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Old 09-24-2008, 03:19 PM   #1
pbutterpaint
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Default **Note to Parents/ Guardians

Peace Everyone!

Personally, with all that is happening and talk about preparation, my thoughts remain with the Children. My children-the children I teach-all children. I have been an educator for 15 years--I've taught all ages (1-99)

I guess the question is: Honey, how do we prepare the Kids?

I'm sure many fellow parents on the board have mentioned to their children about tricky times ahead- in one form or another. And all of you know how much info your child can handle--if any.

For those looking for a place to start-- I suggest starting very basic and and then work your way to specifics. Some suggestions may seem obvious--but it is my experience to never take anything (or anyone!) for granted.

I'll start off the list of skills that every child should learn (even master!) with one I think is most important:

Listening--
This is indeed an important skill.

For the younger children (ages 1-4)- repetition is key. Whether it is through song, speech, tactile, or visuals.

1. Games like "Simon Says" "Red Light/Green Light"
2. Songs like "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes"
3. Nursery Rhymes (More valuable than Salt!)

By the age of 2 1/2 or 3, you can change it up often by "messing up" a rhyme (e.i.... Mary had a little dog) or when you say to touch the toes, but touch your head instead.... See if they catch the "mistakes" --this proves if they are Listening and paying attention!

*Rule of thumb- to gauge attention span, add 10 minutes for each year the child has been here.
example: 2yrs old = 20 minutes.. 5yrs old = 50 minutes and so on.

**Tip for those stubborn "3"s. I suggest getting to eye level and try talking to them-- if they don't look your way, gently pick up their hand and hold it up to your nose then calmly yet firmly say, "Now, look at me..." then say what you have to say--and keep it brief (remember-- attention span!)

As children get older (around 5-6), there are a lot more things you can do to expand their listening skills.

1. Before you go to the market, at home, give them 4 items to remember that you have to buy (try not to mention the items once you leave the house)--if they remember all 4 at the market--give them a small reward (a sticker, a pencil, a high-five-- I, personally, tend not to reward with food--but that's is a whole other issue) Once they are pretty good with 4 items- raise the number, see how much they can remember and how well they can listen!

2. Chores--change it up a bit-- if they are to clear the table, for example, give them a specific order to clean up, like-- spoons first, knives second, forks third, and so on.. Let them know it is part of a listening game--then give them a reward (thumbs up, sticker, high-five, etc.)

3. Stories-- try to read/tell stories to your child with out pictures. after the story or chapter is finished--ask the child to tell you what the story was about--some children are not comfortable with talking or not strong linguistically--ask them to either draw a picture or act out the story. See if they were listening!

Once the skill of listening is better developed-- children will be able to follow directions well, and retain information better--which is important in their preparedness.

More tips/techniques to come!
Does anyone have some suggestions to share? Anyone would like to share some experiences?
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