Creating Inviting Spaces with Your Little Ones

When my sweet friend, Misty sent me a Marco Polo (a cool video app) asking my opinion on her child’s playroom, I thought it would be a good idea to share my thoughts with all of you on creating inviting spaces for your little ones!

Everyone is worthy of feeling as if they belong, especially our children and most definitely in their own home. Before you begin designing an inviting space for your children, I suggest you get on your hands and knees and crawl around your home. YEP, literally get on your hands and knees. Spaces look so different from a child’s eye level. Ask yourself, how do things look and feel from that level. Are there enough “small” areas for your children to work, play, discover and explore?

  1. Work – Children need small ways to contribute to the family. They need work. Create spaces for their belongings on their level. Have a drawer for their cups, plates, utensils, and special cooking items. Have a bucket with basic cleaning supplies and cloths. Place hooks low enough so that children can hang up their own coats. Creating good habits at a young age pay off.
  2. Play – Children are meant to play. How easy is it to say YES to their ideas for play? Less is definitely more in this area. Children do not need 20 containers full of toys in a playroom. During the early years it is likely that everything that is in a container will end up dumped on the floor, all at once. Buy quality toys and items that inspire open-ended play. This is more engaging for the child. I suggest you keep it basic. Some quality blocks, some arts and crafts materials, something that inspires pretend play (dress up, kitchen, baby dolls, etc..) and a cozy corner with books. Put everything else in a large plastic bin and keep it for a month. During that month, move anything your child asks for into a different bin. Whatever is left in the original bin after a month, donate.

3.  Discover and Explore- Kids need permission to get outside in search of discovery and exploration. Do you have a space for them to do that? Do you have materials such as nature journals, pencils, binoculars, and bird/flower books to inspire them? Keeping these type of items handy will help you say yes!

Creating inviting spaces is worth the time and effort! Get down on your hands and knees and start crawling around your space today!

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit TheStarMovie.com to learn more.


 

 

How to Have Those BIG Talks with Your Kids with Christy Montes

How to Have those BIG Talks with Your KidsChristy Montes is back to chat about those BIG talks.

Christy and I have had many talks with all of our kids over the years and thought you guys might benefit from hearing from us on this topic. We have done some things well, but we have messed up plenty. If you want to have a relationship that promotes open communication, start early and talk often. Some other things we suggested were:

1. Make time for each child.
2. Stay in the moment, that means put away your phone.
3. Don’t be fearful about the BIG talks.
4. Take advantage of car rides, it is a great place to talk.

This picture is of sweet Christy and her husband at a recent history night. I wonder if they had any talks in that car. 😉

5. You will make a mistake, which is why GRACE exists.
6. You will feel like your drowning in toddlerhood, know that your investment pays off later.
7. You are not meant to be friends with your young children, but if you do not invest in them when they are young, you will not be friends as adults.
8. Find a friend you trust and encourage each other through this mothering gig.

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit TheStarMovie.com to learn more.


 

Fangirling over Brene’ Brown at Catalyst (Catalyst Leader, Atlanta)

Fangirling over Brene’ Brown at Catalyst (Catalyst Leader, Atlanta)

As I mentioned last week, I recently attended my first ever Catalyst Leadership Conference.  Day one of the conference was inspiring and convicting, however it was Day two that I was really excited about. If I am being honest, the only way my business partner convinced me to attend was by telling me that Brene’ Brown was one of the speakers. Yep, I was going to that. It didn’t matter that I was hosting a big party around that time or would be packing up my house for a move the following week. BRENE’ BROWN, people. I was going to be there.

Fangirling over Brene’ Brown at Catalyst (Catalyst Leader, Atlanta)

First up on that Friday morning was Christine Caine. This woman flat out preaches. She tells it like it is regarding love and faith. She challenged us to stop talking and start doing; to make a difference, to believe big things, and live out our faith.

Next, Andy Stanley was back for more practical life lessons on leadership. Andy challenged us to think, What Would a Great Leader Do? This one really hit home as a mom. I am a leader in my home. How do I let my emotions fog my decisions? Do I lead my family to love, to accept those different from us, to step outside of our comfort zones, etc… Loved this talk so much.

JOHNNYSWIM…OH MY!!!! If you don’t know about this duo, shame on you (I didn’t either before this event ).  Johnnyswim is a lovely husband/wife music partnership. Listen to them TODAY. You are welcome.

Carlos Whittaker – Carlos put it all out there. After he showed this video of his family, he dared to be vulnerable and share some life mistakes. He referred to some of his decisions as spiders and recently wrote a book about his experience. I have such respect for this guy for taking off the mask of perfection and being real.

And…

Finally, BRENE’ BROWN. When I say that I was on the edge of my seat with excitement, I was not exaggerating. I was screaming like a 10 year old girl at a Taylor Swift concert. 

Brene’ talked about our need for belonging. She mentioned how we are hard wired for connections. She encouraged us to hold hands with strangers.

Brene’ talked about her love for Maya Angelou (I am also a huge fan) and specifically the following quote:

I am always inspired when I watch, read, and listen to what Brene’ Brown has to say. As a big believer in the WORDS matter campaign (that I am officially starting right now ), I loved when Brene’ said that WORDS are dehumanizing and we need to speak truth to BS.

Brene’ hit home with the encouragement to have a strong back, a soft front, and a wild heart. YES. Will you join me? Let’s be tough and soft and full of love!

Lastly, Brene’ dared us to BE OURSELVES, BE SEEN and BELONG.

I hope you will find time for self -renewal this year. Whether it is a conference or just a weekend trip away, take time for YOU. YOU matter! YOU are worthy!


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit TheStarMovie.com to learn more.


The Courage to Love Big

The Courage to Love Big with The Real Kathy LeeThe Courage to Love Big – with The Real Kathy Lee

Today I attended my first ever Catalyst Leadership Conference. Wow. The theme of this year’s conference is Of Good Courage. That theme rang throughout everyone’s message, but there was a sub them ringing even a little louder in my heart.

Speaker after speaker mentioned love, the courage to love, loving anyway, loving everyone, loving big and always choosing love. I was convicted. As I mom, do I show my children how to love? Will they grow up loving everyone because they were loved and their family lead with love?

First, Andy Stanley talked about the courage to stay, to leave, to get help and submit. Good stuff. Next, Jeremy Courtney rocked my world when he shared how his family moved to Iraq to love his enemies. What? Do I love my enemies? Do my kids see me loving my enemies or complaining about them? And if that wasn’t convicting enough, Jeremy encouraged us to move towards the things that scare us the most? This man gave me so much to think about and meditate on.

Speaker after speaker encouraged us to be courageous leaders and LOVE. Simply LOVE. Bob Goff, Tim Tebow, Christy Wright, and Katie Davis Majors. All shared the same idea… Face your fears, Trust God and LOVE Big.

If we get to the end  (Daniel Pink talked about good endings) of this parenting gig and our kids don’t know they are loved, we might have just failed the most important task set before us. I don’t want that to be my ending, do you?

Lean in to your family, say yes to loving them well. Let them see you have the courage to face your fears and love those that creep you out. Let them see love ooze out of you because you are a follower of Christ. He loves us, simply as we are. Let’s agree to love big!

 

 


Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

You’ve Got This! When Motherhood is Hard

You've Got This! When Motherhood is Hard with The Real Kathy Lee If you have listened to my podcast for very long, you have heard me say… You’ve Got This. You might have wondered what in the world I actually mean by that statement. Today’s podcast explains my thoughts as I share such an empowering phrase.

Motherhood is hard. We become parents through pregnancy or adoption, both are hard.  Before the baby arrives we are often exhausted physically and emotionally. Next, we stay up all night and are expected to be happy and function the next day. What? How? By digging deep, by realizing that you are making a difference for eternity. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t challenging and very lonely at times.

I suggest the following for moms who struggle believing that they can pull off this thing called motherhood:

  1. Don’t be scared to ask for help – Reach out to a close friend and share your feelings.
  2. Say YES to taking time for yourself. You won’t regret it. You and your family will be happier for it.
  3. Say NO often. Motherhood can overwhelm us, especially when we take on too many things outside the home during the early years.
  4. It is okay to have your own tantrum from time to time. I suggest going in the closet for a good cry or toddler style fit.
  5. Time flies. Try and lean in to these years, savor them. It sounds ridiculous, but you will miss the middle of the night feedings and early morning snuggles on the sofa.

 

YOU really, really do HAVE this!!

Comment on my post on FB at The Real Kathy Lee or The Homegrown Preschooler for a chance to win this journal!!!


Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

Bringing out the Master Chef in Your Child – with Samantha Barnes of Raddish

Bringing out the Master Chef in Your Child - Cooking with Kids - The Real Kathy Lee with Raddish Kids

I remember walking by this super cute booth at a homeschool conference and wondering what in the world they were selling. At first glance I noticed measuring cups, colorful picture cards and other cooking utensils. I decided to stop and take a closer look and quickly began chatting with the exhibitor at the booth. The more she talked, the more I loved what was happening in that booth.

Well, the creator of that booth and that product is on the show today. Samantha Barnes is the owner and creator of Raddish, a cooking program for children of all ages. I was so excited to have Samantha on and I asked her several questions regarding her business and her life as a former middle school teacher and cooking pro.

The Real Kathy Lee and Samantha Barnes of Raddish Kids

After Samantha told me about her kids and their new homeschooling adventure, I wanted to know why and how she started Raddish. Secondly, I wanted to know why she thought cooking was an important part of a child’s education. Next, I asked Samantha how she thought Raddish prepared future adults to have confidence in the kitchen and lastly, I wanted to know what advice Samantha had for parents who might be nervous to let their children near a stove or cooking utensils. Samantha had so many great ideas and suggestions.

Our family has used Raddish Kids and we have loved it. I shared with Samantha how my daughter Sarah would squeal when the box arrived in our mailbox each month. I especially loved that all of us could enjoy this program, from the youngest to the oldest.

Take the time to say YES in the kitchen. Baby steps go a long way and your kids (and their spouses) will thank you one day. Get cooking!!!
I know it will help you connect with your kids this week!!

In addition to having Samantha on as a guest, Raddish Kids is sponsoring our podcast this week. You can find out more about this amazing company that we have used at our house and LOVED at  raddishkids.com/homeschool. Thanks, Samantha!!

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Raddish – a cooking club and curriculum, specially designed FOR KIDS by chefs and educators! Raddish is perfect for homeschooling families! Teach thematic cooking lessons that incorporate math, science, nutrition, geography, and culture. With Raddish, the kitchen is the tastiest place to learn! Use coupon code PODCAST at checkout for $15 off a 6 or 12 month membership. Visit RaddishKids.com/Homeschool to learn more and to download a free lesson.
Check out this info pack: Raddish One Page

 

Let’s Get Organized!

Let's Get Organized! with The Real Kathy Lee

Things don’t always work out as planned, but I have learned that it is usually for a good reason. Hoping that is the case with this week’s episode. I was scheduled to talk to my good friend, Mary Ann Kohl (author and process art expert). However, Mary Ann had to cancel so I called up my buddy ASH-A-LEE in Nashville. We decided to chat about one of the topics I get asked about THE MOST, organization.

People often think that because I am the queen of “say yes” and “get messy” that I have a very messy house. Not true. Well, it CAN get messy. However, I am best when my house is organized and everything has a place. Just this week, I tweaked the organization of my pantry. See below.

kitchen organization

I shared some basic thoughts about organization on today’s episode.

  1. Find a place for everything and make that place known.
  2. Minimize your stuff. If you haven’t used it in a year, chances are you are not going to use it. This goes for clothes, shoes, toys, and kitchen utensils.
  3. Less is BEST. As parents we are guilty of thinking our kids need lots of different toys. False. Choose quality over quantity and rotate toys in and out.
  4. It is easier to say yes when everything has a place (ie – paint supplies, legos, etc…)
  5. Organizing children is easier in an organized space.
  6. Have children work together in order to free of individual time with each child. I love that Ashley sent me the following pics a few hours after our podcast. She immediately implemented some of my suggestions. Way to go Ashley!

Home Organization with The Real Kathy LeeToy Organization with The Real Kathy Lee

I hope you make time to connect with your kids today!!


THANK YOU, Raddish Kids for sponsoring our podcast this week. You can find out more about this amazing company that we have used at our house and LOVED at www.raddishkids.com. Also, the creator of Raddish Kids (Samantha Barnes) will be a guest on next week’s show. Don’t miss it!!!

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Raddish – a cooking club and curriculum, specially designed FOR KIDS by chefs and educators! Raddish is perfect for homeschooling families! Teach thematic cooking lessons that incorporate math, science, nutrition, geography, and culture. With Raddish, the kitchen is the tastiest place to learn! Use coupon code PODCAST at checkout for $15 off a 6 or 12 month membership. Visit RaddishKids.com/Homeschool to learn more and to download a free lesson.
Check out this info pack: Raddish One Page

 

How to Intentionally Connect with Your Children with Graeme Pitman

How to Intentionally Connect with Your Children - Image provided by Pitman PhotographyOOOOOHHHH, I love the show this week. Over the past year, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Graeme Pitman, creative director of The Circe Institute. As I have watched his social media accounts, I have giggled and sat in amazement at the connecting moments he has had with his three young children. I thought it would be fun to have Graeme on the show and talk about his family and the way they make the everyday moments matter.

In this episode, Graeme Pitman shares that time does matter in parenting and that quality time requires quantity time. When I watched the video of Graeme and his son Rowan talking about Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, I was thrilled to witness a beautiful conversation where a child was invited to share his honest thoughts and interpretation of the story. I asked Graeme to tell us why he made this inspiring video.

One of my favorite posts on Graeme’s Instagram account was that of his daughter belly laughing. I enjoyed imagining the conversation that occurred in their home to cause such a grand laugh. Even though his life looks picturesque on social media, Graeme assures me that they are not a fairy tale family. He insists they are just a mom and dad trying to relax and enjoy the journey.

Visit Graeme’s site to learn more about his gifts as a photographer and creative director.

How to Intentionally Connect with Your Children with Graeme Pitman - Image provided by Pitman Photography

 

I hope you make time to connect with your kids today!!

You’ve got this!

**Above Photography provided by Graeme Pitman – Pitman Photography.


Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

What If I Think My Child Needs a Diagnosis?

What if I think My Child Needs a Diagnosis?I have the coolest friends. Sometimes I forget that they are even more amazing in their careers. This is the case with my friend, Lei Rhyne. Not only did she homeschool her kiddos fro several years, is beautiful and funny, she is also a psychometrist… say that three times fast. When she mentioned to me that she helped families who saw their children struggling, I wanted to know more.

Lei Rhyne, psychometrist - What if I think my child needs a diagnosis?

In this episode Lei shares the full process involved of having your child tested and diagnosed, putting your fears to rest. She explains the first meeting with the Psychologist, the fact-finding mission that usually involves a couple of days of testing and observations and the results meeting with both the Psychometrist and Psychologist.

Lei Rhyne

I think one of the best parts about getting a diagnosis from Lei her team at Fresh Start Mind is the fact that in the end, parents will be armed with the information and tools needed to help their child succeed emotionally, socially, and academically.

If suspected that something is not quite right with your child socially, emotionally or academically, you should consider giving Lei or another qualified educational consulting team a call.

You’ve got this!


Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

Are You An Unaware Mommy Shamer?

Are You an Unaware Mommy Shamer?Have you ever been guilty of mommy shaming? I sure have. I honestly did not realize I was doing it until years later, but unfortunately that doesn’t change the fact that I did it in the first place. I hope this episode will encourage you to look at yourself and make sure you aren’t guilty of the same thing.

Lesli often tells the story of me mommy shaming her shortly after we first met. She offered me a pair of shoes similar to the ones in the picture below and I refused them because “my daughter was not allowed to wear heels.” Yep, I said that. Nope, I am not proud. Yep, it was mommy shaming.

Once I looked back, I realized that I often mommy shamed in those early years. I would proudly state my opinion about holistic medicine, homeschooling, etc… not realizing that just my tone about the subject could be harming another mom.

Mothering is a mystery. Mothering is challenging. At times mothering is flat out overwhelming. Most of us are insecure of our decisions, especially early on. I think many of us “yell” out our opinion as a cry for affirmation. Unfortunately, our opinions are often seen as mommy shaming.

If you think you might be guilty of mommy shaming, here are my suggestions:

  1. Recognize why you mommy shame.
  2. Recognize when you mommy shame.
  3. Strive to be quietly confident, only sharing STRONG opinions among your inner circle.

Mommy shaming divides. We need each other. Let’s spend our time respecting each other, encouraging each other, and loving each other.

You’ve got this!

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

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