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What Is Your Most Powerful Parenting Tool

Family reading.

Have you ever thought about what the most powerful parenting tool that you have in your parenting tool box? Let me assure you it is more powerful than you can ever imagine. I know you say, “It’s love.” Love is the driving force behind this powerful tool; think again. “The belt! or “The strap!” and still others might say it’s “My voice, I can yell and scream so loud that you can hear me on the other side of the world. That really gets things moving in my home.”

Here’s another hint: using this tool helps both you and your child to feel Read more »

A Fun Way To Help Your Preschooler With Counting

Who Built The Ark Video On You Tube

This is a great video to help your preschooler with counting. I find that boys really love animals. When given a choice to jump, or leap over blocks or animals, the boys in my class always choose the animals. So your boys will really get a kick out of counting all of the animals.

This would be a great art project also. Don’t just jump in and say “We’re going to make the ark out of a milk cartoon! Ask your child “What should we use for the ark?” Let it be their idea and creation. The more children are invested in the process the more cooperation you will get from them. They will even take your suggestions(sometimes) because they feel that they are in control.

In our area we have stores that sell items for a dollar or under or just a little bit over. You can get the animals from here or use paper ones. Either way it’s a great project for fine motor skills for your child.

For the paper ones help your child with cutting them out. Make sure to remind them to keep their thumb up, this will help them a lot with trying to cut. If they are under 3 it will present a challenge so be patient. Holding the animals between their fingers will help to develop their pincer muscles in their index finger and thumb. This also applies if they are holding actual animals that they are going to march on the ark.

Doing this all while singing provides a multi-sensory learning experience that provides not only cognitive development in the way of learning numbers and counting,but also physical development as well. This is a great activity for all types of learners, auditory, kinesthetic and visual. You can try this with one child or a group.

Try it and come back and  share your experiences with us. I’d love to hear from you. If you feel that this post is useful please feel free to share it with your family, friends, or colleagues. Please also feel free to leave a comment or question.

Giving Children A Chance: Disciplining So They Get It

My sessions are designed to contain structured and unstructured activities. Even though an activity may be unstructured there is still  a desired objective I am trying to achieve. For instance,  since it is warm  and more children will be playing outside my children are working with balls.  My students love the character balls, the ones with Spider Man and Jake the Pirate and Dinosaurs etc.

My purpose for working with balls are:

1. To develop rhythm and timing.

2. Develop hand and eye coordination.

3. Develop and enhance focus and concentration.

4. To learn to react and respond immediately to the word “Stop!” Read more »

It Is So Great When Your Clients Feel You’re Doing A Great Job


What a wonderful feeling it is to have amazing and wonderful clients that are generous and kind. People under estimate the power of the written word, and the effect it can have on a person. When I received this tuition payment it was an extraordinary event. You probably can’t tell from the picture but it was written in a beautiful silver metalic or as one of my students told me today, iridescent ink. That’s another story, when I walked into her school she told me she had an iridescent band aid. I was like what say that word again and she pronounced it perfectly. I was impressed.

Back to the extraordinary event, this parent Jessica Madden must have received an award for art and penmanship. She writes beautifully. But there were not just words on the paper. You could tell that the words were written with excitement and joy. I had such a happiness in reading the writing. I could feel the feelings coming off the card and the envelope and that was an amazing feeling to me.

This parent is such a sweetie pie and is always so appreciative. I think that one of the reasons I like her so much is that she reminds me so much of myself.  And let me tell you it is a great thing to feel like you are doing business with yourself. It is great when your clients really get you and what you are trying to accomplish and are not afraid to express that to you. I am so blessed and fortunate to have a client like her.  I am also thankful and grateful that she is not the only one. I am not kidding when I say Pitter Patter Feet parents are the best. I really mean it from the bottom of my heart. Now imagine this being written in lots of loops and fancy writing with nice iridescent and metallic ink with lots of hearts around it and smiley faces.

Thank you so much Jessica Madden you made my day! It is such a pleasure teaching your cutie pie who makes me laugh every time I teach her and has such fun in my class. Thank you for bringing back the lost art of handwritten “Thank You” notes. Thank you to all of my parents, teachers and directors you are all blessings and I appreciate you all more than words can express! Have a great day! :-


FAFSA Help and Tips: From The Parent Of A High School Senior

I am  sharing my experiences as the mother of a high school senior preparing for college and completing the FAFSA form  with other parents and guardians that might be going through the same thing. My intention is to make it much easier and save you a lot of time by making it more manageable and sharing what I’ve learned from the process. Today I will share with you a few tips that will make the process easier.

1. Create a folder where you keep all tips and information from workshops, financial aid seminars and your high school guidance counselors as it relates to the FAFSA. You will probably get bits of information here and there from friends and family members who have completed it in the past as well as financial aid night at your school. If there was not a financial aid night at your school check neighboring schools.

2. Have your child make a list of the colleges that they have selected with their financial aid deadlines next to them. Do not wait until the federal deadline in June to apply it will be too late. Many of the colleges and universities base their awards on the FAFSA so you will need to go by their deadline. You actually do not want to wait until the deadline to apply; you want to apply as soon as possible. You can use your 2011 Tax Return. The reason why you want to apply as soon as possible is because you want to increase your chances of getting aid from the college and federal government which is given out on a first come first serve basis.

3. In addition to the financial aid deadline date for the college, you also need to know if  a CSS Profile is needed and the deadline for it, if it is needed. Not all schools require the CSS Profile, which stands for College Scholarship Service, it” is an online application that collects information  used by certain colleges and scholarship programs to award institutional aid funds.” This is another very important thing to know and file on time so that you have the highest probability of your child receiving all of the aid that they can get. So find out if your college requires it and get the code for it.  Your child can go into their College Board account and get this information it is under ” CSS/Financial Aid Profile.” It will give you directions and a list of schools and their codes.

4. Lastly you also want to be aware of your state deadlines for financial aid. They differ from state to state so be aware of when that is and write it down. Once you have successfully completed your FAFSA remember to immediately apply for your state’s aid. It should tell you that on the confirmation page.

So here’s a quick review in list form:

1. Create a FAFSA folder with tips and instructions on how to complete it. You can sign up for webinars on the FAFSA at the College Board site at http://www.collegeboard.org . Create an account here too for yourself even though your child has one so that you can be notified of any webinars on topics of interest.

2. Have your child create one list with colleges and their FAFSA codes, financial aid deadlines for the college and whether they require CSS Profile and the codes if they do. All of this should be on one sheet with the telephone numbers to both FAFSA help and CSS Profile help on the same page.

3. Immediately apply for state aid after you receive your confirmation.

Please come back and tomorrow for more tips and help on the FAFSA. Tomorrow I will cover the things that you need to have ready when you sit down to actually complete it. It is not as terrifying and nerve racking as some people make it out to be. You can do it! If I can do it so can you. For more information you can visit the  FAFSA site at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov . I’d love to hear from you, please feel free to comment in the reply space below. Feel free to share what you have learned from your experiences.