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.
If you could make the world a better place, what would you do? Many people have some grand ideas that would improve the lot of many needy people. They would want to wipe out hunger, or stomp out crime and killing, or make sure there was no more sickness. All of these are great things to accomplish, and there may be some people who can work in a world scope, but, most of us can’t. We may not have the money to accomplish the task, or we don’t have enough influence with the people in power. But we all can do something. If we all did the little bit that we can do, working together we can make a big difference.
This week we have launched our fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This hospital provides care and research for children who are experiencing catastrophic illnesses. The philosophy of this hospital is to not to charge any family for any of the services they provide when they have to bring their child to this hospital for treatment. They feel that families in this difficult situation should not have to worry about whether they can afford the treatment or not. They should just be concerned about getting the best care possible for their child so their child can get better.
We can help these hurting families by participating in a Trike-a-Thon which is a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Our children will be learning the rules to ride their bikes and trikes safely during the next two weeks. After we have learned our rules, the children are invited to bring their bikes and trikes or other riding toys to Kiddie Kollege to ride in the gym to show us that they have learned their rules well. During this two week period, the parents will be contacting friends, family and coworkers to collect money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Jesus said, “As you have taken care of the smallest and the most needy of people, you have taken care of me.”
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
We have been talking about different words during this year that should describe our actions and attitudes. We have discussed love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, and self-control. For the month of April we will focus on patience and gentleness. We need a lot of patience when we plant new seeds and wait for them to grow. We patiently wait for the weather to warm up after a long, hard winter. We also exercise patience when we deal with other people. We know that other people have to be patient with us, so we should be patient with them. Patience is quietly waiting for something to happen we are really looking forward to. We look forward to a time when our children are beginning to show some signs of maturity, but it seems, oh so long! But, we are patient with them understanding that in their present stage of development they will do some foolish and silly things, things that aren’t necessarily bad, but just childish. Well, guess what!? That’s what they are – children – so they will act childish at times, many times. As we are able to just enjoy them where they’re at, we can be patient with them.
The second word goes along with patience, and that’s gentleness. When we are patient with each other we are gentle. Just in the same way we treat baby animals or young plants, we need to treat our little children. Our children also need to learn to be gentle with other people. As they observe our gentleness and are being treated in a gentle manner, they will learn to be gentle with others. Remember, these children are God’s precious jewels. We need to treat them in such a way that shows we value them and their fragile mind and spirit.
Jesus valued the little children. He rebuked his disciples when they tried to keep the children from running to him. He said, “Don’t stop the children from coming to me, because the kingdom of God is made up of people such as these.” He said that we must become like little children in order to come to him. We need that childlike faith and trust to come to God. We have a lot to relearn about faith and trust that comes from a small child. As adults we have forgotten what it’s like to trust someone else and be totally dependent on them. In order to come to God we need that total dependence and trust.
Let’s not betray the trust the children have in us. Let’s be patient and gentle with them so they will also learn to be patient and gentle too.
During the month of February we at Kiddie Kollege Preschool have several important topics to cover.
- We will be talking about our hearts and what we have to do to keep them healthy. We will learn about exercises to do and food to eat to grow strong, healthy hearts.
- We will also talk about our county, the United States, and learn about two of our most famous presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
- We will also learn about the difference between a president and a king as we honor a “King for a Day” each day for a week (Queens for a Day will come later).
- During the month of February we will also be talking about love. February is considered by some as the “Month of Love” because we celebrate Valentines Day during this month. This is the holiday to especially express love to friends and family. The Bible tells us that we love because He (God) first loved us, and that God is love. Without God’s love and without God, there would be no love in us. He showed the ultimate demonstration of love by giving His one and only Son to die for us who have rebelled against Him. We deserved to die, but Jesus died in our place. On the cross Jesus cried out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” While Jesus was on the cross, God the Father literally turned His back on His only Son because He could not look on the sin, our sin, that Jesus was dying for. Jesus suffered for us but is now exalted above every name and sits at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. The Bible tells us that we only need to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died in our place, and then we are placed in God’s family, and then we have the promise of a home in heaven when we die. The whole message with a promise is wrapped up in one verse, “God so loved the world, that He gave is only Son, that whoever believes in Him would have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
If you have any questions or comments about anything in this post, please use the “Comment” page on this website. I will call you if you want me to.
The rest of this month we will be talking about JOY! We will be learning about how other countries celebrate this joyous time called Christmas. We will also be learning what “joy” is. Joy isn’t being happy all the time. We can go through some difficult times and be sad, but we can have joy knowing that God is in control.
When I was little, I learned a song that said, “Jesus, and Others, and You, what a wonderful way to spell JOY…J is for Jesus ’cause He takes first place, O is for Others you meet face to face. Y is for You in whatever you do, put yourself last and spell JOY.” Those words go against what culture is telling us today. The culture is telling us to take care of yourself first, and that is what many people are doing. That’s why there is so much strife and tension in this world. Everyone wants to take care of themselves first and let others take care of themselves. But, if we want true joy, we need to look to the needs of others. We find joy in helping others, like donating new hats and mittens to needy children. There are lots of other opportunities to take care of others in society. We can take care of others outside the home, but we also have people in our own families who need caring for. Do we expect others at home to take care of us? It should be a cooperative affair, but don’t get angry when someone else doesn’t step up to take care of you. Another helpful phrase I have heard, “It’s the other person’s responsibility how they act; it is my responsibility how I react.” As we are taking care of others and reacting in a positive way, our children are watching and learning what is the appropriate way to live and get along in society.
The person that should get first place in our lives is Jesus. He is the “J” in JOY. If we put Jesus first, we will find lasting joy. The angel who came to the shepherds the night Jesus was born said, “I bring you a message of great joy! A savior has been born for you in Bethlehem.” The chorus of angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to all people.” If we receive the Savior who was born for us, we receive the joy that he brought and we experience peace in our hearts. The Savior came to bring peace to our hearts, and peace brings joy. This is the message of Christmas.
We will be talking about JOY to the children this week and next. Joy is not getting what we want for Christmas. Joy is a result of the peace that Jesus brings to our hearts.
We know Christmas is coming because we can see it on the calendar, and we see it in the stores. There are decorations all around us to help celebrate this very significant day of the year. But, there were people who knew Christmas was coming way before the first Christmas in Bethlehem.
God told prophets long ago, centuries before the baby was actually born, that He would send His Son. They didn’t know the exact date, or all the exact circumstances of His coming, but they knew He was coming. Some people got so wrapped up in the fact that he was going to be a king, that they missed the baby who was born in a stable and was laid in a manger for a bed. They could not believe that this one born in these humble surroundings was the actual Messiah, the promised one of God. These same people missed the greatness and uniqueness of His message while He was on earth, still looking for a king to liberate them from the current political oppression. They missed the fact that this one, born as a baby in a stable, was the one to free them from spiritual oppression and give them eternal life.
This year, as you anticipate Christmas, realize that this Jesus is the one God promised to send to save you from the punishment for your sins and the one to give you new, eternal life!
Your comments and questions are always most welcome.
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.