Category Archives: Family Life

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun

I am always looking for fun and affordable places to take the kids– and if they have fun activities for adults too, then that’s even better!  So I was pretty excited to find Make Believe, located in Parma.

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun // Money Savvy Living

When you walk into Make Believe, there is a sign that tells you all about the world of imagination that you are entering.  Each area is set up to be an imaginary world to explore:

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun // Money Savvy Living

For the Grown-Ups

This place is definitely set up to be fun for kids, it is also set up with adults in mind too.  While the kids are playing, parents can visit the Lollipop Bistro.

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun // Money Savvy Living

Don’t let the name fool you… you can order wine and beer here– and the list is pretty extensive too!  There is also a lounge area by the front entrance that has massaging chairs, several televisions hanging up, and lots of sofas, chairs, and tables to sit back and enjoy your drink while your kids have fun!  Seriously, I think you could probably make a date-night out of taking the kids to Make Believe!

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun // Money Savvy Living

So besides the cool area for adults, one of the first things that I noticed when we got there was how clean it was.  Now, I was there on a #hosted visit, so I got a tour and some behind-the-scenes info… While I was there, I found out that they really focus on cleaning, and it shows!  Make Believe feels and smells clean– even the bathrooms are clean!  If you have been to enough of these types of fun zones for kids, you know exactly what I am talking about regarding the cleanliness.  Some places have sticky floors, you just feel like your kids will get sick from all the germs that they picked up and you really don’t want to have to use the restroom.  That is definitely not the case with Make Believe.  Make Believe was Clean. Clean. Super clean.

Ballocity

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun // Money Savvy Living

Lots of fun to be had climbing around in here: balls popping around, climbing in three levels of tunnels, and ending with a big slide!  Parents can even go in with small children– and that’s definitely something that you can’t do in most of these types of play zones!

Arcade

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun // Money Savvy Living

Kids big and small can enjoy the arcade games… you might even win some tickets to cash in at the Treasure Chest prize center!

High Ropes Course

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun // Money Savvy Living

The high ropes course is suspended 15 feet in the air, above the arcade and laser tag areas.  This was definitely a favorite and the kids probably spent an hour climbing around on the ropes course.  Adults are welcome to take part in this activity as well, but don’t forget to wear your athletic shoes (no socks or flip flops allowed).  Each area has employees running the attraction, but the Make Believe employees are especially helpful in this area– if your child gets stuck or scared, one of the workers will be right there to help out.

Ninja Wall/ Rock Climbing Wall

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun // Money Savvy Living

Scale the wall like a ninja or climb up one of the sides… this will definitely test your physical fitness.

Laser Tag

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun // Money Savvy Living

Laser tag is multi-level and has metal grates in the floors that you can shoot opponents through.  Glow-in-the dark paint and scenery make this a really fun area!

Bumper Cars

IMG_0925These bumper cars are easy to operate (my 5-year-old hopped right on and rode around in it with no problem at all!) and the impact is a bit softer than what you might remember from the old-style bumper cars at the county fair… these bumper cars are basically surrounded by a large inner tube to absorb the impact, not hard rubber that has no-give.

Mini Bowling

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun // Money Savvy Living

 

Party Time

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun // Money Savvy Living

There are several sizes of party rooms and different themes, ranging from medieval times to outer space, to a room with a disco ball…click here for more information on what Make Believe offers for parties.

 

Make Believe in Parma: Northeast Ohio Family Fun // Money Savvy Living

 

We had a blast!  Plan your trip to Make Believe today…

#MakeBeleiveParma #NEOFamilyFun #familyfun

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp: A Review

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp: A Review

My son loves to play soccer.  He started out playing in the school’s recreation league, but this past spring decided to play in the travel soccer league.  While all of his coaches have been great, we knew that we wanted to get in a little extra training over the summer with a soccer camp— and that’s when we found Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp.

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp: A Review // Money Savvy Living

I had already registered my son, Chase, for British Soccer Camp when a friend told me that their kids had done it last year and they thought it was great— a good reference from a personal friend is always a good sign!  And our experience turned out to be a very positive one as well… starting out with security.  Each child had to be signed in and signed out by the parent with the coach.  No matter what program my kids participate in, I appreciate knowing that they are safe.

Review of the daily activities

Every day, the kids started out practicing foot skills.  This was a very effective part of the program, because just after one week of this camp, I have noticed an improvement in my son’s control of the ball as he plays.

practicing foot skills

practicing foot skills

Chase said that one of the new skills that he was taught during British Soccer Camp was the Ronaldo Chop… if you don’t know how to do that, here’s a video to give you a quick overview of the move:

Each day there was also small group training sessions.  Since there were two coaches, they split the group, part of the time, between younger and older kids to work with the kids more at their level.

small group instruction

small group instruction

During the foot skills and small group instruction, the coaches gave direction for improvement and encouragement for skills that were well-performed.  Being able to work with the kids in this small group setting and give specific instruction in a positive manner also boosted Chase’s confidence throughout the week.

Toward the end of each day, they played a “World Cup” game.  Each player got to choose a country and could earn points in the game for that country.  So, focusing on fun, while learning, was a very prominent feature of the program.

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp: A Review // Money Savvy Living

final ceremony to conclude the week of soccer camp

At the very end of the week, there was a ceremony to hand out certificates and the coaches gave a bit of encouragement to each player as they came forward to receive the certificate of completion of the program.

Overall, we had a very positive experience with Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps and would certainly attend again!

Chase with the soccer camp coaches

Chase with the soccer camp coaches

How to enroll your child in British Soccer Camp

If you want to enroll your child in British Soccer Camp, it’s not too late!  There are still plenty of camps available into fall as well… you can click here to find a local soccer camp— and don’t forget to use code CAMP17 to get all the freebies!

Freebies that we got by using CAMP17 code upon registration.

Freebies that we got by using CAMP17 code upon registration.

Teaching foot skills and traditional soccer techniques in an encouraging and fun way was a focus of the coaches— so the kids are learning and having fun!

I asked Chase about what he liked best:

“My favorite part was the relays.  We practiced foots skills and we also got to compete.  Everything we did was fun!”

I know that he had fun because when I’d pick him up each day, he told me how fast time went by… and we all know that time flies when you’re having fun!

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp: A Review // Money Savvy Living

*This post has been sponsored by US Family Guide and it’s advertiser, Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps.  Product review and opinions expressed in this post are mine alone. #ad

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp: Register Now + Freebies

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp: Register Now + Freebies

Do you have a child that loves to play soccer?  If you do, then participating in a Challenger Sports British Soccer camp is a must-do activity this summer… and if you register now, you can gain access to a lot of fun freebies!

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps // Money Savvy Living

 

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps // Money Savvy Living

British Soccer Camps are the most popular soccer camp in the US. With an innovative curriculum that develops skills, speed, and confidence in players ages 3-18, The British Soccer Camps provide boys and girls with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international experts right in the heart of their own community.

In addition to teaching new skills and improving game performance, each British Soccer Camp provides lessons in character development, cultural education and, of course, is a ton of fun!

Sounds like fun, right!?  But it gets even better!  When you register your child for one of the soccer camps, they will also receive over $100 in freebies: FREE SOCCER JERSEY, SOCCER BALL, T-SHIRT & POSTER with code: CAMP17 

 

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps // Money Savvy Living

Enroll you child in a British Soccer Camp today and remember to use code CAMP17 to get a FREE SOCCER JERSEY, SOCCER BALL, T-SHIRT & POSTER!

 

*This post has been sponsored by Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps.  Product review and opinions expressed in this post are mine alone. #ad

I Need a Meternity Leave from My Maternity Leave

I need a Meternity Leave from my Maternity Leave | Money Savvy Living

 

So apparently, there is a thing now called a “meternity” leave.  In case you missed it, there was an article last week in the New York Post called “I Want All the Perks of a Maternity Leave Without Having Any Kids.”

 

Umm, what?  That is like saying, “I want all the benefits of eating a brownie sundae without the fat, calories, or weight gain.”  Or “I want to get in shape and lose 20 pounds while eating fast food every day and never going to the gym.”  Or “I want to be a neurosurgeon but don’t want to go to college.”

 

Do you see where I’m going here?  You can’t have one thing without the other… So instead of having time off work to care for a newborn child, the author of this article wants to take time off to focus on caring for herself.

 

Kudos.  Take all the time off work you want, lady.  You should take care of yourself.  Pamper yourself with a manicure, pedicure, massage, and facial.  Go buy yourself a new outfit while you’re at it.  Find a nice relaxing hammock and cuddle up with a good book.  Bury your toes in the sand and soak up the sun while you contemplate what direction to head in life.  Everyone needs a mental break, I get it.

 

But, to try to equate reflective “me” time off work with a maternity leave is beyond unwitting.

 

I will try to give this woman the benefit of the doubt though, because I remember my pre-children days—feeling that it wasn’t fair that people with kids get off work “early” in many cases, to make sure that they can pick their kids up from daycare on time, while those of us without an “excuse” had to continue working.  So I sort-of understand how she could misconstrue maternity leave as extra time off work that childless employees don’t ever get.

 

With that small concession being made, I’d like to take this opportunity to set Ms. Davies straight on what maternity leave is and isn’t.

 

First of all, it starts with a lot of pain… typically about 12-20 hours of extreme pain.  Pain so bad you are not sure that you can do it.  Pain so bad that when a nurse comes in an asks if you would like a 4-inch needle stuck in your back you gladly, even joyfully, accept the offer in order to take away some of the pain—not a “MEternity” leave yet…

 

Now, I won’t go through all the details of childbirth, however, suffice it to say, you will barely be able to walk for the next week.  But don’t worry about that because the only time you will need to get up and move is when your baby needs something—still not a “MEternity” leave….

 

…like a diaper change, fed, cuddled to sleep… so maybe only like once every hour—AROUND THE CLOCK—will you need to force yourself to get up and move around to care for your helpless newborn even though you are truly the one who needs the pampering at this point—definitely not a “MEternity” leave….

 

Once you are all healed up—in 4-6 weeks—you can go back to your active lifestyle.  You are finally able to work-out again—and you’re probably gonna want to because you will still most likely be carrying around 15-20 pounds of unwanted “baby-weight.”  It just doesn’t drop off, much to every new mother’s chagrin.  Caring for a newborn doesn’t lend much time to taking care of yourself.  Maybe you will get a workout in and maybe you won’t.  You will even have to try to sneak a shower in when your baby is napping—that is, if you aren’t napping yourself.  You won’t feel like yourself.  You will feel like a tired, sore, deflated balloon—but you will long to feel like yourself again.  So I wish you luck on any of these endeavors because if the baby starts to cry, you have to drop whatever it is that you are doing and tend to him or her—does this ever turn into a “MEternity” leave??

 

NO.  The answer is no.

 

In fact, I think most new mothers would honestly say that they could use a “meternity” leave from their maternity leave.

 

Meternity Leave | Money Savvy Living

 

So, to get back to the original outrage—I mean article—“I Want All the Perks of a Maternity Leave Without Having Any Kids,” I am curious what Ms. Davies thinks those perks are?

 

In her article, she says, “Bottom line: Women are bad at putting ourselves first. But when you have a child, you learn how to self-advocate to put the needs of your family first. A well-crafted “meternity” can give you the same skills — and taking one shouldn’t disqualify you from taking maternity leave later.”

 

Maternity leave is not about you.  It’s about your baby—taking care of your baby and bonding with him or her.  If you don’t know how to “self-advocate” before having a child, you won’t magically develop that skill upon reproducing—and in fact, having a baby to take care of will make self-advocating even harder.  You don’t have a child in order to find yourself, become self-aware, or introspective.  Having a child is not about what that child can do for you or how he or she will make you feel, it is about giving of yourself to a person that you decided to bring into this world—and maternity leave is only the start of that.

 

If you want “me” time, that’s great.  Take some time for yourself.  Do what you need to do to reflect on your life and be able to stand up for yourself—every woman should get to that point.  But don’t equate it with maternity leave.  You don’t want maternity leave, what you are looking for is called a vacation.

Kids Activity: Make Slime Using Cornstarch and Water

Cornstarch and Water Science Experiment | Kids Activity | Money Savvy Living

 

Do your kids like to get their hands messy?  Of course they do!  So that is what is so great about this project—your kids can get messy, and maybe even learn something too!  Fun science experiment!

 

Here is what you will need:

  • cornstarch
  • water
  • measuring cups
  • large bowl
  • plastic fork or spoon
  • food coloring *optional
  • plastic bag (for storage and later disposal)

 

Directions:

Mix ½ cup cornstarch with ¼ cup water.  Combine until the mixture is somewhat stiff, yet gooey.  You can add a bit more cornstarch or water depending on consistency.  What you are looking for is a substance that acts as both a solid and a liquid.

 

 

The cornstarch and water mixture acts like a solid sometimes and a liquid at other times. This concoction is an example of a suspension – a mixture of two substances, one of which is finely divided and dispersed in the other. In the case of the cornstarch quicksand, it’s a solid dispersed in a liquid.

When you punch the cornstarch quicksand, you force the long starch molecules closer together. The impact of this force traps the water between the starch chains to form a semi-rigid structure. When the pressure is released, the cornstarch flows again.

 

All fluids have a property known as viscosity – the measurable thickness or resistance to flow in a fluid. Honey and ketchup are liquids that have a high resistance to flow. Water has a low viscosity.  Sir Isaac Newton said that viscosity is a function of temperature. So, if you heat honey, the viscosity is less than that of cold honey. The cornstarch and water mixture and quicksand are both examples of non-Newtonian fluids because their viscosity changes when stress or a force is applied, not when heat is applied.

 

Solid to liquid… apply a bit of force… and back to a solid.

 

 

Very cool.  Very messy.  Your kids will be entertained for hours!

 

*Make sure to dispose of this concoction in a plastic storage bag.  You DO NOT want to pour this down the drain, as it could cause a blockage.

Baby Footprint Keepsake

Baby Butterfly Footprint Keepsake

Blue Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Liivng

 

Little newborn baby hands and  feet are so cute.  Funny how, as we get older, feet aren’t so cute anymore…  Anyways, I know that bringing each of the boys home from the hospital, I would just look at that little, tiny life in amazement and marvel at how each little finger and toe were just perfectly formed.  I think any new mother can relate to that feeling of wanting to keep your baby that little forever… although, I will admit that the middle-of-the-night feedings do get a bit old after a while.

Sooooo, since your baby won’t stay little for long, you have to capture those little footprints (and handprints!) while you can.

Here is an easy way to capture you little one’s footprints! In these pictures, I used my youngest son’s little feet to make the butterfly and my two older children made the thumbprint ladybugs and the fingerprint flowers.  This was a great way for all of my children to be included in the picture.  So you can definitely get creative to add more than one child without taking a full handprint or footprint, especially when some of your kids are older and a full hand or foot would take up too much space.  A calligraphy pen is great to add the accents. Use any colors you like and then frame it!

*Tip: When working with newborns, you will probably have better luck with footprints because tiny babies tend to want to close their hand, so getting a clear handprint is quite a bit harder than a footprint.

 

Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Living

 

This is also a very inexpensive way to make a keepsake of your precious little one. I used a frame that I already had and cardstock. I did have to buy the washable ink pads (make sure it is washable and safe to use on children) and calligraphy pen (less than $10– and you will have these items to use for other crafty projects), but still spent much less than the keepsake plates (shown below) which were done at a studio, and cost at least $25 each.

However, it was my babies’ footprints… and I really wanted to have these keepsakes for display, so I allowed myself to splurge on these for each of the boys.

 

Golf Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Living
My husband loves to golf. This is a gift that I made for him when our son was about 18 months old. A great way to give a meaningful keepsake to any dad or grandpa. This was painted on a ceraminc plate, coated, and fired at a local paint-your-own pottery studio.

I would have never come up with the idea for this on my own, but attended a workshop where they walked us through how to do the footprint as a golf green and how to complete the scene.  So after I did this one, I wanted to make plates for the other kids, but not the exact same thing.  So I got creative and below you can see my designs:

 

Football Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Living
This is one of my favorite footprint pieces that I have done. The design came out good, even though I could have used a few more coats of paint to even it out! My son was 3 years old when I did this, so I needed a little bit longer plate to make it work. After placing his footprint on first, I drew the football outline with pencil (pencil marks disappear during the firing process) and filled in.  Drew in the field hash marks and done!

 

Baseball Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Living

I figured to round out the trio of sports plates, I would do baseball next.  The green came out a bit darker than I had hoped, but my little guy’s footprint stands out, and that is most important!

Gifts Your Kids Really Want for Christmas

Christmas gifts your kids really want | Money Savvy LIving

Wondering what to get your kids for Christmas?  Get some great deals online and avoid the crowds this year.  Great gift ideas for small kids through pre-teen: sports, educational, books, and more!

SPORTS

VIDEO GAMES

Super Mario Bros Wii U

kids super mario bros wiiuNew Super Mario Bros. U

 

You can really never go wrong with LEGOS:

Legos
LEGO Disney Princess Elsa’s Sparkling Ice Castle

LEGO Minecraft 21116 Crafting Box

LEGO Star Wars 75043 AT-AP

 

Holiday Barbie 2015

Holiday Barbie 2015 Barbie Collector 2015 Holiday Doll

 

PAW PATROL is set to be some of the most demanded items for young kids:

Paw Patrol Collage

Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Pop Up Game

Nickelodeon Paw Patrol – Look-Out Playset, Vehicle and Figure

Paw Patrol Action Pack Rescue Team

Paw Patrol Giant Puzzle (46-Piece)

 

EDUCATIONAL

kids star wars planetariumStar Wars Science – Death Star Planetarium

kids star wars r2 d2 bop itBop It! R2-D2 Star Wars Game

kids spelling game

The Learning Journey Match It! Spelling

kids alphabet memory gameThe Learning Journey Match It! Alphabet Memory

 

kids color shapes puzzle

The Learning Journey Lift and Learn Colors and Shapes Puzzle

 

kids gear set Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears!

kids brain quest
Brain Quest Smart Game

kids states trivia
Professor Noggin’s The Fifty States

kids science game
Educational Trivia Card Game – Professor Noggin’s Wonders of Science

 

BOOKS

Popular books for Kids | Money Savvy Living

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series 1-8
Diary of a Wimpy Kid 1-8 Complete Set

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10
Diary of a Wimpy Kid #10: Old School

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 9
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Are You My Mother?
Are You My Mother? (Bright & Early Board Books(TM))

Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte’s Web (Trophy Newbery)

Pat the Bunny
Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book)

Magic School Bus Series
The Magic School Bus Chapter Book (20 Book Set)

Tuck Everlasting
Tuck Everlasting

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

 

*This article does contain affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase through here, I will make a commission, although it does not increase the cost to you, the consumer. However, I highly recommend that you get an activity tracker whether you purchase through here or elsewhere.

 

It’s Not Just a Clump of Cells: It Is A Baby

It's Not Just a Clump of Cells, It's A Baby | Money Savvy Living

 

In October 1988, President Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. “When a child loses his parents, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses his or her partner, they are called a widow or a widower. When parents lose a child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS and other causes.”

 

photo via the web: https://infertilitywhyme.wordpress.com/

photo via the web: https://infertilitywhyme.wordpress.com/

 

On September 28, 2006, the U.S. House passed a resolution recognizing the movement to make October 15 of each year as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

 

photo via the web: www.kindasillymommy.com

photo via the web: www.kindasillymommy.com

 

While there are many voices out there that will tell you that it’s not a baby, it’s just a clump of cells and it doesn’t matter, I want you to know that your loss does matter.

 

That sadness that you feel, the tears that you still have years later, the feeling of wondering what that child would be like… it’s real pain.

 

You aren’t crazy.

 

You have a right to feel sad.

 

You did suffer a loss.

 

The loss of a baby, not a clump of cells.

 

And you deserve to grieve that loss without being told that your loss was insignificant.

 

Now, I realize that there are many on the other side of the spectrum that feel that ending a pregnancy isn’t ending a life. And if you are one of those women, I want you to know that you have the right to your opinion and your choice to not be a parent, but don’t you dare tell me that it’s not a baby.

 

 

 

From the moment of conception, the instant of fertilization, your baby’s genes and sex are set. If the sperm has a Y chromosome, your baby will be a boy. If it has an X chromosome, the baby will be a girl. The egg stays in the fallopian tube for about 3 to 4 days. But within 24 hours of being fertilized, it starts dividing fast into many cells. It keeps dividing as it moves slowly through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Its next job is to attach to the lining of uterus. This is called implantation. Some women notice spotting for 1 or 2 days around the time of implantation. The lining of the uterus gets thicker and the cervix is sealed by a plug of mucus. It will stay in place until the baby is ready to be born.

 

This isn’t my opinion. This isn’t conjecture. It is proven scientific fact. All of this happens before most women even know they are pregnant. It is a baby.

 

It is a baby, just not a fully formed baby that is ready to live outside of its mother’s womb yet.

 

fetus stages | It's not just a clump of cells, it's a baby

 

I realize that it is not going to make you feel good to know that ending a pregnancy through an abortion is more than just getting rid of a clump of cells. It might even make you feel regret or remorse for that decision, knowing that the clump of cells you are getting rid of has all the genetic code necessary to develop into a fully formed person—a baby. Well, I’m not going to sugar-coat it for you because you chose to end your pregnancy. And despite what we are constantly told, that is not an empowering choice for women.

 

But I didn’t choose to end my pregnancy, you see, I personally lost a baby to a miscarriage in June 2010. I helplessly went through the process of a miscarriage with no choice at all and nothing that I could do to save that “clump of cells” so it could further develop into a baby.

 

At that point, I already had two beautiful, healthy little boys. I never imagined that my third pregnancy would be anything other than what I had experienced with my first two pregnancies. But it was very different. And for reasons unknown to us and the doctor, the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. We were devastated. As I sit here, even now, I have tears in my eyes thinking about what that baby might have been like today. Why am I sad? I don’t know. I can’t really explain it. I never met this child. But it is still a loss. A loss that 1 in 4 women will experience. And even though we have never met these babies, we still love them.

 

1 in 4 women

 

It is a baby. Any woman who has actually been through pregnancy knows that her body changes, you feel that life inside of you move and kick. That’s not a clump of cells that are meaningless. Each of those cells has a specific purpose. Some will continue dividing and form the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys…some will become fingers and toes…each of those cells has a genetic code that defines it as the beginning of a life. It is not a random clump of cells. It. Is. A. Baby.

 

 

Domestic Violence Being Joked About in Fourth Grade Curriculum

Lab Safety? | Money Savvy Living

 

This is not a topic that I would have even thought to write about on my own. It wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. Until, I was helping my son review for this science test a few days ago. I mean, why would I have even had reason to believe anything about domestic violence would show up in a “Thinking Like A 4th Grade Scientist” packet? Well, it did.

 

There were a couple of page on Lab Safety. Makes sense. Teach the kids to be safe when conducting experiments in the lab. Most of the rules and explanations sounded fine, until we get to “Horseplay out.” Here’s the entire excerpt of that section:

 

“Horseplay can lead to chemical spills, accidental fires, broken containers, and damaged equipment. Never throw anything to another person; be careful where you put your hands and arms; and no wrestling, punching, or shoving in the lab. Save that for when you get older and start dating.”

 

Did you catch that? “Save that for when you get older and start dating.”

 

Exactly what are they supposed to save for when they get older and start dating? Wrestling? Is this a lewd comment about making-out or some other sort of hanky-panky? Punching or shoving? Why would anyone need to save punching and shoving for dating?? Punching and shoving within a relationship is not a joke, it’s not flirtatious—it’s abuse. And why is the mention of dating even necessary when talking about lab safety for 4th grade science class anyways?

 

At best, this sentence is meant to be a joke—a very bad and inappropriate joke. At worst, it is trying to somehow justify physical violence within a relationship as acceptable. Either way, no student (not even in high school) should be exposed to this type of rhetoric, especially, not a child as young as fourth grade.

 

Why am I making such a big deal of this? It’s only one, little sentence, right? Well, the things we say to kids matter. They remember it. They are like little sponges, soaking up information about what we, as adults, say and do. So if they bring home something from school (a trusted source) that nonchalantly jokes about physical violence within a relationship—“when you get older and start dating”—then we are sending a message to our kids that it’s not a big deal, probably even acceptable, and should even be expected. That’s not the message that I want to send to my children.

 

Don’t get the wrong idea here. I am NOT blaming the school or my son’s teacher. As a teacher myself, I understand that it is totally possible and reasonable to expect that a teacher, or the Board of Education who probably approved the curriculum, has NOT read every single sentence of every textbook or supplemental material packet that is going to be used. They are looking at an overview of the curriculum and trusting that the publisher has taken their due diligence within the writing and printing of materials. It is not until teachers actually start teaching from a particular series that they can fully know how the implementation of that material is working.

 

We are very fortunate to be in a great district and when I contacted the teacher, he was very understanding and said he didn’t know that sentence was in there until the packets had already gone home and would remove that sentence for future use. I truly couldn’t have asked for a better resolution in this situation.

 

But I still had to think, what if my son’s teacher wasn’t so understanding and willing to resolve this issue immediately? What if I hadn’t read through my son’s curriculum to find it in the first place? I’m sure there are many districts across the country that do actually use controversial curriculum and probably don’t even care the message it sends to kids. How many other publishers, like the Wild Goose Company—the creator of this ridiculousness—are slipping in controversial remarks or weaving inappropriate undertones into curriculum that are slowly and methodically ingrained into our children as core beliefs?

 

I don’t know if the teacher would have caught it. I don’t know if other parents caught it. What I do know is that we have the right, and responsibility, as parents to speak up for what we want our kids to be taught, and when something doesn’t seem right, say something.

As parents, be involved in what your children are learning. Be an active participant in their education.

Every Kid in a Park: Fourth Graders and their families get FREE admission to National Parks

Every Kid in a Park | Money Savvy Living

 

Is your child a fourth grader for the 2015-2016 school year? If so, your fourth grade student—and entire family—qualifies to visit all national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and other federal park lands throughout the 2015-2016 school year—for FREE as part of the Every Kid in a Park initiative!

 

Every Kid in a Park passes are scheduled to be available on September 1, 2015. Passes will be good for one year. Details on obtaining and using the passes will be announced September 1, to coincide with the launch of the program. As information is released, or as updates are made, check the Every Kid in a Park page for the most current program details.

 

Every Kid in a Park joins the National Park Foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids program in helping children learn history, culture, and science while exploring the great outdoors. With kids spending more time in front of technology these days—smart phones, video games, tablets—it is more important than ever to encourage children to learn by experiencing and not just researching online.

 

Because the fourth grade student and their entire family can get into the parks for FREE, visiting one of America’s beautiful national parks would be a frugal—and educational—vacation for your family this year.  Want to plan a trip?  Click here to get a pass for your fourth grader and family.

 

Following is a list of the parks that are a part of this program. Check out the locations and links and start planning your visit today:

 

Acadia NP—Bar Harbor, ME

Arches NP—Moab, UT

Big South Fork NRRA—Oneida, TN

Biscayne NP—Homestead, FL

Bryce Canyon NP—Bryce, UT

Cape Cod NS—Wellfleet, MA

Cape Hatteras NS—Manteo, NC

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP—Hagerstown, MD

Death Valley NP—Death Valley, CA

Everglades NP—Homestead, FL

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP—Fredericksburg, VA

Glacier Bay NP and PRES—Gustavus, AK

Glacier NP—West Glacier, MT

Grand Canyon NP—Grand Canyon, AZ

Grand Teton NP—Moose, WY

Great Basin NP—Baker, NV

Grand Sand Dunes NP and PRES—Mosca, CO

Great Smokey Mountains NP—Gatlinburg, TN

Harpers Ferry NHP—Harpers Ferry, WV

Lassen Volcanic NP—Mineral, CA

Mammoth Cave NP—Mammoth Cave, KY

Mesa Verde NP—Mesa Verde, CO

Mount Rainier NP—Ashford, WA

Olympic NP—Port Angeles, WA

Ozark NSR—Van Buren, MO

Rocky Mountain NP—Estes Park, CO

San Antonio Missions NHP—San Antonio, TX

Sequoia and Kings Canyon NP—Three Rivers, CA

Shenandoah NP—Luray, VA

Sleeping Bear Dunes NL—Empire, MI

Theodore Roosevelt NP—Medora, ND

Virgin Islands NP—St. John, Virgin Islands

Yellowstone NP—Yellowstone NP, WY

Yosemite NP—Yosemite NP, CA

Zion NP—Springdale, UT

 

*The initiative is an administration-wide effort among the National Park Service, Forest Service, Department of Education, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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