Easter presents a problem for many parents, especially natural moms and dads. This annual event often means Easter baskets full of chocolates, candies, and other sweets that are sure to send your child on a week long sugar rush. You cannot go into a conventional store this time of year without seeing all of the goodies. Who isn’t even momentarily tempted by those adorable little marshmallow puffs shaped like little chicks? Well, actually cute as they may be I am not tempted but I will take a second look at those little coconut nests with jelly beans in them.
So what is a natural mom to do on Easter Sunday? Well, luckily one of my favorite online stores, the Global Exchange has quite a few Easter options for you to choose from:
Kid’s Easter Basket – The ultimate fair trade easter basket for kids of all ages. This is a hand woven kaisa grass basket filled with chocolate Easter eggs, a handknit Easter pin (choose either a bunny or a chick), two Divine Milk Chocolate bars, a bag of Dagoba Chocodrops, a gift box of egg shaped chocolate covered brazil nuts, a handknit Easter bunny ornament from Peru, three Artbar chocolate bars, and a wooden bunny pencil sharpener, hand carved and decorated with natural dyes.
Fair Trade Easter Action Gift Pack – Each bag is filled with the following goodies: a 12 piece chocolate Easter egg gift bag with an adorable bunny or chick pin, one Global Exchange dark medallion, one Global Exchange two-piece chocolate creme filled confections, chocolate covered brazil nut gift box, peace Papel Picado (traditional Mexican party streamers), 12 fair trade Easter action coloring postcards.
Make Your Own Chocolate Kit – This all inclusive kit includes: Fair Trade chocolate with certified organic cocoa butter, cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar, starter crystals, a temperature indicator, paper candy liners, instructions, and the rainforest story of chocolate. Each box makes eight ounces of dark chocolate!
San Francisco’s city council voted Tuesday (March 27, 2007) to become the first U.S. city to ban plastic bags from large supermarkets to help promote recycling. Under the legislation approved by the city’s Board of Supervisors, large supermarkets and drugstores will not be allowed to offer plastic bags made from petroleum products starting in six months. All of this is being done to reduce the amount of plastic bags being consumed and ending up in our landfills and to encourage recycling. Since the city estimates that they use 181 million grocery bags every year this move represents a huge environmental movement. Thumbs up San Francisco!!
Perhaps now is the time to be proactive yourself and stop using plastic bags. It is really not that hard to convert to reusable bags, especially when there are so many stylish options out there. When I made the move to reusable grocery bags I decided to buy a dozen sturdy canvas totes and then I used iron on transfers to decorate the bags with cool environmental graphics. There are also some great options available at one of my favorite online stores…ReusableBags. Just check out the market basket pictured here…gorgeous AND eco-friendly.
Minerals work synergistically with vitamins to regulate hundreds of essential functions within the body. Like most vitamins, minerals come from the world around us. Our bodies are not capable of producing them so we need to aquire them through a combination of supplements and food.
You may wonder why we just can’t get them ALL from food but things like soil erosion, chemical fertilizers, and poor crop management have all contributed to a depletion of minerals in the soil, which translates to fewer nutrients in food. You will likely need supplements to pick up the slack. So which minerals do you need the most?
Iron – It is a cofactor in energy production and it plays a central role in transporting and storing oxygen and in creating a healthy immune system.
Chromium – It enhances the function of insulin, a vital hormone that regulates blood sugar. It also plays a positive role in bodies suffering from obesity, arterial plaque buildup, glaucoma, and elevated cholesterol levels.
Magnesium – This mineral is required for more 300 functions in the body. It supports muscle and nerve function, a steady heartbeat and blood pressure, immunity, healthy bones, energy production, and protein synthesis.
Zinc – It is necessary for more than 300 different enzyme functions and a strong immune system.
Education is the number one priority in this country, yet we have seen more and more deterioration of schools in the last ten years, than any other time in history.
This is due in part to the consistent and often times unnecessary reorganization of schools; change in curriculum; and, most importantly, oversized classrooms which thwart the educational process.
Add to this peer pressure, gang related incidents and violence; neither of which is conducive to the learning environment. Therefore, the question: Is homeschooling right for your family? happens to be a valid one. Lets explore some of the issues you need to consider about homeschooling.
Is it cost effective for you to homeschool your child? Depending upon your city, you may be able to avail yourself of the many materials needed either through your local school, community or library. Studies have shown that homeschooled children show far better results that attending regular schools. If both parents currently work outside the home, its likely one of you will have to quit your job to home school.
Teaching your child at home, while in a comfortable and non-threatening setting, allows the child to work at his or her own pace. However, keeping up with the curriculum standards is important as well. A great deal has been mentioned lately regarding the amount of time a child spends from the moment they awake until they finish their homework at night. It is estimated they put in more than 10 hours a day. Homeschooling can alleviate the stress of traveling to and from school and lack of sleep, to a more relaxed learning environment wherein the child will be able to rest easier, and retain most of which he or she has learned.
While homeschool is a decision the entire family must make, since one parent will have to stay home every day to ensure their childs educational progress is on track; there are other things to consider as well. If there are other children a parent has to care for, it may be difficult to conduct learning sessions, and may require bringing in someone to care for the siblings every day.
Testing is another consideration. This also depends upon state regulations and test requirements, especially if the child is going to college. Check with your states educational policies to determine what tests if any have to be conducted and under what conditions. You may want to look into online schools your state may have so that this concern will be addressed.
Finally, you and your family must sit down and thoroughly go over all of the necessary items you need; if homeschooling is affordable for you; if you have the time, patience and commitment to see it through; and be willing to make whatever sacrifices are necessary for the sake of your child. Once you have answered all of these questions, you can then answer the next question with certainty: Is home schooling right for your family?
If you want more information about homeschooling check out the NatureMoms Homeschool Resource Center