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Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Preventing Your Child From Falling Victim To The Word Gap: Choose The Right Preschool

When you are living on a limited budget, it can take a toll not only on you but also on your young children. Whether you realize it or not, your constant worries about money, the multiple jobs you work to support your family, and the like can (in some ways) leave your child at a disadvantage known as the word gap. This may seem disconcerting to you, but there are things that you can do to prevent your child from being negatively affected by this issue. All you need to do is learn what problems can arise and how to address them at an early age. 

What Is The Word Gap And Why Does It Matter?

The “word gap” is a phenomenon that was discovered in the 1990s and demonstrates that by the time children of low-income homes reach preschool age (3) they have heard 30 million fewer words in their lives than their peers from higher-income homes. This can and does affect children academically and even socially. 

Children who start out their lives at a word gap disadvantage have been shown to be more likely to struggle in school, have social and behavioral problems, and be more likely to earn lower incomes themselves. However, this does not mean that this will happen to your children, and there are ways to combat this phenomenon.

What Can You Do To Prevent The Word Gap From Affecting Your Child?

When you are struggling to make ends meet, you often rely on child care providers to give your child the primary care they need. As such, your choice of child care service provider must be made carefully.

Before your child reaches preschool age, be sure that the day care provider you choose is trained in early childhood education. They will need to provide your child with an environment that is nurturing and linguistically rich. Be sure that they read to and with children and give them the attention and intellectual stimulation they need.

How Do You Choose The Right Preschool?

If your child is already preschool-aged, you may fear that it is too late to make a difference. However, this is not the case. By selecting the right preschool child care service for your child, you can eliminate any negative effects the word gap may have had on your child. 

Make sure you choose a preschool that is accredited and that the head teachers at all levels are college educated. Surprisingly, many preschool teachers did not attend or finish college, making it difficult for them to properly teach speech and language skills at the proper developmental level.

Choosing preschools such as Montessori schools or the Wooden Shoe Pre-School & Pre-Kindergarten with rigorous, hands-on academic programs designed to be developmentally appropriate will help your child to overcome any early disadvantages and excel through preschool and beyond. Make sure you check on teacher credentials and the curriculum of any preschool you choose for your child.

As you can see, the struggles you endue in your life can spill over to affect your child in their early years. However, there are ways to help eliminate and reverse such issues. Make sure that the day care provider and preschool programs you select can accomplish this goal and get your child started off on the right foot.  

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Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Helping Your Child Practice An Instrument

Music lessons can have a profound impact on the development of a child. Time spent learning the piano, violin, drums, or any other instrument has the potential to give your child a lifelong skill, interest, and added measure of confidence. Like most good things in life, though, musical abilities take time and hard work to develop. Practice makes perfect. For a child, this idea often results in feelings of boredom, disillusionment, and frustration at times, even if music lessons were their idea and request in the first place. If your child is struggling with their practicing, here are three tactics you can try.

Keep a Musical Home

If you celebrate music together as a family, your child will find it easier to keep a sense of perspective. Your child will have something to aspire to, and they will see how enjoyable music can be. Be sure to keep music around that demonstrates the specific instrument your child is learning. 

Set Goals

It can be extremely valuable to sit down with your child and help them set goals. This will give them the sense that they have some control over their practicing. Additionally, they will feel that they’ve accomplished something when they meet their objectives. Goal setting is also an effective way to help your child put practicing into their routine. 

If you choose to incentivize, consider only giving motivational prizes related to music. For example, your child could identify a piece of sheet music or equipment that they would like, and together you can agree on the terms.  

Teach the Bigger Picture

Help your child understand that music is more than memorization and recitals. If possible, give them a chance to play alongside a voice or another instrument, when they’re ready. Encourage your child to learn a bit of music theory. This may even influence you in your choice of a teacher for your child. Many teachers at places like Palomba Academy work theory into their lessons.

You know your child. As you support them in their musical interests and experiences, you will be able to assess each difficulty and decide the best course of action. There are times when the pursuit of a specific instrument just isn’t right for a child, and it’s best that they stop. That’s all right. Don’t discredit the value of experience. In other cases, though, quitting when the going gets rough leads to regret further down the line. And so, if you feel you need to step in and encourage practice, do so. In all likelihood, your child will thank you for it later! 

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Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

4 Keys To Finding The Right Childcare Provider For You And Your Child

Finding the right daycare for your child can seem like a daunting task. Although the effort to find a great childcare center can take a lot of work, when you find the right place, it can really change your life for the better.

Here are 4 key factors to consider when making the decision on which daycare will work best for you.

Get to know the caregivers. Any parent that has put their child through daycare before knows that the experience for the child almost always hinges on the quality of the caregivers. Of course, exceptional caregivers are going to be even better in a great working environment with lots of resources, but having cool toys and bad caregivers is never going to be as enjoyable for your child as old toys and great caregivers. Talking to the other parents about their experience with the caregiving staff is a great place to start. Sitting in on a day, or a few hours of daycare can also help you to get an idea of what the quality of caregiving is at a specific location.

Consider the distance. While the drive to a daycare that is a considerable distance out of your way might not seem bad the first few times you add it into your schedule, all that time will really add up once you are dropping off and picking up your child every day. This is especially true if your schedule if you are fitting in this transportation time around an already tight work schedule.

Look for scheduling flexibility. Most daycare centers are set up to provide care nine to five, Monday through Friday. If this is the schedule you need, that’s great, but if you work at odd hours or work less than full-time, finding a daycare center with a flexible schedule might be better for you. You certainly don’t want to be paying to have your child in class in times when you don’t need or want childcare, and you also need to know that your childcare needs will be covered when your schedule falls outside of the norm.

Don’t be afraid to change. Once you’ve done a lot of work deciding which daycare you want you child to attend, you most likely will want to stick with it. Sometimes sticking with your first choice is best, and the daycare you find will sometimes be great and sometimes good enough. But you can’t be afraid to change providers if the one you selected is not meeting your needs. Getting the right childcare for you and your child is worth the extra effort of finding a center that works well for you.

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Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Two Tutoring Myths Exposed

Many of the best opportunities in the modern world require individuals to have obtained high scholastic achievements. Whether it is graduating college or earning a graduate degree, these credentials can open a new world of possibilities. Sadly, some students will struggle to achieve credentials in an academic setting, but this does not mean that your child has to endure limited opportunities. Tutoring services can help your child strengthen their academic record, but some parents may not utilize these services because they believe a couple of common myths about these services. 

Myth: You Can Only Enroll In Tutoring During The School Year

Children will typically need the most tutoring help during the academic year when they are being bombarded with homework assignments. Yet, many parents do not realize that tutoring when classes are in recess can help give their children a competitive edge. 

When you utilize summer tutoring services, your child will be given a head start on the difficult topics they will be asked to master in the coming year. By enrolling a child in a summer tutoring program, the basics of the curriculum for the next year will be covered. This will give the tutor an opportunity to introduce your child to these topics before they must learn them in a formal setting where they will be graded. 

Myth: Tutoring Is Too Expensive

Educating a child can be a daunting and expensive task. While extra tutoring can cost a significant amount of money, it can also give your child a competitive edge, and this is an almost priceless advantage. Luckily, if you have limited financial means, you can still enroll your child in these services. 

There are many tutoring providers that will work with individuals that have limited financial resources. Often, this is done by creating a payment plan that can break up the tutoring payments into smaller and more manageable amounts. As long as your account is in good standing with the tutoring provider, your child will be educated, and these payments can drastically ease the difficulty of paying for these services. 

Giving your child a chance at a bright future starts with giving them a solid education. Sadly, many children will struggle in school, but tutoring services can help them master some of the more difficult topics they will encounter. In addition to enlightening your child’s mind, a thorough and high-quality education can also open up opportunities that would otherwise not exist. After dispelling these two common tutoring myths, you may find that this is the ideal solution for your child’s needs. 

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Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Immigration Reform: The Growing Improvement In Adult Education Classes In ESOL

Immigration reform is being delayed by political differences on how it should be implemented. One area of agreement is that undocumented immigrants seeking legal status should learn English.

The Past State of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Classes

ESOL classes for adult learners were insufficient for the number of learners who wished to learn English. Government funding for ESOL education was predominately directed toward education for immigrant children. Adults who wished to attend ESOL classes faced many hurdles which included:

  • Lack of available classes. There were not enough ESOL classes to meet the demand.
  • Instructors not trained in ESOL instruction. Since there were few full-time job opportunities in teaching ESOL in adult education, graduates with ESOL training gravitated toward K-12 education, where job opportunities were more plentiful.
  • Multi-level classes. The limited availability of classes forced adult education centers to teach learners with vastly different English skill levels in the same class. 
  • Class times and locations. Undocumented immigrants with limited or no English skills must often work long hours at low paying jobs to get by, leaving limited time to attend English classes. Travel to adult education centers that were not accessible by public transportation was difficult.

The Current Improvements In Adult ESOL Classes

As adult education centers struggle valiantly to meet the ever increasing demand for English instruction, funding must be increased to help them to achieve their goals. Even with limited funding, adult education centers have found ways to improve ESOL instruction for adult learners. These include:

  • More classes with times and locations that are convenient for adult learners.
  • More instructors trained in ESOL education. As the need grows, more potential teachers are majoring in ESOL instruction to teach an adult education center after graduation. .
  • Classes that are specifically focused on beginning or advanced English learners, rather than mixed level classes.
  • Bilingual classes that enable learners to bridge the gap between their native languages and English. 
  • Classes that are geared toward spoken English, which allow new immigrants to learn English as well as survival skills in a new country. Spoken English classes immerse the learners in the language through the use of practical words and phrases that they will encounter outside the classroom.
  • Classes that focus on written English, for immigrants that wish to study other subjects.

Adult learners want to learn English in order to assimilate into mainstream society. They want to pursue the American dream of providing a better future for their children. Adult education centers assist them in becoming productive citizens, and English is the key to open the door to all the opportunities available in America.

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Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

3 Characteristics That Make A Good Dance Teacher

Taking dance classes is a great way to improve your coordination, flexibility and keep you fit. Many people learn to love dance, and strive to become the best dancer possible. Part of becoming a good dancer is finding a great teacher. Here are 3 characteristics of a great dance instructor.

1. Is A Skilled Dancer

A great teacher also needs to be a good dancer. The teacher shouldn’t be asking the students to do something that they cannot do themselves. Before you hire a dance teacher it is important that you know their credentials. Usually the studio will provide some sort of biography about the dancer to let you know what qualifies them to teach.

If you are taking private lessons, where the teacher is not affiliated with a studio like Absolute Ballroom Company, you should ask for references and past accomplishments. This will help you to get a better idea of where the person has trained, awards they have won, and anything else that might help you know that they are skilled at what they do.

2. The Teacher Observes Classes

Even though the teacher could dance right along with the students, a really good teacher chooses to observe the class. This is because the class should be about helping you to succeed, rather than showing their skills. If you have already established that the teacher is skilled at dancing, then the classes should be full of observation. This way the teacher can catch things that you are doing incorrectly and address them immediately.

Observing also helps the teacher understand the level and needs of all of their students. By observing the class the teacher will know if you need more barre time, more choreography, or more focus on technique.   

3. Is Strict But Hopeful

In order to really excel at dance, you need a teacher who is not afraid to correct mistakes and expect excellence. This requires the teacher to be strict. Dance is all about appearance, the lines of the body, and technique. If you are not corrected right away, you might create bad habits that follow you for life, and compromise your ability to really excel.

Thus, a teacher should expect excellence from their students, but still be encouraging. You should walk away from your classes feeling hopeful, even if you were criticized. If a teacher is too strict without giving proper encouragement, there is a greater chance that the student will give up.

These are just three characteristics that make a good dance teacher. 

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