Thursday, September 11, 2014

Family Dinner Night

National family dinner night is September 22, 2014!

Sports practices, PTA meetings, late nights at the office -- with multiple schedules to juggle, many families find it difficult to sit down together for dinner. It may not seem significant, but eating together as a family can give your child an advantage in many areas. Before you head to the drive-thru or sit in front of the TV for your next meal, consider the impact of sharing a meal with your kids. Studies show that the following are benefits found with only 3 meals shared as a family each week:

1. Improvement in Healthy Eating
2. Curb in Risky Behavior
3. Improved Academic Achievement
4. Strengthened Family Relation-ships

Friday, August 29, 2014

Learn a new language!

Have you thought about learning another language, or encouraging your child to learn one?  It can be a truly enriching experience.  Some reasons to learn a new language include:

1. To converse with friends and family that speak a different language.
2. To understand music, movies, and TV shows in another language.
3. To gain skills for a job.
4. To become smarter!
5. To ace a class in school.

One of the best websites I know of for learning a second (or third or forth) language is, which is absolutely free.  Currently you can take courses in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Hungarian, Swedish, Turkish, Russian, Polish, and Romanian.

Check it out!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Online Learning for Kids and Adults

Does anyone in your family have a desire to learn from home on your computer?  There is a pretty awesome website called Khan Academy where you can learn (for free) a world of information in different subjects like math, science, arts and humanities, test prep, even computer programming.

From Wikipedia: Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan to provide "a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere."

Here at BHF we use the website specifically for math tutoring, and the results have been excellent.

Children of all ages can benefit from the wide variety of math lessons offered, from basic to complex problem-solving.  Twenty minutes of study a day can go a long ways toward improving skills and staying ahead in school.

Adults with some free time may also be interested.  Perhaps now is the perfect time to take art history basics from the comfort of your couch.

Check it out at

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Late Summer a Good Time for Paper Airplanes

Are you about out of ideas for summer crafts?  Perhaps your summer travels have come to an end, and you find yourself back at home with your child as they prepare to go back to school.  Just because summer vacation is wrapping up doesn't mean the fun has to!

One very simple activity you can work on with your child is making a paper airplane.  It's simple and yet can provide hours of entertainment.  Which design flies the farthest, the fastest, and can it do tricks?

You could fill a bucket with paper airplanes and drop them from a height just to watch the mayhem that ensues.

This helpul wikiHow article outlines several methods for making a paper airplane, and includes links to more complicated designs, like ones that do loop de loops.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

12 Clever Tricks to Regain Your Cool Quickly

Have you ever lost your cool around your child and felt bad about it later?  If someone in your family is acting out, it seems all too easy to become upset and resort to anger and shouting.  Keeping calm is important in such situations.  If we can respond reasonably in the heat of the moment, positive outcomes are much more likely.

Here are 12 tricks that can help you keep your cool:

1. Breathe in, tense, and release your muscles as you exhale.
2. Roll your shoulders.
3. Squeeze something.
4. Suck on something sweet.
5. Chew gum.
6. Say how you feel, using "I" statements instead of "you" statements.
7. Find a pressure point.
8. Talk low. Talk slow.
9. Drink a glass of water.
10. Smile.
11. Turn the lights down.
12. Walk away.

These techniques are explained by Dr. Cameron Caswell in much greater detail in the article at this website, so check it out!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kindermusik in the Car

Do you like music?  Do you like to listen to music with your kids?  How about in the car where we so often find ourselves?

From Kindermusik:
How many hours do children spend with their families in transit? A lot! The average American spends 2.5 hours per week or 130 hours per year in the car. Imagine using that time to benefit our students.

A recent research study proves the family car is an excellent space for fostering musical development and family togetherness.
Visit the following link to receive a code for 5 free songs from  There is also a PDF with 10 fun musical learning activities to give you helpful ideas for those car rides.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How to get your kids excited about walking

Walking is an excellent form of exercise that has significant health benefits, and can be enjoyed at almost any age.  But getting kids excited for a walk is another story of course.  What are some ways parents can convince a child to tear themselves away from the latest video game and enjoy some time outdoors?

First, don’t call it a walk!  Don’t ask “Shall we go for a walk?” Say, “Who wants to explore the forest?”

Also, children love places with lots to look at and things to clamber over: dunes, trees, streams, beaches.

Another idea is to give your child a cheap camera and get them interested in two things at once, photography and outdoor exploration.

For more helpful ideas that can get kids excited to be outdoors and moving, visit the following website: