How to Help Your Child Settle in a New Classroom

Help Your Child Settle in a New Classroom

Moving up into a new classroom is an exciting time filled with fun, new opportunities. However, sometimes these transitions can be a little scary for parents and children alike. The following tips will help both of you settle into the new school year as smoothly as possible:

Visit the new classroom and meet the teacher ahead of time
Whether or not your kid is moving to a new school, entering a new grade with a new room and teacher can make a child nervous. Many schools host back to school nights or other informal events before the school year starts so that students can tour their classrooms and talk to their teachers. If your school offers one of these nights, make sure to attend with your child.

Establish a routine at home
After three months of sleeping in, staying up late, and enjoying a lot of unstructured time around the house, it can be tough to get back into the school schedule. The sooner that you start moving back into this schedule, the easier it will be for your child to adjust to the new routine.

Communicate with your child
Kids should feel comfortable going home and discussing what happened at school with their parents. From sharing a funny joke that another child told on the playground to expressing anxiety about an upcoming field trip, let kids know that you’re here to listen. Give them your undivided attention during these discussions.

First School teachers are dedicated to being there for families every step of the way with their kids’ education. Our child care programs provide the best care possible for children while giving parents the support and resources that they need. To learn more about our child care programs, visit our website or give us a call at 760-799-2910.

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.

New Sibling: 5 Tips to Help Your Child Adjust

There is nothing more joyful and exciting than bringing home a new bundle of joy! A new baby can also bring changes to your family. This is especially true, if you have an older child.

These changes can be hard for older children to handle. Remember that they have been the only child at home for a long time. The good news is that you can help your older child adjust to the new addition to your family.

Here are 5 ways to make sure that your older child adjusts well to the new baby in your family:

  1. Prepare: Make sure that your child knows that there will be a new baby and make him a part of preparing for its arrival. Including him throughout the experience will make them feel involved and secure.

  2. Talk about his role: It is important that you talk about the importance of being a big brother and the role he will have in his sibling’s life. This way you can involve him in childcare too.

  3. Make time: Be sure to make time for your older child even after the new baby’s arrival. He will still need loads of cuddles and time with you.

  4. Talk about feelings: It is also important for you to talk to your child about what he feels about his new sibling. Encourage him to express his feelings openly so that you can help him adjust.

  5. Show gratitude: Always show your appreciation for your child’s efforts in trying to be a good big brother. This will make him feel special and a part of the new family dynamic.

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.

Scheduling Naptime: Help Your Baby to Sleep Well

Scheduling Naptime

The first few years of your child’s life will leave you exhausted because there appears to be no set sleeping schedule. You learn to sleep whenever your child finally passes out, then wake up as soon as you hear the sounds of the infant or toddler stirring (especially toddlers since you can’t leave them alone for a second without regretting it).

People rarely warn you about is how babies’ sleep patterns shift as they become grow older. You can put a two-year old down for a nap every day at 2 pm; how long (or if) the child will sleep is completely unpredictable. There are a few things you can do to help your child sleep at nap time.

  • Make sure the child is physically active before going to bed.
    You don’t have to do this immediately before nap time, just any time in the morning before the child lies down. It takes a lot of energy for a toddler to move around, and that is something that can definitely be used to your advantage.

  • Reduce the number of naps.
    If your child doesn’t sleep for the first nap, but passes out before it is time for the second nap, it probably means your little one only needs one nap instead of two.

  • Track the duration of naps.
    If it appears your child still needs two naps, consider keeping the naps shorter. You may have to a wake a grumpy toddler, but after a while your child will adjust.

  • Keep a regular nap schedule once you have one established.
    The occasional break in schedule may be alright, but try to avoid it as much as possible. If your child learns to nap at a certain time, his or her body will give in much more easily than his or her mind.

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.

Single Moms: Learn How They Beat Challenges to Raise a Child

There is no question that being a single mom isn’t easy. Most single moms have more limited budgets and less home support than their married counterparts. Yet we’ve all known single moms who have risen to the challenge and gone above and beyond to provide for their children. Maybe you’re thinking about the mom in your church choir who raised two preschool children while working full-time and going to school part-time.

Maybe you’re thinking about the fellow school parent who was able to battle cancer successfully right after her husband walked out on her. Regardless of the specific circumstances, single moms take a number of tactics to support themselves and their children without the assistance of a spouse.

Single Moms

Make Time Management a Top Priority
It’s hard enough to manage your time when you’re running a family with two adults. The challenge is that much greater when you’re doing it on your own. There is no single time management strategy that works for everyone.

Some people like to structure their days in one hour increments so that they can account for all of their time with ease while other people work better with to do lists.

Find a management strategy that works for you so that you can give your kids the time and attention that they deserve without compromising your career.

Work out a Schedule That Suits Your Family
For some people, this task is easier than it is for others. For example, if you have a freelance career that allows you to work from home, you most likely have the flexibility to take your kids to and from school and extracurricular activities. A mom who works a 9-5 office job doesn’t have the same flexibility.

Be honest with your boss and your kids’ teachers about your schedule. Most people would want to work with you, not against you, so that you can keep your job and have your children keep attending the same school.

A boss may allow you to change your hours to accommodate the school schedule or your kids’ teachers may help you work out a carpool program with some of the other parents.

Take Time out for Yourself
Both married and single parents struggle to take time away from their kids. You may feel guilty about shelling out a babysitter so that you can have a night at the movies or dinner at a favorite restaurant. However, this money is well worth it.

Having time to yourself allow you to relax, letting you come back to your kids refreshed. As a single parent, this notion is more important than ever because you don’t have a spouse at home to give you a short break. Think about finding another single mom and arranging childcare swaps so that you each get the kid free time that you need.

Don’t Lose Sleep on Things That Are out of Your Control
It is way too easy to spend time obsessing over things that you can’t control, such as whether or not your child’s father is going to make it to big life events for your kids or the fact that you can’t put away money for your kids’ college right now.

Instead focus on things that you can control, including the kind of parent that you can be for your children.

Find Ways to Cut Back on Necessities
Figure out what is most important to you and then look for ways to cut back on other expenses. For example, if you don’t want to give up going out to eat once a week as a whole family, think about cutting back on your clothing budget.

Take advantage of bargains whenever possible, such as bulk deals on staple household items and online holiday specials. If you don’t need something, don’t buy it, or wait until you can get it used or at a discounted price.

Seek out Opportunities to Have Fun without Breaking the Bank
Many people equate a limited budget with less fun. In reality there are numerous ways to have fun, regardless of your budget. Keep your eyes open for free or inexpensive activities around your community. They can be as simple as story hours at the library or a holiday tree lighting in the town square.

If you have older children, invite them to work with you to plan outings that everyone will enjoy. The planning process is a great way to work on budgeting and spending skills while giving them control over family time.

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.

6 Tips to Help Your Child Benefit from New Year Resolution

New Year Resolution

In recent years New Year’s resolutions have got a bit of a bad rap. However, well designed resolutions can be a great way for children to build their self-esteem and learn how to set goals. The following tips will assist you in helping your kids benefit from their New Year’s resolutions as much as possible.

  1. Make it a family activity. One of the easiest ways to keep all family members accountable for their resolutions is to set them together and then check in on a regular basis. Plan a monthly family meeting to sit down and discuss your progress on your resolutions.

  2. Cater resolutions for different ages. Help your kids design resolutions that are appropriate for their given ages. For example, cleaning a bedroom independently can be a perfect goal for a younger child while working through conflict in a healthy manner may be a better goal for an older child.

  3. Break them down into realistic steps. A yearlong resolution can be overwhelming without a plan of action. Help your child make smaller goals for each month of the year.

  4. Encourage revisions as needed. A New Year’s resolution should never be set in stone. There is nothing wrong with modifying a goal partway through the year. For example, if practicing the piano 20 minutes per day five days a week is too much for a seven year old, scale it back to 10 minutes per day.

  5. Issue periodic non-food rewards. Getting rewards for meeting resolution benchmarks encourages people to keep working toward their goals.

  6. Serve as a role model. The most effective way to teach children is to model behavior for them. As part of making New Year’s resolutions a family activity, set your own resolutions and discuss your successes and failures with your kids.

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.

Incredible Celebration of Christmas with Unanimity

During the holiday season, it is easy to get caught up in your own celebrations. While there is nothing wrong with honoring your tried and true traditions, it can also be powerful to learn about how other cultures celebrate Christmas. Studying varying Christmas celebrations around the world is a great way to teach children about respecting diversity while gaining a new perspective on the holiday.

Select and Learn
As so many countries celebrate Christmas, the first thing that you have to do is decide which place you would like to know about. Opt for a wide selection of countries such as Italy, Mexico, Sweden, and Poland. It is best practice to select a maximum of four or five countries during a given holiday season so that you can study all of them in full without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

Christmas With Kids

Fun with Kids
Once you have selected your countries, take time to locate them on the map. You’ll also want to obtain a flag of each country. Then think about equipping the kids with some travel essentials, such as passports and plane tickets. You can even make construction paper suitcases that the kids can use to store their holiday unit materials and finished work. Children enjoy pretending to go on a trip, such as simulating riding on an airplane and visiting popular sites in different countries.

Christmas Crafts from Various Countries
Research Christmas traditions for the given countries and plan lessons and activities to cover them over the holiday season. Among other activities, think about completing some Christmas crafts. For example, if you’re studying England, you can make your own Christmas crackers or if you’re studying Germany, you can make Weihnacht angels. You can hear the inspiring folklore of Befana from Italy. There are lots of tutorials and printable templates for Christmas crafts around the world readily available online.

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 Amazing Christmas Games That Preschoolers Would Love

Christmas Games

Do you need to entertain your little ones during this busy holiday season? No problem, here are five amazing activities that are all Christmas themed and very educational for mental growth and development.

  1. Pass The Bow
    Pass around a gift wrapping or present bow to teach young children about patience and taking turns. You sing a Christmas song while passing around the bow until you stop the song and whoever has the bow last gets a present from under the tree. Continue until all children have a present in their lap.

  2. Stocking Journals
    Set up a craft table full of supplies to create a “stocking journal,” which is essentially a stocking shaped journal that they can decorate and draw what they think Christmas is all about and what they would like to have in their stocking.

  3. Guess The Gift Box
    Take a large or medium sized box, wrap it up like a Christmas gift but leave the bottom open so you can place objects underneath it. This is a guessing game that can be quite challenging, but still fun. Children guess what’s under the box through clues (and if you’re inclined, they get to win that item).

  4. Ornament Toss
    Similar to a sack toss game that many children are familiar with, except the box is meant to look like a Christmas tree and kids can take turns to throw in plastic, unbreakable ornaments into the holes in the Christmas tree for points or just for fun.

  5. Candy Cane Ring Toss
    Again, a similar game but with a Christmas twist! This one features candy canes that can be easily tossed for points or just for fun like the other games mentioned. Then, the candy canes can be eaten later on after the game.

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.