Charlie’s Cues: Using the Family Newsletters

For years the home has been known as the child’s first school. It is during the early years that children begin to learn basic skills, routines, and tasks that stay with them forever and develop over the years. With this in mind, as part of our ongoing changes at FunShine Express, we have updated one of our components that facilitates communication between the two main environments of a child, home and school, the Family Newsletter.

This change to the Fireflies and Buttercups Newsletters engages parents in their children’s learning process. The new section invites parents to review theme-related concepts at home. In general, the Family Newsletters inform families about what children are learning each month, suggest songs, rhymes, and books for extending learning, and suggest ways to engage with children and reinforce the concepts that have been taught in the center. The newsletter can be sent back to be shared with the group and then returned home again.

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The Ins and Outs of Baby Sign Language

Working with infants can involve a lot of guess work! Babies cry, make sounds and facial expressions, and use body movements to express their needs and wants, but still, it’s not always clear how to assist them. Babies typically start talking between 9 and 14 months. Until then their mental vocabularies are forming and are much more advanced than we realize. Though babies cannot speak, they understand quite a bit. While talking to children regularly and narrating their play will support language acquisition, you can help them express their needs, wants, and emotions by introducing baby sign language.

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Encouraging Self-Awareness and Personal Space

Teaching children about personal space and fostering self-regulation is arguably an early childhood educator’s most important job. Research tells us that children with strong social/emotional skills have more positive relationships, are happier, and are more successful academically than children who exhibit social/emotional difficulties. Children who are mentally healthy are generally more self-aware, that is, they understand their own thoughts, feelings, and actions, and how those things affect other people. The more self-aware you are, the more you understand your impact on other people. How, then, do we help young children begin to think about boundaries and self-reflect? How can we support them in naming their emotions and overcoming challenges? Below are 6 simple activities to get you started.

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Our Multicultural World

by Judy Mullican

Preschoolers with teacher sitting at table in classroomThe days are rapidly disappearing when all the children in a child care setting share the same culture and language. Families often move from one part of the country to another or from one country to another to find work. Other families move to new places to find a safer environment, to participate in educational opportunities, or for other reasons. When children enter child care or educational settings in their new communities, they can face many challenges:

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