Thursday, December 27, 2012

Teach health and nutrition in the new year!

2013 is almost upon us, and so many of us adults make New Year's resolutions to get fit and change our unhealthy habits for the better. But what about our kids? It would be a wonderful idea to focus on improving the health and nutrition of our kids in the coming year.

Kids learn by example, so definitely teach them healthy habits but by all means, practice what you preach! They will emulate the examples you set for them. Teach them about the "Choose My Plate" initiative so they learn about portion sizes, not just which foods are good for them and which aren't. Emphasize the importance of exercise too, and show them you mean it by not being a couch potato yourself.

One great way to teach nutrition is through a nutrition curriculum designed for homeschool use. There are plenty of resources on the web, yours for the googling, and lots of health books and kids' exercise videos too. As the famous Nike ad slogan says, "Just do it!" and your kids will thank you!

Friday, December 7, 2012

developing pre-reading skills

Sometimes parents can be in a rush to get their child reading, but at the kindergarten level, it really is fine to read to your child and have the listen. There are some basic things, the hows and whys or reading, that young children learn simply by becoming familiar with books. They learn that each book has an author, and often an illustrator. They also learn that writing is read from left to right, for example, and they learn these subtle things just by watching and by listening as you point out interesting things when reading them a story.

When your child gets a little older, you can begin teaching phonics. There are many phonics programs on the market, or you can design your own. The idea is to make the it automatic in a child’s brain to see or hear a certain sound or letter and be able to piece those bits together into a word. In other words, teaching phonics teaches decoding skills. Suddenly, that jumble of letters on the page makes sense to a child, and then the world of books opens to them!