Summer Lessons for Your Preschooler

Another school year has come and gone, and it’s summer time already. When you made that last preschool run you may have been thanking your lucky stars that you don’t have to rush everyone out the door so early. But soon the dust settles and you realize you have your child home now – and they are bored. Every day at preschool they were playing with well-coordinated activities in a place designed for messes. Home is a bit different, and now you’re stuck trying to figure out what to do to keep your preschooler’s mind and body just as active as they were at school. 

You may be amazed at how much your child learned throughout the school year. But remember how when you were in school your mind would somehow lose much of what you learned during the school year, and your teachers would spend the first few weeks reviewing that material? It is the same for your preschooler – if they don’t practice the skills they learned this year they may forget them over the summer. Just because the school year is ending doesn’t mean the learning has to stop! Here are some activities for you to do at home with your preschooler to keep their learned skills sharp throughout the summer. 

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Choosing the Right Preschool for Your Child AND You

It’s a time in a parent’s life that they look forward to and dread all at the same time – sending your child to school for the first time. Choosing the right preschool can sometimes feel like choosing the right college. There are tours, discussions of tuition, reviewing curriculums, and nerves about sending your baby into the big world. For your preschooler, there are many things to consider outside of your child gaining valuable knowledge and social skills. You want to be sure your child is safe, happy, and growing in their love of learning.

Walking into a tour for a preschool can be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared. There are several factors that go on behind the scenes in a preschool, and you want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of how the school is run and their goals for the children in their care. But with some basic knowledge in hand, you will be able to ask the right questions and get the information you need to make a good decision. With that in mind, here are some tips about how to choose the preschool that’s right for your child – and you. 

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A Week of Teacher Appreciation Ideas

In the course of one day, our children’s teachers are not only their educators; they are their cheerleaders, their defenders, their nurse, their coach, their psychologists, their activists and their friend. Most importantly, teachers are our children’s mentors and role models; the person who has the potential to be one of the most influential individuals in our child’s lives.

One thing’s for sure: Teachers deserve mountains of appreciation. 

Most schools have one week a year, typically in the spring, when the students and parents can shower our teachers and school staff members with adoration and thanksgiving. Teacher Appreciation Week is a fun time to get kids involved with expressing gratitude. Some schools assign a theme to each day of the week so that everyone is consistent, such as bring a flower for your teacher on Monday and a candy treat on Tuesday. In that vane, we’ve come up with a week-long list of ideas to acknowledge the hard work of our wonderful teachers, all of which you can tailor to how simple or detailed you’d like your gifts to be.

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The Benefits of Keeping Recess in Schools

Duck, Duck Goose, Mother May I, Hopscotch, Dodgeball, Red Light, Green Light; do any of these games sound familiar? Of course they do. Many of us played these games and more during recess while in elementary school. Unfortunately, today’s kids are likely not to be familiar with these games. In fact, a lot of them may not even experience recess at school.

Over the past several years’, elementary schools have been significantly reducing designated recess time or completely eliminating recess from the academic day. Some school districts have even gone as far as to not include playground space in the construction of new school buildings. Is this trend of eliminating recess in schools good for our children?

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4 reasons to send your teen to a Boarding School


One of the most difficult decisions that any parent has to make is where to send their kids to school. While local public schools are perfectly adequate for many kids, they aren’t always the best option. Regardless of the reasons why, if you’ve determined that a private school is a better choice, you then need to make another decision: private day school or boarding school?

The notion of boarding school isn’t always met with enthusiasm. There’s often a perception that boarding schools are full of wealthy kids, or kids who were troublemakers at home. Parents also often feel guilty about sending their kids to boarding school, and they are reluctant to spend so much time away from them.

However, the truth is, boarding schools aren’t always for troubled kids or kids who don’t have a great home life. In fact, there are a number of advantages to attending a boarding school that students who go to a public or day school don’t usually see.

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Montessori in the Kitchen: 4 tips for making food fun

The kitchen. It’s the one place in a household that is usually off-limits to little ones. Ovens, knives, glassware… the list of fearful items goes on and on. Let us not forget the added mess that is inevitable when a child helps you prepare a meal. But, meal preparation and kitchen play is actually one of the best learning scenarios for your child, giving them a chance to learn not only how to prepare food (an important life skill), but also the importance of nutritional value and what to eat. Food manipulation – in all of its messy glory – is also one of the best ways to get your picky child to try something new! Thus, we’ve incorporated the highly sought out Montessori method, or learning through self-exploration, to make the home kitchen accessible and enjoyable for all. Check out our tips for making food fun!

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Top 5 Influential Home Education Books

There are a lot of homeschooling books on the market. So many, in fact, that one gets bogged down just scanning the Amazon search results. There are several reasons why there are so many books.

  • There is no one “right way” to homeschool.
  • Homeschooling educational philosophies vary.
  • Different states have different requirements.
  • Homeschooling has become more commonplace.
  • Veteran homeschoolers desire to share their wisdom.
  • Curriculum options are endless and ever-changing.
  • Available choices for charter schools, hybrid schools, university model schools, and homeschooling co-operatives have exploded in recent years.

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Speech Therapy At Home: Three “s” Activities

You know your child is having trouble saying the “s” sound. They might even be getting therapy at school or through a clinic.  

Speech therapists love it when parents practice at home. It will increase your child’s progress so much, by helping in two ways. The first is carryover. Your speech therapist might have your kiddo saying “s” perfectly in the session – but only YOU can help them carry it over in the home. And that’s what you and the therapist want – to see progress with that sound in every area of your child’s life. The second is muscle memory. Your child has probably been saying the sound wrong long enough that their muscles want to say it that way automatically even if they have learned the correct way to say it.  

But how do you help? Here are three easy activities to help practice that tricky “s”. Your kiddo might not even know that they’re working!

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Reading Nonfiction with Your Toddler

On your next trip to the library, don’t just stop at the picture book aisles, wander on over to the nonfiction for kids or juvenile nonfiction. Nonfiction reading for kids does not have to be boring. In fact, we’ve found that toddlers love it! Their little brains are sponges just waiting to absorb all the information about the world that they can. Fill that brain with more than just stories. Fill it with knowledge. It is never too early to start a love for learning and a desire to obtain new information. As you will see, the benefits of nonfiction reading are priceless and there are some simple and fun ways you can encourage this type of reading in your toddler.

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6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Library Visit

In this digital information age, many people may dismiss the advantage of library attendance. Clearly, hopping on the internet for information while in your pajamas sounds much more appealing than wrangling everybody into clean clothes and dealing with wandering children in a public place. But there are still benefits to reap from your local library! Read on to see how you can make the most of your library visits.

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“Everyone Wants to Quit in November and February” Time Management Tips (for homeschoolers and more!)

While this post is geared towards scheduling for homeschoolers, don’t click away if you don’t homeschool! These tips are useful for anyone wanting to improve their time management skills.

If you’ve been homeschooling for any length of time, you’ve probably heard that “Everyone wants to quit in November and February.” While Susan Wise Bauer may have quipped this during a live seminar, her blog actually says, “My mother [Jessie Wise] always says that everyone wants to quit home schooling in November, February, and May.”

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Keepsake Bins: Organizing Your Child’s School & Art Work

Masterpiece after masterpiece has been posted to your refrigerator door. Second grade poems of “Roses are red, violets are blue, you’re my mom, and I love you!” and finger painted butterflies have been strewn on intricately designed clotheslines on your walls (thanks, Pinterest!), or placed in frames to be displayed for a short while until the next A+ comes along. While it is so important to display your child’s hard work and creativity, we know the question on every parent’s mind when another piece comes home stuffed inside their backpack — Am I supposed to save e v e r y t h i n g? The answer is no, but there is an efficient way that you can save the important pieces all in one place where they will be kept safe and organized for you and your child to look back on for years to come. 

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