4 Fun Ways to Teach your Child Math Skills

Teaching mathematics can be a challenge for some, especially if this is not a subject that you, as a parent, are overly fond of. However, mastering elementary mathematics is one of those skills that is infinitely invaluable as one goes through life. Of course we want our children to be brilliant, and to be able to master all of their academic ventures, therefore we must come up with fun ways to help and encourage our children to not only want to learn, but to retain what they learn. The most fundamental aspect for a parent to understand is that most children learn best when the lessons are applicable to daily life, and when they have a hands on component to them. This is why advanced mathematics is not a subject typically taught to children that are still in elementary school. The applicability of learning math is the key to engaging your child.

Children learn best by doing. Studies have often shown that when we just hear or read information it is often lost faster than when we actually have a hands on experience. What that means is we, as the parents, have a task ahead, making math fun, useful and hands on.

Math with Manipulatives

Many companies will offer you overly priced manipulatives in the form of plastic blocks, bars, etc. In realit, all you really need is a package of M & M’s, Skittles, some Legos or even Macaroni Shells to get the job done. You can effectively teach addition, subtraction and multiplication and some division using simple household objects. The bonus can also be that when your teaching time is done, there is something sweet!

Applying Math to Everyday

When we help children see the usefulness of mathematics, they are more invested to learn. For example, if your son loves Legos and he gets an allowance of $5 a week you can easily use multiplication for his benefit. Start a graph of sorts with the amount of a Lego set he would love to own. If the value of the set is $50, then you can graph out (through addition or multiplication) how many weeks, days, etc it would take to earn the amount of money required to purchase said item.

Magical Math

Your child already thinks you are amazing, why not show him or her some magician style antics that you create? I am a fan of showing how amazing a parent can be by mystifying a starry eyed child with the concept of volume. Take any child in the early elementary age range and begin showing them different sized and shaped containers, some tall and narrow, others short and fat. Then show them how when filled with the same fluid amount of water, all the containers appear to have different amounts. This works great when you do this exercise ahead and then ask your child which of the containers has the “most” water in it. The starry-eyed situation happens when they are given an opportunity to measure out the water and they learn the concept of volume. Another amazing magic trick here, fill a jar full of rocks and ask your child if it is “full” when they say “yes,” add some sand, when you ask again and they say “yes it is full” add some water.

Edible Kitchen Math

Let’s take math to the next level, simple fractions can be introduced when you ask your child to cook along side of you. Baking a batch of cookies becomes a learning experience when you change things up and ask your child if the 1 cup of butter is the same as 4 of the ¼ cup measures of butter. If they are unsure, allow them to do a quick experiment. Make a recipe, allowing them to do the measurements, and then the next time have them double the recipe and see if they can figure out the measurements. Again, by making mathematical concepts not only applicable but hands on and fun, we are engaging their minds, and in this case their tummies, to want to learn more.

Parenting and education are two areas where creativity is key. When we, as the parents, are able to think outside of the box and get our heads off of just using worksheets and drills to teach concepts, we are more able to engage our children to become partners in learning. Use what you have, think creatively and your child will also be well engaged in the process.

Why Unstructured Free Play is good for Kids ?

Free Unstructured Play can be defined as when children play without being directed by their elders. They do just as they want to do. There is no fixed game where they have to adhere to certain rules and regulations. Free play is very essential for the overall growth of children. It helps build up their Physical & Motor skills, Language &Cognitive skills as well as their Social and Emotional skills. There are many benefits of Unstructured Free Play.

No Pressure & Stress

Normally parents are always after the kids to do many things according to their rules. This brings in a lot of stress and burden on them. During Free Play there is no pressure and stress experienced by the kids as there are no rules to be followed and they are free to do as they please.

Decision making Skills

They improve on their decision making skills. They learn to find problems as well as solutions to those problems. Learning to understand right from wrong is very important.

Leadership qualities

When playing in a group, children normally play games where one of them decides what they have to do and everybody does just as he says. This imbibes leadership qualities in the child.

Learn while they play

Children learn concepts without realizing that they are learning something at their own pace and at their own time.

Sense of Independence

They learn to share , negotiate, take independent decisions and resolve conflicts.

Enhance Creativity

Their creative juices flow as never before. If they are left on their own to probably draw and colour or even play with clay without being guided by the teacher or parent, they come up with things wich is beyond the imagination of an adult. Their imagination goes haywire. They love to go into the world of fantasy.

Social & Emotional Skills are Fostered

When playing in a group it fosters social and emotional skills. They learn to await their turn. This encourages them to learn to be patient. Their relation with their peers improves.

Takes them away from the Electronic Gadgets

The advantage of free play is that children are not glued to the electronic world like television, I-pads and Tabs. This is a big advantage as then there is no physical exercise and in turn no physical or motor skill development.

They learn to Initiate

They learn to take initiative. They create stories and activities in the world around them. Children are always ready to spin up stories and they always want to be better than their peers when it comes to telling stories.

Empathy ,Self awareness, Self reliance , Self confidence are all fostered during free play. It also helps to encourage physical activity in older children who do not have any time to play as they are pressured with their studies and different classes they attend. Free play helps in taking away stress, anxiety and depression and and also improves the overall mood of the children. Most children are very happy when they indulge in free play. So as Parents and teachers , we should always encourage free unstructured play.

5 Back-to-School Safety Tips Every Parent Should Teach Their Children

The dog days of summer are about to come to an end and as they do, millions of families across the country will be preparing their children for the start of a new school year. For some, it will be the first year while others will be a grade older. But no matter how old your child is, arming them with safety and security tips is essential and will serve them well into adulthood. Here are 5 of the most major tips you should be sure to teach your child before the first school bell of the new school year rings.

1. Be alert and aware on your way to and from school

Some children will wait at bus stops while others will walk. And still others will ride their bicycles. If your child is getting to school without your assistance, you should be sure that he understands how to keep safe at the bus stop by watching out for unusual people and staying on the sidewalk out of harm’s way. Children that walk or ride bicycles should never use their phones or listen to loud music with their ear buds so they can hear any cars or other people approaching them. Additionally, there is strength in numbers so try to arrange for your child to commute with other children in his class. Small children should always be accompanied by an adult.

2. Don’t add people on social media that you don’t know personally

Children are always excited to have new friends but with today’s technology, that can come with a price. Teach your child to never ever accept a friend request on any social media platform from someone that they do not know personally. It could be a dangerous child predator trying to follow their routine in order to bring harm to your child.

3. Report bullying

When new kids come to school, they are often the victims of bullying. Children can be cruel to other children. Teach your children to be accepting and kind to all the children in their class. Just as important, teach your children to come to you or involve a teacher when someone is harassing them. Every child has the right to learn in a positive environment.

4. Arm your child with knowledge

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to keeping safe. Make sure your child knows your home address by heart, as well as important phone numbers. You should also be sure your child knows how to call 9-1-1 in an emergency situation.

5. Be involved

We all lead busy lives but active parenting will help keep your child safer. Before school starts, find out about the school’s safety procedures and make sure your child understands them. Keep an open line of communication with your child so he feels comfortable coming to you. Use this as an opportunity to discuss safety in certain scenarios so your child feels confident when he walks through the doors to a brand new school year.

How to set meaningful rules for your kids ?

Disciplining a child can be rather difficult at any time, but it is much easier when a parent starts when the child is very young. If a child learns from a very early age that they are expected to behave, then they will not know anything different as they get much older.

Here are 5 ways to introduce discipline to a younger child:

1. Keep it Simple

Parents should always keep the discipline simple when a child is younger. No child is going to understand a long speech about why they shouldn’t do something. A simple no or a correction of a behavior is enough at this age.

2.Be Consistent

Every parent needs to be consistent when it comes to their child’s behavior. If a parent says no to a child as they are hitting someone five times, but then doesn’t say anything the sixth time that it happens, then the child is learning that they can get away with this behavior.

3.Give Choices

No one enjoys being told what to do all of the time and a young child is no different. Parents should let their child have a choice about certain things throughout the day. By giving them a choice on occasion, they will have less temper tantrums throughout the day. This shows them how to act appropriately, which is perfect when trying to teach a child discipline. When a child is acting appropriately, a parent should commend them on their behavior.

4.Keep A Calm Demeanor

It is always best if a parent stays calm as they are disciplining their child. A child will actually enjoy seeing a parent angry and hearing their voice raised. Parents should always take a deep breath and use a serious voice when disciplining their child. It also helps to get down to a child’s level and look them in the eye.

5.Remove Temptations

Every child has something that they cannot resist and it is sometimes best if a parent removes the temptation from the child. Parents may think that this is not teaching the child anything however a parent has so many things to concentrate on when it comes to discipline. A parent might have to discipline their child all day long over this one item and once it is removed, they can concentrate on other things with their child.

It is never easy to discipline a child at any age, but the younger the child is when the parent starts, the easier it will be. Every parent needs to be consistent as they are using discipline, so that the child does not receive any mixed messages. Also, parents need to remember that everything does get easier over time and children go through many phases throughout their childhood.

5 Ways to Make your Kids Mornings Easier

Mornings can be challenging, even for that rare breed of creature who considers themselves a “morning person.”  When discussing young children, mornings can be even more difficult.  Children are sometimes irrational creatures in every regard, therefore, it can be especially patience stretching to wake a grumpy child and seamlessly get out of the door without losing your mind, or your cool.  Here are a few tips from some seasoned parents that may help make your morning go a little smoother and hopefully to at least soothe that wild beast you have invoked.

1. Are They Counting Enough Sleep?

This is paramount, there are specific recommendations for each and every age child.  The amount of sleep your child has can directly impact the ability to rouse in the morning, as well as the mood you find your precious gem in.

2. Repeat Yourself (wake them twice)

Adults are guilty of this; we call it the snooze button where we allow our bodies to become used to the idea of waking in the morning.  As you develop your morning routine consider letting your children know that the first time you wake them will be gentle (maybe a kiss on the forehead or a soothing stroke of the hair). The second time you come, you expect more than a flutter of the eyelids.

3. Here Comes the Sun…

Though it is very important in the evening at bedtime to have a quiet and darkened room to help lull your little one off to dreamland, it is equally important to create an energized environment in the morning.  Open the curtains, twist up the blinds and allow the light in.

4. Bribery

Never underestimate the reward system.  Set some expectations and bust out a goal chart.  If your child wakes and readies themselves without incident every day for a week, offer a small treat as a reward for the desired behavior.

5. Tunes to Tame the wild Beast

Develop a morning playlist of your child’s favorite energetic make-you-move-and-groove kind of songs.  Amp this up in the mornings to get them roused and going, hopefully without the grumpiness joining you.

Give some thought mom and dad, to how you wake in your best form to greet the day, be creative and sometimes patient.  Using some of these tips should enable you to have a smoother, less stressful morning routine.  Now go wake that Tasmanian devil.

Should twins be in the same class ?

To be Parents of twins would be super excited to know that they are expecting Twins. But looking after twins is not an easy job. Both parents should share equal responsibilities of the kids after they are born. If you are a first time parent make it a point to join a club of parents who have twins. It becomes easier that way. When the children grow up to be preschoolers they enjoy each others company. They do not need other friends. But advice from Twin coaches is to keep them apart in school. They need time apart inspite of being very close to each other to grow and develop their personalities. Here are some parenting tips for the education and schooling of their Twins. There are two main views discussed. One is that the twins should be separated in school. and the other that they should not be separated in school

Avoid Dominance

Dominance of one twin over the other cannot be avoided if they are together. Just in case one twin is more dominating in nature, there is a chance the other twin will be subdued and that could be problem for him / her for life. He/ She will always be in a shell and will never open out. If one of the twin is an Introvert and the other an extrovert then the introvert blends in with the friends of the extrovert twin automatically. In this case the Introvert twin does not have to work on the skill of opening up. He / she is already a part of a ready group. Separating them could result in the introvert twin opening up faster.

No Comparisonshoud be done

There is a tendency of twins getting compared to each other when they are in the same class in school. This prevents the weaker one from becoming strong. He will always be under the shadow of the stronger or more intelligent of the twins. There are times when maybe one twin is excellent in reading or maths while the other is not. This will make the stronger one feel guilty as most teachers will say it in front of the kids.

Separation keeps them close

Normally people think that keeping twins away from each other will drift them apart. Separation from each other keeps the twins yearning for each other as otherwise at home they are together doing all chores in each others company. School is a new place for them and they are out of their comfort zone. So when they meet they have a lot to talk and discuss about and they get a lot of information from each other. So hence the myth that when your twins are given their me time separately they drift from one another is a complete misnormer. Infact they get closer to each other. The time they get away from each other encourages them to understand themselves as individuals and become more confident.

Disadvantage of not being together

There are Pros and cons to everything. In this case the disadvantage is that if the kids are in two different classes it becomes a hectic schedule for the mother of the twins. She has to attend to volunteering if needed in two different classes, Help in making projects for both the kids. Maybe the topic of the project is different. The two classrooms can have sets of different rules and regulations which the mother has to adhere to. Then dropping both the kids to their different classes and then being there on time to pick them up is also a difficult chore. When you have to cater to their tiffin menus set by the two teachers of the two different classes, it becomes very difficult for the mother to do this.

Get Organised

You can turn the disadvantage to your favour by getting a little organized. Put down all details of each week on your computer . Or make a note on whiteboards , A different colour for each twin noting down their activities, events and menu for the week is not a bad idea. You as a mother will definitely put things together better if you organize yourself.

Being at two Places

Being at two places at the same time is humanly impossible. So if you have to attend an event in both classes , you can always request the teacher if the other twin can attend this class and the next time this twin can attend the event in the other twin’s class.

Talk to other parents of twins

Talking to other parents of twins who have already gone through this rigmarole will be very helpful to the first time parents of twins. They are already experienced so they can guide you to better solutions.

There are different views to the topic of the education and schooling of twins. It is debatable. There are some opinions which say that they should be together and some opinions say that they should be separated. But majority say that the twins should be separated if you want them to be confident individuals in their adulthood. There should not be any dependency on each other even though they are there for each other whenever needed. As a parent of twins, what would you do ? Comment your thoughts on your choice.

Natural ways to boost your child’s immunity

Its a tough time for parents to see their kids falling ill, often its a way kids develop immunity over fighting infections. Immunity can be defined as the body’s defense against infectious organisms. Children are exposed to dirt and germs and viruses every day. However neat and clean they are, the germs in the air are everywhere and their peers with runny noses and whooping cough and also recurrent Flus as well as adults who are prone to colds, coughs transfer them easily and which they contract even more easily if their immune system is weak.

Premature Babies

Children who are born prematurely tend to have a very weak immune system. This makes them fall sick easily and they are prone to infections frequently. These children need to be breast fed to strengthen their immunity system. Experts say that the Colostrum or the thin yellow premilk that flows from the breasts during the first few days of delivery is rich in disease fighting antibodies. The child should be compulsorily breastfed at least for the first 3-4 months to avoid infection of any kind.

Include Fruits & Vegetables in your Diet

Children tend to eat a lot of sugar which is very bad for their immune system. Sugar infact suppresses immunity. Instead they should be given a lot of fruits which contains natural sugar. Vegetables like carrots, beans, and fruits like Oranges and Strawberries are said to strengthen the immune system. So it is very important to include a lot of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet.

Sleep

Sleep is a very important factor in a child’s life. A newborn baby needs upto 18 hours of sleep in a day while toddlers require about 12-13 hours of Sleep. Pre-schoolers require atleast 10 hours of sleep.  The Newborn baby still gets to sleep but toddlers and especially pre-schoolers do not get that kind of essential sleep. Early sleeping habits should be cultivated at an early age.

Stress

Children are normally used to the home environment. When they go to school for the first time, even though the teachers try their best to make them feel at home they are still stressed and uncomfortable for the first few weeks until they settle down. This is the time that parents should take utmost care of their little ones. Their Schedules also should be planned in such a way that they are not over stressed. The Children of today go for umpteen number of classes be it Grammar Class or Skating Class or Reading Class. They want rest. If they are out all the time it becomes very stressful for them. This weakens the immunity system and they are susceptible to infections easily. They should have plenty of time to unwind and relax.

Exercise

Exercise is a very important part of the regime for both Parents as well as children. Research tells us that a number of natural killer cells are increased in the body if we exercise regularly and thus the immune system becomes stronger. Relaxation exercises , Deep breathing , Playing running games, Football, Basket ball, Bike riding , Tennis and many other outdoor activities will help them to build a good immune system.

Supplements

Now a days Doctors recommend Probiotic supplements. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria which naturally occur in our guts. They are said to protect our digestive tracts and digest our food and also help in removing toxins from the body. Probiotic Supplements contain Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. SO if these are given to children by the doctors prescription, it will help protect immunity levels.

Snacking

Children are always n their feet and feel hungry after a rigorous regime. Take advantage of this and give them healthy foods. There are many options available. Some of them are:

  • Yoghurt – Yoghurt is said to lower risk of throat infections, ear infections & cold by nearly 19 %.
  • Walnuts – They contain Omega -3 which helps cut a number of respiratory infections.
  • Fruits and Vegetables – Citrus fruits and strawberries, Sweet Potato, Brocolli and Bell peppers helps avoid colds and flu. Go more for whole food rather than juices. An Orange is much better than an orange juice. An Orange juice contains Vitamin C . But a whole Orange contains more than that.
  • Lean Meat – Lean Meat contains Zinc which help white blood cells to fight off infections. They also contain protein which is very important to maintain your strength.

SO be sure that you adhere to rules and regulations which you will definitely set after reading this.