Children Love Franky the Flamingo!

 

teacher wearing a pink shirt with a stuffed toy flamingo sitting beside her and kids looking at her as she holds up the book Franky the Finicky Flamingo
Mrs. Laynie Fulton, Teacher at Dr. W. J. Creel Elementary School pictured reading to her students

 

I have to tell you the life of an author is an exciting one! You just never know which twist and turn is going to occur on any given day.

About 2-3 years ago, I met a lovely retired elementary school teacher at a craft fair I was doing. One of my very first and I was quite nervous talking to people. But, her and I, well, we just clicked. Her name is Rita Hewett.

She is part of a fabulous group of retired teachers who purchase books and then find a matching toy to go with it. They package the book and toy together and then give them away for FREE to children who would otherwise not have a book of their own.

I think they are amazing and I wanted to be part of it!

So, I donated my books to Rita and she found toys to put with them.

Well, when my recent book, Franky the Finicky Flamingo, finally came out in paperback in January, I wanted to get her a copy. She lives about 35 minutes south of me. We were trying to find a weekend and just things weren’t lining up.

Then, my first order or books sold out before I could get her one. So, I ordered a second set and we tried to match our schedules again.

Finally, I said to her that I didn’t know when I was going to get down her way and could I just put it in the mail to her. She had an even better idea and told me to put it in the school courier since I work in a school and she has a friend at a school who agreed to receive it for her.

Guess who that person was? Yup! Mrs. Laynie Fulton, pictured above! Turns out, she is a flamingo lover herself and their classroom mascot is Mrs. Fulton’s Flamingos. When she realized the book she was receiving for Rita was about a flamingo she asked if she could read it to her class.

You know as an author there’s nothing better we like to hear, right?!

“Yes, yes, please read it to your children!!”

She did read it and even sent me pictures!!

teacher reading Franky the Finicky Flamingo to a group of students

 

Mrs. Fulton wearing her pink class t-shirt with their logo on it and there’s Mrs. Fulton’s Flamingo sitting right alongside her enjoying the book too!

 

And she actually when one step further and had the children write a response to the story!! They drew cute pictures of Franky and wrote what they liked best about the book.

 

a group of pages that children drew a picture on the top and wrote a response on the bottom
Children’s written responses and drawings of Franky the Finicky Flamingo (the one coloring page pictured was actually from a different class visit but I loved it, so wanted to share it too!)

 

Wow! What fun it is to be an author and see your book being read to children and seeing them enjoying it! And then receiving their cute drawings and reading what they enjoyed about your book!

Here are some of the things they said,

“I like the part that he got light pink”

I like the part that Franky did not like the food”

“I like the part he did not eat the worm” (and they had a cute little worm drawn saying, “don’t eat me!”)

“The book was funny”

“Thank you for making this story”

I am truly blessed!

Thank Mrs. Laynie Fulton for your generosity in taking your time to share Franky the Finicky Flamingo with your students and having them write/draw responses to me. I appreciate it more than you can know.

And thank you, Rita Hewett, my dear friend, whose support I appreciate so much! You are a gem! You knew what you were doing when you asked me to send my flamingo book to your friend, Mrs. Fulton.

Spikes for Hank Teaches Self-Acceptance

Spikes for Hank, a children's book, by Anita Kovacevic

Hello, everyone! Thank you for stopping in today. I want to introduce you to a very talented children’s author named Anita Kovacevi. She will be introducing us to her newest book, Spikes for Hank, today. I have read one of her other books and just loved it! I can’t wait to read this one. Please welcome, Anita…

SPIKES FOR HANK by Anita Kovacevic

What can you do when you are a tiny hedgehog, and your parents keep telling you to roll into a ball and defend your life with your spikes? So much worry and constantly having to hide from danger leaves you with no fun, no play and no friends. Or does it?

3-D image of Spikes for Hank children's book by Anita Kovacevic

Hank Hedgehog lives in a beautiful forest surrounded with all sorts of animals, both dangerous and friendly. His parents love him so much that they try, a little too much, to protect him from harm. Eventually, Hank starts hating his spikes and becomes very lonely. However, all good families have problems – once they talk them out, and with a little bit of help from friends, the world can be a wonderful, fun and exciting place again!

Having over 20 years experience in teaching and storytelling with children and adults, I know very well that children need to be involved in a story while it is read, and what helps them relax and open their minds and hearts up in that reading niche is having someone they trust ask the right questions at the right time. Sometimes adults who read the stories with children need a little help in that department – some of them don’t realize talking to kids while reading is a good thing, whereas others know it is good, but lack ideas for questions. Therefore, just like all my children’s books, Spikes for Hank also contains simple illustrations and questions after each chapter to help both children and adults enjoy themselves, using the story as starters of more conversations, developing empathy and strengthening children’s problem solving skills. These questions do not interrupt the flow of text, but follow each chapter, and one does not need to read them to be able to follow the story line.

The book also contains riddles and coloring pages in the final chapters.

Spikes for Hank, a children's book, opened to a page for a "sneak peak"SNEAK PEEK

From the FOREWORD:

We are all born with some part of ourselves we don’t especially like. In fact, sometimes we hate it and wish we were different.

But with time, and a little help from our friends and family, we all discover we are as we are for a reason, and each of us is special and unique in our own way.

Sometimes, quite often in fact, what we thought our weakness turns out to be our most prized possession. Would it not be a dull world if we were all the same?

From one of the chapters:

‘I’m a tiny hedgehog, love my spikes and all,

When danger comes my way, I just roll into a ball.

If you want to harm me, know my spikes can sting.

Just let me go my way and I’m a happy thing.

 

My spikes are superpower – they help me do some good –

No winter is too long when I gather food.

Apples, mushrooms, pears, they all stick when I roll.

So no one goes hungry when deep snows fall.’

From the riddle section – about Hank’s unusual animal friend:

YES, ALAS, MY FATE IS SUCH.

I’M SNEAKY AND SLEEZY WAY TOO MUCH.

SO EVEN WHEN I’M NICE AND KIND,

YOU WONDER WHAT IS ON MY MIND.

THE AUTHOR’S MESSAGE from the AFTERWORD:

Everyone always talks about the magic that happens when a child reads a book or hears the story. I love it, too.

But you want to know what my favourite moment is?

It is when children finish reading the story and step out of it, bringing the magic with them into the real world. When they finish Alice in Wonderland and realize there is always more than one way of looking at the world. When they read The Little Prince and know the box can contain anything you wish – it is all up to us.

There are so many stories which can empower us all to be better and stronger versions of ourselves. May we all find them and spread that magic to the world.

Anita Kovacevi's collection of children's books

BOOK LINKS:

Spikes for Hank  ebook https://tinyurl.com/y8np4as5  ppb https://tinyurl.com/y86wkq56

ENDORSEMENTS FOR SPIKES FOR HANK:

In “Spikes for Hank” Ms Kovacevic has drawn upon her experience as an educator and her knowledge of children to create a tale that will entertain and reassure as well as teach and spark the imagination.

Erica (E J) Gore, Author, Speaker, Teacher; Taya Bayliss Mysteries for young readers; The Gummshoe Gang – Taking a stand against Bullying; The Tooth Fairy Tales

 

I really enjoyed reading “Spikes for Hanks” by Anita Kovačević and I would highly recommend this book to children and adults – parents and teachers –  everyone who likes tales and believes that good stories can develop our imagination and creativity! A wonderful story for all ages!

Ana Vlahek Horvat, parent, educator and cultural management expert

Anita Kovacevic adheres to the same learning philosophies I do: children learn best through interaction and questions, paired with relatable themes and characters.(…) Her stories integrate life lessons in a subtle and engaging way, without being preachy, something parents and kids will appreciate.

Traci Sanders, Award-winning author of parenting, children’s, and romance titles

By using simple illustrations and describing a well-known situation in a child’s life, the author helps children understand the problem. She provides an interesting way to actively engage children in the reading process by adding questions after each chapter. Children can give different answers, have new ideas and form their own opinions, which is what makes every child unique and exceptional. A book like this one can be very useful and helpful in the life of a kindergarten child, as well as to us, preschool teachers.

Sandra Perko and Tanja Petric, parents and preschool teachers (early foreign language development)

Anita Kovacevic, children's author, holding Spikes for Hank book

AUTHOR BIO

Anita Kovacevic is a multigenre author and teaches English as a second language. Her parenting, teaching and storytelling experience is blended into all her children’s books. She enjoys using stories as teaching tools and never misses a chance to do so, relishing storytelling lessons in which she not only teaches children, but also learns a lot from them. Her books include children’s literature, but also adult fiction and stories featured in various anthologies, including charity ones.

Anita always has several works-in-progress, and you can read her interviews and reviews on her WordPress blog Anita’s Haven (https://anitashaven.wordpress.com/ )

ANITA’S OTHER CHILDREN’S BOOKS ON LULU:

Winky’s Colours  ebook https://tinyurl.com/yb5a76wx  ppb https://tinyurl.com/yask4nhy

Mimi Finds Her Magic ebook https://tinyurl.com/y8tmw9nc ppb https://tinyurl.com/y7a7oe8y

The Good Pirate  ebook https://tinyurl.com/y9dejlha  ppb https://tinyurl.com/y77htxrg

ALL BOOK LINKS:

Amazon universal link Author.to/AnitaKovacevicAmazon

Barnes & Noble all Nook https://tinyurl.com/ybfpg9gb

Kobo all Rakuten https://tinyurl.com/ycxuds4g

iTunes all Apple https://tinyurl.com/ydfyn8hq

Book Gorilla  http://tinyurl.com/le5h4x2 Lulu http://tinyurl.com/ltbvq54

Goodreads  http://tinyurl.com/jwovbbv

(find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as Anita’s Haven)

Thank you, Anita, for sharing your newest book with us! I just love little hedgehogs and Hank is just adorable. Plus, the lovely message he shares with children is one we all can use (learning to accept ourselves just as we are).

Jory the Terror, a Children’s Book about adjusting to new settings

Melia Neal, children's author

 

Hi, everyone! Today, I’m bringing you a new author who has a background near and dear to my heart, plus she lives in Missouri (the state I grew up in)! So, we already know she’s awesome.

Melia, tell us about yourself and your book, Jory the Terror…

My name is Melia Neal, I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Seven years ago, I relocated to Cape Girardeau, Missouri with my family. I am a wife and mother of three beautiful children, two boys ages 15 and 12 and one 10-year-old girl. I have a degree in Early Childhood Development and a degree in Psychology. My current position is a Children’s Service Worker for the state of Missouri.

Besides writing I enjoy working with children and families and being involved in the community. One community group that I am a part of is a nonprofit organization called Authentic Voices. Authentic Voices is a group of individuals playing an active role in the community to empower individuals to create solutions.

I started writing poems and short stories in high school as a hobby. I have written plays and movie scripts in the past. This past year I decided to take my writing to the next level by releasing my first children’s picture book called Jory The Terror on November 5,2017.

 

Jory the Terror by Melia Neal
Available on Amazon

 

 

Jory The Terror is a children’s story that emphasizes the importance of being oneself and adjusting to new settings. Jory the Terror is an alter ego that a young boy adopts to help adjust to having to leave home for school. Jory The Terror is dedicated to my little nephew who is the sweetest kid in the world but is often perceived in the wrong way because of his adverse approach.

 

 

After working as a director for an early childhood program I noticed that children may struggle to make friends because they do not understand how to communicate with others effectively. In the story, Jory is new to the school and is looking to gain new friendships with his classmates.

This book is the start of a series of children picture books that I will be releasing over the next few years.

I am planning to release my second children’s book this year called Aaliyah and Her Sidekick King. This book is a fiction picture book dedicated to my daughter Aaliyah. This book is to bring enlightenment on girls having the same physical capabilities as boys when it comes to playing sports. I am hoping that this book will empower not only my daughter but other little girls.

Through my children books, I am hoping to inspire the readers and the listeners through various issues that children face daily.

Learn more about Melia’s books at the links below

Youtube: https://youtu.be/RS0w5ckFJgw
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jory-the-terror-melia-neal/1127228627?ean=9781635754032
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jory-Terror-Melia-Neal/dp/1635754038/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515816491&sr=8-1&keywords=jory+the+terror

Connect with Melia at these links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMeliaSNeal/
Cision(Preweb): http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/12/prweb14994111.htm

Thank you, Melia, for joining us today!

I look forward to your future books!

 

Nelish Daring Quest Children’s Books

Nelish Daring Quest Book Covers by Kevin D. Grant
Today, I’d like to welcome the children’s author and illustrator, Kevin D. Grant. I LOVE his peacock and think you’ll love him too!
Here’s Kevin’s story…….
Kevin David Grant began drawing at the tender age of 5. Realizing he was blessed with creative talents in writing and spending countless of years in drawing, he received sound advice from his immediate family members as well as his high school senior English teacher, (Barbara Delac), to shoot for the stars with his special gifts.
He initially had ideas of going to an art college to fulfill his dream, but life simply wasn’t easy paying for college tuition for a single individual, let alone a teenage kid, especially when you are 1 of 3 triplet men graduating high school at the same time- which he is!
Instead, he decided to join the military, in efforts of serving his country around the world, in return for education benefits by enrolling into a college of his choice. Although serving in the U.S. Navy for over 12 years, having a family, and successfully obtaining a Bachelor’s of Science of Organizational Management Degree from the University of LaVerne in 2012, he was happy of those accomplishments, but yet he felt emptiness inside and was still unsatisfied.
Although life happened and time passed by, he still had the passion and the desire to pursue and fulfill his lifelong dream of providing quality entertainment for all. He decided to combine both his imagination and artwork compiled together into a book, and Nelish Daring Quests was birth forth.
Finally he feels that he is putting his imagination at work, and with your efforts, his dreams will successfully be a reality.
This is his gift to the world! Embrace it…
Nelish Daring Quests Books with Stuffed Peacock Toy
Kevin David Grant is the owner, founder, and president of Gifted Grant Productions, LLC. He is forever dedicated to his passion motto, by “sharing his gifts to the world!”
Kevin D. Grant, Owner of Gifted Grant Productions
I told you that you would love his Peacock Books, Here are the links to purchase them and Contact Information for Kevin D. Grant

Character Ed & Writing Children’s Books

cute kid at school table with school supplies, globe and educational stickers on the wall behind. He's smiling and holding a pen like he's going to write on the paper in front of him.

 

So, I’m a Guidance Counselor and a writer. I have taken my passion, which is helping kids be healthy and whole through character education, and re-purposed it in my writing. They say write what you know and I’ve done just that. I write children’s books with positive messages creatively embedded in magical adventures to help get my point across. But, some people have asked me what exactly is character education?

Character education can be straight-forward such as saying, “Today, children, we’re going to learn how to be polite to one another by learning three simple phrases. Please, thank you, and I’m sorry.” But, oftentimes, we are teaching character education all the time in subtle ways by how we act and respond in everyday situations. Parents know this very well. For instance, they may react very badly to a situation such as maybe saying a cuss word. And then, lo and behold, the child repeats it in front of someone that the parent really wishes wasn’t hearing what was coming out of their child’s mouth, say a minister of their faith or their boss. It’s funny how the things we really don’t want to teach our kids are exactly the things they pick up. I guess that’s human nature.

So, we try to form good habits as parents and teachers and yes, even Guidance Counselors so whenever children are watching us, they will pick up on those habits instead. We use polite language, we are respectful of children—their personal space and their thoughts and ideas. It’s a beautiful thing when you can get through the day and you’ve been able to practice what you want the children to emulate.

Character education has 6 main values—respect, trustworthiness, responsibility, caring, fairness, citizenship. These values are basically the “rules” that make up ethics. When children practice these values (and adults too, for that matter) we get along better as a society; we are happier people; we work together as a team and can produce far better results than if we were working alone.

Character education matters now, more than ever. I don’t just write for the fun of it (although it is fun to write), I write to get a message across to children and to help “teach” them something of value. I hope parents and teachers can see the positive messages in my books and will feel good about reading them to their children or encouraging their children or students to read one of my books on their own.

As always my books are available on Amazon

“Tolerance, Acceptance, Equality, Love”

Picture of Andrew Fairchild, children's author with red flowers blooming behind him. He's wearing a green button-down shirt opened with white t-shirt underneath and a stylish cap on his head.

I would like to welcome award winning children’s author, Andrew Fairchild. Andrew has three children’s books published. Bali and Blu: Friends of a Different Color, a heart-warming story that encourages children that is okay to be friends with others different than yourself. The two-time award-winning book, Rose and Her Amazing Nose, which is an extremely funny book from the story to the illustrations that encourages children to embrace themselves no matter how different they may be. His latest book, Have You Seen My Egg? is an endearing story about a rooster who wakes from a dream and believes he has an egg to take care of.  It is a delightful story of strength, fortitude and reward.

 

Thank you for being here Andrew. Can you tell us what inspired your newest book, Have You Seen My Egg?

Have You Seen My Egg? children's book cover written by Andrew Fairchild and Illustrated by Melissa Shultz-Jones

 

 I would first like to say thank you for letting me be your guest on your wonderful blog.

Have You Seen My Egg? is a story that was inspired by my experience volunteering at Texas Children’s Hospital. Being a volunteer, you see many things which are heartbreaking. One of the things that struck the most, was children who were sick and abandoned by their family. I just wanted to scoop them up and take them home. My heart broke every time. So, I decided to write a story about a rooster who had this urge to nurture and wanted an egg of his own to love. Many believed he was crazy, especially the hens. He does run into other farm friends who do try to help him.

Andrew Fairchild's children's book, Have You Seen My Egg? description, quote from a reviewer, and link to his website

 

Did you always want to be a children’s author?

 

Not in a million years. When I graduated from school, my plan was to go to Miami and study fashion. I just had such a difficult time with reading and math in school that I was placed in a classroom for children with learning disabilities for the first six years. No one ever told me why, I just knew I had to be there or I would be stupid. Of course, I got teased for it. It also kind of turned me off from reading and writing because of that negative stigma attached to it and all the teasing I endured.

 

Do you have any children of your own?

 

Unfortunately, I do not. Do I want them? YES!

 

What would be an important lesson(s) that you would want to teach your children or any child for that matter?

 

To embrace anyone that is different than yourself. Take the time to listen to them, get to truly know them and love them. Just because someone looks different than you, laughs different than you or likes to do things that you don’t doesn’t make them any less of a person.

 

How was your childhood growing up?

 

Ah, the million-dollar question. It was very difficult. I grew up in a very poor family of six. My dad was an alcoholic, he spent a lot of his check on alcohol and that left very little money for food or clothes. Many times, I remember going through bags of clothes that were given to us, hoping that I would find something I could wear. I was sexually abused by friends of the family and family members. Having to go to school and be teased and bullied, made it much more difficult. It was VERY difficult.

 

What do you hope to achieve by writing children’s books?

 

I don’t think it is about me achieving anything, it is more about what can I teach! Tolerance, acceptance, equality, love, etc.

Andrew Fairchild's picture book, Rose and Her Amazing Nose book cover. Illustrated by George A. Raggett

 

You are also a self-published author, I understand.

 

Yes, that is correct. I have my own publishing company called 4Kidz Publishing. I started out by publishing only my own work; however, I have just recently started helping other authors get published. I don’t think I would ever want to have more than just a handful clients, it takes away from the personal one on one interaction.

 

Have you ever thought about getting traditionally published?

 

Absolutely, what author would not like to get picked up.  It is something that I am working on. While querying agents, I will continue to self-publish.

Andrew Fairchild's children's book, Bali and Blu, Friends of a Different Color. Written and Illustrated by Andrew Fairchild.

What projects are you currently working on?

 

Well, I just finished two manuscripts. A Garden for Emery and Makayla’s Brand-New Day. I am still working and revising a few; Princess Pippa and Her Magic Box, La Petit Pierre Extraordinaire and Bonsai.

I have also been working on a MG chapter book titled, The Bookkeepers: And the Garden of Forgotten Archives, which I am hoping to release the end of next year.

 

Where can readers find out more about you and book signing events?

 

www.author-andrewfairchild.com

www.facebook.com/authorandrewfairchild

 

Where can readers purchase your books?

 

https://www.amazon.com/Have-You-Seen-My-Egg/dp/1513619659/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1506466034&sr=8-1&dpID=6176eD-N-rL&preST=_SY344_BO1,204,203,200_QL70_&dpSrc=detail

 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/have-you-seen-my-egg-andrew-w-fairchild/1125846997?ean=9781513606088

 

Do You Wanna Be My Friend?

two female children hugging with happy faces, fall leaves in the background

 

I just want to say that right now it does NOT feel like FALL in Florida even though September 21st (the equinox) has come and gone, but I’m hoping any day now we’ll start feeling some cooler temperatures.

Today, let’s please welcome our favorite School Psychologist, Dr. Valerie Allen, to share on the topic of helping your child make friends.

Dr. Valerie Allen

Licensed School Psychologist

Do You Wanna Be My Friend?

Children need to feel comfortable with themselves and confident when meeting others.  Youngsters need to build self confidence and self esteem, especially in new and unfamiliar situations, such as starting school or joining a team or social group. You can help your youngster make friends using these guidelines.

  1. Put on a happy face: A smile is a universal language. A smile sends out a friendly message. Some children grin spontaneously when they meet others or engage in a new experience, other children are shy or fearful.   Help your child practice by making faces in a mirror, or at each other. Look at pictures of people in books and magazines and discuss what emotions they are conveying with their facial expressions. Ask your child how he would feel if he was with this person. Encourage your child to smile when greeting others; smile, be positive.
  2. Introduce Yourself: The best way to start a conversation is to have eye contact and say your name, loud and clear and offer to shake hands. Next, ask the other child his or her name. This personalizes their time together and encourages friendship and acceptance. It also opens the door for further comments, for example, they may have a relative or friend with the same name.
  3. Share Yourself: Your child should offer some information such as his age , which grade he is in, if he has a pet, or his favorite food. Telling something personal invites others to share something and keeps the momentum going between them. Sharing information shows trust and caring.
  4. Show Interest: Listening is critical in making and maintaining friends. Teach your child to listen as others speak. If their new acquaintance says she likes kittens, your child can relate an incident she had involving kittens, or she can tell about her favorite animal. Practice listening and responding with your youngster. Make a statement and have him or her respond with related information. See how long you can go back and forth on a specific topic.
  5. Be Polite: Being courteous goes beyond saying “please, thank you, and excuse me”. Children need to play cooperatively. This involves sharing toys, asking permission, waiting their turn, being fair, and following rules. They need to accept “no” for an answer. Being polite shows respect for others and teaches self control.
  6. Play by the Rules: Children think they are the center of the universe and all that happens, revolves around them. They must learn they are part of a larger group, a family or a school, and the needs of others are also important. They need to learn how to ask to join in with other children and how to go along with established rules. They can’t be demanding or bully others into doing things their way. This will cause rejection and isolation by their peers. Teach your child to compromise and negotiate, to get what he wants without offending others.

Encourage your child using these suggestions to improve his or her social skills and interactions. These are some ways your child can make friends and find acceptance by others.

* * *

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She has written two children’s books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends.”  Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

Thank you, Valerie, for being here today and sharing this important topic. I’m also very glad you’re my friend.

Have a great one everybody!

Ready or Not: It’s Back to School

Yellow legal pad, 2 yellow pencils and scrabble game letters spelling Back to School

 

It’s August and in Florida, that means school is starting in a few weeks. Please welcome our favorite school psychologist, Dr. Valeria Allen with a few tips to help your children be successful in school.

Ready Or Not: It’s Back to School

by

 Dr. Valerie Allen

The sound of the pencil sharpener, the smell of book print, and the sight of new clothes gives a clear message: school is in full swing. A new school year can offer the fun and excitement that comes with learning. School provides discovery, new friends, and personal growth for your child. Parents can set the stage for a successful school experience for their youngster by using a few common sense strategies.

  1. Have a positive attitude toward learning. Encourage your child to do well and expect them to do their best. Participate in educational opportunities through the community or at the library. Make a decision to purchase “educational” gifts and books for special occasions. Set a good example, read a book, or take a class.
  2. Support the school. Make a commitment to have one parent-teacher conference every month in person. Write, text, or email your child’s teacher and comment on specific classroom activities. Volunteer your time or resources to help at school. You may have items at home or at work which the school could use for projects, remember one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Enforce the school’s rules and policies at home. Speak highly of the school, the teachers, education, and the joy of learning.
  3. Be prepared. Make it easy for your child to handle all of the “nuts and bolts” of getting ready for school each day. Have adequate school supplies and buy items ahead for future use. Prepay for school lunches whenever possible. Select an outfit for each day at the beginning of the week and keep ‘school clothes’ in a separate place. Establish a drop-off spot at home for books, backpacks, lunch boxes, and so on. Use a large envelope with the child’s name on it to keep correspondence and school notices handy. Promptly respond to requests from the school or teacher for permission slips, field trip money, and similar items.
  4. Have routines. Set up a daily schedule for routines for bathing, eating, dressing, homework, and play time. Keep distractions to a minimum; regulate and put time limits on telephone, television, radio, computer time, and electronic devices. Limit daily use of “electronics” to a total of two hours, in 30-minute increments.
  5. Schedule learning time. Set aside a minimum of 30 minutes each day for educational activities. This may include assigned homework or practice skills, which the teacher has sent home. Use workbooks or learning activities, such as cross word puzzles, card games, or board games which encourage logic, decision making, and problem-solving. During learning time, do not allow phone calls, television, computers, electronics, or visits from friends.
  6. Create a star! Find something that your child likes and does well and let him or her “show off” a bit. Encourage fun and the pleasure of having a good time in a positive way. Give your child the message that it is okay to read a book, draw funny pictures, play an instrument, plant a garden, groom a pet, collect stamps, or learn about motor cycles. Find a way to showcase his or her talents, perhaps at a senior center or with an elderly relative or neighbor. Children need to “sparkle and shine”!

These are just a few things parents can do to help their youngsters benefit in a formal learning environment. The goal is to enjoy and maintain an interest in school related activities and learning in general.

# # #

 

Dr. Valerie Allen is a school psychologist in private practice in Melbourne, FL.  She presents seminars for parents and professionals in the field of child development and has published two children’s books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends.” Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

Is There a Place for Character Education in School?

 

As summer draws to a close and we start shopping for school supplies, our thoughts naturally turn to what our children will be taught in school this year.

I read a provocative article recently about whether there was a place for character education in our public schools. Stephanie Petit, the writer of the article, says that not everyone agrees on what “good” character is, nor exactly how to teach it, and that results are anecdotal, therefore, maybe it shouldn’t be.

According to Petit, there are several ways to teach character education from encouraging good character through posters called the “cheerleading” approach all the way to a strict environment enforcing good character called “forced-formality.”

I would like to encourage dialogue on this topic but will give you some of my thoughts here.

While teaching good character may be difficult, I think teachers influence values and behavior regardless of what they do so it might as well be done in a conscious rather than unconscious way.

I also have read articles that state if the whole school is in on the teaching of good character, this goes further than each individual teacher teaching it. I agree with this because if everyone in the school is on the same page, it creates a culture and that has more impact than the culture in one specific classroom alone.

With my background in psychology, I don’t believe that good character should be forced or punitively instituted. I believe role modeling what character is desired and then reinforcing it with words and in teachable moments has the greatest lifelong impact.

So, what do you think? Yay or nay? Or something in-between?

You can read the full article here http://edu.stemjobs.com/is-there-a-place-for-character-education-in-our-public-schools/