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Friday, May 30, 2008

Help your child learn to be organized

Children learns first from parents, teachers or from the envirenment. So if you want your children to be organized then you should be a model for them. We parents are the first school for our children. Learnig to be organized is very important as it can save us from many headaches during our lives.

These tips which are courtesy of "Saving Secrets", are very helpful for our children to learn organization skills.

ORGANIZE YOUR CHILDREN AND SAVE YOUR SANITY

When children are old enough and capable, they have a responsibility to take care of their own belongings. This includes (but not limited to) toys, clothes, bathroom items, sports equipment, and of course school books and supplies.
It should not be the parents' responsibility to clean their child's room, or pick up their wet towels off the bathroom floor. How is this teaching children to be responsible for their own belongings?

If we teach our children HOW to be organized, this will lead to a more productive and hopefully a more responsible child in school and at home. However take note, if you expect your children to be well organized, you must also do the same to provide a good example, or "model", for them. As the saying goes "practice what you preach" :-)

For the time being, we will focus on ideas to help organize your children's plethora of gadgets, toys, clothes, games, and whatever else may be piled up on the closet floor or under the bed.

Color Coordinate Everything
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The most important idea to incorporate in your family lifestyle is to color coordinate everything. Regardless of how many children you have, assign each one a specific color ie: green, red, yellow, orange, etc...

The color you assign each of your children will go on every item that belongs to them. You will need to get a permanent marker in each of your kid's colors so you can mark/dot each and every item they own.

Here's a list of the most common items you'll want to start out with. Use this list as a starting point to help harvest ideas that are relevant in your family's lifestyle.

- clothes
- toys
- towels
- bathroom utensils
- closet
- shoes
- games
- puzzles
- sports equipment

With their items, simply put a small colored dot/mark in an inconspicuous area. For example, socks-dot the toe or heel; shirts-dot the collar tag; puzzles-dot the back of each piece; toothbrushes and towels- purchase these in each of your children's assigned color.

Once everything is color coded, you can then quickly scan rooms and bathrooms and see which one of your little angels has left things out of place.

To quickly reinforce this new organization method, simply make the rule that if you find items haphazardly strewn about, you'll deduct 25 or 50 cents from their allowance. If that isn't relative, they can always earn additional work like washing a dish per item that is left out or "doggie clean-up duty". After a few times, your children will start picking up after themselves since they hate to lose money and play time, right?

** Again, these are merely suggestions. Adapt and change these practices as you see fit.

Organizing Their Closet Space and Room
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let's face it, children are learning by trial and error unless they have someone or something to model after. So naturally, they are going to make their choices and decisions on what they think is best.

If your child(ren) haven't had much success maintaining an organized closet, maybe it would be best to start from scratch. However, before you clear out their closet completely to start reorganizing, first observe what seems to be the problem area. Are their clothes scattered on the ground? Are toys out of place, thrown here and there? What seems to be the messiest?

Each child will have different needs that have to be addressed in order to have a clean, organized closet/room. Just like you wouldn't ask a guitarist to play the guitar with only two strings, you can't expect a child to put his/her things away unless he or she has an actual "place" or container to put the stuff in.

Take the time to teach your children where their "stuff" goes. If they have trouble remembering, label the containers or areas as needed. You may need to buy some rubbermate containers from BigLots (PicNSave). Better yet, you can often find containers for a dollar at the 99cent store or the Dollar Tree (if you haven't been to one of these stores yet, you are missing out on a ton of deals!)

Weekly Review
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Once you have organized, color coded, and explained the new procedures/laws that will now be enforced, have a "weekly review" time where you can sit down with your child(ren) for 5-10 minutes. This would be the time when you go over what you liked throughout the week, and areas they may still need to work a little bit on.

Keep in mind that children will need to be reminded about the procedures you expect them to follow, so don't get frustrated if they do not do a perfect job the first week or two. This is a process that may take some time to internalize, but once it's learned, your life, and your children's lives, will be much more fluid and organized.

Source: link

If you are able to organize right down to the smallest detail, then not only will you save yourself countless panic headaches, but you will have more time on your hands allowing yourself to be more productive and get more accomplished.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Teach your children budget and saving money

As a parent this is our duty to teach them or show them the life skills by being a model yourself or simply teach them about money, budget and savings. From the very early age they should know what is budget and saving, because these lessons would work for them in a long run. An important step towards training of money saving is to teach them "not to be impressed by advertised products". Here are some tips which can be helpful in this connection:

HOW TO GET YOUR CHILDREN "BRAND FREE"

Those of you that have children know what an excursion to the local mall or supermarket can be like. If you're not careful, this simple trip can easily become a wallet draining experience.
How often have you heard:

"I want Luchables because EVERYONE eats them at lunch!"
"Come on mom, these cool pants only cost $80."
"Dad, everyone has a Playstation II, I need one too!"
"I need 2 sodas and 2 bags of chips everyday!"

Certainly, we as parents want to make our children happy and not deprive them of a delightful childhood, but who's to say that you must give in to every one of your child's requests.

Why must you work twenty overtime hours just so your son can have a new video gaming system? Why must your grocery bill be over $200 just so your children can have the latest cereal, ice-cream, snacks, candies, and sodas available?

Truth About "Brand Names"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Brand names cost money. Quite a bit of money. Especially when you add them up over time. The reasons these brands must charge more money is to cover their enormous advertising and marketing costs.

Since children are constantly bombarded with advertisements on the television and amongst their peers at school, they are most likely going to ask you for these same products.

No one really enjoys telling their children they can't have something they want, however looking at the bigger picture, what lesson are we teaching our kids if we simply give in to their every request?

For one, they are not learning the value of money and the role it plays in our lives. Secondly, they are not learning about the importance of conservation and how to properly budget their money.

Learning to budget and save money at an early age will really come in handy especially as they grow older, start driving, and get offered tempting pre-approved credit cards through the mail.

If they are not careful and able to budget their money effectively, this new found freedom may drain all the money from their pockets.

Teaching The Importance of Conservation
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not only is this the perfect opportunity to get your children "Brand Free" and away from the expensive, trendy stuff, but it's also the perfect opportunity to teach them the value of money.

Here's one way you can approach this.

Explain to your children that the money you spend on clothes, food, toys, etc, depletes the amount you are able to save for future needs.

Explain that starting today, only the NECESSITIES will be purchased. No more ice cream, chips, soda, candy, lunchables, except maybe on special occasions. Toys and games will need to be earned and will no longer be given away for free. Etc...

For example, you could state that you will only be purchasing Cheerios (or another low priced cereal). If your children want to have Captain Crunch or Cookie Crisp, they will have to buy them using their own money.

Same principal for their lunches. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tuna fish, apples, oranges, carrots, and raisons. If they want Lunchables or some other type of non-nutritious fast food, they will have to buy it with their own money.

Soon, you will have your child(ren) deciding "Is a Quarter Pounder Meal worth $4.50 out of my savings?" or "Do I really need that new video game that cost $50?".

This "brand free" approach can be applied to all other shopping areas aside from the supermarket example.

When you are shopping for clothes, ONLY buy the necessities. Ignore the most expensive and most popular items. Only buy what you, or the children, absolutely need, ignore all the rest.

Regarding toys and games, you can make it so that your children ONLY get "free" toys on Christmas and their birthdays. If they want something additional, they must purchase the item with their own money.

Taking These Ideas One Step Further
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Once you have inspired your children to participate in this money saving, "brand free" lifestyle, it's time to MOTIVATE them to help increase their success.

As with everything in life, having a goal to strive for greatly increases the probability of success.

Goals help us stay focused on the task at hand. Goals help the individual strive for something tangible that's meaningful or important to them.

A runner's goal may be to shave 10 seconds off their lap time. This runner will then practice, workout, and time themselves, striving to run a lap 10 seconds faster than before.

In our "brand free" exercise, you may want to come up with a goal that you and your children can strive towards. For example, you could establish a short term goal that states, if your children can eat healthy and not ask for any "brand name stuff" for two months, you will take them to any movie they want to see.

Here are some more ideas for the various goal ranges:

Short Term: 1-3 months
picnic, trip to beach, movie of their choice

Medium Range: 3-8 months
new game, doll house, Chuck-E-Cheese trip

Long Term: 8-12 months
Disneyland trip, Water Theme park, day at the carnival

Sticking To Your Plan
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Regardless what your decide to implement, remember that this is your plan. You are the parent, so you decide what's best for your children. Don't take any negative remarks or any bad mouthing from your kids in regards to this new lifestyle. Stick with it!

Just keep in mind that these exercises and lessons will benefit your children in the long run regardless of what they may think of it at the moment.

Source link

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tips to develop your child’s language and communication skills


Every year few children enter in nursery class, with inadequate language and communication skills. One or two to them have speech or language impairments which need professional help. As a parent or teacher we can help our children in developing language and communication skills.

But how to do it?

Literacy trust.org provides tips and guidance in developing these skills.

"Literacy trust" explains it:
“Talking and listening to young children helps them develop good language and communication skills, which enables them to express themselves, listen, learn, read, write and socialize better. It also helps children feel valued, builds their confidence and helps parents and children to bond.”

The National Literacy Trust is an independent charity, and all the resources or information from the site are FREE.

Mission:
Their vision is that within 10 years They will have facilitated a positive cultural shift so that all children receive from their parents and careers a stimulating language-rich start to life.

MOre about the site:

It started in January 2003, to provide a one-stop shop for information, advice and downloadable free resources on early language and communication to support early years professionals and inform parents.
They have raised some very specific issues to campaign on, such as the need for pusher-facing pushchairs and buggies and the need for the topic of language acquisition to be taught in schools.

Sign up for quarterly email newsletter

sign up link

There are a lot of useful links, articles and information at the site, so as a parent or teacher, my advice is to book mark this site and take time to search the whole site.

As 2008 is named the "National year of reading" we can participate in this Campaign by encouraging our young ones and involving ourselves in reading and talking with them.

More links:
* A guide for talking to school age children

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tips to deal with your hyperactive child

Hyperactivity is associated with the term ADHD (Attention deficit byperactivity disorder) and related with lack of attention span, lower grades in school and many behavioral problems. According to a research, between 4 and 12 percent of school-age children have ADHD. But many people are still unaware of ADHD term.

* "Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD)"

"kids growth.com" provides rich content to guide parents about parenting, child development and reltated issues. It provides tips to deals with your hyperactive child. As these tips are provided by a research based from a doctor.

"10 Family Guidelines for Living with a hyperactive child"

1. Accept your child's limitations.
Parents should not expect to eliminate the hyperactivity but just keep it under reasonable control. Hyperactivity is not intentional. Any undue criticism or attempts to change your child into a quiet child or "model child" will cause more harm than good. You must accept the fact that your child is intrinsically active and energetic and possibly always will be. Nothing is more helpful for the hyperactive child than having a tolerant, patient, low-key parent.

2. Provide outlets for the release of excess energy.
This energy can't be bottled up and stored. These children need daily outside activities such as running, sports, or long walks. A fenced yard helps. In bad weather, your child needs a recreational room where he can do as he pleases without criticism. If no large room is available, a garage will sometimes suffice. Although the expression of hyperactivity is allowed in these ways, it should not be needlessly encouraged. Adults should not engender rough-housing with these children. Siblings should be forbidden to say "Chase me, chase me!" or to instigate other noisy play. Rewarding hyperactive behavior leads to its becoming your child s main style of interacting with people.

3. Keep the home existence organized.
Household routines help the hyperactive child accept order. Keep mealtimes, chores, and bedtimes as consistent as possible. Predictable responses by the parents to different daily events help the child become more predictable.

4. Try to avoid fatigue in these children.
When your child is exhausted, self-control often breaks down and the hyperactivity becomes extreme.

5. Avoid formal gatherings.
Settings where hyperactivity would be extremely inappropriate and embarrassing should be completely avoided. Examples of this would be church, restaurants, etc. Of lesser importance, the child can forego some trips to stores and supermarkets to reduce unnecessary friction between the child and parent. After the child develops adequate self-control at home, these activities can gradually be introduced.

6. Maintain firm discipline.
These children are unquestionably difficult to manage. They need more careful, planned discipline than the average child. Rules should be formulated mainly to prevent harm to the child or others. Aggressive behavior and manipulative behavior should be no more accepted in the hyperactive child than in the normal child. Unlike the expression of hyperactivity, aggressive behavior should be eliminated. Also, rules to prevent the destruction of important property should be in effect. Unnecessary rules should be avoided. These children tolerate fewer rules than the normal child. The family needs a few clear, important rules, with other rules added at the child s own pace. Parents must avoid being after the child all the time with negative comments like "Don t do this" and "Stop that."

7. Enforce discipline with nonphysical punishment.
The family must have an "isolation room" or "time-out place" to back up their attempts to enforce rules, if a show of disapproval doesn t work. This room can be the child s bedroom. The child should be sent there to "shape up" and allowed out as soon as he has changed his behavior. Without an isolation room, overall success is unlikely. Physical punishment should be avoided in these children since we want to teach them to be less aggressive, rather than make aggression acceptable. These children need adult models of control and calmness.

8. Stretch your child's attention span.
Rewarding nonhyperactive behavior is the key to preparing these children for school. Increased attention span and persistence with tasks can be taught to these children at home. The child can be shown pictures in a book; and, if he is attentive, he can be rewarded with praise and a hug. Next the parent can read stories to him. Coloring of pictures can be encouraged and rewarded. Games of increasing difficulty can gradually be taught to the child, starting with building blocks and progressing eventually to dominoes, card games, and dice games. Matching pictures is an excellent way to build a child s memory and concentration span. The child s toys should not be excessive in number, for this can accentuate his distractibility. They should also be ones that are safe and relatively unbreakable.

9. Buffer the child against any overreaction by neighbors.
If your child receives a reputation for being a "bad kid," it is important that this doesn t carry over into his home life. At home the attitude that must prevail is that the child is a "good child with excess energy." It is extremely important that the parents do not give up on this child. He must always feel accepted by his family. As long as he has acceptance, his self-esteem and self-confidence will survive.

10. Periodically get away from it all.
Parents must get away from the hyperactive child often enough to be able to tolerate him. Exposure to some of these children for 24 hours a day would make anyone a wreck. When the father comes home, he should try to look after the child and give his wife a deserved break. A babysitter two afternoons a week and an occasional evening out with her husband can salvage an exhausted mother. A preschool nursery or Head Start class is another option. Parents need a chance to rejuvenate themselves.

Author: H. Winter Griffith, M.D.
Source link: Kids growth.com
Related posts:
Drug free treatment of "Attention Deficit Disorder"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A teacher's site for teachers and parents

Lesson sense is from a kindergarten teacher to share teaching ideas and themes with other teachers and parents. There is a lot of stuff, which can be used as idea or whole concept for teaching, such as themes, crafts, drawings, work sheets.

Lesson sense provides free lesson material and ideas for preschool and elementary age children. You will find loads of downloadable material that can be used in lessons of your own or at home. The suggestions and materials can be used to create your own lessons.
LessonSense.com - free worksheets, crafts and printables

All of the worksheets and crafts ideas have been created by the site owners.
Site is created by Sanne, who is 29 and lives in the Netherlands, a fulltime preschool/kindergarten teacher.

- Check the themes page for a lot of ideas on variety of topics.

- Folding techniques

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Learn origami for the development of creative skills

Origami is an ancient art, which is very popular among children as well as adults. Despite of having fun from this good pass time/hobby, origami has some benefits in skill development.

Origami can be used for skill development by educators, teachers, Psychologists, Physicians, Parents for educational, developmental, and therapeutic aspects. Origami is good for any age: from kids, those who start learning all by themselves, to persons of mature years who don't stop developing their own individuality.
What is happening when we are doing origami?

Body level:
Your hands are made active, they give impulses to your brain, and activate your left and right hemispheres. Tactile, motor and visual brain's zones are made very active.

Soul level:
Your emotions are painted with joy, satisfaction, and pride in your own work. They broaden your emotional self-image.

Mind level:
Your memory, non-verbal thinking, attention, 3D-comp-rehension, imagination are working hard.


More benefits?

"Oriland.com" has described 10 reasons to be involved in origami:

1. Development of fine 'motor skills' of both hands.

2. Development of intellectual abilities.

3. Development of creative abilities.

4. Activation of the Right and Left hemispheres of the brain.

5. Development of imagination.

6. Development of attention.

7. Development of memory.

8. Development of patience.

9. Emotional and aesthetic experiences.

10. Joy, satisfaction and pride in your own work!

Source link: 10 Reasons to be involved in Origami

Where to learn origami?
You can find many books from internet, but to start learning there are many sites, which provide free stuff.
Go to the article: learn origami


HOW ORIGAMI HELPS TO DEVELOP CHILDREN

Scientific proof how origami helps to develop skills:
Ph.D. thesis by Katrin and Yuri Shumakov

Left Brain and Right Brain at Origami Training

* More reading: ORIGAMI BENEFITS

Related posts:

* Learn origami at the internet!

* Useful links and resources for paper crafts!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

How to choose toys for your child?

My son is now 9 years old, and I can understand that his days of watching "cartoon movies" and playing with legos, bricks are gone. But still it is difficult to choose a gift for him. It is difficult for me to keep him busy when he is not doing his home work. But he has passion of making crafts out of recycle stuff. And I am happy that he himself finds enough material around the house to keep him busy most of the time.

This question is really important for every parent, which is "how to choose toys for a child?" Because not only toys are a good pass time for children, but they learn from it, developing theri skills at the same time.

Even the most expensive toys will be completely useless if they are not appropriate for your child. A good toy for one child isn't necessarily a good toy for another child. When you purchase a toy, you need to consider your child's personality, likes, and dislikes. In this article, we will answer all of your toy questions, including:

Children's Toy Safety

Every year hundreds of thousands of children get injured playing with the toys their friends and family have bought for them. Though there are manufacturer standards, your child's toys need to be further inspected by you for safety. In this section, we will give a list of safety concerns that you should consider before you bring a toy home for your child. From shocks, to choking, to burning, we will show you the hazards you need to look out for.

Age-Appropriate Toys

If a toy is beyond your child's level of development the child will quickly become frustrated and overwhelmed. If the toy is too far below your child's development level, they will become bored and lose interest. The right toy can also help your child's imagination and creativity grow and blossom. On this page, we will help you match age-appropriate toys to your child's age. From birth all the way through the third year of life, we will show you the toys that will be best for you child.

About the Author:
Alvin Eden, M.D.: Alvin Eden, M.D. serves as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Weil Medical College of Cornell University in New York, New York. He is Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn. Dr. Eden is also the author of a number of child care book, including Positive Parenting and Growing Up Thin.
For full article link: How to Choose Toys for a Child

Suggestion for electronic and educational toys:

* Educational Electronic Toys

* Creative toys

*** At Best Child Toys you can get advice on how to choose the best toys and games for your child, and how to maximize the use of toys for your children's benefit.

Selectively chosen toys and games are hugely beneficial for your children. Not only they are good for boosting your children's development, they are also good in helping your children to learn. With educational toys and games in tow, your children will grow to love learning.

For each type of toys, you will find these following information:

- The benefits and drawbacks of each type of toy.
- tips and advice on how to choose a child toy with the best value.
- tips on how to maximize the play value of a particular toy 'beyond' the manufacturer recommendation.

FREE offer from the site:

* Get the FREE e-book "The Secret On How To Save Money And Time On Toy Shopping"
What you can read there at e-book?

- The secret of stress-free toy shopping.

- How to save money on child toys

- Sure ways to prevent overspending on toys.

- How to recognize toys which are not only fun, but can dramatically boost your child's development.

- How to recognize toys which are just a waste of money.
And much more ...

- Click on the link, enter your e-mail to get your copy: Toy Shopping Guide E-Book


* "Ape 2 zebra" is an online store from Campbellville, Ontario and this site is from parents who are concerned about helping children learn while having fun. Site provides some of the finest educational toys and products available to help their children learn while having fun.


Site also provides tips and guide on choosing toys to develop skills like:

- Toys to develop fine motor skills

- Toys for gross motor skills

- Social Developmental Toys

- Reading and writing

Get their newsletter: link

Related posts
:

* Role of educational toys and games in skill development

* Review: "Dr.toy's Guide" --dealing in educational toys and products!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Learn pencil drawing at "Toad Hollow Studio"



I am always fascinated by pencil drawing and sketches. From the very young age I have passion for drawing and still now when I am a teacher, I love to teach simple and easy tips/techniques to my nursery class students. I enjoy the creativity and versatality of my student's art/drawings. From the web, you can find many resources or sites, which can teach you FREE lessons, tips about drawing.

Toad Hollow Studio is run by by Carol Rosinski, who is an artist and basically teaches pencil drawings. She is author of "Drawing Made Easy", but at her site and blog, she is offering a lot of free stuff for drawing learners.

The name of the site is very attractive and Carol says: "Since my artwork is inspired by the life I see around me everyday, I named my art studio "Toad Hollow Studio."

Carol describes the location of her residnece:

"My husband and I moved to our home in Michigan over twenty years ago. We have a small house sitting on three acres. Our property is about one acre wide and three long, and there is a low spot in the middle that collects water during the spring of the year. We have a deep woods on two sides and a large horse pasture on another side. To our delight, we discovered that the deep woods around us and the lay of our land make it a desirable home for many different kinds of wild life. We've seen, to name a few, deer, fox, rabbits, turtles, snakes, dragonflies, butterflies, spiders, frogs, lizards, all sort of birds, and lots and lots of toads.

The busy lives of the animals all around us are inspiring to my husband and me. We study them closely and see that their lives are full of happiness, grief, relief, fear, peacefulness, and great joy. In other words, the lives of the creatures around us are as full and varied as our own. We named our home "Toad Hollow" to reflect the rich and wonderful stories we see unfolding around us. We have a story from "Wind in the Willows" acted out in our own backyard everyday."


Her blog has many useful posts for drawing learners. You can get other blog or site links at her blog roll. And by subscribing to this blog, you can get fresh post news at your inbox.

There are a lot of FREE lessons for drawing learning.
Start learning FREE lessons from this link
* A monthly newsletter with drawing and sketching tips and updates about the new lessons offered at Toad Hollow.
- Sign up for newsletter
* Go to ispiration page for more tips and stories related to her drawings.

* Drawing directory link takes you to another page where you can learn a lot about drawing.
- Drawing directory
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