Saturday, January 20, 2018

Math Lessons for your Preschooler at Home

Math Lessons for your Preschooler at Home

Learning math skills is a progression of skills. In order to grasp the methods used for addition and subtraction - the most basic of mathematics - the child has to understand the relationship between numbers. Here are some games that can be played with preschoolers, as they advance through the skill sets needed to do simple math.

Counting on the Body

Children are born with the tools necessary to do simple math: their fingers. These lessons can begin in infancy, carrying through preschool and into kindergarten, becoming more complicated as skills are mastered. Start with by holding up one finger and saying the number. From there, progress to alternating between the child telling you how many fingers, or holding up fingers to match a number you name.

Number Recognition

While your child is learning to count, you can teach number identification. Make up a set of 10 index cards, each with a number from 1 to 10 printed on it in a large size, and a corresponding number of objects drawn on the back. When your child holds up a specific number of fingers, you show her the picture or number which corresponds. As their knowledge increases, you can simply use the homemade flash cards.

Sorting By Properties

The next step is to learn that similar items can be grouped together. You can use anything for your sets of objects, from clothes to toys or brightly colored pictures. Show your preschooler how items of a particular color or shape look the same, and then ask them to sort them. For example, separate the shoes from the socks.

Sorting By Quantity

Now that your child has learned to separate items by identifying their properties, it is time to count the items in a set. Start with one type of item, slowly adding one item and counting the number of items. Next, sort the items into groups and count the number of, for example, triangles. This teaches more complex counting skills, as well as the concepts of groups, sets, and properties. For example, there are 3 types (groups) of items, and each group contains a set of 4 items, while each item is a different color.

Addition and Subtraction

By recognizing properties and groups, addition and subtraction have been introduced. If there are zero triangles, and you add one, there is one triangle. If you add a second triangle, there are two. If you then add a circle, you have three items. Ask your preschooler which group has more items, and how many items.

With patience and practice, your preschooler will be able to count items, associate the number of items with the number that matches it, and be able to increase or decrease the number of items or even entire sets. They have also learned that items of different properties can be grouped into sets, and math can be performed on an entire set.

The Montessori method believes in teaching children through hands-on, interactive learning activities, such as learning math using objects found at home.  At Montessori Children's House, we work with our preschoolers and their families to further develop their skills both in and our of school.  Contact us today to schedule a tour.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Keeping your Child Healthy during the Cold Weather Season

Keeping your Child Healthy during the Cold Weather Season

Staying healthy during the cold weather season may require small changes to your daily routine. At this time of year, paying close attention to your child’s individual needs will help keep your elementary age student happy and healthy.

Keeping Your Child Healthy in Colder Weather
Colder weather brings lots of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Keeping your elementary student healthy during this time may require some extra effort.

1. Staying Warm
Children lose body heat faster than adults. Keeping your child warm and comfortable is necessary to avoid frostbite or hypothermia. When your child is outdoors, monitor the time. Colder weather may require you to shorten outdoor times. Or you may need to drive your child to school to avoid waiting outdoors for a bus, for example.

Layer clothing items with appropriate-sized coats, hats, gloves, and boots to help keep your child healthy. Keep a close watch on the temperature schedule for the day or week. Changing temperatures may necessitate different clothing choices. For example, frigid temperatures may require extra sweaters or sweatshirts to help ward off the cold.

2. Getting Enough Rest
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, elementary age children should get 9 to 12 hours of sleep. Getting enough rest helps your child stay healthy. Setting a regular bedtime pattern sounds easy, but busy schedules often get in the way of a good night's sleep.

3. Eating Healthy
Eating healthy meals and snacks provides the proper nutrition to fight off germs.
  • Encourage healthy lunch or snack choices at school.
  • Minimize fast food or takeout meals.
  • Prepare well-balanced meals with food items from the recommended food groups.
Along with proper meals, staying hydrated is necessary to stay healthy during the cold season. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water, milk, or juice throughout the day. Avoid sugary drinks or sodas with little nutritional value. Building up your child’s immune system is critical for fighting off infections.

4. Encourage Hand Washing
Sitting next to a sick classmate increases your child’s risk of being exposed to germs, viruses, and other bacteria. Practicing proper hand washing techniques decreases the chance of getting ill. Washing hands should occur:
  • Prior to eating meals or snacks
  • After using a restroom
  • After sneezing, coughing, or wiping one's nose

5. Regular Checkups
Make and keep regular doctor appointments. Seeing a doctor provides you a chance to learn about any health issues you may not notice. During the visit, you can address any of your concerns regarding your child’s well-being. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor if your child needs vitamins or other nutritional supplements to help stay healthy during the colder weather.

As a parent or guardian, you know your child better than anyone. Keeping track of your elementary student's daily needs will help you focus on specific areas. Getting plenty of sleep, eating properly, and avoiding the spread of germs will help increase the chances of your child staying healthy during the cold season.  At the Montessori School of Pleasanton, we care about your elementary child as a whole, including their health.  Contact us today to schedule a tour and meet with our elementary teachers and staff.
Teaching your Toddler Manners

Teaching your Toddler Manners

How you can Teach Your Young Child Manners

At a young age, your child will strive to do what he or she feels is the right thing. Maria Montessori firmly believed all young children have a sense of dignity instilled in them which guides them into pleasing the adults around them and behaving in proper manners. There are techniques you should follow to help your child know what is considered proper manners. Montessori has set some guidelines for you that will enable you to teach your young child at home what is regarded as appropriate toddler manners.

Opportunities to Practice Manners

Role-playing is an excellent way for you to show your child manners. Greeting others can often be a difficult action for toddlers, and by role-playing, you can show them good ways to meet others. Pretend you've met a friend at the store and go over how he or she can say 'hello' nicely.

Repeat Lessons that are Difficult

If your child has a difficult time greeting others, don't push them. Repeat lessons whenever they appear to make your toddler feel uncomfortable. They will find their way and time on how to greet respectably as long as you continue to demonstrate proper etiquette yourself.

Lessons on Specific Manners

If you've decided to teach your toddler about manners, you should approach each lesson separately. Learning how to greet others, expressing thanks, or when not to interrupt, for example, should all be separate lessons. If you've decided to use the role-playing method, you should only go through one of the manners at each play time.

Be Specific with your Praise

After your child nicely greets another, be specific with your praise and let them know how happy it has made you. Tell them, "I am so happy with how nicely you said hello to Mr. Johnson." It is an excellent idea to reinforce their good behavior by stating precisely what they've done and how it has made you feel. Acknowledge that it was a friendly greeting and let your child know how it pleased you when they spoke so nice.

Do Not Criticize

Do not criticize your child if you feel they've not greeted another properly. Embarrassing them in public or in front of others will not teach them proper etiquette techniques. If you think they are acting incorrectly with purpose, a gentle reminder on how to greet would be appropriate, but criticizing, especially in public, is never advised.

Practical Life Activities

Practical life activities help your child develop order, coordination, independence, and concentration. By implementing these activities with your child, you will provide them with graceful movements and the inner discipline needed to conquer proper etiquette skills and manners.

Your child needs to feel secure and loved and in return will learn how to use self-control and good manners. Children learn what they know from those around them. Know that how you conduct yourself and use good manners will be mirrored by your child.  The teachers and staff at the Montessori School of Flagstaff Sunnyside Campus understand the important role they play in leading and guiding students through their daily lives, both inside and outside of the classroom.  Contact us today to schedule a tour!