Parents Are a Child’s First Teacher: Homeschooling with FunShine

by Teresa Narey

As news rapidly evolves regarding the spread of COVID-19 and precautions we should take, parents continue to face child care challenges. Questions about how to care for children and how to maintain and promote learning are abundant. While K-12 institutions have widely moved to online learning, parents of young children, especially those in preschool or Pre-K, are at a disadvantage. It is likely that many child care providers and early learning centers will offer parents guidance and resources for working with their children, however, these items may be limited and only reflect a fraction of what your child’s experience might have been like in child care.

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Tips for a Successful Circle Time

by Teresa Narey

What is circle time?

Most early child care or preschool educators will tell you that circle time Singing and Clapping During Circle Timeis a staple in their settings. But what is circle time, and how can we do it well? Circle time comes from the tradition of Friedrich Froebel, a German educator responsible for implementing the first organized kindergarten in the mid-19th century. For Froebel,  circle time was a time for children to learn and play in group activities. Circle time then was much like it is now in many school communities—it happened at the beginning and end of each day to help children focus and to reinforce community. Circle time included music and movement, as well as fingerplays and storytelling, and in many settings, these activities still comprise the time. The word “circle” describes the position of the educator and children during the activities—they may sit or move in a circle depending on the activity.

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New Places, New Faces

by Kelley Jilek

new places-huggingNew situations mean change, which can be hard for many (young, as well as older) people to cope with. However, if the new situation is welcoming, we experience less anxiety and stress, which makes it easier for us to adjust. This is especially true for young children. Any kind of transition can be difficult for them. This includes separating from loved ones at the start of the day, moving to a new facility, or even transitioning to a different classroom within a facility. Infants, toddlers, and preschool children have limited coping skills, so it is up to the adults in their lives to help them.

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Five Habits for Healthy Sleep

Sleeping ChildSleep is always a popular topic in early childhood. Adults often talk about being short on it, and parents often struggle to help their children rest at night. Research routinely shows that children do not receive enough sleep, sometimes by as much as a couple of hours per night. Sleep deprivation is linked to a number of issues in children, including a greater risk for obesity, impaired memory and attention, susceptibility to illness, and poor academic performance. Experts recommend that children ages 0 to 5 sleep 10-16 hours a day, including naps. How can we best support children in developing and maintaining good sleep habits? Below are five habits to help you set the stage.

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