Saturday, May 21, 2011

Play Time-Is that a Necessary Skill?

Kids sit in front of the computer for three or four hours each day working on school. Sure you give them breaks and they stop for lunch and maybe p.e., but have you ever considered play time as a necessary skill? Maybe you are thinking that your kids have plenty of play time because you take them to dance lessons, karate lessons, soccer practice, guitar lessons... Actually, those are structured times. Down through the ages, folks have debated the merits of allowing kids unstructured time to play--to just be kids. Children who live hurried, structured lives are more likely to be stressed, which can lead to depression. "Old fashioned" toys such as dolls, trucks, and blocks encourage active play. Children with good amounts of unscheduled time learn to fill that time as well as manage it. So try to keep a healthy balance between online schooling and pure, old-fashioned free time for your children to have fun, let loose, and just plain play.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Social Studies and Life Skills

Playing house, pretending to be the teacher, driving a make-believe car... are all fantastic ways for kindergartners to learn life skills. Playing online games are another super way to learn valuable life skills. Kids today are expected to know more earlier and earlier, so it is wise to get a head start. Life skills include tying, buckling, buttoning, zipping and touch fastening clothing and shoes. Practice makes perfect, so get cracking, or zipping and buttoning should I say.

As students learn social studies content, they are expected to master a foundation in history; geography; economics; government; citizenship; culture; science, technology, and society; and social studies skills. They will understand the importance of patriotism, function in a free enterprise society, and appreciate the basic values of their state and nation. All well rounded online curriculum resources will include these skills as part of their program.