Tag Archives: Child

What’s Really Important?!

It has been brought to my attention lately about what constitutes a quality program.  Substance vs. Fluff.  Perception vs. Reality.  As a parent of a child who is looking for a good program in which to put your child, the question is “How do I recognize a quality program?  Because really, you can tell if it’s a bad program easily but it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between good and really good.

In our parent meetings, we tell the parents that having a lot of “stuff” coming home everyday does not mean that the program is meeting that quality marker.  Have you ever been inundated with busy work?  Is it always good?  Just because your child cranks out a bunch of papers or artwork and brings them home doesn’t mean that what was done in the classroom was beneficial to your child.  Just because you can hang their beautiful artwork on the wall or are sent a picture of your child holding a paper flower doesn’t mean that something worth while was happening in the classroom.

When our accreditation agencies and the Early Learning Coalitions come around to check on how our school is doing, over 80% of what they are looking for is interaction with the children.  Teacher/child interaction.

So, here are some things that I believe make a program one of quality.  I welcome you to come and check out our school and see how we measure up.

1.How does the staff greet you?

2.How much communication is going on between teacher and child and child to child.

3.How much exploring of their environment is allowed.

4. When you walk in the child’s classroom do you get a positive feeling about what is happening?

5.Are the teachers friendly with one another?.

6. As the children explore different mediums, (ie. paint, play doh, exploration table) is the child always directed by a teacher or allowed to explore on their own?

7. Do teachers and staff reach out to the parents through different forms of communication?

8. What are the ratios in the classroom?

9. Does the teacher show you that they love your child?

10. Is the administration transparent or are you left to wondering what’s going on?

And most of all…

9. Does the love of Jesus shine through the staff and spill over to the families?

Come by our center and check us out!  I’d love to give you a tour and show you around.

Blessings!

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Routine – what’s all the fuss about?!?!

English: Group of children in a primary school...

English: Group of children in a primary school in Paris Español: Niños en una escuela elemental en París Français : Enfants dans une école élémentaire à Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a new year at school and we are settling into our routines nicely now.  The children are getting to know the teachers and the teachers are finding out how each child responds and what they like and dislike.

It’s really amazing how teachers can tell whether a child has a routine at home or whether they don’t.  We have children who eat “around the room” and some who can sit at the table and eat their lunch.  This tells us that a child doesn’t have boundaries in this area at home.  We can tell when children get to have things “their way” all the time or whether or not they have to take turns and share.  It really doesn’t take much to figure out whether the child rules the home or whether the parents do.  It’s not rocket science and it isn’t really all that hard to figure out.  If a child does not have a regular bedtime we can tell that too.  We can even tell when a child lives with grandparents or if a home has been split and the parents are not living together anymore.  Children are open books and their actions tell a lot about what happens in their family dynamic.

Routine plays a big role in how children interact with one another and with adults.

You might be thinking “what’s all the fuss”, routine can be boring.  And you’re right about that.  Adults can find routine very voring.   But it’s not boring for a child.  Routine is comforting.  Routine helps regulate mood.  It plays a role in how children eat.  It plays a big part in a persons life.   It enables the child to feel safe and it helps a child to regulate their own behaviors and it dictates how a child responds to almost everything.

If you’re unsure of this, come visit a Preschool.  Watch the children.  Observe their reactions.  Observe when the routine is changed and their response to it.

Children can weather through the changes in life if their family life is stable and their is routine within that stability but if that is shaken then a child loses the ability to know what is safe, right or wrong.

You might be wondering what you can do about it if your family homelife has become unstable for some reason.  You might wonder how your kids will turn out.  If this is the case for you, start giving your child more routine in their life and you’ll see a change in how they respond.  They’ll feel safer, more calm, they will be easier to manage and it’ll probably be a great thing for you too.

Don’t underestimate the power of routine.  Try it out today.  You’ll be glad you did.

Let children create!

Green Play-doh with can and accessory toy (Pla...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve talked once before about how important it was to have art in the classroom and at home.  Here’s a great article with some Facts about what creative art can accomplish in your child.

CREATIVE ART…

  • Stimulates and develops the imagination and critical thinking, and refines cognitive and creative skills.

 

  • Has a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries.

 

  • Strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.

 

  • Develops a sense of craftsmanship, quality task performance, and goal-setting—skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

 

  • Teaches children life skills such as developing an informed perception; articulating a vision; learning to solve problems and make decisions; building self-confidence and self-discipline; developing the ability to imagine what might be; and accepting responsibility to complete tasks from start to finish.

 

  • Nurtures important values, including team-building skills; respecting alternative viewpoints; and appreciating and being aware of different cultures and traditions.

 

  • Plays a central role in cognitive, motor, language, and social-emotional development.

 

  • Motivates and engages children in learning, stimulates memory, facilitates understanding, enhances symbolic communication, promotes relationships, and provides an avenue for building competence.

 

  • Provides a natural source of learning. Child development specialists note that play is the business of young children; play is the way children promote and enhance their development. The arts are a most natural vehicle for play.

So, get out there and buy some play-doh, markers, crayons, paper, tape, glue, glitter and other art mediums for your children.  You never know what skill you might be helping to re-enforce.  But be informed that when you do you WILL be helping your child to get along better in the world in which we live and after all, isn’t that our job as parents and educators.

LET”S GET CREATIVE!

See you around Target!

Barbara

Let’s Buck the Rules!

"Rules and Regulations...Threshing Commit...
Image via Wikipedia

We had a visit from the Fire Marshall today.  Our annual inspection.  Just to assure you, we passed.  But it got me to thinking about rules and regulations.  I know we have to have rules and regulations and there are many good reasons for having them.  But I also have experienced rules and regulations that inhibit or stifle things.  Let me give you an example.

One agency that we are accountable to requires handwashing all day long…when the children come through the door, before and after snack, before and after playing in the discovery table, before and after going to the playground, before and after they leave their classroom and go to chapel, etc.  And I could go on.  But if we followed all of the rules of handwashing the children would spend 1/2 of their day just washing their hands.  Because remember, we have to multiply that time for handwashing by the number of children in a class.  So ten children washing their hands at the same time is 10 to 15 mintutes every time.  So, you get my drift, right?  This rule is a rule that was meant to have the children develop cleanliness habits and instead has snowballed into something out of control.

So, when do rules and regulations become a strangle hold on our lives?  I think we all have to take a look and determine that for ourselves.  There are many rules that I have to uphold in the Preschool and have no choice but to follow or I might get a fine or be closed down.  But then again, there are rules and regulations that I have a choice to follow or not.  And I have to weigh those and decide whether the quality or our school is enhanced or hindered by those rules and regulations.  Are they helping the child?  Does choosing not to follow them compromise the safety of the children or the health of the children?  I have to excercise my judgement at those times.  When that happens I usually discuss it with one or 2 other people and then come to a decision about what our center will do.   I may do some research on it to make sure that my decision is based on good information.  And then I respectfully make a decision to not follow the rules.  Is that a bad thing, not following the rules?

I don’t think so.  People are not all alike.  Preschools are not all alike and to try to make us all conform to the same thing is, in my humble opinion, ludicrous.

So, there you have it.  My thoughts for the day.  Ponder on this for you and your family.  Or for you at your job or club or church.  Here at the Preschool we try to help the children learn to be creative and to be individuals and think for themselves.  Let’s not forget how to do this as we grow.  Ask questions, try something different, buck the rules.  But do your homework first and get wise counsel.  Then break the rules and celebrate freedom!!

Have a great day!