Homework Can No Longer Be Nightmare for Children

In some households it can be hard to motivate your children to get their homework completed accurately and in a timely manner. Whether your child is having a hard time concentrating or the subject matter is rather difficult, homework can turn out to be a nightly nightmare.

Here are tips to make homework less of a hassle for both the child and parent:

  • Understand the importance of homework, and stress that importance to your children. Homework is not assigned by teachers as a punishment; it is a learning tool and helps your child develop self-discipline and academic skills outside of the structured classroom.
  • Make sure the area where your child does their homework is well-lit, quiet, and conducive to studying and academic pursuits. Remove distractions like video games and the television, so your child can focus on the task at hand.
  • Ask your child about their homework and show a true interest in their educational pursuits. If you are interested, your child is more likely to be interested.
  • Discuss any potential problem areas with your child and work with them to find ways to make those areas easier to conquer.
  • Review completed assignments with your child but do not give them the answers. Point your child in the right direction for finding solutions to problems or answers to questions.
  • Make learning fun! You can create your own “homework” assignments for your child to complete that make it more of an entertaining challenge, giving them a goal to look forward to rather than more work.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and Child Day Care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

6 After-School Activities to Keep Your Child Active

Keeping your kids busy after school teaches them discipline and makes them learn new skills. To ensure that they take a keen interest in their after-school activities, make it entertaining and educational.

6 Great After-School Activities for Kids

Here are 6 of the most fun and educational after-school activities that kids will enjoy:

  1. Crafts:
  2. Whether your child is a toddler or older, crafts are a great way to keep him or her busy after school. They get to use their imagination and create wonderful things out of items you have right at home.

  3. Painting:
  4. Another way to encourage creativity in your child is to introduce painting. Finger painting is always fun for kids of any age. As they get older, they can move on to more complex painting if they enjoy the activity.

  5. Message-kites:
  6. Teach your child how to make a homemade kite with coded messages that he or she can send to friends or neighbors. This is a creative and fun activity that kids of any age will enjoy.

  7. Nature-love:
  8. Instill a love of nature in your kids at an early age. Take them to parks or even just your backyard and teach them how to take care of plants. Collecting fallen leaves and sticking them to scrapbooks is also a fun way to learn more about plants and trees.

  9. Fun-chores:
  10. Teach your kids the importance of helping out at home by giving them small and fun chores. This will make them feel like contributors and teach them how to take care of their things as well as their home.

  11. Outdoor games:
  12. Take your kids outdoors and make them leave the TV or computer for a while. Physical activities will make them healthier and also have fun with you and their siblings or friends.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and Child Care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

How to Pick a Right Summer Camp for Your Kid

shutterstock_64225099Summer camp is something that every kid should experience. Most of them will love it and learn a lot from it. Summer camp is a great way to get them out of the house, get them moving, make friends and become more social, among other benefits.

The point is to let them have a positive experience. Hence, it’s crucial to find the right summer camp for your kid. Here are 5 tips to help you pick a perfect summer camp for your kid:

1. History is everything - A brand new camp might not be as good as an older camp but chances are, if you find a camp that has been popular in the family for years, it’s probably a given that it’s a quality summer camp run by educated staff.

2. Types of activities - Summer camps have all sorts of specialties such as sports camps, art and creativity camps and leadership and team work camps. You should decide beforehand on the type of activities you are specifically looking for in a summer camp. This would help your child get more knowledge of the activities that are of their interests.

3. Staff - The staff at the camp you choose should be well trained and educated, as well as good around kids. They should, if possible, also have a low camper to staff ratio. You should also make sure that the camp does background checks.

4. Over night vs. one day - There are overnight camps where your kids will sleep at the camp, usually in bunks, with children of their age. But you can find day camps as well if you want to give your child a chance to try it out.

5. Accreditation - Summer camp should also have a high accreditation and good reviews. All you have to do is check the internet for reviews. But you can also ask your friends and neighbors about certain camps, as well to see if they have any experience in the ones you are thinking about sending your child.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

How to Improve Homework Results for Students With Special Needs

childHomework is one of the crucial parts of the general education curriculum and has been widely acknowledged as significant to academic success. Teachers have long used it to provide additional time for learning, strengthen study, organizational skills and in some respects, keep parents up-to-date of their children’s progress.

For students with special needs, homework can be a challenge. It is important to find ways to make this task easier for them. Kids with disabilities often have a tough time at school and it is no different when they take assignments that need to be completed at home. Teachers and parents need to accommodate such students with strategies that can help make homework an easier endeavor.

Ways to Improve Homework Results for Special Needs Students
Here are a few simple ideas on how to improve the results of homework for students with special needs:

1. Assign appropriate and simple homework. The homework that students with special needs are given should coincide with what they have learned at school. It should be simple enough to do on their own, so making sure that the homework assigned is appropriate for their capabilities. If the home assignments are tough but necessary, teachers and parents should help them and break down the work to make it simpler for them.

2. Provide helpful practices. Special needs kids should be provided with helpful practices that will not only help them improve their homework results but also encourage them to be more motivated and involved in their school work. Each student will need customized help as not all special kids have the same difficulties in completing their home assignments.

3. Provide skills for studying. Special needs students require help in studying and organizing their study routines. Once they are provided with organizational skills, they will find that doing their homework becomes much simpler. Teachers and parents should also have a sit-down to discuss how to instill these organizational skills at home to help their children.

4. Provide calendars. A study calendar can help immensely when it comes to homework for students with special needs. Using a study schedule calendar can help them monitor and keep track of the assignments that they have been given. A planner or calendar for homework can also help these students complete their homework in a timely manner.

5. Establish clear communication. It is important for both teachers and parents to open the lines of communication with special needs students. Clear communication helps these students overcome many of the problems they may have, included completing their assignments. It will also immensely help in opening them up and asking questions if they have doubts or concerns. Communication also provides them with the guidance that they need from both their teachers as well as their parents.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three Preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

5 Effective Ways to Help Slow Learners in Your Classroom

slow learnerYour child may be considered a slow learner but that does not make him a no-learner. There are things parents and other child care providers can do to help encourage their child that will help prevent him from giving up on learning out of frustration.

Read on for a few hints that you can put into action immediately.

1. Reward effort.
Not every attempt is going to result in success. Make it a habit to praise your child for trying. By encouraging the attempt to succeed, you let the child know that it is important to try, for success will never come if they don’t.

2. Express confidence in the child.
Child care often starts with the caregiver being the only one who believes in a child’s ability. Show your child that you are confident he can succeed. By consistently expressing your confidence in his ability, he will learn to have confidence in himself.

3. Show that failure and success come hand in hand.
Rather than think of a failed attempt as overall failure, teach your child that success often does not come without failure. Treat unsuccessful attempts as lessons in what does not work and help him think about what can be done differently the next time to increase the chances of succeeding.

4. Show them that trying does pay.
Give your child examples of successful people who kept trying and finally succeeded. Stories of the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison and others will show them that even the greatest accomplishments required hard work and many attempts.

5. Don’t assume they know something.
Your child may be doing fractions but that does not mean he has learned the basics of how to multiply or even add. Don’t assume he has already mastered one skill simply because he has been asked to do the next one.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three Preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

Top 7 Board Games for Kids That Have Spanned Generations

Family Game Night is a tradition in many household, a time when kids put down the video games, parents turn off their smartphones and everyone gathers around the kitchen table for some old-fashioned family fun.

Here are just a few board games that have spanned generations and lived on from grandparent to parent to child:

  1. board gameScrabble. The game that proved that wordplay really can be “play”. Scrabble helps parents teach kids new words and allows mischievous kids to try to sneak made up words past their parents. It’s fun for all and as stated is a great learning tool.
  2. Monopoly. Monopoly has grown over the years from a game about buying up property in Atlantic City, to banking and begging for that get out of jail free card. From Star Wars to Shrek, to Hello Kitty and The Wizard of Oz, there’s a variety of versions of this game. I am sure you will be able to find one everyone loves.
  3. The Game of Life A game that literally spans across generations, Life has you playing through your character’s entire…well, life, graduating college, getting a job, getting married, having kids- all to see who can wind up with the biggest house and who isthe most money at the end.
  4. Clue. Murder! Mystery! Problem-solving! Clue has you piecing together certain facts during your investigation to try to solve a crime. Unlike a lot of games, you’re not just rolling dice and seeing where you land. You have to use your noggin to win this one.
  5. Guess Who? Speaking of games that build reasoning skills! Guess Who? Is the game of using context clues and your own wits to figure out who you’re talking to – not an altogether invaluable skill in today’s increasingly Web-connected society.
  6. jengaBattleship. I think we all remember the commercials of “battleship sunk!” There’s nothing that quite brings a family together like simulated naval warfare.
  7. Jenga. Often forgotten in any discussion of classic games, Jenga is all about virtually every child’s favorite past time, breaking things.

 

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

Mother’s Day: 5 Ideas to Make It Memorable

Mother’s Day is a day for honoring your mothers and it doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, especially if kids are planning the celebration. All that really matters is that kids spend time with their mothers and affectionately show their appreciation. If you want to make the occasion memorable then add a little creativity and uniqueness to the event. Here is a list of ways you can make this Mother’s Day memorable for the whole family, especially mom from sunrise to sunset.

breakfast on mother's day1. Breakfast in Bed
Preparing a simple meal for breakfast can send out a memorable heart-warming message. It doesn’t have to involve cooking at all. The meal can be a basket of fruit and juice along with toast and jam. It is the thought that counts and mom will love your effort!

2.Spend Time Together
One of the best ways to celebrate Mother’s Day is to simply share time together in any setting, whether it’s a picnic at the park or in your own backyard. Ultimately, spending time is more valuable and memorable than spending money could ever be.

reunion3. Family Reunion
By inviting family members and friends to the celebration, the family can share stories, play games and have a barbecue. It’s a great reason to bring loved ones together and share old memories while making new ones.

4.Watch a Movie
You can rent a family movie or a special movie that would appeal to a mother. Movies are memorable experiences because most people don’t watch the same movies over and over again, making the experience a time marker in history.

mother's day card5.Create a Mother’s Day Card
One of the most special gifts you can give to anyone is something handcrafted that you made yourself. Even a Mother’s Day card that includes colorful artwork with a hand written message can be very special. It’s the type of touching gift that she will want to save forever because it’s a one of a kind item.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and Child Care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

Go Green: 7 Innovative Ideas to Teach Your Child About Earth Day

Earth Day has become an important and necessary celebration. It celebrates the birth of the environmental movement, thanks in part to a good guy named Gaylord Nelson, a Senator of Wisconsin. Below are 7 activities you can do to celebrate Earth Day with your kids.Works to do on Earth Day

  1. Tree Plantation. Go to one of your local nurseries and grab yourself a few plants, a small tree or some flowers and plant them in your yard. This is the perfect time to talk to your kids about how trees just like these help reduce greenhouse gasses as well as give humans cleaner air to breath.

  2. Handmade Crafts. A cool and easy craft and a way to teach your kids about reusing and recycling is to take a few old magazines you have that you are going to throw away and find pages that have green, blue, black and brown on them. You then cut those pages out and make a collage on a circle cutout from a cardboard box and glue the pages to the cutout to make a flat globe of the world.

  3. Inspire for Recycling Things. If you want a bi-teaching experience, teach your kids about how certain things in the home can be re-used to make new things like a tin can as a potter.

  4. Make a Wind Chime. Use old tin cans, plastic milk bottles and lids to make a beautiful wind chime. Paint the pieces before you put it together. It will look beautiful when its blowing in the wind.

  5. Do Something for Someone Else. If you have a town hall or city hall that is local, you can ask the mayor if you can help clean up the lawn by raking up leaves or planting flowers.

  6. Use Egg Carton. Egg carton monsters/animals can be created by egg cartons, add a little paint, some googly eyes and teeth made from construction paper that has been used.

  7. Walk. Nature walks are an easy and fun way to teach your kids about the planet, how trees work for our environment, why you should respect the environment, etc. Find a trail near or around your house and explain all the different things you can find in nature to your children.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

Time to Celebrate: 6 Exciting Easter Party Games for Children

Hanging Easter EggsWhen you celebrate Easter with children or you throw a kids’ Easter party, it is important to have some games for them to play. This year you can mix up the routine a little bit with one or more of the following Easter party entertainment ideas.Easter Games

  1. Egg hunt. Of course you can’t go wrong with a classic Easter egg hunt. Depending on the age of the children, you can make it relatively easy or quite challenging.

  2. Treasure hunt or scavenger hunt. If you want to make the egg hunt idea a little more involved, consider turning the activity into a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt.

  3. Yarn maze. Run a string of yarn all through the house that kids have to collect in order to get to their Easter baskets or a special Easter surprise i.e. a stuffed animal, a large chocolate bunny etc. To increase the length of the maze, simply add more yarn.

  4. Egg and spoon race. Give each participant a spoon and a hard-boiled egg. The players must get from the start to the finish holding the egg in the spoon without dropping it. You can also turn this game into a relay race in which kids have to pass the egg from player to player.

  5. Pin the tail on the Easter bunny. This game is played just like pin the tail on the donkey except that you use a large picture of a bunny and paper or cotton ball bunny tails.

  6. Bunny hop race. Set up start and finish lines. Instead of running, the participants have to hop. This is a great activity for little kids. If they enjoy it, have them complete the race again using another method such as crawling on their hands and knees, skipping, galloping or crab walking.

    Easter Eggs On Grass

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three Preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

World Health Day: The Immediate Effects of Junk Food on Kids

World Health Day is Monday, April 7, 2014. Do your part this year by educating yourself and your children or your students about the immediate effects that fast food has on kids and work to decrease their intake accordingly.Select The Right Food For Your Kids on This World  Health Day

Encourages eating
Humans are hard wired to crave high calorie foods in order to survive. As such, junk food has an addictive nature because it has large quantities of sugar, salt and fats. These ingredients activate dopamine in the brain which results in more cravings for junk food. Additionally, children who eat fast food consume fewer nutrients and more calories for the remainder of the day.

Immediate arterial damage
It is well established that junk food is harmful for the arteries when it comes to long-term health. More recent studies have found that the damage can start on the very day that a person eats a fast food meal. Within just a couple hours, the arteries may dilate as much as 24 percent less than they would normally.

Brings about depression, irritability and constipation
Junk food is high in sugar and low in antioxidants, healthy fats and fiber. When kids have fluctuating blood glucose levels and low positive energy, they may be sleepy, edgy, irritable or depressed. Without sufficient fiber levels, they are also highly susceptible to constipation. Under any of these conditions, children have no motivation to be active, which can be detrimental to their general health as well as their school work.

The bottom line is that in order to improve children’s health, you must avoid fast food restaurants as much as possible. Eat most of your meals at home, and make smart choices when planning meals and snacks. When you do eat out, select healthier restaurants and order nutritious meals.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and Child Care Programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.