I know I'm not the only one....between being a mommy, wife, teacher, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera... keeping all of the different roles straight is overwhelming and can seem impossible at times. I try my best to keep it together with list after list, sticky note after sticky note and needless to say.... lists get lost and sticky notes lose their "sticky". If you're anything like me, you need to keep track of E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G just to make sure you get it all finished and stay on task. I often make "To Do" lists but keeping up with them is a huge hassle. They get halfway done and then get forgotten, tossed, or used as a coloring sheet by my little one and "the list goes on"...literally! I have also tried store bought planners. You know the kind, with the usual calendars and blank space but I have never found one to suit my specific needs...
There has got to be a better way to keep it all together and I'm determined to make organization and time management work for me in 2021! So what am I going to do about it? Well, I've designed a LIFESTYLE PLANNER that I am using in 2021 to level up my life.
This set of printables was inspired by my own day to day chaos.
This is the first Lifestyle Planner in my new line of printable planners to help you stay organized. And it's FREE! Okay, so maybe that's the best part. LOL
Let's level up and get organized together in 2021!
Click below and enjoy!
Follow BINDERZBYDESIGN on Instagram for New Lifestyle Planner releases!
Games! Games! Games!
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Studies have shown that students who played games as part of their regular curriculum were significantly more engaged, and outperformed their peers on both factual knowledge and depth of knowledge. Learning games happen often in the classroom but let's bring the learning games home. Children learn best when they're having fun. Here are eight fun ideas to keep your kiddos engaged during distance learning or anytime you want to bring learning fun to the house. Put away that paper/pencil activity and let's get engaged!
The "Four Corners" activity is a fun activity that takes very little preparation. Before doing the activity, you will want to create four signs, each with a different response on it, depending on what you want to practice with your child. Post each response sign in one of the four corners in a room of your home. Then pose a question to your child.
For example, let's say you want your child to practice identifying short vowel sounds. I would create 4 signs, each with a different vowel and hang them around the living room. Then I would say a word for them to identify the vowel sound, like "bat". Instead of them just telling me it's a short a word, they would go to the corner that has the sign with "Short A" on it.
Children will love the challenge of seeing how many they can get right and you can use this activity for any subject matter and to practice with any age. Below are some Four Corner ideas I have used with my own children.
short vowels multiplication sight words geography
long vowels division parts of speech historical figures
number recognition subtraction text features historical events
letter recognition addition fractions definitions
All you need is a fly swatter and some flashcards. This is especially fun to practice sight words with younger kids. Tape the words to a wall or lay the words around the floor (if you don't want to put tape on the walls). Call out a sight word and your child has to smack the card with the swatter. Thwack!
real world Monopoly
This idea came from one of my parent colleagues after we all had to transition to distance learning. She used the monopoly money from the game and applied the Monopoly game idea to real life. She gave her children "jobs" (household chores) and they got paid in Monopoly money. They have to deposit their "money" into the pretend Bank of Parents and keep track of their "accounts". Their children can use their "money" to pay for snack items and entertainment (tv time, tablet time, etc). The kids love it and are preparing for real world skills that they will use when they get older.
I hope some of these ideas help amp up the learning energy while at home. Add a timer or keep score during the learning games to keep them motivated. Anything can be turned into a game, so let the games begin!
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DISTANCE LEARNING IS NOT GOING AWAY ANYTIME SOON - HERE ARE SIX TIPS TO HELP YOU CREATE A "NEW NORMAL" FOR YOUR FAMILY:
#1 - Communication
Staying connected with your child's teacher is necessary to keep your child's learning on track. Use the phone, email, text, Zoom and any other communication tools the teacher provided. Be sure to keep Live Chat appointments and be on time for them. Be considerate of the teacher's time and remember he/she is also juggling their family and trying to find their own "new normal".
#2 - Get Organized
You are going to wade through a lot of unknowns during this time and that is to be expected, so be flexible and patient as new routines take shape. Checklists are your friend. Writing down what need to be done each day will help you figure out how best to manage your time as you begin to prioritize your daily activities. Using Chore Charts and creating schedules will also help manage day to day operations for your "new normal".
#3 - gO Outside
#4 - get to know your child
Our days are often filled with work, school, activities, devices, etc, etc, etc. - leaving little time for family quality time. Use this time to talk and play. Before you know it, they'll be all grown up. Now is the perfect time to make lasting memories and build bonds with your family.
#5 - Goals
Sit down with your family and create some goals to accomplish when this crazy situation subsides. Maybe its to be more intentional about spending quality time together... Listen to the input from each family member and put a plan in place to meet these goals. Children appreciate being heard and will know that you value their input. Be sure to follow through.
#6 - SElf Care
Self Care is different for everyone. Do what self care means for you - whatever that may be. We all need to "take a moment". You deserve it. You are persevering through this unpredictable life which is not easy. You have to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. I know it's easier said than done but intentional about it. We often get lost in all of the things we try to fit in during the day. Sometime enough, just needs to be enough.
Check out this Self Care Mini Bundle.
You will get through this season of uncertainty. And while it is difficult, there are silver linings if you choose to look for them.
Keep Cash Flow Coming
(even during a pandemic...)
Clearly the world is changing and recent events have many of us looking for work. I pray everyone is staying hopeful and safe as many of us are practicing social distancing. Maybe you were fortunate and didn’t have to leave work due to the number of employees, maybe you were forced to stay home, maybe you were laid off, or maybe you’ve become a home schooling family overnight. Whatever the case, below you’ll find six ways to help relieve cash flow woes during these times of uncertainty.
Now Let's get some money back in your wallet!
With Inbox Dollars there are a variety of ways to earn money without getting bored. This survey panel pays you money to complete surveys, offers, search the web, play games, watch videos and even clipping free coupons. It’s very easy and adds up fast. In fact, you’ll get $5 just for signing up!
Does earning discounts and cash back just for doing some online shopping sound too good to be true? Well cash back websites such as Rakuten can actually work! Use Rakuten for purchases you need to make anyway and it can be more lucrative than shopping with a rewards credit card.
ReceiptPal you earn gift cards and cash prizes, for simply submitting receipts. Snap pictures of your paper receipts, or connect your email or Amazon account, and you’ll earn points for every receipt. Redeem points for gift cards from awesome retailers. Plus, you’ll automatically be entered into weekly sweepstakes for cash prizes!
Cash App is one of the most popular apps used in the marketplace today. It offers a quick, easy way to send, spend, and save money, and also buy cryptocurrency using your mobile device. Did you know you can earn money when you invite other friends to use it? Invite your friends to join and earn $5 every time you do!
Fiverr is an online, freelance marketplace that started in 2010 with many diverse jobs and services. Simply create a gig and share your services. It’s not just a $5 website; you can earn a lot depending on your skill level. And who doesn’t love being your own boss?!
VIPKid is an online teaching company. The VIPKid platform connects paying students with teachers in the United States and Canada. I love the freedom that comes with working for this online company! You can make your own hours and many people have actually turned this side hustle into a full time job. $22hr is a sweet deal too!
And there you have it… Six, simple, money-making ways to stay afloat during good, bad, and odd times. I hope these are a benefit to you and your pocket!
How are you making extra cash? Share in the comments.
Need more money making ideas? Check out the Pin Board below!
How Teachers Avoid Burnout
"Can't Stop! Won't Stop! Don't Stop!" Those were the words my sister used while fussing at me about not taking care of myself. Yeah, I know… I know. The last time I had been to a Doctor of any kind was when I was pregnant....... five years ago. I know I'm not the only one guilty of not taking care of myself. Teachers, while we are superheroes, we are NOT invincible. When you are dedicated, motivated and determined to make a difference as a teacher, you pour all of your time, energy, resources and HEART into what you do.
Last April my husband reminded me of an anecdote I had heard years ago which was, unfortunately, making an unpleasant appearance in my current life. Balls were falling all around me. You may have heard this anecdote before... We are living our lives juggling rubber and glass balls. As jugglers we try to keep all the balls in the air, but there are times when we "drop the ball". The concern comes when we think about the type of ball that falls…is it a rubber one or a glass one? It’s okay to let rubber balls fall because they can bounce back, for example if all the papers don’t get graded it’s not the end of the world. (think…File 13) The glass balls on the other hand are the ones you really want to take care of and pay attention to. Glass balls represent our friends, family, relationships, and you and your health. If a glass ball drops, it doesn’t bounce back. It breaks.
Understandably, our priorities shift during the ebb and flow of our lives but placing too much neglect or giving too much attention in certain aspects of our lives can be detrimental to other balls we’re trying to balance. It’s okay to put the grade book down now and then. Although it’s a pain, make those sub plans so you can "take a day". Make that appointment you’ve been putting off. Take that well deserved and much needed mental break. Attend that get together with friends you haven't had a chance to spend time with. Some days, leave work at work!
I know you’re trying to do it all, but realize if you don’t take care of yourself first you won’t be juggling anything. Make time to rest, refresh, reflect, reignite…and in some cases reconsider.
BALANCING ACTION STEPS...
Prioritize Career & Personal “Non-Negotiables”- Separate your non-negotiables from other tasks that are not as important.
Schedule time for personal “To-Do List”- Schedule 20 minutes per day to knock out small personal tasks. (This includes scheduling personal appointments you keep putting off.)
Set Boundaries- Be intentional about your time. Work productively and don’t over do it. In other words, do fewer things, better. Make time to do things that bring you joy.
Need help conquering your to-do list and reaching your goals? Check out the Ultimate Productivity Bundle and free up more time for yourself!