Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What your Third Grader Needs to Know Part 1

Your Child and Technology: What your Third Grader Needs to Know

From managing a mouse to using an online encyclopedia, your third grader will find technology an increasingly valuable learning tool.
By GreatSchools Staff

Technology enhances learning
Technology in the third grade classroom can provide a rich, entertaining range of learning opportunities that engage young minds and get them excited about all aspects of the curriculum. Your child will use technological tools to enhance her understanding of core subjects, including language arts, science, and math. According to the Common Core Standards Initiative that the majority of states adopted in 2010-2011, third graders should master certain basic technology skills that can be used in core subjects like reading, writing, science, and math. (Many states also follow the National Educational Technology Standards for Students.)

In third grade, your child will build on essential reading and writing skills, memorize math facts, and, through the lens of science, learn about the world around them. While using technology is no substitute for reading a book, mastering the multiplication tables, or conducting research for a science project, it's an important tool to supplement classroom instruction. Even more important, technological literacy is essential for your child's future.

Technology skills your child should have by the end of third grade
Should haves:
•Basic keyboarding and typing skills
•Ability to use a mouse to click, drag, and drop
•Introductory Internet research skills (with adult supervision)
•Experience using online dictionaries and glossaries to look up words
•Basic understanding of cybersecurity do's and don'ts

Nice to haves:
•Basic ability to use clip art and photo editing tools
•Basic ability to use PowerPoint or other presentation software
•Basic ability to use Excel or other programs to organize data and create graphs

Technology your third grader may find in the classroom
•One or more computers or tablets with access to the Internet (including Internet safeguards) and a printer
•Still and video digital cameras, photo editing software, animation tools
•Interactive whiteboard and a large monitor or projector the teacher can use to engage students in multimedia lessons
•Educational software, including multimedia encyclopedias and dictionaries, typing programs, interactive books, and educational games

The amount and quality of technology third graders have access to varies widely from school to school. Some schools have the resources to provide state-of-the-art computers and whiteboards in every classroom; others have a single computer lab that all students share. When evaluating your third grader's technology experience, the number and brand of computers in the classroom is less important to consider than how well technology is integrated into learning at your child's school.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What Your Second Grader Needs to Know Part 2

Your Child and Technology: What Your Second Grader Needs to Know

Your second grader will learn to use technology tools like email and simple graphing software.
By GreatSchools Staff

Technology skills your second grader needs

To be on track, here’s what your child should know by the end of second grade:
•Computer terminology: learn the proper terminology to communicate about computers, such as the monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, and speakers, and software terms (and how to find them on the screen) such as menu, file, save, print, and quit.
•Keyboard and mouse: continue mastering (after learning the basics in first grade) use of the keyboard and mouse; use a mouse to click, drag, and drop; know the keys on the left and right side of the keyboard; practice typing the home keys and using the space bar; use the correct body position, hand-wrist position, and proper techniques for striking the keys. (Some schools may be using a program that teaches your second grader how to type).

•Send email: know the basics of how to send and receive email.
•Publishing basics: with guidance from the teacher, write and publish or print a simple document using a web-publishing program.
•Web basics: understand how to do online research and navigate websites the teacher has bookmarked for them.

By learning these skills in second grade, your child will have the basic knowledge needed to start doing research and communicating thoughts in writing, which are essential to learning core academic subjects like reading, writing, math, and science.

Using technology for language arts

As second graders become more proficient in reading and writing, multimedia tools can be used more frequently as academic aids. According to the second grade Common Core Standards, second graders should know how to use digital tools to "produce and publish" written work (anything from a short story to a poem to a report on a historical figure) — and even illustrate this work using KidPix or digital photos. Your second grader may use presentation software such as PowerPoint to add to a class book or slide show, making a slide with both pictures and text. Your second graders might also be expected to know how to use online dictionaries and glossaries to find definitions. In addition, as second graders refine their abilities of self-expression, they might be asked to create audio recordings of stories or poems.

Using technology for math

Your second grader may use spreadsheet programs like Excel to organize data and make graphs (technical skills that will also be essential for science). He may work from a template in which the spreadsheet is already created, so your child can enter the information needed. Free websites like Kahn Academy can help second graders complete a full math curriculum whether they want to brush up or they’re ready to race ahead. A bonus for parents whose kids love playing with smartphones or tablets: knowing how to navigate a touch screen device comes in handy for strengthening math skills by taking advantage of educational apps (like this), which allow children to touch and manipulate math concepts on the screen.

Using technology for science

In just a few years, your second grader will need to know how to research and write detailed reports on everything from sea turtles to supernovas. This year, your child may build toward that goal by learning more advanced techniques for conducting online scientific research (for example, looking up facts about Saturn on a website about the solar system). Your child’s classroom may be equipped with a full range of tech tools, like cameras, computers, tablets, or white boards, which help bring science to life. Children can watch close-up footage of whales, rainforests, or space. They might use apps to play with animated versions of the elements in the periodic table or simulations of tornados or the night skyor even watch science experiments online (like this). As with math, your second grader may be required to use online graphing tools like Excel for science assignments to, for example, contribute to a class spreadsheet about temperatures taken over a period of time.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What Your Second Grader Needs to Know Part 1

Your Child and Technology: What Your Second Grader Needs to Know

Your second grader will learn to use technology tools like email and simple graphing software.
By GreatSchools Staff

Second graders in a high-tech world

In our tech-savvy world, even second graders need some basic skills. By the end of the school year, your second grader may be using word processing programs, draw and paint software, and presentation software (like PowerPoint) to complete classroom activities in a range of subject areas, including reading, writing, math, and science. Used judiciously, multimedia tools like these can help develop a young child's higher order thinking skills (problem solving, critical thinking, and analyzing), promote creativity, and be an invaluable academic aid.

According to the Common Core Standards Initiative, which the majority of states adopted in 2010-2011, second graders should be learning a suite of technological skills to support core subjects like reading, writing, and math. (Many states also follow the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S). Reality check: although these technology standards exist, how much teachers incorporate them varies widely.

Some mastery of basic skills in the second grade will start your child on the road to technological literacy — a necessity in the 21st century. The goal is that by the end of elementary school, students will know how to make use of multimedia tools that support their education. Here’s a primer for the types of technology you might find in your second grader's classroom, what skills your second grader needs to have, and how these skills can help your child learn.

Tools of the second grade

Your second grader may have one or more computer workstations in the classroom, visit a computer lab once a week, or may not use technology regularly at all. If your child's class does use technology to support learning, here are the tools you might expect to find:

•Educational software that reinforces reading and math skills
•Multimedia encyclopedias and dictionaries
•Digital camera
•Video camera
•Interactive story books on a computer
•One computer or more with access to the Internet and a printer
•Large-screen display connected to a computer
•An interactive whiteboard
•One tablet or more

Even if your child's class has little more than a computer and printer, there’s no need to panic. The skills a second grader needs can be taught using these basic tech tools.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

10 Sugar Bombs Healthier Than Children's Cereal

10 Sugar Bombs Healthier Than Children's Cereal

According to an article from msn.health.com, you wouldn’t serve Oreos or ice cream sandwiches for breakfast, but you’re ingesting a similar amount of sugar when you eat some kids’ cereals

By Emily G. W. Chau
 
Sweet Scott!
A Twinkie is hardly the breakfast of champions, but it turns out that the much-maligned childhood favorite contains less sugar than a bowl of Honey Smacks. According to a report from the Environmental Working Group, a number of cereals pack at least as much sugar as cookies, candies, and cakes—turning the most important meal of the day into another opportunity for dessert. (Search: Healthy breakfast ideas) To show just how bad children’s cereal can be, we’ve rounded up 10 surprising foods that contain fewer grams of sugar than the worst cereal offenders.* The findings are hardly sweet.

Twinkies
You might not believe it, but these golden cakes contain less sugar than a bowl of Honey Smacks. Twinkies pack a whopping 18 g of sugar per roll, but the Kellogg’s breakfast cereal contains more—a full 20 g of sugar per cup.

Klondike Ice Cream Sandwich
If you’re shoveling spoonfuls of Golden Crisps into your mouth for breakfast, you might as well be eating dessert. One cup of Golden Crisps contains more sugar than a Klondike ice cream sandwich (18.7 g vs. 16 g).

Milano Double Chocolate Cookies
Holy sugar bomb, Batman! You can chomp down two Milano Double Chocolate cookies and still get less of a sugar rush than if you ate 1 cup of Froot Loops Marshmallow cereal. Two cookies contain 10 g of sugar, while the cereal has 14 g per cup, or one extra teaspoon of sugar.

Ho Hos
Ho Hos are hardly healthy, but one of these chocolate and cream rolls contains one less gram of sugar than a bowl of Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries (14 g vs. 15 g). Oops is right.

Jolly Ranchers
Finish off four of these suckers and you’ve still got sugar to spare compared to a bowl of original Cap’n Crunch. Essentially pure sugar, four Jolly Ranchers contain 14.7 g; a bowl of the Cap’n contains 16 g.

Pixy Stix
Pour seven Pixy Stix down your throat and you’ve almost eaten as much sugar as if you munched on a cup of Oh!s—but not quite. While a fistful of sugar sticks contains 15 g of sugar, a bowl of the seemingly innocuous Oh!s packs 16 g.

Chips Ahoy
You’re practically eating spoonfuls of sugar—or cookies—if you pour yourself some Kellogg’s Smorz cereal. One cup of the chocolaty, marshmallow-y cereal has two more grams of sugar than three Chips Ahoy cookies (13 g vs 11 g).

Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnut
Nothing says sugar overload quite like a Krispy Kreme doughnut fresh out of the oven, but fact is, a cup of Apple Jacks contains more of the sweet stuff. While a doughnut will set you back 10 g of sugar, the appley Os sneak in 12 g per cup.

Oreos
Any way you twist ‘em, three Oreos actually have fewer grams of sugar than a cup of Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries (14 g vs 14.7 g).

Starbucks Iced Caffe Latte
Coffee drinks get a bad rap for packing hidden sugars—and for good reason. However, kid’s cereal can sneak in even more. Who knew, but a grande iced caffe latte actually has one less gram of sugar than a bowl of original Froot Loops.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Talking About Migraine

Talking About Migraine


According to an article from msn.health.com, a  headache specialist discusses the causes of and treatments for migraines.
By Harvard Health Publications

What is a migraine headache?
Migraine can be defined as a limiting headache — a headache that stops you from functioning. The pain is not a mild, insignificant thing you can ignore; you must actively decide what to do about it. Nausea is also a common symptom.

More and more it seems like migraine is a separate illness. In the future, it's likely that we'll be able to define migraine by its distinct genetic pattern.

Where does the pain come from?
We think that migraine "lives" in the brain. The brain doesn't have pain receptors, but it processes pain signals from other parts of the body. It's the pain processing networks, or centers, in the brain that are overly reactive or dysfunctional in migraine.

Isn't there a theory that the pain comes from the dilation — widening — of blood vessels in the brain?
That was the dominant theory in the '60s. But much of the evidence now is that blood vessel constriction and dilation is an epiphenomenon — something that accompanies the pain from migraine but doesn't cause it.

Where do triggers fit in?
The notion of triggers is central to the diagnosis of migraine. We look for patterns of reactivity and for events or circumstances that set off individual headaches. The problem is that even when you identify triggers, there's frequently not a lot you can do about them. You can't control weather changes, for example.

I think triggers have often been overemphasized in some of the self-help approaches to migraine. Advice on managing triggers can suggest a sense of personal control over migraines that often isn't there.

And dietary triggers?
They exist, but I also think that people can drive themselves crazy trying to identify them. We frequently hear patients report that when they are adequately treated, chocolate, alcohol, and other dietary triggers disappear.

Have drugs like Imitrex made a big difference?
Imitrex [sumatriptan] is one of the triptan drugs. The triptans have revolutionized treatment of migraine headaches once they start to occur — what we call abortive treatment. They allow people to take a specific medicine to target a specific condition and often get back to having a fairly normal day.

People also take medication on an ongoing basis to keep the headaches from occurring, don't they?
Yes, we have three major groups of preventive medications that we prescribe: antiseizure medications, blood pressure drugs, and the older tricyclic antidepressants. It is a diverse set of agents, and why they work is not entirely clear, but they seem to reduce headache reactivity — the triggers may still be there, but they fail to set off the migraine event. Botulinum toxin — Botox — injections into various places the head seem to help reduce headache reactivity in some people.

Is there one that you prescribe more than the others?
I have found amitriptyline [Elavil, Endep, others], one of the older tricyclics, to be particularly effective, often at a low dose: 10 milligrams a day compared with the 100- to 150-milligram dose that was used for depression. Sedation and weight gain are side effects. Amitriptyline is long-acting, so I usually recommend that people take it around dinnertime so they don't sleep too late.

Are there any alternative approaches that work?
Complementary and alternative therapies are usually not strong enough to treat a tough migraine problem alone, but they might be helpful for a mild one. And a lot of these treatments are very hard to study in a double-blind fashion.

The technique for which there is the most evidence is biofeedback, but the problem is that biofeedback is not widely available and often isn't covered by insurance. My own personal favorite for patients is yoga, because it is so widely available and affordable, and it probably has other health benefits.

What about supplements?
Headache specialists seem to love to argue about them. Everybody has their favorite combinations. I suppose the ones I like are melatonin, the sleep hormone; coenzyme Q10; and magnesium.

How has your own understanding of migraine evolved over the years?
Certainly our knowledge about migraine has improved. But if I had to pick one thing, it would be my appreciation of just how much of an impact migraines can have on people's lives. It took me 15 to 20 years to really understand what migraine patients are going through and what a huge impediment migraine is on their lives. I've also come to understand that it often takes a lot for people to come in for care. Many patients have some level of shame about their migraines.

Shame? Really?
Shame is a strong word, but I think it's appropriate. They have shame because they think they should be able to handle it on their own. And shame because they have often made an effort to talk to doctors about migraine and have been passed off as complainers.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What Your First Grader Needs to Know Part 2

Your Child and Technology: What Your First Grader Needs to Know

When first graders use technology in the classroom, they start to use a keyboard; master terms like menu, file, save, and quit; and even learn to navigate the web.
By GreatSchools Staff

Using technology for reading and writing

Common Core Standards recommend that first graders be able to listen to a story online and answer questions about key details in the text. At a minimum, first graders should also be able to read basic computer terms ("Menu," "File," "Print," "Quit") so they can use a standard word processing program. Ideally, they'll even have enough reading and technical fluency to understand how to navigate a child-friendly website and read everything from electronic menus to icons.

As your first grader’s reading improves, he may even start learning how to do basic research online, another essential skill for future grades. According to the Common Core Standards, with guidance and support from adults, first graders should be able to "use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers." First graders may also learn a suite of other computer fluency skills like knowing how to change the font, color, and size of the text.

Multimedia and math

By using tech tools, your first grader can become more skilled at mouse and keyboarding skills while reinforcing basic math concepts. With draw and paint software programs, for example, your first grader can model addition and subtraction word problems with number sentences and pictures. (A number sentence includes numbers, an operation symbol, and an equal sign, e.g. 2+3=5.) Or the class may draw graphs on paper, then work with the teacher to create graphs using graphing software or a spreadsheet program.

Outside of class, free websites like Kahn Academycan help your child learn math, whether she needs a brush-up on basics or she’s ready to race ahead. (A bonus for parents whose kids love playing with smartphones or tablets: knowing how to navigate a touch screen enables them to easily use educational apps (like these), which allows children to touch and manipulate math concepts on the screen.

Scientific discovery aided by technology

Key areas of focus in first grade science include the ocean and sea life, the human body, states of matter, measuring temperature, electricity and magnetism, and properties of sound. (Read all about your first grader and science here.) . In an Internet-connected first grade classroom or computer lab, science can be as close as that white board, monitor, tablet, or computer screen. For your first grader, understanding how to navigate the Internet becomes an invaluable skill for scientific discovery. If your child's first grade class is equipped with more multimedia tools, the teacher might lead your child through experiments and hands-on learning, using tools such as digital cameras, video cameras, and web publishing programs as a way to help your child document and record scientific inquiries and observations.

Outside of school, you can help foster your first grader’s thirst for science using digital tools, too. Children can watch close-up footage of whales, rainforests, or space online at National Geographic and on YouTube. They can play with animated versions of the elements in the periodic table or simulations of tornados or the night sky on your smartphone or tablet. Or they can take pictures or videos (like this) of experiments they create at home.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What Your First Grader Needs to Know Part 1

Your Child and Technology: What Your First Grader Needs to Know

When first graders use technology in the classroom, they start to use a keyboard; master terms like menu, file, save, and quit; and even learn to navigate the web.
By GreatSchools Staff

First graders in a high-tech world
What role should technology play in your first grader's education? Of course, first graders shouldn't be spending their days (at home or school) planted in front of a glowing screen. Instead, the best first grade classrooms incorporate technology sparingly to augment learning and lay the foundation for technological literacy. According to the Common Core Standards Initiative, which the majority of states adopted in 2010-2011, first graders should be learning basic technological skills to support core subjects like reading, writing, and math. (Many states also follow the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S). Reality check: although these technology standards exist, how much teachers incorporate them varies widely.

Some basic mastery of high-tech skills in the first grade — such as becoming familiar with a computer keyboard and even navigating a website — will start your child on the road to technological literacy. The goal is that by the end of elementary school, students will know how to make use of multimedia tools that support their education. Here’s a primer for the types of technology you might find in your first grader's classroom, what skills your first grader needs to have, and how these skills can help your child learn.

Tools of the grade
Your first grader may have one or more computer workstations in the classroom, visit a computer lab once a week, or have no access to computers at all. If your child's class does use technology to support learning, here are the tools you might expect to find:

•Educational software that reinforces reading and math skills
•Multimedia encyclopedias and dictionaries
•Digital camera
•Video camera
•Interactive story books on a computer
•One computer or more with access to the Internet and a printer
•Large-screen display connected to a computer
•An interactive whiteboard
•One tablet or more

Even if your child's class has little more than a computer and printer, there’s no need to panic. The skills a first grader needs can be taught using basic high-tech tools.

Technology skills your first grader needs
To be on track, here’s what your child should know by the end of first grade:
•Basic computer terminology: understand terms like menu, file, save, print, and quit — and know how to find them on the screen; know different parts of the computer like the monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, and speakers.
•Basic computer skills and keyboarding: know how to use a mouse and find letters, numbers, and commonly used symbols; navigate a child-friendly website or software program.
•Web basics: understand what the Internet is and how it can be used to find information.
•Publishing basics: with guidance from the teacher, write and publish or print a simple document using a web-publishing program.

By learning these skills in first grade, your child will have the basic knowledge needed to start doing research and communicating thoughts in writing, which are essential to learning core academic subjects like reading, writing, math, and science.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know Part 2

Your Child and Technology: What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know

Some schools and parents are using technology to boost reading, math, and science skills, but it remains optional for kindergarten learning.
By GreatSchools Staff

Using technology to enhance reading skills
Young kids who use computers as a learning aid get early practice in keyboarding as well as refining their literacy skills. With audio books, software-based stories, and tales read aloud on the Internet, a child can listen to a beloved book as many times as she likes, which helps strengthen reading skills. The class may also be using phonics and reading software such as Read, Write & Type! These technical tools can be invaluable when a child is developing reading comprehension skills. According to Common Core Standards recommendations, kindergartners should be able to answer questions about key details of a text read aloud.

Tech tools that help with writing
Technical tools can also be a boon for kindergartners learning how to write. As spelled out in the Common Core Standards, with guidance from adults, kindergartners can "explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers." With an interactive story, a child can engage with characters, touch words to hear them spoken, and even "write" themselves into the narrative. Games based on books bring a student into the story so your child can begin to see himself as an "author." Digital book creation, animation tools, and other websites and apps can expand on this idea, letting children write their own stories or storyboards. Kindergartners might also use a free photo software program like Picasa to write simple captions for pictures or their own scanned drawings, which students can then add to a class blog on Typepad or Wordpress, or to a Google document or presentation.

Math gets a techno-boost
Multimedia tools can also help kindergartners reinforce basic math concepts. Kindergarten teachers often introduce students to simple computer math games that teach a child to identify shapes, patterns, and numbers or that help build counting skills. Your child may use draw and paint software programs to do a counting activity or create a pattern. Free websites like Kahn Academy can help kids complete a full math curriculum, whether they need to learn the basics or are ready to race ahead. A bonus for parents whose kids love playing with smartphones or tablets: a host of educational apps (like these) let children touch and manipulate math concepts on the screen.

Science is just a click away
In several years, your kindergartner will need to know how to research topics on everything from sea turtles to supernovas. Learning to do very basic research on the Internet can help him begin building these skills sooner rather than later. In an Internet-connected kinder classroom or computer lab, science can appear up close, magnified, in motion, and in exquisite, realistic detail via a white board, monitor, tablet, or computer screen. Children can watch close-up footage of whales, rainforests, or space. Using apps, they can play with animated versions of the elements in the periodic table or simulations of tornados or the night sky, too. With these tools, fostering your child’s interest in science can be as easy as a click of a mouse or a swipe on a screen.

With additional reporting by Miriam Myers and Christina Tynan-Wood

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know Part 1

Your Child and Technology: What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know

Some schools and parents are using technology to boost reading, math, and science skills, but it remains optional for kindergarten learning.
By GreatSchools Staff

Is a high-tech kindergarten the best?
Does your child’s classroom have enough technology? Should it have any at all? When it comes to the modern-day kindergarten class, these questions are more easily asked than answered. Given that young children's brains and bodies grow best when all of their senses are engaged – constructing a city out of blocks, navigating a climbing structure, dressing up as a superhero – we know that kindergarten classrooms need all the tools of the trade for rich sensory play.

What role should technology play? As a rule, kindergartners shouldn't be spending their days (at home or at school) planted in front of a glowing screen. But there is outstanding technology available that can support your child's academic growth. Technology in kindergarten can also start your child on the road to technological literacy: knowing to use tools to solve problems. Here’s a primer for what's available and how it can help your child's learning.

Are there any standards for technology in kindergarten classrooms?
The Common Core Standards Initiative issued in 2010 – and adopted by most states – spells out several technical skills that a kindergartner should have, at least ideally. (Many states also follow the National Educational Technology Standards for Students.) The reality is that most kindergartners use technology minimally. Your kindergartner may have one or more computer workstations in the classroom, visit a computer lab once a week, or not use technology at all. If technology is a regular part of the classroom, your child might use free time to play a kindergarten-level reading or math game, listen to a story on tape, or record her own story on the computer. It all depends on the school's philosophy and resources, as well as how much, or little, the teacher decides to use technology as an early learning tool.

Technological tools of the trade
Here are some things you might find in your child's classroom or school:
•Computer(s) with access to the Internet (and Internet safeguards) and a printer
•An interactive whiteboard
•Video and still digital cameras
•One or more tablets
•Educational software that reinforces reading and math skills
•Interactive story books on a computer
•A large-screen display connected to a computer that the teacher uses to demonstrate a lesson to the whole class. (If none is available, the teacher may have smaller groups gather around the computer to introduce a lesson or new computer skill.)

At the kindergarten level, if your child's classroom doesn't have any of these bells and whistles, there’s no need to panic. Kindergartners don't need to know how to use a computer; there's plenty of time in upper grades for students to acquire these skills. If technology is part of your child's classroom, ideally it's used not for "play time" but to strengthen skills in reading, writing, math, and science.

Tomorrow will have more tips for the technology that your child should know.

Monday, February 20, 2012

What to Expect in Preschool: the Classroom Part 2

What to Expect in Preschool: the Classroom Part 2
By Diana Townsend-Butterworth

Preschool classrooms are usually organized around interest areas or learning centers. These defined areas allow children to play and explore materials with the guidance of the teacher either individually or in small groups. Low dividers often separate the centers, but children move freely among them. Skills that lead to reading and writing and math are not confined to specific centers, but rather reinforced in different ways throughout the centers via communication, exploration and play. Your child's classrooms will have many of the following learning centers, but the arrangement and composition of the centers will vary.  Below are more things that should be expected in a preschool classroom.

Large motor skills: Children crawl through tunnels, climb and balance, hop and jump, and bounce and dribble balls, developing coordination, balance, and large muscle control. Some classrooms have an area designed especially to encourage the use and development of large muscles. Other preschools will have a separate room with tunnels, balls, and climbing equipment.

Rug: This is where the entire class gathers to listen as the teacher reads a story or explains an upcoming project. Children often begin and end the day on the rug area.

Sensory: One child is experimenting at the water table to find out what floats and what sinks. Another is pouring sand through a funnel into containers of different sizes. Water and sand tables equipped with boats, cups, funnels, and sieves encourage children to explore mediums like water and sand, to understand the physical world, and to develop concepts underlying math and physics.

Science: Plants, classroom pets, and aquariums are found here. One child may plant a seed in a pot, carefully patting down the soil, while another measures the temperature in the aquarium, a third feeds the guinea pig, and a fourth examines a seashell. The teacher puts out interesting objects from nature, such as leaves, rocks, and seashells, for children to examine with a magnifying class, plus paper and markers to draw them.

Computer: Several children are clustered around a computer checking the charts and picture next to it. Some classrooms will have a table against a wall with one or more computers with chairs grouped around them to encourage children to work together. They will stock basic early-learner software such as phonics or counting games.

Outdoor playground: Outside, there will also usually be a safe, enclosed area with structures for climbing and balancing, and balls of different sizes to encourage large muscle control and coordination.

How to help at home
1.Be familiar with the way your child's classroom is organized. Talk about the various learning areas with your child and ask about the things he likes to do in each one.

2.An organized home can help your child understand and comply with the organization in his classroom. Talk with her about the way your house is organized: where everything in the kitchen belongs, for example. Encourage him to help put everything away in its proper place.

3.Help your child to organize his room so that each possession has a special place. Schedule supervised clean-up times every day.

Happy President's Day

Happy President's Day

The American dream is that if you work hard anyone can accomplish their dreams.  Even to become the President of the United States is possible.  The American dream is obtainable, but in order to make your children's dreams come true they must get the "Best Education Possible".  Happy President's Day!

From Best Education Possible, LLC
Debra E. West

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What to Expect in Preschool: the Classroom Part 1

What to expect in preschool: The classroom

According to an article from greatschools.com, parents need to find out what you may see in a preschool classroom, from a dramatic-play area to a water table.
By Diana Townsend-Butterworth


Walk into your child's preschool classroom and you will find a large, colorful room divided into carefully planned interest areas. It will be filled with bright, primary colors and a variety of materials for your child to manipulate, explore, snuggle, play with, and share. The room is especially designed to encourage your child's natural curiosity and desire to learn about her world.

The organization of their preschool classroom sends important signals to children about "what there is to do and how to do it," says Marilou Hyson, associate executive director for professional development at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Research indicates that a well-organized classroom helps children learn and motivates them to interact positively with each other.

Preschool classrooms are usually organized around interest areas or learning centers. These defined areas allow children to play and explore materials with the guidance of the teacher either individually or in small groups. Low dividers often separate the centers, but children move freely among them. Skills that lead to reading and writing and math are not confined to specific centers, but rather reinforced in different ways throughout the centers via communication, exploration and play. Your child's classrooms will have many of the following learning centers, but the arrangement and composition of the centers will vary.

Literacy: Here, children explore the world of books and feel safe and secure as they are introduced to reading. Brightly illustrated children's books are displayed on low shelves. In front of them, children are curled up on a rug with the books they have selected. They lounge against large, comfortable, multi-colored cushions as a teacher helps them sound out words. Children with headsets listen to tapes of stories, following the pictures in their books. Others gesture intently as a teacher reads a favorite story. Sometimes there are chairs and small tables with paper and crayons and markers for children to practice drawing and writing.

Dramatic play or housekeeping: Children experiment with different roles as they explore the familiar and the unknown through pretend play. This area is filled with props and dress-up clothes to encourage imagination. One day it might be a kitchen with a play stove, sink and dishes; the next day it might be a post office, restaurant, or airplane. Children learn to work with other children, to share and to make compromises (who gets to be the mother? The father? The baby?). They also practice verbal skills and develop an understanding of symbolic representation that leads to the development of reading and writing skills.

Manipulative play: One child is carefully stringing beads into colorful patterns, a second is building a complex structure out of Legos, and a third is bent over a puzzle, deep in concentration. In this area, shelves are filled with puzzles, pegboards, beads, and other small construction toys. Children develop fine motor skills by using their fingers and hands in creative ways. They learn hand/eye coordination and practice problem-solving skills.

Blocks: Two children are working together to build "the highest tower in the whole world." A girl is constructing a bridge and a boy is loading little people into cars for a journey over the girl's bridge and down the road he has just completed. Wooden blocks of different sizes and shapes are arranged on shelves along with small cars and an assortment of "little people" to encourage children to build replicas of their world, or creations of their imaginations as they practice symbolic representation. They are developing an understanding of the relationships between size and shape, and the basic math concepts of geometry and number.

Art: Here are the raw materials for creativity - colored paper, crayons, markers, tape, paste, safe scissors - set out on shelves and tables. One child is tracing the outlines of leaves; another is cutting out shapes and pasting them in patterns on colored paper. A third is painting at an easel, and a fourth is making a hippopotamus out of play-dough. Art projects may be done either independently or simultaneously as a class activity. Children are developing small muscle control and hand/eye coordination, as well as creativity.

Come back tomorrow and read about more things that should be in every preschool classroom.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Having a Successful Parent Teacher Conference

Having a Successful Parent Teacher Conference
By: Dana Trulock

According to Dana Trulock, one of the best ways to have an active, positive role in our children's education is to have an open line of communication with their teachers.  In her workshops she helps parents learn how to prepare for and handle parent teacher conferences.  Some of those tools:

1.  Before the conference, talk to your child about any issues you are concerned about and ask for his/her input for the conference.
2.  At the conference, develop measurable goals with the teacher and have a plan for follow up.
3.  The best conferences are those in which both teachers and parents stay calm and try hard to work together for one purpose and one purpose only: to help your child succeed in school.

For more information on Dana Trulock and her workshops go to danatrulock@yahoo.com

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tip #53: Teach Your Child the Heart of Service Toward Others

So many times we don't appreciate the blessings we have. If you teach your children about serving others less fortunate then themselves, they will appreciate what they have and develop a heart of giving. That brings us to tip #53.

Tip #53: Teach your child the heart of service toward others.

So many children don't know how fortunate they really are. All many kids want these days are what they see on TV or what other children have. It doesn't matter what your circumstances maybe, give your children the heart for helping those who have less. Look around your community and see the areas that can be improved and discuss it. Why not visit elderly neighbors, nursing homes, food banks, soup kitchens, housing shelters, etc. Have your children write about their experiences while doing the service and talk about their feelings. It can be something they will never forget and may lead them to their career choices (ex. doctor, lawyer, teacher, social worker, etc.) Every U.S. citizen should commit to serving their community and nation at least one time a year. It could change the whole attitude about helping the less fortunate. We must start with ourselves and be aware of the needs around us, then take action, but don't forget to include your children when appropriate.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bright Ideas: Dealing With Bullies

Bright Ideas: Dealing With Bullies

Peer counseling and a no put-downs week are some reader-tested solutions.
By GreatSchools Staff


According to an article from greatschools.com, many readers sent in their tips on dealing with school bullies. Here's a sampling of what they had to say:

Peer counseling works:
A former student peer counselor writes: "I was inspired to tell you about a program that I experienced in high school that had an amazing impact on the kids, me included.

It was called peer counseling. And I know firsthand that it works because I was a certified counselor. We would meet in the office, and the two people involved in the fight would sit down and we would give each of them a chance to tell what was going on separately. While they were talking, we would jot down their comments, repeat them back to them and, after both parties said what they had to say, we would allow them to talk about what happened together. It was a way to acknowledge to both of them that problems like that were resolvable without fighting. It was a way for the weak to be understood, and it was a way for the bully to see that what he or she was doing was not good. And it is all done by their own peers. I had many meetings, and in every one of them the two that were involved came out of that room resolved and with a new understanding of the other one.

It also gave me a great boost in confidence knowing that I could make a difference in the behavior of my peers. (Not to mention how much it cut down on between-class scuffles!)"

No put-downs week
A mom in New York writes: "My daughter's school, Dows Lane Elementary in Irvington, New York, had a 'No-Put-Downs Week.' Kids kept a record of how many times they were put down or when they put down other kids. Then at the end of the week, they wrote about the types of put-downs and how it made them feel."

The power of the pen
A dad in California writes: "My son is small for his age, and was a victim of a kid who was transferred from another school (for aggressive behavior, I later was told by the school). The kid would trip my son, laugh at him, make him flinch, and shout vulgarities at him. Two of my son's friends were victims, too. Once my son told me, I wrote a letter and signed it, placed it in an envelope and told my son to give it to his teacher at the start of the day. I stated that I am 'filing a formal complaint' against this kid, and if I did not see the school react, I would go to the district. I received a phone call from the vice principal that day. She thanked me for bringing it to their attention, and a written letter was exactly what they needed for a parent conference."

The key is to act quickly
A parent in Pennsylvania writes: "I picked up my 6-year-old son at his after-school program, and found he had a black eye from his 'friend.' When I asked what happened he told me, 'You, know, the usual.' When I pressed him, I found out that 'the usual' was kicking, pulling hair, shoving his head into the school bus window. He kept telling me that this kid was his friend and that he was afraid that if he told on him they wouldn't be friends anymore.

I confronted the child immediately, in front of the staff, and told him that if my son came home hurt again, that his mother and I would have to discuss it. Then I wrote a letter to the teacher, and asked that she forward it to the other boy's teacher and to the school bus driver, because that's where the abuse occurs. The teacher and principal both called me to apologize and promise me that they would deal with it. The school psychologist did a lesson for each class on how to treat friends, and why bullying is wrong. It's only been a few weeks, but I've seen no evidence of my son being hurt, physically or emotionally, and the other boy seems much kinder to him when I see them together.

The key is to get to it quickly, and have an open home and supportive school environment."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tip #52: Teach Your Children About the power of 212 Degrees

At 211 degrees, water is hot.
At 212 degrees, it boils.
And with boiling water, comes steam.
And steam can power a locomotive.
That brings us to tip #52

 
Tip #52: Teach your children about the power of 212 degrees!

I was given a small book as a gift, 212 Degrees the Extra Degree, by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson. They state that by raising the temperature of water by one extra degree means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine. It reminds us that seemly small things can make tremendous differences. 212 degrees is not only a message of action, it's a message of persistent and additional action. We must realize in order to reap the greatest rewards that are possible we must apply one extra degree of effort. If we apply this simple theory and teach our children to push a little harder, there would be nothing we couldn't accomplish.

Now that you're aware of "212 degrees - the extra degree," no longer should you be able to do only what is expected of you, because with this awareness comes responsibility to yourself, your family, and to others. 211 degrees can serve a purpose, but 212 degrees is the extra power that will move any obstacles, and get results that required by additional effort. So, teach your children about 212 degrees of power and establish it in your own life. You will experience the reward and extraordinary success.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy

Show love to all of our children by making sure every child gets the
"Best Education Possible"

With Love From,
Best Education Possible, LLC
Debra West

Monday, February 13, 2012

Guilt Free Chocolate on Valentine's Day

According to an article from the February 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping, you can buy your sweetheart chocolates and not have to worry about the pounds.  Below are some examples:

- 2 pieces of Dove Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Swirl Silky Smooth Promises - 88 calories

-  1/2 Tbsp. Nutella, spread on a Honey Maid cinnamon graham cracker - 115 calories

-  1 Van's Triple Chocolate Muffin Crown - 120 calories

-  1 Tbsp. Hershey's Lite Syrup on top of 6-oz. Stonyfield Farm 0% Fat French Vanilla Yogurt cup - 123 calories.

I say just enjoy your Valentine chocolates by eating a few pieces a day.  We all deserve a small treat every once in a while.  Just don't make it a daily or weekly habit.  I am trying very hard to eat and live healthier,  but I certainly will enjoy chocolate in moderation on occasions.  In other words, Darling you can buy me chocolates on Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Two Tests You Need!

I have a birthday next month, and it is hard to believe that I am getting older.  I finally decided to get my health and weight under control.  So, in October 2011, I joined Weight Watchers.  I am determined to change the way I eat and not to return to my bad eating habits.  I went for a complete check-up and found that not only my blood pressure is high but my cholesterol was elevated.  This made my getting my diet under control even more important.  In just four months, I have lowered my cholesterol from 237 to 204.  The doctor told me I no longer have to go on cholesterol medication.  I still am controlling my blood pressure with medication, but once again determined to get that under control with diet and exercise.  I have lost 25 pounds and looking forward to losing 25 more. 

Below are some interesting tips from an article in the February 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping magazines about checking your cholesterol and blood pressure. 

Cholesterol Check
How often should you have your cholesterol check?  At least every five years, more frequently if you're over 50 (45 for men)  or have any heart risk factors like a family history of the disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, being overweight, or smoking.

Make it reliable - While you can pop over to a local health fair, you may get only your total reading, not the breakdown of bad LDL and good HDL cholesterol levels or triglycerides.  Also, even if you're given a breakdown, your LDL and triglyceride readings may not be reliable if you haven't fasted for the previous nine to 12 hours.

Blood Pressure Measurement
How often should you take your blood press?  At least every two years, and more frequently if your pressure goes above 120/80.

Make it more reliable and take it yourself.  Then discuss your readings with your doctor before starting any treatment.  In a recent Spanish study of 8,295 patients, more than one-third of those thought to have hard-to-treat high blood pressure were actually suffering from "white-coat hypertension," pressure-raising anxiety triggered by the medical surroundings. 

Let Greens Outsmart Your Genes

According to an article from the February 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, whether good or bad, you can't change the DNA your mom and dad passed on to you, but it turns out you can keep some dangerous genes from undermining your heart health.  In two large international studies, researchers looked at heart disease rates in people with gene variations on chromosome 9 (known to significantly increase odds). 

Sure enough, people with the risky variations had more heart disease, but here's the kicker: That was true only if they also ate a crummy diet (the investigators referred to their eating as "none-prudent").  Those who followed the healthiest diets had no more heart disease than those without the risky gene variations.  That involved consuming serveral servings a day of two out of the following categories - fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, and berries.  The most powerful food: raw veggies.  So pass the raw carrots and cucumbers on your leafy greens.

Friday, February 10, 2012

ADHA Symptoms


ADHD SYMPTOM
According to an article from xanapath.com the treatment ADHD Symptoms in Children, toddlers,adult, teenager and girl usually involves a combination of medication, education and behavioral intervention; however, ADHD Symptoms it is not unusual for parents to want drug-free options. One proven method is behavioral therapy, or what is also referred to as “psychosocial treatment.” This approach requires an experienced therapist or educator to teach specific techniques ADHD Symptoms in Children geared toward the child and their parents, as well as the child’s teachers and extended family.

While these methods are aimed at improving the child’s behaviors, they have also been known to improve the child’s symptoms and, therefore, some of the resulting problems. Unlike medication, this method takes more time, needs to have goals where achievements are measured in small steps, requires consistency throughout the day in whatever environment the child happens to be (school, home, friend’s house, others) and needs to be in force for the “long haul,” and not for just a few weeks. As you can tell, it is a method that requires the dedication of parents, extended family, teachers and the affected child.

When gearing up for this approach, it is important to identify which specific type of ADHD affects your grandson. For example, does he have the predominantly inattentive type? If so, he may be prone to many of the following symptoms:

* Is forgetful of daily activities

* Loses items on a regular basis

* Doesn’t seem to listen

* Has difficulty with organization

* Can’t focus or maintain attention

* Avoids tasks that require concentration

* Often makes careless mistakes

* Is easily distracted

* Has difficulty with following instructions

If your grandson has the predominantly hyperactive/impulsive type, many of these behaviors will be evident:

* Talks excessively

* Is pretty noisy when engaging in activities

* Is constantly on the go

* Has difficulty waiting his turn

* Doesn’t sit still

* Blasts out answers before the question has been fully asked

* Often interrupts others

* Climbs chairs, desks or runs about more than the “average” child

* Constantly moves his hands and feet when sitting

If he seems to have many characteristics from both of the above categories, he would then be diagnosed with ADHD, combined type.

In looking at the above symptoms, many parents may say, “My child does that.” However, in considering the diagnosis of ADHD, we are taking into consideration the following:

* Does the child show the behaviors on a more frequent basis than most other children?

* Do the behaviors create difficulty in at least two areas of their lives (home, school, social settings)?

* Have the symptoms persisted for at least six months?

Once the specific symptoms affecting the child are identified, behavioral treatment is designed to teach new skills to all those involved with handling the results of those problems. For example, if the child keeps forgetting to brush her teeth, the behavioral treatment would be aimed at establishing a routine to help her accomplish this task. If the child acts like a bully to other children, approaches for more effective interactions are designed to help him learn to be friends with his peers. I hope this is the best way ADHD Symptoms in Children .

Thursday, February 9, 2012

ADHD Symptom Checklist

ADHD Symptom Checklist
Below is a checklist on ADHD symptoms that I got from an article our guidance counselor put in her latest newsletter to parents.

NOTE: This test is not intended to diagnose or to replace the care of a health care professional.
Part One The first part of the test covers signs of distractibility. Check each of the following statements that apply to your child.

___My child makes careless mistakes.
___It's very difficult for my child to stay focused on homework or other tasks.
___My child rarely completes an activity before moving to the next activity.
___Even when spoken to directly, my child seems to not be paying attention.
___My child is disorganized and even with my help can't seem to learn how to become organized.
___My child frequently loses things like homework and personal belongings.
___My child tries to avoid activities that require sustained concentration and a lot of mental effort.
___My child frequently forgets to do things, even when constantly reminded.
___Even the smallest distractions throw my child off task.

If you checked six or more of these behaviors, your child may have inattentive type ADD. However, your child may have ADD even if fewer than six of these behaviors were checked.

If you believe your child has ADD, check with your physicians or a licensed mental health practitioner. Treatments are available that can reduce substantially these neurologically based behaviors.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tips on How to Read a Story With Your Child

Tips on How to Read a Story With Your Child


1. Read the introduction at the beginning of the book aloud. Look through the pictures together (picture walk) so that your child can see what happens in the story before reading the words.

2. Read the first page to your child, placing your finger under each word.

3. Let your child touch the words and read the rest of the story. Give him or her time to figure out each new word.

4. As your child reads have him or her slide their finger under each word to flow the sweep of the text.

5. If your child gets stuck on a word you might say, “Try something. Look at the picture give about what’s happening. What would make sense?”

6. If your child is still stuck supply the right word. This will allow him or her to continue to read and enjoy the story. You might say, “Could this be “ball”?”

7. Always praise your child. Praise what he or she reads correctly, and praise good tries too!

8. “Wow!” You were able to stretch out that word.”

9. “Yes, that’s one of your sight words from your homework folder!”

10. “I like the way you took time to think about the word, connecting it to what happening in the picture!”

11. “Great job figuring out that word. That’s what good readers do!”

12. Give your child lots of chances to read the story again and again. This is the key to successful reading. It is called fluency. The more your child reads, the more confident he or she will become.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Shouting Out In Class 'Helps Pupils to Learn'

Shouting out in class 'helps pupils to learn'
By Sean Coughlan

BBC News education correspondent

Pupils who shout out in class achieve better results than their counterparts who appear to be better behaved and quiet, suggests research.

A study of primary school pupils found children who "blurt out" responses perform better in maths and English.

The Durham University study looked at 12,000 pupils in England.

"Although it may seem disruptive, blurting out of answers clearly helps these pupils to learn," said report co-author Christine Merrell.

The study, carried out by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University, compared English and maths test results with monitoring reports of pupils' behaviour.

'Impulsive' shouters

The study of children at 556 schools found those pupils who showed "impulsive" behaviour, such as being unable to resist shouting out to teachers in class, were more likely to achieve higher test results.

The findings run against the model of quiet, assiduous pupils - and it raises questions about how the enthusiasm of such demanding and noisy behaviour could be managed and controlled in a school.

The study looked at a full range of pupils in state and independent schools - including those who were considered "inattentive" or who had symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder).

The researchers found that among this group, those who called out performed better in tests than similar children who remained quiet in class.

Children who were considered well-behaved and able to pay attention were more likely to be higher achievers than those who were inattentive.

But within this attentive group there was also the same pattern, with those who were not self-conscious about shouting out responses in class being more likely to have higher attainment.

The lead author of the research, Peter Tymms, head of Durham University's school of education, said that among children with ADHD symptoms, those who got excited and shouted out seemed to be more "cognitively engaged and as a result learn more".

"Perhaps those children also benefit from receiving additional feedback and attention from their teacher," suggested Prof Tymms.

Ms Merrell, CEM's director of research and development, said she wanted to carry out further studies to see how pupils could be encouraged to shout out as part of the lesson.
She said they might look at behaviour in settings where it was expected that children would participate by shouting out, such as at a pantomime or a puppet show.

They also needed to understand more about how these impulsive, quick-fire characteristics, which might sometimes be seen as disruptive, could be harnessed to improve results.

"We need to look more closely at this behaviour and how the interaction can be managed in the classroom."

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sweat Now and Burn Later!

According to an article from the February 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, you should think of a tough workout as the gift that keeps on giving.  When researchers from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, asked cyclists to bike at a vigorous pace for 45 minutes.  They found that post-ride, the exercisers burned an extra 190 calories - 37% of what they'd burned while cycling.  And the metabolism boost lasted up to 14  hours.  While the study was conducted on men, the authors expect that women will see similar benefits.  To maximize your calories burn and blast fat, they advise that you work u a sweat for 45 minutes three times a week (a spinning class or other intense cardio is great.).

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The 7 Secrets of Successful Parents: Part 4

The 7 Secrets of Successful Parents:
Tips 6 and 7 


By Marianne Neifert, M.d.

According to an article from msn.living.com, Marianne Neifert's life has been devoted to children and families -- her own, and those she's encountered in her career as a pediatrician. Her first baby was born only a few months before she started medical school, and her fifth child arrived seven years later, on the final day of her pediatric residency. These two paths -- medicine and motherhood -- have been inextricably intertwined; they've often enhanced -- and sometimes competed with -- one another.

But over the years, as she has helped her own children journey into young adulthood and worked with countless families in her career, she has gained some hard-earned perspective and insights into raising kids. No parent will have all the answers all of the time, but these simple parenting guidelines can help make your time together as a family that much richer.

6. USE ROUTINES TO CREATE A SENSE OF TOGETHERNESS
Family rituals and familiar patterns provide kids with a sense of security. Little children are reassured by knowing that their morning outing -- whether to the park or the library -- is followed by lunch, or that naptime will come after storytime. School-age kids also look forward to predictable shared events, such as eating dinner together or spending time with Dad on weekends. These routines increase your child's perception of control, which in turn increases her confidence.

Traditions also provide the social glue that bonds one generation to another, creating many of the special "anchor" memories within a family. In my own case, I hosted a multigenerational Thanksgiving reunion for years that gave our children both a strong family identity and sense of connection to their past.

7. TAKE TIME TO RECHARGE
You know the adage: "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Chronic sleep deprivation, isolation, and self-neglect can leave a parent physically depleted, emotionally discouraged, and, ultimately, ineffective. So give yourself permission to take a break -- to renew your perspective, enthusiasm, sense of humor, and energy. That may mean an afternoon off to visit a friend or go to a movie. Or it may be as simple as learning to ask for what you need, and accepting help from others.

I once met a woman who had lost her mother, but whose mother-in-law had become like a second mom to her. She explained that the older woman had helped her raise her children and preserve her marriage. "I never could have done it without her support," the woman insisted. Her mother-in-law just smiled and modestly acknowledged, "Everybody needs somebody to steady things up."

"That's it!" I thought, as a virtual parade of helpers flashed through my mind -- individuals who had steadied things up for my husband, Larry, and me when we were overwhelmed with responsibility for five children. In fact, we were aided every step of the way by the experience and generosity of grandparents, aunts and uncles, babysitters, teachers, coaches, pastors, neighbors, and friends. On many occasions, Larry and I enjoyed a night out, and even a weekend getaway, because we had asked someone, and someone had agreed to stay with our kids. And we were then better able to take care of our children because we had taken care of ourselves.

Contributing editor Marianne Neifert, M.D. is the author of three books, most recently Dr. Mom's Guide to Breastfeeding.

SUPER BOWL XLVI

HAVE A GREAT TIME WATCHING
SUPER BOWL XLVI

From: Best Education Possible, LLC
Debra E. West



Saturday, February 4, 2012

The 7 Secrets of Successful Parents: Part 3

The 7 Secrets of Successful Parents:
Tips 4 and 5 

By Marianne Neifert, M.d.

According to an article from msn.living.com, Marianne Neifert's life has been devoted to children and families -- her own, and those she's encountered in her career as a pediatrician. Her first baby was born only a few months before she started medical school, and her fifth child arrived seven years later, on the final day of her pediatric residency. These two paths -- medicine and motherhood -- have been inextricably intertwined; they've often enhanced -- and sometimes competed with -- one another.

But over the years, as she has helped her own children journey into young adulthood and worked with countless families in her career, she has gained some hard-earned perspective and insights into raising kids. No parent will have all the answers all of the time, but these simple parenting guidelines can help make your time together as a family that much richer.

4. DISCIPLINE CONSISTENTLY
The best way to help teach your child to distinguish right from wrong is by setting clear limits and enforcing them consistently. If you feel as though you're slipping into a power struggle, step back: Give your child a time-out or simply tell her you'll deal with her in a few minutes -- and don't decide on a punishment until you're more calm.

When she does break the rules, respond in a way that won't deal a blow to her self-esteem: Ignore attention-getters like whining; give a brief warning or scolding for minor infractions (such as jumping on the furniture); issue an age-appropriate time-out to stop aggressive or antisocial behavior (like biting and hitting); and use logical consequences, such as putting their toys aside for a day whenever your kids fight over them.

But discipline isn't just a question of punishment. It's also about modeling positive behavior -- like remembering to say "please" and "thank you" to teach your child the value of manners -- and praising her when she's been cooperative and helpful. By spending extra time with your child, you can minimize whining and other misbehaviors triggered by a need for attention.

5. TEACH RESPONSIBILITY
One of the best gifts you can give your child is to help him understand that he's responsible for the choices he makes as well as the consequences of his actions, and ultimately, his own happiness. The first step toward building self-reliance: Offer your child choices that are right for his age. Toddlers are capable of picking what they want for breakfast or which shirt to wear (as long as you give them two choices). A 3-year-old can also pitch in and do simple chores -- helping you pick up toys or unload the dishwasher, for instance. Delegating these tasks not only lets your preschooler make a contribution to your household, but teaches him accountability.

The next step: Encourage your child to tackle new skills, like riding a trike or reading a story aloud. If he makes mistakes, let him work through them instead of rushing in to fix things. You'll promote a sense of competence, and he'll learn to weigh consequences before acting.

When he faces inevitable setbacks and failures, help him discover how to look for solutions rather than view such obstacles as beyond his control. If your toddler cries when another child takes his toy, for example, say, "Let's go see if she'll give it back." Or if your preschooler tells you he has no friends, you can show him, through role-playing, ways to ask other kids to play, or together invite someone to come visit.

Lastly, encourage your child to think, even if his opinions differ from your own. You'll free him from a fear of disapproval that will make him less dependent on others for his happiness.

Come back tomorrow and read about tips 6 and 7 on how to be a successful parent.

About This Blog

This weblog seeks primarily to be a resource to parents and their children facilitating, "Empowerment & Personal Responsibility through Education."

This weblog is an extension of BestEducationPossible-theCommunity an online community dedicated to Parents and their efforts to empower their children through Education.


How to get the Best Education Possible for Your Child

How to get the Best Education Possible for Your Child
Click Picture to Buy It Now!

Blogger templates made by AllBlogTools.com

Back to TOP