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babysitter FOR THE JOB DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 1




DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 3

contents features 10 | The Right Babysitter for the Job Finding the best match for your family

14 | Preschool Options What’s right for your child?

16 | 12 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS Holiday prizes YOU can win!

22 | Dealing with Difficult Grandparents Handling unwanted advice from well-meaning family members

24 | Socialization and the Homeschooled Child


commentary & parenting

12 | ASK THE TEACHER Homework overload, vocabulary woes and vacation disruptions



A Man with a Van



Simple precautions keep the season injury free

28 | DECEMBER HAPPENINGS Holiday fun to share together

Putting stereotypes to rest

in every issue 24


calendars 32 | DECEMBER EVENTS

ON THE COVER Mark (8), Luke (9), & Jack (10) Lewandowski



Photo By:

Flash Photography




DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 5

in every issue

[ publisher’s note ]


Season’s Greetings! December has arrived and with it comes a flurry of activity! How is your holiday shopping coming along? Has your “elf on the shelf” made his first appearance? Are the kids trying harder to appear on the “nice” versus “naughty” list?



As calendars fill and planning ramps up, we’re glad you snatched a minute for yourself to sit down with the latest issue of Dayton Parent. First off, you’ll want to see our 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways for chances to win some great presents for those on your gift list (and yourself!) Plus, we have all the best seasonal events listed for your family to take advantage of the many wonderful local ways we celebrate the season in our area.

EDITOr Susan Bryant |



web developer Wendy Cox |

advertising coordinator Karen RIng |

Also in this issue, we touch on two subjects parents of little ones will want to check out. Preschool Options will help moms and dads consider what type of program is best suited for their child and The Right Babysitter for the Job discusses different strategies for finding the perfect caretaker to fit your family’s needs. And for those of you new to the parenting game, you may find yourself the recipient of “helpful” but unwanted baby advice from your own parents. Try reading Dealing with Difficult Grandparents for some helpful tips on handling these situations gracefully.

graphic designer Maria Tancredi |

business manager Roxanne Burns |

Editorial assistant Wendy Schrepherman |

Contributing Writers Katy Mark, Sarah McCosham, Katrina Anne Willis, Michelle Shirk, Pete Gilbert, Deb Krupowicz, Kelly Blewett, Alicia Elam of the Southern Ohio Homeschool Organization, Lisa Seibert of, Elizabeth Reeves of Dayton Children’s Hospital Calendar of Events

This time of year comes and goes in a flash. We hope you can catch the anticipation and excitement that children always seem to have for it. From our family at Dayton Parent to yours, we wish you a wonderful holiday season!

Contact Us Copyright Dayton Parent Magazine is published monthly. Copyright 2013 by Midwest Parenting Publications, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Distribution of this magazine does not constitute an endorsement of products, commentary, or services herein. For information on subscriptions, editorial guidelines, advertising rates and more, visit

Katy Mark Associate Publisher





DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 7

in every issue

[ community spotlight ]

community spotlight Harlem Globetrotters’ “Fans Rule” World Tour The Harlem Globetrotters’ one-of-a-kind family show features mesmerizing ball handling, an assortment of trick shots, highflying dunks and precise timing – all with an array of comedy guaranteed to entertain the young and the young at heart. After virtually every game, Globetrotter stars remain on the court for autographs and photographs with fans. Tickets are $26 and up. Visit to learn more. December 31, 2:00 p.m., Ervin J. Wright Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton

The Tike’s Shoppe Children of all ages get the chance to be real customers at The Tike’s Shoppe, where they can browse through a variety of goodies to purchase inexpensive gifts for family and loved ones (with assistance from Santa’s elves). This is a great opportunity for children to gain experience making decisions and handle money. And face painting happens every Saturday and Sunday! Sales from The Tike’s Shoppe benefit Miami Valley Youth Career Services and youth in the Dayton area. For a complete schedule visit www.daytonholidayfestival. org. December 1- December 23, Dates and times vary, The Berry Room at Schuster Center, 1 West 2nd St. Dayton

Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt! It has been rumored someone will leave candy canes on the grounds around Polen Farm! Bring your flashlight and help us find them all. First decorate a bag for collecting the candy canes and enjoy cookies and cocoa. Santa may even be there! Candy cane hunts are from 6 – 7 p.m. and 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Parents must accompany children. All ages are welcome; please register in advance. Cost: $3 per resident, $5 per non-resident. For more information call 296-2587., December 8, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Polen Farm, 5099 Bigger Rd., Kettering 8 DAYTONPARENTMAGAZINE.COM

Dayton’s Ultimate Holiday Shopping Expo Dayton’s Ultimate Holiday Shopping Expo will showcase over 100 locally owned businesses from the Tristate area. Diverse exhibits invite visitors to come out for a day of holiday fun and shopping. The expo will also be a showcase for the latest products and services for women and families, including the very best in beauty products, one-of-a-kind jewelry, home décor and children’s products as well as health, nutrition, fitness and financial planning information. Entry fee is $2, children 10 and under free. Contact 513-405-3085 to find out more. December 7, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St., Dayton

The Dayton Ballet “Nutcracker” A glistening new production! Come with us into a dream world of dancing snowflakes and the sweetest of treats presented by magical fairies choreographed by Karen Russo Burke. Revel in pure fantasy with dazzling new costumes by resident costumer Lowell Mathwich and the debut of a new state-of-the-art set designed by Ray Zupp that will transport you to a magical world of wonder and whimsy. You will be enthralled as beautiful and athletic dancers m ove to Tch a ikovsk y ’s cherished score, performed by Maestro Neal Gittleman and the DPO. This holiday tradition will delight fans of all ages. Ticket range is $15- $70. Visit www. for details. December 14 - 22, 2:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., Schuster Center, 1 West. 2nd St., Dayton

[ online buzz ]

in every issue

online buzz for a chance to win



facebook talk

Does your kid have a nickname? What is it? Bubby and Peabody and Bambina - Tonya J. I have a pumpkin and a monkey. - Christine S. Buster Brown is my son! - Lisa B. Our oldest son is KeKe and Keatonio, youngest is Big Kahuna and Bebe man. - Stephanie P. Dilbet - Brandon P.


DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 9

babysitter THE RIGHT


FINDING THE BEST MATCH FOR YOUR FAMILY | MICHELLE SHIRK Where are the members of the Baby-sitters Club when you need them? If you aren’t lucky enough to have Kristy, Claudia or Mary Anne on speed dial, finding a babysitter you trust to care for your kids can be a challenge. We’re here to help with some tips to finding a sitter that perfectly suits your family’s needs

Search and seek mission

When looking for a sitter, parents should ask people they know for personal references, says Jean Buffington, American Red Cross health and safety instructor. She also recommends looking for babysitters who have younger siblings or who help care for kids in the neighborhood or during church services. Parents can also book a sitter through an agency such as The Sitter Connection (www., which places prescreened sitters and nannies throughout the Dayton area. Important characteristics for babysitters include having good communication skills, being a role model and motivator, displaying respect for household rules and exhibiting sound decision-making skills, says Buffington. Jill Kingston, founder and owner of The Sitter Connection, Ltd., stresses that parents should consider safety first and thoroughly screen potential caregivers. “This includes checking non-familial caregiver references, fingerprinting and criminal background checks and personal interviews,” she says. “There are no shortcuts to ensuring the safety of your children.” Buffington notes that while using references or background checks is not really practical for a babysitter who is a minor, “I believe if you know their family, their school, their neighborhood and their involvement in extracurriculars, you will probably have your answer.” Dayton Parent readers have also offered their own insights into the sitter screening process via an informal poll on our Facebook page. Melissa G. observes that the best sitters she interviews “practically ignore us because they are too busy playing with our kids.” Jane P. reports that she is actually more interested in how prepared a sitter is to ask her questions than in asking questions herself.

The “in house” solution

If you have children of varying ages, you may be debating whether an older son or daughter is ready to watch younger siblings. “Babysitting for siblings can be the hardest of all babysitting jobs, so know your kids, and know what works,” says Buffington. She encourages parents to look at whether the child is responsible and comfortable being alone in their own home. 10 DAYTONPARENTMAGAZINE.COM

For parents interested in helping their child become a prepared sitter, the Red Cross offers a Babysitter’s Training class designed for youth ages 11 and up. Participants will learn to be responsible babysitters while keeping themselves and their charges safe, respecting family rules and routines and having fun. Head to www. or call 1-800-Red-Cross to find a class near you.

Your part in sitter success

Once you’ve chosen a sitter for your family, there are steps you as a parent can take to help ensure a successful babysitting experience. “Reduce ambiguity for the sitter by setting clear guidelines and expectations,” says Kingston. Buffington suggests giving your sitter a tour of the house and educating him or her about household rules regarding bedtime, homework and electronics. Compensation should also be discussed. Parents should leave their sitter with emergency contact numbers and information about any specific medical needs or food allergies, says Buffington. If the home does not have a landline, arrangements should be made to make sure the sitter has access to a phone while parents are gone. Buffington also suggests that parents call to check in and answer any questions the sitter may have. Finding the right babysitter for your family can certainly take some effort. However, the peace of mind that comes from leaving your children with someone you trust is truly priceless!




DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 11

commentary & parenting

[ ask the teacher ]

Ask the Teacher

Homework overload, vocabulary woes and vacation disruptions By Deb Krupowicz


I cannot believe the amount of homework that my second grader has. It seems to go on forever. I am constantly having to prod her to get it done. Isn’t second grade too young for hours of homework each evening?


To find a reasonable solution to this issue, you must determine if your child is struggling academically or not managing her time well, or if her teacher makes these assignments as work to be completed at home. First collect some data to determine exactly how much homework your child has and in what academic areas. Every night for one week, make a list of the homework tasks your child is responsible for. Write down the subject area and the number of questions your child has to answer. Indicate the type of questions on the assignments (computation, problem solving, short answer, paragraph writing, etc.). Next to every task, record how much time each takes for your child to complete. At the end of the week, review the information you have collected. Determine how much time was spent on homework each evening and whether or not a particular subject area seemed to require more time than others. Look for trends. This information gives you a sound basis for a discussion with the teacher. Set up a meeting with the teacher, but refrain from starting with a judgment statement like, “I think second grade is way too young for two hours of homework every evening.” Instead, explain what you have observed. Ask the teacher if your child is struggling in a particular area or if managing time well at school is a challenge for your child. If either one of these issues is the explanation for the lengthy homework sessions, work with the teacher to develop some strategies to put in place. If, however, the teacher believes this homework load is a necessary component of second grade success, work with him or her and your child to develop a plan that will help your child achieve the desired output as efficiently as possible.


My third grade son has weekly vocabulary tests that he refuses to study for. Even though his grades on these quizzes are terrible, he just will not work on learning the words. What can I do?


The key to your son’s success on vocabulary tests is to determine a method of studying that he finds effective. The traditional way of studying vocabulary by putting words and their definitions on index cards still works for some students; for others it is just a frustration. 12 DAYTONPARENTMAGAZINE.COM

Free websites like or provide an easy way to turn vocabulary study into a game or challenge. Puzzlemaker. com allows you to build crossword puzzles, word searches and other games to make study time fun. You can create these, or your child can create them himself. Be sure to proofread his work before submitting the word lists and definitions so that your child is not studying incorrect information! Research shows that the brain retains new words best when associated with a picture. Have your child make a poster or draw pictures that illustrate the words on his vocabulary list. Or, try playing a game of Pictionary with your son, challenging him to guess the words you draw.


Our Christmas vacation is always hectic. We want to make the most of every minute, so we travel up until the last possible moment. Should I alert the teacher so that she can adjust the workload for the first few days after the students return to school?


We all love school vacation times, and we are usually ready for a break by the time it rolls around. With the busy schedules of today’s children, it is important that they have sufficient downtime occasionally so they can regroup and feel refreshed. If vacation is so busy that children return to school exhausted and so far removed from their normal routine

[ ask the teacher ] that the re-start of school becomes a huge struggle, you are doing your child a serious disservice. When you spend the first few days after vacation with a crabby, stressed out child, you have defeated the original purpose of the vacation. Rather than getting your child off to a fresh start, you

commentary & parenting

have sabotaged the beginning of the second semester by disrupting their routine and impeding their coping strategies by not having them well-rested for their return to school. Get the second half of the year off to a good start by ending traveling vacations a few days prior to school resuming. Give your child the chance to rest before getting school underway. If it is simply not possible to return earlier, implement a routine of bedtimes and wake-up times during break that are as close to the schedule of a school day as possible. Having your child readjusted to their normal routine will help minimize the damage of a last-minute return home following vacation.



Ask the Teacher is written by Deb Krupowicz, a mother of four and current teacher. Deb holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and has over twenty years of experience teaching preschool, elementary and middle school students. Please send your questions to her at

DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 13


Katrina Anne Willis

What’s right for your child?


ending your child to preschool is a big step not only for him or her, but for you as well. There are a vast number of preschool options and educational philosophies to explore, and finding the right fit for your child is an essential part of a strong and positive educational journey.


Your first step in the process is to outline the needs of your family – and specifically, of your child. Parents must consider factors such as cost, location, schedule, teacher/child ratio, accreditation and parental involvement oppor tunities . Additionally, individual children’s needs must also be taken into consideration. Does your child need a nap, and will the school accommodate that need? What are the disciplinary procedures? Is she adept at navigating unfamiliar social environments? Is a play-based curriculum best for him, or would he be better served by an education-based approach? Some preschools follow specific educational models, such as Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia. If you’re considering a preschool with such a philosophy, make sure you fully understand and are aligned with the chosen educational approach. 14 DAYTONPARENTMAGAZINE.COM

Sol Castro, director of Spring Valley Academy Preschool in Dayton, describes her school’s approach to education: “We believe all children are born ready to learn. Each of our educational goals is delivered through centers with hands-on learning, materials and equipment. Additionally, we focus on teacher/child interactions through an integrated curriculum which ensures the binding of cognitive learning to spiritual, social and emotional experiences.” Spring Valley Academy also promotes family involvement with the school by encouraging parents to visit the classroom, participate in field trips and contribute their expertise in order to help build a sense of family and community among the students. United Rehabilitation Services offers a preschool program that serves both typically developing children as well as those with special needs. Physical, occupational and speech therapies in their building mean children can receive therapies while at preschool or daycare, and save parents from making multiple appointments. Therapists also work in the classroom with teaching staff to incorporate treatment goals into their daily routines.


When you’re ready to begin your preschool search, it’s important to start early. Allow yourself time to research, make visits and talk with teachers and directors. And on a more practical level, many preschools have limited capacity and available spots fill quickly.

Mom of three, Laura, sums up her preschool search this way: “We have three kids very close in age. When the oldest started preschool, we looked for a faith-based curriculum that was within a 10-minute drive from our home. We talked to teachers and observed the classroom to make sure the environment would be a good fit. We were interested in a good balance of play and education, and our ultimate choice was the perfect blend of everything we wanted and needed. Our oldest son thrived there, and so did our middle child. When the youngest was ready for preschool, however, we switched schools. It was a decision based almost exclusively on our schedules at that point. We needed something more closely aligned with a traditional school day. Both experiences, however, were positive for all our kids. There are so many options out there – the most important piece of the puzzle is finding what works best within your own family dynamic.” Ultimately, deciding on the right preschool for your child is a choice best made once you’ve researched all your viable options. Arming yourself with information and insight before beginning this exciting journey will help you find just the right fit for your child… and your family. For more information about Dayton-area preschools, begin with these helpful sites:

QUESTIONS TO ASK A PRESCHOOL ♦ What is the educational philosophy of the school? ♦ Is the school licensed/accredited? ♦ What is the student-teacher ratio? ♦ What is the staff turnover rate? ♦ Can you provide references from parents of children attending the school? ♦ What are the qualifications/experience level of your teachers? ♦ Are children required to be potty trained? ♦ How do you communicate with parents? ♦ How do you handle discipline? ♦ What is a typical day like?




f daytonparent magazine

DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 15

12 Days Of




LI K E O U R FAC E BOO K PAG E FO R YO U R C HAN C E TO WI N ! Each day we will post the daily giveaway and instructions on how to enter! Winners will be announced via Facebook & Email.

DAY 1:

DAY 5:

DAY 9:

December 2nd

December 6th

December 12th

Derma Facial Sweep from Ageless Beauty

6 month Family Membership to the YMCA of Greater Dayton

A Supporting Member Membership from Dayton Historical Society

DAY 2:

DAY 6:

December 3RD

December 9th

8 x 10 hand drawn picture from the Bearded Artist

$100 Photography Gift Certificate to Obscura Photography towards session and prints

DAY 3: December 4th Four Tickets to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Lollipops Family Concert of Circus of Sounds January 25th, 2014 at the Aronoff Center

DAY 4: December 5th Large craft basket plus a $25 gift card from Discount School Supply


DAY 7: December 10th

1 hour massage & 1/2 hour facial from Holten Wellness Center

DAY 8: December 11th Exclusive Origami Owl large chocolate locket with crystals, 16-18” chocolate chain, large hand-stamped plate (of winner’s choice) and a gift certificate for $40 from Origami Owl

DAY 10: December 13th Lazer Kraze Birthday Party Package in Mason, OH

DAY 11: December 16th Four tickets to the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s Pinkalicious the Musical at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati, OH; Feb. 14th or 15th, 2014

DAY 12: December 17th 2 full body massages from The Massage Room

DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 17




DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 19

commentary & parenting

[ true confessions of stay-at-home-dad Pete Gilbert ]

A Man with a Van True confessions of stay-at-home dad Pete Gilbert ManVan. MinionVan. Manlyvan. Call it whatever you want. A minivan has been life changing for me, a stay-at-home dad. My kids can open the doors, climb in and two out of three can buckle up – without help from me. When your home by yourself with three kids during the day, this makes the daily trips to Target, Costco and Trader Joe’s much easier. Also, when I leave those stores with bags full of groceries, items my kids begged for and unnecessary impulse purchases, I can just push a button on the keychain and the doors open for the kids to pile in, like magic. One problem that’s been eliminated, now that I have a van, is my kids touching each other. They are seated in a two-row triangle formation, so there’s no ear flicking, licking, poking, pulling or toy stealing. Unfortunately, I do not have a soundproof window between me and the backseats, so I’m still subject to all the screaming and complaining.

One new option I’m excited to have in the van is a DVD player. At first the kids blared SpongeBob cartoons on it and I almost lost my mind. We came to a compromise and now they can still watch movies, but around town they can only watch the Planet Earth documentary series. The noises I have to hear while driving aren’t too bad, and my kids now spout off occasional animal facts. For example, did you know camels can carry 500 pounds on their backs? There’s so much storage in this thing too. We’ve stuffed in lawn chairs, strollers, blankets, coolers, diaper bags and still had enough room to fit our kids inside. So, dads, if you are debating between a three-row SUV and a minivan, check your ego at the door and come over to the dark side. There’s plenty of room, power doors, a DVD player and even heated seats for those cold December mornings. Happy parenting!


[ footnotes: thoughts from the margins of a mom’s life ] commentary

& parenting

Footnotes: Thoughts from the margins of a mom’s life The Ring Bearer Kelly Blewett The moment is 7:22 and tensions are running high. My husband, sister-in-law and I are tearing around searching under beds and dressers. My son, a tender 10-month-old, lingers nearby. We should have left ten minutes ago. My husband’s wedding ring is missing. I can’t help but wonder if little William had something to do with the ring’s disappearance. We don’t have any rules about the wedding ring, per se. It’s never come up before. But now the ring is missing, and the baby looks so something. Smug? Knowing? I shouldn’t project feelings onto the poor child, but still I am almost sure he’s guilty. The upsweep continues, and no ring is found. We call our friends; we are now late to dinner. The floor of the car is examined. Jacket pockets are turned out. I begin a casual interrogation. “Where’s Daddy’s ring, William? Where did you put it?” Does he even know what we mean? What would he do with it? Could it be with his toys? And suddenly, just when I think we’re really stuck, an idea strikes.


“William!” I say brightly, grabbing a big cocktail ring from my jewelry box. “Where does this go?” He grabs the burnished silver ring with fat fingers and grins. Without hesitation, he toddles toward the bathroom. He’s flushed the ring down the toilet. The thought comes unbidden. I wonder wildly what we will do next. Find a plunger? But then, with no fanfare, William opens up the garbage can in the bathroom and drops in his booty. It thunks on the bottom of the plastic barrel. And lo, shining against the black plastic of the liner, is the wedding ring. A collective sigh of relief from adults commingles with nervous laughter. “William!” I say, “Good job putting things away!” And just like that we dole out kisses and head out the door in a flurry of goodwill. I feel on top of the world. I can crack into the mind of my child and find lost things! I am invincible! Well, actually, I am delusional, but no matter. We are out for the night, ring in hand. And it is most certainly time for a glass of wine.


DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 21

Dealing with Difficult

GRANDPARENTS Handling unwanted advice from well-meaning family members | Sarah McCosham


eing a grandparent is one of life’s greatest rewards. This new status lets one enjoy the fun and excitement of a new baby without shouldering all the responsibility. Making a successful transition from “parent” to “grandparent” however, is not always easy and may require time and patience from everyone in the family. Many child-rearing practices have been updated over the years, and grandparents may find it difficult to be corrected on what’s best for baby by their own child – the one they raised who turned out just fine, thank you very much. Add this stressful family dynamic with a dash of mom’s post-partum hormones, and you can have a recipe for some major blow-ups. Here are some common points of contention between parent and grandparent – with tips for how to deal with them peacefully.

You are breastfeeding, and your mom/ mother-in-law suggests using formula Maria Greene, registered nurse and certified childbirth educator at Miami Valley Hospital, says moms should start a conversation with family members about how they will feed their baby during pregnancy, so grandparents can feel involved in the process. Including recent research on the many positive effects of breastfeeding helps too. “Most grandparents want the best for their grandchildren, and once parents share the benefits of breastfeeding – fewer colds and infections, added protection against diabetes and childhood obesity – hopefully grandparents will be open-minded and supportive,” she says.

Your in-laws criticize your adherence to a strict bedtime schedule You put your baby to bed at 7 p.m. sharp every night, regardless of whether it’s a holiday or get-together, which creates tension among family members who want the baby (and you) to be a part of the festivities. In this situation, it’s important to emphasize that your parenting decisions aren’t personal in nature, simply what you feel is best for your baby. Whatever your child-rearing decisions are, Greene says new parents must “keep your tone calm and try to remember that grandparents are likely not meaning to put pressure on you.”


See if a solution exists that can work for all parties – like scheduling family events during the day as a compromise.

You plan to practice time outs for misbehavior, not spanking Times have changed, and many parents now aren’t fans of spanking. Discipline is a very personal decision, and it’s important to let your family know your philosophy on the subject. Explain your reasoning, especially if what you are doing is very different from your own experience growing up. “Whatever method you decide on, a consistent approach from you as a parent is important for the children, and if the grandparents see that you’re being consistent, they’ll have less to complain about,” says Greene.

Grandpa puts the baby down on her stomach to sleep, not her back “The ‘back to sleep’ campaign has shown a 50% decrease in SIDS,” says Greene, who adds that hopefully just sharing that piece of information alone will be enough for grandparents to understand the importance of proper sleep position. With so many parenting guidelines based on new research findings, Greene recommends grandparents attend a baby-care class to get up to speed. “We teach an infant care class at Miami Valley Hospital that’s open to grandparents. At the class they will hear information related to the things that have changed in the last 20 to 30 years. Many grandparents are eager for this information and we have a great response when they attend the class.” There is a learning curve to becoming a grandparent. But your parents were once young parents themselves, and have great wisdom to share. “Some of the advice they give is going to be really great advice,” says Greene. “For instance, you might watch them comforting your baby and get tips and ideas because those are the kinds of things that parents don’t forget.” Just like any other major life change, adjusting to being a grandparent takes time. Remembering that your parents’ actions are probably motivated out of love, can help you put their advice and comments into a frame of reference that makes it easier to hear their good intentions.



DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 23

Socialization and the

Homeschooled Child Putting stereotypes to rest | Alicia Elam, President, Statewide Ohio Homeschool Organization


common question frequently asked of families who decide to homeschool is “how will your children be properly socialized?” To best answer this, the definitions of social and socialization must be clearly defined. To be social means “to participate in activities with people for pleasure,” while to be socialized means “to adapt to the needs of society.” Generally, the concern most people have for homeschooled kids is the amount of fun, social time they have with their peers, over whether or not they will one day be able to be productive, mature members of society. For several decades, homeschoolers kept a somewhat low profile to avoid unwanted attention from federal and state governments, local school systems and potentially interfering local groups of concerned citizens. Thus, for many homeschooling families, it was thought, and continues to be thought, that homeschoolers are quiet non-social families, shyly retiring from the “real world” and raising their children in solitude. This is a myth! Homeschool families today put great effort in providing diverse opportunities for their children to engage in socially meaningful


experiences, and are in fact, sometimes “overextended” just like their traditionallyschooled peers. For those families new to the homeschooling experience, the following ideas provide a few social avenues to explore. • Encourage children to join scouts, 4-H or youth groups at your church. These timehonored activities provide excellent opportunities for positive interaction. And just because you are homeschooling, this doesn’t mean your students are required to join an all-homeschool group. Find a situation that best fits your family’s needs. • Enroll your students in a local sports team – a great way to become acquainted with others in your community, regardless of their method of schooling. Through sports, children have the opportunity to learn leadership skills, cooperation, good sportsmanship and understand team dynamics – all while developing positive exercise habits. • Seek opportunities for people to interact with your family. Volunteer your time at a local animal shelter or soup kitchen. Participate in a fund raiser that sells to the public or your neighbors. Give a presentation or performance at a local retirement home, like singing Christmas carols. There are plenty

of existing opportunities, or create your own. • Let your children see your positive social skills in action by demonstrating the proper way to behave in public. Saying “hello” to someone passing you on the sidewalk, making eye contact with the cashier at the store or chatting pleasantly with the server at a restaurant all provide an example of how “socialized” people interact with one another. Finally, join a local homeschool group or organization, an excellent way to meet others who share a similar educational path. Meetings are generally held during the day, which preserves family evening time. Research “homeschool groups” in or near your city to locate available opportunities in your area. A visit to offers a free listing of homeschool groups in most states. Most virtual schools offer activity groups, too. Just ask! Check out groups such as the Statewide Ohio Homeschool Organization (SOHO), East of Cincinnati Homeschool Organization (ECHO), Cincinnati Area Secular Homeschoolers (CASH) and Parents Educating At Christian Homes, Inc. (PEACH). Additional information for all these groups can easily be found online and on Facebook. Learning how to be “social” is an important part of every child’s development. And with resources in place to foster this growth, all children –homeschooled or otherwise – will be set up for success.



DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 25


indoor holiday D

uring the holidays we tend to be prone to a lot of things; overeating, overspending and overbooking our calendars. As we get caught up in the chaotic bliss of it all, it becomes easy to overlook minor details that can pose great danger to your child’s safety.

Simple precautions keep the season injury free Elizabeth Reeves, Dayton Children’s Hospital

your child’s reach at all times. Also be conscious that alcohol is not within reach and is put away after festivities, as children have significantly lower tolerance, which increases their risk of alcohol poisoning.

2. Be aware of choking hazards. Ornaments,

“The holidays are one of the busiest times for our emergency room. Seemingly normal or routine activities often mask the harm that can be done when children are involved,” says Lisa Schwing, RN, trauma program manager at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

light bulbs, tinsel and small toys all have the potential to block a child’s airways. Make sure that babies and toddlers do not have access to toys small enough to fit in their mouth or come with accessories they could swallow. Ensure that ornament hooks and tree needles are off the ground as both can do serious damage to eyes and throats.

With a little extra caution, your family can steer clear of injuries and make the most of this joyful time of year.

3. Fire prevention. Keep trees away from

Five easy precautions to take: 1. Keep potentially poisonous items out of your child’s reach. Mistletoe, poinsettias

and other common holiday plants, “bubble lights” (even those labeled nontoxic) and fake snow sprays all present a potential toxic threat and should be kept away from


outlets and heaters. Never place real candles in trees. Spread out the placement of your electrical plugs so they are not overloading a circuit. Make sure your chimney is clean and hazard-free before lighting it and check that all smoke detectors have batteries and are working.

4. Burn prevention. Keep an eye on your

child when you are cooking. Make sure all pot and pan handles are turned inward so

they cannot be bumped and that your child is kept away from open oven doors. Create a barrier between your child and the fire place when in use.

5. Choose safe toys. Select toys that are

age appropriate. This not only protects a child from physical harm but will also assist in exposing them to content appropriate for their current developmental stage. Only buy toys painted with lead-free paint and art materials labeled non-toxic. Crayons and paints should say ASTM D-4236 on the package, which means they have been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials. For small children, toys should be at least three centimeters in diameter and six centimeters in length so they can’t be swallowed or lodged in their airway. Your child will create some of their best memories during the holidays. By taking a few extra precautions, you can help ensure that your family will ring in the New Year feeling happy and healthy!





DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 27

commentary & parenting

[ december happenings ]

December Happenings Holiday fun to share together

Lisa Seibert, Community Executive,

With Thanksgiving behind us, December will take us to the end of the holiday season. Maybe the best part of December is that friends and family make a point to get together and catch up with one another. Whether you travel to visit others, have company, send cards or letters, or host or attend a party you’re sure to see people during December that you’d love to see more often. If you’re looking for fun things to do together, visit’s schedule of holiday events. Here are a few of the items you’ll find there.

Riverscape Ice Skating 229 East Monument Ave. Dayton (937) 278-2607 Extended hours November 29, 2013 through January 4, 2014 (Open Christmas & New Year’s Day) Admission: Mon - Thurs, Free (skate rental $5), Fri - Sun & Holidays, $7 includes skate rental (Season passes also available)

Sheltered under the covered pavilion, the MetroParks Ice Rink is at Riverscape Metropark. Patrons may skate daily. While the rink is open, you can enjoy delicious treats from Silver Fern Café, including a cup of hot chocolate.

The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill 2013 75 Water St., Clifton December 1, 2013 through January 1, 2014 Admission: $10 per person for ages 7 and older. Children 6 and under get in free!

For over 20 years Clifton Mill has celebrated the Christmas season in a very special way. The light display is one of the country’s finest with over 3.5 million lights illuminating the mill, gorge, riverbanks, trees and bridges. There is even a 100 foot “waterfall” of twinkling lights. The flip of one switch turns all the lights on at once transforming the night into a fantastical winter wonderland.

LaComedia Holiday Celebration 765 W. Central Ave., Dayton November 29, 2013 through December 31, 2013 (closed December 25 & 26) Admission: Kids 11 and under $30, Adults $55 $71 (Visit for details)

Join LaComedia this Christmas for a musical journey that features dancing, fun-loving characters and Santa Claus himself. Then, with the warmth and beauty of the Nativity, celebrate the wonder of the true meaning of Christmas, featuring a traditional rendition of “O’ Holy Night.”

North Pole Express Train Ride 127 S Mechanics St, Lebanon Saturday & Sunday, November 30 through December 22, 2013 Admission: Adults $20.50, Seniors & Children (5-16) $15.50, Toddlers (2-4) $8.50, Infants (1 yr. and under) free

A half hour train ride to LM&M Junction to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus! Take a moment to visit Santa and tell him your Christmas wishes. Each child will receive a small gift from Mr. Claus himself! Stop at the “Holiday Post Express” to color pictures or write letters to be delivered to Santa. Enjoy a holiday cookie and a cup of hot chocolate to keep while you are entertained by Santa’s talented elves! 28 DAYTONPARENTMAGAZINE.COM

Kettering Mayor’s Christmas Tree Kettering Civic Commons, 675 Lincoln Park Boulevard Friday December 6, 2013, 6:00 p.m. Admission: Free

Enjoy live holiday music, carriage rides, hot chocolate and sweet treats. Entertainment begins at 6 p.m. and the tree lighting is at 6:30 p.m. This event will be held at Civic Commons.

Woodland Lights 2013 Countryside Park at the Washington Township Recreation Center, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd. December 6 through December 30, 2013, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Closed December 24 & 25) Nostalgia Nights – Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17 Admission $3, children under 3 are free Festival Nights – Nightly, except Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17 Admission $7, children under 3 are free

Woodland Lights is a month-long fantasyland of holiday lights and animated lighting displays. The holiday lighting festival features a half-mile wooded path winding through a park where whimsical characters and illuminated critters prepare for the holidays.


DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 29







DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 31

calendar TUESDAY | 03


Tree Lighting Ceremony

Parents’ Night Out

Time: 6:00 PM Price: Free Location: Greene Memorial Hospital, Xenia Website: greene/ Come to Santa’s Workshop and write a letter to Santa. Let’s bring in the season together with carolers, cookies, warm cocoa, and a live nativity!

Time: 5:00 PM-9:00 PM Price: $20 per child Location: TWIGS Kids, West Carrollton Website: During a Parent’s Night Out, children ages 3 and up have the opportunity to have a great time in our gym and pool (with parent’s permission) while you enjoy some much needed time off! Children rotate from the gym and pool and they also have a snack, craft and Bible devotion at the end of the evening.


Tree Lighting Ceremony Time: 6:00 PM Price: Free Location: Soin Medical Center, Beavercreek Website: soin/ Come to Santa’s Workshop and write a letter to Santa. Let’s bring in the season together with carolers, cookies, warm cocoa, and a live nativity!

celebration of the centuries old Christmas market tradition that originated in Nuernburg, Germany. Quality vendors will offer hand crafted ornaments, hand made bath soaps and accessories, beer steins, amber jewelry from the Baltic, German collectible items, antiques, stained glass items, unique jewelry and much more!

Miami Valley Dance Company presents... The Nutcracker Ballet Date: Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8 Time: Sat., 3:00 and 7:00 PM; Sun., 3:00 PM Price: $12.00 per person Location: Bellbrook High School Auditorium Website: Join us for a familyfriendly, affordable, holiday tradition.



the candy canes and enjoy cookies and cocoa. Santa may even be there! Registration required.

SUNDAY | 08 Soin Baby Fair

Time: 2:00 PM-4:00 PM Price: Free Location: Soin Medical Center Website: soin/ FREE Baby Fair Includes: Childbirth Class Information, Tour the Maternity Suites, Meet Soin Obstetricians, Baby Retailers, Prizes, Refreshments and Fun!

Paint with Santa! Time: 2:00 PM-4:00 PM Price: Price varies; $15 and up Location: Paintbrush Pottery, Springboro Website: www.paintbrushpottery. com/ Have cookies, milk and special time with Santa all while painting pottery. Choose an ornament for $15 + tax or a plate for $25 + tax


Woodland Lights Opening Night Time: 6:00 PM Price: $7; Under 3 free Location: Countryside Park, Washington Township Website: recreation/woodland-lights-2/ Santa’s arrival is heralded with flashing lights and siren as he arrives at Woodland Lights atop a real fire engine. Santa will be delivered to his historic log cabin where children can visit with him 6 to 9 p.m. nightly through December 23.


Parent Cafe

Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt Christkindlmarkt Christmas Market Saturday, December 7 through Sunday, December 8 Time: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM Price: Free Location: Dayton Liederkranz Turner Website: www.daytongermanclub. org Visit the Liederkranz for the annual

Date: Saturday, December 7 through Sunday, December 8 Time: 6:00 PM Price: $3 resident; $5 non-resident Location: Polen Farms, Kettering Website: www.ketteringoh. org/?s=polen+farms It has been rumored someone will leave candy canes on the grounds around Polen Farm! Bring your flashlight and help us find them all. First decorate a bag for collecting

Time: 6:00 PM-8:00 PM Price: Free Location: United Rehabilitation Service, Dayton Website: These discussions provide parents with an opportunity to reflect on their own learning and share ideas and solutions with other parents. This event is free to all families in Montgomery County and includes dinner and childcare. If you have you would like more information or to register, please contact Jonell Esparza at 937-233-1230 X128. The Parent Café is funded by The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund.

WEDNESDAY| 11 Holiday Sing-Along Time: 11:00 AM- noon Price: Free Location: Centerville Library, Centerville Website: Celebrate the season with a festive performance by the Incarnation School’s Muse Performing Group and then join in on an old-fashioned sing-along Refreshments served. For All Ages.

THURSDAY | 12 Paint Me A Story! Santa’s Suit

Time: 11:00 AM Price: $10 + tax Location: Paintbrush Pottery, Springboro Website: www.paintbrushpottery. com/ We will be reading “Santa’s Suit” and painting pottery that relates to the story. Ages 2+.


Tike Hikes: Squirrel Search Time: 10:00 AM Price: Free Phone: (937) 275-7275 Location: Sugarcreek MetroPark, Bellbrook Website: Parks/Sugarcreek/ Join other preschoolers and their parents in search for this rodent of our treetops. We will explore how these furry creatures get through the winter while enjoying a winter morning in the park! For ages 2-5.


Train Rides at Carillon Park Railroad Times: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Price: $1.00 Location: Carillon Park Railroad,

Dayton Website: Family Fun at the Carillon Historical Park Museum - take the kids for a train ride on their 1/8th scale railroad!

Mothers and Daughters United, Inc Time: 3:00 PM–8:00 PM Location: Memories Banquet Hall, Huber Heights Website: Come join in on ornament decorating, music, games, Mom’s Best Dessert Contest, gift exchange, storytelling, fun, and prizes. We are collecting shelfstable food items to support local organizations in our community.


The Make A Kid Smile Comedy Benefit Show Time: 8:00 PM Location: Wiley’s Comedy Club Phone: 937-224-JOKE It’s standup comedy for a cause featuring the best of Dayton’s local talent. A new, unwrapped toy is your price for admission. The toys will be donated to kids hospitalized during the holidays at Dayton Children’s.


Magical Music: Sounds of the Season Time: 11:00 AM-6:00 PM Price: Free Location: Dayton Mall Website: If you’re out shopping in the Dayton area on Saturday,December 21, stop by the Dayton Mall! Enjoy hours of holiday entertainment provided by civic organizations in the Sears Court. We will have elementary choirs, school bands and many more!

Iams Home 4 The Holidays Pet Adopt-A-Thon Time: 11:00 AM-5:00 PM Location: Dayton Mall Phone: 937-433-9834 Find your perfect pet and bring them “Home 4 the Holiday” during our annual Pet Adopta-thon Event. We will be joined by the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, SICSA, and the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center as they continue their mission to provide loving homes for orphaned pets in the Dayton area.


Dayton Philharmonic: Handel’s Messiah Times: 6:30 PM Price: Adult $28 | Senior $26 | Student $14 Location: Westminster Presbyterian Church, Dayton Website: http://westminsterdayton. org/ Enjoy the powerful, emotionally stirring, and at times heartbreakingly beautiful music of a composer for whom the oratorio proved a personal salvation.

Holiday Champagne Brunch Date: Sunday, December 22 Time: 10:30 AM-2:00 PM Price: Adults, 7.95; Kids 5-12 $12.95;Under 5 eat free Location: Hilton Garden Inn Dayton/Beavercreek Phone: 937-458-2650 for reservations


Featuring all of your Breakfast Favorites in addition to: Madeto-Order Omelets, Biscuits and Gravy, Fresh Fruit and Salad Presentations, Chef’s Carving Station, Assortment of Entrées and Side Dishes Seafood Station, Holiday Dessert Display, Champagne Mimosas PLUS a Kid Friendly Knee-High Buffet!


Harlem Globetrotters Date: Tuesday, December 31 Time: 2:00 PM Price: tickets start at $26 Location: The Nutter Center at Wright State University Website: The idea behind The Globetrotters new World Tour show, “Fans Rule” that YOU decide the new rule we add to Globetrotters basketball, a rule that could affect the outcome of the game! Join in on the fun when they bring their game to the Nutter Center.

At Dayton Parent, we work hard to ensure our calendar and guide information is accurate. Occasionally event specifics change after we go to press. Therefore, we encourage our readers to call locations or visit them on the web to verify information.

DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 33

ongoing events Christmas Spectacular Date: Through Tuesday, December 31 Time: see website for schedule Price: see website for ticket pricing Location: LaComedia Dinner Theatre, Springboro Website: playbill/ Join us this Christmas for a musical journey that features dancing, fun-loving characters and Santa Claus himself. Then, with the warmth and beauty of the Nativity, we will celebrate the wonder of the true meaning of Christmas, featuring our traditional rendition of “O’Holy Night”.

Parents Night Out at LeapFrogs Party & Play Center Date: Fridays, December 6 through December 27 Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Price: $23.00 per child, including dinner Location: Leap Frogs, Miamisburg Website: Drop the kids off every Friday & enjoy a night out for shopping, dinner, a movie or just a quiet evening together! We guarantee to wear the kids out with plenty of exercise and fun bouncing, climbing, sliding and playing in our Giant arenas by the time you pick them up! We will even provide the kids dinner and fun-filled activities!

Bouncing with Books Date: Mondays and Thursdays in December Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Price: $9.00 Location: Twigs Kids Sports Center, Carrollton Website: Come bounce with us. 1 1/2 hours of supervised gym time includes inground trampolines, balance beams, uneven bars, 34 DAYTONPARENTMAGAZINE.COM

bounce house, and much more. Also, includes story time and craft Fun for kids of ALL ages.

Big Bad Bounce “T-Shirt Sunday” Date: Sunday, December 29 Time: noon – 10:00 PM Price: initial cost of T-shirt $13 Location: Big Bad Bounce, Vandalia Website: Wear your t-shirt (purchase for $13) on the last Sunday of each month for 1 free hour of bouncing.

Mom and Me Day Date: Tuesdays through December 31 Time: 11:00 AM-8:00 PM Price: prices vary Location: CozyMelts, Huber Heights, OH Website: Every Tuesday at CozyMelts is Mom/Dad and me Day. When the parent paints their own pottery piece the child’s studio fee is FREE That’s a $7 savings.

Friday Night Pottery Painting Special Date: Fridays through December 27 Time: 4:00 PM-7:00 PM Price: prices vary Location: Decoy Art Studio, Dayton, OH Website: All Inclusive Pottery and Art Studio No studio fees, color or time limitations Pick your pottery and paint Fridays buy one get one $5 off Walk In pottery and canvas painting 6 days a week.

Woodland Lights Date: Friday, December 6 through Monday, December 30 Time: 6:00 PM-9:00 PM Price: Nostalgia nights, $3; Festival nights, $7; Under 3, free on all nights

Location: Countryside Park, Washington Township, OH Website: recreation/woodland-lights-2/ Woodland Lights offers a fantasyland of holiday lights and displays along a half-mile wooded path. The event enters its 21st season with more lights, more vignettes, and the same winter whimsy that enchants thousands of visitors every year. See website for complete schedule of events!

Jingle Aargh the Way! Date: Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 22 Time: See website for show schedule Price: see website for ticket pricing Location: Town Hall Theatre, Centerville, OH Website: recreation/theatre/ Captain Braid Beard and the rest of his scurvy crew are back for a holiday adventure! And they need young Jeremy Jacob to help them solve a riddle that will lead them to a mysterious Christmas treasure. After basketball practice, ballet lessons and helping Chef Pierre cook up “zee perfect Christmas cookie,” the lads meet up with Santa, who explains that maybe it’s time they learned that it’s better to give than to pillage! Ages 4 and up.

North Pole Express Date: Select days, November 30 through December 22 Price: see website for ticket pricing Time: see website for times Location: Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad, Lebanon Website: northpole.html Take a half hour train ride to the decorated LM&M Junction to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus! Take a moment to visit Santa and tell him your Christmas wishes. Each child


will receive a small gift from Mr. Claus himself! Stop at the “Holiday Post Express” to color pictures or write letters to be delivered to Santa. Enjoy a holiday cookie and a cup of hot chocolate to keep you warm while you are entertained by Santa’s talented Elves!

Riverscape Metropark Ice Skating Date: Friday, November 29 through Friday, February 28 Time: See website for skating schedule Price: weekdays, free admission, $5 skate rental; Fri, Sat, Sun admission is $7 and includes the use of skates. Location: RiverScape MetroPark, Dayton Website: Parks/RiverScape/IceRink.aspx Patrons may skate daily. Monday through Thursdays, there is no admission charge, so if you have your own skates, you can practice your figure-eights for free. Fri, Sat, Sun admission is $7 and includes the use of skates.

The Nutcracker presented by Dayton Ballet Date: Select days December 13 through December 22 Time: see website for schedule Price: tickets start at $15 Location: Schuster Center, Dayton Website: A glistening new production! Come with us into a dream world of dancing snowflakes and the sweetest of treats presented by magical fairies choreographed by Karen Russo Burke. This holiday tradition will delight fans of all ages.








DECEMBER 2013 [ dayton parent ] 35



December 2013 Dayton Parent Magazine  
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