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Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks

We see our family and friends, eat too much pie, enjoy a few extra days off from school and work, but beyond that… How can we demonstrate to our children the importance of both Thanksgiving and giving thanks?

The first Thanksgiving. First, let’s start by making sure our children know the story of the first Thanksgiving. Pick up a developmentally-appropriate book or find information online. It is important to discuss this story of hardship, friendship and sharing in an age-appropriate way.

A new tradition. Establish a new family tradition revolving around what your family is thankful for. This Thanksgiving, have everyone write or draw what they are most thankful for. Together, decorate a shoebox or journal to everyone’s answers. Make a point of adding to this box or journal throughout the year, and by next Thanksgiving you will have an amazing record of thanks. Add to this year after year—what a great treat it will be for the family to read through each Thanksgiving as your children grow!

Share. What are some of the things your children are most thankful for?


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Five Simple Ways to Raise a Reader

Five Simple Ways to Raise a Reader

It’s been said that reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Reading strengthens children’s analytical thinking skills, improves their memories and expands their vocabulary. Reading is also an excellent way to reduce stress. But how do you raise a reader? Here’s how:

1. Establish a story time. Ask your child to pick out a book and read it to him while he snuggles with you on the couch. Make time every day to read an age-appropriate book to him. He will remember the time you spent together even if he forgets the stories.

2. Share your faves. Have favorite books from your childhood? Pick out a few, read them to your child and see if any of them click. She might not love all of them, but chances are that she will probably go wild for some of them. After all, books like Green Eggs and Ham and Curious George are classics for a reason.

3. Explore an author’s works. Did your child love Where the Wild Things Are and Chicken Soup with Rice? Find Maurice Sendak’s other books and read them to him. If you aren’t familiar with the author’s other works, you can ask your local librarian or do some research on the Internet to find additional titles.

4. Let one passion inspire another. Find books that speak to your child’s interests. Does she like animals? Check out a Berenstain Bears book from the local library. Is your little one into trucks? Get some books about construction. Got a baseball fan? Well, you get the idea.

5. Lead by example. Encourage your child to be a voracious reader by showing him that you are a voracious reader. Planning weekly trips to the library with him, taking him to your local bookstore on a regular basis and designating a special story time will show him that you make reading a priority.

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Child’s Play in a Grown-up World


by Kyle D. Pruett, M.D.

Find ways to involve your children in the richness of your ‘grown-up’ life. Be creative and patient because the results are worth your effort!

For young children, play is a lot more than entertainment. It is central to their development. A wonderful way to play with and teach children is to bring them into your world, where ‘real-life’ happens. Children love to do ‘grown-up’ things and to imitate you. And when they contribute, they see themselves as players and get a well-earned self-esteem boost!

Children also learn about important values and concepts from watching you. They see the result of practice and perseverance, and they come to know that learning is a lifelong process. They see that everyone, even a grown-up, can make mistakes and can learn from them.

There are two easy and enjoyable ways for your children to play in the grown-up world: you can let them help with your chores and you can include them in your favorite pastimes.

Work as play: Include your children in your household routine. There are countless safe ways for children to help with meals, laundry, shopping or cleaning. They can help mix recipe ingredients, pick fruit at the grocery store, water the garden or pack their lunch. These activities are fun learning experiences, especially if you are teaching informally along the way. The chores may take a little longer as they learn the ropes, make mistakes, and work at a snail’s pace, but the value for their learning and their self-regard are more than worth the extra time.

Hobbies and pastimes: Share your interests with your children. This is one of the most intriguing, emotionally rich forms of learning that children can receive. Teach your children about your avocations, and keep up with your piano, chess, painting, hiking or gardening. Your enthusiasm for your hobbies will be infectious and offer many ways for your children to learn and develop skills.

Kyle D. Pruett, M.D., is an advisor for The Goddard School®. Dr. Pruett is an authority on child development who has been practicing child and family psychiatry for over twenty-five years. He is a clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale University’s Child Study Center.


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Welcome to The Goddard School®

The Goddard School is dedicated to providing an environment where teachers support the nurturing Preschool Classand learning children want and need, where children are offered the opportunity to develop their natural curiosity and creativity and where they can develop a lifelong love of learning.

Goddard School owners are committed to providing the best early childhood development experience for the children in their communities. They are available to their teachers and the children’s families every day.

The Goddard School will:

  • Offer a wide range of enriching activities to meet the needs of each child.
  • Focus on building a strong and balanced foundation of emotional, social, cognitive and physical skills for each child.
  • Offer multi-cultural and developmentally appropriate materials and equipment.
  • Provide a safe and nurturing environment.
  • Comply with Quality Assurance Reviews and parent surveys conducted by Goddard Systems Inc.
  • Support the professional development of teachers and directors through Goddard Systems University (GSU).
  • Offer open communication with families in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.
  • Offer curriculum resources to enhance the learning experience.

*Goddard Schools are operated by independent franchisees of Goddard Systems, Inc. – GSI.