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Archive for September, 2013

Is My Child Gifted?

At The Goddard School, we hear this question a lot.  All children are unique and develop different skills at different rates, and they all possess the natural ability to absorb information. Children develop the most rapidly in these precious early learning years. With the right environment and early learning experiences, young children are capable of much more than we realize, and what might be normal development can look like above-average intelligence.

The Goddard SchoolOne of the difficulties in determining whether a child is gifted is the broad definition of giftedness. Not everyone who uses the term is referring to the same set of qualities. Most public schools consider the gifted students to be those who perform in the top 1-2% of their class, and these students may be provided with a more challenging curriculum.  At The Goddard School, we consider each individual child and focus on individualizing our lessons for that child.

You can continue enriching your child’s learning at home as well.

  • Provide a variety of toys that are changed often to provide your child with cognitive stimulation and promote curiosity and exploration;
  • Use materials you have around the house. Cardboard boxes for building and old clothes for dressing up and role playing can provide hours of entertainment;
  • Make sure your children have access to books and vary the selection. Let your children choose a new book every night. As children get older, they can take turns reading to you;
  • Provide opportunities for social interactions. Engaging with other family members and visiting friends increases cognitive stimulation and helps build language and social skills;
  • Follow your child’s interests.  Provide opportunities for your child to explore his or her interests;
  • Get out and about. Trips to the zoo, different local parks, museums and, if possible, other states or countries will add variety to your child’s life;
  • Make sure you turn electronics off, limit all screen time and get out and play games together.

If you still wonder if your child is gifted, we suggest contacting your state gifted association. They have many resources for parents, including contact information for assessment providers, tips for families, educational resources and more.

Learning about Money

At the Goddard SchoolThe Goddard School, we begin teaching children about money in preschool. In our dramatic play areas, children pretend they are going to the store, handling money in a restaurant or saving money in a bank. We also introduce coins and place values in the preschool and pre-kindergarten classrooms. Children learn about using money while listening to stories and when taking part in math games and activities. Giving children a head start with money skills is crucial.

You can also start teaching your children about money and value at home with these easy ideas.

  • Create a wish jar or piggy bank. If your children want a toy, have them learn to save for it. They can use money they “earn” from chores, money from the tooth fairy and gifts. Count the money with your children each time they add to their wish jars;
  • Use the grocery store as a classroom. Children can learn about the cost of items, measurement, sizes and more.
  • Be careful when discussing money at home. Children may hear those tough conversations about bills, and they can pick up on the stress that may accompany them;
  • Teach the graciousness of giving. Have your children put aside some of their wish jar money to help others in need;
  • Ask the children’s grandparents to help. Instead of buying their grandchildren lots of toys, ask them to provide some funds for the wish jar;
  • When your child is in school, take a trip to the bank and have your child set up a savings account.

Learning about money and money management early in life will help your child be more responsible in the future.

Observing Babies as They Learn

You love to watch your little one playing and learning, and so do Goddard School teachers. Observation is a core method our teachers use to assess what children are learning, when they are ready to learn new tasks and what their interests are.  We use these observations to track the children’s progress, develop lesson plans and share the children’s development with their parents. The Goddard School

As parents, we often teach our children, yet they can teach us a lot while we observe them. Children will inform us of their needs and interests if we pay attention to them. You may want to keep a notebook or record your observations on your computer or tablet. Observe your child at different times of the day, such as at mealtimes and bedtime. Over time, your notes will form an interesting record of your child’s behavior at different ages and help you notice whether a pattern of behavior is emerging. When you notice that your child develops a new interest, try to nurture it without overwhelming your child. Think about ways you can introduce some new activities that will appeal to those interests.

Through observation, you will gain a better understanding of your child and create a record of special memories.

Dr. Craig Bach Joins The Goddard School Blog!

For 25 years, The Goddard School has been a trusted name among parents and families. Our proven educational approach is based on the latest research in early childhood education.  For the past four years, we have shared expert knowledge and research on parenting through our blog.  We are committed to providing sound educational advice, news and research, and so we are thrilled to have our Vice President for Education, Craig Bach, Ph.D., share his extensive expertise here on The Goddard School blog.

Craig_BachDr. Bach is responsible for overseeing licensing and compliance, accreditation, quality assurance, training and curriculum for the 400 Goddard School locations across the nation.

“Assessment and evaluation are fundamental parts of everything my team implements at GSI. Studies continue to show the importance of early education in a child’s academic success. We want to make sure that we build on that research, so our educationally rich programs will continue to provide children with a solid foundation for a successful future,” said Dr. Bach.

Dr. Bach received his doctorate from the Group in Logic and Methodology of Science at U. C. Berkeley. He is an educational researcher with more than 15 years of experience in primary, secondary and postsecondary education, including five years in institutional research.  His areas of research include learning assessment, learning analytics, the philosophy of mathematics, instructional technologies, mathematics education and the application of philosophical methods to research.

To learn more about Dr. Bach, click here.