Friday, December 19, 2008

Spending Family Time Together

By: Diane Ryals, M.S.
University of Illinois Extension

Healthy active families enjoy being together. Family time doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Often, the simplest activities contribute to important family bonding and long-term memories.

When children are asked, “What makes a happy family?” they respond “Doing things together!” It may seem so obvious that it gets overlooked, but doing things together as a family builds family strengths. People sometimes say that it’s not the quantity of time that is important but the quality of time. However, it is difficult to have a relationship with someone you do not spend much time with on a regular basis.

Here are ideas for busy parents on how to turn everyday activities into family time:

Play games or dance as you cook, shop, clean, or take care of pets or farm animals.

Expand healthy ideas into everyday family life…

Sing or listen to music together.

Exercise together.

Cuddle together with a good book. Make it a part of your everyday routine, perhaps each night before bed.

Sit down next to your child to pay the bills, and go through the mail as he colors a picture.

Limit TV time. Some TV time together might be worthwhile in strengthening families, but there are better ways families could be spending time together.

Plan to use car travel time as a special “together time.”
Sing together.

Talk about your day and ask your child to talk about hers.
Tell stories about your childhood.

Have children tell you a story; identify colors, shapes, or objects along the road.

Plan a special night, perhaps each week, when the family eats the child’s favorite food.

Give your children a responsibility in the grocery store. Ask them to:

Match the coupons with the labels.

Point out or find where the items are.

Play games such as “I see something” and have the children guess what you see.

Along with a goodnight hug and kiss, tell your child how much you appreciate all the good things he did that day.

Be specific.

Don’t feel guilty. Family time may not always end up “greeting card” happy.

Quality time is simply the things we remember, that we hold on to at the end of the day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Party

My students are excited about the upcoming activity, ou Christmas Party. This is a fun activity where kids will sing Christmas tunes and at the same recieve gifts from their parents. Parents have thier exchange of gifts activity. I hope our Christmas Party will be a happy one.

Got to go now, as I will still have to buy toys for the kids.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why is Teaching Music So Important?

In all ages the thoughtful have called music "the celestial Art". Artists have pictured the angels playing on harps, and this teaches us that the soul comes on earth with the love of music. It is not after being born on earth that man learns to love music; the soul was already enthralled by music before it came to earth. . . . music is the first and the last thing to appeal to every soul.

Music is the most wonderful way to spiritual realization; there is no quicker and no surer way of attaining spiritual perfection than through music. . . . In golden age(s) there was the music of the soul, a music that appealed to the soul itself and that raised it to cosmic consciousness, the music of the angels, the music that was healing and soothing.

(Hazrat Inayat Khan gave a warning from an old Hindu story that tells how a musician invented a new way of composing music.)

". . . When this man sang his new compositions, he won the admiration and praise of everyone at the court. But one of the old musicians who was present said, "If Your Majesty will pardon me, I would like to say a word. There is no doubt that this is most beautiful music, and it has won the admiration of all those present, and also my own. But I must tell you that from this day the music of the country, instead of going upward, will go downward. . . .And so it happened; step by step after that, that music was brought down.

Music should be healing; music should uplift the soul; music should inspire. There is no better way of getting closer to God, of rising higher towards the spirit, of attaining spiritual perfection than music, if only it is rightly understood.

Excerpts from the Music of Life
by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Friday, October 17, 2008

United Nations Celebration

In our school, we usually held the United Nations Celebration on the Month of October. During this activity, we teach our kids about different countries of the world and at the same time giving them idea that there are also other kids in the other parts of the world. Thus, they need to pray for those kids because some of these kids are not living a good life.
This activity is also geared to praying for the different nations of the world. In our program, we give time to pray for blessing and unity among nations. Of course,the highlight of this activity is our own pupils wearing costumes from the different countries of the world.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Signs of Autism in Children

Most experts agree that it's best to catch and treat autism as early as possible. What are the early signs of autism in children?

There are a number of red-flag symptoms that parents and teachers can look for. These may be evident even in a child as young as one year old -- or may not become evident until age three or older.
Some signs to look for include:

unresponsiveness to people, and/or intent focus on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods;
lack of response to their name;

lack of eye contact;

difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling;

delay in gaining speech and/or odd speech patterns;

repetitive movements such as rocking or twirling, or self-abusive behavior such as head-banging;

speaking in a flat or sing-song voice;

unusually low or high sensitivity to pain, noise, light or crowds.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Don't Compare

We often can't deny that we compare our kids to other kids. Oftentimes, this has become the reason of our frustrations. I have experienced this before when one parent came to our school and complained something about her child. She was complaining why her child can't write, and yet her classmates can now write correctly. I told her that each child is different. Some may develop early, some develop late. Especially in writing, it's a skill that needs to be learned and it needs to have practice for it to develop. I guess her child's fine motor skills are not yet fully developed that is why she can't write yet compared to her other classmates.

As parents, let us try not to compare and we need to understand them as they developed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Can Share!

Kids in their base nature are indeed selfish. They always have the tendency to talk about "mine, mine, and mine". The "yours" and "us" are still not present on their vocabulary unless somebody should teach them. In our school, it's always our priority to break this selfish attitude towards each child and help them become considerate about others. During snacks, we taught them to share their snacks to someone who forgot to bring. To motivate them to give and share, we taught them the song: "I can Share". Here's the complete lyrics of the song:

*Sing to the tune of "Where is Thumbman"

I can share, I can share
like _______ ( name of the child) like ______ (name of the child)
(Repeat twice)

The song is indeed effective, becuase after we sing the song, the child who doesn't want to share changes his mood and starts to share.

Friday, August 1, 2008

10 Signs of Good Nutrition

It was our schools Nutrition Month Celebration last July 30, 2008. I invited my friend Sheryl, a nutritionist who works in a government. In her speech, she talked about foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals which are basically good for kids. She even mentioned about "FOOD PYRAMID" as a guide for our daily food intake. One of the topics that gives interest to the parents is the topic on"10 Signs of Good Nutrition". It's a very nice guide for parents to check their kids if they are properly well nourished. I've heard this on TV because of a milk commercial but her talk gave us a more detailed knowledge on it.

Here's what it is:

1. Right Weight For Height
2. Good Muscle Development
3. Good Posture
4. Clear Skin
5. Shiny Hair
6. Clear Eyes
7. Alert and Cheerful
8. Sleeps Uninterruptedly
9. Regular Bowel Movement
10. Good Appetite

Hope you find this helpful! :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

What's the Right Way to Praise Kids?

This is one of the most important question when we need to use praise to our kids as a form of motivation. I've learned this in my Educational Psychology class and I find this helpful to share it you becuase my classmates who already have kids also find this interesting. 

Good answers to this question come from Jennifer Henderlong Corpus and Mark Lepper, psychologists who have analyzed over 30 years of studies on the effects of praise (Henderlong and Lepper 2002). They determined that praise can be a powerful motivating force if you follow these guidelines:

• Be sincere and specific with your praise

• Praise kids only for traits they have the power to change

• Use descriptive praise that conveys realistic, attainable standards

• Be careful about praising kids for achievements that come easily

• Be careful about praising kids for doing what they already love to do

• Encourage kids to focus on mastering skills—not on comparing themselves to others

In addition, it’s important to be sensitive to your child’s developmental level.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Effects of Praise

What scientific studies reveal about the right way to praise kids? 
By Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.

In many cultures—-like China-—praise is rare. People worry about the effects of praise. That too much praise will inflate the ego...make people too big for their britches.

This seems to be an ancient concern.

Modern-day hunter-gatherers—-people whose life-ways most closely resemble those of our ancestors—-are famously intolerant of big egos.

It used to be that way in the West, too. But today things are different. Westerners praise each other all the time. And Western parents praise their kids all the time.

Why? Because we think that praise is going to make our kids better—more motivated, more confident, more inclined to tackle challenges.

But does it really work that way?

Well, yes. Praise can be a powerful form of encouragement. For instance, moms who praise their preschoolers for their good manners have kids with better social skills (Garner 2006; Hastings et al 2007).

But in some cases, praise can actually undermine your child’s motivation.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Be Careful...

We had this song in the class that I usually teach to my students. I teach them this song to remind them to be good, becuase the Lord is looking down on every actions that they make. Here's the complete lyrics of the song.

Be careful little eyes, what you see (2x)
For the Lord God above is looking down at you,
So be careful little eyes what you see.

Be careful little ears, what you hear
Be careful little tongue, what you say
For the Lord God above is looking down at you, 
Be careful little (ears, tongue) what you (hear, say)

The song is such a beautiful song to remind kids about telling the truth and trying to be careful about their actions. But this song goes for us too. Let us also be reminded with our lives as we model our kids to grow into the person the Lord wants them to be. There are a lot of things we wanted them to do, but are we also evaluating ourselves, our actions? Please be reminded that the Lord God above is looking down at you...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Still Adjusting...

June is about to end, but our Nursery students are still adjusting to their school life. Most of them still cries when their parents or guardians are not around. They still need time to learn and adjust what it is to be in school. Some of them still comes in late becuase they are still adjusting to their sleeping schedule. Though it's difficult to manage them as of this time, but I know all these shall pass because they are still adjusting.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's School Time

Most of the kids here in the Philippines are so excited about going to school nowadays. I remember my experience when I was still in my primary grades, I get so excited when it's already time to go back to school. What causes my excitement was the new school supplies, the new bag, shoes and school uniform. Every night I always get my things organized and smell the scent of my new school stuff. Aside from the new stuff, I'm excited about meeting new friends and old friends as well. When the lesson proper starts, I'm excited to hear the teacher telling us to get our notebooks and copy something on the board. Though it's tiring to write, but it's nothing becuase I was writing with my new pencil and notebook.

I guess this is still the same with other kids nowadays. I just hope the excitement will go on until March. 

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Welcome to My Blog!

Hello everyone, Welcome to my blog. This is a blog that talks about my experiences in dealing with different kinds of kids. As a teacher, I have been exposed to a lot of of kids, different attitudes, different personality. Kid's sometimes may be naughty, but most of the time they make us happy. I believe that every children are a gift from the Lord and everyone has their own story.  

May you find this blog helpful as I share my experiences with kids, my life and my future kids.