Would you believe this post started with an email? Gwen Payne wrote to ask if she could write an article to help the parents of kids with special needs. It’s not easy to raise children, but it’s even harder when they need more from you. I said absolutely, and this is what she wrote. I hope it helps you and your kids.
Making Time for Self-Care for Parents of Special Needs Kids
As a parent of a child with special needs, you know just how important it is to care for their emotional health in addition to their physical health. For many parents in your position, though, it can get exhausting to constantly give care and rarely receive it. According to research, 66% of working parents experience burnout — and this figure might be even higher for parents of special needs kids. In order to be the best parent you can be, it’s imperative that you make time for self-care. This article will help you find ways to take care of yourself and prevent parental fatigue.
Part 1: Recognize Your Roles Outside of Parenthood
It’s easy for any special needs parent to become absorbed by their role as a caregiver and forget that they have other interests, too. This is especially true when you’re battling parental fatigue and burnout. If you suspect that you may be fatigued, consider whether you’re parenting effectively — or whether you’re satisfied with your parenting. If you don’t feel that you’re at your best, this may be an indication you’re dealing with fatigue.
To combat it, consider what roles you have beyond your role as a parent. Are you a musician? Craft enthusiast? Writer? Reader? Tapping into other aspects of your identity can help you achieve a sense of balance that’s often lacking for fatigued parents of special needs kids.
Making time to invest in your other interests can be challenging, though. As you pursue a self-care plan, you may find that you struggle to seek help from your support system without overburdening them. To avoid this, you should simply be straightforward in your communications and ask your friends and family to set clear boundaries.
Part 2: Invest in Your Mental and Physical Wellbeing
Another way to assess your level of fatigue is to consider how much physical exercise you’re getting. In many cases, a lack of exercise can contribute to fatigue — especially for special needs parents who are tasked with daily caregiving. It’s important to make time for exercise and ensure you maintain a quality diet, too, in order to prevent physical exhaustion.
Of course, your physical health isn’t the only aspect of your wellbeing that necessitates care. You must also tend to your mental health in order to take care of yourself. It’s not uncommon for special needs parents to experience anxiety and depression, but an online therapy service can help combat these symptoms.
You can take advantage of the convenience of virtual therapy by scheduling an online appointment. This allows you to consider a wide variety of licensed providers, eliminate the need for travel, and pay less than a traditional therapist would charge. You may even be able to take advantage of a free consultation to ensure that your new therapist is a good fit.
Part 3: Don’t Get Burned Out on Caregiving
Caregiving of any kind is an arduous task. When you’re taking care of your special needs child, though, it’s an especially difficult responsibility. Feeling fatigued doesn’t make you a bad parent — it simply means that you’re human. You can mitigate this fatigue by investing in self-care, eating healthily, getting enough exercise, and scheduling an online therapy session. These steps can help you regain a sense of balance that will ultimately make you a better parent.
This post grew too long . . . so I broke it in half. The first half is about putting together a blog.
Now the new second half . . . it's about taking that blog and converting it into a vlog.
Converting a Blog Post into a Video: A vlog is just like a movie or a television show . . . it starts with a script. I don’t have to stick to it, but it guides me from the beginning, to the end. I usually pick the blog that’s up next, but not always. This time I picked an old post from August of 2017. I needed an easy button this week.
Step 1 –Putting Together a Slide Show: That’s what I started on today. This is the screenshot for the whole post – The Search for Zero Gravity. It’s short and sweet, but it still takes time. I usually go back and forth between writing the script and making the slides, but I can’t. Not when I’m writing this post at the same time. It’s too complicated . . . too many moving parts. I needed an easy button for this one.
I start each vlog with a question about the topic. I’ll add in another sentence or two. Then I introduce myself. I’ll tell you a little about me and why you should tune into this vlog.
Next, it’s time for the slide show, with the title and the 1st image from the blog. This is my 1st draft, for the 1st slide, but it didn’t make the cut. Why not?
The title’s too big. I checked . . . I went into zoom to see how we looked together. I screenshotted it (below), and it’s too big!
Here are three screenshots of what it looks like to edit slides. The 1st has the title, too big. The 2nd is about right, but I usually go in/out of zoom a few times until I’m happy with it. The 3rd – I’m ready to move onto the next slide.
I wanted this pair of images from the original blog post for the 3rd slide. I took a screenshot, cropped, and pasted them into the new slide. I changed the title and checked on zoom to make sure we looked good together. It’s a process! It just takes time and patience.
This pair of images came from the original blog post. I wanted it for slide #3. I screenshotted, cropped, and pasted them into the new slide. I changed the title, then checked to see how we looked on zoom. It’s a process! Give yourself time, and a little patience.
This is a screen shot of that 3rd slide. If you look at the left side, you’ll see the seven slides that make up the vlog. Almost done!
Step 2 – Putting Together a Script: It’s not pretty, like the slides are, but the script is key to a good vlog. This is a screenshot from the new one, on zero gravity. I caught the last sentence from the 1st paragraph, and all of the 2nd one. That’s where I introduce myself to the audience. It’s a first draft, the worst one. I’ll go back and make changes when the script’s done.
Take another look at the screenshot. Do you see the sentence in red? That’s my note for what to say or do. This one tells me to go into my slideshow. That teeny-tiny picture is the first slide you’ll see.
Look down below the large print, and you’ll see two paragraphs in small type. I copied and pasted them from the original blog. I’ll type them back in large print, and I’ll simplify as I go. I want to make my video feel like I’m really talking to you. (Note – It’s still the first draft, the worst one.)
Here’s that same page again, but the letters are all the same size. When I print out the script, bigger type is way easier for me to read.
I also use short paragraphs. Sometimes I go off script, and when I do, those short paragraphs help me find my place again.
Finally, look at the bottom of the page. Can you tell when I should click and move onto the second slide? (The answer – after I say, “remembered to get a picture.” The proof – there’s a mini slide below it.)
This is a screenshot of how I end my vlogs, with the same basic last five slides. This one’s from my last vlog, Christmas in July. The first invites you to listen to the vlog again. The second, to check out the original post. The next two slides take you on a scavenger hunt across the buttons on my website. The final slide says goodbye, and it invites you back next week.
PS – I do change the slide titles . . . as needed.
This is the last slide I create. I go into my digital playground on Facebook. That’s where I’m the one and only member. I paste in the original blog link and get back a copy of it as a post. It’s a great trick to test-drive your content.
Step 3 – Revision: This isn’t pretty either, but it’s key to making a good video. With 3 pages, or more, it takes time, but I still revise everything! I use narrator to listen to the script. I make at least three rounds through the words to make sure I’ve said what I wanted to say, that I said it clearly, and that it sounds good to my ear.
For the vlog I listen to the script paragraph by paragraph. I change the first one that’s off. Then I go back and keep listening until that paragraph is clean. Then I move onto the next one, revising until it’s bug-free. I keep going until the first page is done. Then, I listen to the first page as a whole. Would you believe I always find a few small things I want to change? Or that I won’t leave page 1 until it’s done?
Then I move onto page 2. I do it twice until it’s clean. I repeat this process on each page until I reach the end of the script. When I’ve reviewed each page twice, I do one last round with the whole script. This time I listen from the beginning, all the way to the end. If I make a change, I only repeat that paragraph. When I finish that 3rd round, I’m happy with what I’ve said, and how it sounds. At some point – you have to move on. The rule of 3 rounds of revisions makes me feel like I’ve done the job, to the best of my ability.
Step 4 – Video Taping: I video tape my script and power point on zoom. But first, I practice going through the whole thing at least one time, from beginning to end, without hitting record. I may have gone through the script 3 times already, but this is the first time with the script and the slide show together, so I practice again.
Sometimes I catch mistakes in the script or in a slide. The vlog is a lot longer than Saturday Reads, at least 3 pages long. So one more practice really helps me learn how/when to move the slides. It doesn’t make me perfect, but it makes me feel more confident about doing the video. Confidence makes everything easier. It’s easier to make a vlog now from the beginning to the end. That’s because of all the time and practice I put into them. The result – confidence!
Step 5 – Social Media: I do 3 rounds of it, just like I do for Saturday Reads, but I’m a day behind. Round 1 – on Friday afternoon I post my announcement for Sunday’s Vlog on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s like a free commercial – something I do to get your attention.
Round 2 – I’ve gotten in the habit of taping the video on Thursday or Friday. I tape Saturday Reads on the same day as the vlog. That way I only have to do the prep work once. BTW – the key to a good video is making sure you have good lighting when you tape. Once I’ve trimmed and saved it, I schedule it on Facebook Meta, unless I’m at the lake. When I’m there I try to time my Meta scheduling with when I’m in town . . . the internet’s better!
Round 3 – The video goes live on my Facebook business page Sunday at 4. As soon as it’s live, I copy and paste it on my personal Facebook account, on Instagram, and Twitter. Then I’m done! Finally! Until Sunday night when I start thinking about my next blog to convert, and my next book to read. It’s my writing circle of life!
Have you ever wondered how I put my Sunday Vlogs together? They all start with a blog post, and here’s how they start.
Part 1 - Putting together a Blog Post: Like all good things, they grow out of an idea. Then I search for images to illustrate them. I have two examples for you to see. Pick one or look at both.
#1. The idea and images for zero gravity.
#2. The ideas and images for lost/devastated and found/grateful. Link:
Part 2 - Writing the Blog Post: Once I have my idea and the images, I write the post. It’s like typing from one picture to the next, like connecting the dots on a road map.
Sometimes I add or delete images. Other times I need to do a little more research before I can write. That usually means googling things like, ‘What is zero gravity?’ or ‘How do I find something I’ve lost?’
#1. My Blog Post – The Search for Zero Gravity
#2. My Blog Post – From Lost/Devastated to Found/Grateful
Part 3 – Scripting Saturday Reads Videos: I wrote about it first, because it’s shorter. It’s only one page that I have to get ready by Saturday at 4PM. My Sunday Vlogs are much longer, usually 3-5 pages, but the process is a lot alike . . . I write a script, revise it, video tape, post the video on Facebook, and then put out the word on social media.
The two big differences – 1. I pick a book that matches my Sunday Vlog. 2. I don’t have to prepare a power point slide show. All I have to do is share the book . . . it has all the pictures I’ll need, and more. I’m not allowed to read the whole book . . . because of copyright.
The Blog Post – Putting Together Saturday Reads for You
The idea for this post came in an email from Laura Mitchell. She represents cellphonedeal.com, and that’s where I found this link, and this image. She asked if I’d share it with you. My answer . . . with pleasure! Link: 13 Awesome Uses for Your Old Smartphone (cellphonedeal.com)
Part 1: Four great ways to use your old smartphone.
1. A Music Player – Who would have thought you could recycle/reuse your phone as a record player or iPod? I didn’t! You can also use it to listen to audio books or podcasts. That way you can save your smartphone battery for something else.
2. An e-Reader – If you use your old phone as an e-Reader, you can always have it charged up and ready to go. Best of all, it’s old so no one else will borrow it!
3. A Spare Camera – Who doesn’t need one, that fits in your pocket? I didn’t realize cell phones had better cameras than some of the ones you buy in a camera shop. Another plus – you can buy accessories that will fit your old, recycled camera. If you keep them altogether, you’ll be ready for your next photo-op!
4. A PDA or Digital Calendar – I had to look up PDA . . . it’s like a palm pilot from the 90’s. They worked like a little computer, but you could carry them around. They probably became today’s smartphones. Digital calendar . . . now that one I understood. Who knew an old, outdated phone could be so useful!
Part 2: Four more great ways to reuse/recycle your old smartphone.
5. A First Phone for Your Child – Here’s another way to reuse your old phone and save a little money. Kids only need basic features for their first phone. Your old one might be a perfect fit for them. Just do yourself a favor . . . double check that it’s kid-friendly before you pass it on to them.
6. Backup Storage – Need extra storage that you won’t lose, like a thumb drive? Try using your old phone. You can keep files, videos, or photos on it. It’s a great place to store data, and it’s easy to get to.
7. A Universal Remote – I didn’t know smartphones could control the TV, but my daughter did. She added an app that put me back in control. Guess what?! Your old phone could do that for you and your family too.
8. A Gaming Device – Have you ever had your phone die because someone was playing games on it . . . Maybe, it was even you! Did you know you could use your old phone as a Gameboy, like back in the day? Try it out, and you’ll have a great new way to play the latest online games. And, your new phone will still have a charge!
Part 3: The last five ways to reuse/recycle your old smartphone.
9. An Alarm Clock – My phone wakes me up. It’s simple, and it works well. It can for you too, whether you use your old phone, or a new one.
10. A Back-up Phone – Back in April I really wanted that extra phone. I lost mine somewhere in the airport on my way home from Texas. It took 2 days to return and get a new one. I felt lost without any phone. I spent the third day making sure all my apps worked again. Having a back-up would have made everything easier!
11. Emergency Phone – It sounds just like a back-up phone. The biggest difference between the two – an emergency phone must always be charged; in case you have to make that call.
My husband and I don’t need an emergency/back-up phone. A better idea – to give our old phones to seniors, like parents or relatives. It could be a lifesaver, if they know how to use it properly.
12. Donate it – There are some great services out there that will accept your old phone. My local funeral home collects them, then sends them overseas so our troops can phone home to their families. That’s a great cause!
Important Warning – make sure you delete all your information from your phone. If you’re not sure how to do it, check the link from cellphonedeal.com. List item #12 will tell you how to do it.
13. Donate its Processing Power – I hadn’t heard of this, but the link from cellphonedeal.com had some apps that can and will use the processing power of your phone. It’s wonderful to know that your old phone can help someone in need.
In 1965 a song came out about Henry VIII. I thought Henry was the king who’d had 6 wives. This Henry, but I was wrong.
I just looked up the song and reread the lyrics. It turns out the song’s Henry married a widow from next door, and she’d married seven other Henry’s. That made him the widow’s eighth Henry.
Here’s the cover from that 1965 song. It hit #1 on the US charts, and it was the fastest selling song in history, back then.
It’s still one of the shortest songs in chart history. That’s because it only used the chorus. There are actually three verses, but Herman’s Hermits didn’t use any of them. I guess they wanted their song short and snappy.
The Hermits skipped the verses, but they kept the Cockney accent from the original song. It was written back in 1910. Their Henry is pronounced Enery, with three syllables.
Would you like to hear The Hermits? Click this link.
Link: henry viii i am song - Search (bing.com)
Would you like to learn more about the song, Henry VIII? Click this link.
Link: I'm Henery the Eighth, I Am - Wikipedia
Photo Source: By MGM Records - Stereo Gum, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62053039
School’s out for the summer, and it’s lovely – more time for vacation and family – But it can also make it harder to get things done. If you need a little help, here are four tips from Justin Bennett. (@HealthyFit.info). I hope they’re just what you need.
Having a baby or toddler makes life exciting and exhausting. However, working from home while managing your children presents an additional layer of challenges. If you are looking for ways to be successful when working remotely while taking care of your kids at the same time, follow these four tips.
1. Rely on Others
Having a support system makes a huge difference when it comes to taking care of your kids while working. Your partner, family members, friends, and neighbors are all excellent resources when you need someone to watch your child.
Sit down with your husband or wife and make a weekly schedule; it should note who watches your children and when. Do your best to include some child-free work time for yourself.
Maybe there are a few days during the week it would be helpful for someone else to watch your child. Perhaps you need someone on standby for extra busy days. Talk to people in your support system, and see if any of them can tend to your kiddos on a regular basis or as needed.
2. Reorganize Your Processes
If you are a company employee, over time you have probably gotten into the habit of doing things a certain way. Taking a step back and reevaluating your processes helps you realize there are faster options that save you time.
For example, maybe your inbox is a mess, and you have simply gotten used to it being that way. Making a few teaks can make it easier to manage and track emails. Search online for articles and videos with helpful recommendations for reorganizing your inbox.
If you are a freelancer, you have more flexibility with revamping your processes. Maybe you need help tracking your income. Instead of sending a generic email to customers as a bill, better track the amount and accuracy of payments using free tools. Check out this invoice maker. This allows you to create professional invoices that feature your logo and brand. Simply select from a variety of pre-built templates, and customize your invoice with your brand colors, business name, logo, and other important information.
3. Stock Up on Toys and Books
Whether your kiddo is stationary, sitting, crawling, or running, having items to play with helps him or her stay busy while you work. Set up a play area in or near your office so you can monitor your child.
Fill the area with kid toys, books, and games. Wash the toys on a regular basis to prevent germs from spreading. Stock up on toys without spending lots of money by shopping at thrift stores and garage sales.
4. Make To-Do Lists
Many people find their lives run smoother when utilizing checklists. According to one article, 96% of those surveyed felt their lives were better when they used to-do lists.
To prevent personal and professional tasks from slipping through the cracks, make a to-do list at the beginning of each day. Check items off as they are accomplished. Create other to-do lists throughout the month, such as bills or chores lists. As needed, add tasks from these indexes to your daily list. This ensures big-picture items are not overlooked and get tackled during the week.
While working remotely gives you more freedom, you need to take intentional steps to make sure your job and your little ones are tended to. Following these four tips brings balance to your workday while still loving on your children. Visit Rinda Beach for more.
I spotted this on one of my Private Facebook Groups, and I saved it to share with you. It made sense to me because I’ve done all of these things, tried to quit, and found myself going back there again. Bad habits, they’re hard to break!
When I went back, my source had disappeared. I did a reverse picture search and found the original site on Tiny Buddha.com. I’m glad to give them credit.
1. Trying to please everyone – Have you ever felt like this? Like everyone wants a piece of you, and you just can’t say no? You don’t have to be a doctor to feel this way. It happens to everyone, even kids.
I’m a retired teacher, and I used to feel that way all the time. I had kids at home and at school who needed me, and I tried to help everyone.
The result . . . I burned out. You can’t take care of everyone, if you don’t take care of yourself. Sometimes that means you have to say no to someone. Just make sure it’s not always YOU. Sometimes you need to say yes to your own needs and wants. If you’re happier, everyone around you should be happier too.
2. Fearing Change – No one likes it. Change is hard, but it’s inevitable. Everything changes. Kids do . . . they grow from babies to toddlers to high school graduates in the blink of an eye, and they’re excited about it. As a parent, I felt torn between being happy and sad.
Fear needs to be handled like anything else. I look for opportunities in it. Sometimes what I fear actually makes my life easier. Look at elementary age kids – no diapers. No terrible twos. It was my favorite time with my three kids.
Losing a job/failing to find a new one – those are hard changes to make. When I’m in the middle of one, I look for silver linings. I wait for them. I know they’ll come, but I have to be patient and wait them out. You can too.
3. Living in the Past – You have no choice. You can’t stay in the past. It will quickly become the present, and eventually the future. Nothing stays the same forever. I’ve been a kid, an adult, a mom, and now a grandma. Each stage had things that were wonderful, and awful.
That’s life. It’s interesting that #2 fearing change, and #3 living in the past can be the same. You have to change to move into the future. For me, the trick is to minimize what’s awful. Then I look for silver linings. There are opportunities out there. Sometimes you have to look for them. Sometimes you have to work, and make them happen.
4. Putting Yourself Down – Are you harder on yourself than you are on anyone else? Me too. It’s important to be honest with yourself, but you also need to give yourself a break, the kind you give other people.
I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’ve learned to forgive myself when I fall short. It’s hard. It’s easier to forgive someone else.
My advice – Put yourself up. Recognize one thing you’re doing well. You have to believe in yourself to get things done. Put downs can stop your forward progress.
5. Overthinking – Do you examine every angle before you start something new? Thinking through consequences is a good thing . . . unless you freeze and can’t move forward.
I overthink things, but I’ve learned to balance it by looking for problems, and then coming up with solutions. If they don’t work, I make a new plan. Life is about problem solving, not perfection. I want to enjoy both the journey, and the challenges.
My Summary – I’ve given you a list of don’ts, but I’d rather finish up with things to do.
1. Please yourself. If you’re not happy, no one else will be either.
2. Examine change. Look at it closely. Does it fit you and your style? Adjust as needed. You don’t have to change, for change sake alone.
3. Live in the present. Learn from the past, and plan for the future, but enjoy the here and now. No one is guaranteed tomorrow.
4. Compliment yourself. Celebrate what you do well, and what mistakes can teach you.
5. Make a plan and test-drive it. Correct as needed. Remember detours can be a good thing.
My grandkids have given me a couple of book ideas, but I never thought my grandmother, Rinda Hoskins Wilson would inspire one. I never met her, ever. She died when my mom was two. Then I read a book, and my grandma inspired this blog post, and eventually a story, I hope.
Part 1 – A Mentor Book Gives Me Inspiration: This book is beautiful, inside and out. It’s a grandma story I found for Saturday Reads, but I didn’t read it. Why not? The story wasn’t about my grandmother.
It was about the author’s, or one she’d heard about. Suhalla, the main character, asks her Mama what her Grandma Annie was like. It’s funny, I’ve always wondered about mine too.
Mama answers. She tells Suhalla how Grandma loved the moon. How she’d help anyone who needed a hand. Then the most amazing thing happens . . . Grandma comes down the ladder to Suhalla’s window, and they have an adventure . . . on the moon!
It’s a lovely story, but it doesn’t have my grandmother in it. I tried to find her, but I couldn’t. I was hoping somehow, through the power of story, I’d see a tiny piece of her.
Then a few days later I got an idea. . . . Why not write a grandma story about mine? I don’t know where it’s going, but I have to flesh it out . . . Story magic keeps nudging me to figure it out.
Part 2 – The Search for Inspiration in Two Old Blog Posts: Inspiration is the spark, but it needs fuel to grow. My only source right now is two old posts I wrote about her, but it’s a start . . .
When I moved to the lake, I also found three stories my mom had never heard about a switch, a rabid dog, and a handkerchief. If I’ve made you curious, here’s the link to those stories:
One of my cousins sent these two photos after I published the first post. I’d never seen them before. The first one is my grandmother, grandfather, and their four oldest children. My mom and her brother Don aren’t there . . . They weren’t born yet.
The second one is my Great Grandfather George’s family. He was a widower with two daughters. He married my Great Grandmother Mary, and they had two little girls and two little boys. They’re in the light-colored clothing. Grandma Rinda’s on the far right. Mom said I looked like her when I was 7. I think it’s because she fixed my hair that way for school pictures, on purpose.
This post, Tracing Rinda’s Roots, took me backward in time. I followed my grandfather’s family back to 1772 when they left Scotland. Here’s the link: http://www.rindabeach.com/blog/tracing-rindas-roots
Part 3 – Finding a Story for Me and My Grandmother: Here are the two of us together. Now my challenge – to find a way to put us into a story together.
It’s funny, the last thing I wrote in my July 2017 post was a bucket list. I said stories have a way of finding me, and that I hoped to find a few from visiting the past. This one came from a Mother’s Day picture book that didn’t make it into Saturday Reads. It feels like Story Magic’s giving me a prompt, again.
To develop the story, I’ll need to ask myself a few key questions.
* What kind of book should this be? A picture book, chapter book, or middle grade?
It depends on the story and its audience.
* Who’s the best audience for it? A young child or a teen?
* How will I find my grandma? Will I see her in the mirror, hear her whisper in the wind, see her in the clouds, or find her in my dreams? Any of these are possible.
Maybe I’ll combine them, or maybe there’s a better idea I haven’t thought of, yet.
* What’s at stake for me/my main character? What do I get if I find grandma?
What do I lose if I don’t?
For now . . . I’ll let my ideas marinate . . . until I can find my way into the story.
I hope it’s soon, for Me and My Grandmother.
This is how I imagine reading aloud . . . an adult, a couple kids, and a book. I used to read to a whole classroom of kids. I miss it now that I’m retired . . . until I thought of Saturday Reads.
I tried reading Twenty-One Steps like I’ve always done, but reading in a video isn’t the same as reading live. I felt like I was the star, and it should always be the book. Then I remembered eBooks. I can read them on zoom. I’m tiny, and the book is the star. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Step 1 – Picking the Book: On Sunday afternoon I post a new vlog. By Sunday night I have the next post picked for the following week. Coming up – Leaving on a Jet Plane – Surviving the Bumpy Ride. It was about my trip home from Texas. How it took me two days to get back to Ohio, when it was supposed to take one.
Once I pick a post for the vlog, I look for a book that’s on topic in The Ohio Digital Library. Sunday night I searched planes. I didn’t like the fictional picture books, but I found three nonfiction ones. I checked them out, read all three, but kept the one that was just right.
This is the book I kept. It doesn’t talk down to kids. It has great information about how planes and helicopters work. AND, it shows how they’re alike and different.
Step 2 – Writing a Script: I always use a script when I make a video. I don’t have to read it word for word, but it keeps me on track with what I want to say. I write a single page for Saturday Reads.
I start with a question about the topic. Add in another sentence or two. Then I introduce myself. I tell you a little about myself, the book I’m reading, and why you should stay tuned. Next I transition into the book itself. After reading, it’s time to say goodbye, time to invite you back for Sunday’s vlog and for next Saturday’s Read.
Step 3 – Revision: I revise everything! I use narrator to listen to the script. I make at least three rounds through my words. I want to make sure that I’ve said what I wanted to say, that I said it clearly, and that it sounds good to my ear.
Step 4 – Video Taping: I video tape my script and book on zoom. But first, I practice going through the whole thing one time, without hitting record. Even though I’ve gone through the script 3 times, I still practice.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught a mistake, something I thought was in the script, like a sentence, but I forgot to write it in. Or maybe it was a slide that was in the script, but I forgot to make it.
Practice helps me move from slide to slide, from page to page. It also helps me transition from Zoom to the book, and back out again. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it sure helps me do my very best Saturday Reads for you.
Step 5 – Social Media: The final step! I do 3 rounds on social media. On Thursday afternoon, I put out an announcement on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the title of Saturday’s book, plus a little more. Think of it like a tease – something to get your attention so you’ll tune in.
On Friday or Saturday depending on my schedule, I tape the video and put it into my business Facebook account. On Fridays, I schedule it for Saturday at 4. On Saturday afternoons when I’m running late, I let it go live as soon as Facebook processes it. Usually it takes at least 30 minutes. If I’m at the lake, I head to McDonald’s to schedule it. The lake is heaven, but the internet stinks.
Once the video goes live on my business page on Saturday, I post it on my personal Facebook account, Instagram, and Twitter. Then . . . I’m done! Sometime Sunday night I start thinking about my vlog for next week, and a book to match. By Monday . . . my book is checked out.
Summer’s coming! No teachers! No homework! No school rules! It’s a kid’s favorite time of year! For parents, it depends . . . on if your kids can find things to do that don’t get them, or you, in trouble. TV is an option, but there are others. Better ones. If you need some, here are 15. If you’re feeling anxious now, here’s the link for some options, AND their illustrations.
Link: 15 Things You Could Achieve Tonight Instead Of Watching TV (cablecompare.com)
Marci from Cablecompare.com sent me this idea a month ago. My plan – to share their link with you. Then to write about their list with my own unique retired teacher spin. My advice, ask your kids what fits them. Then let the summer flow. Do what fits your family. Change it up when needed. Then you’ll all have a better summer. Blink . . . and it will be over! Summer always goes way too fast.
Reading, Writing, and Artwork (#1, 2, 5): You could do these together or separately. With my examples, don’t worry about perfection. With my 2nd graders, if they marked a word, I’d correct the spelling. If they didn’t, I’d let it go. The important thing is that your kids enjoy what they’re doing. You don’t have to do one every day, unless your child wants to. One a week is enough! Feel free to switch them up. Variety is the spice of life!
Example 1 – Join a summer reading program – record your books in a journal/calendar/sheet of paper. It doesn’t matter. The journal part can be as simple as writing the title and I love this book/hate it/because. Add an illustration, and you’re done!
Example 2 – You could sign up for something like Storyworth, the one you’ve seen on TV. Let your kids interview you, write it up, revise, and illustrate it with their own artwork or by selecting photos. If they’re not comfortable writing, you could do it, and let them help you revise it. They can listen to it on the computer on an ap like narrator, or they could listen to you read it out loud. They’ll hear the things they want to change, which is what you want them to do. Remember, perfection is over-rated, especially when it comes to kids.
Example 3 – Write letters to a relative or a friend. If they answer, it’s a bonus. Everyone loves getting mail!
Take a Walk and Get Fit (#3 & 4): If you’re walking, that’s getting fit for me. It doesn’t have to be walking around the block. Example 1 – It could be walking along a beach, through a museum or the mall, even a toy store.
Getting fit doesn’t have to be calisthenics every day. Example 2 – Kids need to play whether it’s a team sport like soccer or baseball. A backyard game counts. So does an afternoon at the pool or swimming classes. I’d even count a playdate at a friend’s house.
Summer is downtime for kids. School pushes them to meet standards, to pass achievement tests. They need a break, and a break that’s fun. Summer’s coming, and the biggest thing I wish for you . . . is FUN!
Here are 5 more things you can do instead of watching TV. Thank you, Cablecompare.com!
Link: 15 Things You Could Achieve Tonight Instead Of Watching TV (cablecompare.com)
Make Dinner, Learn Something New, Family Time, & Do Chores (#6, 7, 8, 10): Would you believe you can combine these too? Here are a few ideas. Example 1 – Think cooking! Plan a meal and cook it as a family. There are lots of great skills that are new for kids, and chores to be done from setting the table to cleaning up.
Example 2 – Learn something new. Look around your community. Places like libraries and YMCA’s offer classes, especially during the summer. When you’re on vacation, keep your eyes open for new things to try, like boogie boarding or hunting for seashells. When you’re finished, don’t forget to clean up and put things away.
Example 3 – Clean as a family. You could pick one room, or set a time limit like an hour. Let little ones help. It makes them feel big, and they learn real life skills. When you’re done, have fun together. You earned it!
Call a Friend (#9): Example 1 – How many kids miss their friends over summer vacation? This is a great way to promote social skills and to arrange playdates.
Example 2 – Don’t forget your family! They love hearing from you. You can take turns, or put it on speakerphone and let the conversation flow.
Here are 5 more things you can do instead of watching TV. Thank you, Cablecompare.com!
Link: 15 Things You Could Achieve Tonight Instead Of Watching TV (cablecompare.com)
Make Plans & Work on Them (#14 & 15): In other words, set a goal and work towards it. You could set one for yourself to accomplish by the end of the summer. You could set one as a family. Then, figure out the steps to get you there. Example 1 – If your goal is to read 10 chapter books this summer, try reading a chapter book a week. By the end of the summer you’ll have read 10 – 12 books.
Example 2 – If your family goal is to take a vacation together, then you’ll need to figure out how much your family can spend, look at places to go, pick one, make reservations, pack your bags, and go. Every voyage starts with that first step!
Some Ideas – Redecorate, Expand your Horizons, or Join a Club (#11, 12, 13): Example 1 – Set a goal to redecorate a room, like maybe the family room. The easiest and cheapest way is to change the paint color. Another small step is to watch yard sales and thrift shops for treasures. If you have a problem, like the toys are everywhere, look for storage. When you finish redecorating, you’ll have a brand-new room that everyone can enjoy.
Example 2 – It reminds me of #7, learn something new. Whatever you call it, look around for ideas. Maybe you want to try photography or crafts. The local library or art store might have something that will fit you or your family.If you go to the Y, look for sports or activities to join. Maybe even a club, like rock climbing. Keep your eyes open for opportunities. Give them a try. Even if you don’t like them, you’ll have tried something new.
Finally, remember summertime is downtime. Don’t push so hard to set goals and achieve them, that you forget to have fun. Kids grow up. Enjoy your time together. It ends all too soon. Here’s to making the summer of 2022 the best one ever!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!