In my career I've worked with countless students, Pre-K through adult, who are led to believe that they’ll never understand or be skilled at math because they like reading better, or vice versa. In a world of standardized testing, it’s easy to see how students can come to feel this way. Students are constantly assessed in math and reading—it’s only natural that those who are more skilled at one than the other could, out of frustration, come to see them as opposites. The belief that “I’m just not good at this” is a difficult hurdle for any learner to overcome. In my experience, this attitude is easier to break in younger students, particularly the earliest years of K-5.
On Friday, December 11th, I visited the Joseph H. Messina Children's Center to observe CCSWFL's youngest volunteer, Tillman (9-years-old), and her father Bill interacting with the early learners. Bill and Tillman began volunteering in early November of 2015, and are regular volunteers at the Joseph H. Messina Center continuing into the New Year.
Scientific studies have shown that nearly all of the neurons in the brain are developed by age five. This is the primary reason why early learning has such a big impact on a child's future; by the time a five-year-old attends Kindergarten, their brain is nearly fully-developed. Unfortunately for many families, a quality early education is simply out of their financial reach. That’s why Child Care of Southwest Florida has a scholarship program in place for you to be able to help these children get the outstanding education they would otherwise miss out on.
Early next year, readers will have the opportunity to hear from Child Care of Southwest Florida's youngest volunteer, Tillman (9-years-old), and her father, Bill. Tillman's involvement with the Joseph H. Messina Center got us thinking—what other ways can we help our children to become involved helping our communities, forge valuable community connections, and acquire great values along the way? See the list below for some great ideas for volunteering with your child:
The holidays are rapidly approaching! For most of us, this means lots of family—either traveling or hosting. If it's the former, travel time can be incredibly stressful, especially for those with early learners. I polled a number of veteran traveler co-workers, friends, and family to find their best secrets and tips for traveling with (and entertaining!) early learners.
I've often had conversations with parents about when to start introducing chores to their children, and what chores to introduce. I've watched parents scour the internet to find colorful charts, wheels, and diagrams with age-appropriate chores. These include having a three-year-old dust low surfaces, stack magazines, load spoons into the dishwasher, empty small wastebaskets, and sort laundry.