Monthly Archives: March 2014

12 reasons every pregnant woman should consider a midwife

There are still people out there who believe if they use a midwife then they MUST have their baby at home. Not true, my friends. You can have a midwife and deliver your baby in the hospital or at home. Your choice.

During my pregnancies with my first 2 children we were under the care of midwives. It was the most amazing experience for all of us.

My daughter was born via c- section after 32 hours of active labor (she was stuck) and the midwife was in the operating room with me.

My son was born (vbac) naturally and my midwife was there supporting us the entire way.

Weather you are planning a natural birth or have medical complications that call for a c- section your midwife will be there to support you every step of the way.

Here are 12 of the many reasons every pregnant woman should consider a midwife:

1) Having a baby under the care of a midwife is statically safer.

2) Midwives are women. I don’t care how great a male doctor is, he DOES NOT know what it is like to be a woman and to be pregnant

3) You have access to your midwife 24/hours a day, 7 days a week.

4)Midwives will come to your house for the first week after your baby is born so you don’t have to leave the house when you are tired, sore and feeling gross.

5) The regular appointments are 30 minutes to an hour! Each visit. That gives you all the time you need to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have about your pregnancy.

6) Midwives let the whole family be as involved as you want in the appointments, labor and delivery

7) You have the choice to deliver your baby at home or in hospital. Your baby, your body, your choice.

8) Its free (in Ontario) to have a midwife care for you

9) Frees up doctors time to help sick people

10) Midwives deliver a lot more babies than a doctor does, there for have far more hands on experience

11) A midwife will access all the extra services you may need during your pregnancy and delivery

12) Midwives spend years in university studying only pregnancy, labor, delivery and newborn care. They then complete a long internship in midwifery care. They are the pregnancy and baby experts.

Below are some great links with statistics and information on midwife care. Some include midwife care in a hospital, some home births and some combined.

A short survey for homeschoolers to complete by Kristan Morrison, a researcher of alternative forms of learning.

The survey takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Please share with other homeschoolers. Katie

My name is Kristan Morrison and I am a researcher of alternative forms of learning.

I have written about the Albany Free School, unschooling families, and democratic education in general.

I am also the board president of  a contemplative/progressive school here in SW Virginia.

I am absolutely committed to exploring and chronicling the work of educational pioneers.

I am currently working on a research project about unschooling families- particularly their roles in facilitating their children’s learning as well as their roles in greater societal change.

I have developed an online survey that I am using in order to get some basic information, but also to set up some contacts for some narrative interviews (via telephone).  The survey can be found here:

If you would rather not do the survey and go straight to an interview, that is definitely do-able as well.

Simply contact me at:

or (540) 831-7120

and we will set up a time that is most convenient for you!

Thank you so much in advance!

This 2 minute video will show you what its like to have autism.

1653765_10152065043308791_523728391_nYou need to watch this video.

Even if you don’t have a loved one with autism or haven’t met anyone (yet) with autism you need to watch the video.

The next time you see a child who looks “normal” out in public or at home having what looks like a temper tantrum think of this video.

They could have autism.

They might not be the “spoiled brat” who isn’t getting their own way.

Some people think that an autism parent saying “my child is over stimulated” is an excuse for bad behavior. Watch the video. You would be over stimulated too.

The next time you think an autistic child should behave and live up to YOUR standards remember this video.

Watch it over and over until it sinks in.

How would you feel if every moment of your life was like this?

Wouldn’t you be entitled to some quirks, needing to withdraw and the occasional meltdown?

Food allergies or not you need to read this article

As the mother of 2 children with food sensitivities and an adult living with multiple food sensitivities I loved this article.  Like so many other parents of children who have special dietary needs, I have been there.    

Many years ago, when we just started the food sensitivity journey
Many years ago, when we just started the food sensitivity journey

Even if you are fortunate enough to have dodged the food allergy bullet, you still need to read this, as the number of children diagnosed with food allergies and sensitivities continues to rise.

Montessori at home (for all children) starts at your front door

I have an early childhood education diploma, I am a trained Montessori teacher with 19 years experience working with children of all ages and I am a parent of 2 special needs children.

Parents often tell me they love the Montessori philosophy but are unsure how to incorporate it into their home on a daily basis.1195428982602793815ryanlerch_put_on_shirt.svg.hi

I am here to help.

To think like a Montessori teacher, you need to first understand and respect that every child is a natural learner who  thrives on order and structure. Children need freedom within limits and learn from the people, big and little in their lives.

This starts right at your front door and can begin as young as 18 months old.

It is very important to teach your child to be responsible for their belongings at an early age. When your toddler reaches 18 months old install a few low coat hooks at your front entrance. Make sure the hooks are low enough that your child can reach them, no higher than shoulder height.

Here is the most important step. Get down to your child’s level and show them with their own coat how to hang it on the hook, in slow deliberate movements.

You don’t need to talk, too often parents spend 90% of their time giving a lecture to their child instead of just showing them how it is done. Children learn from hands on experiences not by someone talking their ear off. Plus 10 seconds into your speech you have lost the child’s interest.

Now let them practice hanging their coat up and taking it off the hook. Children as young as 18 months can learn how to do this and as silly as it sounds they will love being independent  doing this activity. They watch you hang your coat up and anyone who has spent time with a toddler knows how they love to copy the people in their lives.

If your front entrance is a safe place, let them practice as much as they want. Your child is perfecting a skill you just taught them and young children thrive on repetition.

Before you know it you will have the first  toddler on the block who enters their house and hangs their own coat up unassisted!

Wait, don’t stop there! When your toddler has mastered hanging their coat up move on to another skill such as taking their coat off,  unzipping a zipper, shoes on and off and so on. Allow your child to bring their coat, mittens or clean shoes into their playroom to practice, learning a life skill like getting dressed is so much more important and healthier then sitting in front of a TV.

Be sure to teach each skill one at a time and in the same way: get down to the child’s level, make slow deliberate movements and minimal or no talking.

The toddlers I have worked with have been able to get dressed independently, including snow pants, mittens, hat and boots by the age of 2-2.5 years old and they could all zip their zippers on their own by their 3rd birthday.

These skills were all taught in little lessons like I mentioned above and allowing the child tons of time to practice. Obviously when you are late for work , in a rush or the child is tired it is not the best time to teach a new skill. Teach these new skills when you have the time to teach it and when the child will have time to practice. If you child masters these skills but is pokey at getting dressed send them to get dressed before the others to allow them ample non-rushed and stress free time to get their things on independently.

Here is a Montessori video presenting how to zip and unzip a zipper. Note how slow and deliberate the movements are. I know most people don’t have a zipper dressing frame at home, simply use your child’s coat .  I just wanted to show you how easy “presenting” an activity in a Montessori way can be.

Here is a video on the easiest way to teach a child 18 months and up how to put their own coat on. Just make sure there is enough clearance (walls, other people ect) around them.

Subscribe to my blog or like my facebook page for more easy and helpful parenting tips.

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” Maria Montessori

How to get your child to leave the playground (or anywhere fun) without a fight

Imagine, you have waited all week to watch your favorite show.

You get comfortable on the couch and within minutes you are totally engrossed in your favorite TV program.

You are half way through the show and at a crucial part of the program when suddenly someone comes in and says “time to turn this off” and the TV shuts off!

You may be feeling angry, upset, frustrated, confused, sad or all of those feelings.

This is how children feel when they are playing at the park, with a favorite toy or watching a movie when a parent out of no where says “its time to stop”206783_10150169558833791_2491797_n

I see it all the time at the park, play-dates, indoor playgrounds and the swimming pool.  Children having a fantastic time until its time to go then all hell breaks loose. You’ve got a child screaming, on the floor rolling around and refusing to leave. The parent tries to bribe, threaten or convince the child that its time to go but nothing  works.

Soon you have a parent who is flustered, frustrated and looking like they are going to drop to the floor for their own tantrum.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

I have worked with children of all ages including children with special needs for the past 19 years and I am going to share the secret of how to get your child to accept transitions without a fight. Personally I have yet to see a child who doesn’t respond to this technique, either the first time or after a few consistent attempts.

The first thing to consider is if you are going to take your child to an indoor playground, park or somewhere exciting that they don’t usually get to visit, let them have a long time to enjoy it. 229586_8918718790_9739_n

It’s a horrible tease for a child to get to visit a park for 5 minutes then go home.

Now here is the big secret, we call it the count down and that’s exactly what it is, a count down.

Depending on your child and how much transition time they need it can be either 5 or 10 minutes, or longer, you know your child the best.  Some children I have worked with are fine with 5 minutes, my son who is high functioning autistic needs 10 minutes.

Five minutes before you need to tell your child to stop what they are doing, you simply get their attention and say “Five more minutes until we: leave, stop, tidy up, get ready for bed and so on”

That’s it, no arguing. If the child starts to argue, ignore it.

This lets them know that the activity is coming to an end but they still have 5 more minutes to finish up.

At four minutes repeat “four more minutes until we…..”

Do the count down for each minute.

Until you get to “its now time to leave”

Most children will respond to this the first time, some children need a few practice attempts. This will work with children 18 months and up.


You might think I am going to look silly calling up to the top of the indoor playground every minute but trust me this is much better then carrying a screaming child out of there when its time to go while getting dirty looks by other parents.

PS. If you are in a hurry and try to skip numbers, some children will notice and be very upset.