Going Back to Work
Maternity leave in the US is notoriously ungenerous. Just as you're getting used to being home with your baby and your work life feels like a distant memory, you realize that your maternity leave is coming to an end. Given the current state of the economy for many moms the decision to return to work in twelve or even six weeks is not optional - it is something that has to be done in order to keep your jobs and keep the roof over our heads. The thought of waking up at 5 or 6 a.m. and racing off to a job after being up all night with a crying baby might seem impossible. And then there's the guilt: How can you be a "good" mom and spend so much time away from your baby? No matter how long and hard you've thought about your decision to return to work, and how sure you are that it's the right or only choice, there will be mixed emotions. As a new mom, there is very little advice out there on how to make this difficult, heart-wrenching transition. Ultimately, it's an experience most go through alone, without dedicated support or guidance. At The Gathering Place, we felt the need to reach out to all of our amazing workings moms, either already back at work or coming to the end of maternity leave. This workshop will provide moms with the opportunity to have some clarity on their personal values, create community and connection with other moms in the same situation and have support in creating self-care to help achieve balance during this major transition.
"Home school" means a non-public school in which one or more children of not more than two families or households receive academic instruction from parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household. Homeschooling can be a natural extension of the early years of parenting. In our culture, however, it doesn’t come naturally. One of the many benefits of homeschooling is that each family can choose the approach that works best for the child and the family, and this approach can be adjusted as the child's and family's needs change. This approach to children's education gives parents valuable time with their children, the opportunity to build deeper relationships with each other, and the chance to help each child develop their unique gifts according to their own developmental timetables. Deciding whether or not to homeschool your child (or children) is an enormous decision. As with any other major decision, it helps to do some research. Why do you want to homeschool? Can your family afford to homeschool? Do you feel qualified to teach your child/children? What are the legal requirements of creating a home school in Florida? This introductory workshop provides parents interested in homeschooling the opportunity to explore the answers to these important questions.
Deciding to homeschool is more than choosing the cirriculum or the books or the subject matter, it is a lifestyle choice. There are no hard and fast rules. There are many styles of homeschooling and you can adapt to one or more styles to suit your family. Families have a wide range of homeschooling approaches available to them including structured "classroom-like" teaching at home, unit studies where children explore a particular topic from all angles, co-op studies with several other families, and child-initiated learning. Additionally your child's learning style has a great impact on your success in homeschooling. In this workshop information about homeschooling in South Florida will be provided including links to guidelines, resources and curricula. We will also discuss what homeschooling actually looks like, incorporating learning styles and adequately meeting the needs of your children and family as homeschoolers. This class is a follow-up to our Homeschooling 101 workshop. Although attendance at the 101 workshop is not a pre-requisite it is recommended as introductory topics will not be covered.
Learn how to provide healthy and safe meals for each stage of your baby’s development. We’ll discuss how to make your own baby food, a timeline for introducing new foods, and ways to make feeding your baby fun and easy. Learn how to successfully introduce solids and how to develop healthy eating habits for life. Topics discussed:
- When is your baby developmentally ready?
Go Green Mama
Beyond the waste we produce, a key aspect of keeping a Green home is to reduce the chemicals that your family is exposed to. The most common ways that we are exposed to chemicals in our homes is through cleaning products, pesticide, and fertilizer. “Green” cleaning is almost a no-brainer once you learn the basics. Most houses can be kept quite clean through the use of nontoxic alternatives. Go Green Mama is an interactive workshop that will provide simple and old-fashioned solutions for making skincare products, safe ways to protect against germs, how to get the toxins out of the nursery, ways to clean green and strategies to green up your baby care routine. Recipes will be provided along with an in-depth look at all natural ingredients like essential oils, herbs, beeswax, olive oil and more.
The Family Bed: Co-Sleeping Basics
Co-sleeping, sleep-sharing, the family bed: Whatever you call it, it means regularly sharing a bed with your child instead of sleeping separately. It turns out that many families sleep together all over the world. Only in a relatively few select cultures (Western, industrialized societies) have infants ever slept outside the company and presence of their breastfeeding mothers. Co-sleeping is growing trend in the United States. A national study published in 2003 found that between 1993 and 2000, the number of babies 7 months old or younger who usually shared a bed with an adult grew from 5.5 percent to 12.8 percent. Mother-infant co-sleeping and breastfeeding has played and continues to play and important role in contemporary life, but induces much controversy. This workshop is intended to give scientifically–based information on the practice of co-sleeping and address common challenges and concerns. A variety of subjects are covered about infant sleep in general, the politics of the decision to bed-share, as well as the relevant issues pertaining to whether or if and under what circumstances is it safe to sleep in bed with an infant, and if so, how to minimize risks.
Happiest Baby on the Block
New babies are sweet and adorable yet they can also bring with them sleepless nights, crying, and stress. In our Happiest Baby Class, new and expectant parents will learn step by step instructions on how to help their baby sleep better and how to soothe even the fussiest babies in minutes. The class is based on the highly effective approach to babies pioneered by Dr. Harvey Karp in his book and DVD The Happiest Baby on The Block. New babies are not fully ready for the world. In a way, they are born 3 months early and need a 4th trimester of holding, rocking and nurturing. Babies are born with a calming reflex – a virtual off-switch for infant crying… even colic. The Happiest Baby teaches parents exactly how to do the 5 S's(five simple steps that turn on the calming reflex).
Vaccinations A-Z: Making the Right Decision for Your Child
The U.S. government advises that by age 6, children should have vaccinations against 14 diseases, in at least two dozen separate doses. Vaccinations aren’t mandated–but they are strongly recommended by Federal law, and some schools require documentation of them or a good reason (like a religious one) for why they haven’t been completed before they’ll enroll a student. Nationally representative studies published in 2010 and 2011, surveying parents of kids age 6 and younger found that at least 1 in 10 toddlers and preschoolers were lagging behind or not following the recommended vaccination schedule. Parents still have options: refusing some shots, delaying others or abstaining entirely. The workshop is designed to give you a balanced look at pros and cons of vaccination so that you can make an educated decision. The facilitator will discuss each vaccination in the childhood series, providing explanation of the relative disease, how the vaccine is made, possible side effects, benefits and points to assess a child's at-risk level when considering if the vaccine is necessary and schedule options.
Photographing Your Baby
You’re a mom. Or dad. And no baby will ever be as wonderful and interesting as yours! From the moment they are born, you’ll want to capture every magical moment—especially those milestones and physical achievements like first smiles, turning over, sitting and standing up, and eventually walking. The photographs you take will record and preserve the special, everyday moments and preserve them for family members & friends to enjoy. Photographing your baby is a great way to capture things as realistically as possible and from the angle that only a parent sees. With today’s technology and varying costs, everyone can own a camera. Whichever you choose, don’t for a minute think there’s a right and wrong way to do it. Taught by an experienced photographer, this fun workshop is designed for parents of young babies of all different skill levels who want to improve their photos of their babies.
Sleep Solutions: Establishing Good Sleep Habits
Getting your baby settled in and sleeping well isn’t always an easy task. In fact, sometimes it can be quite challenging. While many babies will start sleeping through the night by the end of their third month, others will still wake for as long as six months or a year. A few even have trouble staying asleep through the night into their toddler years. The importance of adequate sleep, for both you and your baby is severely underestimated. You don't have to "cry it out" to encourage healthy sleep habits in your newborn. This workshop is designed to help parents understand, and encourage, healthy sleep in newborns. Taught by an experienced sleep consultant, the discussion will cover a baby’s unique sleep patterns, the differences between newborn and adult sleep, realistic expectations for sleep based on the baby’s age, and routines that can help establish positive sleep associations and promote good sleep habits. Time for questions and answers is provided.