First Day of School poem for parents

First day of school poem for parents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day of School

The first day of school

Can be hard for Mom and Dad.

Part of you feels excited,

The other part feels sad.

For many years, you’ve held their hand,

And have been their loving guide.

Now you know the time has come

To leave them by our side.

But it is only for a little while,

As your child will learn and grow.

And at the end of every day,

They will share with you all they know.

So as you walk away

Don’t worry anymore.

We promise to take care of all those precious gifts

When you leave them at our door.

 

Six ways to prepare your child for the first day of school

By Vicki Orlando

As parents, teachers and caregivers, we want our children to be happy and successful.  We want them to see, develop and express their unique sense of self.  We want them to love themselves, others and the world. We want them to build a resiliency that helps them feel safe, and acquire skills strategies that work, whether they are creating positive relationships or forging a career.   In the words of researcher and author, Carol Dweck, we want them to have a “growth mindset”, so they will relish learning, delight in a challenge, and find value in effort.  

Young children live very much in the moment and can infuse both the positive and negative feelings of their experience in a way adults rarely remember. In preparing for the first day for school, it is important for us to acknowledge to children that the beginning of a new year is a time for strong feelings, and it is okay to feel them or to see others feel them. As we name feelings, talk about how they work and how they tell us things about what we can choose and do. They may still cry or shout, it may take a while for calm to return, but with our own awareness of what is happening, our taking the time to gently assure them, we are supporting, moment to moment the growth of their resiliency. Here are six ways that parents can help their children create a smooth transition to school:  

  1. Read and discuss books together. Reading stories about the beginning of school or about being anxious in challenging situations is a good opportunity for to give words to feelings and talk about them in a safe way.  Older preschoolers can recognize that feelings come and go and that they never lose the power to choose even when they are feeling their feelings.
  2. Anticipate and create choices together.  As the saying goes, there is always something you don’t know in what you know, and there is always something you know in what you don’t know. Visiting the school ahead of time helps children to explore both the unknown and known in a very comfortable way. What do you want to see first today? Go on a treasure hunt for school essentials; finding them affirms a sense of safety and belonging.  “I knew there would be blocks.  I didn’t know where the bathroom was, but I knew it was there. Talk about the things you liked. Muse about the choices your child may make for play during the next visit. Anne Rockwell’s classic book My Preschool  is a favorite introduction to school, and a springboard for your child writing his or her own book about the first school day.
  3. Practice Departures with awareness.   Play dates and their spending time away from home with relatives are good ways to practice being apart and to model, practice and build the assurances that comfort the anxiety or stress come with transitions.

    You can notice aloud that yes, a parent leaves for work and comes back.  The other goes shopping but then returns. Affirming out loud your routine going and coming back helps the reliable reality to sink in. On returning to your child, take a few minutes to savor the moment with him or her – this is how we humans install experiences in our brain.  A truly comforting book that helps children visualize the constancy of your  connection to them is The Invisible String by Patricia Karst
  4. Recall happy times together.  Young children need our help to remind them of their happy times and successes because they do not yet rewind and replay events as readily as older children or adults can.  In Hardwiring Happiness,  Dr. Rick Hanson explains that recalling is a way for our brain to install the good and build our resilience for when things become difficult. Whenever we choose to think about positive feelings we grow positive feelings and, as these become wired in the brain, they can lend comfort to apprehension, just like practicing a physical balancing task helps children to keep from falling more easily.  Make the most of your positive experiences with your children  – from simple things like enjoying an ice cream cone, reading a book together or discovering a new friend or enjoyable activity –  and  then  pause, recall them fondly, install.
  5. Create a reliable departure routine.   Model your own trust for their safe-keeping at school and your mutual well-being while they are away by creating a brief good-bye ritual for school that you practice beforehand at home. Over the ages rituals have been created because they assure us of ongoingness, that what has happened before will happen again. It might be a special hug, word or phrase, but keep it brief, and turn toward the door with assurance. Repeat on the next day, whatever happens.  Even very young children can figure out a way to justify or delay your exit. But remember, even though it may be difficult to do, model what you are asking of them – trust that all is well and all will be well.

    Honestly, when children are upset after parting with their parents,  their  initial answer is often “I want to go home” or “I want Mom”  –  not  viable options.  Together, finding another way to be in touch or in charge such as a phone call when the child chooses, or letting the child pick a way to be comforted  like sitting on your lap, holding a picture or favorite toy offers a choice which we can fulfill.  We then want to   acknowledge aloud  the improvement we see, “It looks like you’re feeling a little better” helps young children to take in the good and that they can help us  help them. These small moments build their resiliency.
  6. Practice mindful moments.  Take mindful moments throughout your day and stop to pause and focus with your child on a sound, something you see or hear.  It may be something as simple as looking at their feet, their hands or a flower, and breathing in that moment as a peaceful or strong moment. When you become frustrated or upset, pause, articulate and model the skill, affirming “I needed that moment to feel more like myself!”  

We would love to hear from you: What routines do you practice at home to get your children ready for school?

Introducing Academic Academies for Fall 2017!

Click here to register

Each 8 week Academy provides students with the ability to explore an area of interest through hands-on activities and play. Certified teachers guide students in learning new skills, building self-confidence and creating a genuine love of learning. Each of the Academies listed below meet weekly from 1:00-3:00pm. Snack will be provided in each class.

Sports Academy (Monday): Soccer Shots of Central Jersey will provide students with an age-appropriate curriculum which aligns with childhood education standards.

Cooking Academy (Tuesday): Students will build basic culinary skills and a healthy palate.

Art Academy (Wednesday): Projects explore various art media such as painting, collage, colored pencils, markers, crayons, oil pastels, chalk, watercolors, clay and much more.

STEM Academy (Thursday): Student will be engaged in hands-on experiments which encourage observing, predicting, patterning, graphing, estimating and comparing.

Music/Movement Academy (Friday): Enjoy experiences with rhythms, instruments, and movements.

Click here to register

Spread the Love!

We are always looking for ways to help our children develop a deeper understanding of

Christian love. During this Valentines Day season, why not spend some time doing

service activities as a family? Not only will this be a great way to bond with your

children, its also a wonderful way to teach children how to spread the love of God.

Here are a few activities you can do with your kids:

Visit with Seniors

Contact your local retirement home, and offer to visit with the residents. You can simply

stop by several rooms and say hello, or you could deliver cards, flowers, or a handmade

craft.

You could also offer to organize a craft to do together with the residents. This would be

a good fit if you also have older children in your family who might be interested in

helping research and prepare materials.

Helpful Hint: Its always a good idea to mention that you will be coming with children and

share their ages. This way, the activities coordinators can assist with ensuring that the

visit is a positive experience for everyone involved.

Letters to Soldiers

Your church may have a relationship with a particular group of soldiers, and thats

always a great place to start. Another organization that facilitates letter delivery is

Operation Gratitude: https://www.operationgratitude.com/writeletters/.

This can be as simple or involved as youd like. If you enjoy crafting, you might use

your childs handprints or footprints to paint a heart on the front of a card, then write a

note on the inside. For a simpler option involving more family teamwork, young children

can create illustrations on the front of a card, and a parent or older child can write the

message on the inside.

Cookie Delivery

Enjoy some time baking cookies together. While they are in the oven, think of some

people who you really appreciate. Spend some time talking about why you are so

grateful for these people. Jot a quick note to one or two of them, and prepare for

delivery!

For an added bonus, do a ding dong ditch by dropping the cookies outside the door,

ringing the doorbell, and leaving the house before they catch you. Not only is this silly

and fun, but it helps us remember that our acts of kindness are to serve others, not

ourselves.

What other ways do you have to spread the love?

Share your pictures with us at school or on our Facebook page and help other families

share the love this Valentines Day!

4-5 Year Olds

blossoms

Come Bloom in Our Garden
This program is for students who will be 4 by September 30th.
In our pre-kindergarten classes students delve into building their knowledge of the world and mastering important skills in preparation for kindergarten. Emergent literacy is a focus, along with challenging thinking skills. (more…)

3-4 Year Olds

buds

Buds experience the full range of preschool activities in a warm, caring and supportive classroom community. The focus is on socialization and self-help skills. Students become part of a classroom community that works and plays together.

(more…)

2 – 3 year olds

sprouts

Sprouts receive a gentle and nurturing introduction to school life. The focus is on successfully achieving separation from parents and discovering the wonderful world inside the classroom with their teachers and new friends. Our exceptionally low student teacher ratio means individualized attention, and the ability for staff to effectively handle every situation that arises.
(more…)