Category: Education

How to Prepare Your Kids for Kindergarten With Technology

Preparing Kids for Kindergarten With Technology

Kindergarten is a big step for kids and parents alike. It’s likely the first time your child will be away from you in a school setting for most of the day. It’s also the beginning of their intellectual journey.

Most states require kids to enter kindergarten by age 5 or 6, with a few exceptions. Though it might be your child’s first school experience, there are ways you can prepare them for it at an earlier age by using technology.

It’s understandable not to want to have a phone, tablet, or laptop in front of your young child’s face 24/7. But, technology isn’t all bad or damaging. When used the right way, it can make the transition to kindergarten easier for your little one. It might even make it easier on you when you know they’re more prepared and ready to tackle whatever is thrown at them throughout the year.

So, how can you use technology to make sure your child is mentally, socially, and emotionally ready for this big step?

Make Sure They’re Socially Ready

By the time your child is ready for kindergarten, they should already have certain social skills. Social and emotional development is extremely important for them to be successful in school – academically and for developing friendships. Some of the most crucial social skills for children that age include:

  • Understanding right and wrong
  • Using words to express needs and feelings
  • Sharing
  • Playing alone or with others without constant supervision
  • Making safe, independent decisions

If you’re worried that your child isn’t meeting these milestones and that they may not be ready, consider using technology to connect with a social worker.

Social workers can counsel children who might need assistance in their education and development. They can also work with you, as a parent, to offer technological tools for your child’s social development.

While your child might be too young for things like social media and texting, you can use appropriate online games to help them with their social skills. Or, download some emotional intelligence apps for them, like Daniel Tiger’s Grr-iffic Feelings or Sesame Street’s Breathe, Think, Do. If you want your child to connect with other kids their age, connect with the parents of the children who will be in their class, and set up video chats so the kids can meet and talk beforehand. It’s a great way to nurture friendships and improve communication skills before school starts.

Meeting Their Physical Needs

Most schools across the country require your child’s vaccination records. Some of the common illnesses kids need to be protected against before heading to school include:

  • Rubella
  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Hepatitis A

Eventually, younger children might even be required or encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Over the last year and a half, you may not have been able to see your child’s pediatrician in person. Thankfully, telehealth has provided an opportunity to connect with doctors via video chat, over the phone, or through custom online portals.

Connecting with your child’s pediatrician online will let you know if they’re up-to-date on their immunizations, and whether they should come in for a check-up before starting kindergarten. It’s a great way to keep everyone safe and socially distanced while ensuring that your child has what they need to protect themselves as they start school.

Getting Them Kindergarten-Ready

There’s so much to think about and prepare for when it comes to kindergarten readiness. Some of the basic skills your child should have include:

  • Counting
  • Showing an interest in reading
  • Going to the bathroom by themselves
  • Recognizing their name in print
  • Being able to hop on one foot

If your child hasn’t mastered all of the necessary skills for kindergarten, don’t panic. Instead, consider using online activities to teach them new skills and give them confidence in the things they already know. There are plenty of kid-friendly games and resources that can spark their interest in areas that they might otherwise struggle with. You can even get some new ideas online for activities you can do with your child to boost their skills and better prepare them for school.

Of course, that doesn’t mean every second should be spent online. Making sure your child stays active and spends time with books, interacts with other kids, and uses their imagination is just as important. But, those are things that are more likely to come naturally. Technology can help them (and you) with the things that might take a bit more effort.

Even before your little one sets foot inside a school, technology can be used to prepare them in a variety of ways. From keeping them safe to boosting their cognitive abilities, consider using some of these technological advances to prepare your child for kindergarten. It’s one of the best ways to ensure they get the most out of their first school experience.

5 Excellent Ways That Will Help Your Child Love Math

How to Get Kids to Love Math

Math has always been among the least favorite subjects among students. This is largely due to how challenging math can be. But you have the power to change that, and here are some excellent ways on how you can help your child learn to love math.

1.  Expose your Child to Math Games

Fun is an essential element to what kids will love. And what’s more fun for your child than games? Luckily for Math, there are now a lot of games that parents can use to help make learning math more enjoyable. There are also various levels of games that you can come across so whatever age your child may be, there is bound to be a Math game that’s a right fit for him. Not only will your child have fun because he’s playing games, but he will also learn math at the same time.

2.  Engage in Math Challenges

You can take a step up from math games and engage in more brain-teasing math challenges. On one angle, math challenges are a few notches higher than math games in terms of difficulty, but with an opportunity to win a reward, your child would be glad to participate. What’s great with this is that your child will be well-suited with the needed thinking skills to face math problems in schools because of this. You can find a lot of engaging math challenges online that you and your child can engage in.

3.  Make Math Questions More Relatable

Math talks about a lot of numbers, and most of the time, that’s just what they are – numbers. With that, it would be a good idea to make math questions more relatable. For example, when your child asks about division, you can help him visualize it by talking about a cake. Or when possible, you can use toys to visualize math questions.

It’s not always easy to do this but, when the chance arises, it’s always great to make examples out of relatable ideas or tangible items.

4.  Avoid Repetitive Math Exercises

Your child will easily hate something that he has to repeat over and over again – especially when such activity is not fun. One good example is working with boring math flash cards. It’s best to avoid overusing any math tool, so that your child doesn’t get bored with it, and Math in itself. Of course, these tools are helpful so you may use them once in a while. And with the help of rewards, you can make your child like these math tools a bit more. The key is to strategically use these math tools without overusing them.

5.  Set the Right Attitude on Math

One overlooked way in shaping your child to love math is the parent’s attitude towards it. Some parents face the other way when faced with math questions from their children. This leads to a child thinking that Math is something that should be avoided. As parents, set an example for your child and be a little more positive towards Math.

Of course, not all parents are well-versed on Math, especially if we’re talking about more advanced math topics for more advanced students. And for such cases, it could help if you seek math tutoring services.

A dedicated math tutor is equipped with the right skills and tools that can help your child learn math effectively. Further, math tutoring specialists are also equipped with the right teaching strategies that will help your child find math more engaging and fun.

Parents are in the forefront of the movement on making Math more fun, and math tutoring specialists are on their side, helping students from the next generations to see Math in a better light.

Why Do Some Kids Love School?

Why Do Some Kids Love School

School is pretty much a job that we give to kids.  Like the jobs we have as adults it is the place you must show up to every day, even when you don’t want to go.  The business of learning is work.  It involves mental focus and self-discipline.  That discipline is an important part of how school shapes kids.

The important knowledge and skills that classes such as math, science, history, languages, and English are critical to helping children become well-rounded, intelligent adults but the self-discipline it takes to show up every day, work with others and finish the assigned work might be the most important skill school can instill in us.

The work that kids must put into school and the social anxiety that can come from learning how to interact with other people every day should make it easy to understand why many kids struggle with school.  School can be an unpleasant experience for kids with learning disabilities, kids who have a conflict with teachers, kids who have social anxiety, kids who are bullied, and kids who struggle with the self-discipline you need to be a good student.  Some people simply don’t like school, and some even go as far as being scared to death of going to school (known as Didaskaleinophobia).

So, if school has the potential to be such an unpleasant experience, why do some kids love school so much?  We all went to school with some classmates who were full of enthusiasm and clearly enjoyed their classes.  What can we do to encourage any child to have a positive experience in school and have a huge smile on their face when they step foot into school?  It is possible to make school a place that even kids who were less than excited about going to school come to love.  We explore five ways to make sure kids love school.

1. Make learning interactive and creative.

Different kids have different learning styles.  Some kids can do well with traditional learning.  They can listen to a lecture, take notes, read textbooks and study, and earn good grades on quizzes and test.  That simply isn’t the case with many kids.  For them, learning needs to be an active, creative process.  They need to be presented with choices in how they will approach learning and they need to be up from their desks and engaged in learning activities.  Even students who do well with traditional teaching methods benefit from this approach.  An engaged student who is empowered to make choices is far more likely to love school.

2. Adults should be role models.

Kids look to adults to model how to behave.  Attitude is contagious!  Every day children are essentially at the mercy of adults.  They must listen to their parents, teachers, coaches, instructors, principals, guidance councilors and other adults.  It is important for kids to be taught respect for adults, but it is also import for adults who are parents or work with kids to remember how much their own attitude affect the kids they are in contact with every day.  If their teachers and the other adults enjoy being at school there then so will the kids.

3. Adults are not the only ones who need work/life balance.

When you become an adult, it can be easy to envy kids their freedom.  With the pressures of bills, work, and parenting it can seem like kids have it easy by comparison.  Today, kids are under a lot of pressure to make good grades, be involved in multiple extracurricular activities and deal with the social pressures of school, which have only become more intense thanks to social media.  In order for them to love school, they need help balancing their schedule.  It is important for them to figure out how to manage their schoolwork, extracurricular activities and free time without becoming over scheduled and stressed out.  With a healthy work/life balance, they will be able to love school.

4. Help kids identify their interests and strengths.

Part of growing up is figuring who you are, what your interests are and what direction you want your life to go in.  That is a tall order!  Kids need room to experiment with different classes and different extracurricular activities.  Some they may quickly give up on.  Others may radically shape who they become and what they do with their life.  Their parents, teachers and the other adults around them should support this process.

5. Foster an environment that is supportive of all kids.

There is a growing awareness of the effect that school bullying and the toxic morass of the online world has on children and their development.  It is crucial for schools to actively promote a school environment that encourages kids who are struggling socially and experiencing bullying to seek help.  It is also crucial for that help to be available.  Too often children who tried to get help were dismissed and bullying was seen as normal childhood behavior.  For kids to love school it needs to be a place they feel safe, respected and listened to.  It also needs to be a place they can develop healthy friendships that enrich their lives.

Preparing Kids for School

The earlier kids are exposed to these these important strategies the better.  This includes making sure children and are socially and mentally ready as early as kindergarten.  Of course, creating beneficial learning experiences for kids as they move through the grades is a process that continually evolves.  Children are resilient and will respond to positive reinforcement at any age to assist them in being better students that want to be in school and learn.

How Writing Skills Can Help Kids Master a New Language

How Writing Skills Can Help Kids Master a New Language

Learning a new language is hard, but writing can help make it easier. Writing is one of the most effective ways for people to learn and retain information. It can also help kids master their second language faster and with less frustration than any other method out there.

With this in mind, we’ve created a series of blog posts that will teach you how to use your child’s natural love of storytelling as an opportunity to develop their skills in reading comprehension, vocabulary development, spelling and grammar mastery, creative expression through writing – all while learning a new language! The first post uses narrative stories as an entertaining way for kids to practice their target foreign language.

Writing is a process of thinking through what we’re saying before we say it. This means kids get better at expressing themselves verbally as well as understanding others’ verbal communication.

What are writing skills, and why do they matter in language learning?

Writing is a form of thinking. In a sense, we are always writing – from the grocery list to a paragraph in a book, everything we write has been thought about before it’s put to paper.  The act of finding words that convey meaning without being overly complicated or losing clarity is an important and useful skill for kids learning foreign languages.

Writing also helps kids develop better reading comprehension skills. Even though they are not yet reading the language and rely solely on their writing abilities, developing an understanding of a foreign language through writing about it will help speed up reading comprehension. Writing forces children to slow down and think about how words work together into a sentence, making them more comfortable.

Writing is a great way to get kids interested in learning new words.

Writing is a great way to remember what we’ve learned.

Writing helps us develop dictionary skills, such as word comprehension and spelling:

  • Finding the meaning of new words.
  • Writing down new vocabulary in our own language.
  • Writing down new vocabulary in the target language.

The process of writing allows kids to focus on their mistakes and learn from them, which does their reading and speaking better.

By writing in the target language, kids develop a deeper understanding of it.

Kids who learn to write before they speak are more likely to learn a new language.

Writing allows kids to express their ideas in a different language and understand the perspective of others who think differently than they do.

Doing an activity through writing is one of the most effective ways to memorize facts and information.

When we form words with our mouths, it’s often hard to control exactly what comes out. Writing is a great way to “test out” what we want to say in our heads.

By developing their ability to write, kids get better at expressing themselves through speaking as well.

Through writing, kids learn about grammar and sentence structure while being able to focus on the creative side of putting their thoughts on paper.

Writing allows kids to explore their creativity and be expressive in a way that it’s not always possible when they’re talking.

Importance of writing skills in mastering a new language

The number of skills kids develop when they write in a foreign language is enormous and invaluable.  It’s also the best way for kids to learn to express themselves – which is helpful for them as native speakers!

Writing helps us find our voice. As we become aware of the words that come out of our mouths, we start to discover our own unique way of expressing ourselves. This is a very personal process that ultimately gives us the freedom to express anything we want!

Writing skills will help you become more successful in learning your new language. Writing forces you to slow down and think about what you’re going to say, which helps you develop better reading comprehension skills.

Common mistakes that people make when teaching their children how to write a new language:

Assuming that children should be writing in the target language from day one. Your kids are still early on in the process – and it will take time for them to become aware of what they’re doing!

As a rule, you need to write down a new word several times before they “get it.” It’s also helpful to read a sentence aloud and ask your kid to repeat it – that will help them internalize the new word.

Writing in a language that is too formal for their level of understanding. Kids feel awkward and stilted when they’re forced to write long, complex sentences when they understand simple ones. This goes back to step 1!

Giving up too quickly on a wrong word.  Kids will often make mistakes or misspell words that are hard for them. The fastest way to learn is by making mistakes – so don’t get frustrated by this step!

Using complicated formats and styles of writing.  Start with simple shapes, such as squares or triangles; then try circles and smiley faces. Once they understand those, you can move to more complicated shapes that will help with their writing.

Not focusing on the meaning of what they’re writing.  If your kid wants to write about a video game, don’t be afraid to encourage them to use specific vocabulary from it – this is a great way to learn and practice!

Tips for teaching children how to read and write in a foreign language

When kids first learn to write or read, they should start with elementary forms of writing and reading.  This is a process that should be fun!

Encourage your kid to keep going even if you don’t understand all the words they’re writing down. This will help them feel comfortable with writing, and they’ll soon get better!

Give your kid time to explore the new words in different contexts. Once you have a few words, make sure to ask questions about them – this is how kids figure out what a word means as it’s used in context.

If something doesn’t work for your child, try something else. As we said earlier, there’s no “right” way to learn and grow!

Practicing reading is a great way for kids to get familiar with the letters.  You can take this opportunity to work on spelling as well – it’s a win-win situation!

Writing in different formats is a fun way for kids to experiment with how sentences are formed.  Try to add extra vocabulary in there and see what kind of sentences they can make!

Keep writing exciting by offering rewards for certain achievements.  This is a great way for your kid to build excitement and confidence as they learn to write in their new language.

The best way for kids to learn is through Writing practice and repetition.

By writing in their target language, kids develop a deeper understanding of it and gain more confidence to use it as they learn.

The key to success is starting early, especially in vocabulary development (using the words you want them to use). The sooner your child learns how to write in the target language, the faster they will become more fluent in it, and the easier learning a new language will be.

The most effective way to learn any new skill is through practice and repetition. This is also true for writing; just a few minutes of daily handwriting exercises can help your child master their second language much faster than if they only relied on classroom lessons and school assignments. It can be hard at first, especially if your child is used to writing in their native language, but the more they write in their target foreign language, the better they will get at it!

Introducing your child to an unfamiliar word through writing activities will help him, or her remember what it means and how to spell it.

This is also a great way to help your child develop an interest in the language you teach them.

Why do kids need to learn multiple languages at an early age?

Learning a second language can be a difficult task, especially for adults, so why not have your child learn their first foreign language early?  Not only do parents help children to develop and grow every day (much like they did when the kids were babies), but kids also get practice with building verbal skills in a given language – something that is a precious resource for your child’s future.

Kids can learn so much when they begin to explore their world, and one of these things is how to appreciate other people who aren’t just like them.  Learning about new cultures and traditions helps kids understand the world better and become more open-minded and aware of things.  If you live in a country where two or more languages are spoken, learning these other languages will also help your child to communicate with people who speak different native tongues from one another.

Learning a language well enough at a young age can even impact your child’s mental development.  The earlier your child begins to write in their new foreign language, the faster they become fluent in it.  This will also help them learn other subjects better (such as math or history) because they learn how to apply concepts of a given subject by using more than just one way of thinking.

How learning another language has helped students succeed academically and professionally.

Being skilled in two or more languages has given individuals a clear edge in both their personal and professional lives.  Kids who can speak another language fluently have not only been found to have higher self-esteem and academic success, but they can also make more money as they enter the working world!

If your child is interested in making more money or becoming a leader in their future career, they need to know how to speak and write in another language.  Especially if they’ve grown up in a foreign country where two or more languages are spoken frequently, your child has the edge over the rest of their peers when it comes to getting ahead.

Learning to communicate in a new foreign language can improve your child’s self-esteem, ability to work independently, and even how they complete tasks.  It may be hard at first for young kids, but it will help them become more confident and willing to try other things they wouldn’t normally attempt.

Conclusion

Using these strategies will help your child master the new language faster!

Writing in their new language will help your child learn to read, write and speak in the foreign language they are trying to learn.  It can also improve memory function and attention span because of the processing that needs to be done when an individual is writing.

Learning a second language at an early age can benefit young kids with an open mind.  It doesn’t just help them develop a better ability to communicate and work with individuals in other countries. Still, it can also improve their grades in school or even help them get ahead and start making money sooner than most adults!

Author Bio
K C Raj is a career counselor and recruiter with many years of experience. Interested in topics like human development, education, immigration, inequality, and many other international issues.