august, twenty 

It's difficult to wrap my pea brain around the fact that we are heading back to school even though it's still hot enough to boil the skin off my bones.  I envy those of you in parts of the world where it's beginning to feel like fall is on its way; your kids can wear adorable back to school outfits that aren't made of material that wicks sweat off the skin during PE or recess.  Regardless of the heat, I LOVE BACK TO SCHOOL TIME!  Come June, I will write to you that I am ready to sleep late, stay up late, and lose the routine for a bit.  But as always, in August I am ready for routine again.  Our kids aren't quite as ready....

Sometimes when I am talking to a group of moms and they find out that I own Fisherkids, they immediately begin to explain that they need to get back into a routine, back "on the wagon", or how they really need to get their kids going on some sort of responsibility system.  Hopefully it eases things a bit when I explain that we also need to get back into routine!  We tend to slack off big time during the summer.  But that's kind of the point: we all need a break and our kids (and ourselves) are no exception.  Remember we are in a marathon not a sprint, so simply get back into a routine and let the kids know what is expected. 

Check out some of our ideas to make the back-to-school transition easier and more fun.  Remember to talk to your kids about expectations and tell them how much you appreciate them and love them.  It really does work!

Many thanks for your support.  We are excited about the growth of our company and it is all thanks to you. It is not, however, thanks to the heat in Texas.  I give thanks for air conditioning, deodorant, and ice water.  And my Sonic Route 44 Diet Dr. Pepper with diet cherry and easy ice.

Happy Back-to-School,
Jennifer and Family
We've lost our routine!

 Don't we all lose our routine from time to time?  Whether it's exercise, diet, work, or whatever, we sometimes have to refocus.  The same goes for teaching our children responsibility.  It's actually a positive lesson to teach your children that even when you fall off the horse, it's getting back on that counts.

Our family is no exception to this.  Summer afforded us the opportunity to sleep a bit later, go to bed a bit later, and just relax a bit more.  But the dreaded discussion recently took place that D-Day has arrived.  D-Day in our house is when schedules begin to get back to normal, easing the kids' slack summer brains into some semblance of school-day sleep/wake cycle.  We start with bedtime.  The first week is getting to bed on time, the second week is getting to bed on time AND waking up on time.  The third week brings the start of school, and we are a bit more prepared physically.  This is just as much for me and Greg as it is for the children! 

Along with D-Day came the new responsibility magnets, and the expectations that come with the school year.  It helps to talk WITH the kids vs. talk AT the kids when it comes to establishing routine.  We are often quite surprised by what comes out of their brains....we expect it to be eye-rolling and huffing, but when they are involved in the discussion, it actually becomes a very valid, worthwhile, effective conversation!

It's an important message to children that all routines, habits, efforts need renewal.  We aren't seeking perfection, just seeking independence and responsibility.   
In order to keep from increasing the price of our stations, we created a downloadable version of our Parent's Guide.  In every kit we ship out, we put the instructions for downloading the guide (including username and password) on the envelope inside the station box.  If you accidentally threw it away before downloading, please don't can click the link below to download it right now! 

The word "CHORE" doesn't entirely fit our needs.  We can't figure out what else to call it!  We aren't teaching our children how to clean....we are teaching them how to live independently and responsibly, so we need a word to represent our mission while getting away from responsibilities being a "chore." 

Plus I don't like being called the "chore lady."  I really don't.

Please submit your ideas on our facebook page, by email, or carrier pigeon.  I can't promise the pigeon will be able to find us.

The winning submission(s) will get a discount code to use on our website (for ANYTHING, not just a station!).  Thank you for your help!

Lunchbox Napkins
$10.00 for a pack of 25 

lunchbox napkins
Even when your children roll their eyes at you when you tell them how much you love them, how special they are, or put sweet love notes in their lunchbox, you are fortifying their confidence and well-being.  Include a subtle reminder that you love them in their lunchbox this school year.  (Hey, they can read it then flip it over so their buds don't see it!)   

Consider making one of your child's chores to pack lunch for the next day.  Use our Lunchpacker checklist to help teach basic nutrition.  Printed on front and back.


Our daughter Anna saved her spend money to upgrade her computer (for which she had previously saved her spend money) from Windows Starter to Windows 7 Full.  This was a lesson in and of itself because really the only reason she wanted it was to make cool screensavers.  Hmmm.....

Literally the day after she upgraded her computer, leaving her with a whopping total of $0.00 in her spend money (another lesson in and of itself), she was invited to a friend's house and her friend's mom was taking them shopping.  "Well, should I take spend money?" she asked as innocently as she could possibly fake.  You all know what my response was, and she replied, "Well, no, I spent it all yesterday."

My brain went into overdrive deciding if now was the time to teach loans/credit/interest rate/etc.  I decided it was, and we struck the proverbial deal.    I told her she could borrow money but if she didn't pay it back within a month, she would pay 20% interest.  We talked more about it and she decided she would sign right up for the credit card from MOMDAD Bank of Texas.  And we didn't even have to throw in a free hat.

She decided she simply must borrow $50.00.  To understand how ludicrous this is, she is only 11 (almost 12 she would say), going on 40.  I had her do the math on 20% of $50.00 and then gave her the reality check of how much she earns to pay that back.  She STILL TOOK THE DEAL.  **sigh**

I picked her up from the sleepover and she was wearing a super cute new t-shirt.  "From the clearance rack, mom!" (I'm not kidding, she really said that.)  I asked her what else she bought and she whipped out some blinged out hand sanitizer ("It's for my backpack, mom!"), a new cover for her i-touch (she bought that, too, a couple of years ago), and one of those smelly plug-in refills for her room that smells like fall. 

The next morning, buyer's remorse was in FULL EFFECT.  She immediately started calculating out what she earns, what she owes, and how long it is going to take her to pay it off.  It was as if she was in a euphoric shopping fog the day before when we had crunched all the same numbers!  The next three weeks were filled with hocking books at Half-Price Books, e-bay projects, and anything else to fill the gap between earned money and owed money.  Initially, she calculated it out but forgot to deduct Save and Give.  The look on her face as she realized this was simply priceless.  She has finally gotten the gap down to only $2.00.  We calculated the interest on $2.00 and with a sigh of relief, she said, "I will never take credit again."

We immediately checked the win column in our parental win/loss record. Her credit card statement went in her mailbox outside her room this afternoon....

Click here to see her credit card statement.

Click here to get a blank one for yourself! 

After-School Checklist
(includes personalization)
Make a peaceful transition from the classroom to the home by having this custom checklist ready  (with a yummy after-school snack, perhaps!).  Let your son or daughter take responsi-bility for the afternoon. It sure beats constantly nagging your child to accomplish each task! Personalize the list by choosing font, font color, add-on, and a list of things to do after school.  Be sure to order an extra pegboard hook if you are adding this list to your child's responsibility station! 


This doesn't have to be just an after-school checklist!  Make it a morning checklist, weekend checklist, or a game day checklist.  Go through your typical week and think about what your child could possibly take ownership for (and you get to stop nagging!)




Hi Jennifer,

My kids are so excited to get started they have already practiced piano and done their reading and made their beds.  Go figure!  All my previous attempts failed--I think success is finally here.  They loved the personalization of their magnetic name plates--lets hope they stick with it.  I am hoping the summer will establish the healthy habit so once school starts again we will have a good routine in place.

Thanks for creating this.  Love supporting a family business too!

Rochester Hills, Michigan

Motivational Magnets
$3.50 - $4.50 
(choose from13 sayings!)

Magnetic messages that inspire, remind, and instill confidence in your kids to be themselves are great for starting a n
ew year!  These work great on the responsibility stations, too!  Lots of messages to choose from.      


Get the blank magnet with interchangeable dry-erase inserts to write your own message to your kids.