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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Preparing kids for the real world

News Herald – Juliann Talkington


We all want our kids to be happy, thriving, independent adults. The challenge is how to get them from the highly needy infant stage to the point where they can successfully handle life on their own. There is a lot to teach and the world is changing rapidly, so it is important to start the process when children are young.


Fortunately, there are a few simple things parents can do to make the process easier.


Teach the basics.
Diet is important for overall health and wellbeing. Everyone needs to know how to prepare healthy meals and to understand the role exercise plays in quality of life. In addition, young people need to understand the basics of household finance – specifically that income needs to be more than expenses. And everyone needs to have some way to get from place to place, so it is important for kids to learn how to drive.


Step back.
Children need to do things on their own so they can become independent and self reliant, characteristics needed for adulthood. When parents do things that kids can manage themselves, it can foster low self-esteem and lead to poor decisions.


Allow choice.
It is better for a child to make “wrong choices” early in life when the stakes are low rather than to wait until he/she is older and the stakes can be life altering. Offering simple options when a child is very young, prepares him/her for the more complicated decisions he/she will have to make when he/she is older.


Let go.
When your child makes a poor decision it is important for you to allow him/her to deal with the consequences. This way he/she understands that there are negative consequences from making poor choices. Remember, the lessons that stick with us are the ones where we have to deal with the fallout from bad choices.


Encourage problem solving.
There are few textbook solutions in life. Without practice, children become overwhelmed when they are presented with problems they have not encountered before. As a result, it is imperative for children to learn how to think through a problem, come up with possible solutions, and move forward with the best approach. Parents can help children through the process by asking questions, but should resist the urge to provide answers.


If parents take these simple steps and gradually prepare their kids for adulthood, the transition from home to the “real world” should be fairly seamless.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Experts push early education for poor kids — pre-K may be too late

The Orlando Sentinel – Kate Santich

“For Florida’s 1 million children growing up in poverty, kindergarten — and even pre-K — is too late to start giving them the help many will need to grow into capable, productive adults.” (more)

Teachers Turn to Crowdfunding to Open Preschools

Time – Staff Writer

“Teachers and parents in Chicago are turning to crowdsourced online funding to open preschools.” (more)

A Parent Answering a Call for Pre-K Teachers Goes Back to Work (and School)

The New York Times – Rachel L. Swarns

“This summer, Ms. Martino is guiding a phalanx of 4-year-olds as they dash through sprinklers and navigate the complex social universe that is summer camp in Glendale, Queens. To the children and parents, she is simply Miss Lisa, a group leader who tames the unruly buckles of wayward water shoes and tells engrossing stories about sharks and giants.” (more)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Back-to-school shopping sprees are a thing of the past

USA Today – Kaitlyn Krasselt

“Back-to-school shopping is no longer a frenzied one-day spending spree. Families are spending more, but they are doing so over a longer period of time as they search for the best deals.” (more)

Friday, July 18, 2014

‘Good mothering’ hardwires infant brain

ANI News – Staff Writer

” A study has revealed that the mother’s presence, social interactions and her nurturing role directly moulds the early neural activity and growth of the infant’s brain.” (more)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Teacher’s Tips for Parents

The Huffington Post – Susan B. Katz

“Summer is well underway and parents often grapple with the same behavioral challenges that teachers face in the classroom. Rarely, however, is there an exchange of effective strategies for dealing with kid chaos. Below are seven teacher tips for parents that I used in my classwomb throughout my over 20 years as a bilingual elementary educator and literacy coach.” (more)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

For Most Kids, Nice Finishes Last

NPR – Tovia Smith

“Character education is something of a trend in schools these days. Central Queens Academy, a public middle school in New York City, focuses on character and community. Kids there are rewarded for things like kindness and being a team player, not just for getting straight A’s. But when students took part in the kindness survey, their answers were no different from anyone else’s.” (more)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Infants Begin Learning Speech Mechanics Long Before Their First Word; Speaking To Them Early Is Key To Language Development

Medical Daily – Anthony Rivas

“Babies are wonderful beings. Sure, they scream and cry uncontrollably, dribble everywhere, and you’re cleaning up after them constantly. But put all that to the side, and what you’re left with is a lovable little thing that always seems to be learning something new — it’s rather impressive, actually.” (more)

Parents: Stop Taking Out Loans For Your Child’s College Education

Forbes – Robert Farrington

“It’s almost time to write that first check for your child’s first year at college. Ouch. Looking at that first statement from your child’s university can be painful – even if they are attending a public college, you’re going to be paying several thousand dollars per year. It’s not cheap.” (more)