Teaching My Children How To Read

Finding Daycare In Line With Your Beliefs As An Unschooler

Posted by on Aug 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Finding Daycare In Line With Your Beliefs As An Unschooler

Unschooling is the belief that children learn naturally and do not need outside interference from curriculums, schools or other types of formal instruction. If you believe in unschooling and you’ve decided to register your child as a homeschooler, you may be well on your way to some exciting adventures. However, if you also need to find a child care center to watch your child occasionally as you work or do other things, you may want to look for a child care center that can support you in your unschooling journey. Here are some tips to keep in mind: 1. Look for a childcare provider familiar with unschooling or related principles.  As your child is not in child care full time, you don’t need a child care provider who is wholly on board with unschooling, but you need someone who understands the principles and is willing to support you at least in mind. To that end, look for a child care provider familiar with unschooling, the works of John Holt or even the Sudbury private school movement, which is very similar to unschooling. 2. Trade childcare with another mom.  If you cannot find a child care center who is familiar and comfortable with unschooling, you may want to find another unschooling parent in your community and ask if that family wants to trade child care with you. That way, you both get a break, your kids get time to play with other kids, and your kids always get to enjoy an unschooling environment.  3. Look for a child care center that is play rather than education focused.  Unschoolers believe that learning happens during play, while doing things you are passionate about, or even just while sitting and observing the world. People who believe in traditional education, in contrast, often believe that learning has to be a contrived process mediated by didactic rather than entertaining books, enforced by songs about the alphabet, or meted out by class room instruction or educational field trips.  To stay in line with your educational principles, look for a daycare center that focuses on providing fun and entertainment for the kids, rather than one focused on so-called educational activities. 4. Make your child an agent in the process. A big part of unschooling is letting your child decide what they want to learn and/or how they want to spend their time. To foster that belief, make your child an agent in the process of selecting a daycare. Whether you are taking your child to a conventional daycare or trading with another family, listen to your child’s concerns, and if they like one place better than another, default to that choice. For more information, check out centers like Small World Early Learning & Development...

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3 Excellent Reasons To Enroll Your Child In Swimming Lessons

Posted by on Feb 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Excellent Reasons To Enroll Your Child In Swimming Lessons

If you would like your child to learn to swim and/or if they have expressed a desire to learn how to swim, you should definitely consider enrolling them in swimming lessons. These lessons will not only teach them how to swim, but will come with several other added benefits as well. If you are on the fence about whether or not you should enroll your child in swim lessons, this article will help you out by discussing 3 excellent reasons to enroll your child in swimming lessons.  Certified Instructors  You may have tossed around the idea of teaching your children to swim on your own, but you probably don’t even know where to begin. If you sign your child up for swimming lessons they will be taught by a certified swimming instructor that knows exactly how to teach your child to swim. They will start with teaching them how to hold their breath under water in a safe and appropriate manner, and will then move onto teaching them how to kick with the assistance of a paddle board. From there, they will be taught how to properly move their arms for different strokes, such as doggy paddling, breast stroke, etc. After they have learned the basics, they can then be taught more advanced swimming techniques, as well as how to float on their back, etc. Knowing that your child is being taught by someone who is going to teach them all that they need to know in the proper order to swim successfully can really help you to feel more comfortable as your child learns to swim.  Water Safety Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for young children. There are about 390 children who drown each year who are from the ages of 0-14. Because of this, it is so important that your child is taught water safety. Thankfully, this is something that they will be taught during swimming lessons. Your child will be properly taught what to do in the water when they are tired, when they have a leg cramp, etc., so not only will they know how to swim, they will know how to act in difficult swimming situations.  Fitness While adults are told all of the time what a great exercise swimming is, they same holds true for a child. Swimming is an excellent physically activity for them because it is low impact, while still allowing them to get their heart rate up and work a variety of different muscles. They may even find a love for swimming that they didn’t know they had and will have a desire to join a swim team and become...

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4 Preschool Science Experiments

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Preschool Science Experiments

Does your child have a natural curiosity for nature? Why not encourage your child’s scientific abilities? Preschools offer fun ways for children to be involved in science through fun experiments. You can replicate these experiments in your own home. Here are four science experiments for preschoolers: 1. Make fossils Making fossils is a fun way to teach children about the prehistoric past while also creating fun art. Here is a list of supplies: Plaster of Paris Paper bowls and plates Plastic spoons Straw Seashells Mix one cup of plaster with a half cup of water. Lay the straw across the paper plate. Spread the plaster on the plate and wait until it thickens. Have your preschooler press the seashells into the plaster and remove them. Let the plaster dry overnight and remove the straw and plate. 2. Observe ice melting Teach your preschooler about ice melting and how a solid can change to a liquid by combining ice and water colors. This is a fun experiment that shows children how ice melts, and how factors like salt can affect the speed at which it changes to a liquid. Supplies: Cake pan Watercolors Salt Paint brushes Ice cube tray or paint palette Fill the cake pan with water and let it freeze overnight. Take the pan out of the freezer and set it inside a plastic container. Prepare the watercolors by pouring them into the tray or palette. Add salt to some of the colors. Your preschooler will observe the effects of the salt while they paint the ice block. 3. Float and sink objects Teach your child all about density by having him or her drop various objects into water. Simply fill a tub or kiddie pool with about six to eight inches of water and gather different objects. Objects you can test include coins, paper, erasers, toys, balls, or rubber objects. Let your preschooler pick different objects and ask whether it will float. Then let your preschooler drop the objects in and see what happens. 4. Draw the night sky This is a fun experiment to try on a summer night that will get your child interested in astronomy. On a clear night, take your preschooler outside and show him or her different constellations. A popular constellation for kids is the Big Dipper. You can use a green laser pointer to trace the constellations in the sky. Then, bring your preschooler inside. Prepare a piece of paper by painting it with blue or black paint and letting it dry. Have your preschooler draw the night sky with yellow and white crayons. For additional reading, visit the website of a preschool or another educational...

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Looking For A Preschool? 2 Things You Should Ask Potential Teachers

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Looking For A Preschool? 2 Things You Should Ask Potential Teachers

If you are a busy working parent looking for a preschool, you might be tempted to enroll your child in the program closest to your home with a decent reputation. However, careful consideration of preschool programs might help you to create a healthy learning experience for your child. Here are two things you should ask potential teachers: 1: “What does the daily routine consist of?” Sure, your kid might love to play with toys, but if he or she is used to being by your side 24/7, they might object to being left at preschool while you head off to work for the day. To make the transition a little easier, talk with your child’s potential teachers about the daily routine. For example, some facilities have the children participate in fun physical activities, such as ring-around-the-rosy, when school starts each day. These activities are meant to get your child excited about school for the day and distract them—so that you can slip out the door. Also, understanding the daily routine will help you to talk with your child about what to expect. If you know that your child will have the opportunity to play with friends, draw pictures, and read books with their teacher every day, you might be able to explain the daily routine to your kid so that they know what to expect. 2: “Do you prepare the kids for the state curriculum?” If the reason you enrolled your child in a preschool is to get them ready for kindergarten, you need to talk with your child’s teachers about their curriculum. Believe it or not, kindergarten programs are bound to state curriculum, which is why you should care about what your preschool teaches. For example, the common core standards state that kindergarten age children should be able to use numbers to represent quantities and be familiar with the sounds the letters make. If you enroll your child at a preschool that doesn’t prepare your child for the state curriculum, your kid might not even know what numbers are—much less how to use them. Ask your child’s teachers what the educational goals for the year are and how you can help your kid at home. If teachers take the state curriculum seriously, your kid might be able to breeze through kindergarten. By taking the time to chat with your child’s potential preschool teachers, you might be able to improve your child’s transition and get them ready for school. Consider contacting local schools, such as Montessori School Of Salt Lake Inc., to discuss your concerns and determine which is best for you and your...

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The Benefits Of A Virtual Charter School For Your Child

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Benefits Of A Virtual Charter School For Your Child

No two children learn the same, each one possessing a special talent for learning. In large classrooms at brick and mortar schools, pinpointing each child’s talent for learning is difficult and many times impossible for one teacher. For many kids today, being taught at home is the best way for learning and for making it over hurdles that would otherwise challenge them in a traditional classroom setting. If you are worried about your child’s progress in a brick and mortar public school, check out these benefits of learning online at a virtual charter school. Uninterrupted Study And Instruction Traditional classrooms filled with kids have several interruptions every day. Bells ringing, other students talking in class, teachers having to stop class to scold unruly students and other students or teachers walking past the door of a classroom are examples of some distractions your child may experience every day during school. Your child may get hungry before lunch time and have trouble focusing. He or she may need to use the restroom and waits in line to ask. However, going to school at home takes away all these distractions, allowing your child to focus on his or her course studies. Stepping Outside The Box Of Normal School Hours Not every child is wide awake and ready to learn when the first bell of the morning rings. For example, a family event like an emergency room visit or unexpected death may occur, causing your child to get into bed later, thus affecting his or her ability the next morning school. When your child attends a virtual charter school, he or she has until midnight of each day to finish assigned course work, giving him or her the opportunity to learn when internal and external timing is right. Looking At Teacher and Student Interaction Online classes are a lot different than being in a traditional classroom, but the best thing about it is your student can discuss his or questions with the teacher in a more direct way. Online classes offer a more relaxed setting that provides your child with easier focus. Giving Your Child Educational Responsibilities When you and your child spend time working on a course, you can step away for a bit to allow him or her to gain more independence during study time. The more independent your child becomes in his or her course work, the greater his or her responsibility grows about that particular course. Many students do not gain a grasp of this type of responsibility until they are on their own in college. If you are thinking about enrolling your student in online school, learning more about it is a good idea. Talk to virtual charter school faculty member and to other parents already taking part in online public school. The benefits can be great for your child when you take the right approach to online educational opportunities. To learn more, contact a charter school like Freedom...

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Growing Pains: 5 Tips For Managing Preschooler Stress

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Growing Pains: 5 Tips For Managing Preschooler Stress

Childhood is often thought of as an idyllic time when kids are free to explore the world without worrying about adult concerns. However, kids today are exposed to stressful experiences during early childhood, such as parental separation and divorce, which can impact their future development. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, early exposure to prolonged stress can result in delayed brain growth and disrupted neuron connections that can influence a child’s behavior into adulthood. As a parent, you can prevent the long-term consequences of stress in your preschooler by utilizing the following strategies. Be Alert for Signs of Stress Young children are often unable to verbalize their stress, which makes it especially important to watch for new behaviors such as increased crying or clinginess. Preschoolers may also exhibit physical symptoms, such as potty training regression, headaches and stomach pain. Increase Structure Packed schedules can stress out adults, but children rely upon routines to help them understand what will come next. Try to wake your child up and put them to bed at the same times each day so that they get the rest they need to combat stress. If your child attends a preschool program, find out what times they eat meals and nap so that you can replicate a similar schedule at home. Use Transition Strategies Moving from one activity to another is a common source of stress for children that can quickly add up for busy families. Transitions are an early childhood teacher’s method for getting a class of young children to adjust to changes in their day, and you can use this technique at home. A transition is simply a fun way to signal that it is time to move to a new activity. A bedtime story, silly song or physical movement can reduce stress by allowing a child to slowly adjust to a new activity. Get Active as a Family Exercise is an effective way to ward off the worst symptoms of stress because it releases it endorphins. However, your child also needs the emotional connection that spending time together can provide. Ride bikes, play games and enjoy new experiences that will help your child feel less anxiety. Choose a Quality Child Care Program When your child is stressed out, it is important to ensure that they are in a calming environment throughout their entire day. A research-based child care program, such as Montessori, is essential for providing the guidance a child needs to feel comfortable enough to develop their independence while learning new skills. Take time to carefully research your child’s preschool program to ensure it uses age-appropriate teaching strategies that minimize stress. Visit North End Montessori School for more information about this. While it may seem as though early childhood is a carefree time, it is important to remember that young children often experience stressful events that can impact their future development. By recognizing the signs early and helping them to transition through big changes, you can put your child on the right path for happiness and...

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Which Child Care Program Is The Best For My Child’s Summer Off?

Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Which Child Care Program Is The Best For My Child’s Summer Off?

Besides giving your child the education he or she needs to survive in life, the public school system also provides an unofficial childcare service. But when summer rolls around, you may be wondering how to ensure that your child is cared for while you are at your new job. There are a couple of options available to you, but the best option for most parents is to enroll their children in daycare services.  Nannies One option is to hire a nanny. This option is ideal if you are concerned with whether your child will be bullied, since your child won’t be around children who would bully him or her. Since it is only over the summer, your child will still have opportunities to make friends during the school year. The downside is that nannies can be more expensive than sending your child to daycare. Informal Neighborhood Daycare Programs If you have several parents in the neighborhood, consider working out an arrangement in which parents take turns watching over each other’s kids. This helps save money and also gives you another opportunity to get to know the neighbors. The downside is that you will need to know your neighbors well enough to know if they’re trustworthy. Your child might not get along with the neighbor’s children. Also, if you really can’t take time off work, you might not be able to keep up your end of the bargain by watching the neighborhood kids for your turn. Summer School Many schools offer summer school programs. Then, when your child returns to school in the fall, he or she will be farther ahead by having taken summer classes. This approach is especially useful if your child is struggling in school. However, you might feel like your child needs a summer break. Also, since summer school is usually only for one or two classes, you’ll still need to figure out where your child will go for the rest of the day.  Volunteering If your child is 13 or older, you can have him or her volunteer for a city program. This will allow your child to receive work-relevant skills, which are critical for finding employment in the future. These programs can include spending time with senior citizens, teaching swimming and volunteering for summer camp. But your child might not be 13 or your area may not have these programs available. Daycare Child daycare is one of the most affordable and practical decisions for most families. Daycare programs often take children on trips and will also have special activities so your kids do not become bored. Also, summer daycare is an opportunity for your child to make friends. And if you’re interested in one of the other programs, you can still have your child taken to daycare after the program is...

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Sick Plans: 3 Signs That Your Child’s Elementary School Has A Handle On Infectious Diseases

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sick Plans: 3 Signs That Your Child’s Elementary School Has A Handle On Infectious Diseases

Nurseries and grade schools are prime places for infectious diseases to spread, and there’s not much that can be done to change that. The close proximity of children to one another in their classrooms turns young students into sitting targets for the newest bugs going around. But there are 3 ways a responsible elementary school will handle any disease outbreaks in their classrooms: The school has a clear and enforceable immunization policy. Some childhood diseases like whooping cough and polio were nearly eradicated thanks to vaccines. Today, some parents choose not to vaccinate their children. As a result, diseases including whooping cough and measles are making a comeback and putting young lives at risk. Your child’s school should have a strict policy about only admitting students who have been immunized for the common childhood diseases. While it is certainly a parent’s right to deny their child immunizations, it should also be a parent’s right to send their child to an educational facility that is safe from the threat of contagious diseases. Be sure to read all of the school’s materials and rules concerning vaccinations for students, make sure you and your children are vaccinated, and keep immunization records handy in case you need proof of compliance for any reason. Administrators communicate openly and often with parents. It’s silly to think that any school can completely escape the infectious or parasitic outbreaks that plague large groups of children. If your child goes to a school with other kids, they will pick up colds, rashes and stomach bugs. They may contract the flu, scabies, or head lice. Norovirus and shigella are infectious agents you may have never heard about, but they too are showing up in elementary schools in increasing numbers. These problems, should they appear, are not signs that parents or schools are nasty or neglectful about housekeeping. Bugs of all sorts develop immunity to our best deterrents and antibiotics, and children are perfect vectors to spread the now-stronger bugs. A competent school staff will not be in denial or too ashamed to admit there are problems. They will contact you in at least 2 ways to keep you informed. This may mean they send home a handout and e-mail you, or they e-mail you and leave a voice message. The school will tell you everything you need to know, alert you to your child’s risks, and inform you concerning signs and symptoms to look for. They will institute mandatory quarantines of obviously infected students (meaning they forbid infectious children from coming back to school until they are well again) and expect a doctor’s clearance before allowing sick children back into class. The school has a well-rounded, serious approach to infectious disease issues. Look for these clues to let you know your child’s school takes infectious diseases seriously: School nurses and medical staff stay informed about emerging disease threats. Students who are feverish or vomiting are sent home. Proper hand washing, coughing, sneezing, and nose blowing are encouraged and emphasized. The staff has protocol in place in case of a swift-moving disease pandemic; for example, they have a way to notify parents, transport children out of danger, and minimize risks to staff and students. There is a plan to counsel students in the case of deadly or traumatic pandemics. They...

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