Baby School

Resources for raising a baby

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  • We’re moving…

    September 23rd 2006 - by baby school dad

    …over to BabySmarts.org – see you there!

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    Spending money to save money…

    September 19th 2006 - by baby school dad

    …when we were DINCs (Dual Income, No Children) we used to be a part of the iDine program with American Airlines. When we ate at certain restaurants, we would get AA miles for each dollar spent at the restaurant. We figured there was some slick marketing deal, where our demographics and so forth were shared and exhanged in turn for miles. Giveaways for giveaways.

    Upromise LogoThen we started looking for a college fund for Sal. Lots of choices out there. The Motley Fool, Yahoo! Finance, and other college saving sites gave good advice with a lot of pitfalls to avoid…yet no clear choice came out of all the research. Then we found out about Upromise. They work with companies to turn your business into cash back rebates that go into a 529 plan. And they host their 529s at Vanguard. My 401k is there too. So, well, we might as well all be in the same boat.

    Upromise is pretty far reaching – you can save in a variety of ways:

    • Shopping at grocery stores and using their membership cards. You might have already seen Upromise stickers next to some items you’ve already been buying.
    • Shopping at some online retailers. They have a pretty long list of online retailers that will give you 1-4% back of your purchase. I’m looking at making an investment at the TireRack – 2% back right there.
    • The Citibank Upromise card – 1% of your charges into the college fund. Combine that with the grocery stores or online retailers and you’re double dipping.
    • The Rewards Network. They are the same thing as iDine, though it seems that not all iDine participants are Upromise participates. Still, at some restaurants, you’ll get 4-8% back of your total bill. 5-9% back if you’re using the Citibank card.
    • Friends and family. Basically – you can get others to sign up for the same program and if they don’t have any kinds (think your other DINC friends) they can choose to put their college savings into your kid’s account. So you can have several people’s dinners or groceries or online shopping or 1% credit card rebates going into your child’s 529 fund. Yup – we’ve hit up the grandparents – they’re they easiest…aunts and uncles are next.

    So we’re tucking away a bit of money, just by going through our daily routines. Maybe we’ll choose one restaurant over another if one’s in the Upromise program and the other isn’t. A japanese restaurant in our neighborhood has already donated over 20 bucks to Sal’s fund. And it is great food too.

    If you haven’t gotten your 529 plan together yet – definitely give Upromise a long look. Even if you have a 529, they do some sort of linking that might be able to help you out too.

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    He’s 15 months old…

    September 17th 2006 - by baby school dad

    …and we feel like we’re starting too late.

    He has become real active and doesn’t have the attention span for books or sitting down to study things anymore. When he was less mobile (and just a sitter) he didn’t have any choice but to sit and flip through books and seem interested. Now, he’s interested in the world and all that it has to offer – including those table tops that he can reach now.

    But we’re not too worried – he is learning, just learning things on his own more now. We want to encourage that, but also want to try and direct it a bit. That’s why we started trying to develop the Flash applications that could serve as his flashcards. He won’t sit still in any particular place and we can’t carry our traditional flashcards around all over the place. However, he is interested in what we are doing when we are on the computer.

    Then, his flash cards are just a click or two away. We’re able to go over some of his flash cards and then go do something else. Short, sweet, hopefully effective learning sessions.

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    Hello World!

    September 15th 2006 - by baby school dad

    “Hello World” is the traditional first program that programmers write in a new language. It is used to demonstrate that one has got the system up and running – if one can get it to print out “Hello World” then one can get it to do anything! That’s the thinking at least.

    When my son, Salvador, was born and I looked into his eyes, I couldn’t help but think he was doing the same test. His body activated, his eyes opened, and he was thinking something analogous to “Hello World”. He was up and running.

    He’s 15 months old now. And he of course has some days which are better than others. We take the good with the bad, but of course, would like more good than bad. For us now, and for him in the future. So we’ve invested a lot of time into trying to get him the best environment. To help him challenge himself and his mind. And this site is around sharing what we’ve learned with others.

    Hope you enjoy the process with your children as much as we’re enjoying it with Sal.

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