Entries for the ‘Curriculum’ Category

Kids, programs and pressure

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

 My 6 year old daughter has  adjusted well to grade one and going to school five full days a week, plus a little bit of daily homework. However that seems to be enough for her. On Saturdays we do swimming in the mornings, as swimming is a “have to do”. For safety reasons, all kids have no choice but to learn how to swim properly on their own. She is really enjoying the swimming a lot, and at the moment it does not feel like it is a chore. She has no interest to do dance, gymnastics, skating, karate or any other extra curriculum. She loves to play with her princesses and Barbie’s and creates wonderful imaginative games. She loves play dates and socializing with all her new friends that she has from grade one.

Personally I am not worried and feel it’s wonderful that my daughter actually wants to be a kid. She swims on a Saturday which is something, and better than doing no physical fitness programs. I feel that a lot of children are ‘pushed’ into doing so many extra curricular activities both after school and on weekends, that they have no time to be a kid. I will always encourage the other programs, but not force them, as I want them to come from my daughter as her choice and enjoyment, and not for it to be a chore. In the meantime she will enjoy doing a little bit of a fitness program, and use her creative imagination and while loving the joys of childhood.

 

 

Anything in extreeme is not healthy

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

We all want to do what’s best for our children. Sometimes parents don’t realize that what they are doing can be detrimental to their children.

You hear of Sam, the little boy that was never allowed even the slightest bit of sugar in his diet. His parents only wanted him to eat healthy food. That sounds alright, nothing wrong with that. However when Sam turned 3 years old, he was invited to a friend’s birthday party, and while all the other children ran around and played and had fun, Sam sat at the snack table guzzling down the candy that he had never tasted before. Of course giving candy to your children daily is unhealthy, however anything in moderation is okay, and a very small treat once a week is acceptable to give.

It’s the same with discipline. The child that is screamed at daily for every tiny thing that the parents feel they do wrong, will cause them to turn into an anxious child. The child who never hears the word no, will be the type of child that people dread having over to their house, as they become destructive and unpleasant to be around. The best thing to do is to choose your battles, but to teach your children to be respectful and to teach them the difference between right and wrong. Give them lots of praise and self confidence, but don’t let them be your boss, show them that you are in charge.

It also applies to things like too much programming or too little programming of your school age child. Children already spend a full week at school and are basically there for a whole day. Some children go to school a full day and their parents put them into a different extra curriculum activity each night and all weekend.  Those children are sometimes so over programmed, not only do they not have time to relax and be kids for awhile, but they also burn our before they are even teenagers. Other children do not activities after school and nothing on the weekend either. You know your child best. If you think that too many activities in the week as well as full days of school each day is too much for your child, then at least do one activity or two activities on the weekend. Try and pick an activity that your child wants to do, and will have fun and that they don’t feel like it’s a chore. If you feel your child is the type that needs to be busy constantly, then instead of always putting them into programs make time for play dates as socialization is also very important. kids.

You know your child the best and what would work for your child’s needs. Although it is not always easy, try and create a balanced situation for your child. Anything in extreme is not healthy and can do a lot of harm to our children without us realizing it.

 

What kind of Curriculum do Toddlers & Preschoolers need?

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

This is an interesting question. In this day and age, it seems as if parents are obsessed with programming their toddlers.

What happened to the good old days when kids were kids? Kids used to build sand castles, draw pictures and run around outside creating imaginary games with their friends,

Digital toys were not available, so kids actually had to think for themselves and use their imagination.

Kids were less stressed, free spirited and happy.

It is not a bad thing that toddlers and preschoolers are placed in programs today, and yes they do absorb a lot of information at a young age. However you wonder how much information is really relevant to a toddler and preschooler and how much is just too much.

I don’t think it’s necessary to have an extremely formal curriculum at this age. Do you remember what you learned when you were 1, 2, and 3? I do think it’s important for toddlers and preschoolers to do craft, puzzles, and learning through circle times and creative play. It is very important to nurture their socialization skills, and teach things such as sharing, as well as how to communicate and interact with one another. This is a very important part of a child’s development.

For this age group, I think that all learning should be approached in a fun, and creative manner. Toddlers and preschoolers should not feel pressurized whilst being educated, but rather they should enjoy the fun of learning. This will help create an enthusiastic outlook toward learning that will extend through all their school years.

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