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Waldorf Students Are Creative & Self-Confident

by Margot F. July 23rd, 2014 | Big Kids, Elementary, School
letter-361304_640The education provided at a Waldorf school is child focused and intended to promote creativity, critical thinking and community involvement. Further, Waldorf educators say there is no bullying in their programs. What makes the Waldorf system different from conventional programs?

Waldorf Education is founded on the principles presented by the Austrian thinker Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). After World War I, Germany was devastated and on the brink of chaos, so Steiner promoted an educational system that would teach the whole child, body, mind and soul.

The owner of the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart, Germany was interested in these ideas and
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Airport Safety for Elementary Kids: Get Them Ready

by Ronald A. Rowe July 9th, 2014 | Big Kids, Elementary, Safety
file0002043664574Air travel brings us to exciting destinations for summer vacation.  While the destination may be pure joy for your family, the actual day of travel can be stressful, scary, and downright dangerous, especially if you are traveling through unfamiliar territory with young children.  Here are a few tips to help keep your kids safe and yourself sane on the way to grandma and grandpa’s house, or wherever your summer travel may take you.

Bring Gum – The change in air pressure on takeoff and landing can be irritating to adults.  It can be downright torturous to young children.  The action of
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4 Tips to Improve Concentration in Elementary Kids

by Lori Sciame July 2nd, 2014 | Behavior, Big Kids, Elementary
read-316507_640Parents of elementary age children understand the concept of perpetual motion.  The reason: their children never stop moving.  Children this age literally jump, wiggle, twist, run, skip and twirl through each day.  They can be exhausting to watch, let alone keep up with.  In addition, being unable to settle down and concentrate can have a negative effect on their behavior and learning ability.

While helping an elementary age child to learn how to concentrate on a task may seem impossible, it's actually not that hard to do.  Try the following tips to help your child develop all-important concentration skills.

1.  Exercise,
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How to Plan Your Elementary Kid’s Summer Fun Now

by Margot F. June 25th, 2014 | Big Kids, Elementary, School
children-204741_640School is almost over and now is the time to look at summer activities for children ages five to 12. While children in daycare have activities planned, a child at home can also enjoy lots of fun during July and August. With a bit of planning, a parent can find reasonably priced activities for their child and hopefully avoid hearing “I’m bored”.

I enjoyed planning summer activities for my older son through elementary school. By looking at brochures from the Parks & Recreation Department and the  local community calendar, it was possible to find activities that were of interest and
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Fatherhood In a Box

by Ronald A. Rowe June 11th, 2014 | Big Kids, Elementary, Product reviews
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Today’s dads are working harder than ever to be good fathers to our children.  According to Pew Research, 63% of fathers say being a good dad is harder now than it was a generation ago.  We all want to do the right thing but trying to strike the balance between our children and our other responsibilities is a challenge.  46% of dads say they aren't spending enough time with their kids despite the fact that fathers have nearly tripled the time we spend with our kids since 1965.

And when we do finally manage to carve out

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Elementary School: Time for Independence

by Lori Sciame June 4th, 2014 | Behavior, Big Kids, Elementary
sea-gull-177364_640Once a child hits elementary school, she can complete many important tasks without a parent's help, including dressing herself, combing her hair, brushing her teeth, making her bed, and even making new friends.  Hard to believe this "little miss independent" finished preschool only a short while ago!

I vividly remember how each of my three children began to pull away from me once they entered elementary school.  It felt bittersweet to witness blooming independence, while at the same time knowing I would never again be my child's "everything."

But in a healthy child, this is what needs to happen.  A child
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Grads Are Fun!

by Margot F. May 28th, 2014 | Big Kids, Elementary, School
file0002135280483-1Graduation is a time of celebration. Pupils graduating from elementary school deserve to have the event acknowledged by school officials and parents. In some areas, even graduation from Kindergarten is marked by a big celebration. How can you support your child appropriately?

In the 1990s, when my children finished Kindergarten, the typical response was, “Congratulations, now, let’s have a nice lunch.” Today, in some areas, the children graduating from Kindergarten have a big assembly with caps and gowns. Really? Certainly if this is the tradition in your school, help your child to be successful. However, remember, this is the first
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Bullying in Sports

by Ronald A. Rowe May 14th, 2014 | Big Kids, Elementary, Safety
file3641245784349I recently had the opportunity to counsel with a tearful mother whose son was the victim of bullying.  The problems did not rise to the level of physical conflict but her 10-year-old son, we’ll call him “Aaron,” was suffering from continuous and demoralizing taunting from his baseball teammates.  Aaron is smaller than most of his peers and decidedly less athletic than many of the boys on his competitive baseball team.

The mom was distraught over the taunting Aaron had received for his comparative lack of athleticism.  Although he can’t hit or throw or run very well, Aaron loves baseball and
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Manners Aren’t Old-Fashioned

by Lori Sciame May 7th, 2014 | Behavior, Big Kids, Elementary
hand-226358_640Lots of things change.  The toys elementary children yearned for 20 years ago have long been out of vogue.  The same holds true for which style of popular music they like.  Kids in my day loved the Bay City Rollers!  Even slang comes and goes. (When did sick become a good thing?)

But the important things remain constant, including love, truth, and caring.  Respect will also never go out of style.  For elementary age children, learning how to respect others is essential.  One element of respect is easily taught -- manners.

Sadly, many parents have not taken the time to teach
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