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.

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.

Free School Supplies for Teachers and Schools

https://www.safesearchkids.com/free-school-supplies-for-teachers-and-schools/

Are you a teacher or the administrator of a school seeking free school supplies? School districts with limited budgets are the norm but that doesn’t stop the effort of educators to provide the best education for their students. As for teachers, many purchase classroom supplies from their own personal finances. School supplies at no cost provide the solution.

To be clear, these school supplies are purchased at competitive prices and provided free to those who sign up for Wishing Well™ and then share their school supply wish list with others. It connect educators with donors who are desiring to buy the schools supplies on the list.  Teachers may have a number of items on their list.  Donors can choose to purchase as little or as many of the items as they wish.  Items are shipped directly to teachers at their school in a quick fashion. Sign up to Create Your Free Wish List

Free School Supplies for School-Wide Needs

Administrators can also create a wish list for their school in general.  The success of a campaign to receive free school supplies is dependent on the number of people within your community that you share your needs with.  All the tools are provided within the Wishing Well™ program to have a successful campaign and receive classroom supplies for free as they are purchased.

School supplies are available on the ‘Really Good Stuff’ website, the providers of competitively priced school supplies as per part of their innovative, teacher-created solutions.

PTA’s, girls and boys clubs, daycare facilities, after-school programs, community drop-ins and even those in need of homeschooling resources can create their own campaigns for free school supplies.

Once those who are seeking free supplies have signed up, simply browse the many categories according your needs from a large online selection:

  • Supplemental curriculum resources.
  • Social-emotional learning tools.
  • Classroom organizational items.
  • Teacher basics and essentials.
  • Classroom decorations.

Items can be prioritized to ensure the most important items are received first.  Set goals you want to achieve that will benefit your classroom or school the most.

Anyone can shop the website and ship items for their own personal needs, for gift giving or directly to teachers or schools who have created their wish lists. 
Save UP TO 80% Off Select Favorites Plus Free Shipping Using Code: SHIP79 At ReallyGoodStuff.com! Shop Here!

It’s been reported that 94% of teachers purchase school supplies with their own money.  About 44% of those teachers spend $250 or less annually.  36% spend from $251 to $500 per year.  It doesn’t have to be that way thanks to Wishing Well™.

Classroom Decorating Ideas

Aesthetics are important to make a classroom feel inviting to students, especially at a younger grades.  School is a child’s first impactful experience with a large institution.  They will be spending 30 or more hours a week in school.  A majority of that time will be in the classroom.  The biggest impact in their lives will be interacting with their teacher and fellow students.  When it’s time to get down to the business of learning, a vibrant visual environment will help them feel more at home and engaged.  Decorating a classroom with posters, maps, letters and incorporating classroom theme ideas can always be incorporated into lessons and therefore become no less important than traditional supplies and teaching resources.

Social and Emotional Learning

A well rounded student is about more than ‘reading, writing and arithmetic’.  Every student’s emotional well-being and social awareness is vital to successful learning. It re-enforces what they are learning at home and balances their understanding of values they may be learning on television programs or through advertising.   Free school supplies can also include teaching resources for mindfulness, diversity, inclusion, self awareness and how to deal properly with emotions and feelings.

Wishing Well™ – Equipping Educators

Whatever need there is to better equip, enhance and empower teachers and schools to offer the best learning environment for kids of all grade levels, we are proud to partner with this important school and classroom supply platform.  Our hope is that teachers will no longer be required to pay out of their own hard earned dollars to give students the best learning experience in the ideal environment.

Teachers and Administrators:  Create Your Free Wish List Now

As show below, there are individual communities that have started their own charity drives to supply free school supplies to teachers.  However, this is not available in every school district.  The Wishing Well™ which was started by Really Good Stuff is available nationwide in the United States and in many other countries.  Learn More.

Automation Keeping Educational Institutions Afloat with Least Resources

Automation Keeping Educational Institutions Afloat

The education sector has quickly appreciated automation. But, all stakeholders seem worried about the possible impact. Will automation give more time to teachers for focusing on students, or will it take away jobs? Can school ERP help trainees reach their goals?

How will students react to the rise and spread of this new form of education? Should children remain glued to computer and phone screens while learning?

Besides these, several other questions are surrounding the role of automation. But, as a part of the administration, you probably consider ROI as the most significant factor.

How much money can the school automation system save annually?

  • A study conducted at Visalia Unified School District (California) says a lot. Replacing paper with digital forms can help save $10,000 every year.
  • Roughly 80 percent of an organization’s operational budget goes towards labor costs.
  • You can save excess human resource costs with automation.
  • Automation increases the efficiency of the existing workforce.
  • Enabling technology also helps in saving compliance costs.

Here’s how education ERP is a lifeline for institutions operating with minimum resources:

1. Automation in administrative procedures

You can save resources in every department, right from admission to the examination process and even transportation. Managing things becomes more straightforward.

  • Admission process

People often think schools take an unnecessary long time frame for the enrollment process.

There are several educational academies with old-school manual procedures. Ask anyone working in the school admin team; the admission file approval takes time.

Reading forms, cross-checking documents, and confirming the trainee’s eligibility is tiresome. Automation puts an end to all this.

Information from various documents gets scanned and processed. Cloud-based servers act as storage for the extracted data.

The management can take a quick look at the records and affidavits from a remote location. The candidate’s admission application gets approved or rejected within minutes.

  • Organizing schedules

Creating a daily and weekly schedule (timetable) is a critical process. The admin team checks the availability of teachers and plans the lectures.

The individual responsible for scheduling ends up repeating the process each week. Working hours’ data for the faculty is further forwarded to the payroll team as well.

With the school management system in place, human involvement remains the least. The administrator can set a scheduling workflow. The software creates a schedule within minutes after checking the availability of lecturers. Participants get notified via the school portal and apps.

  • Tracking attendance for virtual classes and activities

Keeping accurate records for attendance is vital for every school. The task has become even more critical in the era of virtual classrooms.

Education automation systems work with learning management software and online exam solutions.

You might wonder, what about attendance for virtual classes? The process is automatic and error-free. Trainee’s presence gets registered when they complete a specific task.

  • Managing progress reports for students

The online exam module takes care of tests, assignments. But what about progress reports and results?

Teacher’s job was difficult in the early days of pen-paper-based exams. There was no option but to check a massive mountain of answer sheets. Then, lecturers had to create hand-written progress reports every quarter.

School ERP integrates with online exam modules. It retrieves scores for tests and stores the data. Progress reports are system generated within minutes, without errors.

You can even send digital progress reports to parents via email or make them available on apps.

  • Ensuring regulatory compliance

Organizations working in the education sector have to adhere to government regulations. This paperwork burden often results in strain on the already burdened workforce.

There are regulations for training, payroll processing, premise audit, and data security. Government auditors may seek information on donations and fees.

Penalties for non-compliance can result in 2.71 times the compliance cost. Thus, enabling technologies and conducting timely audits can help in ensuring compliance.

There is no need to track compliance through external databases and spreadsheets. ERP offers real-time access to information and reports. Data stored in cloud-based storage remains available for audits. With pre-programmed formats, you can generate reports immediately.

2. Speed up the communication loop

Earlier, teachers had limited mediums to communicate and send crucial information to parents. And yes, if you remember, writing notes and remarks in the school diary for parents was one of them. Students often used whiteners, and at times, teachers used to forget to follow up.

You can set modern education automation systems to send alerts to parents. There’s no need to worry about managing grades, attendance, and module completion notifications.

These features are beneficial to teachers as well. Lecturers do not have to spend hours drafting many emails and follow up on the issues. They can reinvest the saved time in training students.

Another significant aspect is that there is no delay in information relaying. Tests get evaluated, and the ERP can share results for the same with all parties without delays. Depending on security configurations, the program can also send reports for security incidents.

3. Access code-free automation

Faculties, admin staff, and school board members often lack coding skills. As grasping the process remains challenging, educational institutions prefer code-free automation.

Most of the school administration software programs do not involve codes. Basic training can be enough for staff to use the system.

Should schools and colleges wait further to digitalize operations?

Technology has already made its way into everyone’s life. Smartboards, projectors, and computers have become a part of school life. Some school counselors are using digital technology to make schools safer for students.

The pandemic forced institutions to put in place technology. Yet, teachers and administrators still lack in-depth training.

Some institutions have implemented robotic process automation (RPA) and AI-powered solutions. But, others are still yet to install a basic school administration system. The sector lags in implementing automation. Lack of expertise, knowledge and financial constraints are reasons behind the same.

Conclusion

Several organizations are hesitating to put in place education ERP. But, they may find themselves turning obsolete within a year or so.

Automation in education offers benefits to all stakeholders. The digital transformation helps institutions grow with time. Students get the best learning experience.