Helping With Homework
Children are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in homework according to a statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. When parents show an interest in homework, children learn that what they do is important to their parents. Helping with homework can have many benefits for children. And who knows? Parents might even learn a thing or two!
How to Help
If your child has continuing problems with homework, talk with his teacher. It may be the child has difficulty in the classroom that requires evaluation for a learning disorder or attention disorder.
Preparing Your Child for a New Sibling
For parents, the arrival of a baby is a happy event. This is not necessarily true for an older child. While there probably is no way to keep your child from resenting - however slightly - the shift of the spotlight to a newborn, there are ways to help children cope with the future scene stealer. By steadily preparing your child for your newborn's arrival, you can help alleviate fears and let them share in your excitement.
The way you explain to a child that a new baby is on the way is a personal choice. The amount of detail a child is able to understand, of course, will depend on her age and development. When to tell a child about the pregnancy is also an individual issue: some parents, for example, announce the news to children right from the start, while others cautiously wait until after the first trimester.
Answers to a child's curious questions about the mechanics of pregnancy are also linked to a child's level of development. Meg Koppel, mother of now 8-month-old Jonah and 6-year-old Tobias, decided to face the issue head-on. "Tobias asked a lot of questions about where the baby came from, how it got inside of me, and so on. We tried to explain, without getting too graphic."
For very young children, the idea of a 9-month wait for a sister or brother may not add up in their heads. Most preschoolers have yet to grasp the concept of time, says Christine Jennings, coordinator of parent education at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. To make the waiting period more understandable to young children, Jennings suggests linking the arrival of a newborn with a season rather than a month.
Your child's age and development should be considered when sharing other information about the future event. Your best bet is to take your cues from your child. If your child shows an interest in learning more about newborns, examining pictures of herself when she was a baby, reading books, or visiting friends with infants can help her to adjust to the upcoming event. Children may also want to accompany you on a visit to the doctor to hear the baby's heartbeat, help you pack your bag for the hospital, or think of potential baby names.
It can be also useful - and startling - to talk to your child about what she expects the baby to be able to do. "Children often feel that a new baby will be an instant playmate, and the fact that they sleep most of the time can be a huge disappointment," Jennings says.
How Play Helps Your Child's Development
From earliest infancy, play is the primary way children learn. Through play, children explore their bodies, their relationships with their parents and peers, and the world around them. An older baby who repeatedly drops a wooden block from his high chair is playing, but he's also an amateur researcher. How did the block sound hitting the floor? Is the sound the same on the carpet? Will mommy pick up the block? Will mommy frown or smile?
In addition to encouraging exploration and relationship development, play also helps children develop more subtle verbal and logical skills. Playing house, for example, reinforces the idea of the future tense and sequential thought, as the child says, "First I'll set the table, then we'll sit down to eat." Children's fantasy games let them explore new situations and model roles they have observed. If parents take an active part in their child's play, play can help build self-esteem. When a parent praises the stunning use of red in a toddler's picture or responds to a baby's cooing, kids learn that what they have to offer is interesting and entertaining to the larger world.
Developmentally Appropriate Play
How do you know if your child's play is on target for his age? One way to check is to compare your child's play to the developmental questions asked by your child's doctor at regular visits. Your child's doctor might ask if your child is playing peek-a-boo, pulling himself up in the crib, or reaching for a bright object when he's on the floor, for example.
Don't panic, however, if your child isn't exactly on schedule. Children develop at different rates. But if your baby hasn't reached a certain milestone - such as rolling over - you might lend a hand in helping your child to the next level of development.
"It may be that you're holding your child too often, or that there is nothing appealing for the baby to roll towards," notes Gail Loeb, Director of Community Outreach and Training at the Hall-Mercer Child and Parent Center at Pennsylvania Hospital. "As your child's favorite playmate, you might get down on the carpet eyeball to eyeball with your baby and play with him, showing him how to roll," says Loeb. "By taking an active part, a parent can help a child progress.
Choosing and Instructing a Babysitter
Entrusting someone to care for your child can be a difficult thing to do. Finding a qualified babysitter requires time and effort, but your reward is assurance that your child is in capable hands.
The recommendations of people you know and trust are your best bet for finding a reliable and capable babysitter. If you're new to the area and don't know how to go about finding a sitter, ask your neighbors or coworkers for recommendations, or inquire at your place of worship.
Interviewing prospective sitters and checking their references will give you peace of mind. You may want to invite the sitter over for a "dry run" while you are at home so you can familiarize her with your household and observe how she interacts with your child.
Before you walk out the door, give the sitter all the help you can:
Talking with Children
Most children love to talk about themselves, their homes, families, adventures and many other things. One of the most important things to remember when talking with children is to be a good listener. At Head Start, we work hard to assist children in the development of expressive language skills and the ability to expand their social competence through language. Talking with, instead of talking to, children is an important part of our program.
Some suggestions when talking with children to promote effective language skills are:
When giving verbal directions to a child, there are some basic rules that should be considered. They are:
Speak directly to the child face-to-face; do not yell across the room
Express your request in a positive way, examples of this are:
Fire Prevention in the Home
Fires are likely to start in many places in the home including the kitchen, living room, bedroom and storage areas such as, the attic, basement, workroom or storeroom. Causes of fire include overheated or overloaded electrical wire, cigarette ashes, smoldering ashes in the couch, sparks from the fireplace, unattended outdoor fires and barbecues, appliances in poor repair and unattended cooking in the kitchen.
Every family should have a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. Plan and practice two ways out of each room in your home. If you plan to use windows as your second way out, be sure they open easily and you have what you need to get to the ground safely.
Fire Safety and Protection Tips
Play is Learning
The saying that "play is child's work" is the basic premise of the Head Start curriculum. We believe that through play children learn and acquire skills, which are the foundation for both social competence and school readiness. In preparing the classroom setting and activities, the teaching staff prepares to give the children the maximum in opportunities to explore their environment through touching, seeing, smelling, hearing, and sometimes even tasting. Through play children learn:
National children's Dental Health Month
The annual observance of children's dental health began as a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio on February 3, 1941. In 1981. the program was extended to a month-long celebration know today as National Children's Dental Health Month. Since 1941, the observance has grown from a two-city event into a nationwide program. The American Dental Association produces a program planning kit for its state and local societies and dental alliances to assist them in local promotional efforts.
A Child's Dental Care Begins Before Birth
Teeth begin to form between the third and sixth months of pregnancy. Good health and habits are important for development of the unborn child. Unless a physician recommends otherwise, pregnant women should remember to consume dairy products, which are the best sources for calcium, the main building block for bones and teeth.
The First Dental Visit
The ADA recommends parents take children to the dentist by the child's first birthday. In addition to checking for decay and other possible problems, the dentist will teach you how to properly clean your child's teeth daily, evaluate any adverse habits such as thumb sucking, and identify your child's fluoride needs.
Information You Need When Enrolling Your Child in School
Before Your Child Starts Kindergarten
What do you need to know about Kindergarten?
Child Abuse and Neglect
Federal and State Legislation's Definition of Child Abuse and Neglect
Child Abuse and Neglect is, at a minimum:
Sexual Abuse is:
The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.
The rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children.
Withholding of Medically Indicated Treatment
The failure to respond to the infant's life threatening conditions by withholding treatment (including appropriate nutrition, hydration, and medication) that in the treating physician's or physicians' reasonable medical judgment, would be most likely effective in ameliorating or correcting all such conditions.
Physical abuse is characterized by the infliction of physical injury as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking or otherwise harming a child. The parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child; rather the injury may have resulted from over-discipline or physical punishment.
Child neglect is characterized by failure to provide for the child's basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional.
The assessment of child neglect requires consideration of cultural values and standards of care as well as recognition that the failure to provide the necessities of life may be related to poverty.
Parent Training Materials
See the attachments below.