Monthly Archives: May 2020

Sending Your Kid to Kindergarten? Here Is What You Need to Do

While some children are excited for starting kindergarten others are packed with jitters and don’t want to change the routine. It is important for the parents to know how to calm the nerves of their little ones and make them look forward to school instead of refusing to leave the comfort of home.

It is also perfectly normal if your child gets increasingly uncomfortable as the school days approach. However, it is better to start tackling this situation early on so when the school days start, your kid is better prepared to handle the new environment without feeling scared. Kindergarten experience is important for any child’s growth and later education and therefore it is pertinent to make this experience fun and rewarding instead of frightening.

Read on for four things that you can start doing to ease your child into accepting a change of surroundings and prepare for the first day of school.

Let Them Interact with Outdoor Environment

While kindergarten is the official beginning of a child’s life out of home, the most effective means of learning to interact with the outside world remain informal social communication. It is parents’ job to put the summer holidays at use and take the kids out in commercial playgrounds or playlands to make them interact and socialize with other children of their own age. If the child is already familiar with meeting new people and has a sufficient social skillset, kindergarten would not be so scary.

Take Them For a Visit to Their Future School

A casual walk around the school building will increase the child’s familiarity with classrooms, playground equipment, cafeteria and bathrooms and it won’t be as daunting as seeing the building on the first day and being on their own. Show them the interesting places around the school and instill in them an excitement to be able to play and learn at the new school. Colorful paintings and classrooms are ways to make the school experience more interesting for kids and by showing them all that beforehand can make it more exciting and less frightening for your little ones.

Teach The Basics at Home

Sometimes the children are not only afraid of a new environment but also of falling short as students. Help them overcome this fear by teaching alphabets, numbers and other basics at home before they start school. They don’t have to excel in them but it will make it easier for them to recognize their studies and learn faster in school. It will also boost their confidence when they come across something in class that they are already familiar with.

Keep it Light

Don’t give your children the impression that kindergarten is something they have to do and they have no say in it. Instead, cultivate a sense of adventure and excitement and gradually prepare your little ones for the valuable experiences ahead. While coaching them about kindergarten focus as much on friendships and play as on studies and intelligence. Introduce them to new topics and show them how they will learn more about their favorite activities and topics in school among friends.

5 Questions To Ask A Potential Online Tutor

The education systems are evolving across the world. An increasing number of people are hiring tutors in order to help their kids study more easily. Irrespective of the objective that you may have, we suggest that you look for a tutor who can teach your kids in the right style. Given below are a few questions that you may want to ask the tutor before hiring him.

What is your teaching style?

Not all students learn the same way. Therefore, it’s important for a teacher to structure the lessons based on the learning style of the student. So, before you hire a tutor, we suggest that you find out if they can format the lessons according to the learning style of your kid.

Do you have a plan?

Answering this question will be difficult, especially if the tutor has not taken a look at the schoolwork of a kid. Once the tutor goes through a kid’s schoolwork, they can have a pretty good idea of the needs of the kid and then they can put together a plan for the achievement of desired results. Actually, the tutor should have specific methods and strategies in order to identify the problems and understand the learning behavior of the kid.

Why do you tutor?

The purpose of tutoring is to develop a productive relationship between a student and a tutor. As a matter of fact, good tutors are passionate and want their students succeed. As a matter of fact, best tutors have a keen interest in the progress of the student. Moreover, they do whatever they can in order to help their student get the highest score.

Do you have any references?

Although reliable references are a source of information, you will find it hard to get them. On good online tutoring sites, you can find written reviews and lesson ratings from students who worked with good tutors. As a matter of fact, reading reviews from students and parents can give you a great insight into the personality and subject proficiency of the tutor. So, if you are going to hire a tutor, it’s a good idea to get references. Aside from this, make sure that the references are genuine.

Can the tutor help your kid become an independent learner?

Actually, there should be a valuable and effective relationship between a student and a teacher. As a matter of fact, mastering and memorizing specific skills and topics may give results, but this won’t be a long-term solution to your kid’s educational needs. Some lessons may revolve around a certain topic, but it’s important that the tutor understands and likes the logic and theory behind the concepts. The reason is that it will help the student deal with the obstacles and avoid frustration down the road.

So, if you have been looking for an online tutor for your kid, we suggest that you ask the above questions to a potential tutor. This way it will be easier for you to choose the best tutor based on the needs of your kid.

Kid Internet Safety – Is Social Media A Safe Place to Educate Our Kids?

Many teachers have started to embrace social media instead of banning them. Government education bodies across the USA, Canada, the EU & other countries have published “Internet Usage Guidelines For Schools”, which include components on how to use social media and share information between teacher, parent, and kid & keep the kids safe.

Even though many have started to embrace this movement, there are many teachers that are still cautious of social network usage amongst kids, especially at school. I strongly feel that their uneasiness of the social media usage is based on negative media publicity and/or the pure ignorance of the technology itself. With this being said, there are many arguments that the educational benefits of social media outweigh the risk, and the teachers in support of the social media in classrooms worry that the schools are missing out on an opportunity to incorporate tools that many students already know how to use.

It doesn’t mean parents and teachers put down their guards about the Internet dangers for kids, but it does mean get involved & get up to speed to help & work with your kid on the Internet.

In a pilot project, which started as a Facebook-like forum, a seventh grade teacher showed with her social media program 20% of students (school wide) were completing extra assignments for no credit, grades increased more than 50%, and absenteeism was reduced by more than a third.

Here are 5 reason why I feel that school should embrace social media just like the seventh grade teacher that I mentioned above.

1. Social Media is Not Going Away

Contextually, things have not really changed. In the early 1990s the debate was similar as it today. School administrators were adamantly against allowing access to the Internet – the big fear being pornography and predators. If you fast forward, it seems as though we’re confronted with similar issues today. Can you imagine a school not being connected to the Internet now? Impossible!

However, in pure numbers and usage there has been a big change. For example, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, almost ¾ of seventh to twelfth graders have at least one social media profile, and the survey group used social sites more than they played games or watched videos online. Also, you cannot ignore social medias like Facebook have grown to over 500 million users in 7 years, and I haven’t even gone into the details of sites like Myspace, Tagged, MyYearBook, Ning, Hi 5, and LinkedIn. Social media growth is exponential.

Also, here’s something else that endorses social networks are here to stay. Not to long ago, some public schools in the UK had an Internet “lock down”, and the students basically rebelled. Marks, absenteeism & attitudes changed during this “lock down”. Unlike the teacher who had positive results with her pilot “Facebook” program, the kids who went through this “lock down” period seemed not to take responsibility for their actions.

Bottom line – social networks are here to stay. Parents or teachers should get on board – learn it & teach it.

2. Kids Are Better Learners When Engaged

A 3rd and 4th grade Minnesota teacher started using blogs in his classroom in 2007 as a way to motivate students to write. The results were amazing. Students loved it.

In many examples, students have shown to become keenly aware that blogging is not just writing on a piece of paper that gets handed to the teacher, and gets handed back with a smiley. They know that blogging is a shared concept, and friends or other people may even stumble across their writings. There is a concept of power in that notion.

Kids are enthusiastic about in-class blogging. In the pilot Facebook project previously mentioned, students got to school earlier and the overall quality of their work increased.

Parents and teachers – when kids are engaged, they learn better. We need to become engaged before we help them become engaged.

3. Safe Social Media Tools and They’re Free

A teacher started using blogs to teach kids, and ended up developing a ‘social media platform’. His platform allowed him to monitor and approve everything that the kids were posting online, and kept kids safe from inappropriate advertising. This teacher then developed a similar web-based tool, which teachers use today. The tool is called kidblog.org.

Kidblog is one of the hottest Web 2.0 tools in K-8 education, which allows teachers to easily blog with their classes in a teacher-kid-friendly environment. Teachers tend to gain a sense of the interaction taking place as the students navigate their way through their class members’ blogs, and teachers can also invite other classes and guests to participate in the class’ discussions, thereby broadening the readership audience and increasing motivation for students. Multiple teachers can also collaborate within a Kidblog class and share moderation responsibilities.

From a safety perspective, teachers have full administrative control over all comments, posts, and privacy settings. The administrator has the ability to preview and approve (or unapprove) content published by students (and other visitors, if allowed by their privacy settings). Kidblog endorses privacy & does not collect any personal information from students.

Kidblog also never subjects students to advertising, so teachers can feel comfortable knowing that the publishing environment is free from distractions.

Even though Kidblog.org is extremely popular there are other equally popular tools, such as Edmodo & Edublogs.

The key element – these tools are safe and 100% free.

4. Schools Stealing Public Social Media Time

According to a Neilson study, between 2004-2009 the amount of time 2-11 year old kids spent online increased by 63%. One way schools have used this number to their advantage is to compete with other social media sites for part of this time.

One school in the USA launched a pilot program and had their kids complete all their assignments on the school’s propriety social media. As a result, the students spent about five fewer hours weekly on Facebook and Myspace so they could do their assignments.

Another example, a teacher would post an extra assignment that students could complete after school every day. The posting was done on school propriety social media. One day she had students comment on one of President Obama’s speeches; another day she had them make two-minute videos of something on their walk home that was a bad example of sustainability. These assignments had no credit attached to them. The only intrinsic reward was interacting with other students in the digital world.

The results speak for themselves – one social media displaced by another, and has accommodated students desires to communicate with each other, and in a safe way.

5. Social Media Encourages Collaboration

Social media as a teaching tool has a natural collaborative element. Students critique and comment on each other’s assignments, work in teams to create content, and can easily access each other and the teacher with questions or to start a discussion.

Traditional education, on the other hand, typically involves teacher-given lectures, students with their eyes on their own papers, and not talking neighbors. Then, when a student gets into the business world they are literally thrown into groups, expected to produce, but unprepared and lack the collaboration skills.

Many studies show the compelling nature for kids to use social media tools in school, especially how they collaborate. It was initially thought that the shy kids would drift away from collaboration, but in fact if they had a point to make they would make it equally as well as a non-shy kid.

It’s easy to see that students enjoy interacting with each other, which also happens to be in a safe and secure manner.

Conclusion

The negative media publicity has actually had a positive impact, and made our school administrators fully aware of the Internet dangers and thus developed programs and technology to address these concerns and keep our kids safe at schools. As a by- product of these tools, there is a reduction in absenteeism, and our kids are being properly prepared for the collaborative world.

I believe we are on the right track to educating our kids correctly and keeping our kids safe on the Internet while at school.

Preparing Kids for High School Math

Parents must make sure of the topics and concepts that help their kids get ready for high school Math. It would be good for parents to keep in touch with tutors to check up their kids’ progress in basic algebraic concepts to help them learn these topics with more focus at home.

Multiplication plays a major role in advanced concepts at the high school level. If students develop strong multiplicative skills, they would easily do Measurement, Probability and Algebra at high school with ease. Parents should enable their kids to think multiplicatively, not just remembering times tables. Having a strong memory of times tables also is helpful for kids to do sums quickly in the future, not to waste time on adding numbers to get the answers.

A Number system with place value is an important concept which should be understood by students at a very early stage. With simple examples, parents need to enforce this concept in the minds of their kids so that they do sums with ease at the high school level. Similarly, they could provide small tasks like estimating the length of a platform, capacity of a bucket with water to help their kids learn estimation in terms of length, capacity and mass in concepts.

Thus, parents have many responsibilities in shaping their kids’ mind towards getting ready for Math. If they make sure that their children are mentally and prepared for facing challenging tasks in school through their motivation, half of the work is done and the children are ready for facing it without diffidence.

It is also parental obligation to imbibe confidence in their kids’ mind towards Math right from their kindergarten. Instead of imposing a threatening atmosphere on their kids regarding homework, they should bring in a positive attitude and fighting spirit in kids for tackling tasks. Children get the resilience to fall back when they struggle with question in high school, once they have been imbibed with confidence to do Math right from their childhood.

When children get out of track and find it difficult to stay in tune with classes, parents want to solicit help websites to put their kids back on track. Online Math tutoring websites help parents greatly in this regard with their personalized sessions wherein kids are allowed to learn at their pace.

When students pick up the necessary skills in Math right from the start of their education, doing at the school level is not a great problem for them. Tutors assure this strength in students when they connect to the tutors from a very early period of learning.

Parents thus have a major responsibility in preparing their kids for Math.

Modern Techniques Used To Home School Kids

Home schooling your kid is a big responsibility. But it combines fun and learning to make the educational experience for your kid a memorable one.

Here are some strategies brought to you by experienced home schooling parents. Try using some of them to create a fulfilling learning experience, for you and your kid.

Strategy# 1 – It is never too late to change the curriculum

Yes, you can even do it mid-way in the academic year. Sometimes you might pick books for a course from your favorite publishers or you might buy a packaged curriculum only to find your child does not like it. Don’t hesitate to change it and sell it when you realize it is not working. Get feedback from other parents who are home schooling their kids. Explore online and go for curriculum resources with high ratings and good reviews.

Startegy#2 – Every child demands different educational approach

One of your kids might be more of the kinesthetic type while the other would learn better visually. Figure out the strengths of your child. For instance, a kid learnt names of American states and capital while skating with his father, in a day. The same kid if told to sit down and learn would have taken probably 10 days because it would not have interested him.

Strategy# 3 – Cover most of the syllabus in the morning

It is better to teach in mornings. It is the freshest time and children can pay more attention to what is being taught to them. It allows you to say focused on what you are teaching. Covering most of the work in morning leaves the kid enough time to go play or work on a project and frees you to do household chores.

Strategy # 4 – You do not necessarily have to cover week learning in 5 days, just like school

You could cover the week learning in 4 days or even 7. Make decisions that are best for your child. You could cover topics like spelling and handwriting quickly so that less time is consumed and the children do not get bored. You can move at your own pace when you homeschool your kid.

Strategy # 5- Get help of an educational consultant

An educational consultant helps the family work out the curriculum to homeschool the kid. Educational consultants guide and monitor child’s progress. Educational plans are developed according to child’s capabilities. Some educational consultants also include field trips to enhance child’s learning.