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  • I'm Ms. Liz
  • From Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
  • I believe that young children deserve the very best start in life possible. I am an early childhood special education teacher in a community based program because I think that children should be with normally developing peers as much as possible.
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Monday, September 04, 2006

A Little Talk with Mom or Dad

Here is a listening activity that should be fun for both you and your child.

1. When your child gets home from school, let her relax or play for a little while.
2. After a while say, "Come on over and sit down. I have a snack for us. I'm kind of hungry and I'd like to talk about our day." This is something I would say. Use your own words when you are talking to your child.
3. Ask how the child's day went. If you get little response tell the child about your day. (I went grocery shopping. I played with the baby. I washed your clothes.) Use simple statements a three or four year old will understand.
4. Ask again, "How did your day go? Did you have a good day?"
5. Then let your child take the lead. Listen as much as possible.

If parents will do this for a few minutes each day, the child will get used to having a chat with Mom or Dad. After a while, Mom or Dad may not get to say very much.

Look Who Lives at My House

During the next week at preschool we will be talking about our families. We talk about our mommies, daddies, brothers, sisters, grandmothers, and grandfathers mostly. At the end of our time talking about families and role playing families, we will ask the children to draw their families. The drawings are always interesting. Remember they are three and four years old. They view the world differently than we do. However, my drawings as an adult do not differ much from those I drew at four.

Here is a little activity that might be fun for you and your child.
1. Talk about your family.
2. Then have your child draw his family.
3. After the drawing is complete, talk about it. Ask your child who is in the drawing and what they are doing. You will enjoy the answers.
4. Put the drawing up somewhere so everyone can see the family portrait drawn by your child. Your child will be very proud that you want to display his work.

What Do You Want Me to Do?

How many times a day do you tell your child not to do something? "Don't run." "Don't touch that." "Don't hit." Think about this for a moment. Often, we think children are not listening when they are just trying to figure out what we want them to do.

During the next few days, try telling your child what you want them to do--instead of--what you don't want them to do.

For instance: "Susie, walk."
"Kevin, just look at the vase. It's special to Grandmother."
"Anna, move away from your brother. Let's talk about what you can do
instead of hitting."

This does take more time than the "don"t method", but you and your child will make more positive progress toward the behaviors that benefit both of you.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Look in the Mirror. What Do You See?

This week was the first week of school for my students. They were eager and I didn't have one student cry. You know sometimes preschoolers are a little reluctant to leave their parents. We had a great time playing, singing, using all kinds of art mediums and a mirror.

One of the activities we participate in during this first week of school is "What do I look Like?". Well the portraits were interesting. So, I am challenging you to do this activity with your preschooler or try it yourself. My portrait was interesting also since I am somewhat artistically challenged.

1. Gather together a mirror, a sheet of paper, and crayons or a pencil.
2. Sit down at a table with your child.
3. Have your child look in the mirror and tell you what she sees. If she does not answer you have her point to the eyes, the nose, the ears, the mouth, the hair, and then the whole face. You will want her to point to them in the mirror.
4. The last instruction is: "draw a picture of what you see in the mirror."
5. Be sure you continue to hold the mirror so she can see her face as she draws.

You may want to try this yourself. It can be a really fun activity.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Friendly Chat

As I sat down at the computer to write today, I realized I will soon be returning to the classroom after my short eight day vacation. Many of the tips I have been writing here will be appearing in my class newsletter. Some of these bits of information were written for parents two years ago when I was helping another teacher with her newsletter.

Starting today I will also be posting activities that you and your child can do to make learning basic preschool concepts fun.

Also, if you have specific questions about life with preschoolers just go to "Contact Me", send me the question, and I will see what I can find to answer it.

This will challenge me to do some research and make the blog more fun for those who read it.

Welcome to the world of little ones. It really is an exciting world.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Early to Bed-More Eager to Learn

The question in this bit of wisdom is: "How important is sleep for children?". Are you wondering if your child should have a specific bed time? Your life style may help answer this question.

Very young children who are not going to child care or school or preschool may not need a specific time. However, if your child does get up early and particpates in a program that starts early, it will be very important for him to have an early bed time. Children who get 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night seem to be more rested and eager to participate in activities when they get to school or child care. A generally accepted reasonable time for children in school to go to bed is between 8:00 and 9:00 P.M.

A specific bed time cuts down on arguments you have with your child about going to bed. It provides consistency for your child. It also gives you some time to be by youself or with other adult family members or catch up on things you need time to do. And best of all it insures that your child gets plenty of rest and is an alert eager learner in life.

Friday, July 28, 2006

It's My Birthday!!!

All of us have events in our lives that we celebrate (anniversaries, birthdays, promotions, holidays, etc.). Children love celebrations. During these special times we have foods we might not get at other times. We play games, sing, dance, laugh and play (just plain old celebrate).

One of the most important events in a child's life is her birthday. This day is usually shared with no one else in the family unless the child happens to be a twin. She is THE MOST important person on this one day of the year. Just think how great it must feel to be the most important person for a day.

Several lessons can be taught while celebrating a child's birthday:
1. Good self-esteem or feeling good about one's self
2. Having fun but still acting appropriately
3. Sharing
4. Being gracious to friends and adults who might attend a party.

Take time to teach your child these lessons, but most of all teach her that she is the most important person in the world for this short time.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Tell Me About My Family

At the beginning of each school year in Preschool classes we talk about our families (mom, dad, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, grandmothers, grandfathers) . Who lives in our house? What relatives come to see us? Do we have special friends who are like a part of our family? What do the members of our family do? Do our parents work outside the home? Do brothers and sisters go to school?

All of these questions are important to little children. They wonder what Dad does when he leaves in the morning. Where does he go? What does he do until he comes home for dinner? They will wonder what Mom does while they are in school.

We often think of little children as just not paying much attention to what goes on around them. This is not exactly true. They are learning who they can trust to be available for them and how all the people who come and go fit into their lives.

Parents can help children sort all this out by talking to them about family and extended family as well as good friends.

Family is important in all of our lives. Understanding family connections is especially important to young children as they develop a sense of trust in their surroundings.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Listening Works Two Ways

We all expect children to listen to us when we are talking to them. If they do not listen we often think they are being disrespectful.

Think about this. It is important for children to listen. They learn this skill by watching us. How often are your children talking to you and you go right on with what you are doing--never looking at the child--only answering with uh-huh or one word answers. Many times when we do this we may not have even heard what the child is saying. We are not listening either. Are we being disrespectful?

The listening game works both ways (parent listening to child and child listening to parent).

Saturday, July 08, 2006

First Day of School

Just imagine. The first day of school has arrived. Your three year old is going to a pre-school program for the very first time. You have talked about how much fun it will be. The child is excited and ready to go.

You arrive at school. As you enter the building, your child's grip on your hand gets tighter and tighter.

When you arrive at the door of his classroom he starts to whimper. You say, "Look at your new friends and all the new toys." He starts to cry. What are you going to do now?

You want to stay and hold him and help him stop crying. You are not sure. Should you?

Children react in so many ways to new situations. Usually you can introduce your child and yourself to the teacher and ask what they would like you to do. Often if you stay for just a few minutes and help your child become involved in some activity while you visit with teacher, he will stop crying and you can quickly leave and let him begin his day.

If he does not stop, tell him you will see him in a while. Leave him with the teacher who will be well qualified to help him feel safe and comfortable in his new classroom.