Monthly Archives: October 2010

Preschool Education & Preschool Readiness

Preschool education may not be something that you have put a lot of thought into. Some people, on the other hand, start planning their child’s preschool education from the time they are born. Whatever your situation and preferences, there are some basic things that you should consider when thinking about preschool education for your children. Not all kids are going to benefit from the same things and not all kids are ready for the same thing at a specific age.

There are many reasons for preschool and many types of preschools. For some it is simply a way to introduce their child to separation from home and family and introduce them to a safe social environment. For others it is a way of introducing their children to learning and an educational environment. Teaching them the basics of listening and following instructions, sharing, working together, etc. is an important part of school readiness. For others preschool is meant to be a jump start on their education to get them into a private school. These are the people that have been planning their child’s education since they were born. Whatever you are hoping to get from your child’s preschool education, there are somethings that may indicate your child’s preschool readiness.

Let’s take a min to ask some questions that may help you determine if your child is ready for preschool:

  • Is your child ready to be away from home and family?
  • Is your child ready to be on a schedule?
  • Is your child ready to spend time in a group?
  • Is your child interested in and excited about preschool?
  • What will the child be giving up to attend preschool?
  • How do the preschool’s philosophies fit with your child’s disposition?
  • Can the preschool deal with any special needs your child may have?
  • Are there admission requirements for the preschool?

If your child is willing and excited to go, this may be the perfect opportunity for your child. Sometimes be introduced to this type of change at an early age is easier than it may be by the time they are 4 or 5 years old. Not only will your child be gaining valuable experiences and knowledge but you will be gaining some free time for yourself. Don’t force your child to do something he/she does not want to do. If they are not ready for preschool and you try to force them to go it may become a very negative experience and start them off on the wrong foot in their educational career.

If you are wondering how to find a preschool, we recommend research. Visit the preschools you are considering, then spend some time there with your child before you enroll them. Watch how the teachers interact with the students and how they handle discipline and misbehavior. This will help to ensure that your child is in a safe and healthy environment. Check out the cleanliness of the toys and table tops and discuss the type of preschool curriculum with the instructors. Be sure that the methods and materials coincide with your own beliefs and desires for your child. If your child likes it and you feel comfortable, it is probably a good choice!

Educational Games – Have Fun Learning

Learning doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t even have to be boring and tedious. Using educational games is a great way to help kids of any age learn new concepts. Math games are one of the most popular types of games because math tends to be difficult for many people. Today we will take a look at some different types of educational games and how you can help your preschooler get ready for school or  your older kids master a concept they are struggling with.

Math Games: if you go online and search for math games, you will come up with about 40 million results!! If you are looking for age specific games, make your search more specific. A search for “multiplication games” narrows the search results down to only 2 million results. You can even add in a grade level to make your results more specific. If you are just looking for simple things to do at home to get your preschooler familiar with numbers and sequence, try games like Chutes and Ladders, Go Fish, or War. Any game that uses numbers can be used to familiarize them with what the number looks like. Card games like Go Fish that have pictures to go with the numbers are even better. These can be used to help them understand what the number 6, for example, represents and can be helpful in teaching them what numbers are larger or smaller.

Computer Games: there are thousands of free computer games for kids online. One thing we would suggest is for you to sit down with your kids and find sites you approve of and games that are teaching age appropriate things that you want your kids learning. You could also ask your child’s teacher for ideas of websites they would recommend. Often they will have a list of websites that have games teaching the things their class will be learning that year. This is a great way for your child to get some extra practice or homework help and is a great alternative to the expensive games that don’t teach your kids anything. Online games are available for every subject you can think of: keyboarding games, geography games, spelling games, science games, reading games. It may take some time to find the right games for your child, but the rewards could pay off big time!

Make Your Own: the great thing about educational games is that you can take the basic concept from a variety of games and create your own educational games. Letting your kids help make up the rules and games pieces will make them even more excited about the game. If your 4th grader is learning about the states and their capitals, make a matching game with the capital city’s name on one set of cards and the state names on another, then match them. You can print out pictures, draw your own, or even use common household items to make your games more exciting. Just get creative, look online for some ideas and then go crazy! The most important thing is that you will be spending time with your kids and showing them that learning can be fun!!

National Red Ribbon Week and Drug Education

Start planning now to participate in National Red Ribbon Week – October 23rd – 31st, 2010! Most U.S. public schools, and some private and homeschools participate in this effort to educate children about drug related issues.  By taking an active roll in educating our children on drug related issues such as drug addiction, drug abuse prevention, consequences of drug use, etc…we are arming them with the tools they may need someday to make good choices if they are ever put in a position of accepting or turning down the opportunity to try drugs.

The National Family Partnership, sponsor of Red Ribbon Week, recently gave over 300 students the opportunity to participate in a contest to come up with the theme for 2010.  The majority of these entries made the celebration of individuality clear and recognized that being Drug-Free is an individual choice.  The 25th anniversary theme chosen for the 2010 campaign is “I Am Drug-Free” with a banner that reads – “See the Connections…Choices = Consequences”.  Teaching our children early on how to make good choices, and the consequences if they don’t is going to give them a huge advantage in their fight to stay Drug-Free.

In an effort to help educate parents, teens, families, educators, communities, etc…we have come up with a list of websites that offer information on some of these issues:

  • Teen Help – Drug abuse, depression, parenting, teen health, adolescent development, abuse, disabilities, and more.
  • Teen Drug Addiction – Drug addiction, drugs teens use, drug treatment options.
  • Teen Alcohol Abuse – Teen drinking trends, causes and warning signs, alcohol abuse help
  • Teen Smoking – Teen smoking facts, statistics, prevention, etc.
  • Troubled Teen 101 – Teen drug use, alcohol abuse, troubled teen issues, behavior problems, mental health, and more.

Take an active role in educating yourself, your family, and others about drug use, abuse, and prevention.  Together we CAN fight this battle.