We are halfway through our school year here at The Academy and we have been working on teaching our PreK-3 students (preschoolers age 3-4) to write! It’s an exciting time for them. They love to show how proud they are after they successfuly write their names by themselves for the first time. Here are some of the ways we work on teaching our students to write.
1. Let them do things themselves.
Let your child butter their own bread, peel oranges (like the Cutie brand oranges), open water bottles, and put on socks. All of these things help to build your child’s hand strength.
2. Use other things.
Try letting your child use a single hole punch, scissors (supervised of course!), play dough, paint, and chalk. This will help with their fine motor skills needed for holding a pencil and writing. Our writing centers are filled with everything from puzzles, to markers and crayons, to play dough!
3. Build with Legos, small blocks, etc..
Building with these things will help with hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
4. Unstructed outdoor play.
Let your child have unstructed play time! They need a strong sense of body awareness to be able to sit in their chair correctly, hold their pencil and their paper, before being able to write.
Learning to write takes time and patience. Keep practicing in new and fun ways with your child!
Changing schools can be an overwhelming experience, no matter the child’s age. Kids are worried about making friends and fitting in, while their parents worry about, well, everything! Use these tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
Look at the school together.
Take your child with you to check out their new school. Try and make it as exciting as possible! If you’re excited your child is more likely to be excited!
Talk about it.
Don’t just up and switch schools. Talk to your child, ask them questions, and try to help ease their fears.
Keep in touch with friends at their old school.
For the first couple of weeks your child is going to feel new and alone. Helping them keep in touch with friends from their previous school will help them not feel so alone.
Keep their routine the same.
Lots of changes all at once can make a child feel out of control. Keep their morning routines the same as before. This will help give your child some normalcy during a big change.
Give it time.
Above all else, just give it time. It will take some time for your child to adjust to their new school. But in time they will come to love it.
Does your child cry or cling onto you (or both!) as you leave? Your child may be experiencing some form of separation anxiety. Children at this age don’t have a good concept of time; so they are unsure of just HOW LONG you’ll be gone. Try these 3 tips to help ease your child’s worries and fears.
1. Stick to a routine.
I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, ROUTINE IS EVERYTHING! Most people function better when they have a routine. This is especially true for children. Kids don’t really have a say in what their day to day consists of, however, they thrive when they can accurately predict what is coming next. Come up with a routine that you do every morning before coming to school. It can be anything from sitting down to eat breakfast together, or talking about their day ahead in the car. Once you have this routine, stick to it!
2. Create a goodbye ritual.
When dropping your child off at school don’t just simply “disappear” on them. This can cause your child to feel panicked or abandoned. Take a moment to say goodbye to your child so they are aware of your absence. Do the same type of goodbye daily (make it part of your routine!) and remind your child you will be back to pick them up later on. Your goodbye ritual can be anything from a simple hug and kiss to literally anything that helps your child feel good about you leaving.
3. Put on a brave happy face.
Kids are so much more perceptive than they are given credit for. If your child sees that you are nervous or anxious about leaving them, then they are more likely to be nervous and anxious. So no matter what you are feeling on the inside put on a brave and happy face. As the saying goes, “Fake it till you Make it!”
Sending your child off to school for the first time can be a nerve-racking experience. How can you be sure you picked a good school? Check out these signs of a great preschool and relax knowing your child is well taken care of.
Does the preschool have a good reputation? Do current and past families speak highly of the school? Check out the school’s social media pages and see what types of reviews have been posted.
Of course, try not to form a definite opinion until you have seen the school in person for yourself. You never know for sure until you’ve seen it for yourself.
Established Ground Rules
It is important for a preschool to have established regulations for everything from operations hours to how to handle emergencies.
That way you know the staff takes their responsibility (your child) seriously.
The best preschools have daily schedules that include plenty of time for physical activity, quiet time, group programs, socializing, crafts, individual activities, meals, snacks, and free time. TV and videos should not play a big part in your child’s day
7:00 am-8:30 am Before School Care
8:30 am-9:00 am Circle Time/Pledge of Allegiance/Letters and Numbers
9:00 am-9:45 am Table Time/Whole Group Instruction/Spanish/Writing
9:45 am-10:45 am Ballet/Gymnastics/Music
10:00 am-10:15am Snack Time
10:15 am-11:00am Center Time/Computer/Math/etc…..
11:00 am-11:45 am Outside Play
11:45 am-12:00 pm
Restroom/Wash for Lunch
12:00 pm-12:45 pm Lunch
12:45 pm-1:00 pm Prepare for Rest Time
1:00 pm-2:00 pm Rest Time
2:00 pm-3:00 pm Science and Math/Arts and Crafts
3:00 pm-3:30 pm Outside Play
3:30 pm-6:00 pm After school Activities
A well-designed curriculum stimulates your child’s development and makes daily life more fun. At this age, children can begin learning things like how letters and numbers are used in an everyday context.
Qualified Caring Staff
When you’re at the school, observe how staff members interact with the children. Teachers should be responsible, enthusiastic, and well prepared. Look for a preschool with a staff that shares your philosophy about sleep, discipline, feeding, and other issues.
Look for a preschool with staff members who are happy with their job. Preschools that compensate their staff well are more likely to have teachers who stick around. Low turnover is key to ensuring consistent, stable care for your child.
Clean Safe Facilities
A good preschool is clean and safe. Make sure the floors, walls, and kitchen area are clean. Also check that food preparation areas are far away from the bathrooms, trash cans aren’t overflowing, and the building is adequately heated, lit, and ventilated.
Make sure the preschool follows the basic rules of safety, too. Strangers shouldn’t be able to just walk in off the street – and children shouldn’t be able to wander out.
Fun Environment for Children
Look for a school with an outdoor play area. Children should have the chance to play outside every day – running, jumping, and skipping are good for them physically, mentally, and socially. If you live in a city, it can be difficult for even the best preschools to have enough space for a safe outdoor play yard. Make sure the preschool you choose has the next best thing – a spacious indoor area.
You and your child are out and about having a fun day when you go to open the rear passenger car door to get them out of their seat…OH no! It’s locked. That’s ok…just open your door and hit the button….OH NO! The WHOLE car is locked….and your little one is still in the car. What do you do?
1. Keep Calm. If you remain calm on the outside (even when you are panicking on the inside) your child will remain calm.
2. Call 911. Don’t smash your window. Don’t break your car door. Call 911. The police and fire department WILL show up. They WILL be able to open your door. They WILL arrive as fast as humanly possible. Just remain calm (see number 1) and call 911.
3. Stay be your vehicle. You might be tempted to try and find help. But don’t leave your vehicle. This will make it easier for police and fire department to find you.
4. If you are at a business ask someone else to go inside and let the business know what has happened. They are going to be able to give you an accurate address to relay to 911.
I know your probably thinking that this could never happen to you, you’re always so careful. However, an average of 1,400 children are accidentally locked in cars every year. So remember these tips, and hopefully you’ll never need them.