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Great Books at Any Age

HAPPIFAMLI

Great Books at Any Age

Lyndsay McLeod, Contributing Writer

August 28, 2018

HappiFamli has compiled a list of books that are sure to get your children excited about reading and maybe even provide you with a bit of quiet time for yourself. Here you’ll find a balanced mix of “oldies but goodies” that you may remember reading in your younger days, along with some new ones that are proving to be instant classics. It’s never too soon to start cultivating a love of reading in our children so peruse the list, pick a winner, and enjoy!

OK mammas, let’s talk about books.  Have you ever noticed that reading a good book is like taking a mini vacation? The story unfolds between the pages and the clamor of the outside world is muffled by the enchantments of an exciting new narrative . Sounds nice, right? It’s possible that not everyone feels the way I do about getting lost in a good book, but we are about to change that.

Ever at your service, HappiFamli has compiled a list of books that are sure to get your children excited about reading and maybe even provide you with a bit of quiet time for yourself. What more can you ask for? Here you’ll find a balanced mix of “oldies but goodies” that you may remember reading in your younger days, along with some new ones that are proving to be instant classics. It’s never too soon to start cultivating a love of reading in our children so peruse the list, pick a winner, and enjoy!

Ages 0-2

  • Moo, Baa, La La La! By Sandra Boynton
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
  • The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
  • Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

Ages 3-5

  • Press Here by Herve Tullet
    Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Suess Fire!
  • ¡Fuego! Brave Bomberos by Susan Middleton Elya

Kindergarten – 2nd grade

  • The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak
  • A Tale of Two Beasts by Howard Hughes
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  • The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

Third grade-5th

  • How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
  • I Survived by Lauren Tarshis
  • The Magnficent Maya Tibbs by Crystal Allen
  • Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  • El Deafo by Cece Bell

Middle School

  • I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  • The Spinner Prince by Matt Laney
  • Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
  • The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
  • Calling All Minds by Temple Grandin

High School

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Nanny vs Day Care

HAPPIYOUNGSTR

Nanny vs Day Care

Rebecca Cole, Cofounder, Mom

August 21, 2018

In my business I get asked all the time my thoughts on a nanny vs child care centers.  My answer is that there is no right answer.  Every family I work with is different and each has very specific needs and wants.  Here are some things to help you understand what might be best for your family.

In my business I get asked all the time my thoughts on a nanny vs child care centers.  My answer is that there is no right answer.  Every family I work with is different and each has very specific needs and wants.  Here are some things to help you understand what might be best for your family.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What is your ideal child care group like?
  • What do you most value?
  • What are your biggest concerns or fears?
  • What will our schedules really look like?
  • What is our budget for child care costs?

Child Care Centers:

      PROS:

  • Typically open 10-12 hours/day, five days/wk
  • Provides year-round care
  • Regulated by state and have state inspections at least once per year
  • Multiple caregivers make arrangement more dependable
  • Many times have more space, equipment, and toys
  • More formal, organized activities
  • Structured environment

     CONS:

  • Not as much individual attention
  • Higher turn-over rate for caregivers
  • Higher caregiver to child ratio than other forms of care – Texas requires a staff to infant ration of 2:10 maximum.  Most child experts recommend looking for centers that provide ratios of 1:4 or 1:3.

     TIMING:

  • Waiting lists for infants can be over 1 year long, so ideally you would be researching and visiting child care centers as early as possible, even towards the end of your 1st trimester.  Preschools can also have extremely long wait lists, so start your searches early.

     COST:

  • For Travis County, the average cost of infant care at a child care center was $814/month, with top centers in the $1200-$1600/month range.  This is as much as UT tuition!!!

Nannies:   

     PROS:

  • Care in your own home
  • More control over routine, activities and kind of care child receives
  • Very individualized attention
  • May provide more flexibility.  Easier to find care for evenings & weekends than other options

     CONS:

  • Can be most expensive option (typically $15-$20/hr)
  • Texas does not regulate or license nannies.  You (or an agency) have to do all of the screening.
  • Will need back-up child care plan for caregiver vacation or sick days

     TIMING:

  • Start looking for a nanny 6-8 weeks before you need them to start in your home.  This will give you time to screen applicants, call references, do in-person interviews, trial days and background checks.

 COST:

  • Nannies in Austin typically charge $15-$20/hr.  For a 40hr work week, that is $2400–$3200/month.
  • Nanny taxes are also required to be paid to the IRS, and families are responsible for employer taxes.  Nannies are considered household employees NOT individual contractors.

I hope this helps!  If you need more personalized service, HappiYoungstr does offer one-on-one child care consultations to help families navigate the confusing world of child care and determine what solution is best for them.  See more at http://happiyoungstr.com/for-parents.asp

 

Cute 1st Day of School Pictures

HAPPIFAMLI

Cute 1st Day of School Pictures

HappiFamli, Senior School Correspondent

August 14, 2018

 Do you take pictures of your kids on the first day of school? We have a couple of cute ideas for you to try.

Do you take pictures of your kids on the first day of school? There are a lot of cute signs out there that you can print out that says “First Day of _____” (insert the new grade). We have a couple more cute ideas for you to try as well!

Get your child a tee shirt in an adult size (like adult medium or large) that says the year the will graduate from high school (example: Class of 2030). You can find them on Amazon or Etsy. Take a picture of them wearing it (it will be hilariously huge on them at first) every year on the first day of school through their senior year of high school. It will be so fun to look back over the years and see how much bigger they get. Hopefully the shirt fits them by the time they graduate!

Get a chalkboard and write down some of your child’s favorite things (their favorite meal or friends or hobbies). Also write the date and what grade they are entering and photograph them next to the chalk board.

One more cute idea is to have them hold up their favorite book in the picture. It will be fun to remember what they were reading each year and see how well their reading progresses.

We hope you have a great school year!

Back to School Checklist

HAPPIFAMLI

Back to School Checklist

Addie Gross, Contributing Writer

August 7, 2018

Some great ideas for a Morning Checklist to print out and tape to your front door, as well as a list of things you might want to consider getting done before the school year starts.

My son started kindergarten last year. In our excited rush to get him there on time (and get some pictures in front of the school of course), we forgot to have him use the bathroom one last time before we left the house. Luckily, he didn’t pee his pants and we were able to use the bathroom in the front office before any accidents happened, but could you imagine if things hadn’t worked out so well? That very day, I immediately went home and printed a checklist of things we need to remember to do every school morning. I taped it right to the front door so we could check the list before leaving the house every day. Here are some ideas for a Morning Checklist to print out and tape to your front door:

  • Make bed
  • Use the bathroom
  • Eat breakfast
  • Brush teeth
  • Brush hair
  • Wash face
  • Get dressed
  • Shoes on

In addition to printing out a Morning Checklist, here are some more things you might want to consider getting done before the school year starts:

  • Fresh haircuts
  • New shoes/clothes (lay out first day outfit so it’s ready to go)
  • School supplies (ready to go inside backpack)
  • Fall sports/lessons
  • New backpack, lunch box, and water bottle
  • Stock up on school lunch and snack foods
  • Make sure homework stations at home are set up (fresh paper, pencils, staples, etc).
  • Plan a special back-to-school breakfast
  • Make sure you clear enough space on your phone to get those back to school pictures! And charge your phone the night before!
  • Set your alarm to your new wake up time. Bonus points if you practice going to bed and waking up earlier a couple days before school starts to get everyone into the new routine.

Good luck and have a great first day!