Parents and the Child Education

The good old adage that says “children are the leaders of tomorrow” is actually an indisputable truth and should not be ignored. As a result of this, children’s education should be taken very serious and parents should not leave it up to schools alone. Schools tried their best, but the sole responsibilities lie on the parents, because they are suppose to give the child a head start in life than what is being taught in schools.

Schools are being directed by professional teachers and they can only perform within the dictate of their professional ethics. For example if a child lagged behind in any subject, it is the responsibility of the school to make sure that the child is able to cope with the subject based on the teacher’s expertise and the school’s approved standard of effective tutoring, anything that falls out this could be considered poor performance. This is to say that, parents should step up and do something to make sure that the child is able meet up and pass any of the difficult subjects – but not going to the school and be harassing the innocent teachers.

Parents can help the schools by encouraging the child to attend extra classes outside of school hours, with the aims of helping to boost the school efforts in the child’s education. For example, in the Asian countries, children’s education is on their top economic priorities, most students attends extra classes after schools hours and they all tried to learn English, because they know that they are going to have a better chance of securing good job after their education.

But, the attitude of parents towards children’s education in some western countries is nothing to write home about. This is due to the advent of technology; students can close from schools to a place of fun or can even get busy by spending the rest of the day chatting with friends – it is not good for a child’s future and parents must do something about it.

I am of the opinion that, it has to do with parent’s attitudes toward the future. Some decades ago, things have been going smoothly and children did not need to worry about the future, this is due to the solid foundation laid by our founding fathers. But now, the attitudes has changed children education has been completely handed over to teachers and parents have forgotten; that tender motherly love and the soothing fatherly word of a caring father can do spur that child to the next level of educational achievement.

What Are the Reasons For Home Schooling Children?

What is important is that every child gets the best possible education available. It doesn’t matter if that is a public school, private school or any other type of school with special programs or it is schooling from home. People are different. They have different backgrounds, different financial power and different beliefs and according to those, parents are completely competent to bring decisions about their children educations.

We don’t always agree about how other people raise their children but the truth is that even if we think that we are completely right, someone else doesn’t agree with our ways. That is why, we all should do our best in raising our children the best way we know and hope that it is good way.

Most often reason for home schooling children are religious parents. Being religious means that you have strong beliefs how your whole family should behave and act in certain situations and that is why it is crucial to limit contact with other children who don’t pursue those beliefs. Some people would think right away that this is not very good for those kids but if home schooling doesn’t bring some extreme consequences with it, than its parents right to do what they think it’s best for their family.

If home educated kids are not in contact with kids from public or private schools, that doesn’t mean that they are not socializing. Those kids, usually, have a very good education because they are in a small number and attention is all theirs and they are educated by parent who knows them well and can find the best way to bring out the best from her kids. Also, those kids are not locked in the house just because they don’t attend regular schools. They are socializing by attending different types of camps like soccer or football, winter sports camps; they are visiting special events, church groups, socializing on Internet and many other activities that young people like.

Every parent would love to know if there is something that you can do or teach your children in order to protect them in life. However, no matter where we educate our children, we cannot protect them from living their lives. What we can do is to give them proper education because that is the only treasure that stays with them, we can love them and support them and hope for the best.

Educational Toys – It’s Role On Our Children’s Development

I believe that all of us want to be a good parent and will give everything needed for our children to develop well. And it is our responsibility as a parent to guide our children to pass all the developmental tasks from an infant until grown up, which is social, emotional, psychomotor and intellectual tasks.

Especially in the early years, the best way to help our children to learn and prepare to school is to “learning by playing.” Yes, they need both: to learn and to play. The best tool for that is by using educational toys. When we give our children educational toys, the learning process will happen inevitably.

A Preschool Educational Toys will help our child develop their five senses as well as help them develop their brain, because children are soaking up tons of information and they love to play. They learn through play and it is important to allow your child the time to play, as well as learn discipline, nurture and rest. For example, physically tangible toys establish the sense of touch and stimulate neural growth. Further, the child’s ability to manipulate his toy as he wishes builds creativity and decision-making skills.

When they get older, make sure that you find toys that are for their age level. Most toys have age levels printed on the package so that you can be certain you are buying for the correct age. While they may still enjoy playing with some of the toys from their earlier childhood, you should buy more complex toys or you can even take the younger toys a step further.

When buying an Educational Toys, choose variety of toys that use different parts of the brain as well as different senses. You want to help them expand their learning abilities even if they are already school age. If you have questions about the best toys to buy you can always speak with a teacher about your child’s development.

The best way to find educational learning toys your child will enjoy is by going online to educational toy stores as well as looking at your local toy stores. Having a plan where our children have the opportunity to have fun and learn as well, will create more opportunities for our children’s success in school. It is fun to watch our children learn and grow.

“Let my playing be my learning, and my learning be my playing.” This is a quote from Professor Johan Huizinga’s famous book Homo Ludens, the Latin words for “The Playing Human” Playing is not just an entertainment, but an essential way of engaging with and learning about our world and ourselves – for adults as well as children.

Kids Safety On The Internet – The Technology Blame Game?

I cannot blame technology, the Internet included, for your kids safety (or unsafety) on the Internet. I have spent more than twenty-five years in the technical field, and it would be ironic and shameful if I was promoting something that was putting my kid in danger. However, something is to blame, and I tend to come back to the same question “Are your kids in more danger today compared to when you were their age?”

I truly believe they are in more danger now than when we were kids. Let’s look at three different scenarios to give some context to my opinions: bullying, sexual predators, and violent content.

Stop The Cyber Bully?

Think about when you were roughly the same age as your child. What were you were doing in the school yard? If you were unlucky, then you as a kid may have been bullied by other kids at the school. Maybe you even witnessed a bullying incident. Bullying in your kid-days typically remained in the school yard. When it was time to go home, the mental effects of bullying possibly trailed home with you, and when you returned to school the next day, the bullying may have picked up from where it left off – verbal and possibly physical abuse. The key thing is that you did not drag the bullying home with you. It stayed at school. Today, a kid usually does not have the luxury of leaving the bullying on the school grounds. The bullying can follow them wherever they go, called cyber bullying.

Cyber bullying is Internet-based, and you did not have the Internet as a kid. The closest resemblance to something like the Internet was probably a telephone or a ham radio — and I’m really stretching my imagination. If someone wanted to spread the bullying word about you, the best they could probably do is tell their school friends or maybe spread the bully word by telephone — a very slow and laborious way of spreading the bully word.

Today, however, the bullying word spreads exceptionally fast, and its difficult to stop cyber bullying. I have witnessed live bullying episodes on the Internet, namely Twitter and Facebook. Not only does the bullying word spread fast, but those who instigate it can do so anonymously. During your kid-days bullying was usually face-to-face, so you knew exactly who was behind the events. Today the probability of the bully remaining anonymous is fairly high. They just hide behind fake profiles and userid’s, then launch “operation clandestine bully spread”.

Predators On The Internet?

Then there is the predator world. As a kid did you ever have a fear of being stalked by a predator? Did you ever think they (the stalker) was going to take you away and do mean? Did your parents think behind every dark corner lurked a predator? I know for a fact that I never feared such a thing, and neither did my parents. If my parents had concerns it definitely did not overwhelm or rule their lives. Once in awhile they may have reminded me “Not to talk with strangers”. In fact, I felt extremely safe — walked to school & my friends by myself and played outside after sunset. Even though there may have been real dangers I never felt threatened. I felt totally safe!

Today, as a parent I am extremely conscious of the Internet Predator. I have already educated my kid about chat rooms and how not to communicate with strangers. I’m definitely not an old-fashioned parent, but my instincts tell me to keep myself alert and watch for any tell-tale signs that my kid is in predator danger.

It’s obvious that Predators on the Internet are a real concerns amongst many parents. I am constantly witnessing parents telling their kids not to friend anyone on Facebook that they do not know. The hip parents tell their kids “NOT TO LMIRL” to anyone that they have not previously met in real life (aka. Don’t talk with strangers). In the Twitter world. many Twitter Teens already have a huge amount of followers, and would venture to guess that they do not even know who most of them are. I’ve seen kids with thousands of followers, and even if they had a fraction of the amount of followers that they have, there is no practical way that they know every one of them. So basically, if your kids are on Twitter they are probably talking to strangers – I’m sure many more strangers than you spoke to as a kid.

The Meaning Of Violence?

When you start comparing the violence that you as kid were exposed to compared to today’s kids, there is a dramatic difference. When I was the same age as my son is now the extent of the violent content I was exposed to was negligible compared to that of today’s kids.

I was born in South Africa, and as a form of entertainment, my parents rented 16mm reel-to-reel movies on the weekend. The 16mm reel-to-reel movies were South Africa’s equivalent of North America’s, once popular, Beta or VHS. The 1967 Bonnie & Clyde was the most violent movie that my parents ever rented, which we (the kids) were sent to our bedrooms to play while they (our parents) watched movie. Every once in awhile we used to sneak a peek and get our dose of blood & gore. Bonnie & Clyde, by the way, is rated R by the MPAA, and Age 14 by Common Sense Media.

Fast forward to 2011 — I can list at least a dozen Internet or console based games that are extremely violent in nature, and know of kids that are under 10 years old who play these games. I won’t go into details about the games, but they are rated “Not for Kids” and “5 circle violence” by Common Sense Media. Today’s violent content does not fit into the Bonnie & Clyde genre – what was rated R in 1967 seems to be rated OK for today’s teens. It is relative though, in 1967, as a kid, I was trying to watch content that was “not for kids” and in 2011 kids are still immersed in content that is “not for kids”, albeit the content is more graphically violent — eg. “Call of Duty”.

About The Internet For Kids

So when you start comparing kids to now and when you where a kid, it should be clear that today’s kids are more susceptible to dangers than yesterdays kids. Your initial inkling, after taking into account bullying, sexual predators, and violent content is to probably blame the Internet. Isn’t the Internet the big difference between now and then? It may seem so, but I do not believe the Internet and technology is to blame.

The Internet is just an efficient mechanism to get messages, information, and content from one place to another, and has not changed the underlying cause or motivation of human behavior. There are many documented stories that show bullying, violence and other related incidences and are part of our history. Internet or no Internet there will still be bullying, sexual predators, and violent content. The Internet has just made access to content, messages and information much easier and more pervasive than it’s ever been.

I believe that we can not totally eliminate bullying, the sexual predator, and violent content because in order to do so we will need to dig really deep and start altering almost everything about society — not a realistic endeavor. We need to live with the consequences of our progression, and keep on managing and tame the elements that have put our kids in potential danger. Even though I do not blame technology and the Internet as the source of our kids safety (or unsafety), I fully recognize that the Internet has given bullying, predators, and violent content an easy, and inexpensive way to access and abuse the unassuming kid.

The bullying message can be carried more quickly, efficiently and anonymously than a face-to-face conversation; Predators can hide behind smoke screens and pretend to be younger than they say; Content, violent or tame, can be distributed through the Internet more easily than renting a game or a video. The Internet is not going away, and is evolving quickly.

We still need to do what we do best – that is guide our kids safely until they are able to take over that responsibility themselves. It is necessary and important that we continue learning how to tame the ‘Internet beast’. We will get there, but for now our persistence to guide our kids safely through the Internet must prevail.

Educational Apps To Make iPad Nursery-Friendly

A US toy firm has begun development of pre-school educational software applications for Apple’s new iPad e-book.

The new ‘apps’ from San Diego-based children’s educational toy company DANO2 use the iPad’s touch-screen display to make the games more interactive and rewarding.

Their first game is Little Sky Writers, which teaches kids to write the letters of the alphabet by guiding a small aeroplane with their finger.

Guidance and amusing commentary are provided by the voice of Roger the air traffic controller, played by comedian and Nikcleodeon children’s TV star Stephen Kramer Glickman.

The app was designed with the help of experienced nursery teachers and educational professionals. The developers claim that the game is so intuitive and fun that it reaches children long before a traditional school workbook can.

Design consultant for the game and California nursery teacher Diane Owen has been training teachers and teaching kids how to write the alphabet for some 30 years.

She says that she looks forward to using her “dream program for hands-on and kinaesthetic learners” this school year.

Ms Owen says that one advantage of Little Sky Writers is that it recognises and points out mistakes in pupil’s writing straight away.

Ms Owen is piloting the software with a single iPad in her classes this autumn, but she has already begun applying for a grant to expand the number of the devices in her classroom.

She feels that it is a better and more affordable tool for students than traditional computers.

“My students are low income”, Ms Owen says. “Many do not have the same access to technology as their higher-income counterparts.

“With this grant, not only will they learn how to write their letters properly, but they will also gain a crucial confidence with technology at an early age.”

DANO2 vice president for educational development Lauren Monahan says: “Little Sky Writers gives kids who require a more active approach to learning a fair chance to develop educational success, and accompanying confidence much earlier.”

Like Ms Owen, Ms Monahan, who was recently awarded a grant to attend an MIT conference on education and technology, believes that the iPad should not be viewed as an expensive toy, but rather an inexpensive computer – one who’s intuitive touch screen display makes it the ideal tool for children.

DANO2 is a family owned company based in the town of Carlsbad in California. It manufactures all of its products in the USA using environmentally friendly, medical grade materials that are free from the plastics PVC, phthalate, and BPA.

The firm insists that all of its products are designed with input from education and health care professionals and are independently tested for safety.

Special Children Taking to Apps Like Never Before

There are several ways by which smartphones and tabs have become useful in our lives. Though largely used for communication and entertainment purposes, these devices have also proved to be useful in education, business, and in the healthcare industry.

But smartphones and tabs have made the most interesting impact in the special children education sector. The devices have been identified as a useful learning apparatus to improve collaboration and engagement among students. There is a lot of buzz around the devices in the autism community. In fact, they have proved to be such a useful therapeutic tool that some special children’s organizations are providing grants to families to purchase one.

Benefits as a therapeutic device

For children lacking in motor skills, a digital learning app on a touch screen offers intuitive input. Computers from the older technology require visual shifting between a keyboard or the mouse and the screen. But with a digital learning app running on a tab or smartphone, special children can watch one of their fingers directly write on the screen, or select something, which in turn helps improving fine motor skills.

To autistic children, using touch technology is almost a natural phenomenon. Susan Williams, an instructor in an autistic elementary school, finds tabs and smartphones to be great supplemental apparatus for instruction. It’s almost like a fish taking to water, she says, moderating her student interactions using touch technology. Susan is an active promoter of technology in special education on various online platforms. She estimates that nearly 80% of her autistic students have got great results by using touch screen devices.

Personalizing lesson plans and apps

For special needs students, it’s important to understand each of them individually and how differently they’ll learn. With a digital learning app, teachers can make individualized lesson plans to assess the needs of every special child. There are several apps that are especially tailored for the needs of special children. Teachers can choose the best digital learning app that best fits their teaching methods and relevant to how the students learn.

The way special children are learning with smartphones and tabs is undeniably remarkable. It’s changing the way these children are taught in schools. These devices have improved many aspects in their life in more ways than we could have imagined.

For schools still hesitating whether or not to adopt a digital learning app for its special education classroom, the use of technology is expected to help in more ways than one. But for a proper implementation, make sure that your school has the backup technology like LAN connectivity or Wi-Fi routers in place.

Besides, the teachers should first get properly acquainted with the devices themselves before introducing them in the classroom. Each digital learning app has various customizable lessons appropriate for a particular level of the autism spectrum. Teachers have to discover the full potential of these apps and only then they can educate the students. And like Susan they too can champion the use of technology.

3 Basic Tips in Selecting Educational Toys

Parents are now provided with a broader set of choices in selecting toys for their children. A major innovation has long been recognized and is currently presenting a better option for kids to further their mental growth and development. While several toy companies are emerging, educational toys are also gaining wide acceptance and are facing a significant demand in the market.

Growing children require proper guidance and special attention, considering the fact that they are at a stage where their brains are recognizing concepts that are new to them. And given their high curiosity, toys are an effective way to feed their hungry minds with basic information. Parents can passively help their children improve their understanding of the world around them. However, parents should be selective in choosing such for their children. Even though they have opted for those which are highly educational, they should look to find those that meet the needs of their children and will give the kind of care that they want their kids to have.

1) Find those that are appropriate to his or her age. Certain toys are specifically made for a certain age group. When kids toys are being used by children beyond the age range being specified, they become useless since these children would find it hard to use and relate to them. This is because they have not reached the level of understanding that is necessary for them to appreciate the subject matter being tackled or addressed. The opposite goes for children who deal with toys that are too young for them. They usually find them boring and unchallenging. In addition, they would not really cater to the intellectual needs of your child. Do not assume that by providing your child with those that are advanced for him or her will also advance her skills. Manufacturers also take into account safety considerations relating to age that is why they are also mandated by law to specify age bracket of target users. Those for younger children do not use small pieces to avoid having them swallowed.

2) Target specific skills. Certain toddler educational toys are made to target a specific behavior or skill in children. These skills may pertain to cognitive, logical and even artistic talent, to name a few. For infants, those that can stimulate their vision and audio skills should be considered. With toddlers, on the other hand, they have a wider range of choices since they have already developed basic skills such as attention, symbolic thinking and memory. But if you are honing your child to become someone or acquire a certain personality like being musically-inclined, you must expose him or her to music-related materials such as musical books, musical instruments for children and other musical toys. You can also opt to frequently play nursery rhymes and children’s songs on your music box or disc player. To enhance logical thinking, they can be exposed to puzzles or related games that are also suitable for their age. You can also further develop your child’s literary skills by reading them stories. There are educational videos that are produced and marketed everywhere. They are typically presented in various lessons that are aimed to target specific abilities.

3) Safety first. This is a basic rule for anything that you wish to do. And selecting toys for your kid should not be an exemption. Childrens educational toys may also pose danger if their composition or production does not meet safety standards. These should not contain toxic materials, such as lead content, that might go into the way of your child’s health. Parents should give extra attention to this as youngsters are more sensitive and prone to issues that may endanger their own health. Even though the government is strictly prohibiting the use of harmful materials in these articles, parent should still be extra cautious by taking particular attention on what they are buying. You should read the outer cover or the toy box which should say “non-toxic”. You must also read manuals or precautionary measures that come with the product to determine proper use. The same attention should be given on things that should be avoided. To ensure that you buy baby toys that are indeed friendly to your child’s health, look for certification on certain brands and products.

Educational Benefits Of Children’s Puzzles

Puzzles are a traditional favourite children’s educational toy among not just kids, put parents and teachers.

You can improve your child’s early learning both at home and at school by giving them puzzle toys to play with.

Children’s puzzles help to develop a whole range of skills, including cognitive skills, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and even social skills.

Puzzles improve cognitive – reasoning and problem-solving – skills by helping children to see the relationship between the whole and its parts.

They can also enhance visual spacial awareness and teach subjects such as the alphabet, counting, colours, shapes and sorting objects into sets like animals or vehicles.

Motor skills such as grasping and manipulation (not the monetary or emotional kind) are developed through puzzles such as jigsaws, or those which require the child to put pegs or blocks in holes or attach one object to another. These skills are crucial for writing and drawing, but children begin learning them long before they ever pick up a crayon.

Similarly, babies and toddlers learn hand-eye coordination skills as they pick up pieces of a puzzle and place them in their right place.

Playing with puzzles can also teach your children social skills when done with other children. Children learn share tasks and cooperate as they swap pieces of the puzzle and discuss where they should go. They can also learn how to cope with frustration when they cannot make a piece fit.

In short, puzzles are fun, stimulating, educational toys for children and adults of all ages.

How Can Educational Games For Kids Really Help?

Educational games for kids are literally everywhere. They range from real-life board games to free online games. They can also be easily bought or accessed. Department stores have toy sections where you can find tons of games. While not all of them can be educational, games like scrabble and chess are not really hard to find. Popular websites like Facebook and Yahoo offer a section of games, most of which are child-friendly.

Parents can also devise their own games for their kids. Solving a simple math problem can turn into a worthwhile activity if the parents are inventive enough to add a little twist into it. It takes creativity and resourcefulness to accomplish this.

Word games are the most common. Some of the most popular kinds are Hangman, Boggle, crossword puzzles, Scribbage, and the most famous scrabble. These games allow children to learn more words. Difficult words can force them to look up the dictionary and learn the definitions in the process. Boggle, Scrabble, and Scribbage can create the competitive edge in children by letting two or more kids play against each other. While crosswords were invented to satisfy adults, simple crosswords are found in some children educational books. Parents can also make crosswords on their own or better, include their children while they are answering their favorite newspaper crosswords.

There are also card games that can help a child’s learning. Flash card games are not just limited to basic mathematical operations. This type of educational games for kids can also broaden their concept on animals, geography, and sports, which is perfect for toddlers.

Educational games for kids can also be in the form of video games. These games have undergone an evolution from simple entertainment to purely educational. Some researchers had already proposed that some video and computer games be used in a classroom setting for serious learning. This is in parallel with the progress the world is making through digital technology development. Some of these games encourage strategic thinking, while some focus on direct teaching.

Educational games for kids also flood the online environment. Just one search in Google will give you thousands of options of websites that can be comprehensive, enjoyable, and helpful in learning. Websites that appear on top of the list include learninggamesforkids.com and playkidsgames.com. The former has plenty of games regarding subjects like music and the arts, health, and science. In playkidsgames.com, you can even create a classroom where you can bring the children and play an online class setting.

However, not most people agree with this system. Questions are being raised regarding the effectiveness of computers and the Internet for students. The main issue is that online contents are not regulated so without proper guidance, the Internet can be potentially harmful.

Parents and teachers should always see to it that the children are conforming to the path they should take when it comes to learning. Educational games for kids are there as supplements, but guarding the children must their utmost priority.

Through Play Children Learn Required Skills

Play is the child’s profession; one could say it is the same way an adult learns to prepare their skills for life. A child plays to develop his senses, enhancing his knowledge and learns to acquaint himself with the environment that surrounds him. One can not stress enough how important it is for a child to be given a great variety of play activities. Parental attention during play time is imperative to further the progress in the child’s development.

Educating your child is an ongoing process and often parents are looking at children educational toys to accomplish their aim. The market offers an enormous variety of children educational toys and ways to enhance their child’s development. Children educational toys offered on the market are not all of equal quality. It is best to conduct some research into children educational toys to establish what suits your child best, but there is no better person than a parent to know what is appropriate for their child.

By all means do some experimenting, children may surprise you with their adaptability they process. The child will let you know in one way or another if your choice is on the right track. A parent knows their child very well and at what developmental level they are to find the proper toy. One good advice, never under estimate your child, children are very clever and mostly know exactly what they want.

Always listen to your child this is most important. Children look upon toys as fun and entertainment, but a parent looks at a toy as something that is assisting them in grooming their child into an eventual responsible adult. What is it all about? It is for children to grow into adults through gaining the experience required to fulfill their life into a happy adult existence.

Tina Nyary advises that the time given to play and to educate your children is one of the most rewarding times in your life.