Finding Your Dance Confidence

When you first start dancing, it’s easy to struggle with your confidence. You might not know the best way to even get started if your confidence levels are so low. While there is no cookie-cutter solution for feeling ready to break out your best dance moves, there are simple ways you can find your own dance confidence. Whether you’re a new dancer or you’ve been dancing for years, self-consciousness can strike at any time. Here’s how to find your dance confidence so you can show your best moves to the world!

Image via Pexels

Dress for Success

If you’ve ever heard the tip “fake it till you make it,” take it literally by investing in the right dance outfit. It might sound weird, but it really does work! If you look confident you can trick yourself into feeling confident! Review dancing blogs and recent trends to see what costumes are hip at the moment. Then search for the best dance costumes from Alexandra Costumes or another high-quality retailer to find the perfect outfit for strutting your stuff! Even if you don’t feel your best, you’ll at least look your best!

Practice Good Posture

Standing up straight is proven to lead to greater feelings of confidence. Take a hint from this science by evaluating your own dance posture. Even if you feel the music, you might notice yourself hunching over or making yourself smaller. Hold your head up high! Stand tall and proud! The more you work on your posture, the more confident you’ll feel. Not to mention your dancing skills will improve!

Dance with a Group

Dancing alone is intimidating, even for experienced dancers. Whether you’re planning to perform at an event or you’re just practicing, having a group with you can take the edge off of any dance routine. Not only will being with others help inspire you to do your best, but you don’t have to worry about being the center of attention if something goes wrong. Starting with a group of dance friends is a great first step in your quest for dance confidence!

Image via Pexels

Stick to the Basics

Have you ever skipped too many steps too fast and found yourself completely overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Bring it back to the basics by practicing your basic moves. If you find yourself too stressed by the idea of taking that next step in your dance level, it’s okay to take a moment to practice the basics. Even the best dancers need to refresh themselves about the basics of movement, steps, and balance. These are a great way to practice, and you’ll gain confidence in your abilities as you go!

Stay Energized

If you’re tired and unmotived, you probably aren’t going to be dancing your best. While you shouldn’t overload yourself on things like energy drinks, you shouldn’t be wandering around your dance studio feeling like a zombie come to life! Treat your body kindly by drinking enough water and eating energizing foods throughout the day to keep your energy levels up. Listen to your body and know when it’s time for a break!

Let Go of Perfectionism

A lot of dancers tend to be perfectionists. It’s easy to think even the best dancers are perfect, but make peace with the fact that this is not a reality. You will make mistakes. This is just a part of being a performer and an artist. Mistakes are a great way to learn, and it’s okay if you aren’t perfect all the time. It’s more important to do your best and give it your all than to always be perfect!

Practice Performing

Sometimes the best way to overcome your lack of confidence is to just put yourself out there. If the thought of performing scares the wits out of you, it might be time to just bite the bullet. There are ways to practice performing without the same levels of pressure of a real event! Join a performance group to practice your stage work or find a studio near you with local performances. Even these small steps make a big difference!

Dance Like Nobody is Watching!

This old cliche rings true for your confidence. If you’re dancing for yourself, you’ll feel your best. Remember you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Think back to just how passionate you are about dance. If you’re inspired by the music and the movement, nothing else matters. Even if you’re in front of a big crowd, dance like nobody is watching! That’s when you know you’ve found your dance confidence!

Start The School Year Off Right, With A Back To School Party!

One of the greatest gifts a parent can give their child, is a love of learning. This starts with reading and teaching and showing enthusiasm when a child learns something, even before they are school age.  

An involved and dedicated parent can open a magical world of learning in a young mind. This gift grows with the child and transferred into everything the child does.

Therefore, it is not surprising that a parent who shows excitement and spirit about an upcoming school year, has a child who is eager to push ahead into the new school term.

One way a parent can show spirit is to give the child a “back to school” party!

They can invite the neighborhood children as well as the children in the prior years classes.

Create a time capsule and let the children contribute a memory of their family vacation activities or summer dance camp in form of an item to bury until next year.

The party can feature relay races, toss games, and pictures from the prior year on a screen. You can have small door prizes, such as school supplies, a custom designed T-shirt or a backpack.

Open the conversations about what to expect and any changes that may occur.

Bring the party together with a creative “back to school” theme candy buffet.  This replaces traditional snack tables with a cost effective and fun way to build excited children.


Create a backdrop.  For a back to school theme, consider a tablecloth hung on the wall behind the table.  The cloth should be in the school colors and decorated with school jerseys, pom-poms, the school, mascot, and the school name. Place a six to eight foot table in front of the backdrop and cover it with a matching or alternating color.

Use six to eight assorted, clear jars to hold the candy.  Keep your candy in 2 – 3 color hues and mix or layer the candy in the jars. Use tongs to small scoops to dip the candy and provide small bags for take home goodies.

You will need a centerpiece, a stack of books, with an apple and ruler makes a cute centerpiece. An alternative for jars is the Solo Cups with peel away “chalkboard” labels.

You can stage your candy in these cups and scratch the name of each candy directly on the cups. Use glue dots and smaller cups or boxes to raise and lower the Solo cups for a more attractive table. Plastic spoons (large) make good scoops for the Solo cup table.

Buy the candy in bulk. You will need about eight ounces of candy per guest. 


Have a variety of candy, keeping in mind that you may need a few for the child with food allergies.  Suckers, M & M’s, Skittles, Tootsie Rolls, Chocolate kisses, gummy worms (bears and rings), Gumballs, cotton candy, nerds ropes, and Pop Rocks are popular choices. Marshmallows and pretzels are good for filling in empty spots while adding variety.   

If you go into the new school year with excitement and hope, your child will too.  Yes, there will be fears and things they are nervous about, but they will have an overall mental picture that all will work out. They will feel your support and that makes all the difference. So, start the year off right with a cool “back to school” party and help them see the promise of tomorrow.

What is the Role of Parents in their Children’s Education?

Source Pixabay 

Being a parent requires quite a unique set of skills and responsibilities. They are beyond counting and it’s hard to put them all on paper. New things keep arising as kids get older and it’s practically impossible to be ready for every situation that may come your way. However, like any other parent, you probably do have some priorities when it comes to your responsibilities. Of course, making sure your child is healthy, happy and genuinely a good, honest person that has an education which will enable them to have a decent life. However, once you set goals for your children, a new question arises: “How much can I meddle without causing a counter-effect?” This question is particularly important when it comes to education. Are you allowed to influence your child directly if you see they’re making a huge mistake, or should you just step aside and watch them hit a brick wall? Unfortunately, nobody knows the exact recipe as it’s not the same for each parent and child, but there are some aspects you can consider that can help you make a decision and ways to be an influence subtly and effectively.

Teach knowledge-thirst

The key is to start on time. It’s never too early to teach your child about learning and wanting to learn, especially since babies have a natural urge for wanting to know about the world around them. All you have to do is make sure to keep them interested in all sorts of things as they become older. If you’re wondering how to do this, there are a number of mind-stimulating games for children of all ages, puzzles, memory games, strategy games, and many others. However, you need to take part in these games, too, because your child needs to see the way they work and how much fun it actually is.

Source Pixabay

Pay attention to preferences

Parents have a nasty habit of wanting to pass their ambitions onto their children. Some of them are lucky enough that it turns out their children do have the same interests, while others can end up in tears as pushing your children too hard and in a direction they don’t want to take can lead to a complete disaster including dropping out and giving up on everything, as well as mental instability. However, there’s nothing wrong with having high hopes for your child. It’s just that you need to forget about your desires and focus on your child’s. Once you establish this, it’s absolutely OK to do your best to encourage your child to on their way to getting into Ivy League. This involves a lot of moral and financial support, but it’s definitely worth it.

Teach them how to learn

Some parents find it easier to cope with their child’s learning problem simply by doing it instead of them. This is a huge NO for all the parents out there. You need to help your child resolve the problem, not do it instead of them. Yes, it’s harder and it demands more time and effort, but it’s your own child, so you need to make time for this type of activity. Try to be there for all sorts of activities, observe and remember how your child learns. You need to see if your kid is a visual, auditory or a kinesthetic learner. After that, you should show them some learning methods accordingly. Many educational problems stem from one’s inability to learn or ignorance about which learning method is best for them.

Source Pixabay

Don’t overwhelm them

It is understandable to want the best for your child, but the hard part is to be able to look at your child objectively and determine their potential. It’s not easy, perhaps not even realistic, but once you make your peace with the fact that your child is not perfect and that’s OK, you’ll be able to see things more clearly. Under no circumstances should you push your child to the limit. This will only cause them to shut down completely and give up on everything. So, if you want your child to learn a new language, play sports and also play an instrument, perhaps you should consult them first and then introduce these activities gradually, just so you could keep up with how long they can run the gauntlet. If, on the other hand, your kid does have great potential and can work under all these conditions or, what’s more, finds them stimulating, go for it, just make sure to keep track of the situation at all times.

There are no 100% success rates when it comes to parenting or recipes for parenting. The general advice is to spend as much time with your children as you can and be observant and caring. Sure, you can and should consult people and books, do research, but in the end, you are the one that knows your child best and you should be the one who has the final say. After all, you’re the boss and you love your child the most, so we’re sure you’ll be able to make the best possible decision.

About the author

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into the lifestyle, parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.

4 Unfortunate Events That Can Show Your Kids the Value of Resilience

Life can be unbelievably tough, with unfortunate events happening to even the luckiest of people. One of the most important lessons that we can teach our children is that of not giving up when things go wrong or start to become difficult. As parents, we always try to teach our children to be as proactive as possible to avoid problems. This simply is not always an option as unplanned bad things happen to everyone. The reaction of us as parents has a much larger impact than the event itself in many cases. The following are events and how to react to them to show teach your kids about resilience.

Fired from a Job

One of the worst feelings in the world is being fired or laid off, especially when you have a family to support. This can send a person into a deep depression where they feel helpless. Don’t be the parent who does not get out of their pajamas because of a setback. Get up early each day and start working on finding a new full-time gig. Your resume needs to be updated ASAP as sending this out a multitude of times will increase your likelihood of receiving an interview. Do not get discouraged if your first few interviews do not go as planned as they can be considered practice for other upcoming interviews. If you aren’t sure that your resume looks great, take a look online at a few resume examples for inspiration

Health Problems

Chronic health problems or injuries in the family can change the way the entire family lives. Dealing with injuries or disease can be extremely frustrating alone, but this compounds when you add the responsibilities of being a parent. If you are injured in some type of accident, it is important not to put off physical therapy. Show your children that even though you might be down, you certainly are not out. Toughness is something that many parents do not teach these days, but it is necessary to be a success in life. Constantly complaining about an injury or condition will teach your children that you are powerless against certain situations. Therapy might be needed for your children in these cases though as health problems can impact everyone’s lives.

Relationship Problems

Relationship problems, for the most part, should be kept from the children as it is a form of stress no child should have to deal with. Working on your communication skills can be a great way to show your kids that relationships are work. Healthy relationships do include fighting, but it is best to do this in private. Do not be ashamed if you have to go to family or relationship counseling as this shows you are working your hardest to remedy any problems. Fighting in the family can be very common, so it is important to take the time to try to mend these problems. Far too many families become disjointed due to members not being able to forgive or a grudge being held so long that now it would be uncomfortable to resume a relationship.

Financial Issues

Financial issues can lead to quite a bit of fighting even in the calmest of households. This is not the time to give up but rather the time to show your kids how hard you and your significant other can work. Picking up a second job is not as difficult as many people think it is especially freelancing thriving unlike ever before. A few hours a day of work can make a huge difference in a monthly budget. One job simply is not enough in many circumstances for people to live the lifestyle they desire. Use financial issues as a teaching point in order to teach your children fiscal responsibility. Far too many people are not taught to budget in a correct manner leading to them mismanaging their money.

As you can see these are just a few of the many situations where you can show your children not to give up. Resilience really is just the refusal to quit even though things might not be going well. Instilling this in your children not only will help them for life, but they can also teach these qualities to their friends as well.

Great Thank You Gifts for Your Family and Friends

Source Pixabay

Are you completely and utterly clueless about what to buy for your family member or friend for a special occasion? If you had a busy week, you probably are. But no matter how busy we are, we can’t let our tight schedule affect our relationships with our friends and family. Luckily for you, we might have a solution. Being that everyone is different, maybe not every gift suggestion that we’re about to present will work in your case. However, you will surely find at least one that will push you in the right direction.

Pierced vase

Nothing says thank you for a beautiful friendship more than a home décor vase. A cleverly designed vase will remind your friend or family member that the relationship between the two of you always shines bright and will continue to do so. Being that it will be a constant reminder of your friendship, it would be ingenious to add a custom marking on it – for example, a personal note or a statement of your choosing that commemorates a particular situation you encountered with them which made you even closer. It’s always good to have one such item adorning your home.

Source Pexels

Magic card

If you have a family member or a friend who is a practical type of person, then you must think thoroughly about what gift to get them, right? You can’t just buy anything for them, especially not something they have no use for. So why not get them a prepaid visa card? This way they’ll have the freedom of getting themselves what they really want instead of depending on you to make the right choice. They might even cherish the friendship you have even more thanks to this gesture. They’ll be able to buy the perfect present for themselves, which you might never think of.

Piggy bank

Do you have a friend who dreams of going to an exotic place but isn’t able to save money for a trip of that sort? Then why not gift them a piggy bank? Make sure that you choose a piggy bank of appropriate size and shape so that it suits the person in question. If you really support them and their aspirations, this will surely help them achieve their goal. While they are collecting money for their exotic trip, they’ll think of you and won’t dare to spend their money on something else. It would be a shame to break an item of such sentimental value just so they can spend that money irrationally.

High-end toolbox

Having a crafty friend who helps you with all your repair and crafting issues is neat. They can help you by building something as simple as a kitchen table, or even by repairing your car or a home appliance. But how do you repay them? It’s simple: get them a high-end toolbox. They’ll appreciate it, even more so knowing that this is kind of a thank you gift to repay them for all the favors they’ve done for you. It is a perfect gift for them, you simply can’t get them a better one.

Source Pixabay

DIY illusion mirror

Is your best friend a home décor geek? Are they constantly thinking of new ways to enhance their home interior without investing too much money in it? Then now is the time to shine and create a unique gift for your friend. You can handcraft an illusion mirror or a never-ending mirror with ease. All you need is a good tutorial and the right set of tools. You won’t even need much in terms of required materials. All you’ll need is an LED tape, a perfectly-sized mirror, a piece of glass, some car window tint film and the will to connect the pieces together. If crafted well, the tinted film will act as a two-way mirror, creating an LED light-illuminated path into the unknown.

Separation Anxiety and Clinginess in Babies

By 6 months of age, a baby’s awareness has usually developed enough that he or she starts to notice when people- their parents, in particular- are gone. Once a baby has started to realize this, separation anxiety often starts from. Separation anxiety can appear in the form of clinginess- crying when you leave the room or are out of your baby’s sight. Sometimes, in extreme cases, the anxiety starts once your baby catches wind that you might be preparing to leave.

Typically, this clinginess is a phase. Regardless, however, it can be hard for parents to deal with as they feel guilty for leaving their child in such an upset state. If you’re stuck battling separation anxiety, have no fear! There are tips that you can use to help kick clinginess to the curb, and we’ve made a list of some of the best below.

Stay calm, cool, and collected.

It can be frustrating and stressful to deal with a fit of tears and rage each time you leave the room, go to work, or step away to use the washroom. Staying calm through times like this can be hard to do, but if you can manage it, it will prove to be effective in battling these upsetting episodes.

Keep yourself calm by taking long, deep breaths and by stopping and counting to 10 if you need a few more seconds to calm down. Don’t yell at your child or raise your voice- doing this will only make matters worse and make your child more upset, and in turn, stress you out more.

Reassure your child.

Before you leave, spend a few moments to reassure your child that you’ll be back and that they’ll be okay while you’re gone. Something as simple as saying “I’ll be back soon, I promise” can do wonders to put a child’s mind at ease.

Even if your child is at an age where they don’t understand what you’re saying, your voice can provide comfort and reassurance.

Make separation quick.

Like ripping off a band-aid, the longer you draw out the process of leaving, the more it hurts your child. When you must leave, and your child starts to get worked up, give them a hug and kiss, tell them you love them, and then promptly take your leave. Although the sounds of your child crying will follow you out the door, they’ll recover from the episode more easily because the event was done and over quickly.

If it’s a young baby with this problem, do the same thing as you would with an older child- a quick hug and kiss and then leave without lingering.

Come up with a goodbye routine.

To make goodbyes as easy as possible, come up with a short goodbye ritual. This can include a high five, a hug and kiss, or a rocket ship around the room, as long as it is quick (as mentioned above) and easy enough that you can be consistent with it each time you leave.

The ritual should be simple and fast enough that you can stick to it even when you’re in a rush. Once you come up with a good routine, be sure to stick to it faithfully- both you and your child will benefit from it. Goodbye routines give your child something to expect and make him not surprised when you leave.  

Practice time apart.

Practice having time apart from your child. Send him or her to a playdate, or to grandma and grandpa’s house, or allow a friend or relative to care for your child for a short amount of time so that your child can get used to being without you. It’s a good idea to practice this before your child starts preschool or daycare to avoid problems with dropping them off.

This can be used with babies, as well. Babies get used to being around their parents just as much as older children do, so allowing someone else to take care of them for even an hour can put a bit of healthy distance between the two of you.

Plan for slow introductions.

If you’re in need of a babysitter so that you can have a much-needed date night with your significant other, plan to have the babysitter arrive a few minutes before you need to leave. Spend these extra minutes engaging with both the sitter and your child. Doing this will allow the child to see the babysitter as less of a stranger and help him or her to feel more comfortable.

Your child might still cry when you leave, but they will be less likely to be inconsolable after you’re gone if they know the person they are left with.


Clinginess is babies and young children are nothing to be ashamed of. It’s normal for children to be reluctant to part with their caregivers. Even if your child suffers from this anxiety, using the above tips and tricks can help to ease the discomfort of it and make saying goodbye as simple as saying hello.

Author Bio

Nancy Shaw is the founder of HiFiveBaby where she writes about common problems encountered by parents and how to deal with them, motherhood in general and FAQs about babies, toddlers, and kids. She provides a scientific and medical basis and also her personal experience as a mom to a wonderful toddler. Now you can explore the joy of parenthood with ease!

Expert Q&As About Safer Pest Control Around Your Children

There is nothing more than any parent wants to do more than protect their children. And for their young ones to feel secure. Whether this is from the Boogey Man or something more realistic like the dangers from household pests. It’s also important to keep your children safe from the effects of the methods you use to control pests.

When protective parents are concerned, pest control technicians often have to answer the same frequently asked questions, because, as caregivers, we all want to make sure our children aren’t being exposed to dangerous pest control methods.

We know you all have a lot of concerns about this topic, so we asked London experts Empire Pest Control what their most frequently asked question were, in particular, those questions coming from parents of young children. Listed below are a handful of questions that are heard most often…


Do professionals always use pesticides? I’ve heard that they are dangerous.

Pest killing chemicals are strong and do have the potential to be dangerous if they are used incorrectly and misapplied. If you absolutely need them, your technician will advise you on when it is safe to enter your home after treatment, and what precautions to take.

However, pest controllers aren’t always as eager to use these chemicals as most people are led to believe. There are lots of different techniques available to them that involve little to no pesticide use at all.

I don’t want to use dangerous traps or poisons with young children around. What do I do?

The riskiest traps around children are spring trap and snap traps, where little fingers might get hurt if accessed. There is also potential harm from baiting traps with poison or leaving down food laced with rodenticides. In terms of traps, live capture traps baited with peanut butter present little harm to children. If you must use poison, you can also get traps that lock and the bait inside is only accessible with a key.

What are other chemical-free options available for a pest infestation?

The method that has proven safest yet effective for rodent control is to deter them with ultrasonic plug-in devices and strong scents. An essential oil can be used or fabric softener sheets, as mice are very sensitive to strong smells. Bed bugs can be eradicated completely with a high enough temperature.

A completely non-toxic program for bed bugs combines the use of your washing machine’s high setting and professional heat treatments for the whole house. Most pest companies aim at providing the most environmentally friendly solution possible nowadays.

Do I need to be careful around some home pest control remedies?

Be mindful when using some essential oils around children and pets, as the oil can be a health hazard if ingested internally or when it makes contact with their skin or eyes.

To some pets, some homemade solutions and essential oils can also pose a serious health risk, so check with a vet before using them in the environment.

I’ve heard about prevention but I’m not sure what that involves. What can I do?

The best way to put a stop to a pest infestation is to start with exclusion and prevention. Find all the access points pests can use around your home and seal them up.

This will solve a huge part of the problem without needing to use any chemicals. Keeping things clutter free and spotlessly clean is also paramount. Eliminating the attraction for pests of food goes a long way. You can always hire a pest control service like Averse Pest Control and make sure to leave this job to professionals in order to have a clean home.

What steps can I take to limit my child’s exposure to my pets’ pests?

You can purchase pet collars that prevent fleas and ticks. Keeping your garden well maintained also helps the fight against pests like ticks, fleas that pets bring in. Following a great pest prevention routine coupled with a professional pest management program will keep you pests pets at bay. Treating your pets for fleas before the fleas become an infestation in your home is crucial.

We hope that answering some of these questions has helped you begin to learn about ways to manage pest control situations in the most effective way without worrying about the health and safety of your children.

The Value of Physical Therapy For Your Kids

Many fall into the pit of thinking that physical therapy is only for the elderly, in order to help them regain lost function and retain some degree of independence. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone who is dealing with an injury or health issue may require some degree of physical therapy. As explained by, “Pre-surgical physical therapy is a necessary component of car accident recovery programs, helping patients undergo surgical operations without the risk of suffering physical complications.

In some cases, following through with physical therapy before a surgical operation can help prevent this procedure from happening, depending on how soon you are able to receive treatment.” The same applies to children, though your approach may be different considering that their bodies are still growing. Here is how physical therapy is important for children and the best way to go about getting it.

Physical Therapy: Why?

Physical therapists, on top of treating many different people, treat many conditions as well. When it comes to children, generally any situation where movement is limited in daily activities may cause a doctor to recommend a  physical therapist. Some examples include:

  • sports injuries
  • developmental delays
  • cerebral palsy
  • genetic disorders
  • orthopedic disabilities/injuries
  • heart and lung conditions
  • birth defects (such as spina bifida)
  • effects of in-utero drug or alcohol exposure
  • acute trauma
  • head injury
  • limb deficiencies
  • muscle diseases

How long your child actually needs physical therapy will depend on the nature of their condition and what the end goal is. For example, when dealing with a sports injury or even an infant having some trouble beginning to walk, you may only need a few sessions in conjunction with some other support. However, if you are grappling with disabilities or severe developmental delays, you may require both more time and more frequent visits. Your therapist will help set out a plan for you to figure this out early on. Of course, if things go a certain way during the progression of said plan, they will be able to help you adapt.

There are many different ways that your child can get physical therapy treatment, and in many cases, it will be a combination of different techniques and practices that help your child reach their goals. A therapist may help them to train to build strength in an injured area, or use flexibility exercises to increase their range of motion. In some cases, there may be room for different types of therapy like aquatic therapy or improving circulation around injured areas. There is no one single type of therapy you have to choose.

On top of this, there may be a teaching component as well. A physical therapist will generally provide some exercises your child can work on at home, as well as safety and prevention guidance if needed. Physical therapists also regularly interact with medical, psychiatric, and school personnel if this is one part of a more comprehensive treatment plan for your child.

Finding The Best Physical Therapy

Now, with all these benefits in mind, it begs how exactly you find the best possible option when it comes to your physical therapist. Part of the good news is that you have plenty of places to choose from. Physical therapists work in a variety of different places, including hospitals, private practices, fitness centers, and research facilities. Neither one of these are any better than the others, but when it comes to your children, you may want to go somewhere familiar. If this means somewhere you have had therapy done before or can get a recommendation from with someone that you trust, that’s great. If not, you may need to do a bit of research on your own.

As a start, you may want to take a closer look at the education your therapist has. Recently, the field has evolved to the point that all therapists have a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. There will also be some degree of post-degree education, such as continuing education, certifications, specializations, and/or residency programs. Does your therapist have a specialization in a certain area? This may be worth noting as well.

When it comes to the actual search, you have several resources to choose from, including your medical insurance provider or the American Physical Therapy Association’s website

Protecting Your Home With The Right Front Door Lock

Many years ago, people did not have to worry about locking their doors as much as we do now. Now, it is simply not safe to leave your doors unlocked. Leaving your doors unlocked will only end with you coming home, and many of your belongings gone. This is why it is so important to make sure that you purchase a quality front door lock. Your security depends on finding the best door locks out there, but with so many to choose from, it can be difficult to ensure that you are getting the best type of front door lock. 

Types Of Locks 

Front door locks will come in all different styles, shapes, and sizes. You can choose between mechanical locks and electronic locks. 

Mechanical Locks 

Mechanical locks keep the door from being opened until the mechanism inside is released by a key. You will find these locks in several different types including the doorknob, and lever. Locksmiths recommend deadbolt locks, as these are offered at an affordable price, and are not easy to get into or break. 

Multipoint Systems 

multipoint system is where the lock has multiple locking points. This type of door lock only has one key to open all the locks. These locks are known to be very secure, and can even protect sliding doors. 

Electric Door Locks 

Electric door locks will come in a variety of different types. Some will have keypad entry, while others you can access by a remote. These doors can be very secure if used correctly. 

Choosing the Right One for your Door 

In order to choose the right door lock for your door, you will need to take into consideration things like how much money you want to spend, and the size of your door. You will also want to consider if you live in an area where someone might try to break into your home all the time. If you live in an area like this, you will want to purchase a more secure door lock. 

There are many options out there when it comes to purchasing door locks. Contact your local locksmith to make sure that the one you purchase matches what you need for the security of your home. Purchasing a door lock that is cheap, is not a wise move. You will want one sturdy enough to keep anyone from breaking into your home. Make sure that you feel safe, and secure with your new front door lock. Go through all of your options before making your final decision.

How to successfully manage your school’s enrichment programs with ease and no cost

A Guide for After-School Enrichment Coordinators

It is a great practice to bring wonderful before- and after-school enrichment programs to our children right at our schools. School is the most convenient place for such programs for both children and parents, removing the need for transportation. Many enrichment programs today (whether from third-party providers or from school teachers or parent volunteers) can be extremely fun, creative, inspirational, and eye-opening for kids. For example, we’ve seen programs on robotics, sewing, ceramics, programming, chess, public speaking, cooking, sports, carpentry, and foreign languages. These are precious opportunities for children to be exposed to a wide variety of topics and to learn through fun.

However, managing after-school programs is a complex operation including selecting providers and programs, coordinating with enrichment providers on programs and locations, interacting with parents for registration, managing class volunteers and granting scholarships, maintaining up-to-date rosters to be on top of our children’s whereabouts after school hours, and managing payment to enrichment providers. To significantly reduce this complexity and to contribute to our school communities, 6crickets donates its online enrichment registration and management platform to schools/PTAs, third-party enrichment providers, and parents at no cost ( 6crickets has now worked with dozens of schools to manage their after-school enrichment programs and registrations. In this guide, we share with you the collective experience from working with these schools and give enrichment coordinators like you a roadmap and tools that you can leverage to significantly simplify the enrichment management process.

For the rest of this guide, we break down the enrichment management process into seven steps and describe what you need to do for each step in subsequent sections: (1) determine room and time availability for your school’s enrichment classes, (2) select enrichment providers and programs, (3) vet third-party enrichment providers, (4) finalize class details, (5) provide class listing and registration to parents, (6) organize parents volunteers for enrichment classes, (7) manage scholarships.

1. Determine room and time availabilities

First, you need to determine when and where enrichment classes could take place in your school. You will need to discuss with your school’s office managers who may in turn need to discuss with the principals or teachers on which class rooms can be made available for enrichment classes. After this discussion, you should know (1) the maximum number of classes that can be offered at your school, (2) the time period for each class, (3) the maximum number of students allowed for each class. With this information, you can now set off to look for suitable enrichment providers or teacher/parent volunteers to offer the classes.

2. Select enrichment providers and programs

It is often desirable to choose programs that are not taught in a regular school setting. Some key criteria are diversity, novelty, and learning through fun. Popular enrichment topics we have seen include sports, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), board games, foreign languages, and public speaking/drama. Sometimes, school teachers or parent volunteers may want to offer after-school enrichment classes. There are also many third-party enrichment providers near you. Here are some ways for you to gather enrichment provider candidates:

1. Do a Google (or Bing) search as well as Google Maps search on “after school enrichment”. Many choices should show up for your area. When searching on Maps, you can even see some review ratings.

2. Search on Yelp to also get provider ideas along with reviews.

3. You can look up a provider in Facebook to learn more about them including their reviews.

4. You can also outsource this part to 6crickets. 6crickets’s main service is, a one-stop shop for children’s camps and classes. So, we have worked with hundreds of local providers, many of which have had reviews. 6crickets can help you compile a set of providers for your school based on your interests. For more details, please visit and email

3. Vet third-party providers

It is common for school districts, schools or PTAs to vet a third-party provider candidate. Here is a list of forms that you may consider to ask them to submit to you, your school, or your school district for vetting and approval: state business license, city licenses, general liability insurance, certificate liability insurance for your school (they should be able to easily add a school to their liability insurance for free), each instructor’s driver’s license, state background check, fingerprint, adult sexual misconduct prevention certificate, volunteer agreement for your school, CPR first aid certificate, blood-borne pathogen certificate.

This can be a lot of tedious paper work. Nevertheless, you can leverage 6crickets’ free enrichment management platform to ask a provider to submit their vendor forms at 6crickets and grant you the permission to view and approve the forms online. This way, you can review all the forms of every provider online all on a single web page. No more paper waste and losing track of all this paperwork!

4. Finalize class details

Once you’ve vetted and approved a set of providers or lined up teacher or parent volunteers, you now need to work with them to finalize the class sessions to be offered at your school and assign time, day, and a room location for each session. At the end of this process, for each provider, you will obtain the following information (1) provider name and description (2) for each program this provider offers at your school, you should have program name and description, age or grade range. (3) the provider may offer the program for multiple sessions at different times and rooms; for each session, you should have the room number, days of the week, start and end time, start and end date, the minimum number of students required for the session to take place, and the maximum number of students allowed for the session.

If your school requires parent volunteers for enrichment classes or offers scholarships to low-income families, you will need to communicate your policies and practices with providers as well. Section 6 and 7 below present how you should handle these cases.

Now that you’ve finalized your after-school classes at our school, it is time to let the parents know and register for the classes.

5. Provide class listing and registration to parents

For this critical step, you should keep these important goals in mind for a smooth and efficient operation: (1) All classes should be listed clearly at one place for parents to find and choose. (2) Make it easy for parents to register any classes across different providers with just one registration form. The less paperwork, the more efficient it is for everyone. (3) Make payment distribution to providers as simple as possible to minimize your time spent here. (4) Efficiently maintain an up-to-date roster for all classes across different providers even in the face of cancellations and last minute registrations so that you as enrichment coordinators and school administrators will always know which student goes to which class.

The good news is that you can achieve all of these goals easily with 6crickets’ free, one-stop enrichment online registration platform (

You can email the class information you gathered from Step 4 to 6crickets’ support staff. They will then work with your providers and teacher/parent volunteers to set up their classes and create a one-stop online registration website portal dedicated for your school. You can then include a “Register After School Classes” hyperlink pointing to this portal in your school’s or PTA’s website or in your school’s newsletter to parents.

In more detail, here are the key time-saving features that this service offers:

1. One-stop enrichment online registration portal for the parents of your school: parents can come to a central page to see all the programs offered, free or not, and register for classes with a single login and registration form.

Parents no longer need to worry about scattering their logins and children’s information all over the place, but keep it centrally and safely at 6crickets. (Helen Wang, the founder of 6crickets, is a security and privacy expert and 6crickets gives the state-of-the-art protection for its users’ information.)

When a class fills up, parents will be able to sign up to receive notifications of new spots opening.

If a parent does not have a credit card, (s)he can pay the provider by check and be issued a discount code to register online at the school registration portal. If a parent has no online access, the student can also be added to the class roster online.

2. Automatic, instant payment to providers:When parents pay, 6crickets sends payment to enrichment providers instantly and automatically. So, you no longer need to deal with payment or manual invoicing with enrichment providers.

3. Central roster management: 6crickets offers a central page for enrichment coordinators or school administrators to view all the rosters from different providers in real-time. So, even if there are new last minute enrollment or cancellations, you will always have the up-to-date, accurate roster information for each class from every enrichment provider. The roster contains all the essential information about a student including parents’ contacts, emergency contacts, pick up contacts, medical information, etc. (you can find the registration form at When a student needs to cancel a class, providers can issue a refund from their rosters online.

4. Flexible configurations: You can configure registration start and end time, waiver forms, custom questions for parents to answer during checkout.

5. Fund raising: You can configure to collect fees and donations in the enrichment registration process to raise funds for your school or PTA.

6. Live tech support: 6crickets has a full-time support team that can assist you with anything you need along the way. You can either chat with them online during work hours or email them at

This service is part of 6crickets’ donation program to schools and the education community. So, it is completely free for parents, schools/PTAs, and providers. There is a standard credit card fee charged by the credit card payment processing company Stripe (2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction); typically such credit card fees are already included in the class pricing.

6. Organize parent volunteers for enrichment classes

Some schools have required or encouraged parent volunteers to chaperone at each enrichment class. We have seen schools do this in one of two ways.

In the first way, one parent signs up to chaperone every date of a program. This parent gets the class for free or at a highly discounted price for his/her child. In this case, you will send parents an email in advance seeking volunteers. You can then create a discount code at 6crickets for the parent volunteer to use at the checkout. You also need to inform the provider about this practice. Some schools require the provider to shoulder the cost of the volunteer. Other schools pay the remaining cost to the provider for the volunteer’s child. Please inform providers which volunteer will be present at the class.

The second way of organizing parent volunteers is to require every parent with a student in class to chaperone at least one date of the program in order for his/her child to participate.You can configure 6crickets to ask a question during checkout about which date the parent can volunteer and ask him/her to input the date in a parent volunteer Google Sheet collectively maintained by all the parents of the students of the class. Then, you can share the volunteer schedule spreadsheet with the provider. 6crickets Tech Support can easily assist with this process.

7. Manage scholarships

We highly recommend that you provide scholarship support to students from low-income families. Giving these students equal access to wonderful enrichment programming can change their lives. You can raise funds for scholarship purposes through the 6crickets registration process by charging parents fees or collecting donations (see Section 5 above).

To determine which families need help, you can leverage Google Forms to create a scholarship application form and distribute to your families. 6crickets can serve as the intermediary to approve applications based on your criteria so that family financial data is kept private from other school families including enrichment coordinators. 6crickets can then issue discount codes for low income families to register for enrichment classes for free or at a highly discounted rate.

Please be sure to coordinate with enrichment providers about payment for scholarship students and how many spots to allocate for these students in each class. You can open registrations for scholarship students first before announcing registrations to the rest of the families. You will need to send checks to providers to cover scholarships.

Concluding Remarks

You are doing your school’s children a great service by bringing wonderful enrichment programming to your school. The children will be exposed to a wide diversity of topics and learn through fun. It is a complex operation to manage after-school enrichment. Nevertheless, we hope this guide provides a clear roadmap for you. With the right process and the right set of tools, you can bring the best enrichment to your school with ease and at no additional cost.

6crickets’ mission is to bring the best enrichment programs to children through the best tools for parents, providers and schools. You can count on 6crickets to help you manage your school’s enrichment easily. Please email 6crickets’ Tech Support Team with any questions at

The Author’s Biography:

Helen J. Wang Ph.D. is the CEO and cofounder of 6crickets which offers a one-stop shop for children’s camps and classes and supports enrichment providers and schools with free online registration platforms. Helen oversees the company’s strategic directions, product management, sales, marketing, and advanced research. has supported more than 800 enrichment education businesses and served hundreds of thousands of parents. Prior to creating 6crickets, Helen was a world-renowned computer scientist conducting pioneering research in security, privacy and systems and transferring her inventions into real-world products impacting all Internet users. She published more than sixty research articles and spoke at numerous computer science conferences. She mentored more than thirty Ph.D. candidates for their research or dissertation, many of whom became professors at top universities and key leaders at high-tech companies. Helen received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2001 and her Bachelors from UT Austin in 1994. Helen is the mom of Corlan (born in 2007) and Quincy (born in 2009) who gave her inspiration for her 6crickets endeavor. She is also an active PTA member at her sons’ school.

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