With today's hustling and bustling lifestyles, we as parents often find
it a challenge to squeeze everything in to our already overflowing
schedule. We are lucky if little Mary makes it to the school bus stop on
time with the same color socks on both feet.
There are ways that busy parents can stay involved in their children's
educational growth. Whether you work outside of the home, run a home
office, or take care of other children, you too can be a part of your
child's school life that they will remember for a lifetime.
Schools have many different events throughout the year for which they
need baked goods. Whether it be a bake sale or a school carnival,
cupcakes and cookies are always welcome. Make it a fun activity with
your kids by having them make the goodies with you. To cut down on time
if you are really pressed, buy prepackaged cookie dough, or make your
cookie dough and store it for baking day. Here is a basic cookie mix
that you can make and store in an air tight container for up to 10-12
weeks, this recipe makes 16 cups of mix:
In a large bowl combine flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt and
baking soda until well blended. With a pastry blender or heavy duty
mixer, cut in shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal in texture.
Put in a large airtight container, label with date and contents. Store
in a cool dry place.
>From this mix you can make the following recipes:
2 1/2 cups cookie mix
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat over to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine cookie mix,
baking soda, cream of tartar, and egg. Mix well. Combine sugar and
cinnamon in a small dish. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll in
cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place two inches apart on ungreased cookie
sheet. Flatten balls slightly. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned
with cracked tops. Do not overbake, makes about 24 cookies.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 cups cookie mix
3 tbsp milk (more if necessary)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup nuts or coconut (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease baking sheets. In a large bowl
combine cookie mix, milk, vanilla, and egg. Blend well. Stir in nuts or
coconut and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking
sheets. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 24 cookies.
Every employer gives you a lunch break. Many don't take advantage of the
lunch break in order to get as much work done as possible in the short
time they have at the office. Why not take one lunch break per month and
head over to the school and read your daughter's class a book at story
time? Imagine the smile on that little girl's face when you walk through
the classroom door on that special day each month.
The library is a great place to go for children and adults alike. One
Saturday per month is all it takes to show your children that you are
interested and that their education matters to you. Libraries have many
activities, groups and reading times for children of different age
groups. Ask for information at your local library.
Be sure to read a book with your children each night. Stories are
wonderful ways to wind down a rambunctious youngster at the end of the
day, and a great way to snuggle with those you love. Reading encourages
imagination, creative thought and instills a love for learning.
Turn off the TV, look through your child's backpack with him and go over
any graded school papers and additional class notes. Be sure to go
through the backpack each day as your child's teacher uses this as their
main connection between you and the school. Important meetings, behavior
reports, special kudos and planned field trips are just a few examples
of what you will find inside.
Do Your Homework
Many parents would love to be able to volunteer at the school, but are
unable due to time constraints, their job or little ones at home. If you
are unable to volunteer inside the classroom, why not ask for some
homework? Teachers are always thrilled at the prospect of parents
helping and becoming involved. There may be some cutting, sorting or
other such tasks that your child's teacher could use help with that do
not require your presence at the school. What a great way to encourage
your child to get his homework done. Now you can do it together!
Staying involved in your child's school life will show him that you care
about him and his future. It will encourage him to work harder if he
knows that you will be there to tell him what a great job he did on his
Math test or on that Science project. Get involved, your child will love
you for it.
Amanda Formaro is the mother of four children. She and her husband live
in southern Nevada. She is also the owner of familycorner.com magazine
at http://familycorner.com | email her at: WebMom@familycorner.com