Archives for the month of: September, 2015

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Children usually fear making major life changes just like anyone else. This may bring about difficulties in adapting to the new circumstances. If your child is about to join preschool, they may have preschool fears that need to be addressed. As a parent, your fear may be greater and this may make the preschool fears worse. So how should you deal with these fears?

Dialogue is a major step in understanding the fears your child is facing. In some situations, getting your child to talk about their fears presents an avenue where viable solutions can be identified. For example, if your child fears making new friends, you should encourage him or her and let them understand that it may not be easy but it can be achieved. In other cases, the child may not even be aware of the cause of their fears. You should not scold them for this but help them in overcoming these fears.

Help your child in overcoming these preschool fears by helping him in coming with the solutions to his fears. For example, instead of offering the solution, give him clues and let him come up with the solution. Solutions that are dictated to them may not be implemented but when the child comes up with the decision himself, he will have the drive to put it into practice. You can help him by playing games that give clues to possible solutions.

Great care should be taken by both teachers and parents when children are joining preschool. You should speak to the teachers to ensure that they understand your child well. This will minimize conflict that may make their fears worse off. In addition, you may also speak to other parents in the school so that the children may enjoy an environment free of unnecessary negative energy. If your child for example is afraid of using the playground in the school, help them understand that it is safe, that their teachers will keep them safe and that it is fine to play with the other children.

Do not build up on the fears by scolding then unnecessarily, threatening them or making them feel inferior to other children. You may also start preparing him or her for preschool an year before they join. Help him in understanding the importance of school and help them to learn how to cope with change effectively. For example, you may take him or her on several tours of the preschool long before he or she joins to familiarize with the area.

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453970051Everyone, adult and child, experiences anxiety. What is important is how we deal with the stressor that makes us anxious. Kids with anxiety look to their parents for verbal as well as behavioral cues. This can either help them manage their stress more effectively or cement it further.

The Key Word is Management

As a parent you want to see your child happy and secure. When you see her anxious and scared you may go into a protective mode and be tempted to remove her from situations that will make her anxious. Do resist this temptation. While it may be difficult for you as a mom or a dad, we truly believe that by allowing your child to face the stressor you will make it possible for her to deal with it effectively. Children learn coping mechanisms. You want to ensure that hers are proactive and do not strengthen her anxiety.

It is Good to Talk

Encourage your kid to speak her mind freely, and without interruptions. Do phrase your questions well. You do not want to end up asking her, “Are you worried about your math test?” Instead you could phrase the question to simply ask her how she feels about it. Let her know that it is alright to feel a bit concerned, and then focus on how she well has been prepared for it. You could also ask her to share her ideas on how she could formulate a plan to deal with her anxiety. For instance, if she is worried about a stranger coming to pick her up after school, then you could decide on a ‘safe’ password, that will reassure her.

It is important to tell children that everyone feels anxious or stressed at some time or the other. What is important is how well one deals with the situation. This will also encourage her to tolerate the stress instead of avoiding it.

Parents are important role models for children. Kids with anxiety are known to observe how their parents deal with stress, and reflect a similar attitude. You can talk to your child about things that worry you but also talk to her about how you work through your anxiety.

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Deciding to home-school your kids may be a daunting decision. Aside from being the parent and provider, you now have to assume the role of a teacher as well. The thought of where to begin with home-schooling often sends many parents into panic mode and puts them off this idea completely. However, if you would like to home-school your kids, it is achievable. Although, there are challenges as with all things in life, there are also many great homeschooling tips to help you get there.

Homeschooling Tips

Parents that attempt homeschooling often try to duplicate what happens in traditional classrooms as they think this is the best way to teach their child, however, it is not always the case. You should forget about schedule, textbooks and sitting at desks all the time. Despite popular belief, home-schooled kids can be taught valuable social skills, even if they are not sitting in a classroom with 20 other kids. Connect with other families that are doing the same thing. This will open up a world of resources and support that will make the entire process manageable for you and your kids. Technology is meant to be used to help you in your task to educate your children, but it should not be depended upon as the only resource that you use. Ease your children into the process, especially at the beginning of the year. You should gradually introduce subjects each week as school begins, until your kids are settled into the routine and can handle the workload.

You should also remember that this is your school and you decide what activities are done each day. So if you feel like playing math games for half the day and then taking a nature walk for the second half, you should do exactly that as spontaneity is what separates homeschooling from traditional schooling. You should also attend homeschooling conferences as this gives you the opportunity to network and listen to inspirational stories from other parents on the same mission. The world is your classroom and you should make use of all available resources to help your child learn.

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ESAs have become a national trend. Florida, Arizona, Tennessee, and Mississippi states are now offering ESA programs. More than 10 states are also about to join the bandwagon and have considered ESA legislation in their recent legislative sessions. Here is an overview of the reasons why policymakers, parents, and other educational stakeholders should support ESA accounts:

A Great Saving

ESA provides parents with 85-95 percent state-based funding per student, which they can use to purchase approved education expenses like books and tuition. Administrative costs are also covered by designating 3 to 8 percent of the remaining funding. It can therefore be a vehicle for helping children attend private schools that are less expensive, hence a real saving for local and state school districts.

ESAs Fill a Need

Since their inception, ESAs have been focused in special needs population. This is because many schools lack staff and the necessary resources to address educational needs of children. ESAs empower parents to choose schools that best fit the educational needs of their children.

Value and Efficiency

Educational policy makers agree that schools need to be run efficiently. However, this is not always possible as the current education systems in various states are riddled with obstinate incentive. ESAs provide parents with a chance to spend their resources on the educational needs of their children. Accordingly, parents have the incentives to maximize the value of education that their children receive. The choice of school provides parents with a good opportunity to make educational choices.

It spurs Educational Innovation

By empowering parents to customize their educational markets, ESAs help propel educational innovation. Market forces will catch up with both private and public schools. If the school suppliers are responsive to the market forces, they will adapt and eventually survive. However, if they don’t, they will fail. These forces and market pressures will propel valuable changes in the educational marketplace in the same way that higher education has been revolutionalized globally by educational options such as open online courses—providing education to many students without the need to be in campus.

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