Textbooks for Homeschooled Kids

The number of children who are homeschooled has grown slowly over the years but shows no sign of dropping. The last reliable statistics from 2013 say 1.7 million children who would be in any grade K-12 are home schooled. This is about 3.4% of the school age population.

Requirements to Homeschool in Arizona

Homeschooling statistics in Arizona count children between the ages of six and 16 as of September 1, according to the website A2Z, which I highly recommend you visit if you’re considering home schooling your child. Parents can pretty much create their own curricula for children under age eight, but they must follow a state curriculum when their children turn eight.

school textbooks
We sell textbooks for homeschooled kids.

The curriculum covers these subjects:

  • Reading
  • Grammar
  • Math
  • Social Studies
  • Science

We carry a number of textbooks to support homeschooled students. Most of these texts are for students in the equivalent of grade (primary) school, including kindergarten and pre-K. Some of them are comprehensive grade workbooks, while others focus on topics like science and language arts.

They’re also useful for parents who want to provide additional instruction to kids who need extra help or who want them to retain what they’ve learned during the school year over the summer break.

We carry other educational tools including flashcards, LeapFrog and VTech accessories, and science kits. Call us and we’ll be glad to tell you what’s currently in stock.

bookcases of childrens books
We also have bookcases stuffed with books, DVDs, and even VHS tapes.

Why are People Homeschooling Their Kids?

The National Center for Education Statistics asked parents this question in 2013. The environment of the local school was the leading reason.

This doesn’t tell you much. I did a little more investigating and found the Office of Non-Public Education in the US Department of Education. They’ve asked this question over the past several years. Here are the leading reasons in 2012, after concern about the school environment, cited by 91% of parents:

  • Desire to provide moral instruction (77%)*
  • Dissatisfaction with academic instruction at local schools (74%)
  • Desire to provide religious instruction (64)*
  • Desire to provide a nontraditional approach to education (44%)
  • Child has special needs (17%)
  • Child has physical or mental health issue (15%)
  • Other reasons (37%) (family time together, distance from school, finances)

*This question was split out for the 2011 – 2012 survey from “desire to provide religious instruction.”

College-Bound Homeschooled High Schoolers are Equal or Better than Peers

I thought more parents sent their kids to middle and high school after homeschooling in the early years but the Department of Education statistics don’t bear this out. Middle school and high school students dominate homeschooling statistics by about 2 to 1.

So how are homeschooled high schoolers doing compared to their formally schooled peers? There’s not a lot of data out there. I found one study cited over and over that was published in 2010 by Michael Cogan, a professor at St. Thomas College in Minnesota. Cogan’s research found the kids are all right (to steal a phrase from The Who):

  • They consistently outscored public, private, and Catholic high school students on the GPAs, ACT scores, and in the number of credits accepted for transfer and GPA for those credits.
  • While their ACT math scores equalled those of Catholic high school graduates and were slightly lower than those at other private schools and public schools, they blew away the competition in English and reading ACT scores, scoring a full two points or more.
  • Their science ACT scores were higher than students at all other types of schools.

But these are students going to college. I didn’t find anything on the percent of homeschooled kids who do go to college. And it would be interesting to see more recent research than Cogan’s.

 

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Are Crib Bumpers Dangerous?

Dr. Oz has called for a ban on crib bumpers, citing some grim statistics on their use. He’s asking people to spread the word through social media.

In the past, many of us put bumpers in our babies’ cribs. But with Oz’s involvement, the movement to ban them is growing.

The advice I see most often today is to simply leave the crib bare and make sure that sheet is securely tucked around the bottom of the mattress. That said, I am no longer selling or accepting crib bumpers for consignment.

Most experts say to remove crib bumpers and leave the crib bare.
Call the police! Someone ripped off my crib bumpers!

What Oz and Others Say About Crib Bumpers

Dr. Oz cites rising statistics indicating that crib bumpers have been a factor in infant deaths. They’ve tripled, he says, and have no benefits, only risks. Here’s his video.

The American Academy of Pediatrics called for a ban, too, back in 2011. It found that bumpers raise the risk for trapping a baby and cause suffocation.

The Government Has Not Banned Crib Bumpers

The U.S. Government has not issued a ban on crib bumpers at this time. If it does so, it will be through the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. We subscribe to CPSC notifications and remove products it bans from our shelves. We also do all we can to contact customers who have purchased products from us prior to a ban.

Many crib bedding packages include bumpers. Ultimately, it’s up to parents to decide if they should be used. One argument against banning them is that parents will simply use other, less stable materials to prevent babies from bumping their heads, such as pillows or rolled-up towels.

If you really love the way bumpers look, I suppose you can tie them around the outside of the crib—but take ’em down once Junior figures out s/he can tug on them.

Why Do Parents Use Bumpers?

Many parents use crib bumpers to lessen the impact from a head against crib rails. Some babies are just more mobile than others. They can, and do, move about in their sleep.

Several years ago, crib manufacturers began putting more slats in cribs to prevent babies from getting their heads trapped between the slats. Many parents saw bumpers as an effective way to cushion head impacts and to prevent limbs from getting trapped between slats.

Bumpers were removed once an infant was able to grasp and pull, to prevent him/her from getting tangled into bumper strings.

Some parents swear by mesh bumpers, which achieve the goal of softening contact with slats and are more breathable than traditional bumpers. Babies can still get tangled in them, though, one of the dangers Oz and others cite in their call for a ban.

Watch your baby sleep and observe any changes in movement. If s/he is pretty still—nothing beyond the usual jerks and twitches most babies do when sleeping—bumpers are definitely unnecessary. If there is a lot of movement—well, that’s why people liked bumpers.

If you decide to use them, make sure they are placed correctly and checked every day so that they’re secure and not easily untied or lifted. Take them out once your baby can grasp and pull on them.

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Should You Dress Your Twins Alike?

If you’re the parent of twins, you’ve probably had an earful about whether you should dress your twins alike.

People notice when siblings of different ages are dressed alike. But dress your twins in matching outfits, and you’re in for a lot of comments, including complements. There are a lot of opinions on whether regularly dressing twins in identical outfits is good for them or harmful to their development.

Lots of Experts Say Don’t Dress Your Twins Alike

Recently, a customer came in with twin girls. Do you dress them in matching outfits, I asked.

Never! she replied. Children need their individuality. In our home, these girls aren’t twins, they’re sisters. They are individuals and we don’t want them to grow up thinking they’re the same person.

double_stroller
A double stroller is the best gift for parents of twins!

Good news for me. I don’t often have matching twin outfits in my resale shop. But I listened closely to her reasoning, which is backed up by sources like BrainChild and TwinsBlog.

  • Twins share enough things out of their control like birthdays, the first day of school, graduations, and religious events like confirmation and bar mitzvahs.
  • Dressing twins alike can interfere with their abilities to make friends and meet other goals on their own.
  • Twins get enough attention anyway—including from strangers—without adding the additional attraction of dressing them identically.

Dressing Twins Alike Won’t Actually Hurt Them

Dressing your twins alike won’t harm them if you can manage to accomplish this.

As TwinsBlog points out, babies put out a lot of body fluids. Frequent changes in clothing is inevitable. What they start out wearing in the morning is rarely still on by early afternoon.

Plus, smart parents pick and choose their fights: who wants to regularly battle multiple toddlers who don’t want to wear a particular outfit?

Fears that the kids will lose their individual identity when they are dressed alike are probably overblown. Kids in healthy families will be treated as individuals no matter what. It’s only when they are lumped together as “the twins” and treated as a single unit that things can get weird. It’s parents’ responsibilities to ensure that other family members, teachers, friends, etc., recognize that their children are individuals who need and deserve individual recognition.

True, dressing kids alike will blur the line. But as any parent knows, children show personality pretty quickly, even multiples. One will be more or less likely to cry or be fussy. One will eagerly eat all his food while the other picks at it. One will love the dog, while the other ignores it. And so on.

I have a friend who’s the aunt of identical triplets, literally a one-in-three-million occurrence. (I know you’re wondering: they were not the result of fertility treatment.)

Now in their late 20s, these sisters weren’t frequently dressed alike but they did share many preferences until their teens, when individual traits came out. They participated in their high school’s marching band, but played different instruments.Today, they work in completely different fields; one left Arizona to attend college in California and stayed there. One is married. They have maintain a very strong bond, my friend tells me. And while style their hair and dress quite differently, they remain obviously identical.

Unless it’s a special occasion like a family picture, there’s really no reason to require multiples to dress the same.

Help People Figure Out Which Twin is Which

girl_twins
You can dress your twins in similar outfits but let their own identities shine through.

If you have same-sex multiples, remember that most people will need clues to remember who’s who, particularly if they’re identical. Put different colored baby bracelets on them. Ask for and buy personalized t-shirts. Emphasize each kid’s likes when people ask what to buy “the twins” for their birthday.

Most of all, let kids choose some of their clothing. Socks and underwear are easy choices. When you shop with them, let them do a little browsing on their own to see who likes what and buy accordingly!

 

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Do Clothes Make the Kid?

Clothes make the man, Mark Twain wrote, and they make the kid, too. I’ll add that clothing speaks to his or her parents as well, particularly for younger kids.

Psychological studies bear out that clothing makes quite an impact on how people view one another. Joseph had his coat of many colors, arousing jealousy and anger. The Prince traded his clothes with the Pauper, putting both boys in quite the pickle.

Clothes can malfunction (remember Super Bowl XXXVIII?), and tell everyone what the wearer does for a living. They let others know what teams a person roots for or where s/he goes to school.

Let Older Kids Browse for Their Clothes

Without question, clothing makes up the bulk of our inventory. Our store has inventory for boys and girls up to about age 12, give or take a year.

It’s very likely your older kids will want to pick out their own clothes. Let them do it here. It will be a lot easier on your wallet! 

Juicy Couture jacket
Juicy Couture, reasonably priced!

We make sure the clothes we accept for consignment are in good condition, clean, and free of snares, tears, and undue wear. And yes, we are aware this rhymes.

Our clothing racks are separated out by size for easy browsing. And while we do separate boys’ and girls’ items for simplicity’s sake, there are no hard and fast rules as far as we’re concerned about who wears what.

Back of a pink Elvis Presley jacket
Elvis Presley: retro and still cool

Retro is cool for older boys and girls, but the recent past rarely is. Unless your family are huge Royals fans, you probably won’t recall who won the last World Series. But truthfully, any commemorative sports clothing is cool regardless. We do get Cardinals, Sun Devils, and Diamondbacks gear, including caps.

We also carry shoes and athletic shoes, including heelys, which continue to be popular. And we have uniforms for Scottsdale Little League teams.

Heelys available in all sizes.
Heelys here!

We’ve been building up quite a collection of jeans, including brands like Levi’s, Lee, Diesel, and Wrangler.

Check Out Our Other Secondhand Merchandise!

The “n More” part of our name includes gently-used books, toys, games, sports equipment, baby accessories, and yeah, a lot more.

We know kids are crazy for electronics. We don’t carry them beyond a couple of games that may come in. We do, though, buy many of our own electronics secondhand ourselves.

We have an amazing number of Beanie Babies, too. Remember those? Customers of all ages buy them. Some of them get them for their pets.

Replace Those Outgrown Baby Clothes

Don’t spend a bundle on everyday clothing for your baby. Come in and check out our consigned baby clothes, shoes, toys, and more. Babies grow fast, and we have the inventory to help you replace last month’s clothes!

Baby_clothes
Baby clothes at a fraction of the original price.

Remember, the first year of life is the most dramatic in terms of development. The Mayo Clinic says a baby will double his birthweight at five months and triple it by his first birthday. He’ll grow up to one inch a month for his first six months, and a little under half an inch a month until 12 months.

Frankly, you probably wouldn’t recognize the kid from the newborn photos!

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Selling Safe Items is Our Number One Concern

We at AZ Kidz n More are part of a community of shop owners in the resale and consignment business. The vast majority of this community pays strict attention to make sure that only safe items are sold to customers who are often donors/consigners as well.

We Only Sell Safe Items in Our Resale Shop

Baby tables are among the most critical safe items we offer.
This changing table was checked for safety before we polished and put it out for sale.

We do want to remind our customers that we thoroughly check all merchandise for safety before we put it on the floor for sale.

Since  our inventory is children’s items, we take very special care to ensure that all items dropped off at the store are in good working condition, clean, and above all, safe to use. We do not sell items that are damaged, that we deem are unsafe, or are missing pieces. And we do not sell items that have been taken off the market for safety reasons.

We receive regular notices, for example, from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is charged with ensuring the safety of manufactured items sold in the United States. As we’ve said before, if we wouldn’t put a product in our home, we won’t sell it to you to put in yours. We take every step that we can to ensure that the products we sell are safe.

When a children’s item is recalled, we search our inventory database and if we find it, it is immediately taken off the floor. We notify the owners so that they can return it to the manufacturer. If we see that a recalled item has been sold, we do everything we can to contact the customer to let them know about the recall. Many of our customers are in our consignment database so we are able to contact them.

If you have a question about a children’s item, please don’t hesitate to contact us even if you didn’t buy it from us. We are happy to be a resource for  you, particularly when it comes to kids’ stuff and safety. Give us a call at 480-443-3801.

Thank you!

AZ Kidz n More

 

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