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What If My Kid Wants To Go To Stanford?

Hoover Tower at expensive Stanford University

I had a continuing education class in Durango last weekend, and we used it as a family day trip, treating ourselves to dinner at our idea of gourmet; Applebee’s. As we sat there waiting for our food, Jim was watching college football on the many TV’s that are scattered about this four star establishment. Stanford was battling someone on one of the screens, and our daughter asked who was playing. Jim looked at her and said, “That’s Stanford, where you are going to college.” We kind of laughed since she doesn’t know Stanford from Pueblo Community College,  but that got me to thinking. What if my kid does want to go to Stanford? She is only 7, and I’m not a tiger Mom who has been planning her educational future from conception, but let’s just for a minute consider it as a possiblity. Could we do it, and would it make sense? Could She Get Accepted? Because I’m a geek well rounded parent, I checked out some stats on getting accepted to Stanford University. We’ll assume today’s statistics because I have no idea what the next decade will bring. For fall 2014, There were 42,167 applicants, of which 2,145 or ...

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Field Trip Friday

easy hike to geyser

Happy Friday! It’s not just Friday today, but Field Trip Friday! No, Field Trip Friday is not a holiday you forgot about or even want to celebrate, it’s my own creation. Our daughter’s school is out two Fridays per month for teacher development. I managed to take every one of those days off, and I am also keeping another kid whose Mom is a teacher. I’ve made it a goal to take the two kiddos on a field trip every Friday when there is no school. We live in such an amazing outdoor paradise, that I’m gonna make them get outside and appreciate all this area has to offer. While they would be happier just watching Curious George right now, someday they will thank me, right? For the last field trip, we went to the Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour in Silverton, CO. They were a little unsure about going into the mine, but they absolutely loved panning for gold, which was included in the tour. Two hours with no fights or complaints! Amazing. We also went to see Colorado’s only geyser. It’s not as cool as Old Faithful, but it’s a good hike for kids ,and they got a ...

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My 2nd Grader Asked For A Phone!

2nd graders getting phones

School has been back in session for about 5 weeks now, and second grade is fantastic for the most part. However, I had and interesting conversation with my 7 year old a few weeks ago. I expected it at some point, just not so soon. Yes, my 2nd grader has already asked for a phone! It’s Not The Students From being casual observer parents plus all of Jim’s insight as a teacher and principal over the past 14 years, we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the students who have problems. It’s the parents! From the kid in my daughter’s class who brings a Starbuck’s iced coffee drink every morning to the parent who yelled at one of Jim’s teachers because the class policy is healthy snacks only, there are some real winners out there. (Lady with the kid having Doritos for breakfast, I’m talking to you!)  I try really hard not to judge, but come on people. My bottom lip must have hit the floor when our daugher told us about one of her friends who has a phone she brings to school. To be fair, I have no idea what kind, but it is a working cell ...

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Should Parents Control Their Kids’ Money?

I don’t remember having much money as a kid. Aside from the tooth fairy and a few $5 bills I got for birthdays, income was pretty low. As a teenager, I got a part time job as soon as I could. I spent MY money on clothes, cassette tapes (yeah, I’m old), and all sorts of crap I’m sure I “needed” (a $30 Hypercolor t-shirt and some cool Ray Bans come to mind). My parents never gave me rules on what I could and could not buy (except for the obvious illegal things). If I earned it, I could spend it. It seemed like a good deal at the time, but now that I’m a Mom, I wonder if parents should control their kids’ money. How Much Money Should Kids Have? My parents or in-laws never did allowances, so Jim and I aren’t really into that. We think it’s not unreasonable for a kid to keep their stuff neat and be able to do some basic chores appropriate for their age without getting paid for it. If our daughter does something extra helpful or wants to sell her toys at a yard sale or consignment, she gets money for that. ...

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How To Afford Back To School Costs

Afford back to school costs

When I read an article last year about the average family spending $350 per child on back to school items, I thought that was insane. I know my kid is young,  but her school supply list has never been anywhere close to that amount. We were able to get all the things on the second grade list for under $20.I even have a post about where to get the cheapest school supplies! Why can’t people afford back to school costs? I assumed these parents must be out of their mind buying new shoes and clothes for their kids. Then, I started thinking about all the other things we spend money on at back to school time. I’m not sure if those are added in with the average cost estimate, but if they were, I can see how it might cost hundreds of dollars to go back to school. Obvious Costs The obvious costs include things like backpacks, pencils, notebooks, all those items in the bins up front at big box stores right now. You also have to dress your child and make sure they have shoes. There are a million ways to save money on these things, like buying used, ...

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