Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sonic Boom is now the Thunder

Hi all!

Today is the first home game of Oklahoma City's very own NBA team! This is a big day for sports fans across the state. No more teasing our complete loyalty with displaced NBA teams for a season or two...nope, we have a team that is here to stay.

In honor of the new season opening and our new team, I made some worksheets that use the games as a way of refreshing geography and math skills. My segment is live from the Ford Center this afternoon. I'll post the worksheets and clip with this blog.

Best,
Amy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Decorations that your Kids can Make!!

Let's have some fun and save some money at the same time!  Check out these easy to make decorations and try them or your own ideas!!

Voting, the Economy and your Kids

Voting may be the strongest economic tool that many of us have this fall and it is very important that we use it!   No matter who you are voting for, it is important to discuss your vote with your child and take them with you to vote.   Think they aren't interested?  Think again! 

 Kids 9 and under:  they know we are choosing a new leader and taking them with you to the polls helps them feel a part of it! 

Kids 9 - 14:  developmentally, these kids are looking for ways to disagree with you, so don't be surprised if they do! 

Kids 14 - 18:  discuss your choices frankly with your teenager.  If they wants to convince you to vote another way, ask them to do the research and give it their best shot! 


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Hi!


It really feels like fall today and it is the perfect day to talk about Halloween decorations your kids can make!


Fun facts:
  • 95% of us will buy candy - and spend an average of $21 per person!!

  • Halloween is second only to Christmas when it comes to spending on decorations

  • 90% of parents admit that they take candy from their kids' treat bags (hahahaha)

This year's budget is definately smaller than last year's...and it looks like I need to save my money for the candy (at $21 per person)... so I took a look around the house and the decorations came fast and furious!

Trashy-Cat:

1. Cut two card board triangles for the ears.

2. Fill part of the bag with old packing material, newspapers or plastic grocery sacks or anything pretty light.

3. Twist the bag to form the head. Determine the ear placement by looking at the head. Untwist the head and put the cardboard in the right spot. Twist the cardboard into place. Twist the head back into place (since you had to untwist it to put the ears in). Seal with a twist tie or pipecleaner.

4. Fill more of the bag to make the body - leave part of the bag unfilled for the tail - then twist and seal with a twist tie or pipecleaner.

5. To make the tale, gather up the remaining trash bag and twist twist ties or pipecleaners around it to give it shape.

6. Make the cat face with stickers (we cut up alphabet stickers and made a great face!) and attached whiskers made out of pipecleaners.

Lollypop Ghosts:

How easy! A tissue box, magic markers, twist ties and lollypops... that's all you need for these scary treats!

1. Drape a tissue over a round lollypop and use clear tape or a white twist tie to seal it.

2. Use a marker to make the eyes.


That's all for now! Happy Happy Halloween!



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Presidential Politics and your Children

Hi!

The 3rd and final debate is tonight and it is a great learning time for your children. As a former Civics teacher, I want everyone to vote, talking about voting, take your kids with you to vote and then wear your I voted sticker all day!!

What are the most important issues in this election to your family? The economy? The war? Talk to your children about them and why you are voting for the candidate you have chosen. Not sure how to get started? Check out these sites:

http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/election2008.htm
http://www.weeklyreader.com/election/index.asp
http://www.pbs.org/vote2008/tools/

Happy voting!

Amy

Monday, October 13, 2008

Children's Chores

What chores can you reasonably ask your child to do at each age?   Determining your child's chores and then deciding how to reward your child for doing them can be confusing.  Check out these chore tips!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Getting in the Halloween mood

OK, so money is going to be on your mind going into the holiday season and you can't just hammer into your kids that no one has any....so I think it's time to get a head start on saving during the season by making it seem like nothing has changed.

In that spirit, I've been looking up fun Halloween costumes to make today and figuring out which learning standards you can meet while making them. It's been fun. You will not believe how many things you can make with a box and some duct tape!! :)

Stand by....

Banking and Saving with Your Child

Now is the perfect time to support your local bank by opening a savings account with your child.    Get in the habit of saving regularly with your child using these simple tips! 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Got Bank?

Hi!

Today I am doing my segment about Banking and Saving with your kids. I've been doing some research on it and I am shocked. In two generations, we have lost the discipline to save money. The savings rate, which is higher this year at 3%, was as low as -1% 3 years ago. With the economy as it is, these figures may finally mean more to each of us.

How did we, as adults, create a culture where we actually saved nothing one year but accrued debt? I'm not talking about Wall Street fat cats here. I am talking about us. Ordinary Americans have contributed to the credit crisis at an alarming rate....and what are we teaching our children???

I say it's time to teach them to save, and while we are at it, let's save some ourselves. What was that (not to) old rule about saving 10% of your income? I say it's time to start doing that again and even more, it's time to teach our children to do the same.

PreK - 2nd grade: a piggy bank is a perfect way to start saving with your youngster. Once a month, count the money in the piggy bank with your child and take 10% of it to the bank to put into a savings account with your child's name on it.

3rd grade to 7th grade: Bank and budget with your tween. Encourage your child to put away half of all money earned from allowance and half of all money given as a gift. At the end of the month, ask your child to put 10% of their total income for the month into savings. Next, put 15% of their total income for the month into a college savings plan and finally introduce budgeting to your child by requiring them to pay for extras at school from the remaining 25% of their monthly income. http://www.collegesavings.org/

8th grade to 12th grade: Bank, budget and work. Your child will be ready for more responsibility now and can earn more by doing more chores around the house and getting a job outside of the home. It is really important to have your eyes on college and the expenses at this point. If your child has already been saving along side with you for college, it is an easy conversation - how much do you and your child need to add to savings before graduation? Work it out, set a budget and stick to it.

If you and your child are saving together for college, then higher education does not become a goal, it becomes an assumption.

Think about it, find a coffee can and make a piggy bank. It's better than teaching your children how to structure a bailout plan....

:) Amy

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Kids and Finance

Hi all,

How many of you have been trying to explain "financial crisis" or "collapse of banking" to your kids? It's hard - particularly when it is so complex and it is freaking you out.

I have been doing a series on CBS about the financial crisis and how to speak to your kids about it. The question is how much do you really tell them?

I think you tell them a lot. Understanding our economic system is an important component of social studies learning standards and you can count on it being tested. This crisis isn't just about Wall Street and the sooner you and your child explore that together, the sooner you may be able to get your child to help you save money instead of driving the budget (parents of tweens and teens). So let's use the news to reinforce those learning standards!

Tune in tomorrow for banking tips and saving with your child!

Best,
Amy

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