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The Whole Child, Issue #066 School Readiness
January 07, 2010


The Whole Child e-zine brings you free preschool activities each week to maximize your child's potential, build skills and parent-child relationships in just a few minutes per day. Useful tips, quotes, resources, opportunities and articles will be added for extra value!

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January 2010, Issue #066

1. Hello from Shirley

This is the first of a series of newsletters that are lined up and waiting and will be mailed to you once a month this year.

In the southern hemisphere, the new school year will be starting soon. For some parents, their little ones will be starting preschool for the first time – an emotional experience for both moms and tots, for other mothers, a new year of homeschooling will begin and with it comes a feeling of responsibility to make sure their children don't 'miss' anything.

For both preschool teachers and homeschooling mothers of preschoolers, the end-goal is to prepare our children for more formal learning that begins when they are ready for Grade 1.

The activities given monthly in this newsletter as well as the info below is intended to help you accomplish this.

2. Check my website

School Readiness and School Maturity are two different yet related concepts. It is important for parents and caregivers to understand the distinction between the two.

Children with good home backgrounds or good preschool experiences are more likely to be school ready than those who without.

Adults also provide examples and act as role models for children – such as in their use of language and in the control of their emotions.

A child needs an adult to guide her and give her opportunities to use her abilities and discover new concepts.

Congratulations on being a concerned adult who is interested in early childhood development – your children have an advantage already!

Other hot topics:

For those in the Northern Hemisphere:
Winter Preschool Activities - including winter preschool crafts,a snow ice-cream recipe, free printables, winter theme nursery ryhmes and free winter clipart.

For those in the SUNNY Southern Hemisphere:
Ocean Theme -includes a lapbook, an ocean mural and various ocean crafts.

Next month is Chinese New Year, so you might want to plan ahead for a Chinese Theme and try this story-based lapbook project: All About Ping which you can download online.

3. Quote

“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown. And he replied: Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way”

Minnie L. Haskins

4. Tips & Advice

I believe that it is important to establish regular family rituals and traditions, especially ones that will help to promote good family relationships. These will help you build a rich store of memories of your love for one another.

Whether you realize it or not, you are in a battle for your children's attentions and affection – there is tough competition out there, especially in the form of electronic gadgets and entertainment.

Regardless of your own background or present situation, you are called to nurture your child. Whether you come from a broken home or are a single parent yourself, your child needs you to take the lead.

Research shows that memories from our early life are forever recorded in the brain. Let's build make a conscious effort to build good memories and enjoy healthy relationships because of our investment in our relationships.

Some ideas:

Simple things like a 'high five' or a hug at bedtime and other times will keep you in touch with one another, literally and figuratively.

Special birthday traditions that are unique to your family will be remembered when the gifts are long forgotten e.g. A special birthday table or flowers around the birthday girl's place setting.

Other ideas for creating rituals:

Sunday afternoon walks, picnics or other peaceful outings together
Bedtime stories or fireside stories instead of TV
A regular candlelit dinner on a day of the week
A special tea ritual where you take time to chat can boost relationship-building.

Use these to brainstorm for more traditions (and send me your ideas too!)

For Bible believers, the book Celebrations of Faith by Randy Wilson is a rich resource that will give you more ideas to build not just relationships but also your children's faith in their heavenly Father as they grow and mature.

5. Readiness Activities

The following activities are aimed at ages 3-5. For older or younger children, adapt the activity to their ability. To download the activities in a printable pdf, click here.

You will need to have Adobe Reader installed. It’s a free download.

Repeat these activities often - with your own variations too!

1. Gross motor skills

Balance: Draw a line at least a metre long on the ground and ask your child to walk heel-to-toe along the line.

2. Fine motor skills

Cutting: Encourage your child to cut with safety scissors. Make sure a left-handed child does not have to use right-handed scissors. Here are some ideas:

  • Cut long strips of paper that you have prepared into shorter pieces.

  • Cut a piece of paper in half along a line.

  • Cut out shapes like big squares and circles drawn on paper.

  • You could also help your child with a Snowflake Cutting Craft or a Concertina Cutting Activity

    3. Visual skills

    Colour perception:Let your child build sticks from construction blocks using alternating colours. Encourage her to make her own patterns using the various colours.

    4. Auditory skills

    Auditory Closure: While tidying up or doing chores, whisper instructions to your child so that he must listen attentively.

    5. Mathematical skills

    Time: Talk about different times of the day such as this morning, this afternoon and tonight or this evening. Help your child to become familiar with the routines in your home at different times of the day and to be able to talk about them correctly.

    6. Language and thinking skills

    While looking at a picture book together, ask your child questions about the objects in the pictures. For example:

  • What is that? A broom

  • What do we use it for?
  • Sweeping the floor
  • Where do we keep it?
  • In the kitchen

    7. Faith-building

    Read a Bible story to your child and then share how a lesson or an example can be learned from what was read. For example, in the story of the boy who gave his five loaves and two fishes, we can learn to be generous. Sometimes children struggle with sharing because they don't understand that they can bless others and be blessed themselves when they share.

    Greetings until next month

    About Shirley

    Home l Preschool Themes l l Ideas by Subject l Preschool Curriculum l Homeschool Help l Free Kids Games l ABC Fun & 1-2-3l Free Printables

    Back to Back Issues Page


    About Shirley

    Home l Preschool Themes l l Ideas by Subject l Preschool Curriculum l Homeschool Help l Free Kids Games l ABC Fun & 1-2-3 l Free Printables

    Back to Back Issues Page