Healthy, Sustainable Mediterranean Lenten Diet for Special Needs Kids

Obesity and weight problems plague many special needs kids. Disabled kids can't always get exercise. Mentally impaired kids tend toward sedentary activities. Kids with allergies or dietary conditions struggle to get adequate nutrition. That's why I recommend families with special needs children follow a Mediterranean diet. It's healthy, easy to follow and helps with weight loss. Eating a low-sugar, mostly meatless diet rich in vegetables helps with ADHD, ADD and learning problems. I think it could even help kids with autism--even if it doesn't, eating right certainly can't hurt. As a Catholic, I give up eating meat for Lent and follow the Mediterranean Diet for the rest of the year. I'm not a vegan because I eat fish, but I do nix most dairy (except yogurt) and eggs. I call it the Lenten diet and like the Mediterranean Diet, it centers on eating fresh produce in season, alternative protein sources, fish and sustainable, locally-produced foods.  How We Eat Local, Healthy, Sustainable with Mediterranean Lenten Diet

Free Printable Astronomy Lessons, Astrology Activities

As a teacher and homeschool mom, my winter lesson plans revolve around science themes. With the holidays over, it's a good time to explore physics, earth science and biology themes. Why not check out these printables for your students? The Detroit Science Center closed in 2011 and has since reopened late in 2012 as the Michigan Science Center. The center website offers free printable lesson plans and activities. Teachers, homeschool families, kids and parents will love the science-themed coloring pages, puzzles, games and learning extensions. Here are lessons on astronomy and educational astrology from Michigan Science Center's Dassault Systemes Planetarium. These lessons work well for special needs students because they are hands-on. Astronomy Lesson Plans, Astrology Activities

Best Preschool Toys, Learning Materials for Special Needs Kids

As a teacher and mom, I insist on educational toys and gifts. I don't want a lot of junk toys cluttering my home or classroom. As educators and parents (parents are kids' first and primary teachers), we need to choose toys with educational connections. Special needs kids particularly need hands-on, interactive learning activities. This article was written to help people choose gifts for holiday and Christmas giving, but the tips apply to any toy buying. Here are low-cost, high-learning toys and gifts for preschool special education kids.  Educational Toys, Gifts for Preschool, Special Needs

Free Online Home-School Curriculum

As an educator, I well remember the old days of creating worksheets with "mimeograph" and "spirit-master" ditto machines. Back then, cut and paste was a literal, not digital term. And who could forget when "laminating" consisted of fighting with a huge sheet of Contact Paper? It stuck to everything but the thing you were trying to cover (unless you got it crooked; then it stuck too well!) Thankfully this generation of educators won't get duplicating chemical buzz. Thanks to cricut machines, no more tedious hours cutting out 100 construction paper pickles (don't ask!). The new-millenium have a handy little gadget called the Internet. But for some reason, many educators don't avail themselves of the wealth of resources. Perhaps their administration is too 'curriculum-bound'. Maybe they believe that Internet materials are too expensive. Well, happily, there's a plethora of free printable materials available. So whether you're a general or special needs teacher or homeschool parent, you can create an entire complete curriculum using these printables and online websites. Read more

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