Get Your Kids Involved using These Ways

Searching for inventive approaches to get your children to assist as you spruce up your home this Spring? Motivating children to take an interest is a breeze when you infuse some fun and stupidity into family tasks. Simply try to allot age-suitable undertakings that can be accomplished in short augmentations (ten to fifteen moment spurts for more youthful youngsters), and things will be spic and traverse right away! On the off chance that you begin kids at a youthful age and keep things fun, they’ll appreciate contributing — it gives them an incredible feeling of achievement, joint effort, autonomy and duty.

# Pump up the music!

Nothing makes the time pass all the more rapidly and places individuals in a cheerier mind-set than some playful tunes. Your children will move and sing their way to a tidier place. With more youthful kids, you can play “wax historical center,” where kids must stop set up like a wax statue each time the music stops. This basic trial of adjust, coordination and reflexes can turn any errand, whether it’s getting toys or cleaning up the supper table, into a laugh filled amusement.

# Go “skating” for dust bunnies.

Let your kids slip and slide their way to cleaner hardwood floors. Have your children wear old pairs of socks and “skate” around the house collecting dust bunnies with their feet. See who can accumulate the largest dust bunny. Just make sure there are no sharp edges or breakable items close by with which kids can hurt themselves if they take a tumble. And be sure to collect all of your dust bunnies in a trash bag as you go along so they don’t hop back onto the floor! Kids love this silly and energizing game that gets their hearts pumping and promotes agility and muscle fitness.

# “Wax on, wax off.”

Show your young grasshopper how to clean windows, mirrors, and even the family car by employing Mr. Miyagi’s (from “The Karate Kid” movies) simple technique of moving the right hand in a circular, clockwise motion and the left hand in a circular, counterclockwise motion. It will test your child’s ability to follow directions, as well as improve coordination, stamina and upper body strength. It’s important to use non-toxic and preferably “green” cleansers, especially when kids are helping out.

# Play expiration-date detective.

Have your older child sleuth out old, unwanted items in your refrigerator and cupboard by showing him how to read expiration dates. Have him make a pile of all of the discarded items, then show him how to properly dispose of them by sorting them into three categories: Recycling, composting or trash. If you don’t already have separate containers for each of these, let your child create labels and laminate them for long-lasting use.

# Shake, shake, shake!

Unplug the toaster and lay paper grocery bags or an old cloth over the kitchen counter. Then let your child turn that toaster upside down and do a shake and shimmy dance to get all the crumbs out. Disposable wooden chopsticks are great for loosening stuck pieces, but be sure your child doesn’t use any metal utensils. It’s a safe practice to follow even when the toaster is not plugged in.

# Alphabetize the spice drawer.

Your younger child will get a little reading and sorting practice while your spices get organized, making it quicker and easier to find what you need in a pinch. Encourage your child to familiarize herself with the spices by reading labels, smelling the spices and even tasting them. Explain how you commonly use them for cooking or baking.

# Play “Follow the Leader.”

Give each child an apron and tuck an old rag or towel and a squirt bottle filled with a non-toxic cleaning fluid into the pockets. The designated leader must walk through the house and make multiple stops to clean or put away an object and the rest of the group must follow suit. Switch leaders every five minutes.

# Have a sock-matching race.

Put an end to “sock widows” and lost socks once and for all. Toss all of the family’s clean socks onto your bed in a big pile and then race to see who can match the most pairs the fastest. Once you have all of the mates together, show your child how to roll them up into neat little balls. First, laying the socks flat in profile, one on top of the other, roll both toe ends up towards the open ends about 2/3 of the length of the entire sock. Take the open end of one of the socks and fold it down around the rolled portion. Voila! Now you’ve got pairs of socks that won’t get separated in your child’s drawers. Any socks left over without mates you can either donate or keep in a bin to use for arts and crafts projects or even as rag to do for some Spring cleaning!

# Put on a family fashion show.

This silly activity is good for a few laughs and doubles as a way for everyone to purge outdated or ill-fitting clothes from the depths of their closet. No matter how you look, make sure to flaunt each outfit with modelesque attitude befitting of the catwalk. Ahead of time, agree that the majority vote determines whether the outfit (or certain parts of it) stays or goes. When you’re all done, bring the discarded clothing to a consignment store or donate it to charity.

# Play a sorting game.

Organize toys, books and electronic games. When kids’ belongings have clearly designated storage spaces, children are more likely to put them away when they’re done playing. Transparent, covered storage bins are great because they keep the dust out, they’re stackable (and save space), they’re portable – some even come with wheels! – and they allow your kids to see what’s inside without having to read labels. Ask your child to sort like toys with like toys – cars and trucks in one, dolls or action figures in another, etc.  Books can be organized any number of ways, including by size, author, or subject matter. Ask your child to go through her personal library and select five books that she is willing to get rid of. But first, let your child play the role of a storyteller and have her read one or two of her favorite books to you. Set one or two more aside for bedtime reading that night. Once she is reminded of how many great stories she has, she should be amenable to letting go of some ones she may have outgrown or become tired of. DVDs, CDs, and computer games can be tackled next. Unwanted items can be donated to charity or sold to second-hand retailers.

# Turn trash into art.

The possibilities are endless! Transform all of those wire hangers you’ve collected from the dry cleaner into forms for decorative wreaths, turn old t-shirts into throw pillows, bottle caps into magnets, greeting cards into ornaments, and maps into wrapping paper. Let your family’s collective creative juices flow and see what sorts of new-fangled inventions and recycled gems you can conjure up.

# Collect loose change.

Send your child on a hunt to collect the loose change lying around the house! Have her search everywhere: on dressers, in pockets, between the sofa cushions, even underneath the seats in your car. Ask her to practice counting all of the different denominations of money and adding up the total. Take the money to a free coin counting machine (you can often find them in grocery stores) and let your child buy a small treat with her new-found funds, or simply put the money in a jar and save it for a future family outing.  If there’s a big enough amount, consider opening a savings account for your child if she doesn’t already have one, and encourage her to make deposits on a regular basis. One way for your child to build up her savings is to save at least half of all monetary gifts she receives. Incidentally, the bank will probably ask you to put the change into coin roll wrappers before you deposit them — this is an added bonus for developing your child’s fine motor and counting skills!

Hold a garage sale.

Once the cleaning is said and done, it’s a great time for a garage or yard sale. This is especially the case if you find yourself left with a bunch of stuff you can’t donate or isn’t accepted by consignment and retail stores. Have your kids make colorful signs and post them up in the neighborhood to advertise the date and time of your sale (and don’t forget to remove those signs when you’re done).

Older children can help you price items, handle the exchange of cash and get a chance to test out out their merchandising skills! Younger children can help too, by demonstrating to potential customers how their belongings work and putting items out on “display.” Remember to share the profits with your kids to reward their hard work!

Spring Cleaning doesn’t have to be a drag. Take this opportunity to have some fun with your kids and incorporate some learning in with the cleaning!

Help Your Child Success in Math

child-success-in-mathNumerous understudies trust that math is an acquired capacity ­– it is possible that they have the math quality, or they don’t. In any case, late research demonstrates that characteristic ability won’t not be as imperative as we think. Over the long haul, the best understudies are frequently the individuals who work the hardest, not those with the most noteworthy IQ’s. These understudies trust that that determination, not an intrinsic blessing, is the way to accomplishment.

In her book Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck contends that a positive outlook is the thing that makes a few understudies inspire themselves when others surrender. Understudies with a “settled” mentality trust that they were conceived with a specific arrangement of abilities. They consider difficulties to be an indication that they’ve achieved the breaking point of their characteristic capacity, and they quit attempting. Be that as it may, understudies with a “development outlook” trust that there are no restrictions on their potential, and view challenges as an opportunity to learn and make strides. They realize that their insight can be manufactured however experience and exertion, and are not kept down by the possibility of inherent limitations.

Geoff Colvin conveys a comparative message in his book, Talent is Overrated. He exhibits that achievement is quite often the aftereffect of what he calls “ponder hone,” a concentrated push to enhance one’s abilities through centered exertion. Intrinsic ability may have any kind of effect when a subject is initially handled, yet years after the fact it’s the diligent employees who are the best. Math educator Kim Callan concurs: “It is uncommon for a dedicated understudy to come up short my class.”

Parents play a key role in cultivating a child’s mindset. Without positive role models, children can succumb to the idea that if something’s not easy, it’s not worthwhile. Here are some DOs andDON’Ts about helping your child learn that math, like life, is less intimidating if we cultivate the right mindset.

  1. DO tell your child that anyone can succeed in math. Remind him that even Einstein struggled at first: when he was nine, his teacher told his father that no matter what profession Einstein chose, he would never succeed.
  2. DON’T make excuses for your child. I’ve heard several parents say, in front of their children, “I was never any good at math.” That gives the children permission to give up, to believe that math is beyond some people’s reach.
  3. DO praise your child when you see hard work pay off. Use specific examples, like, “You really earned the improvement you made on last test. You did an extra practice test and worked with a study partner.” This reinforces the idea that he is in charge of his own success, and emphasizes the importance of improvement over perfection.
  4. DON’T compare your child’s performance to her peers. This sets up unrealistic measures of success, and takes away from the message of personal improvement.
  5. DO use failure as a chance to learn. If your child does poorly on a test, talk about a time when you struggled. Recount what steps you took to do better. Help him make a study plan for the next test: make flash cards, visit the teacher to review quiz mistakes, and raise his hand when he doesn’t understand the answer to a homework problem.
  6. DON’T go crazy if he fails a test: you’ll miss your chance for a teachable moment. Remind him that challenges are our best chances to learn and grow. See if he can make up the test or do test corrections for extra points. Encourage him to let go of the past and focus on the next opportunity to work hard and improve.
  7. DO hire a tutor if things get hard. Colvin shows that an important part of deliberate practice is having an experienced mentor to keep a student on the right course. Math tutors know how to teach and practice time-tested problem-solving techniques. Look for a tutor who can help your child but also encourages independent effort.
  8. DON’T get into a homework battle. If your student enjoys working with you, then by all means keep it up. But if studying together causes a fight, it’s time to bring in a professional. Otherwise, the interpersonal tension will get in the way of learning. If you can’t hire a tutor, see if your student can work with the teacher after school.
  9. DO make sure that your child is placed in an appropriate level of math. Work with your child’s teacher to find the class that best corresponds to your child’s readiness. Children thrive when they are placed at a level that is neither too difficult nor too easy. “Putting a child in a math class that is too hard is like throwing a non-swimmer into a pool and asking them to do laps,” says Callan. “If you don’t want them to drown, you first need to teach them to float and tread water.”
  10. DON’T insist that your child be placed at a higher level than the teacher recommends. Many children are being pushed by their parents to take advanced classes like Algebra at an age where their brains are not developmentally ready. In those cases, no amount of hard work can make them successful.
  11. DO talk about the importance of character. Find occasions to praise your child’s resilience, curiosity, and persistence. These are qualities that really drive success, in math class and in life.
  12. DON’T dwell on your child’s natural intelligence. If you tell her she’s naturally “good” at math, she’ll feel bewildered when things do eventually get hard. Conversely, if you tell her she’s “not a math person,” she’ll have a hard time overcoming that mindset. It’s best to avoid all labels and focus on effort instead.
  13. DO look for examples of famous people who refused to give up. For instance, Michael Jordan was cut by his high school varsity basketball team. Undeterred, he got up at 6AM every day to practice on his own. When he made his college team, his coach remarked was struck by how he worked harder than anyone else. Basketball didn’t come easily to Michael Jordan: he earned every point he ever made.
  14. DON’T miss the chance to speak up when you hear a story about a “natural talents.” For instance, if you hear someone mention Serena Williams’ or Mozart’s inborn genius, be sure to mention the thousands of hours of practice they put in with their fathers from a very early age.

Having the right mindset is critical to success. Children need to believe in their ability to overcome challenges through concentrated effort. If you place your child in the right math class and encourage her to work hard, there’s no limit to what she will be able to accomplish.

Reading in Kindergarten

Numerous guardians consider kindergarten “the perusing year,” and it’s no big surprise: from the earliest starting point of this first authority year of school to the last, kids go from perceiving letters of the letter set to getting to be starting perusers prepared to handle the difficulties of review school. A ton happens over this fundamental year of tutoring, so here’s a convenient manual for help you know where your youngster ought to be with perusing aptitudes toward the start of the kindergarten year, and in addition toward the end.

While each instructor and school has their own arrangement of “essentials,” there’s an arrangement of general perusing desires that most educators share with regards to children entering kindergarten. Before entering kindergarten, an understudy all around arranged for perusing ought to have the capacity to:

  • Read her own name
  • Recite the alphabet
  • Recognize some or all of the letters in the alphabet
  • Correspond some or all letters with their correct sound
  • Make rhymes
  • Hold a book right side up with the spine on the left, front cover showing
  • Recognize that the progression of text is left to right, top to bottom
  • Echo simple text that is read to them
  • Recognize that text holds meaning
  • Re-tell a favorite story

While all schools are different, in the following months most teachers will work on a similar set of reading skills. For example, before beginning to read, students need to have a solid foundation in “concepts about print.” That means that kindergarteners spend plenty of time in the beginning of the year absorbing details about how reading works, such as the fact the reading happens left to right, top to bottom. They’ll also be spending lots of time going over letter-sound correspondence, vowel sounds, sight words, and a whole host of other skills that form the framework for beginning literacy.

So where do kids end up by the time the end of kindergarten rolls around? While schools vary, a student working at the standard level should be able to do the following by the end of kindergarten in order to be prepared for first grade reading:

  • Recognize all letters of the alphabet in both their lowercase and capital form
  • Be able to make the correct sound or sounds for each letter of the alphabet
  • Read 20 high frequency words
  • Read grade-level appropriate texts
  • Create rhyming words
  • Use phonetic skills to read new words
  • Have a strong awareness of print concepts
  • Use language structure to read new words
  • Display comprehension of what she has read