MICHELLE REDD GIVES QUICK TIPS TO PARENTS ON GOING BACK TO SCHOOL – How to Ease back into the school year

Michelle Redd, President of Building Blocks Learning Academy (BBLA) offers quick tips to parents on how to ease children back into the school year after a long summer.   Building Blocks Learning Academy is one of the leading childcare facilities in Chicago, focusing on the development of the whole child through exploratory, discovery and interactive curriculum.

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Getting a good start to a new school year can make a mark on children’s attitude, confidence, and performance both socially and academically. The transition can be stressful for both children and parents.

Michelle Redd who has been preparing children for first day of school for over a decade offers some tips:

Start new school traditions

Starting new school traditions is a great way to get children excited about starting school.  They will look forward to the annual tradition each year.

Goal Setting Charts

Sitting down with your child to set goals for the new year.  Discussing and planning out will assist with setting a path for success.

Healthy Meals

Everyone knows that starting the day off with a healthy breakfast is key to a great day.  Also planning out healthy lunches and snacks will provide the necessary nutrients for energy.

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Setting morning routines

Routines and scheduling are great ways to keep organized and keeps everyone from being frazzled and having an off centered day.

Openly discuss concerns

Most youth have fears and concerns regarding starting a new school year, or new school so having your child openly discuss those fears with you is an effective way to release the worries and fear.

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Back to school is a great time of the year and with small tips can get your kids off to a great start!bbla.backtoschool1

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10 FUN NEW YEAR’S EVE ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES

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New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to play some fun games together. Here are 10 fun ideas of activities to play with your friends and family! Enjoy!

1. Guessing the resolutions

Make each of your guests write down resolutions, each on its own slip of paper. Pull one slip of paper out of a basket at a time and read it out loud. Everyone has to write down who they think made each resolution. At the end of the readings, the person who guessed the most correctly wins a prize. Read some of the wrong guesses out loud for fun!

2. New Year’s Eve Scramble
Write a bunch of different words on a piece of paper that have to do with New Year’s Eve and scramble the letters. The person who guesses the most words correctly wins a prize.

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3. Word guessing

Write down 100 words on index cards such as stare, grin, blink, giggle, laugh, plate, shoelace, thread or any word you like.

Stack the cards and put them in the center of the room. Divide the players into 2 teams and seat them opposite each other. Set the timer or stopwatch for one minute. Have the first player from Team One draw a card from the pile and give clues to the word to his/her teammates before the timer ends the play.
So, if the word is “laugh”, the team member might say, “What you do if someone tells you a joke?” Players from
Team One try to guess the word; if they are successful before the time is up, they get a point. If the timer runs out and the word is not guessed, the other team gets a bonus point. Take turns until all the cards are exhausted, and then add up points to see who wins.

4. Fun photos

Take the picture of each of your guests with the digital camera. Have them make a funny face and be sure to tell them there is a prize for the best face. After all the pictures have been taken, download them to your computer or laptop and ask everyone to gather around the monitor. The winner will be judged on the greatest laughter.

5. Celebrity hunt

Everyone writes the name of a celebrity, famous person or character on a piece of paper and then they stick to the forehead of the player on their left (use tape or office Post-It notes). Make sure they don’t see the name. Now the game starts. Everyone else can see your forehead. The objective is to work out who you are. Going around the table, each payer takes a turn to ask the party questions about who they are – answers can be YES or NO only. If you get a YES you may continue asking, if you get a NO play moves on to the left. Last person to guess their name is the loser.

6. Have a huge indoor treasure hunt with clues

The kids will have a blast following the clues to get their treasure. If it is warm where you live, send them outside for parts of it.

7. Create your own time capsule

Put anything you want to remember along with your resolutions in a container and then hide it till next year.

8.  Necklaces made of yarn

The players try to win as many yarn necklaces as they can. He/she who has the most at the end wins a prize. Give each player a necklace. The idea is to get the other players to say “No”. Try to make your friends say, “No”. If your friend says it, then you get their necklace. This game is played during the entire party.

9. Word game

Whoever creates the most words out of the letters in Happy New Year, wins!

10. Scavenger hunt

Some ideas: a party hat, streamers, noise makers, plastic champagne glass, a clock, Happy New Year card, Happy New Year balloon, drink stirrers, coasters, chocolate coins, a calendar, or silver bells to ring in the New Year.

12. Match the country with how they say, “Happy New Year”.

SOURCE: www.howdoesshe.com

Dealing With Disappointing Grades

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Your child’s report card did not meet your expectations. You know she is capable of more. It’s tempting to blow a gasket, withhold privileges, and demand more of your child.

But a softer, more strategic approach may yield better results. First, you need to understand why your child’s report card isn’t studded with A’s. Then you can work out a plan with your child to get back on track. To do this, you need to talk to your child and your child’s teacher. And you might need to take a look at yourself, making sure you are setting realistic expectations.

Is Your Family Overscheduled?

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Organized activities can help children gain skills and self-confidence, but too much structured activity can contribute to anxiety, stress, and depression in children and cause kids to become self-critical perfectionists, reports a 2006 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“You don’t get to know each other because there’s not time to just really be,” says family psychologist Kathleen Kendall-Tackett. “You’re just interacting between activities.”

Ask yourself these questions to help determine whether your family is overscheduled:

  • Do your children enjoy their extracurricular activities? Do you enjoy them?
  • What does the activity accomplish?
  • Is it being done out of habit?
  • Do you feel like your kids need to be in activities because everyone else is, too?
  • Do your kids spend so much time in activities that you don’t know what else is going on in their lives?

 

Read More: http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/article/739-finding-balance-for-busy-families

Children and Technology – Should you be Concerned

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Why should we be encouraged?
 
 
My philosophy is that technology can also play a role in helping children develop socially and emotionally, when used in balance. Media has helped children care about what is happening on the other side of the world, giving them access to people of different cultures and lifestyles in a click.

Technology is creating common platforms of socialization, exchange of information leading to more understanding and connectedness to the greater whole. Online polls allow teens to participate in social issues. Through blogging, many youths feel they have a voice on different social issues, allowing expression of their perspectives and learning about other people’s perspectives as well. Many are getting involved in online social causes and movements happening worldwide, from saving endangered species to raising money for the homeless.

Video games also offer ways for kids to collaborate, take turns and learn basic principles of teamwork and sharing, while increasing logical thinking, grasping the interrelationship of various inputs and developing motor skills and hand-eye coordination due to movements needed to effectively navigate a mouse or play a video game. New software being designed specifically for classrooms promises to be a remarkable tool for developmental learning and creativity.

Text messaging can also be a developmental tool. Researchers from Coventry University studied 88 children aged between 10 and 12 to understand the impact of text messaging on their language skills. They found that the use of “textisms” could be having a positive impact on reading development and a positive effect on the way children interact with language, rather than harming literacy.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/children-and-technology-should-you-be-concerned.html#ixzz2hiiDoeez

 

 

Read More: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/children-and-technology-should-you-be-concerned.html

Choosing After-School Activities

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Activities and College Admission

 

Whatever you choose, don’t overdo it. “What’s happened today is that parenting has become this competitive sport and the trophy is to get your child into a good college,” Newman says. “To that end, children are over-scheduled and they have absolutely no down time. For some children, this works fine, but for the majority, the pressure is intense and they’re exhausted and their academics suffer. In going for the top college prize, parents erroneously think the more activities, the better their child will look on applications, and that’s not what colleges are looking at anymore, if they ever were.”

A single, lasting commitment to one activity is more impressive, she says. And activities that detract from academic performance will end up hurting the child’s chances later on.

Newman particularly warns against over involvement in sports, citing recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics that children take the summer off from a sport and that they not play on two teams in the same sport so as to avoid serious injury.

Over-scheduling can affect your family life, too, so consider the demands on your own time. Keep in mind what will be expected of you when your child begins a new activity. This will include time and transportation, obviously. But it can also mean volunteering, fundraising, and coaching.

One way to let children try out different interests without too much commitment is to enroll them in summer programs. Many of these activities, which can run as short as a week, can be a good way to explore different interests during a time of year that’s free from the pressure of school demands.

Another activity—and one that’s free—is to let your child volunteer at a local agency. Usually, child volunteers must be at least middle school age. Organized volunteer programs can be fun and enlightening for children while helping them develop a commitment to community service.

Read More: http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/article/821-choosing-after-school-activities

What Is Your Child’s Learning Style?

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Homework Tips for Each Learning Style

 

Auditory learners are typically good at absorbing information from spoken words. Strategies that work well for auditory learners include:

  • Talking to themselves or with others about what they’re learning
  • Reciting important information aloud, perhaps recording it and playing it back
  • Reading a book and listening to the audio book at the same time
  • Using word associations
  • Setting information to a tune and singing it to help remember it
  • Limiting distracting noises

 

Kinesthetic learners prefer to be active while studying and may not be able to focus while sitting still. Strategies for kinesthetic learners include:

  • Reading aloud and tracking words on a page with a finger
  • Writing things down multiple times to commit them to memory
  • Highlighting and underlining
  • Playing with a stress ball or toy while studying
  • Moving around or taking frequent breaks
  • Doing hands-on activities, such as building models or playing games

 

Visual learners benefit from seeing information on a chalkboard or in an illustration and may grow impatient listening for long periods of time. Strategies for visual learners include:

  • Using flash cards
  • Studying charts, tables, and maps
  • Drawing illustrations
  • Writing things down and reviewing notes
  • Highlighting and underlining
  • Color-coding information

 

 

Read More: http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/article/826-what-is-your-childs-learning-style