Category Archives: Education for Kids

The Benefits of Preschool Education

Preschool education can be very beneficial for children, both academically and socially. Preschool prepares children academically, socially and emotionally for kindergarten.

Attending preschool can have long-term academic benefits for your child, by ensuring that they arrive in kindergarten ready to learn. Many preschools offer academic programs as part of their curriculum. They help children to develop the skills that they will need to learn well in a classroom environment, and they begin to teach the basic lessons that will give your child a head start when they arrive in kindergarten. The academic benefits of attending preschool will be particularly important during kindergarten, but the effects will continue throughout their educational experience. Ensuring that your child has the best introduction to learning will give them the best chance of doing well throughout their school career.

Preschool can also help your child to develop their social skills and to become more emotionally mature. Spending time with other children of a similar age will help children to learn about communication, sharing and interacting with others. They will learn how to work and play on their own or in groups, to follow rules and instructions and to cope with being away from you. Preschool can help your child to become more confident and independent. Adjusting to a classroom environment at an early age, and without the additional academic pressures of kindergarten, makes the change much easier for your child.

Different preschool programs will focus on different aspects of the experience. You can choose a preschool program that will help your child to become socially and emotionally ready for school, by finding a preschool with a curriculum that will suit your child. Some programs are very structured and academically focused, while others are more concerned with allowing your child to play and socialize.

Sending your child to preschool can also have benefits for you. Handing over your child into the care of the staff at the preschool can allow you to enjoy some time to yourself, to run some errands without having to look after your child at the same time, or to go to work.

Digital Devices Driving Autism Education

Computers have always proved to be excellent gadgets to facilitate communication and learning for children with autism spectrum disorder. Now, with the emergence of smart phones and the iPad, autistic children have greater opportunities for improving their cognitive, communication and motor skills.

Various organizations that are engaged in supporting families living with autistic kids, have developed apps and programs like “Math on the Farm” and “Make Sentences” that are amazing tools. These autism education apps promote learning among special needs children.

Why digital devices?

Autism apps like “Math on the Farm” and “Make Sentences” running on smart phones and iPads provide greater flexibility and portability than a traditional laptop or computer. These latest digital devices utilize touch screen technology which makes them more accessible to autistic children, especially those who have coordination and learning difficulties. Most of the children using an iPad find that the sliding and tapping motions are much easier to execute than typing. Besides, smart phones and tabs can be taken wherever you want to go. They are much lighter than the bulky assistive communication gadgets of the past and that’s a major advantage of using these devices.

Tabs, smart phones, and iPads are great tools for communication and education, which if one of the several reasons why the “Math on the Farm” and “Make Sentences” autism apps have become hugely popular among special needs children. Apps like these can be customized to the specific needs of the autistic child using them. This helps to make the lessons more attractive and interesting that the conventional learning devices. It has been noticed that many children can use these gadgets better than adults.

The world of autistic children is full of imagery. Words have a lesser importance to them. The “Math on the Farm” and “Make Sentences” autism education apps freely use images to help children string together words and create sentences, and solve mathematics problems. In this way, special needs children are able to communicate with educators, instructors, counselors, and parents sans any frustration.

The benefits

Autism apps like “Math on the Farm” and “Make Sentences”, running on iPads and tabs, offer huge benefits. The direct touch screen ensures that no stylus or mouse is required for input functions. The most important point is that the apps are predictable, accessible, and easily organized. They help breaking down lessons to discrete topics or chunks that make learning more enjoyable. Special needs and autistic children can learn in a better way through the “Math on the Farm” and “Make Sentences” autism apps.

3 Effective Ways To Help Improve Your Child’s Study Habits

In order to perform well in school, children have to develop good home and study habits. How he acts at home reflects how he does at school – if he sits all day watching TV during weekends, he’s likely to show the same lazy attitude towards his school work.

As a parent, it is our job to push our children to the best of their abilities. Making a few simple changes to his lifestyle will boost his performance in school. Here are 3 effective ways to help improve your child’s study habits:

Keep him busy

It’s true that we all have lazy days, just wanting to be in bed all day or on the couch with snacks, watching TV shows. While this is acceptable once in a while, it’s not ideal to be the norm for children.

According to Mayo Clinic, kids who are in front of the TV for more than 2 hours a day are more likely to have health problems, behavioural difficulties and impaired performance in school.

So don’t be a couch potato! Keep yourself and your little one busy by playing at the park, playing educational games and such.

Encourage him to engage in physical activities

Most young kids love being active, that’s because they have so much energy! Put that energy into good use by letting him explore and try different physical activities. Not all kids are into sports, but you can at least do some encouragement (be sure to be active, too!) – keep trying different things and he’s bound to find something that he enjoys.

If your child finds a sport that he grows to love, he’ll learn more about goal-setting and focus, which will be translated into his studies. So get out there and expose your child to a range of sports and physical activities – let him have the freedom of choosing what he wants to try!

Instill a good reading habit

Strong reading skills start at home. From you reading to your toddler bed time stories every night to him choosing his own books to read for fun, a good reading habit is an essential component to a kid’s success in school. Encourage reading to be part of his bed time and play time routines – be sure to allow him to choose what books he’d want to read!

The abovementioned tips, on top of the daily allotted time to study and do homework, can help boost your child’s interest and performance in school! Try these effective ways to improve your child’s study habits!

5 Tips to Buy Children’s Apps

With the festival season not very far away, many children are about to receive electronic gifts from their family and relatives. The good news is that apps have emerged as a promising tool to support literacy in general, and science, mathematics and life skills. The challenge for parents is to pick up the right app, more so, if the child has autism spectrum disorder or has special needs.

#1 The education and entertainment combo

Kids learn when they’re engaged. Educational apps like Just Match or Math on the Farm forge a perfect balance between learning and engagement. The Math on the Farm app teaches mathematics skills in a fun way. Here, the child has to answer multiple-choice type questions to score points. The stories in the app are themed on a farm that has flowers, vegetables, domestic animals, and cattle. Bright colors and interactive animation are the highlights of this app. It’s important that the child learns by playing and the Math on the Farm app does just that.

#2 Play with your child

Studies have shown that children learn better if parents join the fun. Take an active role and choose and app that’s likely to hold your kid’s attention. The Just Match app could be perfect for you. This fun educational app teaches matching skills, where you’ll be shown to game figures and an outline which matches only one of them. You’ve to drag and match the figure with the outline. A lively animation will hail your efforts every time you match correctly.

#3 Select appropriate games

Determine whether a fun educational app is correct for your child. Not all four-year old will be equal. So, different apps would appeal to different kids at different times. Ask yourself whether your child will be able to follow the app’s storyline. The touch screen system is a major advancement in the field of communication. Make sure the fun educational app has audio cues and not only words.

#4 Set limits and encourage other playing and learning forms

Well, setting the proper “media diet” is important for your child. It’s almost like balanced food. The more variety, the better it’s for your child. Consider the number of hours the child will spend in front of a screen. A possible rule could be not allowing TV until the homework is complete. The same should apply to a touch screen, unless it’s required in school, which of course is increasingly happening these days.

#5 Download from reliable, trusted sources

Look for established brands that specialize in fun educational apps. Are you comfortable with the app’s characters? Kids imitate popular media characters. Make sure the language and behavior in fun educational apps are appropriate for your kids. Avoid apps that have a lot of violence or are frightening to play. Such apps may have an adverse impact on the child’s mind. The Math on the Farm and Just Match app can fit the bill perfectly. These two apps are sensitive to children’s needs, and are among the best fun educational apps around.

How Can Homeschooling Potentially Affect Our Society’s Future?

Educational issues abound in conversations, newspapers, and the minds of parents. Does anyone like No Child Left Behind? How can we keep and attract quality teachers? How can we equalize educational opportunities for children, regardless of race, color, and creed? Why do many think the public education system is a failure? These serious issues helped me make a decision that is, perhaps, another major issue in education today.

I homeschool my children and have done so since they were born. With the exception of my daughter’s two-month experiment with the local grammar school because she wanted to “know what school’s like,” they haven’t spent any time in public schools. I homeschool my kids because of No Child Left Behind. My kids get to explore many topics in depth and they don’t have to worry about taking a lot of tests. I homeschool because, while there may be good teachers in the local school, how do I guarantee that my children will get that teacher? At home, they get me, and I am a known quantity. The myriad problems and issues of today’s educational system guided me into the homeschooling decision. These issues have guided and continue to guide other families into making the same decision.

More homeschooling families must have some meaning, and create other issues, for society. Perhaps, some of these issues are as follows.

The market for curricula should increase. Homeschooling families choose, or design, their own curricula. Do you want a religious based curriculum or not? Do you like unit studies? Do you want an online-based curriculum for your children, or do you want to stick to paper and pencil?

Fewer children will be problem teens. Yes, some people think all teens are problems, but if you’ve ever been around a number of homeschooled teens, you can easily change that mindset. These are kids that still actually talk to their parents. These are kids that do stuff for themselves, and their families, that has real value and meaning, so they don’t need to seek meaning as much elsewhere.

Status symbols will hold less value. The majority of homeschooled families don’t have significant quantities of disposable income, so their kids don’t get designer jeans. There’s also a tendency in homeschooled families to be environmental and shop at thrift stores. My kids, and the other kids I’ve seen, don’t seem to have a desire for status symbols as much as the kids in school have. For instance, my daughter thought silly bands (plastic, shaped wrist bands) were kind of cool, but she didn’t profess a desire for them. She didn’t save her allowance for them. None of her friends had them, so why would she need them?

Public schools will get less money. Schools get their funding based on the number of children enrolled in classes and attendance. If the percentage of homeschooled children increases significantly, schools will notice a difference in their monetary resources.

Fewer people will go to college. Homeschooled kids learn how to think for themselves. They learn, well, they learn how to learn. They learn how to teach themselves. Traditionally, you learn basics like reading, writing, and arithmetic in school and you go to college to learn how to think. Homeschooled kids are learning how to think for themselves at a younger age. As a result, a college education won’t be as necessary.

Technology With Kids

Before you snap that laptop closed too quickly on your children’s fingers, take a deep breath. There are numerous ways to insure safe browsing and considerable interaction for your children and computers. This is not intended for teens, control issues require a different approach. This specific target is for your smaller children from three to 10 years old.Take the following hints to secure your control over their browsing habits and have less fear through education.

Bookmark It!

Bookmark the sites you want your kids on. Create folders along the toolbar of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, etc. etc. of the browser you use. Select the Nick.com folder to insert that website for games and coloring. Create another folder for Nick Jr. and yet another Mickey Mouse Games. Leapfrog has a fantastic site and other paid sites are affordable and give your children a great outlet for their creativity and need for education.

Block It!

Every browser has a blocked site list in the Settings. Take advantage of this. This is your time to block social media and even search engines. Set cookies to higher levels of security. Overall, teach your little ones to access the bookmark folders only. They are sponges and are excited to have this piece of technology available.

Buy It!

If you rather not worry or fuss over the home computer or laptop, you can opt for kid friendly devices. Nabi is an Android powered device that allows you to access Mommy and Daddy mode for security purposes. Your tot will have access to safe apps for coloring pictures, read along stories and interactive games.

MEEP! A kid friendly tablet is also available for your children. Gaming apps and interactive videos are fun options for your growing Einstein. Kurio is also available with family friendly apps for your children to browse and use safely. There are various options of safe kid friendly tablets, even Leapfrog has a great alternative for your kids.

You can also choose a kid-friendly browser plug in. Internet Explorer parents can select KidSplorer, a browser dedicated to your children. Any access to other browsers or files will be blocked. You have full control on guidance and what is allowed. KidZui is a Firefox plugin, which is aimed for ages six and up. KidZui offers parents a report to access to determine their kids are browsing in the safe zone. In addition, fun games and interactive activities are available for your children.

Final Word

Technology is here and is going to only expand with time! Communicate with your children and be positive. Show them bookmarks of information to access that is safe. Incorporate a family friendly browser or tablet to share. Children enjoy the opportunity to feel adult, and this is a perfect step towards it. Educational initiatives with online activities boost the learning desire. Encourage it!

Problematic Kids – What Teachers Can Do

Kids are supposed to be cute, kind and obedient, right? But, if you were to encounter the opposite, how would you handle them?

Are you going to get mad, irritated or stubborn as well? Well, the best thing to do when you are in this kind of situation is: be quiet. Yes, never speak any word that could trigger more negative reaction from the one whom supposed to be cute and kind and obedient.

Just observe, listen and wait for them to realize that you have been listening, observing and waiting for them to realize something. If a problematic kid has the needed support to change his behavior, chances are he would look for avenues to do so.

Teachers are mostly trapped in this kind of situation wherein one or a number of their learners have difficulty showing the proper behaviors expected of them. Might be they had not been properly tutored by their parents or adults around them, and now showing disrespect to their teachers, or simply taking their stubbornness to the next level.

Well, here are things to consider before having a fight with problematic kid/s in class:

1. Show you care. Yes, a kid’s trust will be yours once you have shown that you can be trusted. Never initiate any action that could make the situation worse. Try to understand. Listen. Know where they are coming from.Then, do necessary actions upon knowing where you could start your mission.

2. Make them feel loved. When kids feel insecurity because of their parents’ failure in nurturing them, teachers can–and should–do the needed attention. By not overdoing it, they could guide them towards self-confidence and all.

3. Let them understand the situation. Some kids have the ability to get the whole picture of their bad behaviors, only they are having a hard time admitting to themselves and to adults around them that they are making their own existence difficult. Always ask them to put themselves in other people’s perspective so as to get the feeling of being disrespected, hurt or what. By doing so, they would slowly absorb the wisdom of being nice, good and obedient.

4. Help them. Once they have your trust and all, they will do the necessary change in their behaviors. And, of course, they could be one supporters when you are also down and weary and lonely and what.

There you go. Problematic kids are just confused, victims and in need of adult’s understanding. Giving them your time, resources or what could spell a big difference in their quest to finding their spot under the sun, moonlit and star light. Be one caring, loving and nurturing individual to them. Who knows, someday they could be another source of light, love and inspiration for others.

When Parenting Kicks In

When you were a kid, you often heard your parents yelling about how hard is it to be a parent, and that probably left a mark on you. Now you have a kid and you are thinking “What now?!” Well, don’t be afraid, because we have some parenting advice that will assure you that parenting is as hard as you put it. So let’s begin.

There are three things you have to make clear from the beginning. You have three basic jobs to keep your kids fit. That is nurturing, education, and health and welfare. When you realize that you should give your kids food, home, clothes and school, you are already on a good track, but what is most important in parenting is that your kids sooner or later grow up to be good people. Once you get on the side with that, all is set for you to take on a plan.

There is one question you must ask yourself, “What kind of adult do you want your child to become?”

Because what you sow now, you will reap later, as childhood is the age of our lives that defines our character the most.

You should always try to be an example to your kids and show them on yourself how they should be, because children at younger (and even older) age are taking their parents as their role models.

Remember that you are the one that is giving them a vivid image of this world, and that they perceive you as the one who is always there to protect them, which leads us to another thing – balance. You should always keep relatively equal time of work and play and time you spend together with time you spend apart. You should prepare them for life, and sooner you realize that this is your main role, things will be much easier.

Teach him how to differentiate good and bad, prepare him for socializing and prepare him that there are all sorts of people in this world, both good and evil, and that he will need to adapt to his environment.

Set high expectations for his education and behavior, but don’t be too harsh on them if they don’t quite meet those expectations, rather reward them when they do.

You should always let them express themselves and be who they are, and just provide them with enough guidelines to make a strong and healthy person out of them.

Home Computers and Special Ed Home-Schooling Concepts

Many folks decide that the so-called “appropriate education” for their special education child just doesn’t cut the mustard. In many school districts they are correct. This is a travesty in many regards and yet perhaps considering the state of America’s schools, much of the regular curriculum for regular kids in many school districts also leaves a lot to be desired. Okay so, let’s talk.

What’s a special education student parent supposed to do? If they keep their kids at home and tech them from there, will they really have the emotional ability to do this? Do they have the education in behavioral psychology necessary? There may be a lot of doubt there, such this makes sense, however also consider this. Before special education at school, the toughest cases were taught by way of homeschooling from family members, at least enough for those young adults and children to get by in life. With the proper love, caring, and patience, the outcome was tolerable if not favorable.

Today, many special needs kids have parents how have now come to the realization or conclusion that the school system does not have the ability, money, or perseverance to help their child, so there is no other choice but homeschooling. Okay so, might I suggest that if you are one of these parents that you should be leveraging technology to assist you? Did you know that autistic kids playing with computers and communicating with Avatars on the screen come out of their shells better, and learn faster than they do working one-on-one with teachers or in a setting with other special needs children?

It’s true, and there is a ton of research to back this up. If you will get involved with local autistic groups, and educational professionals you can learn more about this. I also suggest you go to Google Scholar and start looking up things like “Special Ed, autistic, avatars” or “learning disabilities, special ed, computer interface,” because once you learn about some of the scientific breakthroughs happening today, you will be less intimidated by the task ahead of you.

Even if you don’t have a special needs child, one with a severe learning disability or autism – you might pass this information on to someone you know who does, and you do know a family with these challenges, we all do. It’s time we start playing it smart because that would be the “most appropriate” thing we could do in special education right now. Please consider all this and think on it.

Competitive PreSchools – Characteristics of a Good PreSchool

Preschool education has been pegged as a foundation to successful education and even success in adult life. But not all preschools are created equal, not even the most expensive ones. Here are characteristics and features a good preschool should have:

  • Clean and secure location. This is a non-negotiable for preschools. We are talking about kids younger than six years old who will be regularly attending classes. It is crucial that even on the way to school they feel secure. No health and safety hazards should be anywhere near the school. A good preschool should not only attend to the mental well-being of a child but also his or her physical well-being. Kids must be able to associate positive feelings and images with the school.
  • Complete and safe facilities. Setting up a room won’t be enough if we want quality public preschools. There are basic facilities kids need round the clock and facilities that are required to keep the school kid-friendly and hazard-free. Simply put, a preschool must have a toilet room, a sanitary area for eating, a separate area for trash, a clinic or medicine cabinet, a no-slip flooring and cabinets for toys and other materials. Furniture and any equipment must have no sharp edges. Electric outlets must have covers and anything else that pose harm to kids should be kept out of their reach and eyesight.
  • Feel-good atmosphere. A preschool should have an atmosphere welcoming to young children. It should not seem boring, rigorous or threatening. The classrooms should be well-ventilated and well-lit. Positive and colorful images and designs should be visible for kids. Staff and teachers should be helpful, friendly and accommodating. Kids must be able to see that they are going to have fun in class and that the school is a place where they can both play and learn.
  • Trained and caring teachers. It is no joke taking care of young kids, what more to teach them. A serious endeavor into preschool education must be accompanied with willingness to invest in teacher training or re-training. If kids are taught the wrong things in preschool, it defeats the entire purpose of the program. Preschool teachers must know how to teach the alphabet and counting, how to read stories and sing songs, how to motivate kids through games, and how to manage a class of young children. They must be caring and nurturing, and should never resort to coercion or physical punishment.
  • Low teacher-student ratio. Studies on the effects off preschool education on academic and life success all say the same thing regarding its potency. Preschool education cannot achieve its goal if it is of low quality, and a factor in quality is the teacher-student ratio. Ideally, one teacher should only handle seven to ten students. The maximum for each class is twenty. Sometimes, having teacher aides or assistants also helps in managing a large class. Young learners need a lot of supervision and personal interaction. If the government is serious with putting up public preschools, the current teacher-student ratio in public elementary schools should not be tolerated in the preschool level.
  • Holistic approach and curriculum. A preschool must not only prepare a child intellectually for entrance into the big school. It must also help children develop their other aspects. Preschool cannot be too focused on academic subjects. It must also address the development of social skills to prepare kids for a bigger group or class. As early as preschool, good qualities and values like self-confidence and love of country can already be introduced. Creativity and self-expression should also be a priority in the curriculum, keeping kids motivated and interested in schooling. In the words of Dr. Barbara Willer of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, “Your 3- or 4-year-old will learn the fundamental building blocks of reading, writing, math, and science, as well as how to interact with teachers and classmates…[but] the overarching goal of any preschool should be to help a child feel good about himself as a learner and to feel comfortable in a school-like setting.”
  • Some structure or routine. What differentiates a preschool from a daycare center is that it has a more defined structure. A good preschool has a set schedule for activities, from writing lessons to play time to nap time. It also requires regular attendance-it is not mere babysitting. In the class, routine chores may be done to instill in kids a sense of capability and responsibility. These can be as simple as helping out in distributing materials or in tidying up the room. This structured quality of a preschool ascertains that the kids are not wasting time but are learning each day.
  • Variety of Instructional Materials. Kids need a lot of stimulation-their intellectual stimulation is highly dependent on sensory stimulation. A good preschool has to have a wide variety of instructional aides. Pictures, storybooks, recorded songs and models or realia are some of these. Kids are also very tactile learners. Manipulatives such as puzzles and peg-boards help kids develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination essential for writing and other tasks. Buttons or marbles are less expensive items which can be used for teaching counting. The idea is for children to have fun while learning.
  • Play area and materials. It is but natural for kids to play. Therefore, there should be an area or time for play. Aside from the usual toys, blocks should be available. These help develop spatial and problem-solving skills as well as creativity. Play can also come in the form of art (children love to draw). The school should never run out of paper, crayons and clay. The idea is for children to learn while having fun.
  • Physical activity. You heard it right! A good preschool is not afraid to get physical. Kids must have the opportunity-everyday-to move about and play, whether indoors or outdoors. This helps them practice their motor and other physical skills.
  • Language-sensitive, language-rich. Since kids will learn more about language-and learn a new one, at that-in preschool, they must be as exposed to it as possible. Whether the new language is Filipino or English, there should be materials available everywhere. Posters on the walls, labeled objects and storybooks should be staples in class. On the other hand, the preschool must also be sensitive to the community’s mother tongue. Many countries have multi-lingual education, and preschools must care not to ban children from using their mother tongue. Moreover, teachers should not hesitate to use the mother tongue in explaining and teaching.