Thursday, February 22, 2018

Kindergarten or Bust!-Registration in Fulton County end of March

It is  February 22nd. it is hard to think of your pre-Kindergartener going off to Big Kids School this fall. However, ready or not it is time to start planning for registration if you child i going to Fulton County Schools. The AJC posted an article on February 2, 2018 Fulton County Sets Up pre-K, Kindergarten Registration the dates are March 28 from 8 an-4 pm and March 29 from 8 am to 7 pm. So, six weeks ahead is a good time to begin to plan ahead. If your child is in a pre-K program it is likely they will have a meeting for you where the center will give you al the current forms they have so you can register your child. Many centers will also plan field trips to Kindergarten classrooms so kids will have a chance to check things out.

I have some suggestions for you as you embark on getting your child ready to make the jump to Big Kids School.

  1. Learning is a process. The process is made up of four things. Instruction, Supervised Practice, Independent Practice, and 
  2. School Choice choosing a school is about making sure your children are in the right place is something a yearly decision. Look at the current school situation. If you are happy with it then choose it. If not then it is time to look at something else.
  3. The most important skills for Kindergarten are not leater or number recognition but emotional intelligence skills. Take a look at the list below.
Elements of a child ready to enter school:
-Cooperative play with others
-Ability to identify own feelings
- Self-control
-Follows routines and rules
-Listens and follows directions
-Ability to get along with others in conflict
-Uses words to express ideas, and ask questions
-Communicates on an age- appropriate level

When Kindergarten teachers and other early professionals talk about social/emotional development or emotional intelligence these are the things they are talking about. In study after study it is these skills which lead to school and life-long success. Kindergarten is to learn the other skills. These skills are the foundation for Kindergarten; be sure your kids are ready.

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High-quality Childcare Does Not Just Happen!

Last week I had a wonderful conversation with another parent educator. She is doing some great things and I wanted to know about them. I also wanted to share with her what was happening with PT&A. During the course of our conversation she made an off-hand quip when I spoke about high-quality child care. She said something to the effect “well everybody has a different idea of quality in daycare, right?” She was surprised and even shocked when I told her there are actually industry standards for early education and there are 10 Standards with detailed information below each to the tune of a book of more than 100 pages. Unfortunately, this is the case most of the time when I talk to other professionals about what I do.

It can be frustrating when other professionals assume that early education is not really education. I usually start a conversation with elementary educators about early childhood; with the fact that there are 90-semester hours of difference in the two fields of education. Then, I tell them in order to get my MA in ECE, I needed to set aside everything about my undergraduate degree and in essence start over.

In today’s research driven society the first five years have become in vogue. People from everywhere are coming out of the woodwork concerened about what is happening in a field I have been a part of since 1987. They are concerned about this knowledge and want to jump in and do what is necessary to take brain development seriously. Because no one is doing it well. FEALLY?

High-quality standards are important and necessary it has been defined and the standards are clear and precise.

Assessment of Child Programs
Staff Competencies, Training, and support
Community Relationships
Physical Environment
Leadership and Management

I am on a crusade to ensure parents and the general pubic understand what these standards are and why they are important. I hope you will come on the journey with me. If you have young children in care this information is vital to you. Share it with other parents you know and help all of us understand the standards and use them to ensure our children are not just well taken care of, but are receiving the babies quality care available!

Believe in Parenting

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What Dad's Bring to Kids 6 and Younger!

Erickson’s stages of Psycho-socal Development in early childhood include Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame, and Initiative vs. Guilt. Interestingly it is these three areas that fatherhood influences most.  The three areas are defined as follows:

Trust vs. Mistrust (Birth to 12 to 18 months)
The infant is in a new world and must learn to trust that his\her needs will be met. While in the womb everything was provided for them, in a safe warm environment. Now they are in a bigger and more frightening place. They need adults to meet these individual needs in a safe and secure place. If the infant learns to trust all is well. If not then he/she remain in this stage needing to learn trust
Autonomy vs. Shame /Doubt (18 mo. to three years)
This is the time when young children learn that they are individuals and concentrate on learning about themselves and what they can do. However, they are depending on adults in their lives to approve of their growth. When they are allowed to achieve, on their own, they develop a sense of self pride and an "I can do" spirit. When they are not allowed this chance to achieve on their own they feel doubt about themselves, and shame because of it.  
Initiative vs. Guilt (3 to 6 years)
This is the age that children now begin to develop their own personalities. They have discovered what they can do, and they want to do it for themselves. Many times they will challenge adult authority in order to have the opportunity to do it themselves. This will cause them to have guilty feelings.                                                                                                                                                                                                        
On in an article “The Science of Fatherhood: Why Dad’s matter” the author Stephanie Pappas sites hormonal studies which show the increased levels of oxycotin and the decreased levels of testoterone help men to prepare for fatherhood. Oxytocin is the hormone nicknamed the “love-hormone” that give people the ‘feeling of being in love”. Studies also show that the more a father holds and interacts with their children the longer and stronger the effects on Dad. Dads are said to spend hours holding and gazing at their babies.  It is this close physical interaction that supports a child's ability to trust.  According to Ainsworth and Bowlby it is this contact that supports bonding.

Another article on the website “How Fathers and Children Affect Each Other’s Development” speaks of Dad’s being present at bith to be better at describing an infant modd and temperment with richer details up to 3 to 6 months later. This article also talks about a study done on children whose fathers were the primary caregivers over ten years following dad’s and their children  from three months to ten years. This study showed that children when given the Yale Provence-Gesell Developmental Schedules showed no intellectual or emotional trouble,  fathers stimulated emotional attachment, children showed robust emotional flexibility, and also showed exceptional ability to handle the stress and and strain of daily life.  Dad’s tended to wait longer for children to attempt to do things for themselves and were more likely to give assistance and not rescue the child. These are the building blocks for developing autonomy and initiative. Though these conclusions came about with Dad’s as primary caregivers one might als0 conclude that Dad’s interaction with children prepare them to engage in daily life in a trusting, autonomous way that sparks initiative. One article I read even stated that Dad’s rarely pick up their children the same way twice. Children’s eyes open wide and heart rate speeds up. It was exactly the opposites for Moms.

What these articles show me is information on fatherhood I thought worthy of sharing. Fathers are very important in the life and care of young children We as practitioners need to not only explore these studies and articles we need to let the everyday parent know the true effect of Dad’s interactions and relationships with kids.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

What Jewish Parents Teach their Kids that Christian Parents Don't. Why It Makes a Difference!.

When I attended Oral Roberts University in 1992 I read a book called Our Father Abraham: The Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith; it really impacted how I saw myself as a Christian and gave me a true gratitude for the Jewish people. Little did I know several decades later I would be attending a congregation of Jewish and Gentile believers who worship the Messiah as one new man. It is amazing. What is also amazing is the rite of passage called either a Bar (male) or Bat (female) Mitzvah. This ceremony takes place after two years of intensive study. girls start at 10 and boys at 11. I believe it is this two years of intensive study and preparation to be spiritually responsible for their own relationship with God that makes the difference between Messianic (jewish believers) and Christians.

One thing I will never forget reading in the booki I mentioned above is how young children are taught to love God's words by associating it with sweets. It spoke of how Rabbi's would write scriptures on small sweet cakes. The children would read the scriptures from the cake and then eat it. I love this object lesson and how it fully illustrates the scripture the word of God is sweeter to the lips than honey from the honeycomb. I attend a Messianic Congregation in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA. Here every year they have a chocolate Seder (Passover Dinner) on the Thursday evening we celebrate the Resurrection after celebrating the traditional Passover. This re emphasises to the children how sweet it was for the Angel of Death to Passover those who had applied the Blood of the Lamb to their door frames.

We as Christians need to think about several things when it comes to the Jewish people. First for the Jewish people this is not just about faith it is about heritage. The Jewish people are direct descendants of Abraham. When God said to Abraham look at the stars of the sky your people will be equal in number to them. . I do not doubt it Adolf Hitler wanted to wipe out this race he killed 6 million and still there are Jewish people on every continent and every country in the world. They are a resilient people and God has caused them to thrive and flourish wherever they are. It is a testament to His faithfulness. Also, these people have come to realize when you are thrown out of a country with only the clothes on your back all you can take with you is the knowledge in your head. So, Jewish people value education above most hings. Finally, many Jewish people are scared of Christians in just about every case when the Jewish people persecuted it was either condoned, supported, or carried out by people who called themselves Christian. Therefore, many Jews show hate, contempt, and anger toward those of us who claim the Messiah as Lord. This all started in the 3rd century When Constantine decided he wanted to save Rome from falling he created  the Roman Catholic Church. He purposely separated the church from the Jewish people. Thus the statue all over Europe of Synagogue and Ecclesia. He sent his Mom to point out all the places she believed Christ was and they claimed them as Holy sites. To this day there are things the Kinessate will not do because it may offend the  Church of Rome. I share these things with you because you need to know why the Jewish people do these things and Christians do not. It is because in 313 the Church was split into Jew and Gentile by the will of a Roman Emperor. God is in the process of bringing us back together.

However, for that to happen we need to begin to understand the roots of our faith and teach those roots to our children. Christian and Jewish children are of one family in the Messiah. Are all Jewish people going to accept the Messiah? No, but lets be honest not everyone who calls Jesus Lord is actually serving Him. Those Jews who are believers in Messiah are our brothers grafted into the same olive tree. We need to teach this to our kids so they begin to understand who they are (the Jewish People)  and who we are in relation to them.

I think it should start with Christian parents recognizing that their children need to study deeply what it means to serve Messiah at age 10 for girls and 11 for boys. We need to ensue our children have their own independent relationship with the Holy Spirit based on their own knowledge of the word and strong foundation of a relationship listening to and obeying the leading and the voice of the Holy Spirit. While the churches we attend can assist us in this practice, What I have found is the parents of these kids who offer the driving force and the most support and counsel to their kids. Many of us in the church have made the mistake of letting our children think that getting up on Sundy an going to church church is the primary way we serve God. Which is not even almost the truth.

We need to talk about God with our kids. Talk about what He is saying to us about us and about them. We need to talk about how the Holy Spirit told us... and looking back we see what He meant and what  our obedience and our disobedience has given/cost us. We need to talk about the whole bible and attend some Messianic congregations to put the Old Testament into its correct perspective. But, most of all we need to live what we believe by thinking, saying, acting, and doing what the word says as best we can. Because our children will take with them 85% of what they see us doing and 15% of what they hear. So, I challenge you to begin to ask the Holy Spirit to show you how  you can train your kids to have a real and concrete relationship with the Lord. If you think you could use some help. I will be hosting a class for 6 weeks beginning 2/15/18. Contact me at educatepta@gmail for more information.

Believe in Parenting

Monday, February 5, 2018

Did you notice the Superbowl Dad's?

First of all let me say congratulation to the Philadelphia Eagles for the win of the 52nd Superbowl against the New England Patriots. The game was hard fought and won at the last minute. They played hard. The news regarding this team has spoken of the close knit brotherhood among the Eagles players. It speaks of their faith in God and in each other. One report I read said the closeness and camaraderie among is throup of men is unusual. I think it worth noting that not one Eagles player took a knee during the season and they are also known to get involved in their community to make strong differences.

One thing of not I noticed last night is how many of the Eagles players were carrying around their kids last night. The picture above is only one shot. I say at least five players carrying their kids around with them as they were talking and celebrating their win. This says a lot to me about the kind of men we are talking about. Family is important to thuis team. These men not only care about each other they apparently encourage each other to be good husbands and fathers as well.

Back in the 80s abd 90s there was an organization called Promise Keepers it was a ministry for men it primarily worked to keep men accountable to one another as they lived their lives as Christians, husbands, and fathers. Watching they way these players interacted amongst each other last night made me think of the brotherhood I witness among my male promis Keeper friends back in the day. While I congratulate the Eagles on being The Greatest Show on Turf, I also can not help but also congratulate them on being men who love God and seem to challenge one another on to love and good works.