Tackle Those Learning Difficulties

How to Help Prep Your Child for Daycare

Posted by on Jan 6th, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Help Prep Your Child for Daycare

The transition to going to daycare can be a scary time for children (and for some parents), especially for kids that haven’t been away from mom and dad before. To help prep them for daycare (and for school), it’s important to keep it a positive experience so they’ll want to go to daycare rather than dread it each day. See below for helpful tips to prepare your child for daycare. They can be beneficial for you as the parent as well. Talk to Your Child About Daycare Ahead of Time Discuss the things your child will be doing at daycare. Tell them about the other kids they’ll meet and get to play with. Tell them about the new toys they’ll see and talk to them about their teacher and some of the activities they’ll get to do at daycare, such as painting, coloring, and crafting. Talking to your child ahead of time will help get them used to the idea of going to a new place and help to diminish any fears of the unknown they may have. Have Your Child Pick Out a Backpack A backpack that your child can take to daycare may be helpful for them. Allow them to choose their own backpack, even if they may not necessarily need one for daycare. It may help if they can take it with each day to bring home any coloring pages or craft work they did that day to show you. It can be a small mini-backpack (rather than a regular-sized one). One that has a special character your child likes is a good pick. Keep Goodbyes Positive and Short When saying your goodbyes at daycare, keep things positive. Tell your child to have a great day and give a quick hug and a kiss goodbye. Don’t leave in tears; save those for the car and out of your child’s sight. If you’re crying, your child will think something is wrong and won’t want you to leave. Make your goodbye fast; don’t linger in the room or in the doorway. If you’re positive about leaving your child, they’ll be more positive about staying at daycare without you.  Making the experience a positive one will help your child be positive about going to daycare each and every day. Ask your child about their day and allow them to tell you everything they did that day. Talk to the daycare teacher about other things you can do to help prepare your child and to help ease their fears. You can also talk to a daycare such as Mountainside School to get...

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Three Reasons To Sign Your Autistic Child Up For Swimming Lessons

Posted by on Jul 23rd, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Reasons To Sign Your Autistic Child Up For Swimming Lessons

If you’ve been looking for a summer activity for your child with autism, you should think about signing him or her up for swimming lessons. Swimming is actually a beneficial activity for kids with autism for many reasons. Here are a few benefits of swimming lessons to help you decide if it is right for your child. Swimming can soothe sensory processing issues. Since kids on the spectrum often have trouble processing different types of sensory input, finding areas that are easy on their senses is important. Open swimming time in a public pool may be too noisy, too busy or just too overwhelming for a child on the spectrum, but private swimming lessons provide a calm, quiet environment with the soothing comfort of the water. As your child enters the water, the pressure around their body will be similar to that of a weighted blanket, which is often used to ease sensory overload for kids on the spectrum. Swimming helps to improve coordination and physical strength. Building and maintaining muscle tone is difficult for many people on the spectrum. If you are trying to help your child develop better muscle tone and motor skills, swimming lessons may be a good place to start. Swimming focuses on gross motor skills and large muscle groups, making it a good first activity. Another reason why swimming is a good choice is because the water is low-impact, which means minimal strain on the muscles. This will reduce the risk of impact-related injuries. Learning to swim can save your child’s life. With wandering and drowning among the leading causes of death for children and teens with autism, swimming lessons could be the key that your child needs to survive if he or she wanders away near a waterfront. Remember that kids on the spectrum don’t often have the same degree of spatial awareness, so bodies of water can be a more serious threat than you might expect for kids who cannot swim. Once your child has learned to swim, you can be confident that those instincts will kick in if he or she wanders into the water. These are three of the key reasons why you should plan on swimming lessons for your child on the autism spectrum. In addition to these autism-related benefits, kids on the spectrum will feel the same sense of accomplishment from learning a new skill, which is equally important to self-esteem. Look for a swimming instructor who is familiar with special needs to get the best results from the lessons. Contact a business, such as the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, for more...

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Why Your Child’s Preschool Teacher Isn’t Using Worksheets

Posted by on Feb 10th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Your Child’s Preschool Teacher Isn’t Using Worksheets

You might discover that your child’s preschool teacher does not use worksheets. This might be surprising, since you may have remembered performing worksheets as a part of your early education. However, teachers have found that worksheets are not as effective as previously thought and that it may be more-effective to have preschool be entirely focused on play. Worksheets Are Convergent Materials Worksheets are what are considered “convergent materials.” There is only one right or wrong way to perform a worksheet. Conversely, children may better learn from activities in which there is more than one right answer. If there is more than one solution to a problem, your child will learn how to be more strategic and how to think outside the box. Worksheets Are Discouraging One of the consequences of worksheets is that children learn that there are consequences to taking risks. Then, when your child fails when taking a risk, he or she is more likely to feel incompetent and will be less motivated to experiment or think outside the box. This is especially problematic when some children perform better than others on worksheets, causing the lower-performing children to feel inferior. Preschool Children Aren’t Ready For Worksheets Worksheets are a form of academic learning, as opposed to play-based learning. Academic learning has its role, but at the preschool level, it is meant primarily to prepare children for kindergarten. Play-based learning is more useful because children experience objects using their senses and are then able to use these objects to think abstractly. By understanding objects as symbols, children them develop the ability to understand symbols in print. Worksheets Aren’t An Indication Of A Child’s Reading Ability Some parents see the ability to follow a worksheet as an indication of a child’s ability to read. However, the successful completion of a worksheet does not necessarily indicate a child’s ability to read because some children are able to complete worksheets through trial and error. Children Are Better Off With Play-Based Activities Play-based activities are good for children physically as well as cognitively. Requiring that a child sit and perform a worksheet does not allow the child to experience that in which he or she needs at his or her developmental level. Children who appear to be hyperactive when performing worksheets are simply not meant to sit still for a long period. So, to better reinforce the lessons being taught in preschool, spend time discussing with the preschool teacher ways in which you can use play-based activities to help your child...

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3 Tips For Becoming A Better Child Care Provider

Posted by on Jan 4th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Becoming A Better Child Care Provider

Working as a child care provider can be fun, interesting, and rewarding. However, it can also be difficult, and it is important to always be striving to become a better provider. The children you care for deserve the very best, so keep the three tips listed below for becoming a better child care provider in mind to help you improve your approach.   1. Learn to be Flexible It is important for children to have discipline and consistency in their schedules and activities. However, sometimes it is not possible to strictly adhere to a previously planned guideline. If you are not a flexible provider, things can be more difficult than they need to be. Allow for the unexpected, do your best to keep your cool, and try to use situations that are out of your control, such as inclement weather that interferes with an activity, as teaching opportunities. It also important to become more flexible in general; children can be unpredictable and sometimes you’ll need to go with their moods rather than trying to force them to stick to the predetermined plan. 2. Communicate Regularly with Parents Parents need to know what is happening in their child’s life, regarding both positives and negatives. If the child accomplished something while the parent was away, discuss it with them, along with any problems that you have noticed. If you are unable to meet with parents face-to-face, try to communicate via notes, texts, or emails. Most parents worry a lot about their child(ren) when they are away, and the more you can do to keep them in the loop, the more they will trust you to care for their kids and recommend you to other parents.  3. Plan Ahead This advice may seem to counter the first tip, being flexible. However, the more prepared you are, the more flexible you can be when things do not go according to plan. Try to prep as much as you can before the children arrive; have equipment for activities and snacks ready to go, and have a schedule established for what you want to accomplish that day. You should also plan not just for the next day, but for “emergencies” where the plan might not work out. It’s always good to have extra activities handy in case what you had planned before just isn’t working or can’t be accomplished.  With the tips listed above, you can take your child care strategy to the next level. Parents will be lining up down the block for your help caring for their children. For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from The Cottage...

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Teach Your Child About Colors, Shapes, And Textures With A Homemade Sensory Board

Posted by on Nov 11th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Teach Your Child About Colors, Shapes, And Textures With A Homemade Sensory Board

Teach your young child about colors, shapes, and textures by creating a sensory board for them to play with. After you have made the board, encourage your child to explore the items that are displayed across it. Describe each one to your child. Your child will learn about the characteristics of each item, which will help them excel when they begin preschool.   Materials thin piece of plywood hand sander sandpaper latex spray paint face mask vinyl tarp ruler foam letters and numbers carpet remnants various types of fabric stencils fabric pen scissors craft glue stickers Sand And Paint The Plywood Purchase a piece of plywood that is small enough for your child to comfortably handle. Sand its surface with a hand sander that has a piece of fine grit sandpaper attached to it. Move the sander with the grain of the wood. After the plywood’s surface is smooth, wipe it off with a lint-free cloth to remove any residue. Place the plywood on a flat surface that is covered with a vinyl tarp. Put on a face mask so that you do not breathe in the paint’s fumes. Spray an even coat of latex paint across one side of the plywood. Wait a few hours for the paint to dry.  Attach Items To The Painted Side Use a ruler to space items out evenly across the painted side of the plywood. Attach foam letters and numbers to the wooden surface with craft glue. Use a fabric pen to trace different stencil shapes on carpet remnants and fabric scraps. Cut each design out and attach them to the plywood with glue. Adhere brightly-colored stickers to the plywood’s surface that depict various shapes, as well. Wait the recommended amount of time for the wood glue to dry. Describe The Items On The Board To Your Child Show your child the board and allow them to touch each item that is attached to it. Ask them questions about each one that they explore and give them positive reinforcement when they use words that clearly describe them. Discuss the different shapes, colors, and textures that are displayed. After your child plays with the board on several occasions, they will gain confidence about each item that you have taught them about. The skills that they master will be useful to your child when they begin preschool, and they may retain interest in the lessons that they are taught during class...

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Finding A Private School For Your Autistic Child

Posted by on Jul 13th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Finding A Private School For Your Autistic Child

Finding the right school for your autistic child can prove to be a challenge, but isn’t impossible. More and more parents of autistic children are choosing to homeschool their childred. However, homeschooling isn’t always an option. Private schools are often the best alternative for autistic children. Why Private School? Autism is a spectrum disorder. There’s no mold that fits all autistic children. They may have similarities in one area, yet be completely different in another. As the parent of an autistic child, you know where your child’s special needs require attention. Public schools do their best to accommodate these special children, and for some they are a good fit. However, if you can find a private school, you may discover that they are better able to give your child the individual attention they need. Private schools by and large have fewer children per classroom than public schools. This creates a lower child to teacher ratio. Teachers in private schools can usually work more intimately with children than those in many public schools. Private schools are not bound to the same curriculum as public schools. This allows parents to have input into their child’s education. It also allows private schools more liberty with allowing children to learn in a manner that is best suited for them. The bottom line is that your child is unique. You know your child’s needs better than anyone. Enrolling your autistic child in a private school will provide you with the input you need to have, and your child with the attention they require. Choosing a Private School In some ways, finding a private school for an autistic child is no different from finding one for any child. Children are individuals and parents look for a school that functions in a manner that is suited for their child. Upon contacting a private school, you may want to explain that your child is autistic. Since they are not publicly funded, they are often able to restrict their enrollment, and some private schools do not accept children with autism. It pays to mention it before making a trip to visit. There may be a private school in your area that specializes in autism. Once you have found a private school you would like to visit, you might want to make a checklist of things to look for and ask about. Some things to consider having on your checklist include: How are behavioral issues handled? You may want to discuss any potential issues your child may present, and ask how they would be handled.   How many children are there per classroom? Is there a trained nurse or staff member that is familiar with children on the autism spectrum? Is the school open to parents dropping in throughout the day? How will the school communicate with you and how often? Do they have parent/teacher conferences? Will they call or email you should something arise? Do they send information home with the children? If so, how often? You may want to write these down along with any other questions you want to ask. Most private schools will allow you to bring your child to the school to visit. When possible, make that visit during school hours. You will want to see how your child responds to the environment, and...

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Tips For Working With Angry Children

Posted by on Jun 17th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Working With Angry Children

Caring for a child that is easily angered, or seems to be angry regardless of the situation, can be a struggle for parents and caregivers alike. Finding ways to communicate and care for a child when their anger surges out of control is much easier said than done. However, when you have the tools and knowledge you need to handle situations that are escalating out of control, you can better handle a child struggling with anger issues. Below is a guide you can use to help calm and relax children that have a tendency to be more angry than others. Learn the Triggers Kids that consistently struggle with anger will often have certain situations that trigger their frustration. For parents and caregivers, it is important to get to know the children in your care. This means taking the time to understand what makes them tick. If you notice a particular child tends to lose their temper, becomes increasingly agitated or completely melts down on a regular basis, observe them carefully. Doing this will help you identify their trigger points. Common triggers can include: Struggling when working with others Sensory overload Frustration with playtime activities or games Learning delay Once you can identify your child’s trigger points, you can remove them from the situation and/or talk them through their frustrations before things escalate to an angry response. Keep Your Cool It can be hard to keep your cool when working with a child that is constantly losing their temper or blowing up over minor things. If you have a child who is experiencing a meltdown, calm yourself before approaching the situation. There are instances where time won’t allow you to take a timeout yourself. When that is the case, remove the angry child from the situation and both of you take a timeout before you address the problem. Once you have regained your cool, speak calmly and softly to the child who is agitated. Help them understand the feelings they are feeling without discounting their emotions. Work with them to identify why they are feeling the way they are and teach them how to better respond to a situation. Work Through the Frustration There is a fine line between rewarding bad behavior and allowing a child to work through their emotions. Teaching children to channel those feelings in an appropriate setting is the best way to acknowledge that their feelings are valid. For example, if a child is upset because another child has taken their toy, they may be angry and want to punish the person who took their toy. Removing the angry child before he can retaliate stops the situation from escalating. However, you still need to address that it is okay to be upset when someone does something they aren’t supposed to do. The angry child can work through their frustrations by scribbling on paper, smashing play dough, or playing with a toy that is soothing for them until they have calmed down. Anger can be a difficult emotion for young children to understand and control. Helping and teaching them how to control these emotions when they arise will be a tool the child can use throughout their lifetime. Be patient with the children in your care who suffer from anger issues; they need people who love and...

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Charter Schools And How They Differ From Public Schools

Posted by on Jun 12th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Charter Schools And How They Differ From Public Schools

Many people do not understand the concept of a charter school and often confuse it with a public school. Even though technically charter schools are public schools, there are some distinct differences between the two. Charter School Statistics The first charter school ever established in the United States was in 1992 in St. Paul, Minnesota. As of the 2011-2012 school year, charter legislation has passed in 42 states along with the District of Columbia. The only states that have not passed this legislation are: Alabama Kentucky Montana Nebraska North Dakota South Dakota Vermont West Virginia From 1999 to 2012, the percentage of public schools that were charter schools increased from 1.7 to 5.8 percent. The total number of public charter schools went from 1,500 to 5,700 and have increased in enrollment as well. In 2012 the number of students enrolled in charter schools was 2.1 million.  Differences Between Public Schools and Charter Schools One of the main differences between the two types of schools is that charter schools are chosen for the child by their parents. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as a child centered charter school, putting the needs of the child first. In the public school system, students are usually required to attend the school in their particular neighborhood. When it comes to charter schools, there is much more freedom to choose. But like public schools, students do not have to pay tuition. Another major difference is that charter schools are created by parents, teachers, and education activists instead of the city’s school district. This is why they are considered independent public schools. These schools must abide by guidelines and meet goals put into place by the charter when the school was created. Those who create the charter put together a mission for the school and establish how students are assessed in their learning. Charter school rules vary from state to state, including who is able to authorize the charter. In some states, the charter must be authorized by their State Board of Education while in other states, the local school district is able to authorize the charter.  Funding for Charter Schools  Like public schools, charter schools are funded by the local district and state. The amount of funding depends on the number of students enrolled. Since they act as nonprofit organizations, they can also be funded through charity and other private sources. Many times, they are also eligible for grants. If the school fails to meet their goals, they could potentially lose their funding and be forced to...

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A Dog In The Daycare: Five Benefits Children Get From Having Dogs At Their Daycares

Posted by on Jun 10th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Dog In The Daycare: Five Benefits Children Get From Having Dogs At Their Daycares

When choosing a daycare service for your child, you may be looking for a number of different things. However, one thing you should consider seeking is a daycare with a dog. Dogs offer a range of benefits to their human companions, and having a dog in the daycare can offer the following benefits to your child: 1. Stress reduction When humans of all ages are around dogs, it lowers their stress levels. If your child is anxious about being away from you or nervous about all of the noises and activity at the daycare, the presence of a dog can help to alleviate those stresses. Additionally, when people are around dogs, they naturally produce more serotonin. Don’t you love the idea of your child filling up with the body’s happy hormones while at daycare? 2. Extra exercise When children are around a dog, they get to take it on walks and play fetch with it. These activities encourage your child to exercise, and if you don’t have a dog at home, the novelty of the day care dog may be even more of an incentive to your child. In addition to making your child happier and healthier, exercise can also wear him out and help you avoid the dreaded bedtime battles at the end of the day. 3. Connection With Natural World Whether you live in the midst of nature out in the country or in the middle of a concrete urban sphere, a dog gives your child another chance to connect to the natural world. Whether those opportunities are already plentiful or scarce in your life, your child will benefit from any connection with the natural world and nature. 4. Emotional Education School or daycare shouldn’t just be about rote learning and coloring in the lines; ideally, your child should be getting an emotional education as well. Spending time with dogs helps children in that it boosts their empathy, encourages them to be more nurturing, and shows them how to be more caring. 5. Safety A dog can also offer your child a feeling of safety at the daycare. However, in order for you to ensure the dog can provide this element, meet him or her before enrolling your child in the daycare. If possible, consider choosing a daycare that has a dog who has completed training classes or a dog who is specifically trained to be a therapy dog or to work with young...

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Is A “Fancy” Preschool Worth It?

Posted by on Jun 9th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is A “Fancy” Preschool Worth It?

Pop culture has almost made a joke out of parents who spring for expensive preschools. But, is there anything to these schools? There are a number of ways in which they can be beneficial.  Help Your Child’s Learning Trajectory Students who attend a great preschool will be well-prepared for kindergarten. Some parents may think, couldn’t the kids just learn the basic skills they need in kindergarten? While this is an option, it can put your child at a disadvantage. The kids who enter preschool at the top of their class are able to gain the confidence to embrace learning, and they may stay at the top throughout their schooling. So, attending a good preschool can give your child a boost in these critical early learning sessions.  Socializing with the Right Kids During preschool, children are learning to deal with other people who aren’t their parents. They learn many new behaviors from their peers, and they learn expectations from the adults that are supervising them. In this important time, it can be helpful for children to be around the “right” role models. Certainly, the hope is that the teachers at these ivy league preschools will be able to devote a lot of time to instilling the right behaviors in students. But at the same time, the other students matter too. Attending one of these preschools may put your child around other kids who are being raised carefully, and who may be a good influence.  A Structured and Varied Environment Preschool can be a great time for children to explore their interests. A good preschool should provide a variety of activities to choose from, with many opportunities to learn along the way. The environment needs to be structured so that children don’t just run around or watch TV all day. When a school has a higher teacher-to-student ratio, as many of the great preschools do, teachers are able to foster children’s learning and interest, giving them guidance to explore their talents more fully.  In the end, whether an expensive preschool is worth it depends on the parents. It is theoretically possible for parents to arrange for their child to have most of the experiences above. This just takes an enormous amount of time and effort compared to sending the child to top-notch accredited preschools. Either way, the most important thing is that the child gets a chance to learn and socialize from an early age.  For more information, contact D & J Educational Inc. or a similar...

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