Raise 'Em Right
Recently, at a child care staff meeting, teachers had a heated discussion about the validity of four year olds reciting the Pledge of Allegiance everyday at the beginning of group story time. I think they are too young and it is just meaningless words to them, so I see no point in it. What do you think?
I agree with you. Many four year olds dont even know the name of the town that they live in and the concept of country is beyond most of them. It is better to do less rote recitation and instead spend some time showing the children on a globe where they live. Introduce words such as city, state, country and continent. Though pre-schoolers will not fully grasp the nuances of all these words, acquainting them with these terms will help them when they are reintroduced to them in the primary grades. At this point their conceptual skills will be developed and they will understand what all these distinctions mean.
A great book to read to children of this age is The Pledge of Allegiance that was issued by Scholastic Books. Its an inexpensive paperback with beautiful photographs representing each phrase of the pledge.
My eleven year old daughter and nine year old son go to an after school program every day from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. Both complain that as soon as they walk in the door, the staff urges them to get started on their homework. Should I speak to someone about this?
Ugh. No one wants to sit in a chair and do homework immediately after being in school all day. Check with the programs director and reassess if this is the right placement for your children. Many after school programs have the philosophy of not having the youngsters do any homework at all, but instead provide social activities, arts and crafts, and outdoor play space. At the very minimum, the children should be getting at least an hour and a half break after school. A snack and some physical or social activity should be encouraged before they hit the books. This is especially important for children of the ages you mention. They need to expend some of the energy that has been pent up during the school day.
My husband is concerned because our three and half year old stutters at times. I want to give it more time before we look into speech help, but my spouse feels the sooner the better when speaking.
In many cases this stuttering is a result of the children thinking faster than they can talk. Often as speech ability catches up with thinking ability the problem disappears. Next time your child sees the pediatrician bring the topic to the doctors attention.
Our eight year old gnaws on ice anytime it is in his drinks. It drives me crazy, plus I am sure it is not good for his teeth. Any suggestions?
This is definitely not good for the enamel of his teeth. To reinforce this with him, next time he has a dental appointment ask the dentist to show your child pictures of cracked teeth. Meanwhile, provide only crushed iced in his drinks or no ice until he is weaned of this habit. You could freeze some of the plastic ice shapes found in kitchen supply stores and use them instead of ice cubes in his beverages.
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