The Beatitudes in Early Childhood In teaching the Beatitudes, we are teaching the children how to be good people. This is a lesson in social skills, ie… showing empathy, sympathy, passion, caring, and love. This is teaching them how to be kind and forgiving, generous, and selfless. We might even call this teaching of The Beatitudes in Early Childhood as teaching life skills. We aren’t born with these skills, they are learned. The Beatitudes are a series of blessings that are found in Chapter 5 of Matthew in the Bible. These blessings were given by Jesus to his disciples during the Sermon on the Mount. Each blessing offers a future reward to the person possessing a specific character quality. Jesus summarized those values as poor in spirit (in need of God), mourning (recognizes a need for forgiveness), meekness (humility), hunger for righteousness (recognition of one’s own unrighteousness), mercy (extending mercy to others), purity (choosing to avoid sin), and peacemaking (seeking harmony and unity), Like the law, no one can keep the beatitudes perfectly. But they are the goal for all who would seek to live under God’s rule and be a good Christian. While this is a lesson for early childhood education, we can certainly all use reminders. During the month of January, Kidz World studies The Beatitudes and teaches the children these much-needed life skills. We encourage you to talk with your child about The Beatitudes. What are they learning? How can you help teach these skills at home?
One of the many traditions my family has is making Christmas ornaments. We make something different every year. Each year when we unpack the ornaments to put on the tree, we are flooded with memories of the time we made that ornament. It brings smiles every year… even when they don’t turn out quite like you planned! Salt dough ornaments – This is one of my favorite Christmas ornaments because you can make so many things and utilize those fine motor skills with forming, painting, and decorating!! These are good ways to capture tiny handprints and writing personal messages for presents. Salt dough will last for years but a word of caution… you must store them inside in a Ziploc bag to keep out moisture. I accidentally put them in the box with the glass ornaments in the shed one year. Needless to say, I had a soggy mess! #1 Salt dough ingredients: – 4 cups Flour, – 1 cup Salt, – 1.5 cups Wam Water (maybe a little more) Mix all ingredients and knead into a nice pliable dough. You can use cookie cutters or free hand to make any shape including letters. It takes several hours for your dough to completely dry. You can speed the process by putting them in the oven on 250 for a while. The time depends on how thick your ornament is… you just have to check on them to make sure they don’t burn. Once they are cool you can begin painting
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass Are you a parent wrestling with the decision to put your child in an early childhood educational center? Maybe you are trying to determine what type of center to choose. Or, were you aware there are different types of centers? Unless you have worked in the field or have had previous experience with childcare, you may not be aware there is a difference. The benefits of early childhood education will help you see the difference and be able to make a more informative choice between the two types of care. Center Types A daycare typically uses no form of curriculum. There are no set standards of measurement for development. The basic needs of the children are met; they are fed, cleaned, changed, nurtured, kept safe, and allowed socialization. The center may or may not teach. They may or may not have staff who are certified in teaching ECE.An early childhood educational center teaches children as early as six-weeks of age to five years old. Measurements such as Ages & Stages are used to teach and assess the child’s developmental progress. ECE centers utilize age appropriate and approved early childhood curriculums such as Pinnacle, Creative, Montessori, Reggio-Amilia, HighScope, and Whole Brain to name a few of the most popular. Teaching staff have or are obtaining certification to teach ECE. Learning is done through activities in the curriculum with interaction from the teacher and classmates. It is
Teaching STEAM in Early Childhood “The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.” -Seymour Papert Often, I have heard adults state they were not creative or imaginative. What if they had been given that opportunity when they were a child? Would the results be the same? I do not believe they would. Providing a child, the materials to use their imagination strengthens those skills and encourages them to want more. Introducing a child to STEM or STEAM is the best thing we, as teachers and parents, can do for the children. Teaching STEAM in early childhood is a positive movement of ingenious teaching through providing materials and allowing the child’s mind to explore, create, and learn. STEM or STEAM STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. STEAM is the addition of Art into the mix. Science, math, and art have been taught in schools for what seems like forever. Nothing new there, but is there? Yes, it’s the way these areas of focus are taught that has changed over the years. When I was in school, you read your math assignment, then you completed the problems making sure to show your work. Today, the math is lifted off the page into three dimensions. The child is given materials. They put their hands on these materials and they manipulate them in a way that helps the learning process. The same with science and art. In art class we graduated
Did you know the heat inside a closed vehicle can rise by 50 degrees above the outside temperature within 30 minutes and 19 of those degrees happen within the first 10 minutes? Let’s put those figures into the weather here in Kentucky this past week. Take, for instance, a high of 92 degrees… add 50 more and the inside temperature of the car is 142 degrees. In the first 10 minutes the temperature would have already reached 119. Thorough studies have been completed and found that even leaving the window partially down does not reduce the amount of heat accumulating in the vehicle as the heat is absorbed by the interior of the vehicle. It is never OK to leave kids in cars… not even for a few minutes. Most of us are aware just how hot the interior of a vehicle gets. Have you ever sat on a hot leather seat, touched a hot steering wheel, grabbed the metal of the seat belt? No doubt, you quickly removed yourself from the hot item. It hurt! Heat Stroke The normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees. Heat stroke is caused from the body heating up and not being able to release that heat. Heat stroke starts to occur when the body temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Given that in the scenario above, the outside temperature is 92 and within 10 minutes the temperature inside the vehicle is 119, it is easy to see how quickly heat stroke can occur. Add the
“I was a wonderful parent before I had children.” ― Adele Faber. Is that not the truth of it? When we become parents, we look back on past experiences of other people and their parenting skills. We have decided what we will and won’t do with our children. We have it all figured out. Then, suddenly, we become the parent with the toddler pitching a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store floor and all eyes are upon us! Now we are faced with all that we thought we knew and our plans to be a parent verses what is happening in the floor in front of us. Take a breath! Before rationality goes flying by us out the door, before we delve into an emotional reaction… let’s think about center mindedly diffusing the situation with our emotionally minded child. Understanding the Mind – Emotional Using the tantrum situation above, let’s get started trying to understand what’s going on. That child you love so dearly lays sprawled in the floor, screaming like he’s being tortured, kicking and flailing about like a caged animal, is having an emotional reaction to a situation. Maybe you know what the trigger is, maybe you missed it. The child is reacting from an emotional mind. A young child does not have the ability yet to think from a reasoning mind. What the child needs is for the parent to understand their emotion. Not approve it and not deny it. The emotional mind only sees
“The human brain is the most fabulous organ system in the universe.” Dr. Ben Carson There are approximately 800 million people in the world that cannot read. Is that not astonishing here in the year 2019? So, we start with the people that cannot read and go up the scale as there are varying degrees of ability to read. The Fleishmann Reading Ease Test measures the difficulty of the words to read and classifies them into grade levels. Did you know the most common conversation we have is at a sixth-grade level? Here’s where it gets interesting. Dr. Carson related the amazing performance of the human brain. The brain is truly like a sponge and absorbing information at incredible speed. The key to feeding and sustaining the brain’s development is reading! This desire to read must be instilled in our children early in life, far before they enter elementary school. Introduction of vocabulary words in early childhood education is imperative to building those reading skills. Have you ever attempted to read a document in a foreign language? Maybe you could decipher a couple words but was not able to pull out enough information to determine what the document meant. You didn’t get the full understanding. That is exactly the problem many children and adults have when reading the English language. It is above their reading ability and they do not comprehend the vocabulary being used. Comprehension is an imperative skill in reading. Your child brings you their favorite book to
Keeping Our Children Safe in the Sun As a parent, part of our job is to constantly worry about the safety of our children. Are they eating the right foods, getting enough exercise, are they on target with their developmental milestones… oh, there is so much to worry about! How about we put one of those worries to bed now with some important information to help get you through the summer! How do we choose the right sunscreen for our child? After reading the information below, you will be able to make an informed decision that is best for your child. Yay… one less thing to worry about. How do I prevent sunburn? Of course, the best way to prevent sunburn is to stay out of the sun, but how realistic is that? Besides, being out in the sun safely, is good for us. Try to limit your time in the sun when it’s at its peak hours, 10:00am-4:00pm. The next best option is to wear protective clothing which covers the majority of the skin. Who wears pants and long sleeves during the summer in the heat? So, that brings us to a good sunscreen. There are two types of sunscreen. Organic: which absorbs UV radiation and converts it to a small amount of heat. Examples include cinnamates, salicylates and benzophenones.Inorganic: which reflects and scatters UV radiation. Examples include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Inorganic sunscreens are typically less irritating to skin. Good to know for use on children! There