World Teacher Day - Ways to Show your childs teacher appreciationWhen was the last time you let your child's teacher know how much you appreciate all they do? If it's been awhile, you have a great opportunity this week, it is Teacher's Appreciation Week where you and your child can help show teachers how much they are appreciated. Often teachers do not get the respect and recognition that they deserve. After all, it's the teachers who work in tough conditions, often for low pay, and they help shape the lives of our children. In essence, teachers across the world today are playing a significant part in building our future.

For Teachers Appreciation week this year, why not take the time to show your child's teachers how appreciated they are. Get your kids involved too. Teach them to show some appreciation too. Need a few ideas? Here are some great ways that you can recognize and thank teachers for all the valuable work that they do.

Send a Handwritten Note

One great idea you can use, to make your child's teacher feel special and appreciated this year, on World Teachers' Day, is to send a handwritten note. Sure, you could spend money on many other gift ideas, but many teachers report that a simple note to say "thank you" is one of those things that means the most to them. Write a note and let the teachers know about all the things you really appreciate about them. Send it to school with your child or hand deliver it yourself. It will be something that the teacher treasures and taking the time to write this by hand will definitely let them know that you are really sincere and appreciative.

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Parent Teacher Conferencesby Angie Shiflett

There are numerous documents that stress the importance of parent and teacher communication. Parents and the relationships that they share with their child's teacher have been researched for many years now. These studies have concluded that when a parent is actively involved with their child's education, it benefits all involved in one way or another. Communication is one of the top strategies for fostering the relationships that grow between a parent and the educators that work with their child. The educational system is faced with many challenges and obstacles, and when parents and teachers communicate effectively these may be successfully overcome. In this article, we will share some tips and many important facts pertaining to parent and teacher communication.

The first step to effective communication is to ensure that you understand that it is more than just gathering reports from your child's teacher on their overall performance in the classroom. It is also more than acquiring information about the child's behavior while in the educational environment. It is about achieving a fluid exchange of information between both the teacher and the parent about the achievements within the classroom as well as the child's general persona. It is about sharing the child's weaknesses and strengths both at home and at school. It also aids in the collaboration between the teacher's agenda and lesson plans with the parent so that the skills being introduced in the classroom are being reinforced in the home environment.

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by Angie Shiflett

Young girl learning SpanishThere are many different reasons why kids get ahead learning a second language. Professionals in education as well as professionals that work directly with children have established that there are several benefits associated with learning an additional language and even multiple languages. The linguistic abilities of the child are greatly enhanced. In addition to this, learning a second language has been found to increase the creative output of the child as well as their cognitive abilities. Unfortunately, when it comes to budget cuts related to the Department of Education, language programs are typically the first to go. It is important that you support foreign language programs and here, you will learn why.

In evaluating the effect of learning more than one language in children, it has been established that it assists in helping those children understand other cultures from the world and increases their global awareness – which is a critical skill in the 21st Century. As children become adults, they will live and work in a society that is considered to be global. It is a known fact that most careers involve working and interacting with individuals from different regions of the world on a regular basis. Additionally, there will likely be local business interactions in a person's career that will require them to interact with someone who does not speak English natively. By learning a second or even a third language, students will grow into adults that have the capability to interact with others in a successful manner.

If a young child is permitted and encouraged to learn one or more additional languages, they are able to successfully develop proficiencies in the language that they are concentrating on. If a child focuses on a different language at a very young age, they will be able to develop pronunciation skills that are similar to those that speak the language in a native manner. In addition to this, they are able to develop a native form of intonation. Children that focus on learning a second language are often very excited to learn that language and become very open in accepting those openly that speak the language that they are learning.

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Teen Girl having problems getting into a study routine

If you have a child that is just going into high school, it's important that you realize how different high school is going to be for them. This is a time of big transition. Not only is your child transitioning and going through tough physical and emotional changes, but high school brings on all new challenges that can be a bit difficult for freshmen high school students to get used to. Now that your child is in high school, their grades and performance are more important than ever. Colleges are recruiting kids even when they are in their freshman and sophomore years, and all colleges will look as far back as the freshman year at grades to see how the student has performed.

In order to succeed in high school, new high school students need to have great study skills. Here are some important study skills that you can teach to your new high school student to help them have an easier transition into high school.

Effective Time Management

One of the most important skills your new high school student needs to learn is effective time management. Teens need to learn that they are responsible for managing their time. Many students end up spending hours in class, they get involved with extracurricular activities, and also have to keep up with homework. Most teens want to spend their time socializing with others, going out, getting on the computer, or talking on the phone. However, it's easy for them to forget about their responsibilities for school work. Now is the time for them to learn how to manage their time. Having them keep a daily planner can be helpful and can teach them important skills in managing their time. Just

Basic Study Habits

Just some of the basic study habits are going to be important for your teen as they go into high school as well. Some kids already may have developed these habits during middle school, but for others, they come a bit harder. Here are a few basic study habits that are very important for your teen to have:Read More on Effective Study Skills for New High School Students

Middle School Reading Pick: Where the Red Fern GrowsThere are many different middle school reading picks. Parents, teachers, and students alike have established that there are quite a few books that should be read between the sixth and the eighth grade. Here, you will be introduced these works of literature.

There are many different reasons why adults should encourage middle school children to read. Reading assists in preparing a child for the future, optimizing their level of comprehension, and encourages them to use their imagination. Listed below are the top books as rated by adults and children alike.

Where the Red Fern Grows

Author: Wilson Rawls

The middle school student is likely to thoroughly enjoy reading the popular book by Wilson Rawls called "Where the Red Fern Grows". The boy that plays the main character in this particular book works extremely hard to save money for two hound dogs that are identified as "Redbone Coonhounds". In the story, the main character who is named Billy desires nothing more than to have the two redbone hounds. Unfortunately, he comes from a poor home and it required to save the money himself. Amazingly, he manages to save $50.00 – just enough for the purchase – in just two years. During the time when the Depression was occurring, this was quite a feat.

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Studying HomeworkMost parents and children now live in a fast paced world. More than ever, parents are signing their kids up for sports, clubs, music lessons, and other after school activities. In addition to having these added extras on the plate, more children now come from homes where both parents work full time jobs. In this mass of afternoon chaos, homework is often a rushed process to simply "get done". The entire concept of assigning homework to allow parents the opportunity to sit down and have an educational moment with their child has been lost. Children no longer understand the concept of how to properly study. Most test preparation from home is carried out in the car when traveling from one location to another. However with a few extra moments and simple homework tips, you can help increase your child's study skills.

The simplest of all study skills is importance. As soon as your child arrives home from school, ask about his or her homework. Do not wait until bedtime or even the next morning until bringing up the subject of homework. This delay of concern relays the message that studying is not important. You can actually save much time by setting aside fifteen to thirty minutes as soon as your child gets home from school to complete homework. Once this task is over, the rest of the afternoon is free for other activities.

It is also very important to make homework a positive experience. If your child continuous hears you complain about the time spent on homework, he too will reflect this negative attitude. Think of homework as one more opportunity to share part of your child's life. Be activity in the homework process. Trade out reading pages of assignments with your child. Play games with terms to learn. Place spelling words secretly around the house for your child to see when he opens the refrigerator or goes to his bedroom. Create riddles or rhymes for memorizing facts for tests. Show your child that studying does not have to a chore.

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Back to SchoolThe summer is coming to an end and it's time for kids to go back to school again. Sometimes getting into the school routine can be a bit difficult, since kids have been enjoying their summer with friends, late nights, and fun vacations. Many kids even have a bit of anxiety when it's time to go back to school, wondering where there classes will be, if they'll be able to make friends, or if their teacher will like them. No matter what your child's age, it's important that you work as a parent to make that back to school transition as easy as possible for everyone. Here are a few great back to school tips that can help.

Tip #1 – Bring Back the Routines

The summertime is full of fun and often routines can fall by the wayside during the summer months with vacations and other fun activities that families enjoy in the summer. This can make it difficult for your kids to get back into the school routines. One of the best back to school tips you can use is to bring back the routines. Start working on establishing a routine with your kids before school starts. You can do this by establishing and enforcing a curfew and getting your child in the habit of getting up earlier for school. Getting back in the routine will make things a lot easier for everyone.

Tip #2 – Purchase Supplies

Another important tip that can help you get ready for school is to purchase supplies for your kids. Today there are many different supplies that kids need when they go to school and often simply shopping for supplies can be enough to excite your child about the new school year. In some cases, you may be able to get a list from your child's school that will help you know what you need to purchase. Of course, the basics are simple. Your child will need a good backpack, pencils, paper, folders, notebooks, and in some cases, pens. If you are unsure about other items, you may want to simply purchase the basics and then wait to shop for other supplies when you get lists from your child's teacher. When you do go shopping for supplies, consider taking your child with you and making it an exciting adventure that will get them prepared for school.Read More on Back to School Tips

Climate Kids Educational WebsiteSummer is here. Kids are getting out of school and it's time for barbecues, spending days pool side, and enjoying vacations. However, during the summer months, you don't want kids to waste their brain power. Keeping kids involved in learning through the summer is important. The great news is that there are many great websites out there that are both fun and educational, and the government runs many of them. To keep your kids learning through the summer, here is a look at some of the great government websites that kids are sure to enjoy.

Climate Kids

Climate Kids is a government website that is all about climate change and it is a great way for your kids to learn more about protecting the environment. This site discusses what climate change is, what can be done to help, and even provides information on green careers. There are fun games as well that help kids learn even more while playing.

Fire Safety

It's always a good idea to remind kids about fire safety, and the government fire safety page is a great reminder for kids. Fires often occur in the summer, but this site teaches kids about preventing fires from occurring. There is also great information on smoke alarms, planning a fire escape, and keeping your home safe from fires. Quizzes and games make learning about fire safety fun.

Future State

The Future State government website for kids is another one full of excellent information for kids. This is probably a site a bit more suited for older kids and it provides information on U.S. diplomacy and foreign affairs. The site talks about diplomacy and why it is so important, and even brings up a diplomat as an interesting career choice.

Stop Bullying Now

Bullying has been a big problem within the past few years, which is why the government Stop Bullying Now site was created. Kids need to know about bullying, why it is bad, and what they are able to do in order to stop it. The site has webisodes and games that teach kids about stopping bullying and about what they can do if they are being bullied.Read More on Great Government Websites for Kids

Young mom reading her little daughter on floorIt is important for adults to know and understand that learning to read is the single most important skill that a child should master. While reading is not a complicated task, it may be quite challenging in the earliest stages of development. By learning to read, the road that leads to success in school, social situations, and life is paved. The child that knows and completely understands how to read is a child that is self-confident and motivated in all areas of academics and life itself. Whether you are a parent or guardian of a child, or you work directly with children in a professional setting, it is essential that you understand the basics of learning to read.

Why Do We Read?

There are many different reasons associated with why we read. Many simply read to acquire new types and levels of knowledge. There are many that read simply because they enjoy reading. There are some that read to perform various jobs within a professional setting. Many will read on topics that will assist them in obtaining information and skills that are required to enhance their decision making skills and make important choices throughout life. Most people will encounter reading materials that will instruct them on how to perform certain tasks such as cooking, assembling products, installing products, and even acquiring directions in order to travel from one location to another. Reading is participated in to learn about the world around us, as well as to keep contact with those that we are close to.Read More on Tips To Teaching Your Child To Read

learning the alphabet with alphabet blocksThere are many fun and creative ways to teach your child the alphabet. It has been determined that learning the alphabet, as well as developing an awareness for phonics are the keys to success when it comes to successful readers. Successful readers have been found to be more academically inclined and successful in their studies, stable emotionally, and proactive when it comes to detail, and instructions. If you would like to open new doors for your little learner, one of the best ways to start is by teaching them their ABC’s. It is important to understand that young children are often motivated and learn more when they are taught in a playful and fun manner. If you keep that in mind, you are quite likely to experience rapid success in your endeavors.

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Two Friends Reading Together

Two Friends Reading Together

There are many fun and creative ways to encourage older children to read. Reading is an important skill in many different ways. This is considered to be an active mental process which means that as a child engages in the process, the brain actually becomes "smarter". In addition to this, it helps to increase the vocabulary of the child, which means that they will be able to communicate more effectively throughout their lifetime. There are many other mental processes that are improved when a child reads. These include concentration, focus, memory, and creativity. Reading also assists in building the self-esteem of the child. As parents, we know the importance of reading to our children, but as a child ages, it is important to learn fun and creative ways to encourage them to read to us. In this guide, you will learn some strategies on how to do that.

Bedtime Stories

One of the strategies that can be used in order to encourage older children to read is to have them read bedtime stories to you. It is quite likely that since your child was very young, you have sat down each night when you put them to bed and read to them. As they get a little older and develop their own skills in reading, you should encourage them to read to you! As your child reads to you, encourage them to read with reflection. It is also important that you ask them questions about the pictures and/or concepts covered in the story periodically. This will not only assist in improving their reading, but they will concentrate more and be able to effectively summarize the information that they are reading.

Acting

Believe it or not, even older children enjoy using their imagination. One of the most creative ways that you can encourage your children to read is to get them to physically act out the story that they are reading to you. You may allow them to read directly from the book, or you could encourage them to read the story and then create their own script for it. You can encourage them to use props, stuffed animals, and other things around the house in order to bring the story alive. Children of all ages will enjoy acting out stories to their parents and even their siblings.Read More on Fun and Creative Ways to Encourage Older Children to Read