I can't ever say no to those bottomless fries. And the burgers? They are the BEST! I can't ever finish the whole thing because they are so big. In addition to its many burger offerings, Red Robin serves a wide variety of salads, soups, appetizers, entrees, desserts and signature Mad Mixology® Beverages.
Be sure to connect with Red Robin on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

So what are you waiting for? Go sign up or sign into your Royalty Rewards account so you can add your child's school to help support them in a simple way. Also, one very lucky Mom Files reader will win a $75 Red Robin gift card! Go enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and will end on September 25, 2015. One winner will be contacted via email to claim prize. Be sure to follow all rules in Rafflecopter widget for all entries to count. Good luck!

The Red Robin information and gift cards have been provided by Red Robin. All opinions are 100% my own. 
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