Sunday, July 30, 2017

US Parents Day-The Fourth Sunday in July!

Today is national Parents Day! It is the day we in the US set aside to  celebrate parent's and the job they do every day! Unlike Mom's or Dad's day this is a day to celebrate the family unit. It is about the love and joy; parents feel towards their children and the relationship they are building on a daily basis.

So, today as you go through your day, take some time to think about the relationship you have with your kids and how you can make it deeper, richer, and more meaningful for all of you. I suggest finding a way to spend at least 15-20 minutes a day with each of your children getting your undivided attention doing something you both love.

If you are having trouble with how your relationship is going the best thing you can do is start with you. Are you being the best example for your children? Are you being true to yourself. I encourage you to read my 50 word essay on Inspire Me Today and Start you Journey to Authenticity. It is this journey which will  create a strong foundation for becoming  a more effective and connected parent!

Believe in Parenting

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Parents: 5 Things About Homework Teachers have Forgotten to Tell You!

Multiple Intelligence is Important

If you have been following this blog for any time you know multiple intelligence is the way your rain engages at the highest level. Here are two blogs that will help you understand it if you have not read about it before. (Giving your Kids the Gift of Brain Power and Fighting ISIS Using MI)  The tool of multiple intelligence allows human beings to rev up their brains ability to engage at a high capacity. Doing activities which fall into our primary, secondary, and tertiary forms of intellect allows us to re-engage our brains from a tired, blanked out, or distracted place to focus and think better. Therefore, it makes perfect sens to use a 10-15 minute time frame before homework to geted the brain revved up for it.

Learning and Instruction are not the same.

You might ask me why is this so important? It is because there is a large fallacy in our culture about learning and it will effect your children if you let it. Here it is: learning does not take place in school, instruction does. There is a process to learning: 1) the teacher instructs the students in whatever subject matter is presented, then provides opportunities for kids to participate called guided practice. 2) Teacher provides in class "guided" independent practice and works with the students to get the concepts down and  be able to use them. 3) The teacher provides independent practice called homework where the student puts into practice what was instructed in class. This is where leaning takes place! It is when children put info practice for themselves the instruction given in class. They lean bb focing thier brains to use the new information. So, this process works so much better if just before they sit down they have turned their brains on to max capacity.

Clear Expectations and Rewarding can Help

The main task of parents in the learning process is to support both the child and the teacher. A discussion at the beginning of the year about your expectations surrounding homework. I recommend you develop a reward system surrounding doing homework and turning it into the teacher. This could be a quarter or semester goal and something simple. Like getting a more expensive something for heir homework environment, or a chance to go to a more targeted camp focusing on their favorite activity. The reward should be focused on either their MI or favorite school subject. Try not to make it random. The goal here is to help kids to get and stay motivated in doing and turning in their homework.

Homework Rules and Routines Make Life Easier

In our world with kids engaged in all kinds of activities, online and off it helps if you hdevelop a fue rules and routines when it comes to homework. Depending on the age of our childen homework could last 15 minutes to an hour or two. Decide the best time of day for kids to do their homework. I suggest they have at least a half hour/45 minutes home from school before doing their brain activity so they can unwind and decompress from the day. Just like us kids need a the to break up the time between work and the evening. I suggest only a few rules.

  1. Homework or not this time of day is used for some form of learning activity which does not involve screen time.
  2. Doors are to be kept open during homework time.
  3. Homework time is quiet time if you are using sounds or music it should not disturb others.
  4. Homework routines can be S-Th, giving kids two days respite.

The Environment Makes a Difference

Homework environment can also support this brain engagement. Setting up your child's work space by using their multiple intelligence can help keep their brain engaged during the learning process. The above link giving your child the gift of brain power provides a link for your children to take an inventory which will guide you to understand their intelligence. Once you know itm, get your child involved in picking item like posters,cd's, books, and objects specific to their intellectual bent. Use these items to create a personalized learning environment at home. Check in with your child periodically to see if this is working for them. Surprise them with special little things which will enhance this learning area.

Education is the most important thing we provide our children. We are fortunate in this country we have free public education this is an export to the world; before free public education in the US it did not exist. We are unique in the world for that reason, most nations do not provide free education like we do some Arab countries which have oil resources provide free education through college. Yet, the concept is uniquely American. Take full advantage of the fact, give you kids the tools they need!

Believe in Parenting

Monday, July 24, 2017

Solve the Mystery of You: a Master Class-Registration Blog!

Conference Call for more information 8/9/2017 8pm
Call number 515-603-3175 Access Code 504512#

We all experience issues of tragedy and triumph in our lives. It is these highs and lows in our life which make us stop and look at our lives, where we are, and where we go from here. One such tragedy hit my life in 2003, when I was told I was permanently visually impaired. It hit me like a ton of bricks to know I had Diabetic Retinopathy. This sent me into depression and I had a hard time seeing up. This started me on a journey to find out for myself who I am and what does life have for me now. Though in my 20's I found my purpose to serve children and families through parent education I asked myself: what does that look like now? Can I still fulfill what I feel is my life's calling? Little did I know how this journey to find the answers would only deepen my call and make it even more real to me.

Through a series of books, working with my clients , and soul searching, I discovered who I am what I believe and how to pull all that together and become more true to myself. I have turned this experience into a class I have done with hundreds of parents. The class is called Defining Values/Achieving Goals. The purpose of this class is to help adults reach the highest level of Maslow's pyramid self-actualization. One of my clients said to me it is like I am discovering myself. In prayer one day the title Solve the Mystery of You came to me. Thus,the master class came to be.

Here is the class in a nutshell:

Over a 12-week period we will meet in a video conference where I will do a mini-lecture on that weeks exercises and what I want you to do and what it will bring up for you to think about. Each weeks assignment will consist of one exercise and one journaling guide to prompt you to think about what you have learned about yourself from the exercise and how it applies to your life. Some exercises will require you to be introspective. Some will require you to talk to your significant other or a close friend. All the exercises are designed to get you to know yourself better. Authenticity requires a true and deep knowledge of what you believe and why. My goal is two-old one to help you to get a clear view of who you are and to develop a personal mission statement for your life. The second is to give you the tools you need to help your children get to the same space. 85% of what your children will carry with them into the future is what they see you do! Which reinforces my feelings about my least favorite statement when it comes to parenting: "Do as I say, not as I do." This statement does not work and never did. Your children will do what you do and become better at it than you ever could.

I wish I could promise you stunning, miraculous results but, much of this is dependant on you and the work you are willing to put into each week. After Week one the majority of our calls will be on discussing what we have learned. If you feel you need private consultations we can discuss it along the way. But, most of this is me guiding you along the way. 

If you are interested in going on this journey the cost of the Master Class is $240.00 or $20.00 a week. For some of you this is pocket change for others of you this is a sacrifice. So, I am giving you time to save. 

(If you need the time I will allow you to pay in installment. You need to contact me to set this up. The full price must be bad by the end of the registration period. If you do not pay in full you will not get to participate and I will not refund your payments. So, please count the cost before contacting me.

The class starts Tuesday September 11, 2017. The last day to register is September 10 at 11:59 p.m. I am limiting the class to 30 participants, this way I can make myself available to everyone. If you are interested in Solving the Mystery of You you can register here

Believe in Parenting

Friday, July 21, 2017

#Authenticitiy= Effective Parenting Masterclass Coming Soon

Are you interested in working to become more true to yourself? Being true to ourseves takes a lot of wotk. Authenticity is not easy to get to. But, it can help you learn to be more congruent within your daily life. When what you believe lines up with how you feel, what you think, say, and do then parenting is much more a flow of who you are and how you live.

This 12-master class is about living according to your own inner self and teaching your children how to do the same. You can start by reading this Luminary from Inspire Me Today. Once you have decided you want to enroll in the Master Class you can PM me here to register, linkedin/in/barbara-e-harvey-236000718 I will send you the registration link the class is $240.00. The discount ends September 3rd.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

#Authenticity=Effective Parenting

Parenting is all about being true to yourself and teaching your children to do the same. As Dr. Phil says "you can't lead where you haven't been". So, I ask you is what you believe in line with what you think, say, and do? If not you are confusing yourself, your significant other, but most expecially your childfren! I can help you with that.Book a free conlult here.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Parents: Early Childhood Educaation vs Babysitting!

Recently, I read an article in the New York Times called "Do Pre-school Teachers Really Need to be College Graduates?" . It is something those in the early childhood industry have struggled with a lot over tne years. Why? Because we know in order tohelp young children grow in each domain (social/enotonal, mental, physical/motor/ and languag) and to be properly prepared for school and ultimately for life we need trained educators who understand each of the four domains individually, how they work together, and to be able to identify if a child is progressing well along the developmental scale or needs help to develop coping skillls different than those used by their peers. Yet, paying a teacher with these skiill minimum wage and expecting them to stay in a child care setting when they could make a salary and have benefits in a school district or private care setting such as nanning it is difficult keeping a well trained staff. As an infustry this conundrum makes it difficult to because we are constantly lossing well qualifued taff to better paying; yet equally satusfying jobs.

Ultimately, this is the real difference between "babysitting/daycare" and erly childhood education. Brain research has come to light to show what we have known for years, thoses of us in ECE teach. How we teach is different because those we teach are not yet ready for the traditional learning method of Elementary School which most of us think of as education. I first really began to understand this when I found out therte are 90-semester hours difference between yhe two forms of education. I was shocked to learn they were so different they literally only share general education requirements in their degree areas.

In my teen years I was a babysitter extrodinaire. I made $4300 dollars babysitting between my junior and senior year of highschool. I think of of the reasons the kids like me is because I usually made the time all about them. I found out the things they really liked and made a plan for the time to be about them. I never had trouble getting them to go to bed because they were usually exhausted from doing what we did.  I loved spending time with kids and having fun with them. I can tell you there is aserious difference between what I did as a teenager and what I do now.

 Although, I am no longer in an early childhood classroom, I still occasionally train early educators and I can say  it is undoubtedly mentally and emotionally more draining work in a way babysitting is not. It requires observation, interaction, changing the classroom environment as needed, then being sure the enviornment is meeting the educational needs of each child each. Then revisitin the enviornment every day and being able to think on your fwt to change it; if it is not. It talkes listening to children as they interact with the materials to learn what they are thinking and figuring out what questions to ask to help them to expand their toughts and create a new concept to explore. Then ensuring tomorrow this particular child gets materials which will aid them in exploring the new concept as they begin to engage on the new and different concept. Babysitting requires noe of these skills or abilities!

The brain research shows a child's brain develops the most duruing the first five years' of life. There are experts  who know and understand what it takes to support that nrain development, early childhood educators. There are also those who will care for and keep your child safe and happy babysitters/daycare workers. Which do you prefer for your child's furst fuve tears?

Believe in Parenting

Friday, July 14, 2017

Parents, Teachers, and Kids Understanding the Roles

I was 13 when I started working with children, and I graduated in 1989 wigh my bachelor in of science in education. Though I gen
erally understood the role of every person in the educational perspec tive over the years I have grown to appreciate eaxch of the roles and how they intermingle to ensure children ger a greate education. I am going to give the statements first then I will break them down.

The Roles

Child-to come into the classroom having eaten breakfast, prepared with the needed supplies. Be willing to listen to and obey the teafher, follow directions, and an attitude geared towards wanting to learn. The will to do the class and homework to the best of thier ability and to get along with others.

Teacher-to have prepared lessons and planned materials so learning can take place, to teach subjects using as many learning tools and multiple intelligence experiences as necessary to ensure every student is learning the material.Speaking up if a child meeds more help. Assining classwork, homework, grading and recording the grades. Keeping up with current learning research, and professiona development. Giving parents all the needed information and support they need to help their children succeed in their current grade level. Please keep in mind teacher work between 60-80 hours a week depending on the time of year. They need all the help they can get!

Parents-to give kids an understanding of the importance of education and set up a homework space condusive to learning. To provide a time and a routine around getting homework done and returned. While also paying attention enough to notice if their child is struggling. Then to let the teacher know if they are seeing issues. Be a part of the school community by keeping in regular communication with their child's teacher/s, offering support to the teacher and to theur child, by attending parent/teacher association meetings (PTA/PTO), parent-teacher conferences and as many field trips, school assemblies, and parent nights as humanly possible.

Respecting the Roles

Please note there is very little overlap in who plays what role. Teaching is up to the teacher, learning is up to the child. Offering support to both child and teacher is up to the parent. If we cross the line and try to do one another's roles is where dhaos begins. In addition, blaming or shaming someone in how they are performing their role is detrimental to the learning process.. Insted, it is better to support the person and help them to figure out  how to get them what they need, in order to fulfill their role in the learning process.. A strong community is based on each person respecting the others, knowing their role and doing it to the best of tyheir ability. While encouaging the others in their roles. Stepping up as needed to help the other meet thier obligations wihout taking over their role. Giving them enough help to get over whatever hump is keeping them from fulfilling thier role at that time. 

Education is so important to the development of our children. However learning is up to them. Most people think learning takes place at school this is only true up to a certain point. Instruction and what is called guided practice takes place at school. Actual learning takes place as a person does independent practice which is the purpose of homework.If a child skips out on homework or does not do it to the best of  their ability then their learning is compromised. It is important for this portion of their role be diligently considered by th teacher, parent, and child. Understanding and appreiating the ducational roles will ensure your child can trhive in the school year to come!

Believe in Parenting

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Back to School Readiness

Here in Georgia it is back to school time. Most schools in our area will be back in session August 8th. Getting back to school after the summer can be a hard time for families, there are school supplies to buy, uniforms to find and purchase, school bus or other transportation issues to work out, before/after care to arrange, and a routine to think about and establish. The home school connection is an important part of family life and this goes for kids and parents.

Here is a list of suggestions for back to school readiness:

4 Weeks before school is back in session

Read the school discipline and safety policies and talk to your kids about them. (See district website)

Discuss what plans you can make regarding bullying at school and develop a safe word the child can text in case of emergency.

If you need assistance with school supplies google back-to-school fairs in your area and make a plan to go.

Have your children take a multiple intelligence inventory (MI). For more information click here.

Set up the homework area to reflect their MI.

If you are planning to do a carpool reach out and make a plan for it.

2-3 Weeks before school is back in session

Begin getting your kids into the routine of getting up for school.

Go shopping for a backpack (I recommend the ones on wheels to prevent injury.), supplies and uniforms (if needed)

Talk about and make a plan for children getting information to you from the teacher. I recommend you have a specific folder, such as an animal print/face where all the correspondence you need is in the folder.Share this information and show the teacher the folder, so they are aware of the plan.

If the school is new, take a trip and let your child get used to the new surroundings

Take your child to the school to meet the teacher, call ahead and arrange this meeting.

Be sure to ask the teacher for contact information and the best way for you to reach out and share your information.

If your child is taking the school bus, take them by the corner or walk them to it if they will be walking alone to the stop.

Discuss lunches and your plan for them. How often will they buy or take their lunch. Ask them for input on what they might like to have included in their lunches.

Talk about homework and afternoon routines.  Create a plan for the family around this time and discuss it let everyone state their opinions and come up with a plan.

1 Week before school is back in session

Have a good-bye to Summer Bash

Get things ready for the first week (iron clothes, make and refrigerate/freeze what can be used for lunches. (entrees, juice boxes, fruit bowls)

Pack backpacks with supplies needed mark ones you want the children to keep with their name or a symbol so they can identify what they keep.

Review the school and discipline policies

Talk to your children about your hopes and dreams for them going into this school year and let them share theirs. Write them down and review tham about every six weeks. Talk about what you can do to stay on track.

Talk about what school means to you and why you think it is important. Follow through on contacting the teacher and keeping up on all the important comings and goings so you can be involved as much as possible.

I hope this helps you kick off the school year in a positive and less stressed vibe. You can  do this! Have a lot of fun with it, school will soon be back in session. Enjoy the last dog days of Summer.

Believe in Parenting
Want more support?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Why Parents who pay attention to school, have kids who excell!

Last night as I was talking to a group of parents about getting ready to go back to school, I emphasised  finding out the teachers preferred method of communication, preferred time of day, and getting in touch monthly. Why would I make this suggestion? Human nature is my answer.  Let me explain.

In education it is a known fact the ideal class size is 1 teacher to 18 children; this has not been the case in a very long time. The average class size is now 24 in elementary schools. While this is doable and teachers are trying to do well and the best they can by their students. When a teacher knows you are going to be contacting her to discuss how you can support her and your child. It is human nature to just pay more attention. It is similar to knowing you are going to be evaluated. You tune in differently to the information and you ensure you are getting it. Teachers tend to pay more attention and have a much more clear thought of where your child is in the learning process. Because they know you are going to be asking the questions.

What questions should you ask?

  1. How well is my child doing in academics? Is there and area I need to emphasie? Would tutoring help?
  2. Does my child have friends? Who do they interact with most?
  3. Are there any behavioral issues? Do they seem lost or bored?
  4. What is the best way for me to support you in the next month?
  5. Is there any school programs or activities I should try to attend in the next month?
  6. Are there any concerns you have whe have not discussed
 These questions will usually lead to a quick conversation of less than 15 minutes, but it will help you to stay clear on the progress of your child in school. I encourage you to become the teachers partner in your child's education. It is imperative for you to get engaged and stay focused on this part of your child's life. If you want your child to take school seriously, it will havven not because you ask questions like how was school? But, because they know you pick up the phone on a regular basis and talk to the other adult who is your partner in getting them there. It is not in what you say but, in what you do. This is the minimum in parents engaging in education I will share more as the dates for back to school get closer. 

Believe in Parentng

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Parents Choosing Child Care? Ask about the ASQ!

I was recently in a conference where I a social worker was telling us she was working with several high-quality centers and asking them to participate in screening their children using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). I asked her how many of the centers were already using the assessment she told me non. What I did not tell her is that I am an early childhood expert and the answer to her question told me these centers were not  meeting industry standards for high-quality centers. Because the one thing high-quality centers do is assess children both formally and informally. 

The ASQ is the only formal assessment which gives a complete and accurate picture in all four domains of early educations (language, physical, social/emotional, and intellectual) from year to year of how a child is progressing. If a center is not using the ASQ to establish a baseline for the informal development it is impossible for them to be able to properly asses the whole child using informal means of observation. Although, centers can use portfolios, developmental checklists, and other tools to assess children's development without the ASQ the measurements are not giving a clear and succinct picture of where the child is starting out and where they are at the end of a year.

If you are a parent looking for a high-quality center one of the questions you should as is when do you administer the ASQ? I would ask this on a phone call. It will  help you weed out centers quickly. Please do not get me wrong. A center can be of fairly good quality if they are not using the ASQ. However, according to industry standards it not considered high-quality without the assessment in place.

Believe in Parenting