Whew! There are some complicated science crafts out there! I quizzed my friends, co-workers, and relatives for the best and easiest science-related crafts that they do with their early learners.
In my work with early learners to college students, I consistently find a knowledge gap with students—money. Although students in pre-kindergarten (and even some three-year-olds!) and older can identify pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, many struggle with the concept of money in the abstract.
Does your child know what to do in different emergency situations? Each family plan for each situation is different, but whatever plan you choose, make sure both you and your child know it by heart. See below for four examples of emergency situations that your early learner should be prepared for.
In a world of almost constant supervision, protected playgrounds, and “be carefuls,” many children are developing what psychologists call “risk aversion.” Risk aversion is the avoidance of actions or opportunities that have the chance to create negative consequences.
In a world of ever-increased standardized testing, several early education professionals have come forward in favor of “outdoor-ification.” In other words, they believe that the indoor classroom limits the creativity and learning of students, particularly early learners. See below for six positive reasons to bring early learners outdoors!
Does your early learner know what to do in an emergency? Although ideally there will always be an adult around to handle dangerous circumstances, sometimes unexpected situations arise. See below for four stories involving early learners saving lives in emergency situations!
(Adapted from Karen Miller's "The Dual Challenge: Meeting the Needs of Parents and Babies, "http://www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles/2009/the-dual-challenge-meeting-the-needs-of-parents-and-babies)
Karen Miller's article, "The Dual Challenge: Meeting the Needs of Parents and Babies," discusses the importance of the relationship between the caregiver and the parents in the case of early learning education and child care. See below for four ways that your high-quality early learning educator should, and will, offer support for your early learner and your family.
Manipulatives are objects used to assist learning and engage early learners in play-based and hands-on learning. They are used in classrooms from early learning all the way through high school to introduce and assist with different concepts. Some parents are unaware that they already have learning assistive manipulatives at home, while others may be looking to add to their collection of learning-based toys. At-home manipulatives (disguised as toys) can help your child to advance more quickly in learning their letters, numbers, colors, and shapes; progress in hand/eye coordination and motor skills; and even begin to build musical aptitude. See the list below for four must-have manipulatives for early learners!
Serving as a director for a tutoring center, I often found bewildered parents in my office wondering how their child could be struggling all of a sudden. This was especially true for early learners leaving voluntary pre-kindergarten (VPK) and entering kindergarten. I once spoke with parents whose child's teacher had just told them that if she doesn't pass the next benchmark assessment, they may want to consider waiting to enroll her in kindergarten. They were confused—"it's only pre-k…she was doing so well earlier." I often thought that if only the parents had known the warning signs of academic struggle, the issue could have been addressed earlier or the parents could be more prepared to hear that their child may need another year of VPK before moving on.