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As testing regulations increase, more and more parents choose to homeschool their children

As controversies over Common Core and mandated standardized tests become more and more prevalent, many parents are choosing a new option in educating their children: homeschooling. Once the sole province of the very religious, homeschooling is becoming more popular every day, with a growth rate of 7 to 15 percent per year. Nationwide, about 2 million children learn at home instead of in a brick-and-mortar school, up from about 1 million in 2003. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 88 percent of U.S. homeschool parents express concern about the school environment, citing drugs, negative peer pressure and general safety.

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Kids with cancer: Part I: Families facing devastating diagnosis need support

At first, Melissa Lowell thought her son Nate was just tired. “This time last year [he started getting sick],” Melissa said. “It started off, he just had a cough. It was the end of the school year and he seemed fatigued. It was nothing out of the ordinary. I just figured it was because school was over. He was leaving a teacher he loved. He gets emotional with change, as any kid does.” But the cough didn’t go away. Nate, then 10, was complaining that he couldn’t breathe, couldn’t swallow. After a couple of weeks, Melissa and her husband Jimmy took him to an urgent care facility near their home in Herkimer County. He was diagnosed with asthma and given prednisone and an inhaler, which helped at first, but soon proved ineffective. A visit to Nate’s pediatrician July 3, 2012, suggested pneumonia.

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February is a good month for a project

Got the winter blues? Although February is the shortest month of the year, sometimes it can feel like the longest, with its seemingly unending gray days, slick roads and brutal temperatures.

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How to look for a healthy cereal

Diet advice on how to eat healthy is everywhere and can be confusing when trying to use this information to buy food. For example, cereal can be can be a healthy way to provide whole grains and still limit your intake of simple sugars. As a consumer, as you stroll the aisles at the grocery store you get bombarded with bold words like “Reduced Sugar” and “Whole Grain”. It is very easy to be overwhelmed and quickly just reach for the usual cereal.

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Whooping cough on the rise

Without vaccine, pre-teens at risk for lengthy, disruptive illness

Another fitful night. A mom lies awake, listening helplessly as her child coughs and coughs. This mom knows tomorrow will be another day of school and soccer practice missed. For her it means another day of work missed. She wonders wearily when it will end.

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Consistent bedtime could benefit kids’ health

Sleep Foundation: infants, toddlers need 12-14 hours of sleep a day

New parents have a lot to learn about caring for their children. Anxiety over sleeping patterns can begin when children are infants and continue as they age. Research indicates that a consistent bedtime may not only be good for parents’ sanity, but for kids’ health as well.

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Dip all you want for the big game

Aside from the game, everybody has their favorite part of the Super Bowl. For some, it’s the commercials. For others, it’s the half time show. But almost everyone can agree that the food is always the fan favorite at a Super Bowl party.

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Tic(k) toc... parental concern number 11,896

Is time running out on our young heroine’s sanity? Maybe...

You always want to make sure your kids are safe - you put them in car seats, make sure they hold your hand as they cross the street, get them vaccinated and warn them of the many dangers of the world. I have always been very overprotective of my children - almost to a fault. Always vigilant about where they are and what they are doing, I read up on the many hazards that are out there.

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Common dangers to kids on the home front

Often overlooked safety traps put children at risk

Each year in the U.S., more than 2,000 children under the age of 14 die as a result of a home injury, according to Safe Kids USA, a non-profit organization. “Parents often underestimate their kids’ abilities and overestimate their intelligence,” says Chrissy Cianflone, director of program operations at Safe Kids USA. “They think, my child’s too smart to do X and they often don’t realize how strong their kids are.”

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Families helping families

ADHD support group formed in Liverpool

Nearly one in ten school-aged children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. For some, it’s just a statistic. To a parent raising an ADHD child, it’s life changing, which is why the Liverpool Central School District now offers an ADHD parent support group.

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Choosing child care that fits

There’s no one-size fits all solution to families’ child care needs. There are many factors to consider when looking for a child care program that works for both children and their parents. Luckily families in CNY have a variety of child care options from which to choose. Here are some things to think about.

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Ah, spring – time to make use of that backyard hunk of lumber

With temps finally reaching above freezing – thanks Mother Nature, for such a cold winter – I, like many Central New Yorkers, am already catching that dastardly ailment – Spring Fever.

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Tips for building a fun, safe backyard playground

Few things are as enjoyable for parents and grandparents as watching their children and grandchildren play. As cherished as such playtime can be, it can quickly turn into a memory adults and children alike would prefer to forget if an injury occurs.

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I hope they never outgrow the magic

Here I am, back from our yearly jaunt to the “Happiest Place on Earth” – Walt Disney World in sunny Orlando, Fla. My husband and I brought our children on their sixth trip to the magical grounds occupied by fairies, villains and of course, heroes.

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Fathers are the backbone of the family

In an age where women are in the news more than ever - achieving and earning more, both monetarily and in recognition for all they do - it is easy to forget the other important base to the foundation of family - good old dad.

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Eat Right during National Nutrition Month

Explore ‘Kids Eat Right!’

Every year during the month of March, the American Dietetic Association along with Registered Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians across the country celebrate National Nutrition Month.

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From Dad: Five years of autism and love

He turned five last month. It’s been five years since that strange, sleepless night where I nervously made a wrong turn on the way to the hospital. Five years since I learned how to hold a baby, change a diaper, fall asleep in a rocking chair. Five years of so many firsts.

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Successful business is child’s play

Start-up allows mom to stay at home

When Ruth Ross first started her business, she did it in response to a need. “My daughter had an American Girl doll, and wanted to dress her up in different outfits, which was getting expensive,” Ross said. “But when I went to buy other, less expensive outfits for the doll, the quality wasn’t there.” Ross, 35, of Kirkville, had made a lot of her daughter’s clothes herself, so it seemed a natural progression to put on a thimble and, needle in hand, craft smaller versions for her daughter’s doll.

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How to encourage your baby to self-soothe

There are many things parents can teach their children. However, there are some things that children must learn for themselves. Soothing is one of them. But that doesn’t mean parents can’t provide the environment for baby to do the learning.

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Finding inner peace in the darkest hours

Fabius mom works through grief by helping others

Vera Rybak has found purpose again. When her first born son was shot to death, her life was turned upside down. That was three years ago, Nov. 13, 2007. DeWitt police officers broke the news to her at L. and J.G. Stickley in Manlius, where she’s been a full-time employee for 21 years.

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