Parent Resources

Raising Spiritual Children

Raising Spiritual Children

“Mom, why does God make storms with lightning and thunder?” “Dad, why does God allow people to get sick?” “Grandpa, why does Jesus want us to follow him?”

Our children are spiritual beings. We can hear their spirituality in their questions and see it in the way they seek beauty, love, and goodness. The questions they ask can befuddle us, or make us laugh, or pull at our heart strings. We may not always have an answer for the spiritual questions our children ask us, and that is ok. More important is the willingness to listen to these questions and to nurture young minds and hearts as they seek a connection with God…

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Tips & Suggestions for Transition to Kindergarten

From reading to your child to safety information, these tips and suggestions can help make the transition to Kindergarten a fun and exciting time for parents, children, and parents!

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Kindergarten Readiness and the Registration Process

Is your child ready for kindergarten? The more you know, the more you can make sure you and your child are prepared. We consider topics such as timeslines, enrollment processes, CMS & Magnet schools, local charter schools, independent schools, catholic schools, websites for more resources, suggested reading, and other tips and suggestions.

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Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips Preparing for trick or treaters: Never invite children into your home that evening- even children you know so they don’t become comfortable with entering people’s homes on Halloween Keep pets somewhere secure for your pet’s and small children’s safety Keep your yard, driveway and entry way well lit and free of tripping or protruding hazards Battery powered light is preferable over candles, if candles are used make sure they are away from flammable leaves, curtains and can’t be knocked over by children If you hand out hard candy or small trinkets, make sure an alternative item is possible for children under age 3. Place decorations away from dark areas or areas than can be a tripping hazard for children coming to see them. Early Evening Preparations: Give children a meal or snack before going out so they won’t be tempted to eat candy before they get home. Once home check and discard items with loose wrappers or that look suspicious, those that may be inappropriate if your child has food allergies or small hard candies or toys a chocking hazard for small children. After applying costume makeup, put the cosmetics away as they often contain potentially dangerous ingredients if ingested. Before children leave, discuss what route they will follow, who is supervising the group, what friends are going along and what time they will be home. Young children should always go with a caregiver and older children in groups. Costumes and Accessories: Costumes and shoes should fit well. Children can trip on long costumes or loose/big shoes and loose costumes may become snagged on shrubbery or fences. Buy costumes made of flame retardant material. And place your contact information inside. Use light colors or reflective tape on costumes. And if possible carry a flashlight Make knives, swords, etc. from cardboard to avoid sharp objects. Face masks should allow for good sight and taken off before crossing streets. Trick or treating: Walk facing traffic and don’t run, when possible use sidewalks, Don’t cross mid block or between cars. Do not cross yards and grassy areas, follow lit paths to doors. Don’t let children dart into areas with decorations that have an unknown footing surface to prevent falls. Compiled with information from the American Academy of Pediatrics, following all information Does not guarantee your infant will not suffer an Injury, please consult your...

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Ready for Kindergarten?

Ready for Kindergarten? Five teachers tell you what preschoolers really need for next year. Expert’s Pick Ready for Kindergarten, Stinky Face? by Lisa McCourt Illustrated by Cyd Moore Learn More If your child’s preschool years are coming to an end, your thoughts are probably turning toward kindergarten. But is your child ready to move on to the “big” school? What skills do kindergarten teachers expect their new students to have? To help answer those questions (and ease your mind), we’ve asked highly regarded kindergarten teachers from around the country to share their insights on helping your child gain the right mix of kindergarten-readiness skills. The skill sets they are looking for might surprise you. Because of the national focus on improving education and meeting standards, you might think that it’s most important for children to enter kindergarten knowing their ABCs, numbers, shapes, and colors so they can keep up with the curriculum. While teachers would love children to come in with some letter and number recognition, they don’t want you to drill your kids on academic skills. There are equally — if not more — important readiness skills that set the stage for your child’s learning. Raising an eager learner is the goal, and it can be achieved easily through play and day-to-day activities. What follows are the top readiness skills that kindergarten teachers look for. Enthusiasm Toward Learning Solid Oral-Language Skills The Ability to Listen The Desire to Be Independent The Ability to Play Well with Others Strong Fine- Motor Skills Basic Letter and Number Recognition Enthusiasm Toward Learning “I look for those qualities that prime children to be successful in school,” says Kim Hughes. Does the child approach learning enthusiastically? Is she eager to explore and discover? Does she ask questions, take initiative, and persist when tasks are difficult? “Parents can set aside a little time each day to investigate the world with their preschooler and answer those endless questions,” says Sandra Waite-Stupiansky. As you drive or walk along in the park, point out your child’s surroundings — the different trees or the various birds at the feeder. Demonstrate how things work. “You’ll help your child develop beginning science skills — the ability to form a hypothesis, test it out, and come up with new questions and theories,” Waite-Stupiansky explains. “The more kids notice, the more curious they’ll become. And we’ll be building on that curiosity in kindergarten.” Solid Oral-LanguageSkills “Children need wide background knowledge about their world and the words to go with it,” says Lisa Mosier. “I want to know where they’ve been and what they can talk about.” You can help build language skills by taking your child to many new places and giving him words and descriptions for what he is seeing. At the zoo, explain, “There’s a tiger. See how he has stripes and looks different from the lion?” Mosier says these experiences have a huge impact on literacy. “If you’re reading a book about zoo animals and it says ‘Look at the tiger,’ and you can’t tell the difference between a lion and a tiger, then you won’t have the background knowledge to help you tackle the word. When children come to words that they don’t know, they won’t be able to make a good guess because it isn’t in their vocabulary.” Research shows that one of the best predictors of later reading success is a well-developed oral vocabulary in kindergarten. “PreK kids are learning vocabulary at the rate of five to six words a day,” says Waite-Stupiansky. “It’s just amazing how they will retain words if you use them several...

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