Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy New Year!

Well it's 2012. Happy New Year to you and your family!

I just found this article entitled The 6 Most Important Child Development Studies of 2011 and thought it would be an appropriate way to round out the past year! Click here to read the article.

The article covers the following child development studies:

1. Autism May Be Influenced by Environmental Factors
2. Self Control During Childhood Leads to Fewer Problems During Adulthood
3. Parents' Depression Corresponds with Children's Depression
4. Parental Military Deployment Raises Risk of Problems in Kids
5. Children's Sleep Habits Interfere with Cognitive Development
6. Young Children's Consumption of Media is Increasing

I'm sure at least one of these topics affects you or your children so I hope you find the information helpful!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ideal Parental Involvement

Happy New Year!!

Each new year encourages us to set goals personally and professionally.To kick off the new year, I have added a variety of new resources for teachers and parents to my Kindergarten Readiness website (www.KindergartenReadiness.net). I will continue to add new articles, documents, Powerpoint presentations, and links to the website each month. Plus I am working on a pumped up 2011 version of my ebook, The Kindergarten Readiness Guide!

As parents, I'm sure you are in the process of setting your own goals. I have heard many moms and dads say that they would like to become more involved in their children's education. So I have been thinking about "ideal" parental involvement in schools and classrooms. So here are my top 11 for 2011!

As a teacher and preschool director, IDEALLY, I would expect parents to be involved in the following ways (or most of them) and I hope that when I have children, I am able to be involved in all of these ways as well:
  1. Drop off child in the morning and pick up child in the afternoon/evening and spend a minute or two speaking with the teachers to maintain daily contact. This is a great time to make sure everything is going well at school socially, emotionally, physically, and academically and if not, this is a great time to schedule an appointment to meet and talk further. Furthermore, this gives parents time to see the classroom, look at student work on the walls, speak with other parents, receive reminders about school events, holidays, field trips, book fairs, etc.
  2. Read all emails, newsletters, and flyers that come from the school and respond/RSVP within a day or two. Turn in field trip money and donations when requested in a timely manner. Return all phone calls from school or the teacher the same day or the next day.
  3. Send your child to school clothed properly for the weather with proper shoes and a tummy full of a healthy breakfast.
  4. Provide your child with everything they need for the day every day (complete healthy lunch and drink, homework folder, backpack, water, change of clothes, permission slips, etc)
  5. Carve out time to attend a couple field trips, all parent teacher conferences, and most school events such as plays, Mother's Tea, and Thanksgiving feasts. If parents cannot attend, ask a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or older sibling to attend instead.
  6. Read to their child every night before bed. Talk to their child every day in detail about school, friends, and life. Try to teach them something new about themselves and the world whenever possible.
  7. Help children complete homework and school projects on time. Don't do it for them but give them the space to work on it themselves and give them guidance and support when needed.
  8. Volunteer in the classroom once or twice a year either reading to kids, setting up school events like the Thanksgiving Feast, organizing a fundraiser, carpooling for a field trip, etc. Offer to be a guest speaker if you have an interesting job.
  9. Ask questions when you don't understand why something happened in class or you have concerns. Ask respectfully and nicely, but ask rather than letting it upset you or bother you further. Send an email or make a phone call rather than opening the conversation in front of other parents at pick-up or drop-off time. Keep the lines of communication open.
  10. Let teachers know when something is going on at home that might affect the child's behavior, attitudes, or motivation. Let teachers know ahead of time if the family will be going out of town and the child will be missing school.
  11. During parent teacher conferences, listen to the teachers observations and recommendations and try to understand their point of view. Then ask questions, ask for clarification, or express concerns and come up with a game plan together.
 School starts up again in a couple days. So get in there and get involved! And have a very Happy, Safe, and Healthy New Year!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten? Dora Can Help!

Well folks, for many of you the countdown to kindergarten has begun! September 1st is only 284 days away! I found this cool quiz that parents can take to find out how ready their child is for kindergarten. Then based on your answers, the site provides you with a customized Readiness Plan for your child and games and activities to help your child achieve these goals.

Here is the link: Nick Jr Kindergarten Readiness Quiz

Check it out and let me know what you think! I'd love your feedback.

Parents and Teachers: Remember to focus on all four areas of kindergarten readiness that are critical to success in school: 1) social and emotional intelligence, 2) early literacy and math skills, 3) parental involvement in schools, and 4) health and wellness basics!

For more Useful Links, check out my Kindergarten Readiness website. I will be regularly updating the site with current articles and links about preparing your children for kindergarten social, emotionally, physically, and cognitively. Also, the 2010 version of my Kindergarten Readiness ebook for parents and teachers will be available on my website before the end of the year! Stay tuned!