{     Offering the Best Childhood Preparation for Social and Academic Success.     }

2016 Masterpiece Competition

Congratulations to The Goddard School located in Houston (The Greater Heights), TX — the winner of our Masterpiece Competition with 1,055 votes! (As of 3 PM EDT on September 21).

The work of art was made by the Pre-Kindergarten class who paid tribute to music by creating this colorful piece.Houston IV, TX

The School has won an assortment of school-appropriate new art supplies and a visit from our CEO, Joe Schumacher, and our VP of Education, Dr. Craig Bach, in which Mr. Schumacher and Dr. Bach will participate in an art project with the children.

The Goddard School located in Knoxville, TN came in second place with 983 votes followed by The Goddard School located Voorhees, NJ with 579 votes!

Congratulations and a job well done to all of our participants!

THE GODDARD SCHOOL PRESCHOOL SYSTEM KICKS OFF 9th ANNUAL TOY TEST

Preschoolers Across the Nation Search for the Top Educational Toys for the Holidays

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the national franchisor of The Goddard School® preschool system, is kicking off its 9th annual 072O1796Preschooler-Approved Toy Test. This year, preschoolers from 50 Goddard School locations across the United States are on the hunt for the top 10 educational toys for children (infants to six years old), just in time for the holiday season. The world’s leading toy companies are going head-to-head for the coveted title of The Goddard School’s winning educational toy of the year!

Each year, early childhood education experts from The Goddard School Toy Test Committee review dozens of applications from toy manufacturers across the globe. Each entry is evaluated based on specific educational criteria including encouraging interactive, child-initiated play, inspiring creativity and collaboration, and supporting skill development and playful learning.

The 25 toys that score the highest in the evaluation process will be tested by children from September 19 through September 23 at the 50 participating Goddard School locations across the U.S. The preschoolers and teachers will have the opportunity to vote for the Top 10 Preschooler-Approved Toys. From there, the top 10 toys will be put to a public vote on The Goddard School’s Toy Test page from November 1 to November 11, 2016 to determine the winning educational toy of the season. GSI will purchase 100 units of the winning toy to donate to Toys for Tots, a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve that distributes holiday gifts to less fortunate children in the community.

“The Goddard School’s Toy Test initiative is an enriching time of the year for the preschoolers as they are able to engage in playful, new learning experiences with the nation’s top toys,” says GSI’s Vice President of Education, Dr. Craig Bach. “By having the children participate in our annual Toy Test, they are immersed in an environment that centers around our core educational philosophy of playful learning. Within this environment, they are gaining valuable tools and lessons that are vital to their future successes in school and life.”

Past Preschooler-Approved Toy Test winners include brands such as Laser Pegs, K’NEX Brands, Learning Resources, and Lakeshore Learning Materials. For more information on The Goddard School and the Preschooler-Approved Toy Test, please visit www.goddardschool.com/toytest.

THE GODDARD SCHOOL INTRODUCES TWO NEW EDUCATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS JUST IN TIME FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR

Newest EAB Members Drs. Seeta Pai and Jennifer Jipson Share Back-To-School Tips for Parents

The Goddard School®, the premier preschool focused on learning through play for children from six weeks to six years old, is adding two Seeta Painew members to its esteemed Educational Advisory Board (EAB); Drs. Seeta Pai and Jennifer Jipson. The Goddard School’s EAB is a knowledgeable group of educators, researchers and experts from a range of early childhood fields including early learning and curriculum development, technology integration, brain development, parent engagement and health and nutrition.

For many years, the EAB has helped The Goddard School to move research into action to maintain the best in industry curriculm as the science of learning grows and evolves. To achieve this goal, the EAB provides crucial feedback on new programs and services; suggesting improvements to the industry leader’s proprietary F.L.EX.® Learning Program and supporting original research and publications. The Goddard School looks forward to Drs. Jipson and Pai incorporating their cutting edge research into Goddard Schools all across the country.

A thought leader in the kids’ educational media and international child development fields, Dr. Pai brings her expertise in cultural sensitivity and diversity as well as the influence of media and technology to early childhood education. Holding her doctorate degree in Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and prior Vice President of Research at Common Sense Media, Pai hopes to enhance The Goddard School’s research and strategy by acting as a translator of the most up-to-date media studies and methodologies as well as providing insights on child diversity and identity.

Regarding back to school, “This is a time to be willing, as a parent, to embrace all methods of learning,” said Dr. Seeta Pai, new EAB Jennifer Jipsonmember. “Relax and think about learning as a lifelong enterprise, not something that children do within the four walls of their classroom. Embrace and follow your child’s passion and encourage them to ask questions.”

Dr. Jipson, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Child Development at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, brings experience and knowledge to early childhood education within the domains of science, health and technology. Referencing her studies of how children learn and develop as they engage in everyday routines, Dr. Jipson hopes to shed more light on ways children learn through informal settings and help a larger audience understand child development as a field.

Dr. Jipson believes that establishing a routine is key for back-to-school time. “Get your child’s mind and body prepared for the big shift – whether it be moving bedtime back to an earlier time, making meal times more regular or establishing weekday schedules for homework, TV, baths, etc. Start early and ease children in,” she says.

“At The Goddard School, the EAB ensures a high-quality education program to prepare children for social and academic success in the 21st century,” said Joe Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc. “We’re extremely fortunate to have Drs. Jipson and Pai joining our team of educators, researchers and experts and we’re confident that they’ll be a valuable asset to furthering our unique play-based curriculum.”

For more information on The Goddard School and their Educational Advisory Board, please visit www.goddardschool.com.

Teaching Thankfulness through Community Service

Volunteering is an enriching experience for everyone involved. Families have more opportunities and more reasons than ever to volunteer Twenty20 - share a mealtogether.

Why should you get involved?

  • Volunteering feels good, and children learn to feel satisfaction and pride come in helping others;
  • Getting involved strengthens your community. Organizations that use volunteers often provide services at low or no cost to those in need;
  • Volunteering can strengthen your family bonds as you have fun together and grow closer. Select one or two projects a year, and make them a family tradition.

What do children learn?

  • Children learn how to be on time, do their best and be proud of the results. This creates a sense of responsibility;
  • Children learn that one person can make a difference;
  • Children learn to think of others. Giving a toy to a less fortunate child helps children learn that other people need our help. Volunteering to clean up a park teaches your children they can improve their community.

How can you get involved?twenty20 - garden

  • The internet offers a lot of information about volunteering. You can begin your search online by typing “community service and volunteer organizations” in the search box;
  • Call a local charity, church or hospital.

Community service makes a lasting impression on children. They quickly learn that the service they provide benefits real people, and they feel good about it.

Naptime Has Never Been More Fun

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At least for Laura Izumikawa anyway. The photographer, based out of Los Angeles, doesn’t watch T.V. or take a nap herself while her 4-month-old daughter, Joey Marie Choi, sleeps. Instead she dresses Joey in costumes that are sure to put what you wore for Halloween last year to shame, and shares them with family, friends and her 279K followers on Instagram.

While we don’t know Izumikawa’s secret to get Joey to sleep through her time as Beyoncé, Pikachu or the Statue of Liberty, we do have some tips you can follow for a more successful nap time.

  • Choose a regular, daily naptime and stick to it—early afternoon is best.
  • Have your child visit the potty before heading off for their nap.
  • Naps should occur in the same place your child sleeps at night.
  • Choose a calming activity to do for a few minutes before naptime to help your little one wind down, e.g., they can practice a few yoga poses or flip through their favorite book.Capture 2
  • Enter the room with the lights off or dimmed low.
  • Play soothing music or sing a soft lullaby to help them fall asleep.
  • Provide a “lovey” for naptime snuggling.

The Benefits of a Musical Environment

MusicYou can make music with just about anything found in your household. Adding a musically inclined environment to your child’s life offers extensive benefits for her emotional, intellectual and social development.

For young children, music helps identify teamwork. It shows that you can create something greater with the help of more people. For example, the use of drums, guitars and vocals can produce a better song than a song only containing the use of drums.

Music allows children to express themselves through creativity and openness with others. Enjoying music gives preschoolers a common interest and can create lasting friendships. Here are some ideas to incorporate some tunes into your child’s daily activities.

  • Allow your child to sit at the kitchen table with pots and pans to use as drums while you make dinner. This engages your child with you in the kitchen and keeps him away from the possible dangers of the kitchen while you are cooking. Provide him with different types of pans and utensils (for example, plastic utensils and metal pans) so that he can learn to create various sounds. It is best not to use glass in this activity.
  • Sing along with your child in the car. Preschoolers are not yet at the age where they become self-conscious of their behavior. In fact, most little ones love letting out their strong vocal chords for everyone around them to hear. Encourage your child to do this more often, even if it is a little loud on the ear drums! Playing basic songs and repeating them regularly will help your child retain simple melodies and rhythms.
  • Plan a dance party for family fun night. Encourage your child to get up and show you his moves by playing freeze dance. This is done by a family member controlling the music and stopping it at random times. When the music is stopped, everyone freezes until the song restarts. Freeze dance always results in tons of giggles by all the family members.

Fishing for Crackers

Fishing for CrackersSpruce up snack time with this easy, healthy and fun snack!

Ingredients:

  • Carrot sticks
  • A bowl of hummus or veggie dip
  • Goldfish crackers

Dunk the carrots into the hummus or dip. Then put some goldfish crackers on a plate and use the carrot stick to “catch” the crackers.

Black Bean Hummus

Black Bean Hummus RecipeSpice up snack time with this quick, easy and, most importantly, yummy black bean hummus.

Ingredients:

  • 15-oz can of black beans
  • 1 garlic glove
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin

Drain black beans. In a blender, puree all ingredients, adding water if necessary. Season with salt to taste. Serve with crackers or raw veggies.

*An adult should oversee all recipes and activities. Recipes and activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

Four Ways to Encourage Gratitude

072O2495Teaching children how to be grateful is important. Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers four tips on how to encourage gratitude.

  1. Regularly express your own thankfulness verbally. Saying things such as “We are very lucky to have grandma nearby” or “I’m thankful to have a son like you in my life” or “Your dad made that so easy for all of us” can help demonstrate the appreciation you have for the people around you.
  2. Express gratitude behaviorally. Take a casserole to a neighbor who has been kind or needs some extra help for whatever reason—even better if the children help you make it. When the hand-me-down toys end their cycle, make a thrift store run with the children in tow.
  3. Make generosity part of your family’s routine. When seasons change, collect clothes from everyone’s closet to donate or take canned goods to the local soup kitchen.
  4. Take the children along on community fundraising activities, runs, walks, etc. Explain to them why this matters to you. Make sure your children meet the organizers and understand the purpose; if it’s personal, it’s remembered.

Five Benefits of Taking a Staycation

StaycationTaking a vacation with your family can be challenging, so try taking a staycation instead. Here are five benefits of enjoying time off at home.

  1. Give your wallet a break. The beauty of a staycation is that you don’t have to spend money on gas, air travel or hotels. An added bonus is that you can use some of that cash on day trips or activities, instead.
  2. Get to know your town. Taking a staycation gives you the chance to explore your community. Take your child to a local restaurant you haven’t tried yet, visit a nearby park or simply go for a stroll through your neighborhood.
  3. Reduce your stress. Staying at home means you and your child don’t have to sit in traffic, wait in line at the airport or adjust to different lodgings. You can simply relax.
  4. Enjoy the comfort of your own home. You and your child can sleep in your own beds, lounge on your own couch and cook up some treats in your own kitchen. The comforts of home are what make it “home, sweet home,” after all.
  5. Maximize your vacation time. Staycations reduce the amount of time spent traveling, checking into and out of hotels and planning an itinerary. The minute you’re home, you’re on vacation.