Talking About Early Child Education Benefits

Get Fit With The Kids

You know the benefits of working out, but do you know that you can multiply those great results by signing the whole family up for a gym membership? Don’t leave the kids at home when you go to the gym. Here are five reasons to bring the whole gang.  Lead by Example Your kids learn how to do life by watching you. So teach them what it means to respect your body and keep it healthy. Twenty years from now, they may not remember the words you’ve said to them, but they will remember the example you set.  Make Connections Most families spend so much time running in opposite directions that they forget they are part of a unit. Remind your kids that your family is a team by taking them to the gym with you and passing on your own commitment to staying healthy.  Set fitness goals together, and encourage your kids to strive for the best in themselves. Create an expectation that they will help each other as well. Your family will draw closer together as a result, and your kids will learn to build each other up.  Start Right By introducing kids to fitness, you are giving them an early advantage in life. At a gym, your kids have the opportunity to learn the right way to exercise and the reasons why it’s important. This is knowledge they will carry with them throughout their lives and that they may one day pass on to their own children.  Open the Discussion Use work out time as an opportunity to check in with each member of the family and find out what’s happening in daily life. Kids often communicate better when they are relaxed and engaged in an activity, so hop on side by side treadmills and start asking questions. Feel Great as  Family Exercise is a key to feeling great. When your kids move their bodies, they are also sharpening their minds and keeping their emotions in check. Physical activity will help them concentrate in school, get better sleep and simply handle life more easily.  When each member of the family is feeling successful each day, the group becomes stronger.  Physical fitness is a gift you can give your children that is more valuable than possessions, and being active as group will bring your family closer. Get a family gym membership, and enjoy the benefits of working out […]

4 Common Mistakes Parents Make With Child Care

Child care is something that many parents eventually have to find for their children because of work. There are some common mistakes parents make that make child care less than perfect. When you avoid these common mistakes, you can truly be sure that your child is receiving the quality child care they deserve: Not Making Expectations Clear: First off, you want to be sure that your child care provider and yourself have the same ideas. For example, be sure to discuss food options. If you aren’t okay with certain types of food, your child care provider should know so that it is clear not to give your child these items when you are away. You should also make it clear how long you plan on using the services of this child care provider. If you need someone for long-term, you should make this clear so that the child care provider can make it clear whether or not that is possible. Not Respecting Your Child Care Provider:  To ensure that you and your child care provider stay on the same page, it’s best to respect them. Your child care provider should have some privacy and you should respect their time as well. If they have set clear standards for the time that they work, then you shouldn’t be late picking your child up or dropping your child off. With mutual respect, quality child care for your child is better guaranteed.  Not Paying Attention to Your Child: If your child mentions anything that they don’t like about the child care they are receiving, it should be addressed and not ignored. If you ignore this, your child can begin acting out, which is stressful for both the child care provider and yourself. You should also take note of your child’s behavior. If they are quiet after you pick them up, this is something to be concerned about. Consider sitting in for a day with the child care provider just to better understand this behavior or ask to have a meeting with your provider to discuss this. Not Thinking of the Future:  Children tend to be more successful and feel more confident in themselves and their lifestyle if they have a consistent child care provider they can rely on. Choosing a child care provider you are unsure of is not a good idea because you don’t want to constantly be pulling your child in and out of […]

Surviving A Power Struggle With Your Tempestuous Toddler

Parents can prevent a power struggle from becoming a tantrum by changing the way they react to their toddlers. It is normal for kids to act-out occasionally, but the way you respond could potentially exacerbate the situation and make matters worse. Try some tips that many daycare providers endorse to prevent power struggles and put the kibosh on tantrums: Get them on a schedule. Children do best on a schedule, which eliminates unpredictability and provides a sense of reassurance to toddlers. Whenever possible, engage children with other kids in a supervised setting such as daycare or nursery school, to create a routine that the child will anticipate and expect. Try to keep a regular bedtime, too, as this can prevent crankiness that may result from being overtired. There is no point in arguing. When your child begins to escalate and become difficult, decline to engage until your child has calmed down. Teach children that they need to speak respectfully for you to respond and try to meet their needs. This is something that is often reinforced in group settings like play groups or daycare. Don’t overreact. Watch how you are responding to your child when they are difficult or cranky. Be sure to take time to avoid reacting when you are irritated or even angry, and remain calm and loving even when your child is trying your last nerve. Don’t give in when the child is making impractical demands, but instead offer comfort and a calm, reassuring manner which can help diffuse the situation. Mean what you say. Kids will learn pretty quickly if you are one to follow-through with threats of punishment, and if you don’t mean what you say, they will learn to ignore you. If you say that you are going to take away a certain toy or cancel an outing, follow through. Give kids the chance to earn back these treats with good behavior and respect toward others. Typically, toddlers learn the basic social mannerisms in settings like daycare, play groups, or school, but you can nip power struggles in the bud and prevent them from becoming full-blown tantrums with consistency and calmness. The best approach is to speak softly but sternly, and to never allow yourself to become agitated to the point of anger or overreaction to their actions. Implement some of the models used in daycare and schools to address power struggles for control with […]

Preparing Your Child For A Student-Centric Learning Environment

Children or student-centric learning environments place the needs and abilities of your child at the forefront of their learning experience. It is quickly becoming a popular teaching method, but for many children in a traditional learning environment, it can be hard to transition. However, you can help prepare them. Gauge Their Learning Style People and children learn in one of three different methods: looking, listening, and doing. The differences between these learning styles are obvious: children that learn by looking at graphs, charts, and diagrams; listeners do well with verbal instructions; and doers need to figure something out with their own mind and hands. In a traditional teaching environment, it’s hard for children with different learning styles to succeed. However, student-centric learning focuses the learning experience on their own learning techniques. Test them by presenting them with a new task, such as assembling a model. Do they ask you to explain how to build it to them? Or do they read the instructions? Perhaps they just start fitting things together and hope for the best? The first example indicates a listener, the second a looker, and the third a doer. Get Them Thinking At Home Now that you and your child understand how best they learn, you need to get them using their critical thinking skills. These skills are often focused on in student-centric learning experiences and it’s hard for students from traditional learning environments to adapt. It’s relatively easy to help foster these skills early. For example, when they’re still in elementary school, you could ask them the schoolyard favorite: who would win in a fight: Batman or Superman? While silly, the child will examine the pros and cons of each superhero and explain them to you in a logical manner. And even if their answer is illogical and funny, these exercise is still challenging their thinking. As they get older, start asking them more difficult questions. What would have happened if America lost the Revolutionary War? Which president was the best? Who is your favorite teacher? These questions will get your child thinking in a critical manner. Be An Example Of Self-Honesty Often, a child in a student-centric learning environment needs to self-evaluate their progress. As a result, personal honesty is an absolute requirement. This particular trait won’t come easily for some children: many will still labor under either extreme positive view points (“I am a princess”) or […]

Easter Jello Eggs For Preschool To Teach Colors

When working with preschool-aged kids, you have to make learning fun and take advantage of every chance that you have to teach them something. One thing that many preschoolers enjoy learning about is colors. They love using colors to create things and finding out what happens when you mix colors together to make other colors. With Easter approaching, you may be looking for a treat for your preschoolers to enjoy that is Easter themed and will get their little minds racing. One snack that you can make that can intrigue them is multi-colored egg-shaped jello. Supply List Plastic eggs – without holes Egg cartons – to hold the jello filled eggs as they set Multiple colors of jello Boiling water Pointed scissors or a drill Cooking spray Syringe Make the Molds Begin by making the molds. If you had luck finding the plastic eggs without holes, you are in luck. All you will need to do is puncture a hole in the top of each one. If you didn’t have such luck, you will need to seal all of the holes with hot glue, except one on top that you will make slightly larger to make it easier to fill the egg with liquid jello.  Get Started Now that the holes are drilled, spray the inside of each egg with cooking spray and set them with the hole-side up in the egg cartons. Mix one standard box of jello with a half cup of boiling water and mix it well. Fill the syringe with the liquid jello and insert a bit of jello with the first color. Put the eggs in the fridge to set for about 15 minutes as you prepare the next color of jello. After the jello has set, remove the eggs from the fridge and insert a bit of the next color of jello, then return the eggs to the fridge. Continue this process until you have filled the eggs completely with all of the colors. Note: To give the jello eggs a healthier twist, you can mix greek yogurt with some of the colors. This will create a different color and give the kids a little something healthy for their snack. Remove the Jello from the Eggs After the eggs have set in the fridge overnight, gently crack the eggs open and remove the jello from inside. Since you coated the inside of the egg […]

How To Select Your Child’s Education

Are you disappointed in the experience your child is having at public school? If so, you may be considering withdrawing him or her and giving your child a different kind of education. Here are some ideas that might help you to determine what your child’s future schooling will be. Home Schooling – You may already know people who are teaching their children at home, as this is a very popular movement. Home schooling opens up a whole new world! In the first place, you can tailor your child’s curriculum to fit his or her needs and interests. For example, if your son or daughter has a particular love for the arts, he or she will delight in visiting museums and art galleries and in taking private art lessons without the restrictions of school hours. If your child is old enough, he or she can focus on lessons in the morning and then work in the afternoon to earn money for things like trips abroad or for college. The world will become your classroom. Can you imagine learning American history by visiting cities like Boston and Philadelphia.? You don’t have to have any teaching credentials to home school your child. What you need is something you already have – love and the determination to help your child to succeed in life. Don’t forget to prepare your child for the SAT and ACT tests that the college of his or her college might require. Private School – Perhaps teaching your child yourself is just not something you feel you can do or want to do. In that case, private school is an excellent option for you. Private schools almost always have smaller classes so instructors can spend more one-on-one time with each student. Pick a school that will support the values you teach at home. For example, if you want a Christ-based setting for your child’s education, select a Christian private school. Prayers will be given before classes begin and before the noon meal. Foul language, inappropriate clothing and cheating are not tolerated at Christian schools. Expect an honor code where your child will learn how important integrity and respect for others are. Don’t feel that your child will miss out on extra-curricular activities, as they are plentiful in the private school setting. While you will have to pay tuition at private schools, you will probably discover that every penny you spend is worth it. […]

Your Child Is Suddenly Afraid Of Their Daycare: Why?

The first few weeks of your child’s daycare experience were amazing: they seemed to love every minute of it and always had great stories to tell when they got home. But now they don’t seem to want to go and you aren’t sure why. You know the daycare workers and you trust that they aren’t doing anything wrong. But why would your child suddenly turn their back on daycare? Bullying If your child is suddenly unwilling or even terrified of going to their daycare, there is a chance they may be getting bullied by one of the children there. Daycare centers don’t take kindly to bullying, they may miss subtle signs or the bullying child may be good at hiding their behavior. The following are signs and symptoms that your child is being bullied: Loss of toys Cuts and bruises Afraid of being alone Withdrawn and evasive Suddenly defensive about minor jokes Seems to be in pain What can you do in a situation like this? First of all, you need to talk to your child and get them to discuss the bullying. While most people believe that standing up to bullying is the best solution, at the daycare level, it’s not really that helpful, as the child doing the bullying may just strike out. Instead, you need to let the child know that they are good, that you love them, and then talk to the daycare (like Cottonwood Montessori) immediately. They Aren’t Getting What They Want Some children begin to react poorly in daycare because their teachers there won’t let them get everything they want. For example, they may make them share their toys or limit their television time in ways you don’t. This change of pace will be difficult for a child. Signs they may be reacting negatively to authority include: Tantrums Indulgence at home (eating too much, watching too much television, etc) Speaking negatively about daycare workers Fighting with siblings over toys If your child is an only child, there’s a chance that this may be their first experience dealing with sharing or listening other signs of authority. Sit down with your children and discuss why it’s important that they share. And invite your daycare workers over to get to know and play with your child. That way, they’re more likely to trust their authority. Separation Anxiety Many children often go through a phase of separation anxiety, during […]

Tips For Helping Your Child Transition To Child Care

If you are a working parent, chances are good that you are going to eventually need to go back to work after you have had your child. When your child is old enough to go to child care, this is probably an exciting and scary experience for both of you. You want to go back to work and be able to talk to adults again, but you also want to make sure that your child is fine. Here are some tips for making your child’s transition to child care easier. 1. Visit With Your Child Your first step is to visit with your child. You need to be sure that your child is comfortable with the child care providers, the teachers, and the building before he or she spends the first day there without you. This is critical because your child will be more likely to be willing to run off and play if he or she knows the people who are around him or her and, more importantly, if he or she knows what cool toys there are to play with. Have your child attend a few classes if there is going to be preschool as well and encourage him or her to hang out with the other kids and not spend time with you when you are visiting in order to make the visit truly effective. 2. Talk About School Read books to your child about children who go to school, especially about children who are scared to go to all day school or to day care and eventually end up loving it. Talk about all of the cool things that your child will learn in school. Make school part of your daily conversation with your child regardless of his or her age so that he or she is comfortable with the idea. This will help aid the transition. 3. Make Sure Your Child is Taken Care of By People Other Than You Before Starting Day Care Finally, if you have time, try to have other people watch your child other than his or her parents. This will allow him or her to adjust to having people take care of them that he or she might not be as familiar with and learn to deal with the emotions that might come up for him or her. This will make being in a strange place for an entire day […]