Free Vacations for Teachers

  It’s said that teaching is among the most underpaid and underappreciated careers in the world.  The men and women who help shape our children’s futures are often overworked, and in a time when the economy is incredibly dismal, the idea of an educator spending precious cash on a luxury vacation is almost laughable. Well, if you are a creative leader in the classroom, who has always dreamed of traveling to the ends of the earth, get ready to smile. Thanks to Hilton HHonors, you can jet-off on a vacation to remember for FREE.  This year, the company is giving … Continue reading

The Best Summer Jobs by Age

Kids can learn important lessons outside of the classroom, and summer is a great time to reinforce learning in the areas of finance and managing money. In between trips to the pool or the movies, family vacations and sports camps, consider building in the opportunity for summer jobs. Here is a guideline that will help you with suggestions for the best summer jobs by age group. Junior High and Middle School Age Outside work around the home. Children this age love to be outside, so combine this love with a job doing exterior home work. There are a number of … Continue reading

Ready, Set, School

Ready or not, the new school year is here. Whether you choose to celebrate by doing a happy dance at the bus stop or by ordering a double caramel macchiato on the way home from drop-off, don’t forget that the first week of school can take some getting used to, especially for young kids. To help ease the transition from freewheeling summer to pencils, books and teachers’ strict looks, consider the following: Free Movie Friday: In honor of surviving the first week of the new academic year, treat your kids to a fun-filled movie night. Turn your basement or family … Continue reading

The Benefits of Breaking Up

Next week, we find out the name of my daughter’s third grade teacher and get a sneak peek of who her classmates will be for the upcoming academic year. I’m dreading it like a bout of head lice. Truth be told, I’m not too worried about the teacher; rather, it’s the potential classmates that give me the hives. I really, really hope the school took my bullying concerns to heart and decided to separate my daughter from some of the children who spent the better part of last year tormenting her. For my part, I spent the better part of … Continue reading

Special Needs Blog Week in Review – June 24 – 30, 2012

Every week, the Special Needs Blog Week in Review brings you a quick summary of each of the blogs that were posted here in the past seven days. It makes it easier for you to find out about the ones that you might have missed. The Special Needs Podcast Roundup went up on June 25, 2012. This week, I’d like to point out an episode of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday”. The episode was called “Planes, Patience, and Slightly Kid-Friendlier Security”. This is a good one to listen to for parents who will be traveling by plane with their children this … Continue reading

The Gift of Giving

Apparently, I jumped the gun on summer vacation. According to readers in New York, the academic year is not over. In fact, students enrolled in Brooklyn public schools don’t start summer break until the last week in June. Thanks for setting the record straight, ladies, and I feel your pain about having to deal with the chaos of end-of-the-school-year activities, including finding appropriate thank you gifts for teachers. As room mom for my daughter’s second grade class, I was responsible for soliciting monetary donations from parents, and then purchasing a birthday and end-of-the-year gift for the kids’ beloved teacher. Believe … Continue reading

Gaining Experience

Summer is prime time for burgeoning professional shutterbugs to snag photo internships. Many newspapers, magazines, and television stations offer unpaid internships to students looking to forge a career in photography. As a teen, I spent three consecutive summers shooting video for a local TV station in order to gain professional experience. Back then, the Internet was practically nonexistent; rather, I was forced to rely on word of mouth and recommendations from teachers in order to snag my gig. Today, students can visit the National Press Photographers Association’s website which maintains a list of internship opportunities in the United States. Another … Continue reading

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

This summer my 7-year-old daughter got her first taste of the Smurfs. I took her to see the little blue creatures’ movie in 3D and my brother purchased her Seasons One and Two of the animated 80’s show on DVD. I knew she wouldn’t count Smurfette as one of her favorites, but was surprised her fascination with Vanity Smurf. “Why does that Smurf always look in the mirror?” my daughter asked after watching an entire episode in which Vanity stared at and subsequently kissed his reflection more than a dozen times. Hmmm… how does one explain the habits of a … Continue reading

Not-So Carefree Field Trip

My parents live 5,000 miles away from their only granddaughter. Despite the miles that separate them, my mom and dad are a huge part of my daughter’s life thanks to multiple daily phone calls and video chats. When my dad doesn’t hear from us each evening he gets nervous. He’s always been protective of his “girls,” but I didn’t realize the extent of his concern until late last week when we missed calling him due to my daughter’s final field trip of the school year. The entire school scored a trip to a medium-sized amusement park located about 40 miles … Continue reading

Summer School Helps Children With Special Needs

In just a few weeks, the school year will come to an end. Summer vacation can mean up to ten or more weeks away from the structure of a school environment. Children with special needs can lose many of the skills they learned over the school year during the unstructured days of summer vacation. Summer school can help a child retain those hard earned skills. Summer vacation can be a time of relaxation. Often, children look forward to being free from the responsibility of passing tests, doing homework, and attending school. This is a time for families to travel to … Continue reading