Monthly Archives: July 2011

Importance of Nursery Rhymes

One of your earliest memories might be of singing Ring Around the Rosy or chanting along to Humpty Dumpty. However, many parents do not know that the origination’s of these classic nursery rhymes actually go back hundreds of years and may have negative beginnings. For example, the source of the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty is said to relate to a failed security blockage during the English Civil War about 450 years ago. Along that same idea, the Ring Around the Rosy chant is actually believed to have been derived during the time of the plague when children and adults were continually dying from the rampant disease. However, despite the somewhat dark beginnings to these popular nursery rhymes, there is no denying the importance of nursery rhymes and teaching them to your children.

Benefits and importance of nursery rhymes:

There are several different reasons why parents should not forget the importance of teaching their children nursery rhymes. Not only are they a fun and interactive way for parents and children alike, they are a great way to teach your child both mentally and physically. The repetition of hearing the same lines within the stories over and over is a great way to build your child’s memory capabilities as well as expose them to new words and sentence formulations. Many parents will begin teaching their children nursery rhymes during infancy to help expose them to this new experience with literacy (see literacy statistics). Physically speaking, even a baby can benefit from the importance of nursery rhymes. Because smaller infants and toddlers are still developing their gross and fine motor skills, learning how to interact with a book by opening it, turning the pages and closing it, they can work on developing those skills even more. By experiencing nursery rhymes through sound or visually on a DVD or TV program, children also get the opportunity to expand those same learning experiences both visually and orally. Many children may enjoy chanting and singing the nursery rhymes together along with other children. These nursery rhymes are a great way for children to do something together and learn with one another. Nursery rhymes may also be a way for even shyer children to get used to singing, dancing and performing.

Other benefits of teaching your children nursery rhymes can include the fact that it does help our society hold on to these parts of our culture – no matter how strange the origin. This is something that grandparents, parents and children can share with one another. Because nursery rhymes are so popular, many children who don’t even know each other will still have these in common. They may meet another child at daycare or at in preschool and kindergarten and they immediately have something in common with them because they share the knowledge of these nursery rhymes. If parents want to know more about how they can share these nursery rhymes with their children, be sure to check out our full post on www.educationbug.org.

Department of Education

The Department of Education, also known as ED, was created in 1980 when offices from several federal agencies were combined together. The mission of the Department of Education is “to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access”. The Department of Education is responsible for a number of things including: establishing and monitoring policies on federal funds used for education, collecting and sharing data on America’s schools, determining key education issues and focusing national attention on them, and ensuring equal access to education.

 According to the Department of Education history, as reported on their website ed.gov, a budget of $15,000 and four employees in the 1860s has increased to a budget of $67.3 billion and 4,200 employees as of 2009, with an additional $100 billion to be used over a two year period as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. A number of historical events led to the establishment of the federal agency known as the Department of Education. As the country watched the Soviet Union launch Sputnik and as large cities started to experience large areas of illiterate and poverty stricken neighborhoods, government officials saw an increasing need for government to step in and help with and monitor educational opportunity for all Americans.

There are a number of things that the Department of Education does NOT do. They do not establish schools, develop curriculum, determine criteria for graduation or enrollment, set state standards for education, or create and implement testing procedures for individual states to determine whether state education standards are being met. Each state has its own methods and procedures (involving both public and private organizations) that are involved in developing, assessing, and maintaining educational standards. Starting in 1969 the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics started conducting a National Assessment of Educational Progress, states can compare their testing results to these results to get an idea of where they may need additional or improved testing measures.

The Department of Education is headquartered in Washington, D.C. where 3,100 of the 4,200 employees are located. The other 1,100 employees work in regional offices located in ten areas throughout the country. For individuals that would like more detailed information, or contact information for the Department of Education, the ED.gov website provides phone numbers and mailing addresses for the Department’s headquarters and regional offices. The website also contains information about budgets and performance statistics, teaching resources, publications, federal financial aid, college accreditation, No Child Left Behind, and much more. The Department of Education even has a blog that covers current news and events relating to national education issues.

The Department of Education works directly with the President of the United States to make consistent, joint effort to improve the quality of and opportunity for education to each and EVERY individual. In the blog post Final Community College Regional Summit Focuses on Veterans, Military Members and Families on ed.gov/blog, the writer identifies one educational goal of President Obama “…having the best-educated workforce and the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020″. This is a lofty goal that can only be achieved through hard work and cooperation at a national, state, local, and individual level. Visit ed.gov to learn more about how the Department of Education can help parents, adult students, and students of all ages achieve the best education possible.

Sources: ed.gov, ed.gov/blog