How to be a Relaxed Mom

How to be a Relaxed Mom

No mother should have to choose between her career and children. Working moms sometimes feel guilty about the time they spend away from home, so they overcompensate by being too protective, too indulgent, or too controlling. Moderation is the key to being a relaxed mom.

Give kids structure

It is true that children need attention, but they also need security. They need to know they can depend on you, which can make up for the lack of time you spend with them. If they know that you will be home at a certain time, and you stick to that, you give them something they can count on. That is enough to grow on.

Ignore them

Don’t encourage attention-seeking behavior by acknowledging it. If your kid is acting up for no reason, walk away. The sooner they learn that tantrums and crying fits will not get them anywhere, the sooner they will learn to behave properly.

Let them get dirty

Kids like to explore, and they get dirty. A little dirt never hurt anyone, as long as they don’t put it in their mouths. Insisting that they always be clean is unnatural, and gives them the idea that there is something wrong with them.

Make gifts special

A trip to Toys R Us is okay if there is an occasion, but don’t try to make up for your shortcomings by smothering them with gifts for no reason. They will appreciate what they have more, and they will take care of them.

Talk to them

The best kind of attention you can give your kids is conversation. You don’t have to do much because kids like to talk. It makes them feel important. Ask them about their day, discuss their feelings, and answer their questions their questions. Kids pick up a lot from school and television, so it is important you know what is going on with them.

Being a mom is not easy, but it can be the most satisfying experience if you only learn to relax. Your kids will grow up well, and you will enjoy a healthy relationship with them well into their adulthood.

About Beth

I'm lucky enough to be an elementary school teacher and have my little girl going to my school. This is my home on the web to talk about education from a teachers and parents perspective.

Top tips for renovating your home

Top tips for renovating your home

To make a house a home, a little touch up here and there can really make a difference while big renovations can pay off significantly in the long run. Whether it’s a new lick of paint or an entirely new design, there is always something that can be done to keep your home looking fresh and rejuvenated.  To protect your home from any potential mistakes that could occur in the process, we have devised a few top tips to bear in mind for when you are renovating your home.

Professional help

We all love the pride that comes with completing a DIY project but when it comes to your home perhaps it’s best to stick with the professionals. Experts can come in and breathe new life into your home more quickly and reliably than you may be able to do. When it comes to electric and building work, it’s especially important not to scrimp on the money and bring in someone who really knows what they’re doing.

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To make your renovation easier, you might want to consider thinking of a theme. For example, if your theme were country-style homes, then an aga might be the right choice in oven; decisions will become easier if you have a way to narrow down your choices. This will also work when you’re trying to thinking of colour schemes and furniture.


Having put in an incredible amount of time, effort and money into building the perfect home, you will surely want to protect your work. Investing in home insurance will help you to make sure your money hasn’t gone to waste and will ensure you are covered should any accidents happen. Getting home insurance quotes you will gain a clear idea of how to best protect your newly renovated house to give you peace of mind.



Renovating your home can be a big task, so it may help to have a clear budget in mind when undertaking the task; remember to include materials, labour costs and any extras that may come into play when building your dream home. Budgeting will help decrease your stress levels and keep you on track throughout the renovation process; it will also help you double-check inventories of materials to make sure you are not left short changed.

Renovations don’t have to be the nightmare people believe them to be; with some smart planning and good communication you can have your home looking its best in no time.

About Beth

I'm lucky enough to be an elementary school teacher and have my little girl going to my school. This is my home on the web to talk about education from a teachers and parents perspective.


Helping your daughter through her first fundraiser

Helping your children through projects that they feel committed and passionate about is something every parent should be proud to do. This not only builds strong bonds between you both, but there are many valuable lessons that can be learned. Not only will you learn a lot about your daughter, but you will see how they analyse things and solve problems. Helping your daughter with a fundraiser can be a lot of fun, and it lets you pass on good messages of support and faith that can really make the fundraiser go as well as possible.

mommy & me

My daughter did a Cherrydale chocolate bar fundraiser last year and I’d like to think we both learned a lot through the experience. A child’s first fundraiser tends to be for something achievable with enough work, like a small gift in return for helping the school. Whether it’s a fringe crossbody bag that she has her eye on or a charity that wants to help.  It can be anything at all, really, but as long as you are able to support them through the process then you should. Here are some things that you might want to lay out for your daughter along the way so she can see how everything should be unfolding;

Who are you fundraising for?

This is the most important question you can define – it’s up to your child to sell you on the reason why, and what the cause is. This is a great way to let your daughter get more confident talking about the reasons why the fundraising is going on, as they will need to be convincing other children and adults soon enough. Defining this as clearly as possible should be high up on the list, and will make the “pitch” easier to sell to others.

What’s the target?

You need to have a clear definition of what the target is going to be, as well. How much are you trying to raise? If you can find a good way of spinning this amount as very little then it will be much easier to hit your target. This isn’t saying to lie, of course, but if you are able to make people see that between the community that the price set isn’t impossible to achieve, people are more likely to put their cash into the amount if they believe the process will actually get finished.

Who Will You Sell To?

The obvious answer is family & close friends. If your daughter is in elementary school like mine you might also talk to neighbors but of course you should provide supervision. If the cost is low most neighbors will be happy to help you.

Fundraising is hard work, even with your assistance and backing, but there’s nothing more enjoyable than seeing the immense lift that this can give your child. It gives them a real sense of what achievement feels like, so help them get to the fundraising limit they need and watch them soar in confidence for weeks to come!

About Beth

I'm lucky enough to be an elementary school teacher and have my little girl going to my school. This is my home on the web to talk about education from a teachers and parents perspective.

An A-Z step by step guide to follow a career in horticulture

An A-Z step by step guide to follow a career in horticulture

If you are a green-fingered fanatic and love nothing more than spending time outdoors, a career in horticulture could be beckoning for you

With a range of different types of horticultural qualifications on offer, the route to getting the job you really want could be easier than you think.

Working on something you love is something everyone dreams about but it’s not difficult to make that dream a reality if you know what to do. Below is an A-Z guide of how to start and follow a career in horticulture.

A is for…apprenticeship

To secure a job in horticulture and appear attractive to employers requires a combination of practical experience and theoretical knowledge. This can be difficult to achieve but an apprenticeship can offer the best of both worlds. A way to earn a basic wage whilst still studying part-time for a horticultural qualification at college, an apprenticeship is a great way to kick-start a career in the industry.

Horticulture is for those who love plants.


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B is for…basics

Although you may dream of a glittering career in horticulture, to become successful you will need to be willing to get stuck into the basics. Horticulture isn’t always glamorous and basic yet essential tasks such as mowing, mulching, pruning and weeding will always need to be done.

C is for…chemistry

Although you may see horticulture as a career which is primarily practical, it’s essential to also have a good grasp of science and in particular chemistry. The elements of plants and the composition of soil, as well as the building blocks of genetics, must all be thoroughly understood in order for the practical application of methods to be successful.

D is for…dung

Don’t follow a career in horticulture unless you are prepared to get your hands dirty. There will be plenty of dung, manure, muck – whatever you want to call it. Manure is used to aid plant growth, knowledge of composting, manure use, etc. is essential for any horticultural worker.

E is for…environment

Horticulture has changed greatly over the years and the emphasis now is on the environment and eco-friendly methods. The use of organic mulch, rainwater collection for irrigation and vertical landscaping are all ways in which a horticulturalist can incorporate environmentally-friendly principles into their work without compromising their career.

F is for…flowers

Possibly the most glamorous element of horticulture, knowing your flowers is a must-have if you want a job in one of the top gardens or heritage centres in the country. National Trust properties as well as private gardens all look for an in-depth knowledge of flowers and plants as an essential skill in their grounds men.

G is for…going green

The world has never been more eco-aware and green products, services and lifestyles are constantly rising in popularity, even if they are the more expensive option. For this reason, careers in ecology and horticulture are expected to rocket with demand surging in both rural and urban areas.

Flowers are often a main part of horticultural project.


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H is for…highly-skilled

A recent report from the Royal Horticultural Society highlighted the shortage of home-grown workers, with employers struggling to recruit. Horticulture is a highly-skilled profession and whilst hands-on experience is useful, technical knowledge and qualifications are essential.

I is for…involvement

Enthusiasm is infectious and becoming involved in local projects will help get you known in the industry. There are many different types of projects and opportunities in local communities to become involved in horticulture; not only will this provide valuable experience but will also help you to start developing a network of valuable contacts,

J is for…jargon

Having practical skills are undoubtedly a large part of the job but understanding the jargon used can take a bit of getting used to. Knowing your jacaranda from your jephcotti will help you seem more professional and could help you land a more prestigious job.

Horticultural projects often involve teams.


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K is for…Kew Gardens

Despite the many stunning gardens in the UK, Kew Gardens remains the flagship with its sumptuous grounds, stunning blooms and well-kept plants. Aiming to get a job in Kew when you are fresh out of college may be a bit of a stretch but it can be a good idea to visit top establishments like Kew for inspiration and ideas that could help you in your horticultural work.

L is for…landscape architecture

Landscape architecture is a good place for a horticultural student to begin to get work experience. Relatively easy to get into, it’s often seen as a way to get a foot on the career ladder because you don’t need vast amounts of knowledge at the most basic level, making it ideal for novices. Of course, as you advance in the field of landscape architecture, the subject becomes increasingly complex and the most successful and senior individuals have studied and passed advanced qualifications to help them with their work.

M is for…maintenance work

Horticultural qualifications aren’t just useful for individuals who want to work in landscaped gardens; they will also benefit those who work in providing gardening maintenance services. This could be everything from mowing lawns, to pruning, weeding and keeping residential gardens in tip-top condition. Although there are no minimum standards, having a professionally recognised qualification will not just make the job easier and the results better; you will have an edge over your rivals and stand a better chance of winning jobs and customers.

Maintenance work helps keep horticultural projects going.


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N is for…niche

Horticulture isn’t just about gardening; it provides the opportunity to work in a very niche area. Once you have the general background and relevant core skills and qualifications, you can go on to study further examinations to become an expert or specialist in a niche field.

O is for…outdoors

The idea of working in horticulture may sound attractive, especially if you like spending time in your own garden. However, the stark reality of working outdoors all year round in all weathers can be far from comfortable. It takes a certain kind of person who is able to withstand the cold and wet weather constantly whilst carrying out a range of arduous physically demanding tasks.

P is for…pesticides

A controversial issue, pesticides are commonly used but have come under the spotlight for the effects they can have on the surrounding flora and fauna. Understanding what measures can be taken to reduce the use of pesticides is vital, along with the circumstances when the use of pesticides, herbicides or insecticides is unavoidable. Learning how to ensure no water sources are contaminated and how to identify vulnerable areas such as sinkholes, storm sewers and sandy soil where the use should be avoided is also an important part of horticultural education.

Q is for…qualifications

There is a misconception that it’s possible to have a thriving career in horticulture without a solid educational background. Whilst it’s true that practical experience certainly counts for a lot, being a gardener takes more than just green fingers. Understanding how to treat different types of soil as well as the theory behind the practice, getting a qualification in horticulture is an essential part of building a successful career.

R is for…Royal Horticultural Society

A nationwide organisation the RHS is a wealth of information, advice and resources for both amateur gardeners and professional horticultural experts. As well as offering a diverse range of career opportunities and connections in the field, the RHS can be a great way to join an online horticultural community. Much of their site and archives are available for free but there are also special members-only areas for those who have joined the organisation.

There is a royal society for horticulture.


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S is for…sustainability

With the increasing focus on conservation, creating sustainable landscapes is a priority for more and more landowners. This would typically mean a high degree of self-sufficiency, allowing the land to mature to develop a wild look, as if it had been created by nature. This concept is more difficult than it sounds, particularly in urban areas, but learning how sustainable development of the land can help to conserve energy and also reduce the amount of irrigation required is key knowledge for the budding horticulturist.

T is for…training

Once you have graduated from college and are the proud owner of a horticultural qualification, don’t give up on the idea of education. Techniques, methods and products change constantly so even if you feel like you have everything you need now, if you don’t keep your knowledge up to date and current you could quickly get left behind once you’re working in the field.

U is for…u-turn

Horticulture is a career that many people turn to later in life so don’t be deterred from studying for a qualification even if you are a more mature student. Making the decision to start a new career and give up something you simply don’t enjoy is a step to be applauded so don’t be afraid to make a U-turn

V is for…voluntary placements

Qualifications are a vital part of a career in horticulture and without a solid education, it’s impossible to progress but many of the skills required are practical. Horticultural qualifications may involve a voluntary work placement to help you practice the techniques you have learnt and prepare you for when you are ready to launch your career. You might even want to prepare for this by taking part in voluntary work within your local community to hone your skills in advance.

W is for…way forward

Horticulture is a huge subject and spans so many different possible careers. Estate management, arborist, scientist and journalism are all different career routes which could be possible with a qualification in horticultural behind you. However, exactly what course you choose and what types of practical experience you obtain will help shape your future career path. Therefore try to consider what aspects you particularly enjoy and where you ultimately hope to work.

X is for…xylo-, xanthus and xanthellum

Horticulturalists have a fascination with words beginning with the letter ‘x’, so much so that they have taken to making up their own words which already exist in the English language. For example ‘xylo-‘ is a prefix meaning woody and ‘xanthus’ means yellow – just two of the many x-words beloved by horticulturalists everywhere. And as for ‘xanthellum’? That word means ‘somewhat yellow’ according to the official botany dictionary!

Why not go for a career in horticulture


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Y is for…your own boss

If you long to work for yourself, horticulture is one of the perfect avenues to do this. As well as number of employed positions, there are a great many self-employed individuals who work in a diverse range of settings. Some jobs lend themselves naturally to self-employment and horticulture is one of these. The flexibility allows you to work around continuing your education (if you want to carry on with your professional training) and plan your workload around your personal family commitments.

Z is for…zeal

When you are trying to establish a career in the world of horticulture, don’t be afraid to let your zeal shine through. Most horticulturalists are passionate about what they do and this is one of the most attractive qualities you can possess. A potential employer might be willing to look past a relative lack of experience when presented with an individual holding the right qualifications who is clearly bursting with enthusiasm and passion for the job in hand.

Image credits: COD Newsroom, Eileen M.Kane, VIUdeepbay, VIUdeepbay, Mat_the_w and Mathplourde


About Beth

I'm lucky enough to be an elementary school teacher and have my little girl going to my school. This is my home on the web to talk about education from a teachers and parents perspective.

Why Dr. Seuss Read Across America is Important

Why Dr. Seuss Read Across America is Important

From the time a baby is born, many parents seek to provide the best to their child so that they grow up learning to read, write, and make a difference in the world. Babies start off babbling, followed by learning words, learning how to string the words together into sentences, and eventually learning to read and write on their own. In the process of it all, it’s very likely that the child comes across the character of Dr. Seuss. As one of the most recognizable names in children’s literature, Dr. Seuss was created by Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel. Dr. Geisel offered the world a variety of children’s literature with the recognizable fictional character of Dr. Seuss, as well as other unique characters that played on rhymes and creative verses that stick to the mind.

dr seuss week

To celebrate the more than 50 years of work Dr. Geisel has dedicated to children’s literature, March 2nd (his birthday) has been designated Dr. Seuss’s Read Across America. This day follows on the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America event that brings schools, libraries, and community centers together for children to continue to enjoy books. It’s a party celebrating reading! Read Across America also highlights the importance of oral health. Regardless of what stage of reading a child is at, there are various Dr. Seuss resources available, from posters, certificates, proclamations, to bookmarks to encourage oral health and reading all year long. Any child who shows an interest to learn and read can benefit from literature with Dr. Seuss. Whether it’s starting with simply pictures, the alphabets and associating words with the letters, learning about opposites, learning about rhymes, or enjoying a bedtime story, there’s something suitable with Dr.Seuss for all. As children learn to read on their own, Dr. Seuss can also be there to entertain the mind. Some of Dr. Geisel’s top titles have included “I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sallew,” “Hop On Pop,” “Scrambled Eggs Super,” “Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?,” “On Beyond Zebra,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “Yertle the Turtle,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “The Cat in The Hat,” “Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Horton Hears a Who,” “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins,” “The Sneetches and Other Stories” and “The Lorax.” Many of the titles go back to the 1950s and 1960s and continue to remain ever so popular today. These are stories that will continue to live for generations. Films have also been produced around some of the titles, including “The Lorax” in 2012, “Horton Hears a Who!” in 2008, “The Cat in the Hat” in 2003, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in 2000 and many more. Dr. Seuss’s Read Across America events will run throughout the nation in March. All children are encouraged to participate and pick up a book!

About Beth

I'm lucky enough to be an elementary school teacher and have my little girl going to my school. This is my home on the web to talk about education from a teachers and parents perspective.

How to write a top CV

How to write a top CV

It’s astonishing how many job hunters prepare a CV, stick it in a file on their computer and never look at it again. Whenever they are applying for a new job, they pull out their CV and send it on without considering how to tailor it for the position they have in mind.

The following tips will help you focus an existing CV for a specific post to avoid this foolish mistake.

The right training

Whether a candidate already has the right training or is in the middle of undergoing a course, it is wise to list this close to the top of a CV. If it as the top, it puts the prospective employer in the picture about the academic background of the applicant immediately. Any valuable vocational training offered by centres like TutorCare should feature prominently in your CV.

Detailing professional qualifications and studies helps the rest of the CV make sense to an employer who is probably screening scores of applicants.

The basics

A CV should start with personal details and contact information.

Education and training whether completed or in progress should follow. After this, information about career history starting with the most recent position should be detailed. It’s important to include any facts about voluntary or temporary jobs if they fit the prospective post and a personal profile which emphases professional strengths.

If relevant, it helps to include information about reasons for a career change or gaps in job history. Finally, two references, including a recent employer need to be included. It is important to note that this is one way of preparing a successful CV but it can be adapted.

Length and appearance

There is no excuse for a hand-written CV these days. Although some employers may want to see samples of a candidate’s handwriting at some point, a CV should be neatly typed using a word processor.

The format should be consistent throughout. For example, all section headings should be the same size and spacing throughout needs to be uniform.

Needless to say, bad spelling in a CV will make an employer lose interest very quickly, even if writing isn’t a key part of the job being applied for. It is important to check a CV for spelling using both spell check programmes and manual checks. Getting someone else to read over your CV to check for errors is also advisable as they’re likely to pick up mistakes you’ve missed.

About Beth

I'm lucky enough to be an elementary school teacher and have my little girl going to my school. This is my home on the web to talk about education from a teachers and parents perspective.

How to Make Your Child Confident to Meet Life’s Challenges

How to Make Your Child Confident to Meet Life’s Challenges

Childhood has become much more stressful and demanding for most of the modern age kids because of the change in life style and social set up. The parents do not just want their children to be good at studies and earn a good career but also lead a positive and purposeful life all through.

Children can be a stressed out as they juggle a slew of tasks including studies, extra curricular activities. In addition the kids may also have to deal with bullying and emotional stress with a straight face and positive approach to life. It is natural for the children of the present times to feel powerless and vulnerable in their own life at one time or the other.

The parents can do a lot in shaping the kids as confident and happy individuals by helping them nurture their personality and strengths to achieve their objectives and dreams. Here are some tips to make the child confident to meet life’s challenges.

1. Teach Your Child to value their uniqueness

The fact that no two individuals are alike should be engrained in your child’s mind from  a young age. Let them treasure their individuality and be what they are. The children should be taught to cherish their unique strengths and not to lose hope on their weaknesses.

2. Create a positive milieu

Children often look up to their parents as role models and develop their behavior by observing the parents and other members in the family. Make sure that the kid has a positive milieu at home. Avoid activities and conversation that could leave a negative influence on the kid’s personality. Let the child know about the positive and negative traits from an early age as it will go a long way in shaping the character of the kid in the later years and make him a confident and positive minded individual. Encourage the child for his achievements and support him to develop their potential without overburdening him with unattainable targets.

3. Make the child understand about  Online Safety

Technology can be a good slave and a bad master at times. It is a potent informative tool for the child but he should be made aware of the online pitfalls including bullying. As a responsible parent you should strive to keep the child protected from the prying eyes of the bullies and make sure to monitor their communication and their online friends daily. Most parents become lenient after the initial enthusiasm in tracking the online activities of their child, which can leave him vulnerable.

5. Nurture positive qualities

Make sure to highlight the child’s positive behaviors instead of picking on his mistakes and failures. Reward the child for his efforts and achievements and encourage him to do better. This will enhance the self esteem of the child and make him a winner all through. Punishing the child for negative behaviors may nip the self confidence of the child as he will be always fearful and doubtful to take initiatives. By reflecting the child’s positive actions, the parents can help them to be talented and valuable individuals. Positive behavior has an infectious charm and the child will set an example by treating his friends and teachers with respect.

About Beth

I'm lucky enough to be an elementary school teacher and have my little girl going to my school. This is my home on the web to talk about education from a teachers and parents perspective.

How to Develop Effective Leadership Qualities

How to Develop Effective Leadership Qualities

Great leaders never cease to learn new leadership tactics to improve their qualities and to achieve their goals successfully. Effective leadership is what makes or breaks any institution successful. Effective leadership in education sector is important as it can enhance the quality of education and mold the character of the future generation in the most desired levels. An ideal leadership can set off a positive change among the students and the teacher’s community alike. Better teaching practices will ensure a highly motivated student community with leadership qualities and enthusiasm.

Leadership is not just a behavioral trait but a blend of various elements of art, science and human nature. Some are born leaders while others evolve as leaders with constant effort over a period of time. Though all humans have dormant leadership qualities in them only a few rise up to the challenge and choose to lead. To be a successful leader, the strategies and practices have to be refined and changed to suit the dynamic functional environments of the leaders.

Schools often require a collective effort to enhance the professional practice, which might require administrative and teaching faculties with leadership qualities. The success of the students will largely be dependent on the guidance they get from the leaders in the realm of affairs. An ideal leader will strive to bring in a desirable change.

Here are some of the essential leadership elements that can change a system

  • Be a role model: The best leaders make perfect models for their employees to emulate. They not just preach but also practice their thoughts. Do not expect the employees to do something that the man in the lead cannot carry out. Show them the best course of action and the expected results, which will make it a feasible method.

  • Motivate the team: Rather than material rewards, motivation will be a better tool to start and sustain a change. Encourage the people to think out of the box and plan new strategies that could bring out a change for the better.

  • Fighting the odds: You can never expect ideal conditions to function and deliver results. There could be many hurdles like finance, time factors and manpower shortage among others. Nothing should deter you from your goal. Adopt a resilient approach that cannot be dampened by excuses to find solutions to the problems. Critical thinking and coming up with customized solutions holds the key in making a headway as there cant be a common ready- made solution for all the problems.

  • Learn from failure: Failure is indeed the stepping stone to success! It will help you to evolve and to be better equipped while facing the problem. If the leaders fear failure then no change will ever take place. Leadership is all about risks and learning from past experiences. Accepting the failures and showing the resilience to move on is what makes a true leader who can inspire others.

  • Transparency: Effective leaders keep the channels of communication open and be transparent in their dealings. A leader will have to implement a strategy through discussion, debate and consensus and not in autocratic fashion, which will not get any backing from his team. Transparent leaders will never shy away from giving credit to others during success and take blame in a failure.

About Beth

I'm lucky enough to be an elementary school teacher and have my little girl going to my school. This is my home on the web to talk about education from a teachers and parents perspective.