Archive for August, 2008

The Mom’s Guide to Football

Recently my husband put a window on my desktop to inform me that it is only 11 days, 6 hours, 1 minute and 11 seconds until the start of the football season. (He’s a little excited.) Married for nineteen years and five kids later, his fall preoccupation with All American football is still a puzzle to me. So, for us less informed Moms’ who have kids and/or a husband taking part in the football craze, I offer the Mom’s guide to football.

Children who play football should be of the same age and size to avoid unnecessary injury. A well managed Pee-wee or Youth Football team will also have a balanced number of coaches per player to promote one on one instruction. For more information on getting your child ready to play football, check out the article “Prepare Your Child to Play Youth Football. In this article we offer sound advice from two expert coaches to get your child’s game on!

In the game of football there are eleven players that take the field playing either offensive or defensive positions. The team that has possession of the ball is called the offense and the team defending their goal is called the defense. Each team develops pre-set game plans to get the football past the opposing team’s line of scrimmage, down the field and into the end zone to score a touchdown of six points.

There are four timed quarters in football with a half-time. When the game is being timed, the football is in motion and it is called a play. The goal of the offense is to get the ball down the field by at least ten yards within the time-frame of four plays. Achieving a ten yard advancement is called a “first down.” Critical to the success of the team is how each player executes their position during a play when the football is in motion.

The defense is made up of seven positions. Defensive players must be able to run, block, tackle and react quickly to offensive strategy. The offense is made up of five major positions. The objective of the offensive line is to protect the football as it is hiked by the center to the quarterback for a pass, handoff or running play. Offensive players must be able to pass, block, tackle, run fast and quickly see holes in the defensive strategy.

For children who want to play football, Pop Warner Football is a national youth organization with football and cheerleading leagues throughout the country. The Pop Warner organization is well known for strict age, weight and safety requirements. Children can play, parents’ can watch and, in the end, everyone who enjoys All American football goes home a winner!


Debby Hoffer

Add comment August 20th, 2008

Get More Bang for Your Buck on Back to School Supplies

It’s time for back to school shopping. Families already feeling the crunch of increased food and fuel costs are looking for ways to send their kids back to school in style, and still save a little cash. These super saver tips can help you get more bang for your buck on back to school supplies!

1. Make a back to school shopping list. Determine what your child needs in back to school clothes by going through their closet. Decide what your child can wear and what is needed to fill in the gaps. Look for clothing you can mix and match to make more outfits. Local thrift stores often have great deals on gently used brand name clothing. Consignment stores’, like Just Between Friends, are a great opportunity for back to school bargains’. You can sell your child’s smaller sized clothing and save big on back to school clothes in a bigger size.

For the classroom, you will want to create a back to school shopping list for each child. Buy basic back to school supplies such as pencils and erasers. Wait until you get a supply list from the teacher before shopping for back to school classroom supplies.

2. Budget. Once you decide on a back to school budget, stick to it. That doesn’t mean you can’t splurge on something your child really wants, you’ll just have to cut back in a different area. If you buy brand new name brand jeans, you’ll have to get no-name shirts and shoes. Don’t be afraid to say no. Adults don’t get whatever they want just by throwing a tantrum and children need to learn how to positively deal with disappointment.

3. Comparison shop. Shop smart for back to school supplies by looking through the back to school ads. Stores often have door-buster items meant to get you in the store. By hitting several different stores and buying just the door-busters, you can get more items at discounted prices. Try to find stores in one local area to save both time and gas.

4. Spread the cost. By starting early, you can not only spread out the cost of back to school, you can also avoid the crowds. Buy just what you need to get your kids started, then wait until the back to school items are on sale to finish off the shopping. Kids can wear shorts the first few weeks and short sleeves well into the fall. You can get discounted jeans and long sleeved shirts just in time for cooler weather. Scan and shop the sales racks for stuff to be saved for next year.

5. Buy quality. Good quality back to school stuff may cost a little more up front, but will save you money in the long run. Kids are especially hard on shoes. If you buy a pair now at $15, but have to buy another pair in three months, it really doesn’t save you any money. Let your kids know you expect them to take good care of their school clothes and back to school supplies so that they will last through out the school year.

Get more bang for your buck on back to school supplies at Dollar Days

Get great parenting tips at Child N Parent

By: Megan C. Wallgren

Add comment August 13th, 2008

Stay Organized for Back to School Success

We all have our own childhood memories of “Back to School.”  Getting on the bus for the first time, meeting the new teacher, being a little scared of the big kids and trying so hard to remember how to tie those shoes! These smart tips will help you and your child stay organized for back to school success!

Keep track of your child’s back to school activities and school life in your personal organizer.  Designate an electronic or written page for each child.  Put their name at the top and jot down important information such as birth date, social security number, doctor information, special interests, close friends, friend phone numbers and last school attended.

Having information handy will save you time during back to school registration.  Keeping track of friends will help in scheduling play dates and meeting other parents. Tracking an older child’s likes and interests will allow you to provide effective guidance when choosing electives.  As the school year gets rolling you can keep track of teacher names, classroom numbers and school schedules. This will help you effectively plan future doctor appointments as well as family vacations.

Keep important school papers organized with a basket/file system.  Buy and designate a metal basket for each child.  Have your child hang up their backpack when they get home and put their school work and any parent notes in the basket.

Go through the parental paperwork daily and calendar any field trips, events and volunteer work.  Clip corrected papers together and put them in the bottom of the basket.  Keep homework and work in progress projects to the top so your child can work on them and put them back as needed.

Have your child lay out their school clothes the night before and transfer any completed homework to their back pack.  Your child will learn organizational skills and you’ll both have a less hectic morning trying to get out the door.

At the end of the week, go through the corrected papers with your child and determine which ones are most important to save.  Put them in a memory book, or buy a sturdy file box and file the papers under the school, grade and teacher name.  The file box is nice as you can keep important paperwork such as birth certificates, social security cards, immunization records and official school records all neatly filed in the box.

Staying organized, completing homework on time and keeping up with parental paperwork will help both you and your child have a year of back to school success!

For back to school supplies:  metal baskets in all shapes and colors at Stacks and Stacks     Best back packs Consumer Search   Great files boxes for organizing and staying on top of the back to school paperwork at msn shopping:

For parenting tips on home schooling, ADHD and  children’s health go to Child N Parent!

By:  Debby Hoffer

1 comment August 8th, 2008


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