Browsed by
Author: Kate Korber

I'm a passionate educator who loves helping teachers and parents understand how to engage our students in this digital world. I'm also a Mum who is learning to tackle the everyday challenges of being a parent of a our two year old Ella and new born son, Hudson!
Pocket Money: Give, spend, save.

Pocket Money: Give, spend, save.

Pocket money. Recently, Ella has started asking us if she can have pocket money. It’s something that some kids grow up with, and others don’t. It’s one of those things that some parents feel very strongly against, whilst others see it as a healthy way to teach children about hard work and the value of a dollar. Like all things parenting, there seem to be an endless array of rules, dos and don’ts when it comes to pocket money. As a Maths teacher, I’m really keen to teach Ella about money, it’s value, how we earn it, save it and spend it. Whilst I’m far from an expert, I wanted today to share my ideas about how to introduce pocket money, and how to use it as a healthy tool for developing numerate children.

After doing some research, I’ve discovered some consistent questions that seem to pervade the arena of pocket money. If you’ve got children then chances are that you’ve asked one of these questions at least once, possibly in recent months.

  1. At what age should pocket money be introduced?
  2. How much should children get?
  3. What should children ‘do’ to receive pocket money?
  4. What should children do ‘with’ their pocket money?

This post is dedicated towards sharing some basic ideas that have worked in our house, to help make the task of introducing money a healthy and a happy one.

  1. At what age should pocket money be introduced?

Obviously the exact age is a debatable one. Every family is different, but in my eyes, as a teacher and a mother, when children understand the concept of counting and the ability to understand the value of a number, then this is a good age to start exploring money. The ability to say a number, does not mean that they understand the number. For example, a child may know the word ‘ten’, but can they draw it in a group of collections, make it, create it, understand the numbers before and after. Young children need to understand the numbers 0-10 in lots of different ways. When a child is in kindergarten, and is able to begin showing that they truly understand single digits, then this, in my eyes, is a great time to start introducing small amounts of money.

Children are surrounded by money: in shops, supermarkets, on television. But do they understand ‘where’ money comes from? For many kids, if you ask them, they will probably say ‘from the hole in the wall’ or ‘Mummy has a card – that is money’. It makes sense that they should have some idea of the concept of money and how we use it to pay for things. Kindergarten is the perfect age to immerse them in an introduction to money and how we use it to pay for the things we want and need. It is also super important to help them undersatnd the concept of charity and giving to help others.

2. How much should children get?

In similar ways, children should not be introduced to too much money.  There are two ways that you can focus on pocket money. As an allowance (amount each week) or as individual tasks (cost per task). A good rule of thunb is to use your child’s age as a guide. If they are five years old, then exploring five dollars per week.  The most important thing to remember is helping your children to undersstand the concept of monetary amounts. Consistency is key. So if your child receives $5 per week, then they need to know what they have to do to achieve that amount. Alternatively, they need to know how much tasks are worth in order to receive that amount. Keep it simple, keep it consistent.

This simple ‘job chart‘ from Nature Mums is a fantastic tool that has become a normal routine in her household!

3. What should children ‘do’ to receive pocket money

This is always the hot topic. Whilst the tasks that your children complete need to suit your household structure and routine, there is real advice around making sure that you do not reward your children for doing everyday tasks that they should just ‘do’. This involves things like brushing teeth, cleaning up toys, using manners etc. Rewarding children for behaviours that help them to learn to take care of themselves, stay healthy and hygenic can be dangerous. These every day chores should be done, no matter what. It’s important that kids also understand the value of helping others, just because it is the right thing to do. That said, if it works in your family, go for it!

Here are a list of jobs for each age to use as a guide from Sunshine and Hurricanes

4. What should should do ‘with’ their pocket money

There are three simple rules that can help children to understand the value of their money. Give, spend, save. I always thought it was a lovely thing to teach children the concept of charity from a young age. Whether it be giving of their toys, clothes or money, teaching children to support those who are struggling is such an important concept. Spending money is something we all love doing g(some more than others!). Its so important to help children understand the idea of not spending more than you have. Giving children a wallet and taking them to a shop where they can actually spend their money is both practical and an exciting experience. Stores like Smiggle, have loads of great quality toys, stationery and puzzles that children can purchase for under $5.

Recently, we took Ella to Smiggle and she used her pocket money to buy a gorgeous mermaid purse, to store her coins. She also got some glow in the dark, scratch n sniff and colour change stickers, an insanely cool mermaid tail notebook and some classic textas. The best part is kids can see the value in actually handing over their hard earned money to the cashier, and can buy more than one thing as they are really reasonable in price!

 

Save. Even the best of us find this hard a times! Teaching your children to save a certain amount each week is a healthy habit. Whether it be a percentage, or the same amount each week, simply developing the routine of saving is key in developing life long financial health. Your child may also want something super special, so understanding the idea of putting a little amount away each week will help them to achive their goals.

I love the idea of having a simple Spend, Save, Give set of jars for children to use to organise their pocket money. You could get them to decorate them as they wish!

So whether you do or don’t give pocket money, there are no real rules that you must follow. Just make sure that you think about how your structure it so it suits your family, and develops healthy habits for the future!

One year on

One year on

Today is a day that a year ago, I couldn’t imagine coming. A year ago today, we lost our darling Dad. Suddenly. The pendulum swung, in a moment. In those few weeks following Dad’s passing I searched for answers. For someone to give me a reason why it was ‘his time’. I learned so much in that time, but most of all, I learned that searching for answers that don’t come is hard. It’s really hard. So I stopped after a while. There was no point, and it was not helpful. It’s hard on the brain to try to rationalise loss, particularly when your loved one wasn’t really ill. Whilst my Dad did have a heart condition, it was managed and he was in great shape. That moment of receiving the call, was the first time in my life where I really felt out of control. I tried to slam on the breaks and stop time. The problem is, time doesn’t stop. The sun rises, the sun sets. People get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep. Life moves on. However it is really hard for those who are left behind, wanting the world to realise that there is now a huge hole in the world. A loss that cannot be described.

I’ve found it better to simply focus on the positive. To try to laugh and smile when I think of him. To talk about him. To see his presence through everything he has left. It doesn’t bring him back, but it keeps his memory alive.

It’s been a really hard year for my family. I felt in those early days, that we simply didn’t know ‘how’ to be a family without our Dad. We have, however found our way and whilst we are still grieving each day, we have continued to laugh, continued to smile. We have stuck in there for each other. Each of us has grieved in our own way. Each of us dealing with our own feelings and trying to look out for each other. Dad would be so proud. So proud of each of us, and especially our Mum.

So this day, one year on we continue to celebrate the memory of our beautiful Dad. It’s hard because I won’t be there with my family. I WILL be with my own, flying home from our family holiday. I will toast to him on the plane. I take comfort knowing however that there will be many friends and family, celebrating and commemorating with my Mum, my brother and sisters. As my Dad would want, they will be having a Crownie which should be ‘free and compulsory’.

There are so many things I miss about Dad. When my siblings and I had to write down our love for Dad in his eulogy, surprisingly we found it easy. It was easy to come up with a million things that we adored about him. Like his infectious laugh. The kind that made him almost pass out from not being able to breathe. His clumsiness. His funny language that he made up (long story). Singing in the kitchen. His obsession with North Melbourne. His love for us all.

Dad…..a year on we still love and adore you and will continue to keep your memory alive each day. This poem was used at the end of the mass booklet at his funeral. The words speak so true to me. Now and always.

We do not need a special day to bring you to our minds.

The days we do not think of you are very hard to find.

Each mornign when we awake we know that you are gone.

And no one knows the heartache as we try to carry on

Our heart still aches with sadness and sectret tears still flow.

What it means to lose you no one will ever know.

Our thoughts are awlays with you, your place no one can fill.

In life we loved your dearly; in death we love you still.

There will always be heartache, and often a silent tear.

But alwyas a previous memory of the days when you were here.

If tears would make a staircase, and heartaches make a lane,

We’d walk to  the path to heaven and bring you home again.

We hold you close within our heartsl and there you will remain,

To walk with us throughout our lives until we meet again.

Our family chain is broken now, and nothing seems the same,

But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again

 

(aka Snake as Dad would call me)

Choose your own adventure! Netflix Interactive Stories (and a little giveaway to boot)

Choose your own adventure! Netflix Interactive Stories (and a little giveaway to boot)

Just when you thought Netflix couldn’t be more awesome: they launch their new Interactive Stories. If you’ve ever been at school, you would be familiar with the concept of ‘choose your own adventure’. The concept is a simple one. Everyone starts the story in the same place, but at specific points along the way, the reader needs to make a decision. It may be about a character, a setting or a plot. Making small decisions transforms the story, and takes you on a journey different to the next person. The one thing that traditional television has not allowed, is the ability for it’s viewers to choose the way their show evolves, unfolds and ends. Netflix has brilliantly brought this to life with their Interactive stories.

Curious? Here is a video to explain it further:

Recently, I sat down with Ella and Hudson with Netflix loaded to out iPad. Currently, they have two interactive titles:

  • Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale
  • Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile

In our house, fairy tales rule, and so it was an easy decision to choose Puss in Boots! It begins like any regular show, where the characters begin to tell their story and set the scene. However something then changes, with Puss in Boots turning towards the audience and asking them to consider how the story will be told and unfold! Puss in Boots finds himself locked in a series of stories that he needs to navigate and find is way through. It’s like a maze where the children have control.

At one point Puss in Boots finds himself in the story of Goldilocks with the Three Bears staring at him.

The viewer is asked to make a choice of whether the bears are friends or foes. The 13 different choices throughout the episode lead to two different conclusions to the show, which is aimed at children between four and six.

The shortest path through the story makes an 18 minute-long episode, while the longest route through the options creates a 39 minute-long experience.

What I love about these stories is the fact that each time your child watches it, the story can be completely different. Your children have the chance to learn how a subtle change in character, scene and emotion can lead you to a very different outcome. It helps the children develop their attention and consider how their decisions actually effect the story. They themselves become the author and have the power to be the directors of their own show.

It is a beautiful addition to the every growing Netflix catalogue. One that I know my children really adore, and I know you will too.

WANNA KNOW SOMETHING EVEN MORE EXCITING? WE ARE GIVING AWAY 4 NETFLIX SUBSCRIPTIONS!

To celebrate, I have combined forces with Netflix to give away 4 x 3 month subscriptions to Netflix for you to use!!! To enter, simply head over to my Instagram page here!

Netflix
Ella helping Puss in Boots to make a decision!
Puss in Boots is stuck in fairy tale stories and needs your help!
Interactive Stories are available on mobile devices!

 

Kazoops Giveaway!

Kazoops Giveaway!

There is nothing better than supporting Australian made. If you are reading this, then chances are you have a home with young children, and chances are you probably watch a fair bit of ABC Kids from time to time, or…every day! So it’s great to know then, that some of the TV our kids are watching is produced right here in our own backyards. Kazoops is one of those shows that you may not realise is Australian. It has, however, found a global audience thanks to broadcaster CBeebies in the UK, and good old Netflix worldwide (also translated into 18 languages including all 78 songs!)

In case you didn’t know, or realise (like me), Kazoops is an animated TV series that follows the adventures of Monty, and inquisitive six year old with a vidid imagination. He kind of reminds me of my Ella. He also has a trust pet pig, Jimmy Jones. Monty confronts preconception about the world and sets out to challenge them embarking of wild and musical adventures with Jimmy Jones. Every episode gorgeously includes its own original two minute song. Love it!

Kazoops has recently launched itself into the world of literacy, releasing a series of story books and activity books. These books retail for approximately $9.95 each and are available on the shelves of Big W, Target and Dymocks. Ella and Hudson have had the chance to check the books out for themselves, and have loved reading them and playing with them whilst they watch the show at 5.55pm on ABCKIDS. It is also available on demand via ABCKids iView.

What’s even better is the fact that Aussie pre school kids are the first in the world to have access to these gorgeous books, and two lucky readers will have the chance to win a set of four! Valued at almost $40, two winners will win a prize pack each, comprising of:

  • I am Monty Story book
  • The Night’s alright story book
  • Sticker activity book
  • Activity book

To enter this competition, please head to my Instagram account to enter here!

 

Hypoxi: The Verdict

Hypoxi: The Verdict

If you’ve been following along lately, you will know that I’ve been trialling Hypoxi. No, this isn’t another ‘eye roll’ sponsored post that seemingly promotes a brand without really seeing what it is like. I need to start by sharing with you that this is NOT a sponsored post. I AM NOT being paid to write this review. I DID receive 12 sessions free to trial and share my own, honest experience with my readers. I WAS a total skeptic in the beginning, but I was also curious. I’ve never been a dieter, or someone who has actively tried to lose weight, but since having children, and a hip replacement last year, I’ve been someone who has grown increasingly self conscious of my body. Of ‘that’ tummy and hips that ‘used’ to look toned, but alas no longer resembles it’s former self. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my body and all it has achieved / given me, but I am just starting to feel a bit ‘bleh’ and yuk about myself, how I was feeling in my clothes and just general post baby body. I wanted to do something about it, when Hypoxi came along. I wondered, what on earth was this Hypoxi business that kept popping up on my social feed?

Since sharing the news that I was going to participate in a month long Hypoxi journey, I’ve been met with many questions:

  • What is Hypoxi?
  • Does it work?
  • Is it a fad?
  • What is involved?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Does it really work?

So today I’m sharing my own experiences of Hypoxi, how it worked, what I did and how I ended up. I Could this work? Would this work? Read on, and find out my verdict!

What is Hypoxi?

In the beginning, I had no idea what Hypoxi was, what it did or how it worked. On my first session I was briefed about the science behind Hypoxi and how the mysterious ‘targeted fat burning’ worked.

HYPOXI is a low-impact exercise method that is up to 3 x more effective at burning stubborn fat than traditional exercise and it significantly reduces cellulite. Through our advanced vacuum and compression technology and healthy nutrition, HYPOXI activates your body’s natural system to burn specific areas of fat and cellulite. HYPOXI targets the stubborn fat stores around the stomach, hips, bottom and thighs that traditional exercise just won’t move easily. You see it’s not necessarily about weight loss, its about loss of cm. Toning the areas that I was self conscious about myself!

How does it work?

In my first session I was measured in several areas: stomach, waist, hips, bottom, upper leg, relaxed leg and knee. These measurements would be tracked approximately every three/four sessions. For best results it is recommended that you attend three sessions a week. Depending on the machines you use, this is approx 1 hour each session.

Step 1: HDC : Hypoxi  Dermology. The first thing you do is jump into what can only described as a wetsuit that sucks in all of the air as you lie down on a bed. Once all the air is sucked out, over 400 pressure chambers located around the stomach, hips and thighs start to lightly massage your body, similar to cupping. It feels like bubble wrap popping, and is oddly really relaxing. The purpose of this suit is to stimulate blood flow in these problem areas. It helps improve skin tone and texture and is great for cellulite. This step lasts for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Hypozi L250 Training. Following the HDC suit you then put on looks like a plastic skirt and a machine that combines an exercise bike with a laying down position. Once you lay down, the hatch is lowered over your stomach to create a sealed vacuum from the waist down. For 30 minutes you peddle at a specific RPM (mine was 55-65 RPM) and the machine applies gentle vaccum pressure to the lower half of your body. This machine targets cellulite and fat on the stomach, bottom and thighs. I found this machine very easy and did not need to use much effort to keep the pace. This is great for anyone of any fitness level. What was a bonus was the fact that I could watch television, whilst exercising, lying down.

Nutrition Rules:

Like any health plan, exercise is not the entire answer. Hypoxi combines low impact exercise with some simple nutritional guidelines to develop results. The rules include:

  • No eating for two hours post each session. Following this, no carbs for a further 2-4 hours.This is because post session your body continues to burn fat, but if you eat, then your body will burn that instead.
  • Balanced diet. Exercise combined with a balanced diet will of course bring about better results. If you don’t change anything about your diet and simply focus on the exercise component then you are wasting your time and money!

The Verdict

So did it work? I must admit that I’m super nervous about sharing photos of my results with you. Nervous, not because if the program, but because of putting myself out there and sharing an image of my body when I’m feeling pretty self conscious.  However I know that the best way to show if something works is by providing you with proof. Proof that is unbiased and objective. So to cut to the chase, below you will find a photo of my body before and after: for and a half weeks later.S o please be kind!

Hypoxi
Before and Four Weeks After. My stomach and thighs were much more toned and I felt so much better about myself!

So did it work? Yes. It did! Over the past 4 1/2 weeks, I have participated in 14 sessions (extended due to one session being cancelled because of a faulty machine).  Whilst I didn’t lose any weight (this is quite normal), I lost 28.5 cm across all of my measurements. The best areas were my stomach and thighs. From the above photo you can see that my stomach is indeed more toned. I purposely wore the same clothes and stood in the same position to ensure that I giving you a real picture of my body. It’s far from perfect, but I have to say that I’m pretty proud of this achievement in a month. I feel better in my clothes and it has really kick started my urge to get my body in better shape.

Tips and Tricks : is it for you?

Each person that completes Hypoxi finds themselves getting into a rhythm. You find parts of the program that are easy, and parts that are challenging. So to summarise my experience, I thought I would share with you some of the things that I would recommend doing if you want jump on board yourself!

  • Do it at night. As I got into the program I fast realised that I struggled with the nutrition component. Especially if you do your session in the late morning, it means that you feel really hungry through the day. The absolute best way to do it is at night. I did most of my sessions at 8pm. After dinner and my hubby put the kids to bed. This meant thatI could exercise and then simply go home to bed. No need to feel hungry!
  • Pre book your sessions in advance. I found that if I had already booked my sessions, it felt like an appointment that I had to keep. You really need to do 3 sessions a week to get results!
  • Drink loads of water. The more the better.
  • Don’t get obsessed with the weight. For me it was about cm. I achieved that goal! Many do lose wight too, but this isn’t the focus.

So is it for you? I would absolutely recommend Hypoxi for those who want to kick start their goal to improving the health of their body. It is great for Mums who are busy, but able to exercise at night, or super early in the morning. It is great for people of all fitness levels, especially for those who are recovering from surgery. It is wonderful for those who have a big event in their life, a wedding or a big holiday. Whilst it isn’t the cheapest form of exercise on the planet, you can get fantastic sale deals if you keep your eyes out!  It essentially is a great way to start yourself on the road to better health.

If you are interested, Hypoxi offers everyone a FREE TRIAL. With centres in loads of locations, you are sure to find one near you.

 

 

Skate like Wonder Woman: DC Super Hero Girls Skateboard

Skate like Wonder Woman: DC Super Hero Girls Skateboard

As a child, I loved riding skateboards. It’s one of those things that knows no boundaries. Whether you are a girl or a boy, old or young, tall or short. Everyone can (eventually) learn to ride a skateboard and have fun. Overcoming your fears, persisting at a challenge, loving the reward of learning a new skill. We especially love seeing our children’s eyes light up when they work things out for themselves. In the 80s, skateboards were everywhere. Everyone who was anyone had one! Over the years, some things come and go, but skateboards have always remained a staple of growing up.

DC Superhero Girls Warner BrosIn my house we have also always loved Super Heroes. In recent years, I have loved the fact that Warner Bros. have also focussed on helping girls love and aspire to be Super Heroes themselves. The DC Super Hero Girls universe celebrates friendship, strength, teamwork and unlocking your full potential.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products in collaboration with Big W has released an awesome DC Super Hero Girls skateboard for every thrill-seeking kid in town. The DC Super Hero Girls skateboard features Wonder Woman (or “Wondy” as her friends call her) looking strong, vibrant and colourful; making every flip-trick look extra cool!

This week, Ella has been lucky enough to receive her very own Wonder Woman skateboard. Immediately, her eyes lit up and seeing her learn and conquer the skill was fantastic to watch. Just like Wonder Woman herself, she wanted to harness the strength and inner power that the DC Super Hero Girls encourage, to unlock her full potential! There is nothing better to get the kids off the iPad and active than riding their skateboard, either on the footpath (with parental help of course), in a skate park, or even inside down the corridor. Here are my own children carving it up inside the house!

The DC Super Hero Girls at Super Hero High include Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumblebee, Poison Ivy, Katana, Starfire and Frost.

The DC Super Hero Girls skateboard is available in-store for a RRP of $30. Look out for it in Big W’s June/July Toy Catalogue.

KProduct Review: Custom by Bobux

KProduct Review: Custom by Bobux

Aw my gawd. These were the words that spilled our of my daughter’s mouth when she saw the new shoes before her eyes. Custom by Bobux are literally those shoes that every child has dreamed of. Shoes that they can colour in. Shoes that reflect who they are, their personality, their love of colour. Bobux have always been known for creating beautiful shoes that are the best quality. Recommended by Podiatrists, they fit well, move well and last well. They are always made of the best quality fabrics to support little, growing feet. This time, however, they’ve taken it to the next level.

The Creativity is something that I believe is one of the most important things that we should nourish in our children. The ability to use their imagination. Think beyond the square. Question, wonder, discover. These custom shoes also allow each and every child to nurture their unique, individual personality. To make their very own pair of shoes that are their own, different and special. Then, they can rub off their work and start all over again! The design allows children to colour in but also to create their own shapes and ideas.

Featuring:

  • High quality coated leather upper –
    colour in with pens provided & wipe off with water
  • Breathable cotton lining
  • Comes with a set of 5 pens in reusable pouch
  • Velcro strap fastening which allows for greater adjustability
  • Built on a specialist Kid+ last, which has been anatomically
    designed to fit children at this stage of development.

Ella has simply love, love, loved the chance to colour her own pair of shoes, and could not wait to wear then to kinder today!

Custom Bobux

Custom Bobux

Custom Bobux

So if you want your very own custom pair for your child, then best head to their website STAT!!!