News Parents Can Use
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
These early years are immensely important in the development and future success of a child.
What is Thanksgiving? It’s more than eating turkey and pumpkin pie. I just heard on the radio about a new layered dessert for Thanksgiving. Bottom layer – pecan pie; second layer – pumpkin pie; top layer – apple upside down cake. That would take care of the indecision about which pie to eat. It would also take care of those who want a sliver of this and a sliver of that. But, WOW! That makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it!
But Thanksgiving is more than just food. At that first thanksgiving in 1621, the Pilgrims were so thankful to God for bringing them through a hard winter in this new and strange land. He brought some people (the people native to this land) into their lives who could help them grow crops in this different soil and growing conditions. They also helped them to hunt and basically showed them how to survive in this new land. God also made the crops to grow and produce an abundant harvest. It is from God alone that we get the sun, rain, and warm weather to make the crops to grow. The Pilgrims realized how things could have been, but saw how God worked things out for them and took care of them. I’m sure there were times when they thought they would never make it. But, in the end, they knew it was God that brought them through, and they were thankful.
Do we today realize how our lives could be without the hand of God on us? Do we thank God for the ability to make money so we can provide for our families? Do we thank God for our health and strength, and having healthy and strong children? Sometimes, it’s only when we don’t have those things, or we have to struggle, that we realize how much God does for us every day.
This year, let’s be thankful to God for His abundance, for health and strength, and for family close to us.
We will be asking our preschoolers this week what they are thankful for. The answers, I’m sure, will be quite interesting. Spend some time with them at home talking about what they could be thankful for. A thankful heart is a happy heart.
Thanksgiving is coming! Therefore, we will be studying the very first thanksgiving celebration during the month of November. Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until much later, but the Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower in 1620 were thankful for a lot of things – safe travel across the ocean, surviving the first winter in this new land (many people died during that harsh first winter), friendships made with the people who were already living on this land who helped them survive, and an abundant harvest made possible by rich soil and good weather conditions. The Pilgrims recognized that all of this was provided by God. They spent three days celebrating along with their new friends and thanking God for all that He had done for them.
During this month, we will be learning about the Pilgrims and how they worked together peacefully with their new friends. We will learn about some of the things they ate and some of the things they did to survive. We will culminate with a Thanksgiving Dinner for the kids on Monday and Tuesday, November 20 and 21. All the children that come on Monday will have their dinner on Monday. Those who come on Tuesday, but not on Monday, will have theirs on Tuesday. There will be a sign-up email come to you this week to sign-up for items we will need for that dinner. Those items will need to be at school by Friday, the 17th. There will also be a place to sign up to help. We would like to have about five parents each day to help. That will also be on the sign-up email. Be watching your inbox!
The Bible teaches that if we are grateful for what we have received, we should also give. We are giving you the opportunity to give to children around the world through Operation Christmas Child. There will be shoeboxes available under our bulletin board along with brochures on how to fill the boxes. Basically, you will choose an age category for a boy or girl. Then you would put small items a child of that age would like to receive…toys, crayons, pencils, coloring books for younger children, notebooks for older children, wash cloth and soap, toothbrush (but no toothpaste), etc. See How to Pack a Shoebox here. Then bring the box back to Kiddie Kollege by November 17 and we will take it to the local distribution center. You will be able to follow your box if you wish by getting a label online at the above link. Samaritan’s Purse is also asking for a donation of $9 to help with shipping costs to send these boxes all over the world.
Jesus said, “Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these…you have done it unto me.” When we give to the very poor children of the world, some with parents, some without, we are honoring God and we are in effect giving to Jesus. This is an excellent way to teach our children the joy of giving to the needy during this season when our culture is promoting so much, “Give me!” If you include a picture of your family and/or a note with your name and address, you just may receive a note back from the child that receives your box. Some people have.
I have had the privilege of handing out these boxes at orphanages in Russia. The look of pure joy on the faces of the children is priceless. For many of the children, this is the only gift they have ever received.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Autumn is in the air, and with it comes all the activities associated with autumn. Last week we had a perfect day at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch. We had a great hayrack ride and got some good looking pumpkins from the field. We even had time to ride the train. Thank you to all the parents who came with us to help us have fun.
This week, we will be discovering the beautiful Fall leaves. We will go on a leaf walk Monday and Tuesday. From the weather report that I have, those should be some more beautiful days. Please dress your child appropriately to be outside on these crisp Autumn mornings. We will collect and examine the beautiful leaves we see along the way so we can learn from them all through the week. Our letter is “L”.
“L” is for “leaves”, but “L” is also for “listen”. Listening is the most important skill a child can learn to be successful in school. We begin teaching them how to listen by listening to them. We have to show them how to listen by looking them in the eye and being excited about their exciting stories. You also show them how to listen well by asking questions and answering their questions. When your child asks a question, do you ignore him until he has had to ask five or six times? Or do you stop what you are doing to listen to his questions and try to help him find the answers? By listening and responding to your child, you show your child that she is important and what she has to say is important.
Another way to help them listen well is to discuss meanings of words so they can understand what is being said. When you ask your child to do something, ask her if she knows what the words mean in your request. It is quite possible, in their few years they have had here on earth, they may not have learned some words that you just take for granted. It’s interesting to talk about meanings of some of the simplest words with young children.
The one thing that we hear a lot to help children learn to listen is to read aloud to your child. Children do love to hear stories and have books read to them, even in this fast-paced computer age. Choose stories that are the right length for your child’s attention span, and choose stories that cover your child’s interests. But also choose stories that might expand their interests into new areas. Children love to have books read to them, but they also love to hear stories either made up or true from their parents and grandparents.
The more you can engage your children in stories and in conversation, the more they are going to learn to listen.
We had a good time learning about apples this week. We tasted them, we smelled them, we compared colors and sizes and shapes, and learned that apple begins with “A”.
Next week we will be learning with the letter “F”. We will hear the story of the Rainbow Fish and learn about feelings and how to be a good friend. We will also have a visit from the Fire Department for the children that come to school on Wednesday. (The children that do not come on Wednesday will have a visit from them next year.) We will also learn about what kinds of food are good for our pets.
The children are falling into the school routine very well. One thing they need to learn in order to function well in school and in society is to listen well. You can do things at home to help them to learn this important skill.
Begin by talking to your child often about many things, not just when you are correcting them or telling them what to do. Talk about specifics. Instead of saying, “Bring that to me,” say, “Please, bring me the red scarf.” In that way they learn the names of things and they learn to describe things. When getting dressed, you could say, “Are you going to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt?” And then add, “And what color socks would go well with that shirt?” Then you are also bringing in matching and sorting – a math skill.
As you go around town, talk about what you see, hear, smell, taste and feel. The more experiences your child has in this way, the bigger the vocabulary she will have. Seeing the real thing makes a bigger impression on the child than just seeing it in books – buses, trains, apple orchards, rivers, etc. Also include words to describe the experiences using the five sense – sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.
Allow your child to talk about the experiences in his own words. Show your child how to listen. Be interested in what they are saying. Stop what you are doing, if at all possible, and get down on their level. This sets a good example for the children to follow to be good listeners.
We’ve had a really great start at Kiddie Kollege Preschool! We have been getting to know each other, learning the letter “N”, and learning the routine of preschool. We talked about nocturnal animals, so you might point out when you hear an owl in the evening or see a raccoon or skunk. At home you can continue the learning by offering noodles to eat, look for “N” at the football game (we marched to the Nebraska Fight Song!), and look for “N” in many different places.
Next week we will be learning about the letter “R” as we learn about Omaha through River City Roundup. River City Roundup is a celebration that Omaha commemorates every year to remember beginning days of the city and, also, acknowledge the very early people who lived on this land, the Native Americans. There are many activities along with a parade down by the river during the last couple weeks of September. The children are invited to wear Western clothing (cowboys, cowgirls, Native American), if they wish, to Kiddie Kollege on Wednesday, 20th and Thursday, 21st.
I have a very special book that shows how much Jesus really loves each of us. This special book has no words or pictures, the colors tell it all.
Page 1 – Black – the Bible tells us that everyone has sinned. (Romans 3:23) Sin is anything I think, say, or do that does not please God.
Do you feel good when you do something wrong? No! We feel dirty and in a dark mood. These bad things keep us separated from God. God even said that the punishment for sin is death! (Romans 6:23)
Page 2 – Red – The only way to take care of this sin was for someone to die in our place. So, God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to die and take that punishment for us. The Bible tells us that even while we were still sinners, God showed his love for us and allowed Christ to die in our place. (Romans 5:8)
Page 3 – White – The Bible says Jesus’ blood washed away our sin. His blood makes us as white as snow. All we have to do is believe that Jesus died for us. Jesus died for you and he died for me. If you believe that Jesus died for you, you are made clean and white, whiter than snow (Isaiah 1:18) and then you become God’s child. (John 1:12)
Page 4 – Green – Green always symbolizes growth. When you are born into God’s family, God wants you to grow too. When we are babies, we need the pure milk of the Word of God (Bible). As we read and learn more about God, we grow as his child. (I Peter 2:2)
Page 5 – Yellow – Right now Jesus is in heaven preparing beautiful homes for us. If you are a child of God, when your body dies, you will go to heaven to be with Jesus. The Bible tells us that in heaven the streets are pure gold! Can you imagine that? Think about walking on pure gold streets! And there will be no more crying, no sickness, no hurts. It’s a beautiful place to be. God wants us to know for sure that we are going to heaven when we die. The Apostle John states it twice. Once in the Gospel of John 20:30, 31, “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” In his first epistle he is writing to those who have taken the step to believe. He says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (I John 5:13)
John 3:16 sums it all up – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him, should not perish (die) but have eternal life.”
- PRAYER: Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross and taking the punishment for my sins. I believe that you died for me. Please come in and make me your child. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me anytime.
Don’t make me count to three! How many times have those words come out of your mouth? It’s time to talk about one of the hardest parts of being a parent; how to discipline your child. Everyone has an opinion about the best way to do it, but we aren’t here to dictate the best way to you. Today, we want to give you some insight as to why your child misbehaves and hopefully give you some solutions to help you.
As parents it is our job to reinforce good behavior and lessons with consistency, patience and compassion, but what is the best way to do that? Have you ever thought to yourself, why is my child acting this way? In order to be the best parent we can be, it is important to get past the behavior and look at the motivation behind it.
Take a few minutes and look at this video on discipline. We will address some issues that we all have to address with our children. Later, we will dig a little deeper and give you some ideas and suggestions.
It’s been a while since I posted Part One of this topic. I hope your New Year’s resolutions for healthy habits are going well. This is a reminder check and has important points to remember during this cold and flu season.
It is hard to keep new habits. We so often want to go back to our old selves. You must remember that if you have and keep healthy habits it will be much easier for your child to do the same. They look up to you and take their cues from you! Here are some examples and ideas that may make implementing healthy habits into your lives a bit easier.
Take care of your body!
- Teach your child to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze. We talk in Kiddie Kollege about our cough or sneeze pocket, which is their elbow. If they cough or sneeze into their elbow they won’t be touching other things with the germs on their hands.
- Make sure that you teach your child the importance of washing hands. Germs are everywhere, especially this time of year. Now, we don’t want you to turn into a hypochondriac, but washing your hands can ward off so many illnesses! Make sure that your child has everything they need to accomplish this task. Have a stool handy so they can reach. Put fun soap in the bathroom, make it fun for them.
- Make sure that your child knows the importance of staying safe inside the car. Always buckle your seat belt and ensure that they are always strapped in properly.
- When playing outside, always have sunscreen available to prevent sunburns.
- Show them the proper way to brush their teeth and help them brush and floss. Make regular visits to the dentist a priority. The dentist can be intimidating for kids and adults. Find a good pediatric dentist in your area. Help children to see that always taking care of our teeth can make visits much easier!
- Get plenty of sleep. It can be very tempting to bend the bedtime rules, especially if you have a child who is reluctant to go to bed. Stand firm. They need a good nights sleep as much as you do. It’s important for their growth and development. Help them to understand how sleep is important for our bodies.
Childhood obesity is a very serious problem. There is a common misconception that eating healthy is harder or more expensive. Anything can be made a daily habit with the proper research and planning. Our children will only want junk food if all they eat is junk food. You are responsible for the food that is in your home. Do your best to only provide a variety of healthy choices for snacks and meals for them. This way they can try different foods and discover what they do and do not like. Help them to understand the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables. Make sure that they don’t skip breakfast. They need fuel to get them through their day. Allow your child to help you in the kitchen. They are more likely to try something that they helped to make! Also, limit the amount of sweet drinks your child consumes. Make sure they are drinking plenty of water.
Children are very busy by nature, but due to increased television and video game exposure inactivity can become a bad habit. The American Heart Association recommends that children age two and older have at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per day. Not every child will excel at sports, so it is important to help your child find activities that they enjoy. Reports have shown that more of two hours of daily tv time can lead to impaired performance at school, behavior difficulties and obesity. Become active as a family. Find things to do together!
Sometimes children can become easily discouraged and upset. Help your child understand the importance of being resilient and staying positive. Praise your child when they are kind to others, accomplish something difficult for them or follow directions. Watch your own mood, it can rub off on your child! Encourage your children to participate in things they enjoy and introduce them to new experiences and people. This will also help them to develop social skills and make new friendships.
New Year’s Resolutions may seem silly or frivolous to some, but it can be a good idea to take a look at ourselves and identify areas that may need improvement. Maybe there are some things on this list that you need to work on yourselves! Make it a family project. Choose some new habits and make them a family priority. This will encourage your children and you to be healthy in the new year! Use this as a reminder to look at what you resolved to do at the beginning of January. How are you doing? Don’t give up if you have fallen off. Pick yourself up and continue working on these good habits.
Happy New Year! We are ready to start off this new year in a wonderful way! Every January we are bombarded with images and stories of resolutions. A new year seems to be the ideal time to head off with a new outlook, a fresh start. This applies to your children too! Have you ever considered that this could be a time of new habits for them too? You are the one who can help set healthy habits for your child.
Click here for a video with comments and suggestions about how to instill healthy habits in your children.
Hopefully by now you are all getting in the Christmas spirit. We have finished with all of our Thanksgiving traditions and now it is time to prepare for the most wonderful time of the year! Sometimes even though we try our hardest to be present and remember the true reason for the season, it can be easy for our children to get caught up in the materialistic aspects of the holiday.
How can you help your child understand that Jesus should be our focus at Christmas? How do we teach them the joy in giving and not turn into miniature Scrooges? This month, we want to help you in teaching your children to truly enjoy and celebrate Christmas and the gift of Jesus.
One thing to do is to read about the original Christmas event to your children as a part of the preparations and celebrations. The first Christmas is recorded in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2:
About this time (the time when John (later called “the Baptist”) was growing up), Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the empire. Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for this registration. Because Joseph was a member of the royal line in Israel, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, King David’s ancient home–journeying there from Nazareth of Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was obviously pregnant by this time. (This pregnancy was from God and the child was the Son of God.)
While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her baby to be born; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger (the animals’ feeding box), because there was no room for them in the village inn.
That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were very frightened, but the angel reassured them.
“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior–yes, the Messiah, the Lord, the One you have been waiting for that was promised centuries ago–has been born tonight in Bethlehem! How will you recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger!”
Suddenly, the sky was full of angels glorifying and praising God!
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,” they sang, “and peace on earth to all with whom God is pleased!”
When this great army of angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on! Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they ran to the village and found their way to Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in a manger. When the shepherds left, they told everyone what had happened and what they saw. All who heard the shepherds’ story were amazed, but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart. (Taken from Luke 2).
Listen to some more thoughts about teaching our children about Christmas by clicking here.