Thursday, January 15, 2015

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.: Words to Guide Us


Life is a Journey

Life is a journey and it is not always easy to stay on track. Fortunately, we can all benefit from meaningful words of inspiration and hope from exceptional leaders and forward thinkers. In fact, many of these infamous quotes can be ideal teaching tools for our kids.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a great and courageous man. He fought for what he believed in. He spoke his beliefs to everybody. He was honest and truthful in all this undertakings. He encouraged everyone to fight for their rights. His actions and words have spread throughout the country.
His words are just as meaningful and relevant today as they were many years ago. Take a few minutes off your hectic schedule and reflect on his sayings. Pass it on to your children. Explain to them the importance and significance in today's age.
Stop Bullying

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” The many wars and terrorism happening worldwide can only be combated through peace and love. Children should never be bullies. They should be positive and understanding in their actions. Find out if your child is being bullied or challenged to physical fights in school. Explain to them the acts of compassion, understanding and kindness. Encourage and support kids in doing the right things.
Another of King's wise sayings is “Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek”. Many people look forward to winning the prize regardless of how they get it. We should make children aware that how we win the prize is just as important as winning the prize. For instance, lying and cheating are not good ways of becoming rich and successful. Some people talk maliciously about others and spread bad rumors about them. They get recognized and accepted by destroying the personality and credibility of others. Help your kids recognize the importance of becoming successful through their own merits. Martin Luther King Jr. practiced this saying avidly.
Life is a Journey

A third saying is “The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important.” It is natural to want to live a long life. But what is more important is living a life that has meaning and importance not only to you but to others. Make it a point to role model for your kids, let them see that how you live your life is important. The journey is important!
Help Guide Your Kids Through Life

There are many other sayings of Martin Luther King, Jr. All of the sayings are full of wisdom and honesty. Quotes from wise people like Martin Luther King, Jr. can be a great way to teach children about how to succeed in life. Explain how these principles can be applied to everyday life. 
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Saturday, December 27, 2014

New Year Family Traditions

New Year Family Traditions

Making family traditions for special occasions, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, is a good practice. Traditions help the family remember the past and strengthen the bond between family members. The New Year is a special occasion that should also have family traditions. 

By this time Santa Claus is back at the North Pole resting up. He spent lots of time reading specially crafted letters to Santa and made decisions about who is naughty and who is nice. Then he made his long journey to deliver gifts to kids all across the world. He is tired and probably sleeping right now.

But that doesn't mean you should be sleeping too! Don’t sleep the day away on January 1st. Many families fail to have traditions because everybody is tired on New Year's Day. They are resting from staying up late celebrating New Year's Eve. You can have traditions for New Year's Eve and another set of traditions for New Year's Day. The traditions can make the New Year events more meaningful and memorable.

For New Year's Eve, you can have some punch and fruit to eat as you welcome the New Year. A family camp-out can be a great way to welcome the New Year. Try camping in the house – kids will love the ‘adventure’ and you will be much more comfortable. You can set the tent up in the living room. You can play games and tell stories around the tent while waiting for midnight.

You can spend the time discussing various resolutions. Some resolutions may be difficult to keep. You can also talk about ways of keeping the resolutions. While you will probably make well-planned resolutions designed to make you a better person, your kids will likely have different ideas about resolutions. Remind your kids, and yourself, that resolutions should not be too difficult to maintain. Otherwise, it’s easy to lose interest in working to meet the goals. 

New Year resolutions should not be too easy either. If they are you (or your kids) will not feel a real sense of accomplishment when the goal is met. After sharing each other’s resolutions you can write them down. Each family member can make their own predictions about which resolutions will be kept. You can then review these next year as you again celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another.

Whoever has the most correct predictions can win prizes. You can also have another set of predictions about other matters, such as world events and sports. This will make the children become more aware of happenings around the world.

Special Meals Can Become Family Traditions

On New Year's Day, you can have brunch, a combined breakfast and lunch meal. This will give everyone a chance to sleep late. If people are still tired, you can have a New Year dinner instead. It is important the family eat together on the first day of the year. The family meal produces a closer bonding among the family members.

Clean-Up Time

This can also be the time to put away the Christmas decorations. All the family members can pitch in and help keep the decorations for the next year. If you have an artificial tree, you may want to pack and store it away. Don't forget to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Family members tend to become too familiar with one another and assume many basic practices. A Happy New Year greeting is always appreciated. 

Happy New Year to All!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Day

Christmas Day: Celebrating With the Kids

Most people will spend Christmas Eve enjoying a delicious Christmas dinner. Family members may then gather around the tree and sing Christmas carols. Story telling is sometimes part of the activities during Christmas Eve. It is an enjoyable time for adults, but maybe not so much for the children. The kids are restless. They’ve already sent letters to Santa and now it’s time to find out if those Christmas wishes will come true.

On Christmas Eve parents everywhere encourage their kids to get to sleep early so Santa can come and leave their presents. While the children sleep, parents scurry back and forth, leaving presents under the Christmas tree. Christmas day is definitely an exciting and happy event for all.

Christmas Day: A Magical Time for Kids

Most kids enjoy Christmas Day more than Christmas Eve. On Christmas day, the children get to open all their gifts and presents. Some presents are from family members, relatives and friends. The gifts are nice but children always prefer the wonderful and exciting presents brought by Santa Claus. As soon as the children wake up, they rush to look over the presents under the Christmas tree.

Before the Opening Begins…

Children want to open their presents right away. It is hard to keep everything organized and orderly. You can set a tradition before the opening of the presents. Gather the family and say a short thanksgiving prayer to bless all who gave those gifts and presents. It will be hard to keep the children quiet and silent but with a little bit of patience and perseverance, you might be able to instill this as a family tradition.

By now everybody is excited and waiting to start opening the presents. You should ask people to check the presents first and find out if there are greeting cards attached to the present. The gift might be from a family member, relative or friend. You need to know who gave the gift so you can send thank you cards to them.

This may take some additional control because everyone wants to start opening the gifts. You will have to organize and oversee the opening of the gifts to ensure the greeting cards are catalogued properly and not strewn around. You should keep track of the ongoing activities even if you are just as excited and impatient in opening your gifts.

Time to Eat!

After all the presents are opened, it is time for breakfast or brunch. Aside from the Christmas Eve dinner, you can have another feast on Christmas day itself or you can simply enjoy a casserole that will make cooking an easy task. 

The ambiance of Christmas Day is unique. All will be talking about their presents. Children are busy playing with their toys which is a good thing because parents are exhausted from their late night of being Santa.

Christmas is a great time for family bonding. Don't forget to take pictures of a happy and enjoyable time. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Crafts for the Kids

Christmas Crafts for the Kids

During the holidays, children can become very difficult to control. They are full of energy. You can keep the children busy with making Christmas crafts. Children enjoy making all sorts of crafts to brighten the holiday spirit. Here are a few crafts that will interest the children.
Christmas balls and ornaments always give a thrill to kids.

Simple Tree Ornaments

You can decorate plain Christmas tree ornaments or get some small balls, such as used golf balls and ping pong balls for the children to decorate. They can paint faces and caricatures on the balls. You can then put strings on the balls and hang them on the branches. You can use photo software to make small pictures of each family member. The children can paste the small pictures on the balls.

If the pictures are slightly large, you can paste them on used tennis balls. Be sure the branches are sturdy and firm to hold the tennis balls. Tennis balls are heavier than ping pong balls. You can buy plain Styrofoam balls from the store and have the kids paint them with various colors using paint or markers. You can also glue on sequins, buttons, and other decorations. 
Adding sequins and other shiny items to the ornaments will add interest, as the balls will reflect the Christmas lights and glisten in the night. The great thing about making Christmas balls is that the kids will see their handiwork hanging on the Christmas tree during the entire Christmas season. It will make them feel proud and happy that they contributed in preparing the Christmas tree.

Letters to Santa

Another simple craft is making a Santa letter. Children believe in Santa. They will enjoy writing letters to Santa and telling him to bring their gifts. Explain to the children the letter should not be a simple list of gifts. They should color the letter and paint pictures on the letter.

Reading a colorful letter with lots of pictures will make Santa very joyful. The children can use crayons and watercolor paint on thick construction paper.  You can guide the children in making the pictures. 

Christmas Calendar

One craft that can be used the whole year round is a calendar. You can have the children make a calendar, allowing one page for each month of the year. They can highlight specific dates for significant events, like birthdays and holidays. Aside from the regular dates, they can put numbers to serve as a countdown to the next Christmas.

Making crafts can be very interesting and exciting, and craft projects can be as beautiful as they are inexpensive. Joining the kids in making the crafts can result in a lot of bonding time with them. It can be a great way to create Christmas memories that will be cherished for years to come.  Making crafts is a fabulous way to be imaginative and creative as you enjoy the holiday season.