Archive for learning

Coping with a new reality: Advice for single parents

Mothers and fathers coming out of a divorce or separation are still dealing with the emotional effects of one of the most wrenching and emotionally exacting experiences of their lives. They’re trying to come to terms with an extremely disorienting situation at the same time they’re trying to comfort and reassure traumatized children. The healing process may take quite a while, and it complicates an already difficult role for the parent. Along the way, single moms and dads have to deal with hectic weekly routines, a new set of financial responsibilities, keeping pace with demands at work … and they have to do it all by themselves. It’s a situation that could overwhelm anyone.

A new reality

Single parenthood is a stark new reality for people who are accustomed to having a partner to rely on when things get tough. Figuring out how to do it on your own is a difficult adjustment, particularly if your children are young. If you’re having an “off day” as a parent, you can’t just hand things over to someone else. You have to develop coping skills and learn how to take a deep breath when the kids get out of control or if you’ve had an awful day at work. It’s especially important to develop those skills if you don’t have a friend or family member who can provide support.


Now that you’re a single parent, you’re making all the decisions for your family. If your ex-spouse or partner was the primary decision-maker, you may need to find the self-confidence to make important decisions that directly impact you financially and affect your children’s wellbeing. It can be a liberating and self-empowering moment for many single parents, who no longer have to compromise or negotiate with a spouse they don’t get along with and with whom they have fundamental disagreements about raising a family. Many single parents find that co-workers, friends, teachers and others with a connection to their family can be helpful when it comes to advice and sharing experiences. Remember, decision-making is an important skill, one you want your children to develop, so seeking advice and outside help in making good decisions is well worth the time and effort.

Getting organized

As the head of your family, you can do yourself and your children a major favor by organizing everyone’s weekly schedules. It’ll help you get a handle on your new life and make things easier when it comes to work, school, homework, the kids’ extracurricular activities, and more. Organize each day as much as possible so you and your children aren’t scrambling every morning. It can help your kids’ performance at school and may even give you a little extra time to exercise, meditate, or sneak in a little extra sleep. Children respond better to well-organized plans because it provides a sense of reliability and normalcy, which they may need badly in the wake of a divorce.

Find help

Some of the most successful single parents know when to ask for help, whether from someone who’s close to the family or from a support group with individuals who have been through the same situation. Spending a little time on the internet looking for local support groups may pay off handsomely for an overwrought single mom or dad. Sometimes, just having someone to share your frustrations with can make a tremendous difference.

Try seeing your new situation as an opportunity to strengthen relationships between you and your kids. Spend some time together playing educational games and interacting in ways that everyone can enjoy and learn from. It’ll bring you closer together as a family and forge a strong emotional bond that benefits everyone.

Courtesy of

Setting up a Learning Station for Preschoolers

Creating a space to play learning games, read together, or do “homework” is essential in developing early habits. Young children need routine and consistency, as it helps them to know what to expect.

  1. Have your child help pick a place in your home where you can comfortably work together. Pick an area with a small table or desk that is comfy and free of distractions, so your child can enjoy a book, draw, or work on “homework”. Giving your child the opportunity to help with this decision, will help your child take ownership.
  2. Select a basket or container that can house all materials you may need to carry out activities. Markers, crayons, scissors, pencils, extra paper, sticky notes, glue sticks, art supplies, etc. should be right at hand.
  3. Create an area to display completed activities. A simple way is to take a piece of twine and drape it from one end to the other near your special space. Colorful clothespins can be used to hang completed “homework” for all to see.
    work-station-spider                                    work-station
  4. Set aside a time daily to play a learning game, or engage in an activity together. Make sure there is enough time to complete the activity, so your child does not feel rushed. This is key in developing a consistent routine.
  5. Be flexible. Sometimes young children need to move around, or need to stretch out on the floor. Take cues and support your child’s work style that day.


By creating a comfortable and inviting space, you can help your child establish important habits. As with any good habit, start when your children are young, and be consistent. These habits will stay with them as they grow into adulthood.



Traveling with K-3 Climbers in London

choose a toolkit

About a month into using k-3 climbers with my 5 year old (and a partially participating 3 year old), we took a month long trip to the UK and decided that we would take a monthly kit with us and try to continue our daily routine of performing a couple of activities a day.

To maximize efficiency, we decided to go through the trail map for the month and take out the items we would need from the toolkit as we were conscious of our luggage traveling internationally. We decided to skip taking the larger items (such as boxes of unfix cubes and k-3 climbers plastic sorting boxes) and we highlighted any activities we were not able to do. So far so good, we found it easy to pick up the monthly kit and extract what we thought we would need by a quick review of activity sheets. It took a bit of time to do this but we found it worked for us.

Once we settled into our routine in the UK, we picked up doing the activities during the part of the day that most suited our schedule (breakfast time) and for the most part we had success! We picked up items such as scissors, coloring pens, glue sticks etc over there. Hana (5) really enjoyed this structured part of the day especially as she was out of pre school for the month. Even Eva (3), would run to the table to participate especially if there was glue and coloring involved! As mentioned above, some activities we saved for our return as we did not have all of the tools we needed and we have successfully managed to complete those now we are back. Once we were done with activities we just discarded what we didn’t need in terms of instruction sheets (again I was conscious of carrying everything back to the US).

k-3 climbers is definitely rewarding experience for my children and for both myself and my husband. It gives us time to sit with our children and focus on something that does not involve a computer screen and it motivates us to get organized too. When traveling I found that it was much easier for me to lay out the upcoming days activities with all of the items required to complete the activity and ‘grab and go’. Keeping the attention span of the children can also be challenging when the adult has to take breaks to go and retrieve items, so this approach worked for me.

Overall, with some forward thinking and planning we were able to execute k-3 climbers successfully on our extended vacation. I felt better knowing that my children would have some learning built into their day; though some activities are more like fun play than learning anyway!