Education Posts

3 Easy Steps to Improve Your Child’s Reading Level

Reading is an essential skill that any kid should improve with their age. However, some kids don’t show much interest for reading. There are some kids who love reading books, but their reading skills may not be up to the required standard considering their age. If you worry about your kid’s reading level and skills or if you want to know how to improve the reading level of your child without disturbing his interest to reading, here are some of the best tips to follow.

3 Easy Steps to Improve Your Child’s Reading Level

1. Find the reading level of your child

Fluency in reading will improve with practice. However, to improve their reading level, you need to know the ‘just right level’ of the kid. When you know the right reading level, it is easy to surround the child with relevant books that are of his interest.

To find the reading level of your kid, you can assess his or her reading skills using online tests. You can also check with his teacher to get some idea of his reading level.

2. Find books that appropriate to kid’s reading level

When you look for new reading books for your kid, it is easy to choose books when you know his reading level. There are reading books available as series for kids from different levels. Be it level 1, level 2 or even a higher level, you can surround your kid with relevant books to improve his or her interest to reading.

Instead of surrounding him with books of same topics again and again, try to find different books which help kids to improve their reading abilities. If you check this Kids Book Club, you will find many book suggestions that make it easier to find suitable books for the right reading level.When you surround your kid with different topics and different subjects,he or she will sure improve their interest and as a result the skills of reading.

3. Read daily with your kid

If your kid is still young and need your help to read, you can read with him daily. Otherwise, allow him to read alone, but you can also read your books making it an example. Joining to a library is one of the best ways to encourage kid’s interest to reading. You can also create a mini library at home with a reading corner to make reading time interesting.

When you follow such tips, your kid will be interested in reading and gradually he will improve his reading skills and reading levels.

Tips for Getting High School Kids to Volunteer Their Time

High school kids have a lot of commitments that their parents and teachers often do not think about. In addition to sports and after school activities, they have hours of homework and want to spend time with their friends. Many students have part-time jobs too. As a parent or an educator, you can still encourage those students to give back and to volunteer their time. You just need to know how to make volunteering more fun.

Pick a Charity That Matters to Them

A common mistake that some schools make is that those schools pick one charity and expect all students to care about that charity. You need to pick something that matters to them and something that they care about. Whether it’s raising money to donate piano NYC instruments or spending time after school and on weekends to help the local animal rescue league, you can pick a charity that needs help and one that kids want to help. Though you might focus on a local charity or organization, you can also look for national and regional organizations that need support.

Make Meetings More Fun

Tips for Getting High School Kids to Volunteer Their Time

When you run meetings for those students the same way your employer runs a business meeting, don’t be surprised if those kids get as bored as you do. While you need a schedule to follow that lets you hit all the important topics, you also need to make things a little more fun for them. You might bring in snacks or ask the kids to bring in some of their favorite treats to share. It’s also helpful to have a few icebreakers like games and other activities that helps kids to get to know one another and forces them to interact with others outside of their normal friend groups.

Give Them Options to Share

While Facebook is still very popular among users today, many of those users are adults. High school students and kids of a younger age prefer using social networking sites like Instagram and apps like Snapchat. As the organizer of a group of volunteers, you can give kids different ways to share the work that they do. You might create a hashtag and encourage volunteers to post photos online with that tag, or you might create public groups that your volunteers can share. The more information they share, the more volunteers might line up to help.

Tips for Getting High School Kids to Volunteer Their Time

Show Them How Their Contributions Help

It’s really important that you show those students how their contributions help others. If you raise money to donate instruments to a school in need, plan a field trip to let those students see what those kids did with their instruments. When raising money to supply a food bank with canned foods, those kids can spend a few hours volunteering and handing out food to those in need. Not only will they see what happened to their contributions, but it will also help them feel better about their hard work.

Getting kids to volunteer today can seem like an impossible task. Many students just want to have fun with their friends or relax when they have some time off. You can get high school students to volunteer with fun meetings, choosing the right charity, letting them share their experiences and showing them where their contributions went.

How To Help Children Take An Interest In Engineering

A company is only as good as its workforce. While businesses are constantly on the lookout for new customers, they are also always searching for new talent as well. The engineering field needs to continuously recruit bright young minds, both male and female, in order to stay competitive. Furthermore, engineers need to have a take charge attitude and also be invested in their career from the very beginning.

How To Help Children Take An Interest In Engineering

The Engineering Profession

The engineering field is constantly growing, and it is an important part of the economy. Engineers have to develop new technology and work with renewable energy. It can be a difficult job, which is why it is important that there are pools of new recruits to the professional popping up on a regular basis.

While engineering was once thought of as a male profession, it is now time to break down that stereotype so that women feel comfortable heading into this profession as well. The sector could use as many bright young minds as possible. How can we prepare children for the future and get them interested in engineering? The following ideas can help.

1.Get Them Started Early

All children need to learn about engineering and how it could be a viable career path for them. Engineering itself is a broad category; there is a lot that can be done in the field, and as such, engineering has the ability to appeal to people of many different interests. If someone feels that engineering is right for them, they need to be given as much information as possible so that they can go forward and succeed.

How To Help Children Take An Interest In Engineering

Schools are playing a vital role in helping students learn more about engineering. There is a push to introduce STEM topics to children early and continue introducing them throughout a child’s education; STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. One of the goals has been to get more girls interested in STEM, because it continues to be an area that is dominated by males.

It is important to push STEM equally to all children, regardless of gender. It is also important that adults recognize how vital the field of engineering is to the future.

2. Make Sure They Know About Internships

Engineering companies didn’t always make their presence known at institutions of higher learning, which meant that soon-to-be graduates didn’t necessarily have them on their radar. However, many young adults now realize that engineering is a solid career choice and more are looking into its benefits than ever before.

Some people, however, choose not to go to college because of the financial burden associated with it. It is important that these individuals understand that there is more than one way to get involved in the field of engineering. For example, you can land an internship or an apprenticeship, which means that you can learn skills in your chosen field while still making money as well. Many companies train on site and also give employees a chance to engage in continuing education. Those that learn while working often turn out to be some of the best employees, because they understand the value of hard work and are committed to their job.

3. Get Rid Of Male Bias

Engineering has traditionally been looked at as a male profession, and while many people are working to change that notion, there are still many more males than females in the field. There are so many roles to take on within the engineering sector that we should see more women enter the field than ever before.

It may be a good idea to communicate the notion that engineering is different today than it was in the past. It is a fast-paced, highly technical and  exciting world.

4. Showcase Opportunity

There is a lot of potential for growth in the field of engineering. The career itself is challenging and fun, and those with the right skill set can truly go far. The field itself is constantly growing as well, and as such, those accepting jobs as engineers can expect to make a very competitive salary.

Travel can be part of the job, which means that new recruits may have a chance to see the world after graduating.

When hiring a new employee, it is essential that companies base their selection on the person’s ability to do the job, not on their gender. As women start entering the field of engineering on a more consistent basis, other women will be inspired to do the same. Those that work in engineering right now need to talk about how flexible the field is and how it is perfectly suited to both men and women.

Children need to learn as much as they can about engineering and technology at an early age. The sky is the limit!

If you wish to know more about what it takes to be an engineer – read this piece from Fircroft.

How To Find A Good Preschool For Your Little One

Finding the right preschool for your child is downright terrifying. The choices are overwhelming, the deadlines tight, and the pressure to get it right is immense. So, we’ve put together a couple of steps to finding the best facility for your child to help you be prepared.

How To Find A Good Preschool For Your Little One

1. Start researching early

Aim to tour at least one school before your child is due to start preschool. Visit as many schools as you can within that year, and if you can’t get an appointment at one, be persistent.

2. Attend fairs

This is a great way to find preschool programs. Fairs offer the opportunity to ask other parents about facilities and programs. To find a Guardian preschool near you, click here.

3. Book a tour

Once you’ve found a preschool you’re interested in, attend an open house to hear about the admission process and submit your application forms and fees. Sometimes you can bring your little one along to tour while classes are in session and spend time in a class.

4. Discuss how often and how long you want your child to go

Typically, children go to preschool for two years, between about 2.5 and 5 years of age. Preschools often run half-day programs for about four hours a day on weekdays. Others offer full day programs.

Also check these suggestions for 10 Best Baby Car Seat Covers before you invest in a good one.

How to select the right preschool

5. Signs to look for in a well-run preschool

While touring a preschool to decide which one is best for your child, look out for these signs that the school is well run:

  • Home-to-school connections – those schools that involve families often have the strongest programs. It helps teachers to feel supported and everyone can work together for the child’s development.
  • Structure – a quality school will have a structure and will follow a solid model, along with guidelines for dealing with challenging behaviours and situations.
  • Discipline policies – policies ought to emphasise positive approaches to instilling new skills.

6. Red flags to be aware of

There are also red flags you should look out for that may mean the preschool is not well run, including:

  • Programs that only focus on reactive strategies, like consequences or punishment for bad behaviour
  • No research-based and consistent curriculum
  • Teachers who are not adequately trained or passionate about what they do
  • No enough space for children to play or engage in gross motor activities, cramped classroom, dirty and disorganised spaces

7. Potty training policies

Not all preschools require your child to be potty trained before they attend. If your preferred school does, figure out what approach will work best to get your child using the potty before school starts.

8. Adult-to-child ratios

It is recommended that preschool classroom groups should not be any bigger than 20, with an adult-to-child ratio no greater than 1:10. Talk to the preschool about these ratios and try to observe the numbers when you take a tour.

9. Trends

The preschool you choose should offer things that are important to the community, such as using eco-friendly practices or offering organic food.

10. Trust your gut

Finally, when it comes to narrowing down the options, trust your gut. You know what your child needs, and you want to ensure he or she is treated with respect and in a way that aligns with your family values.

Take note of these steps as these will ensure that you find the best facility for your little one.

Find Language Resources for Bilingual Kids at Mammaprada

Raising bilingual children is really good as knowing another language can be helpful for them in future. Bilingualism is also important when the parents are not native English speakers or if parents speak two different languages. In my case, my kid started learning English at his early years, but now I surround him with the environment to learn ‘Sinhalese’ which is my mother tongue or the language widely spoken in Sri Lanka.

The Groovy Giraffe Review

However, when you raise bilingual children it is important to use the right teaching materials at the right time. I know this by experience. If we do not use the right methods to introduce another language for the little ones, they can be confused with two languages. This is where you need opinions and recommendations from other moms who actually use the educational materials for their kids. These opinions are always helpful for you to select the right language materials for your kids without worries.

mammaprada

If you look for Italian, French, Spanish or German language materials for your kids, you will easily find those after searching online. But if you visit Mammaprada, you will find that language materials recommended by them are trusted and tested before introducing to others. With detailed blog posts and recommendations, you will find different products that you can use for teaching the above languages for your kids.

What are the things you can shop at Mammaprada?

Other than the language learning resources, you will also find recommendations for Italian lifestyle including travel and food (Limoncello) .Reading her blog posts about Italy is really interesting. Parenting products including books, toys, games and clothes will be sure helpful for you to select the best products for your kids.

Why Mammaprada is so special?

If you visit Mammaprada you will know why Mammaprada is so special to feature in this blog. Run by Kristie Prada who raises bilingual kids, Mammaprada is a valuable source of articles and products which are helpful for other moms and dads. Her Christmas shop is a collection of Italian Christmas products that will help you to select gifts for those who love Italian products.

Visit www.mammaprada.com to see more recommended products at Mammaprada! And say hello to Kristie Prada who raises bilingual kids with the mission of raising her kids to understand the cross cultural life!

3 Best Activities for Toddlers to Keep them Entertained

Toddlers are always with curiosity. They love to learn new things and they can grab the basic concepts easily. I remember last year when my son was a toddler. He was so active and energetic. He could easily grab concepts such as colours, numbers and letter when I used simple methods to introduce him such concepts.

Below are 3 activities which I did with my toddler. He loved those activities, so I know these are easy and fun activities to do with any toddler.

 

1. Colour sorting game

Active Learning for Kids

For this game, you don’t want to spend hours with crafty items. Instead find colourful cups and building blocks. Mix it up and ask your toddler to sort out the clours into the matching cup. This activity will keep him busy while giving the opportunity to learn colours.At the same time this is a good way to improve motor skills of any toddler.

Read more about Colour sorting game

2. Bowling with empty bottles

best Activities for toddlers

Not only for toddlers, this is even a fun game for a preschooler too. We used empty milk bottles from our recycling bin for this game. Once the game is over put back the empty bottles in recycling box and send for recycling.

Other than an activity that keeps kids engaging and active, this is a good way to teach them the concepts such as recycling and upcycling.

Read our post about Bowling with empty bottles!

 

3. Simple Science experiments

best Activities for toddlers

Science for toddlers?  Don’t worry! I am not going to talk about lab experiments. But do you know toddlers are the best age for teaching the basic concepts? Do some fun activities which shows them the science around home. These will be fun and interesting. They will love to do it again and again.

Make some ice cubes from water to explain the concept of liquid stage to ice stage. Add some colour to water and experience the change of colour. There are many ideas!

Check this post on Simple Science experiments with toddlers

You will find many ideas to do with your kid!

 

Above are 3 activities which we did at our home. Even now, I do these activities with my preschooler. Best thing is that these are really easy activities which mommy doesn’t need much time to prepare!

How to Teach your Child to Read?

Reading is one of the skills that every child should develop from their young age of life. However, in order to develop his reading habits, you need to start teaching to read as early as possible. This can be from the infant age or even during the pregnancy. However, I don’t mean that you need to teach lessons on how to read books. Instead, create a good learning environment around your kid when he or she is really young. You can teach reading for your toddler by giving him lot of age appropriate books or by reading together with him. This will be a good start for your kid to learn reading.

Don’t forget that reading style of parents to their preschoolers have great impact on how much they love reading and how gladly they learn to read on their own. So, start from young age. Give books for your infant or toddler. Read books for your kid even during your pregnancy. All these will affect your kid in a positive way.

How to Teach your Child to Read?

Here we list out some tips to help develop reading habits in your child. If you look for how to teach your child to read, these tips will be helpful for you.

How to Teach your Child to Read?

Read rich illustration contents:

Choose books with illustrations as they trigger conversation starters, which is important for child development. Kids will create stories around the illustrations and this is the basic foundation of reading books.

Easy DIY Reading corner for toddler

Ask questions on the illustrations:

Kids of 16-24 months old will add more words to their vocabulary than they do at any other age. Some first and easy words to learn and label from illustrations are like ‘tree, dog, etc’. So when you see a picture of a dog, ask your kid, ‘do you see the dog? Base knowledge of nouns helps them put in other parts of speech quickly. You will soon notice dogs are turning into ‘brown dog’! They will even say ‘there are two brown dogs’ or there is one brown dog’!

Provide some obvious details:

Share things about books that you may neglect such as author’s name and what he does. Show your kid how to hold a book, show how to read sentences from left to right and how to turn pages. These are basic reading steps making your kids to read independently soon.

Relate plots to real life:

When you read a book about a girl going to the grocery store, encourage your kid to speak about a time she came to the grocery store with you. Ask questions and allow kids to open a dialogue of storytelling. Relating plots to real life will help him or her remember the book and vocabulary.

With all above tips, surround your kid with lot of books. You can get books from the library or even you can buy quality age appropriate books for affordable rates.

With such tips, we hope you will develop good reading habits for your kid from his early stages of life.

 

Happy Teacher’s Day to all the Teachers!

Happy Teacher’s Day to all the great teachers around the world. In Singapore, today is celebrated as Teacher’s day and it is considered as a school holiday. So, yesterday there were celebrations in schools including my kid’s preschool.

In anyone’s life, teachers play an important role same as parents. Without our teachers we may not in this position today. They taught us both academic and social lessons considering us as their own kids. So, through this post I want to remind all my lovely teachers I met during my school days, later and even at present.

Thank you all dear teachers for your efforts! Happy Teacher’s Day!

Happy Teacher’s Day

Teacher’s Day at the preschool

As always, for me it is like going back to school as I always enjoy each and every moment of my kid’s preschool life. Yesterday they had teacher’s day celebrations. As gratitude towards his teachers, I prepared the below greeting cards with him.

I bought these Teacher’s Day greeting cards from a book shop. However I also wanted to make these personalize with some touch of my kid. That also helped for me to give some idea about teacher’s day to my kid. He learned the importance of paying gratitude to his teachers while personalizing this card with me.

Simply I asked him to draw his teachers on the cards. At the same time he wrote his name while I wrote the message to teachers.

Happy Teacher’s Day

This is how my kid drew his teacher 🙂

To all my kid’s teachers,

Thank you for being such a caring Teacher.Happy Teacher’s day!

Yesterday morning, my kid was so happy to give the cards to his teachers saying ‘Happy Teacher’s day!’ That was a lovely moment which could bring tears to my eyes. Hope he will grow up as a responsible kid with all the support he gets from his lovely teachers!

Parental Advice: Active Learning for Kids

Educational organizations such as schools, colleges, universities ensure that they do the basic job of educating their students by teaching them what they need to know. This type of education is rarely ever useful and consists of the student taking a bunch of notes and then doing their own research to understand the topic better, which makes attending the class and lectures a waste of time.

However, in the case of primary or secondary schools, the age criteria is a lot younger than that found in college or university levels. Needless to say, the minds of children and the minds of adults differ in a lot of aspects and the way that they grasp and learn things from the information being given to them is a lot more different too. Because of these reasons, children need more things to help them interact and take part in fun educational activities.

Active Learning for Kids

Active learning refers to helping your children learn, not by writing and memorizing but by incorporating fun and interactive activities as well as props to help them understand things in a creative way. It is the concern of many parents to promote active learning for their toddlers and following are two ways to do just that:

Educational Toys

Active Learning for Kids

You don’t necessarily have to pick up a set of boring textbooks in order to educate your child. Although pictorial books help the child to learn certain things, there are a lot of toys, such as basic mathematics element. In a market that sells children’s toys, you’re likely to find dozens of good educational toys that help to not only sharpen the brain but make learning a fun, easy and creative experience for kids. There are several toys that you can find that are perfect for serving the purpose, and also allow parents to have a fun time educating their children.

Plan a Field Trip Yourself

Often times, we wait for the schools and educational institutes to arrange for a field trip event, such as a visit to the museum, or just a picnic at the beach. But, you don’t necessarily have to wait for other people to plan these things in order for them to happen. Take your children to interesting places to do something fun such as whale watching. This will boost their confidence and satiate their natural curiosity for new places and experiences.

Active Learning for Kids

The sooner you introduce your child to the love of animals, the more you will see how they flourish as human beings. Plan a trip to take your children to a nearby zoo or a sanctuary of marine animals, and have them observe things such as the migrating behavior of whales. This is also a good way to instill in them a love for animals.

Such things can greatly encourage your children to observe how different living organisms function and behave in a completely different atmosphere such as the ocean.

Do Preschoolers Need Tuition?

Do preschoolers need tuition? This can be a scary question for any parent who has little kids. For us our little kids are still babies. That is why we don’t think of extra tuition for preschoolers.

However there are different ideas and thoughts about tuition for preschoolers. In few months ago I also was in the opinion that preschoolers do not want any tuition. At the time I was introduced for an extra English enrichment course, I refused it straight away. But after few months later I wanted the help of that enrichment course and I started sending the kid to learn English and phonics. This was due to our experience with his first preschool.

Do preschoolers need tuition?

 

Yes, I am a mom who believes in freedom for childhood. I always find opportunities for our kid to play actively and improve his self-confidence. However at the same time we also want him to train for future. We don’t want to see him struggling with pressure and stress once he is grown up or during his school years. This is where we need a balance between his studies and play activities from his early childhood. I believe in such pattern which he will slowly train to face the stressful future and he will know how to balance his life with lot of work load. It is true that we can’t expect a future with totally leisure activities. There will be a lot of hard work for him in office, family or with society. If the kid can get some pressure during his school days, he will know how to balance his life without failing. This is where I always want him to engage in both academic and extra activities as a kid.

 

Our Experience with extra enrichment class

Do preschoolers need tuition

Although my kid had learning experience during his playgroup year which included play activities, arts and crafts and basic pre-writing skills, his first months of preschool was not for our expectations. We found his behavior changes. He was more on play than onto other skills such as arts and crafts, reading and writing. I could find he was losing his interest on even holding a pencil.

I know experiences of some of my friends who have similar age kids. Now they worry about their kids who don’t have pencil control or they don’t have interest on reading or writing. Considering such I am happy that my kid has interest on reading, writing and drawing same as his interest for playing. But, all these because of the extra activities we did at home or thanks to the English enrichment class we sent him during the past few months. Till we find the new preschool, we sent him to an English program.

But now, his new preschool experience is really good and we see a balanced educational environment which includes different activities including play and at the same time writing or academic skills. So we don’t have worries about any extra lessons for him. However kid enjoys his English program. So we continue sending him once a week.

Do preschoolers need tuition?

Now, back to the topic! Do preschoolers need tuition? The answer can be both yes and no. As per my opinion this really depends on your experience with your kid. Remember, few months ago I didn’t want to send the kid to extra classes. However when we found the kid doesn’t do well in his preschool, we started sending him for an extra enrichment program. Thanks to this extra English class he could improve his writing, reading and listening skills and he could easily adjust to his new preschool. If I didn’t pay attention on his writing and reading skills during the first few months of the preschool, he may have difficulties in adjusting to the new preschool as the lesson schedule is different from the previous. So, it is always depending on your actual experiences and situations.

Also as I know nothing about Chinese language, I think of having some extra support for the kid to learn Chinese as one of his subjects in the preschool is Chinese language.I know they will study Chinese even in the Primary school. So it is better to give him extra support now than waiting for another few years till he loses his interest.

Some reasons for sending kids for tuition

Do preschoolers need tuition?

Do preschoolers need tuition?

If you consider giving some extra support for your preschooler, here are some reasons to consider as per my opinion.

If the kid is always playful and lose his interest on other skills such as drawing, arts and even writing, an extra support can be helpful for him to improve his skills. As a work from home mom I adjust my working schedule and find time to spend with my kid. So I know how he does at the school. If you are working full time and no much time for kids, having extra support can be beneficial. That will help the kids to face the future challenges.

However, I don’t want to send my kid for private tuition which need hours of travelling after his preschool. The English class I send him is less than 5 minutes walking distance which makes him so cheerful .He is always eager to attend the class. If I decide on having Chinese class for him I will find a center near to our home or I will contact a home tutor agency in Singapore such as SmileTutor to find a home tutor for him. I would like to introduce a home tutor for my kid for 1 – 1.5 hours than sending him for 2-3 hours group class which can make him tired.As a reliable home tuition agency in Singapore, SmileTutor provides recommendations of home tutors which is easier for parents to make the decision.So,I will use such service to find a suitable tutor for him.

Anyway, these are my thoughts. Although I also a mom who refused extra classes for my kid, I found that his extra class could help the kid to keep his knowledge up to standards till he change the previous preschool.

However don’t forget to listen to your kid. If the kid doesn’t enjoy any extra class, it is better not to send him. Don’t overload the kids with so many homework, activities and worksheets. Instead find a suitable teacher who can teach the kid in a way he improves interest on studies.

Do preschoolers need tuition? What is your idea?Please share your thoughts and experiences.

 

 

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