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Archive for the ‘School’ Category

Choosing a Summer Program

According to research conducted by the National Center for Summer Learning, which is based at the Johns Hopkins School of Education in Baltimore, Maryland, summer learning loss accounts for about two-thirds of the difference in the likelihood of a student pursuing a college preparatory path in high school. As these findings indicate, keeping children’s brains challenged throughout the summer is crucial, since the lack of learning that occurs during these months has both short-term and long-term consequences.

Keeping a child’s day consistent throughout the summer months keeps the brain focused and helps prevent learning losses during the summer. In addition, this can potentially ease the anxiety that often accompanies transitioning into a new classroom or school come fall.

Research has shown that programs like The Goddard School that have specific learning goals, use learning and developmental standards and are age-appropriate are ideal in preventing summer learning losses.

Tips for Choosing a Summer Program:

  • Choose a program that is based on each child’s interests and natural curiosity – this allows children the opportunity to direct their own learning.
  • Ask for credentials, experience and training of the teachers/counselors.
  • Check the health and safety practices of the program.  Make sure you are comfortable that the program will be able to handle your child’s unique needs.
  • Inquire about the daily schedule of the program.  Does the program combine songs, stories, exploration, art, physical activities and learning adventures in a safe, nurturing environment? Ask how much freedom a child has to choose activities.
  • Ask for references.

Super Bowl Challenge (us vs. the home office)

The Goddard School located in Wayland, MA, has presented a Super Bowl challenge to Joseph Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc. located in King of Prussia, PA, which he has accepted. If (and when) the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl, he will wear a New England Patriots shirt all day at work after game day and he will take a picture wearing the Patriots shirt and eating a Boston cream pie donut. In the unlikely case of the Eagles winning, the owners, Amal and Reem, will wear Eagles shirts all day at work and take a picture eating a Philly cheesesteak. GO PATS!!

Fourth of July Fun

It’s the time of year when family and friends join together for barbecues and fireworks. Whether it is a publicly held event or a celebration in your own backyard, the Fourth of July allows for lots of fun and various activities for all ages.

When searching for that perfect spot to lay down a blanket to view the fireworks, consider that fireworks may not be suitable for all children. While many adults enjoy this holiday, loud noises and bright lights can be frightening and overwhelming for young children.

Before attending any event that involves fireworks, discuss with your child what fireworks are and why people enjoy them. Show him videos of fireworks going off so he has a better idea of what to expect. It is normal for children to have a natural fear of loud unknown noises, and some children may also be afraid of fireworks falling on them. Be prepared to help him cope with his concerns.

While waiting for the sky to get dark enough for the fireworks to start, some children may become bored. Here are some activities that will help her stay occupied:

·         Play eye spy with her. In this way you can incorporate learning through play by asking her to find items that are specific colors and shapes;

·         Bring paper and crayons, and ask your child to draw pictures of what she thinks the fireworks will look like. This also may make her feel more comfortable about the anticipated display;

·         Provide outdoor equipment for games and activities such as balls, kites and jump ropes to keep your child engaged while she is having fun. Do not forget the snacks and water.

 What are some activities your family does on the Fourth of July?

Choosing a Summer Program

According to research conducted by the National Center for Summer Learning, which is based at the Johns Hopkins School of Education in Baltimore, Maryland, summer learning loss accounts for about two-thirds of the difference in the likelihood of a student pursuing a college preparatory path in high school. As these findings indicate, keeping children’s brains challenged throughout the summer is crucial, since the lack of learning that occurs during these months has both short-term and long-term consequences.

Keeping a child’s day consistent throughout the summer months keeps the brain focused and helps prevent learning losses during the summer. In addition, this can potentially ease the anxiety that often accompanies transitioning into a new classroom or school come fall.

Research has shown that programs like The Goddard School that have specific learning goals, use learning and developmental standards and are age-appropriate are ideal in preventing summer learning losses. 

Tips for Choosing a Summer Program:

  • Choose a program that is based on each child’s interests and natural curiosity – this allows children the opportunity to direct their own learning.
  • Ask for credentials, experience and training of the teachers/counselors.
  • Check the health and safety practices of the program.  Make sure you are comfortable that the program will be able to handle your child’s unique needs.
  • Inquire about the daily schedule of the program.  Does the program combine songs, stories, exploration, art, physical activities and learning adventures in a safe, nurturing environment?  Ask how much freedom a child has to choose activities.
  • Ask for references.

Sleep

Sleep

By Dr. Kyle Pruett

Sleep troubles are among parents’ most exasperating experiences with their preschoolers. There are so many considerations in how parents decide to respond when sleep goes off the rails: is this the first child, is the mother or the father more (or less) distressed and do they agree that it is a crisis, the gender of the child (we tend to be more secure in handling kids of the same gender as the parent) and the parents’ sleep habits. There is also a new aspect of sleep that differentiates preschool sleep from toddler sleep: dreams.

Toddlers do dream, but for preschoolers, because of their exploding language and imaginations, dreams are more interesting and powerful and can wreak havoc on a previously good sleeper. When I hear of a sudden deterioration in sleep, dreams are my first suspect. If that’s the case, the child may fall asleep okay, but erupt in the second half of the night.  The child will need reassurance that the dream woke her up, is over now, was not real, will not come back and can’t hurt her. If the child is fighting sleep from the beginning,, it is still good to check if the child is afraid to sleep because of dreams. Otherwise, it’s more likely a separation issue (perhaps triggered by something in the family’s life).Then, the parents are in for a tough time of re-structuring calming pre-sleep rituals (reading stories and face massages are good), insisting on the five-minute ‘sit with you’ rule (use a timer), reassuringthe child that they’ll be fine and a few sleepless nights of walking them (in a calm, boring way with few words) back to their bed, taking turns if it burns one parent out. I discuss this in greater detail in my book, Partnership Parenting, and there is always your pediatrician to help if these measures aren’t sufficient.

Project Smile

We are excited to announce our school’s participation for the month of March in “Project Smile”. Project Smile is an organization that helps to provide stuffed animals to children in a time of need. We ask for everybody’s help and support in donating new stuffed animals to benefit Project Smile. Receptacles will be available to drop off new stuffed animals until Friday, March 31st. More information and events will be announced throughout the month. (Donations must be under 20 inches tall.) Thank you.

Valentine Hearts Memory Game

With Valentine’s Day approaching, you and your child can make and play this fun game together!

Materials

  • Red, pink and white construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Markers, crayons or colored pencils

Instructions:

Cut pairs of hearts from the three different colors of paper.

Draw two pictures of the same object on one side of two hearts. Draw simple pictures your child can recognize. Try drawing some of the following on the hearts:

  • A flower
  • A bumblebee
  • A heart
  • A ladybug
  • A puppy
  • A smiley face

After you have drawn a picture on one side of each heart-shaped card, shuffle the cards and lay them out facedown in rows. You and your child can take turns picking a card, turning it over and then trying to pick the card with the matching picture. Each time your child turns over a card, ask your child to identify the object you drew. You can also ask questions about the pictures. If your child picks a card with a picture of a puppy, you could say, “You picked the puppy! What sound does a puppy make?” This fun activity also encourages critical thinking. When you or your child makes a match, put the pair to the side and continue with the game until you have matched all the pairs.

Infant Communication: Talking and Feeling

Words do more than communicate thoughts and facts.  They allow us to organize and categorize those thoughts and facts – just as numbering systems allow us to do arithmetic after we’ve run out of fingers and toes to count on, or file names let us access previous work on a particular topic.

Children weeks old begin to bubble and coo, then move to squeals and squeaks, then repetitive tongue and lip movements, all in a fairly predictable sequence.  As children age, they spend a fair amount of time experimenting and playing with sounds.

They play with giggles, cooing, wailing, grunting, moaning, bubble blowing on their way to their first word, just as they play with their feet or body parts on their way to sitting up, crawling, and walking.  The pleasure gained in the mastery of sounds helps drive development forward.  Be honest.  You know those sounds are fun to make because you mimic them just to see that little face light up.

While infants begin uttering sounds for the sheer delight of doing so, they won’t attach meaning to those sounds until around 12 months.  Once this happens, children discover the power of words to cause action – saying “Mama” is likely to bring Mom to the scene.  Children also discover that words can call forth mental images of the people or things the words mean – saying or thinking “Mama” will bring up a mental picture of Mom.  Such images can be very comforting to a child when Mom isn’t physically present, such as at bedtime.  Most parents are familiar with children’s nighttime chants, a mix of words, syllables that call up images of the child’s world that are temporarily out of sight when the lights go out.  While the uttered name may not magically or instantly produce Mom, the mental image or picture attached to the name provides important comfort until she actually appears.

Baking Holiday Memories

Bake up some warm holiday memories with your children this season. Put on those aprons, the mess is part of the fun! Older children can crack the eggs and measure wet/dry ingredients, while the younger children participate by pouring the pre-measured ingredients into the mixing bowl (be sure to point out that oil and water don’t mix) and by stirring and creating cut-outs with cookies cutters. Be sure to encourage creativity and imagination when it is time to decorate! Festively colored frostings, sparkly sanding sugars, pre-cut fondant in holiday shapes (or make your own), gumdrops and more are perfect for little fingers, and make for wonderful holiday cookie decorations. Don’t forget to taste test your creations! Giving and sharing provide a feeling of joy that you can reinforce by having your children deliver a plate of cookies to a neighbor or the local senior center.

Apple Printing

The Goddard School® located in Wayland, MA, recommends trying new activities with your child!

 Materials:

Apples

Paint (Use washable poster paint for paper prints and fabric paints for clothes)

Paper plates

Something to print on

Newspaper to protect table

Art smocks

Knife to cut the apple

*Children should have adult supervision throughout this activity.

 

How To:

  1. Cover your working area with newspaper, and make sure everyone is wearing old clothes or a smock!
  2. Pour paint on to paper plates (one color per plate).
  3. Cut the apples in half.  Create an apple silhouette by cutting the apple from top to bottom, or create a circle with a star by cutting the apple horizontally.  Have your child guess what each shape will look like before you cut the apple, or brainstorm different ways to create different shapes with the apple.
  4. Have your child dip the flat side of the apple in the paint, thoroughly covering the apple, and then place it on the printing surface.
  5. Have fun creating fun designs and pictures with your homemade stamps!