Friday, December 23, 2011

It's the Little Things That Count

One extra step in making pancakes this morning made one little guy pretty excited about Christmas break, and life in general.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

For the Love of Target

Because I have a toddler now, I have come to realize I cannot simply hit up any store for Christmas shopping.  I must be able to take Jackson in a stroller, or cart.  This means a lot of loved ones will receive gifts from Target this year.  Not all, sometimes I shop at night when he is asleep, in which case Amazon gifts may result.

My son's doctor said to me this month to never take Jackson into Target.  It is too overwhelming for toddlers.  I think I need a new pediatrician.  Target is great for toddlers.  He loves looking at everything and he gets a lot of attention from other shoppers that think he is cute.  The cart is so big too he can't see when I sneak a gift in there for him.

Target has just about everything a person needs for Christmas.  Last minute Christmas cards?  Check.  Tupperware for cookies? Check.  Toys?  Check, check, check.  Gift cards?  Check.  Essie nail polish for stock stuffers?  Check.  Big cart for toddler with hand sanitizer wipes?  Check.

They just make it so easy.  I guess their holiday campaign slogan rings true...


Friday, September 16, 2011

Daycare vs. Early Childhood Education

Guest Blogger:  Kathleen Thomas, Early Childhood Education Coordinator 

Most family units today require quality daycare for toddlers and preschool aged children; regardless if the family is a single parent or a duel career couple. While a good daycare provider is of utmost importance, children who are beginning their path in cognitive thinking can benefit from a structured educational experience to jump-start their learning skills, and prepare a child for the educational journey ahead of them. 

Some parents are fortunate to have family members, neighbors, or hire a babysitter to come into the home and care for their children. However, even though a child’s basic needs are being provided, and some socialization can occur in a typical
child care center; the opportunity for intellectual growth is lacking. These would include activities which are structured to teach and challenge the child’s learning abilities. There is an alternative one may consider that can give the child a firm educational foundation, and stimulate his or her intellectual growth. This would be to enroll your child in a certified preschool program for early childhood education.

Research suggests that children may begin the learning process even before birth; during the last trimester of the pregnancy, the child may react and benefit from exposure to certain types of music or speech. After birth, the learning process continues through environment behaviorism learning: to obtain pleasure and avoid pain, observational learning, and self-efficacy. 

During the preschool years, (age one – five), a person's brain is in the developmental stages. The environment which includes experience and exposure has a major effect and largely shapes the adult that he or she will become. It is in this period of development the child learns language skills, a sense of oneself, and what their cultural roles are; all the basic tools required to function in a given society. These years are when a child's brain functions to reason and understand develop; exposure to the learning process during this period in a child's life has a positive effect that will last forever. 

Early childhood education is where children are given the opportunities for cognitive development through learning activities such as educational games, identification of colors, shapes, and sounds, counting numbers, or learning the alphabet. These skills will give a child an edge in the areas of learning when he or she attends kindergarten. Skills such reading, writing, speech, and mathematics gives a child the advantage needed to excel in school, and the sooner a child learns to apply these skills, the opportunity to improve is evident over time. Interaction with other children in a certified preschool environment enables a child's social skills to mature, and they are able to socialize with their peers in a positive manner. 

The benefits received from a quality preschool education will set a child up for success in the future; in school and throughout adulthood. With educational achievements becoming a demand made on those who are entering the work force, the advantages of early childhood education cannot be ignored.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Introduction of Guest Blogger: Kathleen Thomas

Ever have questions about your toddlers being prepared for elementary school?  I don't know about you other moms, but I consistently am trying to work with Jackson on his vocabulary by reading to him and talking ot him constantly.  As a working mom, it is hard for me to handle someone else having to teach him all day in these critical years.  I try to make up for it at night, but luckily, we do have a wonderful daycare provider. 

While on the subject, I invited Kathleen Thomas, an Early Childhood Education Coordinator, to be a guest writer on my blog to address these and other concerns.  Kathleen works for Primrose Schools, and I'm excited to have her share some of her great wisdom with all of you. 

Tomorrow Kathleen will share her thoughts on early childhood education.  Stay tuned!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Old Photos of the Green Monster

I was looking through some old photos tonight and came across this gem.  It just made me laugh so hard.  He hated that green monster costume, but damn he was cute. 

Jack was 5.5 months old during this time.  I'm so glad I captured all of these kind of moments....