Help Your Kids Succeed

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Thanks to the makers of Pine-Sol® for sponsoring my writing. A study shows a clean smelling home can help children succeed, so Pine-Sol® is supporting Reading is Fundamental (RIF) this year. Click "Like" on Pine-Sol®'??s Facebook page here and they will donate books to RIF!

If there's one thing that our family embraces, it is books. What is missing from the feature picture? It's not a trick question. The answer is a television. In a conscious effort to help our children succeed and become creative thinkers and thought leaders, we have intentionally left the TV out of the equation.

Since we don't have television, here's what we do have to entertain the kids

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1.) Books: And loads of them. We belong to four libraries and have an extensive at-home collection. We often start and end our days with books. They are everywhere (in the car, in the tub, in the stroller) want to know our current favorite? LaRue Across America: Postcards From the Vacation by Mark Teague--an adventure story that pleases parent and child alike.
FACT: In a class of 20 students, few if any teachers can find even 5 minutes of time in a day to devote to reading with each student.
TIP: Keep your library fresh by swapping books out with friends.

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2.) Music: Off-key singing is my claim to fame. Thankfully we use Pandora and limitless children's CDs to keep our home filled with music. Then the Mr. Momtrends concert series. Which involves his playing and the girls and I dancing.
FACT: Scientific evidence proves that an education in the arts makes better math and science students, and enhances spatial intelligence in newborns.
TIP: You don't need a baby grand. Pop on some iTunes and fill your home with music.

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3.) Creative Childcare: I'm not going to lie. This no-TV pledge would be a lot tougher if we couldn't afford quality in-home babysitting and amazing classes to fill in the gaps between school and mom. We've found afterschool enrichment programs in dance and gymnastics as well as a sitter who is a crafting machine.
FACT: Four-year-olds watching the daily average (3.5 hours) were 25 percent more likely to become bullies.
TIP: If you find you can't tackle your to-do list or workload without the help of the "tube" look into free afterschool programs or hire a crafty neighborhood teen to come over an entertain the kids.

Yes, we splurge for these solutions to keep our girls busy. I don't need a new car, my 2007 Honda CRV is just fine. Brain development comes before BMWs in my book. American kids are falling behind (need proof? read this article in the NY Times), it's up to us to lead the way.

Don't forget to click over to Pine-Sol®'s Facebook page to support our children's success. I was selected for this Pine-Sol® sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

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