November 2013 148

From our Director, Marci Soler

 

900 High Street, Santa Cruz 831-462-5437

From the  Director…what is in the Breeze at Coastal community Preschool

It’s April:  Why are they behaving like its September?

 

When Kianna’s mother leaned down for a good by hug, her four year old whispered “don’t go!”  It sounded all too familiar—like last September, in fact.  But Kianna had been cheerful about saying good-bye for months and now it was April.  The year was almost over.  “What’s this?”  Wondered her mother.  “Not again!”  She sighed and glanced around, hoping to signal a teacher that she needed help with leaving.

But one teacher was talking earnestly to a little boy who had angrily toppled somebody’s block tower.  Was it Andrew?  The one who’d been such a terror last fall?  He’d pushed and shoved all the time, though he’d really come around during the year, thought Kianna’s mom.  He turned out to be a nice kid after all.  Right now, however, it looked like he was back at square one. Pushing.

She patted Kianna’s back and looked around for the other teacher.  There she was across the room, gathering up some new arrivals.  They’d nonchalantly tossed their jackets aside instead of hanging them up.  Kianna’s mother hadn’t seen that happening in a long time either.  What was going on?  Kianna was clinging, Andrew was pushing.  And some of the others evidently needed reminders about basic routines.  Before long the school year would be over.  Why was the class suddenly in reverse gear?

Within minutes, however, the block tower was restored, the jackets were in place, and a teacher had Kianna settled at the art table with a group of friends.  She and Kianna’s mother agreed to talk by phone that evening.

During their phone conversation the teacher said she always expected some slipping back behavior in springtime.  She said it was as predictable as Dandelions—but, fortunately, not as long-lasting.  Some children are going on to another school next year, she explained.  Others will off to a different classroom at the center.  Many families, like Kianna’s, are making summer childcare arrangements.  Over the years, she’d come to realize that children worry whenever change lies ahead of them.  Often they’re not sure what will be expected of them.

Kianna’s teacher stressed that big changes, like the end of the school year or a transition to another classroom or kindergarten, are hard for young children.—that it is not unusual for them to go back to old ways of handling things.

     Children who acted extra tough and strong because they were scared about starting

     School last September, might briefly rely on the same behavior when faced with the prospect

     Of end-of-the year changes.  So, down go the block towers!

 

     Those who were apprehensive about saying good bye earlier in the year, might suddenly

     Get uneasy again about your leaving.  They beg you to stay.

And, a number of children simply forget, under the stress of changes:  are jackets to be hung up?

 

The teacher went on to talk about what they did at school to help the children.  She suggested that Kianna’s mother might want to do some of the same things at home:

  • Keep life predictable. Stick to the same old routines and rules.
  • Give children openings to talk: “you look a little sad today.  I something on your mind?
  • Tell a story about when you were a child who wondered what leaving one place and going to another would be like. Say that lots of children feel a little worried and its’s okay to feel that way.
  • Mention that even when the year is over, the teachers will still think about them
  • Explain that they don’t have to figure out new situations all by themselves. You or the new teachers will help.

 

Does your child, like Kianna, seem to be “in reverse” now that it’s April?  Keep in mind it’s probably a temporary situation.  They’ve heard that the year is ending and they’re thinking it over.  Sometimes children need to back up a bit to gather their courage for charging forward.                                                             (the well centered child April 1998)

“Coastal Community Preschool seeks to provide a safe, accessible, family-centered environment that nurtures children as individuals, fosters social understanding, and serves as a vital part of its local community.”————————————- 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Space to add afternoon hours are limited, and there is now a sign-up sheet in the office.  It is important for you to give us a call 462-5437 prior to your child extending their day so we can prepare for them to be with us.   It is best if we know at least a day ahead of time.  As soon as you know please give us a call. Log the extra hours on the sign in sheet in the “extra hours/notes” column.  You will be billed $10 per hour on the next statement.

 

              
Child development/parent education corner 

There is More Than One Kind of Smart

 

Sometimes we talk as though intelligence were a single commodity that people have in greater or lesser supply.  Yet we see all around us adults and children who are very smart in math but not at all good with words, musically gifted but klutzy on the athletic field, and so on.  Most of us, in fact, struggle with some tasks and sail through others.

 

Educators now know more about this variety in individuals’ “intelligences” –the modes we use to interact with the world—thanks to the work of psychologist Howard Gardner.  Seven of these intelligences are described by Gardner.

 

Children with a musical intelligence have a natural ear for melody, rhythm, and other musical elements;

Spatially oriented children enjoy reading maps and exploring how mechanical devices work.

Other children are more at home using their linguistic aptitude—telling stories, playing with words, and reciting tongue twisters.

Strong logical-mathematical intelligence shows up not only in math aptitude but in enjoyment of games and problems requiring logic and reasoning.

Children who learn best when they are moving and handling things rely on their bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.

An affinity for the natural world and its creatures stand out in children with a naturalistic mode of intelligence.

Finally, children who make friends easily and have plenty of “street smarts” are interpersonal naturals,

While quiet thinkers and strong-willed debaters shine in the more internal, reflective intrapersonal mode.

 

All of us have preferred modes of intellectual functioning.  At the same time, we need to use each of the modes in one situation or another.  Recognizing the various ways that children think and learn parents and teachers can help children both to use their individual strengths and to become more adept in learning modes that are NOT their strong point.  I once had a workshop leader compare it tanks of water…we all have all the tanks…some are full and some are not.  We need to fill the ones that are lower.

 

How to Encourage linguistic/language:

• Read to child every night
• Give a library card and visit the library
• Pin up his/her writing on refrigerator
• Play word games at night and on trips
• Give him/her a good dictionary
• Show how books are important in your life
• Talk about books at supper
• Encourage storytelling
• Write down his stories
• Make picture books on themes
• Help child build a collection of booksHow to Encourage spatial aptitude:
• Provide paints, clay, crayons, etc. and make special area for drawing
• Walk in unfamiliar places and have child draw a map
• Teach pottery
• Encourage arts and craftsHow to Encourage Logical/mathematical:
• Play games–boards games (Monopoly, candy land, etc.)
• Play cards
• Conduct experiments (Chemistry)
• Encourage collecting, observing, categorizing, bugs, rocks, butterflies, etc.
• Visit nature stores
• Play math games–multiplication tables or counting , predicting, mysteriesHow to Encourage bodily/kinesthetic:

• Take your child to the playground often
• Trace letters and words on each other’s back
• Make letters and words from play dough or pipe cleaners
• Take a walk and read all the words you find during the walk
• Trace words in the air using first two fingersHow to Encourage musical:

• Sing to child, play tapes and CDs
• Encourage your child to sing and make up songs to remember other things (like ABC song)
• Help them to learn to play the piano, or an instrument
• Find schools that give music lessons (singing, band, orchestraHow to Encourage interpersonal/social:

• Provide dolls, puppets, stuffed animals, dress-ups, play money
• Play board games together
• Have dinner table discussions
• Act out favorite stories togetherHow to Encourage Self/intrapersonal:

• Encourage journal writing
• Provide “how to” books and tapes
• Provide a computer
• Give lots of time for day-dreaming

 

“Coastal Community Preschool seeks to provide a safe, accessible, family-centered environment that nurtures children as individuals, fosters social understanding, and serves as a vital part of its local community.”———————————-