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Kamis, 07 Agustus 2014

How to Prevent and Treat Your Kids’ Car Sickness

    Are you planning a family road trip? As well as mapping out the route, packing suitcases, and bringing enough snacks and toys to last for the duration, you should also brush up on your best techniques for tackling an onset of car sickness. Even if your children have never suffered before, motion sickness can strike at any time, so you should make sure you are well-prepared. An episode of car sickness has the potential to ruin the start of your vacation, or turn a happy day trip into a nightmare.

Before a recent tripThe brain receives conflicting signals to Wales from Cambridgeshire with my two young children, I stocked up on sweets, coloring books, pencils, and stickers—spending a whopping £28 to ensure we had a smooth trip. But an hour into the four-hour journey, while I was driving at full speed down the highway, my two-year-old suddenly became extremely sick. I couldn’t see what was happening in the back or do anything about it, the children were crying, and I started feeling an overwhelming sense of panic. Needless to say, we weren’t exactly maintaining our calming vacation vibe. It turned out I was not as prepared for every eventuality as I had thought I was.

After cleaning my windows, car seats, seatbelts, and both children’s clothes with baby wipes on the side of the highway, I decided to research what could be done to prevent or reduce the chances of the children suffering from motion sickness on future trips, especially on our return trip from Wales a few days later!
What causes it?

Motion sickness occurs when the brain receives conflicting signals from the motion-sensing parts of the body—the ears, eyes, and nerves in all of the extremities. This subtle confusion can activate a response that can make you feel very sick.

If your child starts to develop the symptoms of motion sickness, the best approach is to stop the activity that’s causing it as soon as you safely can. If you are in the car, pull over somewhere safe, and let the child get out and walk around. For severe cases, it may be necessary to do this several times. If you’re taking a long trip, plan to break up the travel time. Schedule these stops in advance to avoid the stress of finding a suitable place to stop.
Tips & Tricks

If the kids haven’t eaten for two to three hours, give your child a light snack before the trip. This relieves any hunger pangs, which seem to add to the symptoms. Always keep a pack of ginger cookies in the car, as ginger helps combat nausea. Other great snacks include cheese sandwiches, breadsticks, or other plain but filling food. You don’t want any sort of milkshakes, sweets, or chocolates going around in their tummies if they’re on the brink of sickness!
Open the windows for fresh air

Try to ensure they are not buried in a book, DVD, or iPad. When their eyes don’t sense the motion that the rest of their body is feeling, the confusion can result in motion sickness. Try to play games which involve looking around the car or outside of the car, like I Spy or looking for unusual license plates, trucks, or red cars, depending on their age and attention span.

If they do become queasy, open the windows for fresh air until you’re able to stop the car and go out for a walk. Regardless of the temperature, just sticking a hand out of the window can alleviate some of the symptoms. Try to distract them from the queasy feeling—listen to the radio, sing, or talk.
If the Worst Should Happen

If your kids do become sick, stop the car and let them either take a walk around in the fresh air or, if possible, have them lie down on their backs for a few minutes. Placing a damp, cold cloth (you can keep it in a freezer bag) on their foreheads can lessen the nausea. Always keep a change of clothes, towels, plastic bags, and some Febreeze in your trunk just in case. No one wants to have to sit in dirty clothes or be surrounded by a lingering smell for the rest of the journey—that will only make everyone feel worse!

If your child is known for bad episodes of car sickness, consider asking your doctor about suitable medication, such as Dramamine or Benadryl.

Selasa, 05 Agustus 2014

The Benefits of Parent Involvement: What Research Has to Say

   Researchers have evidence for the positive effects of parent involvement on children, families, and school when schools and parents continuously support and encourage the children's learning and development (Eccles & Harold, 1993; Illinois State Board of Education, 1993). According to Henderson and Berla (1994), "the most accurate predictor of a student's achievement in school is not income or social status but the extent to which that student's family is able to:
  1. Create a home environment that encourages learning
  2. Express high (but not unrealistic) expectations for their children's achievement and future careers
  3. Become involved in their children's education at school and in the community (p. 160)
Henderson and Berla (1994) reviewed and analyzed eighty-five studies that documented the comprehensive benefits of parent involvement in children's education. This and other studies show that parent involvement activities that are effectively planned and well implemented result in substantial benefits to children, parents, educators, and the school.

Benefits for the Children

  • Children tend to achieve more, regardless of ethnic or racial background, socioeconomic status, or parents' education level.
  • Children generally achieve better grades, test scores, and attendance.
  • Children consistently complete their homework.
  • Children have better self-esteem, are more self-disciplined, and show higher aspirations and motivation toward school.
  • Children's positive attitude about school often results in improved behavior in school and less suspension for disciplinary reasons.
  • Fewer children are being placed in special education and remedial classes.
  • Children from diverse cultural backgrounds tend to do better when parents and professionals work together to bridge the gap between the culture at home and the culture in school.
  • Junior high and high school students whose parents remain involved usually make better transitions and are less likely to drop out of school.

Benefits for the Parents

  • Parents increase their interaction and discussion with their children and are more responsive and sensitive to their children's social, emotional, and intellectual developmental needs.
  • Parents are more confident in their parenting and decision-making skills.
  • As parents gain more knowledge of child development, there is more use of affection and positive reinforcement and less punishment on their children.
  • Parents have a better understanding of the teacher's job and school curriculum.
  • When parents are aware of what their children are learning, they are more likely to help when they are requested by teachers to become more involved in their children's learning activities at home.
  • Parents' perceptions of the school are improved and there are stronger ties and commitment to the school.
  • Parents are more aware of, and become more active regarding, policies that affect their children's education when parents are requested by school to be part of the decision-making team.

Benefits for the Educators

  • When schools have a high percentage of involved parents in and out of schools, teachers and principals are more likely to experience higher morale.
  • Teachers and principals often earn greater respect for their profession from the parents.
  • Consistent parent involvement leads to improved communication and relations between parents, teachers, and administrators.
  • Teachers and principals acquire a better understanding of families' cultures and diversity, and they form deeper respect for parents' abilities and time.
  • Teachers and principals report an increase in job satisfaction.

Benefits for the School

  • Schools that actively involve parents and the community tend to establish better reputations in the community.
  • Schools also experience better community support.
  • School programs that encourage and involve parents usually do better and have higher quality programs than programs that do not involve parents.

Senin, 23 Desember 2013

Children's Books And Educational Toys - Can They Still Be Fun And Have Educational Value

It was no contest. Given a choice between a ball and a book, my son would never have cracked a book binding. Giving him educational toys was a lot like giving him medicine. He didn't want any part of either one. Fortunately, things have changed a great deal in the 20-odd years since he was a youngster. Educational toys, just like children's medicines have come a long way. Children's medicines taste good enough that tiny tykes will resist taking them only a little and learning toys have become a lot more enjoyable. For example, today there is great educational software for the family PC.

Now, that isn't to say that you can walk into a toy department or a top quality toy store such as Toys R Us and randomly start slinging items labeled 'educational toy' in your shopping cart. You must take care when selecting educational toys. Fortunately, the 'educational' aspects of the toy can be kept well hidden behind the fun the child derives.

Toys such as jigsaw puzzles, word games, Disney games, word puzzles and other learning toys are great cognitive educational toys. These toys require that the child use his or her imagination. They develop creativity. They make the child think.

These games and educational toys have another, more important, aspect. They are fun. The child has fun while learning to use his or her imagination and reasoning skills. Children learn through play and these toys are the tools of play. They are the tools of learning.

The key is selecting cognitive development skills and educational toys that are appropriate for the child. For example, teaching a three-year-old to read or do multiplication may seem like a cool idea for your little prodigy, but it is much better to make sure the child is having fun reciting the alphabet and counting numbers with the help of interactive Disney toys, books on tape and other such toys. When the learning play is fun, the child will progress at his or her own pace with only minor supervision from you. Frustrating the child by expecting too much, too quickly will actually retard learning.

Jigsaw puzzles are another example of great educational toys. They teach the cognitive skills of learning the relationship between sizes and shapes. They also teach fine motor skills in putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

The second key is to tie educational toys and learning to the child's current interests. These interests change as the child develops. Learning is much more fun if it is associated with something that has already captured the imagination of the child.

Educational toys do not have to be about thinking and learning. The second category of educational toys is those toys that develop physical skills such as coordination and fine motor skills. Babies begin learning coordination with a rattle. Lego are great toys for teaching the fine motor skills required to assemble the blocks.

It is much easier to encourage most youngsters to play with toys that help teach physical skills because stored energy and growing muscles demand stretching and movement. Given the opportunity, what four-year-old won't ride a tricycle miles and miles around the dining room table or up and down the front sidewalk? While riding the strike, the youngster is developing strength and coordination, both of which are important for future development.

The various ball games that children enjoy are important for the same reason. They help the youngster develop strength, agility, speed and coordination. They also go one step further. Because most ball games are team sports, they teach concentration, teamwork, good sportsmanship and strategy. These are all important cognitive and emotional skills that will be necessary for the child to develop into a well-rounded and productive adult. So, Mom, the next time your youngster picks up a ball and begins playing with it, you might look at it as a valuable educational toy.

One of the most important toys in your child's playroom is you. You need to spend some time, enough time, playing with your child to help supervise play with educational toys. You need to spend enough with your child that you can monitor his or her interests, ensure that the educational toys they are playing with are appropriate and encourage them to have fun with those games.

Educational toys are fun as they teach. They are different than schoolbooks and school assignments. Educational toys do not mean tedium and drudgery. Educational toys are designed to teach or develop the child.

This brings up a final point. Another important benefit of parental supervision is the ability to keep track of those toys and games that do little to help develop either your child's cognitive skills or physical skills. There are some games and toys on the market that are so complete that they do all of the work for the child. The child does not have to be creative or exercise growing muscles or developing coordination. In fact, these games can actually be counterproductive by promoting lethargy and laziness.

Royce Armstrong is a successful freelance writer with a business and banking background who believes consumers should get the best value for their money when shopping for educational software [], children’s toys [] and children’s books [].

Sabtu, 23 November 2013

Research Homeschool Socialization Avenues

One huge reason families stay on the fence to finalizing their decision to homeschool is because of the age-old question of "Will my child lack socialization skills"?
I agree, its vitally crucial to growth and proper development for children to play and interact with one another.
Let's research homeschool socialization avenues, which offer valuable and wholesome opportunities for children to engage.
Homeschool Co-ops are a convenient and popular arrangement. A co-op is commonly known as 'cooperative learning', but I like to refer to it as, 'collective learning'. The format is usually set-up where parents teach various academic or skill based courses.
There are a host of classes kids can choose to attend. The co-ops we've been involved in have offered some of the following opportunities: art, cooking, public speaking, writing, remedial math, science, foreign language, music, dance, martial arts. (etc )
I've personally taught public speaking and knitting classes. I've even enlisted my own children to co-teach, as to elicit leadership skills.
Learn to Serve
Volunteering is a perfect outlet to ground social skills. It offers the ability of learning to "serve someone other than yourself". My kids have volunteered at retirement homes, thrift stores, library, hair salon and botanical garden.
Enrolling in art classes are an excellent way to engage your children socially. My kids have attended weekly homeschool classes at Michael's and pottery classes at an independent business. They also offer t-shirt crafts, cake decorating and jewelry making.
I consider music and dancing as arts as well. My kids have enrolled in violin, gymnastic and ballet. The establishments offered weekly homeschool sessions and discounted prices for multiple children.
Get In Motion
Every child needs plenty of exercise. Why not sign them up for sports or fitness classes. A local organization called, YES Kids Fitness offers a homeschool program dedicated to nutrition, teamwork, sports performance and weight lifting. Also there are Athlete Homeschool Associations in almost every state.
We have not begun to scratch the surface of the socialization opportunities. Searching for activities could began with an interest in 4-H or a hobby of horseback riding. Contact your local homeschool organization or become creative in bringing other families together. I must warn you not to become so busy school work gets delayed.
My kids have been invited to sleepovers, birthday, play dates, sport events etc. simply through the friendships established from participating in the activities mentioned.
I'd be happy to help if you're struggling with finding activities for your children. Please contact me.
For the Love of Our Children,
contact me

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