Thursday, May 27, 2010

Floatie Swim Suit Safety Alert

I wrote this post several years ago, and now dig it out every year and re-post to share with people each summer.

We have an Easy Set pool at our house. It's a pretty big one, and we have floatation swim suits for our three youngest boys to wear, although we keep the pool shallow enough that all of them can walk around in it and still have their heads above water. Last year when I bought the suits the baby was one and the better quality suits did not come in his size, so I got a cheaper one, which he had continued to wear this year.
The other day the kids were playing in the pool while my husband and I sat on the deck watching them and chatting. Our youngest, who is now 2, lost his footing in the pool and very quickly was floating face down in the water. Fortunately my husband saw it right away and got to him within just a few seconds, so everything turned out ok.


The problem is that this suit was not designed to flip a child over onto their back if they needed to rely on the floatation! Our baby was helpless, face down in the water. He would have actually been safer with no suit on at all, since he would have been able to stand to his feet after losing his footing.

It only takes a very few moments for a little one to drown. I am so thankful we were right there with our eyes on the pool happenings.

We tossed out that suit and today I went and bought him one of the better ones, that are designed to keep a kid floating on their backs. Here is the difference between the two suits:

The kind that flips a child onto their back has a float in the front of the suit that is longer than the one in the back.

The kind of suit that put my baby into the pool face first is a kind that is designed for children who need a floatie while learning to swim. The floats are all around the suit and are the same size all the way around.

Just thought someone else might appreciate the reminder. Go check and see if your little one's floatie suits will flip them to their backs in their moment of need.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pressing On

While just about every homeschool mother I know is finishing up the school year and getting ready to enjoy a break, we're pressing on here. We've been utilizing Time 4 Learning for about 3 weeks or so and are finding it helpful in helping the kids cover more material than they had been, all with significantly less Mom Power required to keep it going. Also, it's fun and they are enjoying it. Even the one or two that tend to not like to do school. Instead of the usual moans and groans and avoidance tactics, they smile and say "ooh I love this one!" when they see their learning activity loading up on the computer screen. So, it's a good place for us to be, and I sure hope it keeps on working for us because it's nice to lift a few of those worries off my plate.

Since I started homeschooling I have been a proponent of the year-round schooling idea in theory, but have rarely been able to pull it off. I'm actually glad to be keeping on this time around. The kids will be continuing to move forward, instead of forgetting and then needing a lot of review time, and they'll have that built in structure to their day which helps. Too much time on their hands seems to contribute to a significant amount of bickering around here. School time is short enough that there is still plenty of time to enjoy playing, swimming, the garden, and everything else. In addition, I love it that by keeping going year round, I have more wiggle room for taking time to do other activities when the need arises. Whether it be making grape juice, going apple picking, visiting grandparents, or whatever, I like having total flexibility, so paying the piper on those school days sure helps alleviate any homeschool mother anxiety I have.

I ordered a few new materials from Timberdoodle today. I am looking forward to checking out several new resources and seeing how they work for us. Timberdoodle has been one of my favorites for probably 12 years, and I love that they keep on showing up wonderful, fresh, new resources year after year.

Are you using paperbackswap yet? I love it! It has been a long time since I had time to get books from the library and actually read and return them on the proper schedule. Now when I hear about a book I want to read I just order it (or add it to my wish list) from pbswap and when it arrives, if I don't have time to read it, I add it to my wonderful To-Read pile and don't worry about it. It'll get read when the time is right, and then I'll probably send it on via paperbackswap again.

Well, I do the same for our Sonlight books. We are doing core 4 right now and almost all of the books were rec'd through paperback swap. Once I got core 4 in hand I started collecting core 5 books through pbswap as well. Any that were not available went onto my wish list, and they trickle in as they become available. By the time I need core 5 I will order whatever I have not already obtained, and core 6 books will be coming in. Also, as I finish core 4 books I just send them back out into the world through pbswap as well. So many of those readers are easily obtained this way. I will say that one small "rule" I have for myself is that if I see that I can buy the book new from Sonlight for around $4-5, I don't usually try to get it through pbswap. Each credit basically costs $3-4 for me to ship something to someone else, so I am content to get those new, and focus on the money-saving aspect of obtaining other books through pbswap.

I obtained almost all the books we needed for core 300 through pbswap, including some that retail for around $30. I thought that was pretty great. :)

One other resource we are enjoying here is college-level DVD course from The Teaching Company. They have a huge selection of course that regularly go on sale for around 70% off. Although my two teens are not college-age yet, we decided to give a few of the courses a try. My thinking was that although some of the material may go over their heads, they would probably benefit from being stretched and introduced to some more challenging material. My 14 year old daughter is taking The Joy of Science (cost around $90 when I got it on sale) as well as The History of European Art (was around $40 on sale). She likes the art one more than the science, but I believe both are beneficial to her and are bringing learning opportunities to her that were not previously happening. I definitely plan to add more of these courses to our collection, and of course then I will have them available as the other children get older as well.