Tag Archives: new year

2015 Resources Roundup for Parents

21 Jan

shutterstock_149946152

As you start the new year, it’s best to have learning resources in mind for your children. This will not only help continue learning opportunities that start in the classroom at home, but also give you options when it comes to filling weekends, indoor play days, and the special holidays you get to spend together! Without further adieu, here is a list of 2015 parent resources we hope you’ll find useful:

Early Education Blogs

Blogs go a long way in providing inspiration and a way to get connected with other parents and teachers. Here are a few of our favorites:

Pre-K Blogs

 Kindergarten Blogs

Educational Toy Suggestions

Keep up with our latest toys for the new year! Whether it’s incorporating new technology, discovering our latest dramatic play options, or finding classics on sale, here are our top toys for the new year:

  1. Stephen Joseph Wall Growth Chart
    • Keep up with how much your child is growing each day! Add inches and dates for memories to revisit years down the road.
  2. Lil Allie Gator
    • Start teaching proper brushing habits from the start with help from Lil Allie Gator! Because everyone knows if Alligators brush their teeth, then it must be important!
  3. Cottage Bed Pretend Play Tent
    • Encourage dramatic play and fanciful reading spaces with the new Cottage Bed Pretend Play Tent. Fits directly over a twin mattress!
  4. Geomag Gbaby Farm – 11 Pieces 
    • Magnetic rods allow budding builders to construct whatever shapes and structures they can imagine. Hours of building fun for babies!
  5. Laser Pegs Mini Indy Racer – 6 Models in 1 
    • Get kids excited with six different models that can be built into the Laser Pegs Mini Indy Racer! Vehicles even light up and provide for hours of racing fun, in the day or night.
  6. Practice Lacing Shoes (set of 2)
    • Let your little ones practice tying their shoes without it inhibiting their progress. Great for 3 years and up.

We hope you find these suggestions useful as you launch into the new year with your children!

4 Values to Instill in Children for the New Year

6 Jan

shutterstock_179644862

More studies are finding that social emotional learning in young children is just as important as academics because those core values play largely into how children will act as adults. Just as working with a team requires communication skills and the ability to relate to other people, children should also foster those values early on with their peers. As you and your children launch into the new year, here are four key values you can promote in the household for children to display both in and outside of the classroom:

Empathy

Empathy is important for children to understand, as it is the ability to view a situation from another person’s point of view. Without it, children would not be able to relate to their peers or teacher. More importantly, they could end up unintentionally hurting someone if they are unable to relate to that person’s pain. To ensure your child not only understands empathy but is also putting it into practice, keep an eye out for teachable moments. For example, if their friend or sibling falls to the ground and no one notices, involve your child in caring for them. Likewise, if someone is struggling with a task on their own, ask your child to help them finish their task. Simply engaging with and relating to people in their daily lives will help children apply those values in the classroom and in the future.

Grit

Grit has become popular in the classroom, but it should also be present in the home. Simply put, grit is the ability to overcome obstacles through determination and learning from mistakes. There are several ways you can help your child grow in “grittiness” including inspiring them to take risks, talking them through failures to see them as learning opportunities, and encouraging open communication where children feel comfortable getting out of their comfort zones. As always, lead by example and ensure your children sees you reaching for goals out of your comfort zone and displaying determination to achieve them.

Resilience

For children to become capable of handling daily obstacles, they must first develop resilience. Overcoming challenges through practicing resiliency skills can only be done, however, if a child has a growth mindset. To teach your child to have an open mind, make sure they know how to first identify their problems, set achievable goals, recognize the risks that come along with those goals, and finally, have the persistence to see them through.

Diversity

Learning to recognize and accept differences in a child’s peers will help them go a long way in the classroom and in life. By recognizing that other families do things differently, it will broaden a child’s perspective and open them up to new experiences. You can help diversify your child’s experiences by introducing them to families in the neighborhood who are of a different culture or by reading books about different parts of the world. Also, creating new experiences at home like cooking a new recipe is a great way to open your child up to a variety of life experiences.

How are you promoting social emotional learning at home? Feel free to share by commenting below or sharing on our Facebook page with the hashtag #SEL.

Resources:

Giving Children Goals for the New Year

30 Dec

shutterstock_157361921

The New Year is finally upon us! As children prepare to finish the latter part of the school year, it’s important to encourage kids to make educational goals for the new calendar year. Children can change their whole attitude toward the classroom, their peers, and even homework if learning is approached with intentionality. Here are some positive ways you can encourage your child to not only become passionate about learning, but also intentional.

The Importance of Planning

You can never stress the importance of having a plan enough when it comes to encouraging children to be prepared. There are several ways you can point out the planning that occurs every day to help children apply those same lessons to their own decisions:

  1. Talk about your plans.
    1. You make decisions every day. Discuss those decisions aloud with your child to allow him or her to understand your thought process. This will teach your child that your thoughts and actions are intentional.
  1. Make both long- and short-term goals.
    1. When you make goals, be sure you share them with your children. Whether it’s saving up for new furniture in the house, or even something as simple as making a list before shopping at the grocery store so that unnecessary items aren’t bought, include children in the planning process and allow them to see you accomplish goals both within your day and in the future. Encourage them to make their own goals when it comes to classroom accomplishments, pursuing subjects they are passionate about, or even improving behavior problems.

Leaving Time for Reflection

Though you can plan to the best of your ability, it’s natural that not every plan is going to work the way you imagined it. Some plans fall through no matter how much you wanted them to succeed. Unsuccessful goals can provide the perfect opportunity for reflection and making adjustments to try something new in the future. Here are a few ways to include children in the process:

  1. Ask the right questions.
    1. It’s important to ask questions that will require children to reflect on the topics being learned. If a child is not grasping a certain concept, try asking questions differently. For example, if your child is learning about safari animals, try something like, “Giraffes have long necks and long legs. What might be good about having long legs and a long neck? What other animals have long necks and long legs?” Great questions will help children make sense of new information by offering comparison. It will also give them a new approach to learning that may offer greater success in the future.
  1. Discuss the results of intentional planning.
    1. This is a great time to allow children to focus on the goals they’ve made and the results of trying to achieve them. If they’ve come up short, redirect their focus on ways to make goals more attainable and not on the disappointment of failure. Knowing what went wrong and how to fix it is all a part of the learning process!

Encourage Persistence and Commitment

  • Read stories like the Itsy Bitsy Spider or I Knew You Could! to instill values of persistence and determination in children even in the face of great obstacles.
  • Create a “Tomorrow Box” where children can store unfinished artwork to complete later.
  • Help children celebrate small successes by using charts or calendars to mark off daily accomplishments.
  • Model and encourage new ways to finish work children may be struggling to complete.

We hope you found these strategies useful for helping your child approach the New Year with intentionality. Find even more social and emotional strategies in the book Seven Skills for School Success. 

Reaching New Heights in the New Year

6 Jan

ImageThe start of a new year is a great time to come up with things you want to have accomplished by the end of it. Do you have dreams you’ve always held close but never pursued? Did you not chase after it because you thought it was too big? Well, this amazing story of one girl is enough to inspire just about anyone that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

Did you know Amelia Mary Earhart saw her first plane when she was only 10 years old? She was not impressed. It was not until she went to a stunt-flying exhibit a decade later that a dream began to take up full residence in her mind. On December 28, 1920, pilot Frank Hawks gave young Amelia a ride that would forever change her life. “By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground,” she said, “I knew I had to fly.”

Though she faced financial and prejudicial obstacles, Amelia Earhart would go on to buy her own plane, the Canary, by 1921 and eventually become the world’s first woman to fly the Atlantic. She also placed third at the Cleveland Women’s Air Derby, later nicknamed the “Powder Puff Derby” by Will Rogers, was presented a gold medal from the National Geographic Society by President Herbert Hoover, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Congress–the first ever given to a woman.   Vice President Charles Curtis praised Earhart’s courage, saying she displayed “heroic courage and skill as a navigator at the risk of her life.”

It is so important to foster children’s dreams and let them know that anything is possible. With a little support and encouragement they can do or become whatever they want. It’s also important for adults to know that it’s not to late to make new dreams! C.S. Lewis once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” So true! Don’t let your doubts get the best of you this year. Support your little ones and yourself and go out there to see what you can achieve.

Want to learn more about Amelia Earhart? Gear up for Amelia Earhart Day on Saturday by reading these books to your kids about her great journey:

You can also find her official website here: http://www.ameliaearhart.com/about/bio.html and find more resources on the holiday here: http://www.holidaysmart.com/1ameliaearhart.htm.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers