Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Changing of Life Habits for a First Grader

My youngest grandchild , Sam, just started first grade. He is attending school in a district that did not offer all day kindergarten. His experience may be a little different than a child that has had the experience of being in school all day. As I ponder the life of my own children as they progressed through public education and beyond it seems like a moment ago! I remember thinking oh, first grade, we have years ahead to grow and develop into adulthood. Wow, did that time fly by me like a rocket! Now I am watching the same thing with grandchildren. Sam is a typical first grader in many ways. He loves learning new things but it takes the talent of a creative teacher to make his classroom creative and exciting to hold his attention. Not having experienced all day kindergarten he is experiencing for the first time a longer day of learning. I know that earlier bedtime is very important for these young ones to succeed in school. The proper amount of sleep does help. But how much sleep does your child really need? This is a great read on the topic of sleep and how much is needed and of course it always depends on the individual child.

With the changes that come along being a first grader also comes educational expectations with learning. So much is expected in first grade. Reading is certainly a subject that is very necessary for a young student to grasp. It is the reading skills that one possess that carries us into many other facets of our education. For without learning to read we are stifled when it comes to everything else that is also expected as a learner. It takes special first grade teachers to challenge their students in such a way to make reading a fun experience. For it is with that in place when young students begin to love reading. As parents at home reading to our young ones is still a fabulous way to spend quality time with our kids or grandchildren. If we are reading to young ones, stopping every so often and asking a question or two, is a great way to find out what the child is hearing in the story. It is a great way to have wonderful one on one time too!

I have mentioned before in my blog that "
my kids turn" is a great website for parents, grandparents, or anyone that has the opportunity to be involved in the learning of a child. Please check it out and have fun with any student. There are many games and strategies to help in all areas of learning for kids.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Life is Good-so Good

What an exciting season on the yearly calendar. Fall is just my favorite time of year, what can I say! "Life is Good" really good for many reasons. Our geological region has just experienced the worst heat for as many days in a row as I can remember. Oh, fall! That means children are leaving their comfort zones and headed into another school year. For some little kindergartners' heading off to school, away from their comfortable surroundings, it is often times a little scary. For other kids there is positive energy and they are anxious and ready for their independence. We are all different in many ways and that is a very good thing. Those differences are what makes life happen and makes the world go around.

Here in the Essdack office the staff is bustling around like Christmas is around the corner. Our specialists are so very busy with in service training for districts in our area and outside the state of Kansas. I continue to be amazed at their ability to "wow" teacher audiences with their knowledge and experience. By sharing their knowledge they broaden the thinking of educators and give tools and information that helps to make learning fun and interesting for kids.

My hats go off to teachers. Their challenges are different every year they teach. Each classroom of kids has a different set of circumstances. Educators have a huge responsibility in meeting the needs of every child. We are richly blessed in Kansas to have wonderful devoted educators that keep on going each and every year to enrich the lives of their kiddos! "Life is Good" for many reasons and this time of year it is good because we have classrooms full of life-long learning.

We have parents who have released their children into classrooms with great expectations for learning and excitement for their child or children. Parents please remember "my kids turn" is available with wonderful learning tools to help your children at home. The activities are very fun and interactive. Check it out!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summertime and the Living is Easy

I remember as a kid growing up it did seem to me that the slogan "summertime and the living is easy" really worked in my youth. The older I get the quicker time passes me by, and time will never stand still. It has been a long summer for most of us, with the temperature in the triple digits. Our move happened in May and the rest has been a blur! For all of my friends out there you all know that fall and winter are my favorite seasons of the calendar. Oh my, how fall seems like a distant dream in my head and with it comes cooler weather, beautiful leaves and the awesome color that inspires my thinking. I am so looking forward to getting the fall box out of storage and begin to adorn my home with the colors that make me happy. I am so anxious to enjoy the outdoors when I can take a walk or sit in my backyard and enjoy the cooler breeze that the change of season brings.
With the change of season also comes the start of another school year for kids, teachers and all staff associated with learning. It is such an exciting time in the Essdack office to be looking forward to another amazing year. Our educational specialists are very busy with requests from school districts to present in their field of expertise to their staff. They are amazing folks that work hours and hours in preparation to continually present the most current information. Once again, "life long learning" is happening and it is awesome to be a part of it.
Parents please remember to check out "My Kids Turn" where you will find activities that you can do at home to extend learning for your children. There are games and tips on each link that are so fun for you and your children and it really makes learning fun too!