Mom Conference 2016 is coming soon – join for free!

Motherhood has moments of pure delight.  And other moments that are hard.  Sometimes we just get through the tough stuff the best we can.

But have you ever wished for some help for becoming the mom you REALLY want to be?  The Mom Conference was designed for just that purpose!

Mom Conference 2016It’s a FREE online event on October 11-13, 2016 that features 20 speakers sharing invaluable information on parenting and self-development.  They cover helpful strategies for everything from sibling rivalry to healthy eating to finding more joy in motherhood.

Sounds great, right?

You can join over 100,000 moms around the world and learn new insights for motherhood.  Best of all, you can attend for free from the comfort of your own home!

Just click here to go to the Mom Conference site to register:  The Mom Conference 2016.
(This is an affiliate link, but you can register and attend the conference totally free.  I get a small commission only if you purchase something from the Mom Conference site.)

If you register now, you’ll have access to FREE GIFTS as soon as your registration has been completed!  You get a free Audio Story and Family Discussion Guide to help you teach your children about honesty in a really fun way.  And you get a free 7-Day Healthy Eating Meal Plan and Shopping List.

Mom Conference 2016 sessions

The Mom Conference 2016 features some great sessions!

  • Understand and manage your children’s emotions (and your own!)
  • Help your children to embrace healthy foods while teaching them to cook
  • Raise grateful children and avoid the entitlement epidemic going on these days
  • Manage your children’s cell phone use and screen time (such a tricky and important subject!)
  • Take better care of your body, mind and soul (yes, YOU need to be cared for along with your children!)
  • Develop and stick to a budget that really works
  • Nurture your marriage
  • Teach your children – babies through teens – the values and character traits that will help them be successful and happy
  • Get that house clean and keep it that way (in a fun way!)
  • Find more joy in motherhood

Mom Conference 2016 speakers

The free sessions are presented by some accomplished speakers.

  • Dr Laura Markham, Clinical Psychologist, bestselling author and discipline expert at Aha Parenting (Helping Kids – and Yourself – Manage Emotions)
  • Katie Kimball, expert on healthy eating for families and founder of Kitchen Stewardship (Want Responsible and Healthy Kids? Teach Them to Cook and Eat Real Food)
  • Ruth Soukup, NYT Bestselling Author and Founder of Living Well, Spending Less (Decluttering your Home, Mind and Soul)
  • Ramona Zabriski, Founder of Wife for Life University (How to be a Wife for Life)
  • Amy McCready, parenting expert, TODAY Show Contributor, author and creator of Positive Parenting Solutions (Raising Motivated and Grateful Children During this Me, Me, Me Epidemic)
  • Jesse Mecham, Founder of You Need a Budget (Budgeting Made Simple)
  • Dina Alexander, Founder of Educate and Empower Kids (How to Talk to your Children about Sex)
  • Richard and Linda Eyre, NYT #1 Bestselling authors who run Valuesparenting (Simple and Powerful Ways to Teach Children Values)
  • Marla Cilley (a.k.a. the Fly Lady), author, home organization and cleaning mentor, founder of FlyLady.net (Cleaning in a Fun Way)
  • Shawni Pothier, founder of the popular mom-blog, 71 Toes (Managing Kids’ Cell Phone and Screen Time – Without Making Them Hate You)
  • April and Eric Perry, life architecture experts and founders of Learn-Do-Become (Building the Life and Future you Really Want)
  • Saren Eyre Loosli, family organization expert and co-founder of Power of Moms (The Three Basic Systems Every Family Needs)

Ready to register?  Just click here to go to the Mom Conference site for free registrationThe Mom Conference 2016.

This post contains affiliate links, but you can register and attend the conference totally free.
I get a small commission only if you purchase something from the Mom Conference site.
Affiliate links like these help support this site.  Learn more here: Disclosure Statement.

A lightweight timepiece: fYt Watch review

Teenage boys can be hard on stuff!  So I’m happy to have found a watch that can survive a teen’s wear and tear.

My oldest son likes to wear a wristwatch to school because he’s not allowed to have a cell phone out at any time during the school day.  Not even to check the time.  He also can’t see the clock during all of his classes.  And he likes to always know the time.  (Especially for certain subjects when he looks forward to the end of class.)

The problem?  He keeps breaking wristwatches.  I got him a wristwatch for Christmas recently, and it lasted only a few months until he broke off the piece that holds the band.  So I got him another watch for his birthday.  Guess what happened?  Yep, he broke that one, too.   {Sigh}

When I saw the fYt Watch LED wrist watch (available at Amazon), it looked like the perfect timepiece for him.  It’s a single piece of silicone, which I immediately recognized as a great solution for my son.  I quickly signed up to get the watch at a discount for the opportunity to provide an honest review.

The watch looks like one of the popular activity trackers, but it does not actually include activity tracking.  It’s simply a watch with a time and date function.  But the modern, sporty style appealed to my teen, so he was happy to wear it, even without getting any special features.

fyt-watch-white-front

The fYt Watch in white silicone

When you order this watch, you get both a black and a white version.  I liked getting two watches in neutral colors for one low price.  I tested one, and I gave the other one to my son to get his thoughts on it.

We both found that the watch is light and sleek.  It’s very comfortable to wear.  My son and I agree that it’s easy to forget you’re wearing it because it’s not clunky or heavy on your wrist.

fYT watch display black

The fYt Watch LED display

The LED light gives you the time and date when you press the tiny button on the watch.  Then it goes off for automatic power saving.  In artificial light, the LED is bright and very easy to read.  It looks a bit dimmer outside in daylight, but it was still bright enough to see the time clearly on the display.

The fYt Watch is not perfect.  We both found it a bit difficult to set initially.  Although it’s like setting most digital watches by scrolling through the numbers, the button was a little jumpy when I was trying to set it.  The watch arrived without any instructions for setting it, so you have to just go with your instinct on how to set the time.  That wasn’t ideal, but not a big issue since you just have to set it at first, and then it’s done.

My son and I both had to experiment a bit with the adjustable notches to get the clasp set correctly to the right length on our wrists.  Once we got the silicone popped out of the small notches in the band and figured out how to secure the clasp into the notches, we were all set.

fYt Watch adjustable clasp

The fYt Watch adjustable clasp

The adjustable band will accommodate a wide range of wrist sizes.  My small 11-year-old daughter wore the watch on her wrist for a while, and she found it just as comfortable as my 16-year-old son and I did.

Although an inexpensive silicone watch does not require elaborate packaging, I would have liked to see a nicer presentation for the watch when it arrived from Amazon.  Ours came in a plastic zip-top bag without any instructions.  It doesn’t have anything to do with the performance of the watch, just my preference for the initial impression.

Overall, this watch does its job well.  The fYt Watch is an inexpensive silicone watch that is comfortable to wear.  It’s a simple, sporty-looking, effective timepiece for anyone – especially teenage boys who break traditional wristwatches.

Disclosure: I received the fYt Watch at a deep discount to facilitate my honest review.
All opinions are my own.

7 parent-tested tips for how to help a child with math

If you’re reading this post, you’re likely in the same place I was a few years ago.  My son was a young student struggling with math.  And my husband and I were struggling to find a way to help him.

For a long time, he just wasn’t getting it.

Now let me skip ahead to the happy ending.  That child is a straight-“A” student in math.

I hope that’s an encouragement to other parents who are in the same situation.  It is possible for a child to overcome difficulties with math.  That child can eventually become an excellent math student.

Image credit: PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

There’s no quick fix for how to help a child with math.  It may not be easy, but it is definitely worth the effort.

The tips below are the strategies that helped us get from the struggle to the happy ending.  I’m not an education expert, but these are the things that worked for us.

7 tips for how to help a child with math

1.  Believe.  Start with the belief that the child will get it.  When a child is struggling with something, it is so easy for him or her to feel incapable and hopeless about it.  That can lead to just giving up.  It’s important for both of you to stay positive and believe that it’s possible to improve.

As President Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

And Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re  right.”

These leaders knew that the right attitude has an important effect on success.  Believe in your child.  And make sure children who are struggling believe in themselves.

2.  Encourage.  Regularly communicate your confidence in your child.  When they bring home another bad grade, say something uplifting about doing better next time.  Let them know it’s OK, that it’s not the end of the world, but you have confidence that they can do better.  When they improve even slightly, make sure they know you’re happy with their efforts.

I’ll never forget my son’s excitement when he got his first “A” in math on his report card.  He was elated, and he said, “Mom, I never was really sure it was possible, but you and dad always kept believing in me and encouraging me so I made sure I was trying to do my best.  And now look, I got an ‘A’!”

Encouragement – in the good times and the bad – helps a child keep striving for success.

3.  Be involved.  Nothing speaks more clearly about your commitment to your child’s learning than investing time with your child.  It’s not just talk.  It’s action.

Be available to provide help as much as possible.  Sit down and talk through homework together.  If you feel like someone else can help better, get a tutor, but remain involved by asking about the math lessons and seek to personally help as much as possible.

When my husband and I were working with my son, there were times we all got frustrated.   Sometimes my husband and I alternated on helping him to try a different perspective for going over a concept.  There were times we had to take a deep breath and take a break – for an evening or even for a week.  But then we started working on it again.  We went over homework together.  We did extra worksheets together.  We went through flashcards together.  He knew he wasn’t in it alone.

Make sure your child knows you’re in this with him or her and you’re there to help.

4.  Communicate with the teacher.  Be sure to contact the teacher and ask for his or her professional advice on how to help your child.  The teacher may notice particular issues and may be able to provide some extra worksheets or direct you to specific resources that may help.

Teachers have classrooms full of students, and they don’t always have the time to give individual attention to students.  But I’ve learned over the years that when I keep in contact with the teacher to work on my child’s problem areas (without being pushy or demanding), she’ll usually make an effort to communicate proactively with me about issues and look for ways to help.  It’s been a blessing to rejoice together with teachers to see my child improve.

5.  Practice, practice, practice.  It’s been said that repetition is the key to success and that practice makes perfect.  In school, math homework is assigned to give students practice performing the math facts and operations they have learned.  But is the class time and homework enough repetition and practice?

For my oldest son, he heard the math lesson in class, did the homework, and he had it down.  For my younger son who struggled, he needed a lot more repetition and practice.  So we worked on it.  A lot.

We came to realize that it just took more time for him, but he would get it eventually.

It was like he struggled in the dark for a while with a new math fact or concept, and then a light switch finally flipped on and he could see it correctly.  The struggle was so worth it to see the light of understanding in my son’s eyes when he finally got it!

6.  Make it fun and practical.  Help math come alive by showing students real-world application of math concepts.  Use a bag of snack-sized candy bars or marshmallows and group them to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  Show how you use math to divvy them up.  Talk about fractions when cutting a pizza into slices.  Set up a pretend store and let children use money to buy and sell things with you.

Be creative and make math as fun as possible in as many ways as possible.  Because people learn in different ways, you never know which strategy you may use that will spark a better understanding about how numbers work.

Hands-on learning is especially powerful for many children, so being able to physically touch and manipulate numbers of objects can really help solidify numbers concepts for them.  My son seemed to grasp multiplication better when we had him physically group objects together with his hands and then tied that back to a math problem on a piece of paper.

7.  Find resources.  Thankfully, math resources abound if you look for them.  You can find a wide variety of free and paid resources to help with math skills.  (Look for another blog post on this topic coming soon.)

Bonus tip
8.  Pray about it.  I put this last because I realize that not everyone who reads this post will share my Christian faith.  But as a Christian, I really believe this goes first.  The Bible tells us to pray regularly, and Hebrews 4:16 says we will find help through prayer.  It says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” 

My husband, son and I prayed regularly about his understanding of math.  We prayed together before working on it at home, and I advised him to pray about it before his tests at school.  When he eventually “got it” and started doing well in math, we attributed it not only to his hard work, but also to answered prayer.

Overcoming the obstacles – my son’s math success story

My son, who struggled with math early in school, is now in high school.  After all his work in elementary school, building the foundation for upper-level math, he no longer has problems with his math classes.

In elementary school, he had the most difficulty in the early grades.  Up through third grade, he put in a lot of extra work just to get to a “C” in math on his report cards.  By his upper elementary years, he had worked up to “B” grades in math.

He earned his first “A” in math in seventh grade.  He has never received a lower math grade on his report card since then.  (I should mention that he has always attended a traditional, private school so he was not learning the Common Core math curriculum.)

The bonus is that his hard work has paid off for other subjects, too.  He’s now getting “A” grades across all of his classes.  His early struggles with math have taught him diligence, perseverance, and good study skills that apply to all of his schoolwork.

I’m proud of my son, but I’m including his academic success story not to brag, but to encourage other parents whose children are struggling in a particular area.  It really can turn around!

7 tips for how to help a child struggling with math

I would love to hear from you.  Do you have other tips for how to help a child with math?