11 Easy Relaxation Practices to Share With Your Children and Teens

If you have relaxation practices that work for you, you might wonder how you can encourage your children to join you. Even if you haven’t been the best role model. After all, their lives can be stressful too when they’re trying to get good grades, make friends, and adapt to the changes that are part of growing up.

Sure, it would be tough to train a toddler to meditate for a half hour when they can barely sit still long enough to eat. However, there are age-appropriate activities suitable for any stage of development, from preschoolers to teens.

Find out more about how to help your children develop greater mindfulness and relieve stress.

Sharing Relaxation Practices with Younger Children

Even small children can relax and focus if you use movement and sound to make it interesting. It also helps if you provide an inspiring role model by managing stress constructively yourself.

Try these techniques:

  1. Make it fun. Be sure to present relaxation practices as a helpful tool rather than punishment. Pay attention to your child’s limits so they’ll stay engaged.
  2. Keep it brief. As little as one minute of seated meditation can be an achievement for a preschooler. Plan multiple activities so you can switch things around if your child seems to be losing interest.
  3. Breathe deep. Focusing on the breath is an excellent starting point at any age. Ask your child to imagine filling their stomach and chest with air and then releasing it like a balloon.
  4. Play music. Does your child have some favorite songs? Take turns singing different parts or ask them to listen for certain notes. Close observation is a form of mindfulness.
  5. Take a walk. You can also meditate or appreciate your surroundings while you’re moving around. Go to the park and identify as many different kinds of flowers as you can.
  6. Ask the teacher. Some schools are including stress management and meditation in their curriculum. Check on what’s available and see if there’s anything you can do to help.

Sharing Relaxation Practices with Teens

With teens, you can build on the techniques designed for younger children and introduce some new lessons. Meditation may be especially valuable during these years as many teens experience depression and anxiety. Be sure to let your doctor know if your teen is already receiving treatment for such conditions.

Share these strategies:

  1. Increase time gradually. Keep in mind your teen’s interests and abilities. If they benefit from meditating, they may want to sit for an hour or more a day. Otherwise, you can suggest other ways to relax, such as yoga or working on hobbies.
  2. Share experiences. Listen enthusiastically to what your teen thinks about relieving stress and living mindfully. Discuss your own thoughts and feelings too.
  3. Take turns teaching. Give your teen a chance to instruct you. If you do guided meditations together, you could alternate being the one to do the reading and provide directions. If you usually do tai chi, let them know that you’d appreciate their help in coming up with new ideas for the sake of variety.
  4. Search for apps. There are apps for relaxation and meditation, and many of them are free. Your teen may prefer something created for their own age group or they may be happy with a general program for adults.
  5. Sign up for classes. If you’re still looking for something more, see what’s available in your neighborhood. Check events listings at your local library and other resources to find courses on meditating or gardening.

Children and teens can benefit from relaxation practices whether you use a modern app or an old-fashioned meditation cushion. Introduce your sons and daughters to positive habits that can help them grow up to be happy and peaceful.

One app I’m really loving right now is called Calm. https://www.calm.com/ They even have a mindfulness initative and training for teachers: https://www.calm.com/schools Check it out. 

Accelerate Your Learning With These 9 Tips

Life is long enough that you can learn to do some amazing things. You might have to learn a new skill for work or some information for a test. Maybe you just want to learn a new language, to play an instrument, or how to cook a new dish. Learning is the fundamental for a fabulous life!

You won’t experience much that’s new if you don’t learn something new. Since time is often at a premium, learning quickly is important.

Try these ideas to speed up your learning process:

1. Learn over time. It’s much more effective to learn something for one hour each day for a week than to attempt to cram it all into your head over seven hours in one day. Consider breaking up your learning even further and give the subject your attention multiple times each day.

● One study showed that it was significantly more effective for beginners to practice piano five times each day for five minutes than it was to practice once for 25 minutes.

2. Create the right environment. You’ll accomplish more if you learn in an environment free of distractions. Imagine trying to learn how to swing a golf club next to a construction site on a sweltering day. How well could you learn Japanese with someone talking on the phone beside you?

● It’s not always possible to control your environment 100% but do the best you can. Remove as many distractions and be as comfortable as possible.

3. Get a good coach. Coaches know what matters. You might think you know the most important aspect of learning a particular task, but you might be wrong. Coaches can also spot mistakes and correct them instantly. Coaches are also good at holding you accountable. Why not get an expert on your side?

4. Get some exercise first. Just 15 minutes of exercise can improve your memory and ability to process new information. Hop on a treadmill or do some calisthenics for 15 minutes or more before tackling a new learning project.

5. Get some sleep. Inadequate sleep has been demonstrated to result in decreased reaction times, memory, learning ability, and even your use of proper grammar. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep.

6. Avoid studying the things you already know. Imagine that you’re reviewing facts or vocabulary words on flashcards. Avoid reviewing information you know by heart. If you’re learning a new piece of piano music, avoid practicing the parts you can already play. It’s a very inefficient way to learn.

7. Use a variety of media and senses to learn the information. Reading information can be effective, but it’s even more effective if you read it to yourself, recite it aloud, listen to a podcast, and watch a video on the topic. On top that, writing information down can be the best way to learn and remember.

8. Set a deadline. It’s common knowledge that tasks will expand to fill the time available. By setting a deadline, you can force yourself to work more consistently on learning the topic or skill. Without a deadline, it’s much easier to wait until “tomorrow” to get serious.

9. Be optimistic. In turns out that pessimists are more accurate at determining their current level of skill, but optimists ultimately learn things at a higher level. Have confidence and high expectations for yourself. You’ll ultimately learn more.

Learning is a huge component of life. Some learning is mandatory, especially in school or work environments. But, most learning is optional. You can learn about anything you want. One thing is for certain: the faster you can learn, the more you’ll be able to learn.

Like I always say “Knowledge is power!” Make a plan to learn something new today.

Question: What new skill or subject are you learning about now?

#1 Writing Tool for Education

Grammarly has been such a blessing to this quick typing mompreneur and writer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten inspiration to write, went to type a post on Facebook or Instagram and right when I went to click share my phone did a quick autocorrect.

Just last month I wrote something on Facebook from a device that didn’t have Grammarly installed. I wrote “Check out these podcasts and add them to your collection” but my the post autocorrected said, “Check out these podcasts and ass them to your collection!” Talk about embarrassing. I heard about Grammarly when I was in my MBA program but I never downloaded it. When I saw a commercial again on tv I downloaded it and it’s been a Godsend!

Correct all grammar errors with Grammarly!

I have the app on my iPhone and the program on my laptop and anytime I type that little green G in the corner is scanning my document for errors that will prevent me from looking like a fool. (Thanks Grammarly!)

As a doctoral student, author, and freelance writer, the way my words come across a screen is very important to me. Yes, my writing is pretty laid back but I still want it to be grammatically correct.

If you’re a writer, blogger, grad student, or have kids who are writing papers for school or starting their own businesses/blogs it’s a wonderful resource to have to allow you to type what you mean to say and shine. Even if grammar is your “thing” it’s wonderful to have the reassurance that you’re giving your absolute best in your writing.

I highly recommend it to all of my tutoring clients and the same to you.

Question: Are you going to give Grammarly a try?

Top 5 Resources For Being A More Intentional Mother

I LOVE to read, that’s no secret. I believe in reading I get to experience someone’s else life, heart their heart, receive their guidance and feel encouraged. So when I came across this author I was in awe of her! I just soaked up everything she had to offer, subscribed to her podcast, joined her membership site, attended her virtual tea party, and Amazon primed all of her books. (Yes she’s that good)

Sally Clarkson really shares a passion for being excellent stewards over what God has given us in our spouses and children. She’s cultured, she’s God-fearing and she caused me to find the joy in parenting rather than focus on the chaos. All of my recommendations today are authored by her because she’s had much of a profound effect on me (and I have read LOTS of parenting books).

You can learn more about Sally at sallyclarkson.com or utilize my affiliate links below and add one of her books to your collection. You’ll be a better mom/person because of it!

Educating the WholeHearted Child is all about Christian homeschooling. Every feeling I ever felt about homeschooling but could never put into words was said in this book and more. The Clarkson’s walk us through what it means to set the foundation for biblical learning and across all subjects. They share scriptures to explain how they came to each recommendation and suggestion.  If you’ve been wanting to influence your child’s heart and mind, you’ve got to pick this one up!

The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart for Eternity is about understanding our roles as mothers. I don’t need anyone to tell me how to parent but J could always use someone to remind me on the overwhelming days that it’s going to be alright and to find the joy in my role. This book does that for me. Being able to fully understand that magnitude of my job as a mom causes me to look at everything day to day task differently.

The Lifegiving Home invites us into the things that make the Clarkson family unique; their family culture. I don’t naturally sit around and intentionally think about what culture I’m creating for my family but after reading this book I did and still do. What kinds of music, art, literature, food, routines, and rhythms do you create for your family on a consistent basis? What are their outcomes for your family? What can you stand to be better or more consistent with? This book has all the answers!

The Ministry of Motherhood is about understanding your purpose and what you’ve been called to do as a mother. Sally asks:

What purpose do you think God had in mind when he designed the role of mother? Have you ever specifically considered that, in becoming a mother, you have actually been called to a ministry? In what way does that concept change how you think about your role? Read Psalm 127: 3—if possible, in more than one translation. What does this verse imply about the ministry of motherhood?

I read Psalm 127:3 and noticed that my kids are a reward from God. How do we act when we receive a reward? We get excited, we share, we express gratitude, we don’t complain about how much time and energy it requires. Right? Oh, I could go on and on about how many eye-openers we’re in here for me. Sometimes even when we do something well we can stand to be better and Sally calls us to do just that.

Please grab these books and your favorite drink because you’re in for a treat! Be sure to let me know which ones you’re especially excited about and once you’ve dived in come back and share your takeaways with other moms like you.

If you haven’t already downloaded my Empower Your Children E-Book, grab your copy today.


My Top Ten Teaching Tools

As a successful educator turned homeschooler the Back to School season is like Christmas! The scent of fresh notebook paper and the sound of my electric pencil sharpener brings a smile to my face. As I’m making purchases for our school year stocking up on materials is critical (especially those crayons which seem to evaporate in our house).

Today I wanted to share my top ten teaching tools so YOU can stock up too.

*This post contains affiliate links which means I get a small percentage of commission from your purchase at no additional cost to you. 

#1 My Laminator

I use the Swingline laminator almost every day. As a mom of preschoolers, I’m constantly making file folder games, reusable worksheets, and learning sets that I need to last. Laminating my sheets just lets stuff last longer around here! Don’t forget to grab laminating sheets as well.

#2 My Binding Kit

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Proclick Binding Kit. This one has two “workbooks” that I can create with 25 pages each. I originally purchased these to use in my business for creating my curriculum workbooks but they serve twofold in our homeschool life as well. If you find something you want longevity for over the course of a unit, use these!

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The Beginner’s Guide to Teaching with Google

The Easiest, Quickest Way to Teach Anything

As a teacher, I get tickled trying various teaching tools. I started overthinking my course offerings trying to keep up with the Jones’ and their cool high tech gizmos. I would spend a lot of my time learning the new tools and scrolling through tutorials and training on how to use the tools. Once I became a mom of six I had to find a way to streamline my work to still produce courses quickly. In the past few months, I’ve been using Google and I love it!

Why Use Google

Here’s why I use Google for everything:

  1. I can access my files from anywhere. Whether I’m at the park with my kids and have a great idea or I’m sitting at my desk logged in I can pick right up where I left off!
  2. It’s simple to use. No long time to learn how to use each program, it’s very easy to use.
  3. It’s easily convertible. I can easily turn my Document into a PDF and email to whomever I need. I can add it my collaboration folder for my team or send it to Google drive and share with my subscribers.
  4. I can work offline. If for any reason I’m in an area with terrible reception or don’t have access to the internet I can still work on my documents.
  5. I can use voice to type. This really increases my productivity because I like talking better than typing!

Continue Reading »

What is a Cultivator and How do I know if I am One?

Recently you may have heard about my podcast The Called to Cultivate™ Podcast with Regina Coley or heard my invitation to join the Called to Cultivate™ Community and thought to yourself what is a Cultivator™? A Cultivator is a person who educates, empowers, and enriches the lives of others. A Cultivator can teach, speak, or write but it’s through this that s/he challenges others to dig deeper so they can grow.

I wanted to coin a term that accurately explained my heart’s work and the hard work of so many others. So the Cultivator was created!

Who Do Cultivators Cultivate?

Anyone you feel called to serve! It can be your own children, your co-worker, or you can organize and lead a group. Cultivators have a heart for service and helping others to reach and achieve their goals through teaching, writing, and speaking. As it relates to me I cultivate parents and educators on this blog but I serve young women and girls in the community. I find opportunities to teach in everything I do.

Teach

A great Cultivator loves to educate people. You can do this through speaking or writing. You can engage, inspire and motivate your students to learn. I truly believe everyone has something to teach but there are select few that are gifted to teach. In our community, we discuss both types of teaching and support you on the path to discovery for both styles.

Inspire

A great Cultivator loves to inspire people. You wake up every day with a desire in your heart for people! You want to encourage people to strive for their very best. You want to serve as a role model for younger people and an aspiration for your peers.

Create Change

A great Cultivator works to create change. I mean your ultimate goal is to make a difference. You don’t feel at peace knowing that there is something that can be done when you see a need. You are typically the initiator and are full of vision.

Am I Describing You?

If while you read this your felt a leap in your belly you may be a Cultivator! If you are wanting to step into this work then you’re definitely in the right space.  You can hear more about the Cultivator movement in these places:

Called to Cultivate™ Podcast

Called to Cultivate™ Community

Schedule a Clarity Call with me

Sign up for my list to get access to more resources

Watch Teaching Tuesdays to Learn How to Be Fearless and Create Change In The World

Teaching Tuesdays with Regina Coley is a new web resource for parents and educators to have access to tools to teach your children! Every Tuesday you will discuss a new strategy and tool you can learn to use to create change in your children’s attitudes, academic skills, and skill set. We’ll discuss how to overcome overwhelm and build confidence in your ability to teach.

Teaching Tuesdays with Regina Coley will be featured on Facebook LIVE Tuesdays at 11:00 EST/10:00 CST. Our first episode is scheduled for Tuesday May 15, 2018. I’ll be giving away a FREE gift within the first ten minutes of the show. To enter into the running be sure to share this post on your Facebook page and comment below!

www.facebook.com/motivather 

Question: What topic do you want to hear discussed on Teaching Tuesdays?