Celebrate Your Child!

Jan 30, 2009

How much is too much?

Should your child go for the football practice 5 days a week? Are 3 days enough? It is common for parents to be a little confused when it comes to deciding how much is too much with reference to after school activities.

They argue that since most of the activities are fun (as different from studies), children will simply lap up these classes. But, too much of fun can also make a child sick. Here is a simple guide that will help you decide how much is too much for your child.

Kindergarten :

Your child is just beginning to learn to interact and get used to discipline. His or her after-school life should be simple and carefree. One or two classes per week are enough at the beginning. Once the child settles down, look for more challenging activities like a music program.

Grade 1 :

One or two activities per week, play dates and playground visits are recommended. Avoid competitive sports activities. The child is still too young to have to worry about winning and losing. After the rigors of a full day at school, he or she needs a healthy outlet for pent up energy. Physical activities and non-competitive sports are best for this age.

Grade 2 :

Your child is old enough to voice opinions on what activities he or she wants. Sports, skating, swimming or computers - steer him towards things he likes. Many children begin lessons on a musical instrument around this age. But, allow your child some 'alone time' during which he can unwind and just do whatever he wishes.

Grade 3 :

Socialization begins to take center stage. Team sports are a good choice. Developing motor skills, painting, drawing etc are good too. Let the child explore areas of interests. But leave aside enough time for the family and for fun activities.

Grade 4 :

At this age, the child will tell you what he likes. He needs to get involved in activities that will boost his confidence. This will also help him manage stress as this is the time when social pressure is beginning to build. But, beware of the homework demon. Your child needs more time with his studies. Balancing his schoolwork with other activities is very important.

Grade 5 :

The fifth grader is bubbling with energy and will want to do just about everything. But she or he may conveniently push studies to the background. So, close supervision is needed. Keep one or two days free for family time and other activities. Now is a great time to get your child interested in community service.

Middle school :

Steer him away from TV. Get him engaged in activities that reinforce learning. Academic performance can be improved by encouraging your preteen to join clubs like the Girl/Boy Scouts program, language clubs, chess clubs etc. As a thumb rule, 16-20 hours a week of extra activity should be more than enough. But look out for signs of burnout.

What you select for your child and how long he should work at it is basically decided by the child's temperament. As a parent, you should closely observe your child and base your decisions on feedback from the child himself.

Jan 28, 2009

After school program - recreational vs. educational

So, your child is beginning to get restless and make you restless. He has got more time than is good for him, and you are now considering after school programs - anything that will keep him busy for a few life-saving hours! Most after school activities can be broadly classified into three - recreational, educational and society-oriented. The last bit usually comes in when your child is already a bit grown up and can voice his own interests.

Educational activities aim at furthering the knowledge of your child. His general awareness, his understanding and his memory are targeted and he is given various techniques that will help him improve one or all of these. Programs such as intensive memory training and speed mathematics are educational after school activities. There are academic programs that will go over your child's homework and class work and help the child gain more in-depth knowledge in the various subjects. Thus academic programs have a definite edge over the fun and games, especially if parents feel that their child has a lot of catching up to do.

Recreational activities include sports and games, fine arts, painting etc. The main thrust here is to have fun. Of course, classes become more competitive as the child climbs up the ladder. Many sport events, competitions, stage performances etc are held to encourage the child.

When we compare the merits of the two kinds of activities, I believe that the recreational programs have more meat. Firstly, children do not enjoy learning unless they themselves feel curious about something. Most academic programs are standardized courses that are not too flexible. They have a general purpose and a well laid out methodology. After a number of hours at school, the child may feel bored. Further study may overwhelm him and make him feel frustrated. Burnout is very much a possibility here.

Recreational programs provide a welcome break from the monotony of learning and studies. The mental challenge and the physical exertion make the child feel a renewed zest and a pleasant sense of fulfillment. Group activity teaches him social skills, discipline and patience. It is a proven fact that children involved in extra curricular activities get better grades than others. Sometimes closing the textbooks and playing a game may be the best way to handle your studies.

Whatever program you choose for your child, regular evaluation is the key to success. You will have to measure the child's progress. If progress is unsatisfactory, shift your child out of the program. The child should also have the freedom to reject an activity if and when he feels bored with it. Generally, programs that combine the educational with the recreational are best suited especially for younger children. This way, children can have fun while they learn.

Jan 27, 2009

After school activities and burnout

For millions of parents around the world, the day does not end with the school bell. There are still pictures to be painted, songs to be sung and games to be played. This all adds up to keeping children happy, safe and out of trouble. But, parents have to steer away from going overboard.

After school is not baby-sitting :

After school activities thrive only if it is backed by sufficient parental involvement. What would a soccer match be without parents cheering their little heroes from the sidelines ?

Research and choose :

Instead of convenience being the decisive factor, find out things that will interest your child. Once you select a program, get the fine print and find out what you have to contribute.

Free time :

Many children attend piano classes, followed by ballet or taekwando or even karate and squeeze in some time for play dates in between just before they rush home in time for bed. This rigor is too much for a child. So, go slow.

When to quit :

Often, parents enroll their child in an activity to discover that he may not be the prodigy they thought he would be. This is the time to let go. Your child may not become the next wonder-kid. But, let him cultivate an interest that he enjoys. Remember, happiness and fulfillment are all that matter.

Jan 26, 2009

After school activities and relationship building

After school activities are the rage of the day. With about $500 million invested in these programs and more than 10 million children attending them in America alone, the popularity of these activities cannot be overlooked. Everyone understands the need to develop new skills, gain more knowledge and keep the children safe when parents are working.

The most important factor in the success of any program is the relationship between the children participating in the program and the adult members who work with these children. Often, children may confide in an adult member who is not a teacher. This kind of emotional interaction is a must when children are struggling to make sense of the whirlpool of emotions that assail them.

Direct contact with professionals can be an inspiring experience. Children are very much impressed by the knowledge and experience of these adults. Young people gain a lot of knowledge and experience when they deal with experienced adults and older youth who serve as teachers or mentors in these programs. These mentors are different from the teachers in the school and children are more likely to draw inspiration from them.

After school activities that are managed professionally by people who are successful in their own fields of expertise will produce children who are more enthusiastic and successful. Meaningful interaction with adults is a learning experience in itself.

Jan 25, 2009

The Learning environment

There is often a trap in the words 'after school activities'. One may easily believe that since these activities are after school, they are not of much importance. But, one couldn't be more wrong. Research suggests that children pick up some of their most important skills from after school programs. That is why children who do not participate in any extra curricular activities are generally slow and less vibrant.

The learning environment that one fosters in after school activities must be as disciplined and as functional as that found in the school. This is especially true of educational after school programs. This is the best place to teach the child important skills like time-management and goal setting. Time-management is a vital skill, but it is not achieved easily. Children need to feel the discipline that is needed to finish a task and the happiness of finishing the allotted work in a specific time frame.

Children look for different things in an after class program. The learning environment should be attractive, colorful and informative. Use charts, pictures, posters and drawings to liven up a class. Additional resources (resources that are not easily available in the school) will make the classes interesting. For instance, when teaching a biology lesson, allow the child to see through a microscope or see slides of bacteria. This will add to his knowledge and also make him more enthusiastic about his after school program.

Discipline is a must in after school activities. In fun or sport-based activities, it is easy for children to step out of line and wreck havoc. While children should be allowed to have fun, they should be curtailed from unacceptable behavior. The best way to enforce discipline is to lay down the rules at the very beginning. Let the children know what is unacceptable, right at the beginning.

Rewards are an important part of any learning process. The reward can be a simple pat on the back or a token of appreciation. Motivate your children to aspire for higher things by rewarding their achievements. Holding competitions or sport activities where the children can show their proficiency is a reward in itself.

Children can get bored easily, especially in the case of an educational program. The main thrust of an academic program is to repeat what has been taught in class and to allow the child to learn it quickly. It is difficult to pique the child's interest a second time, especially when the child is already tired of one dose of the same lesson. It is best to thwart boredom by using creative techniques like an impromptu extempore on any topic, a quiz program or a slideshow.

After school activities are becoming more popular by the day. Parents want their kids to learn more. Children too have an insatiable quest for knowledge. In an after school program, it is possible to pay individual attention and quench this thirst using various effective techniques.

Jan 24, 2009

Reading activities

In a world that is slowly but surely turning away from books and getting glued to monitors or television screens, the importance of developing a passion for reading cannot be overlooked. Reading is a habit and should be established when the child is relatively young.

What can you do to foster this habit?

Enroll your child for reading classes :
There are many well structured after school reading classes that aim to draw the children to books. They help kids with diction, idioms and phrases. For young children, these classes can be fun with animated characters and pictures. Illustrated picture books, rhymes, silly songs
and pretend stories all attract the young child. Use creativity to capture the child's vivid imagination.

Pique your child's interest :

If your child has a favorite character, pick a series of books that features this character. For my son, it was Spiderman. Thanks to friendly neighborhood spidey, my son latched on to comics fairly early in his childhood.

Build a home-library :

A skill like reading cannot be learnt in isolation. Do not leave all the hard work to the after school program. Pick up books that you think your child will like. The Internet is also a rich resource of reading games that will attract little children to the fine art of reading.

Jan 23, 2009

Keeping children motivated

Initial enthusiasm in after school activities tends to wane after the first excitement is over. This is but natural. The trick is to keep up the hard work even after this.

How do you keep your child motivated?

This is of particular importance when the child goes in for educational after school programs.

Make the career-academics connection early on :

Let your child understand how important studies are. Let him know that an excellent career is wholly dependent on wholesome learning. To develop his interest in studies, plan family activities that are connected with his studies. Emphasize the real-world connection to academics whenever possible.

Set goals :

Let your child know, through example, that hard work will be rewarded. If your child believes that achievement is a natural by-product of effort, he is more likely to put in hard work. Such children are also less likely to drop out of programs and college at a later stage.

Reward success :

When a child achieves something, it is necessary to praise his hard work. Positive reinforcements enhance confidence and increase self-esteem. Conversely, beware of criticism. It can ruin the frail ego of children and play havoc with their minds.

Jan 22, 2009

5 Ways to Investigate a Daycare Provider

Are you a parent who is suspicious of your daycare provider? Do you suspect they may not be the perfect fit for your child? If so, you will want to find out about them. You can easily do your own personal investigation. As for how, continue reading on for five easy approaches.

Before highlighting five ways you can find out about and investigate a daycare provider, it is important to consider abuse or mistreatment. If you wish your daycare provider did more, such as educate your child, it is fine to start an investigation. However, if you suspect abuse or neglect, it is time to act now. You may want to pull your child from care.

So, how can you investigate a daycare provider?

1 – Show Up Unannounced

When choosing a daycare provider, multiple appointments are setup. These appointments are so parents can meet the provider and see their operation at work. As a parent, you always need to remember that these appointments are scheduled. Daycare providers prepare for them. For that reason, what you see at an appointment or a daycare viewing may not necessarily be daily activities. That is why you should show up unannounced.

Do you pick your child up from daycare at 4:30 every afternoon? Opt for an early pickup at 3:30. Don’t expect your child to be ready to leave, but look at the surroundings. Where was the daycare provider, where were the kids, what was everyone doing?

2 – Talk to Other Parents

Daycare providers, even those who provide care in-home, are business owners. For that reason, you want to avoid starting rumors or spreading lies. When discussing the provider with other parents, take the roundabout approach. Ask other parents how their children like the provider, what their favorite daily activities are, and so forth. This gets the conversation started. Most times, if the other parent has a complaint this is when they will voice it to you.

3 – Talk to Neighbors

Many people are surprised to hear how much their neighbors know about them, so use this to your advantage. Do you see a neighbor outside of their home when picking up your child? If so, start a friendly conversation. If you suspect abuse or neglect, outright ask the neighbor, but do so in a tactful way. Ask whether they see anything out of the ordinary or if there are any concerns they have.

Approaching neighbors is best when you are a new client of a daycare provider. Your questions will not seem nosy or out of place. After all, even daycare providers expect parents to want the best for their children.

4 – Perform a Background Check

A background check can give you insight into a daycare provider. Extensive background checks provide information on previous places of employment, former addresses, and criminal records. If you have suspicions about your child’s daycare provider, perform a background check on them or anyone else in the household. This will cost money, but it is a wise investment to protect your child.

Background checks can be performed on daycare providers at anytime, but it is best to opt for one before becoming a client. The best way to prevent daycare abuse and neglect is to choose a provider wisely.

5 – Contact State or County Officials

Most states have strict laws for daycare centers, including in-home care. For example, in some states it is illegal to operate a daycare with more than 5 children without being licensed by the state. Since most daycare centers, including in-home centers, are licensed, why not turn to them for help?

If your daycare provider is a licensed provider, contact state or local officials. In most states, you need to contact the Department or Office of Child and Family Services. It is here where you can voice a complaint or research a provider. Violations and abuse complaints against licensed daycare providers should be public knowledge.

Jan 16, 2009

The Best Way to Teach Your Kids to Read

The Best Way to Teach Your Kids to Read
By Steve Kettle

If you are a parent of a young child of kindergarten age, up through third grade age, here is the best way to teach your kids to read! It is simply using internet learning games as the virtual teacher. Kids love this type of learning, and really do not think of it as learning at all! Teaching a youngster how to read has never been easier.

With this type of teaching tool you can easily progress from kindergarten up through the third grade reading levels. Games and puzzles make the learning process fun for both children and parents. It really is like having a live tutor inside your computer!

This kind of teaching is not exactly new. For years, programs such as 'Hooked on Phonics' have used special teaching methods to teach children to sound out words and phrases. The good news is that the process has progressed to a stage that almost makes the old "hooked' programs obsolete.

The best way to teach your kids to read is being adopted by teachers and entire school systems, too. They have found that all kids love to play with computers, and using them to teach math or reading not only teaches those skills, it develops the child's computer skills as well. Most every school now has computer labs for even the youngest students. In fact, modern schools are doing their best to put a computer on every desk of every child.

The cyber world is making strides in the right direction with this one. It truly has developed the best way to teach your kids to read! You can use the internet learning games at home, or encourage your school system to get started with one. Make up your mind to take this important step. Teaching a youngster how to read is the one skill they will always need, and the sooner they learn it, the easier the rest of their learning processes will be.

Teach your kids to read the smart way! Give them the tools they need to learn to read at the earliest age possible! Check out the very best way to teach your kids to read HERE. It will be the best decision you have ever made! Teach Your Kids To Read.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Kettle http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Best-Way-to-Teach-Your-Kids-to-Read&id=1596873


Jan 15, 2009

Chicken Walking Eggs

"Inside every older person is a younger person - wondering what the heck happened."
- Cora Harvey Armstrong :-)

Jan 14, 2009

The Importance of Education in a Child's Life - What Should Parents Do Early in the School Year?

The Importance of Education in a Child's Life - What Should Parents Do Early in the School Year?
By Sandi Etheredge

One of the main areas of a child's life that affects how well she will grow into a successful, competent adult is that of education. And the major issue that affects a child's education is directly related to the quality and competence of the teachers she has. Nowhere is this more important than in the first three grades of school. These are the years where children are learning the basics in reading and mathematics.

There are specific actions a parent can take that will increase the likelihood of their children receiving effective instruction at school. The most important one is to determine the quality of their child's teacher. The best way do go about this is to visit the classroom and observe the teacher and then have a conversation with her. There are several specific things you are looking for: What does the teacher value in the classroom? Observe the classroom, looking around to see how the classroom is arranged and what is on the walls. You are looking for students work displayed.

Watch how the teacher interacts with all of the students and how she handles the interaction between students.

Talk with the teacher about instruction, particularly in reading and math. Ask about what you can do at home to help your child.

Talk with the teacher about your child, looking for specific things about your child and how she is doing. Share with her any information that will help her deal with you child.

Pay attention to how your child talks about school when she comes home from school.

Listen as she talks about her desire to learn and how she feels about school and her teacher when discussing her school experience

It is critical that you be involved in your child's education, what she is learning, how she is doing in the basic subjects, and what can be done to assure she is on or above grade level in both math and reading in these very vulnerable early grades. Additional information can be found at http://www.helpchildrengrow.com/.

Sandi Etheredge presents a better understanding of children and their needs, and ideas about how to work with them that will lead to independent, caring, self-reliant adults. Her approach to parenting with caring and common sense is the result of a broad background in the field of education and parenting three children. Her experience comes from working as a parent, teacher, counselor, and administrator, and her background includes degrees in Education, Social Work and a doctorate in Education. She has consulted with parent groups on improving parenting skills and many school districts on topics such as working with Children from Disadvantaged Homes, Children with Learning Problems, and many learning strategies in reading, writing and math. Her greatest joy has been raising her three children and she is now able to enjoy three lovely granddaughters. Look for many more articles from Sandi that will help you work more effectively with your children.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sandi_Etheredge http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Importance-of-Education-in-a-Childs-Life---What-Should-Parents-Do-Early-in-the-School-Year?&id=1584749


Jan 13, 2009

Recommended Readings for Kids

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Mia's Reading Adventure: The Bugaboo Bugs

How to Raise Kids Who Read

How To Raise Kids Who Read

By Madonna Camille Mamuri

Who doesn't want their kids to read? Know how to make your kids love this excellent hobby. Jim Trelease said in his book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook", that readers have become endangered species. But as a parent, you can make a difference. You can make your kids love reading-a skill that will prove to be a valuable asset in education and in life. Here are some tips to instill in your kids some book lovin' traits:

Read to your children.

Set a regular reading time with your kids. Ideally, it should be before bedtime.

Make books available.

Think about this, if you do not have any books around, how will your kids cultivate their love for stories?

Visit the library

Make your kids experience going to the library. This is will be an educational trip and will be the foundation of his reading values.

Be a good role model

From time to time, show your kids that you too, read. As they say, you should always set an example.

Cut Back on TV

When television is not available, your kids will turn to other things that will entertain them. And the most possible of which is reading.

Reward Reading.

This is self explanatory. Rewards system with kids usually work since they have something to look forward to. Reward them with something that drives them.

Support reading programs in school.

There is no better way to show your advocacy for reading than by supporting their programs in school. This way, you help children other than your kids, you show a good example and you help the world have more readers!

For more information regarding parenting, discipline and other related subjects, please visit http://militaryschools.wordpress.com and http://www.militaryschooloptions.com

Thank you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Madonna_Camille_Mamuri

Jan 10, 2009

Top 10 fun ways to teach your child the value of money

1. Hit a yard sale

Yard sales are usually piled high with kids' stuff. Younger children will love picking out a book or toy at this "outside store." And older kids will quickly discover that their allowance money stretches much further here than it does at the mall. Afterward, you can bask in the glow of snagging a great deal.

If your family likes to sleep in on Saturdays, take the kids to the local thrift shop instead. Both are also wonderful opportunities to talk about reusing and recycling.

2. Visit the bank

Taking your child to the bank is worth more than just a free lollipop. Watching bank transactions helps kids understand what cash actually is. Let your child be involved as much as possible. Even preschoolers can hand a check to the teller.

As your child gets older, consider opening an account for him, and help him learn to track his savings. Many banks and credit unions have special no-fee accounts for kids, complete with educational materials and online activities.

3. Enlist your child as a bill assistant

While your kid watches from his booster seat, you swipe your credit card, push a few buttons, pump the gas, and abracadabra – it's off to swim lessons. Can we really blame kids for thinking of a credit card as magic and infinite?

Break through the mystique by letting your child help you pay the credit-card bill. "This will let him see the whole picture," explains Sharon Lechter, coauthor of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Go through the charges, and remind him what you're paying for ("Remember when we had to stop for gas on the way to swim lessons?").

Preschoolers and kindergartners can put the check and bill into the envelope and stick on a stamp. Older children can help record the check number in your checkbook or online accounting system.

Have your child help you with the other bills, too -- utilities, rent, cable. Not only will he enjoy being a part of things, but he'll gain a whole new perspective on how money flows. There may be some nice side benefits as well; once your kid knows how much electricity costs, he may be more cooperative about turning out the light when he leaves a room.

4. Shop at a farmers' market

At the supermarket children don't see any sign of the farmer. Taking them to a farmers' market instead is a great way to help them understand the connection between work and money. Let your child be as involved as possible. As he helps you choose a bunch of carrots and hands the cash to the farmer, he'll get to see the market economy in action.

Explain that the farmer grew the blackberries himself, so he gets to decide how much they cost – and the customers then decide if they want to pay that amount. You can also explain that with the money the farmer earns, he can buy supplies to grow more blackberries.

5. Clip coupons

Before you recycle all those annoying circulars that arrive on your doorstep Sunday mornings, why not have a coupon-clipping fiesta with your child? Even if you're not a coupon clipper yourself, it's worth making the effort to teach your child about savings and discounts. He can help identify coupons that might be a good match for this week's grocery needs (even nonreaders can do this, because most coupons include pictures), help cut them out, and put them in a large envelope.

Next time you go to the grocery store, let your child be in charge of the coupons. Depending on his age, he can be the "coupon envelope holder," the "product finder," the "tracker of money saved," or all three. Afterward, talk about how much money the two of you saved and how you might use that money.

Or, if you can't stand dealing with coupons, use your grocery savings card at a participating market. While you shop, point out the deals marked for cardholders, and show him your family's savings on the receipt after you shop.

6. Volunteer and donate as a family

Integral to financial literacy is the understanding that some people have more than others – and that those with more can help those with less. "Families can do very simple things to get children in the habit of giving," says Laura Busque, Outreach Manager for the Ohion Credit Union League. "Try shopping together for food and delivering it to a local food pantry."

You can also match your child's interests with causes – if he's an animal lover, buy supplies for the local animal shelter or volunteer together to help feed the animals.

7. Encourage your child to make a little money

Earning money is not only educational but empowering for kids. The good old-fashioned lemonade stand remains a fine choice – and it has the added benefit of encouraging teamwork. "A lemonade stand is a perfect thing for siblings to do together," says Lechter. "The older one can handle the money, and the younger one can hand out the cups. And the older child can 'mentor' the younger child, which will help them both feel good."

Other money-making ideas for kids include selling outgrown toys and clothes at a flea market, helping to host a family yard sale, and doing chores above and beyond the usual around the house for extra pocket money.

8. Take a class

Many credit unions and banks offer seminars for children. You may think your kid will just roll his eyes at the idea, but give him a chance. "I never cease to be amazed at how interested kids are in learning about money," says Mark Hodowanic, who helps teach seminars at TopLine Federal Credit Union. Check to see what your bank or credit union offers.

9. Set a family savings goal

Is your child dying to go to Disneyland? Does he have to have a trampoline? Agree on a long-term goal and start a fund in a jar, suggests Sam Renick, author of It's a Habit, Sammy Rabbit! This makes the family work as a team, and, Renick says, "brings joy into saving." Your children can help deposit your loose change in the "pot" and can contribute part of their allowance from time to time.

10. Play games

The next time your child asks for computer time, let him try some of the online games that teach money skills. Many credit union sites have games and other activities, like printable coloring pages. For starters, check out Money & Stuff, Fat Cat, and the U.S. Mint site.

Of course, these days it's easy to forget about board games – remember those? But a good game of Monopoly or Life, even though it deals in fantasy, help hammer in ideas of earnings, savings, and loss

Jan 9, 2009

Fun activities to promote math skills

You can help your child master these skills simply by playing games in and around the house. Leave the flashcards and worksheets to the teacher; if you want your child to love numbers, show your child how math is part of everyday life and he'll be eager to learn more.

Here are 12 fun ways to introduce your child to the world of math. Because children learn in different ways, we've arranged these activities by learning style.

A) For the visual learner
1. Estimate the weight of a household object. Ask your child to guess the weight of the family cat, a dictionary, a glass of water. Then use the scale to find out the real weight. Have him estimate his own weight, and that of other family members. Were his estimates on target?

2. Buy your child a watch with an hour and second hand. Periodically ask him to tell you what time it is. Ask questions like: "If Arthur comes on at 4 p.m., how many more minutes do you have to wait?" "It takes me 15 minutes to drive to the store. Do I have time to get there before it closes at 5 p.m.?"

3. Use M&M's to teach fractions. Have your child count the M&M pieces in a bag. Then sort them by color. Count the number of green M&M's to find out what fraction of all of the candy is that color. Do the same with the other colors. Eat the results.

4. Fold a napkin. An idea from the U.S. Department of Education: Fold paper towels or napkins into large and small fractions. Start with halves, then move to quarters, then eighths, and finally 16ths. Use magic markers to label the fractions.

For the physical learner
5. Play card games. War and Go Fish are classic card games that reinforce basic math concepts such as greater and less than, as well as grouping by category.

6. Host a book or toy exchange party. Have each child bring along four or five used books or toys to sell; price all the books under one dollar (24 cents, 60 cents, etc.). Give each child one dollar in play money to spend and let them sort through the selection for about 15 minutes. When it's time to pay for the books, help the children count out the money and determine whether they have any left over or have gone over their budget. This activity reinforces making change and money skills.

7. Measure your family. The National PTA recommends this family activity: Use a tape measure or ruler to record the heights of everyone in your family. Total the inches to see how "tall" you are all together. Try it again with everyone's weight. A good way to practice adding two-digit numbers.

8. Play board games that use counting and paper money. Games such as Monopoly Junior are aimed at ages 5 through 8 but are still fun for parents or older siblings.

9. Play with money. This is a family game: The goal is to be the first player to win a set amount of money (75 cents, 50 cents). Roll a pair of dice. Each person gets the number of pennies shown on the dice. As each player gets five pennies, replace them with a nickel. Replace ten pennies with a dime, and so on. The first player to reach the set amount wins. This game reinforces grouping skills, and counting by fives.

10. Plan and shop for a meal. Give your child the grocery circular from the newspaper. Give him a budget ($30, $50) and have him plan a dinner for your family. If he goes over the budget, what can he subtract? If he has money left over, what else can he buy? Then go to the store and shop for the items together. Did his estimates match the real total?

For the auditory learner
11. Play a guessing game. A good one for a car trip: Have your child think of a number between one and 100. Try to guess the number by asking questions such as "Is it greater than 50?" "Is it between 35 and 55?" Then switch roles and have your child do the guessing.

12. Make a recipe with your child. Give your child the measuring cups, measuring spoons, and bowls and read him the directions as he does the work. An easy — and delicious — way to introduce concepts such as volume, weight, and fractions.

Spoiling Him

"When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not."
- Mark Twain

Jan 8, 2009

My darling son is in Primary One

2009 is the exciting year for me....

On 5th Jan 09, my son is enrolled to Primary One. He is so excited to start it and I am more excited too. It happens so fast. Like it was yesterday he was born and now, he is 7 years old... How time flies when you are having FUN !!

7 year old Syafeeq going to school in the morning.

JS-Kit Comments