As a homeschool mom, self care is very important. You dedicate your time to taking care of everyone else make sure you take time to take care of you!
In this article, we’ll share tips to liven up your curriculum this school year. Put these ideas into practice and the kids will be more engaged with their lesson plans. (Many of these ideas will leave you feeling more refreshed, too!)
Summer is here and it’s a great time for families with children to spend time outdoors and together. The Episcopal Center for Children (ECC), a nonprofit organization providing mental health and special education services to children ages 5-14 in the greater Washington, DC area, offers tips to help families.
“Most food is kid-friendly. Kids just need to learn how to eat it,” says Dr. Nimali Fernando, a Fredericksburg, Virginia-based pediatrician who founded The Doctor Yum Project. “Kids who are taught healthy eating habits, which include eating a variety of healthy foods, will be far better off now and in the long run. They will be learning healthy habits that will last a lifetime.”
I believe every situation calls for some etiquette, and homeschool conventions are no exception. Often, vendors represent small, family-run businesses, and sales at conventions provide their largest source of revenue. When customers follow these ten simple rules, everyone benefits.
The next time you enjoy a homeschool convention, I encourage you to practice these ten demonstrations of courtesy. As you do so, you can be sure that you will bless and encourage the vendors and your fellow attendees.
Make sure checks or credit cards are good, or pay in cash. Most vendors are able to authorize credit cards at their booths. However, if your credit card does not go through, valuable time will be lost in rectifying the situation, so make sure your accounts are in good shape before you go to a convention. If a check bounces, fees are charged and both the vendor and the customer have to deal with the account balance problems. Many vendors prefer cash, which sometimes helps vendors pay for immediate needs associated with convention expenses, such as such as food, gas, hotel expenses, etc.
Handle all products carefully and respectfully. The vendor’s inventory is expensive and should be handled gently. If items are damaged, vendors may not be able to sell them. One way to appropriately inspect books would be to open them up gently, not spreading them completely open, thereby keeping their spines intact and preserving the “new” feel of the book. Of course, it is always best to peruse sample copies when they are available.
After reviewing a product, put it back in the same location where you found it. If you don’t know where it goes, hand it back to the vendor, or ask where to put it back in its proper place.
Don’t shop before the vendor hall officially opens. Many vendors are scrambling to “set up shop” right up until the moment the convention sales officially begin. Honor the starting and ending times posted for sales, and don’t rush the vendors. They are eager to serve you, but they need to get organized first.
Diligently supervise your children at all times. Take advantage of the wonderful children’s programs that convention coordinators have provided for your children. The convention sponsors may also offer babysitting services, or the hotel may provide those services. You can also share “babysitting duty” with another mom: one of you watches all the children while the other mom shops; then you trade off. If you prefer to keep your children with you, be sure to keep them within reach—literally—at all times, for their protection and for the protection of the vendors’ products as well.
Shop, don’t study. Vendors understand that you would like to browse through a book before buying it, but to stand in front of the booth and read through the entire book is rude. Not only will the booth be less accessible to other potential customers while you are there reading, but it’s likely that the book will look “used” after you have read it from cover to cover, and no one else will want to purchase it. If you are thoroughly “sold” on a product, buy it and use it at home.
Keep the traffic moving, as much as it is in your power to do so. Don’t congregate with friends (new or old) directly in front of a booth, especially with your shopping carts or strollers in tow. Vendors are dependent on person-to-person sales, so be polite and congregate elsewhere; avoid creating traffic jams that can rob vendors of business.
Remember that the vendor needs to talk to as many potential customers as possible. Vendors love to talk with you, especially when homeschooling is the topic, but remember that the time they have available to interact—hopefully with everyone at the convention—is limited. Be friendly, ask your questions, and step aside so that the next guy can ask his questions.
Expect to pay for good customer service. Vendors who don’t deal with high-volume inventories are often more willing to discuss their products and personally answer your questions. If a vendor “sells” you on his product, buy it from him—not from the high-volume-sales vendor on the next row, who was too busy to answer your questions. Pay for what you get, and don’t take unfair advantage of helpful people—instead, support their businesses with your purchases.
Support the speakers. Most speakers at homeschool conventions receive no compensation for their contributions to the event. In fact, many speakers are required to pay a fee in order to conduct a workshop, demonstration, or class at a convention. Take advantage of the information and encouragement the speakers can offer, and if you like what you hear and see, seek out their booths and consider trying the products that impress you the most.
Please honor the established closing time at the convention sales. When the vendor hall is closing, make your purchases and leave on time, like the way you “kindly make your way to the circulation desk” (sound familiar?) when the public library announces it “will close in fifteen minutes.” You can be sure that most vendors are very tired after a long day’s work and are eager to get off their feet too. Make your final purchases . . . and come back tomorrow, bright and early.
Most convention vendors love what they do or they wouldn’t be there. Many regard the hours they spend interacting with, and explaining their products/services to, potential customers as ministry. I encourage you to practice these ten rules of etiquette to enhance not only your shopping experience but the vendors’ experiences too!
See you at the conventions!
Linda Brodsky and her husband Mark have owned Brodsky Ministries for more than ten years. They sell curricula, T-shirts, U.S.-made toys, natural health products, and more. Their children can be found at homeschool conventions painting faces and making balloon sculptures. They have five children on earth, three in heaven, and are praying for more. Visit their website at www.brodskyministries.com.
Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free TOS apps to read the magazine on your Kindle Fire or Apple or Android devices.
How to Help Your Child Prepare for the SAT | High school juniors across the country are preparing to take the SAT in the next few weeks. At this point, you may be wondering what you could possibly do to improve your score. Here are some steps to follow in the next few weeks to make the most of the remaining time.
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Silly putty is fun to play with, they have a unique texture and their chemistry is definitely therapeutic. Follow this simple recipe with ingredients that are easily available at home.
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Enjoy hours of outdoor play with this non-toxic, and inexpensive homemade bubbles recipe. Homemade bubbles are great for those lazy Saturday afternoons and even during birthday parties!
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If you are looking for a project to make with your kids, this Perfect Moon Sand Recipe is perfect. Not only do they provide a great sensory experience, they are fun to make too!
8 cups of white flour
4 cups of baby oil
colored beads, colored rice, or holographic glitter for extra fun 🙂
In a large container pour in the 8 cups of flour and then the 4 cups of baby oil.
Mix very well. Consistency will be messy at first. It shouldn’t be too dry, or sticky. You will know the moon sand consistency is right when it doesn’t leave hands messy and it will hold a molded shape like real sand.
For extra fun, you can put in sea shells, beads, colored rice or mixed holographic glitter!
To make colored rice you will need food dye and a bag of white rice (not instant).
In 4 bowls pour ½ cup of white rice. Pour several drops of your preferred color of food coloring and a tablespoon of water. Mix well until the rice is evenly colored. Using a spatula scrape rice onto a cookie sheet and spread evenly. Try not to mix the colors too much since it’s wet.
Bake at 250° for about 15 minutes, flipping the rice about halfway through.
Once it’s cool you can put all the rice into the moon sand. Now your moon sand has colored sprinkles!
This Sensory Play recipe was provided by Katie Vega.
Katie Vega is a mom of 5 in Columbus, Ohio. She is an internet marketer, marketing/branding consultant, and e-book author. She began her career in the Network Marketing industry in 1999, and over the years has totally transformed her business to use her passions and talents. In early 2013 she left her job to build her business at home part time so she could homeschool her children.
One of her passions and goals is to show moms with ADHD or behaviorally challenged kids how they can manage the chaos at home and run a profitable business without losing their mind!
Visit KatieVega.com to learn more.