presents is a talent; to know what a person wants, to know when and
how to get it, to give it lovingly, and well. .
Wyndham Glenconner (1871-1928) Writer
Saving the Family Meal
What to Do When You Get Them
This is the final part of
a three part series we started in October. Family meals are
important occasions. But it has become
increasingly difficult to get a meal on the table.....and to get the
family to the table. Okay, now you have everyone at the table,
now what do you do. Here's help.
Maintain a division of
responsibility in feeding. Parents should determine what
and kids should determine how much and even whether.
Your job is to plan the menu, get the food on the table and preserve a
pleasant mealtime. The children's job is to eat....or to choose
not to eat. Children actually eat better when you present food
to them in this neutral fashion and avoid pressuring, cajoling, or
bribing them to eat.
Expose your children to a
variety of foods. Even if they don't eat certain foods at first,
they will be getting used to them, and eventually they will eat
them. In the meantime, they won't starve if you present a variety
of foods, make sure there is bread on the table, and let the kids pick
and choose from what's available.
Maintain structured and
regular meals and snacks, forbid between-times panhandling for food
handouts, and don't let the kids raid the refrigerator just before or
just after a meal. Let them know if they don't eat their dinner,
they will have to wait to eat until the next meal or snack time.
Then let them decide what they will do about eating.
Holding the line on the
family meal is a parenting issue as well as a nutritional issue.
It's all part of doing a good job as a parent. Hang in there,
and bon appetite.
Ellen Satter, How to Get Your Kid to Eat....But Not Too Much
Dance, and Sing Together
nurturing home is a place where parents and children can relax and
unwind from the pressures of the day. Laughing, singing, and
dancing are the fastest ways to transform worries into
celebration. Having fun together will strengthen your family and
foster, easy, honest relationships among all of you. And as your
children grow they are much more likely to enjoy being with the
family if everyone is having a good time.
home filled with music is an exciting place to be. Begin when
the children are young by sharing lullabies from your childhood.
Create personalized versions of favorite tunes. Encourage your
children to teach you songs they've learned, and let them check out
tapes from the library. Play music when you're doing the dishes;
do a little jig when you're shaking up the orange juice. Your
kids will get a kick out of it and you'll contribute to a pleasant
home life that includes good-natured fun; but, more important, you're
creating an atmosphere where family members can be easygoing with each
other, which is critical to open communication, especially with
your children to all kinds of music; there's nothing like it for
pleasure and relaxation, and it is so easily shared. Some
studies indicate that babies respond to soothing music even before
they are born.
serves as a bridge between you and your child, bringing you
closer. Laugh often; tell little jokes without poking fun or
teasing. Look at the humorous side of life. When laughter
and music are common threads running through your encounters with your
child, family life is more exciting, and precious memories are
made. Have a song in your heart. Be free with your
laughter, spontaneous with your dance, and your children will think of
you with a twinkle in their eye.
from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child, Judy Ford
Grass is Not Greener
Shortly after the turn of
the century a noted educator, Dr. Russell Conwell, delivered a
lecture, so inspiring he was invited to repeat it over 5,000
times. Its title, ACRES OF DIAMONDS, has become a familiar
phrase to describe the unseen opportunity in any environment.
Dr. Conwell would visit a
town arriving early enough to visit with the people trying to gain an
insight into the local opportunities available and ways in which the
people had failed to grasp these opportunities. He would then
give his lecture talking to the people in terms of their own locality.
The lecture itself started
out by the story of an ancient Persian farmer, contented and
prosperous, who learned of diamonds and the power that could be gotten
through owning a diamond mine. He sold his farm and started his
search for diamonds. He wandered through the east on into Europe
and ended up, wretched and poor drowning himself on a seashore in
Ironically, the man who
bought the farm was watering his camel one day and noticed a shimmering
object in the stream. It turned out to be a diamond.
Further search produced virtually "acres of diamonds."
Other examples were given
of individuals who left their environment because of discontent,
riches were subsequently discovered in the very spot where they had
been. The point became quite clear. Every person has the
opportunity to become more successful right where on is with one's own
skill, energy, and natural ability. The truth of the lesson
cannot be denied.
It is true for you!
Right within your present environment is the opportunity for you to
"mine diamonds".....become richer in money, satisfaction,
recognition, and achievement.
from Public School Administrator
must be purposely kind and generous or we miss the best part of life's
Mann (1769-1859) Educator and Politician
is the process of forming mental pictures or images based on what has
been read. You can use this instructional technique to increase
reading comprehension. The practice of visualization helps
children concentrate on a selection and focus on detail. The
ability to create rich mental images also serves to improve memory.
As children form images, they integrate familiar pictures based on
their prior knowledge and experience with the new images gained from
visualization encourages children to identify the words and phrases
authors use to help readers have sensory experiences (sight, hearing,
touch, smell, taste). Select an author's descriptions of a
story's setting and characterization to introduce your child to
visualization. This is an ideal time of year to practice the
Read a story aloud to
your child, while he reads silently. Before reading, explain
that authors describe people, places and things to help readers
make pictures in their minds so that they will enjoy the story
After reading, model
the visualization process by describing the mental picture you
envisioned when reading the author's description. Then ask
your child to describe the setting or character he pictured,
using as many details as possible. Remind your child to keep
referring to the picture he created in his mind as he was reading. Sometimes it takes
time to develop the
Have your child skim
the story to locate words or phrases that help him visualize the
setting or a character. Ask such questions as, "Where
did you find out what the family's cabin looked like?" or
"What words did the author use to help you hear the sound of
trees being chopped down?" Ask your child to read the
passages to you and describe the image he believed the author intended.
To sharpen your
child's visualized images, ask him to share any visual
associations he may have added to his images that the author did
not provide. The author may not have included details about
the family's log cabin, but your child may be able to describe it based
on prior knowledge or experience. To encourage more awareness of
the visualization process, ask your child to consider where his images came from. Ask your child to explain why his image of
the cabin probably will be slightly different than yours.
Adapted from Silver
Burdett and Ginn
To have a true friendship,
you have to do more than exchange Christmas cards or call each other
once a year. There has to be some continued support and
attention; otherwise the relationship is a sentimental attachment
rather than a true friendship.
While your children may be occupied
with gifts during this season, it has been my experience that there is
a point when they need something different. Here are some activities that will
keep them occupied and teach them at the same time. They are adapted
from Newspapers in Education (NIE), a nationwide program that uses the
newspaper as a teaching tool.
- In the weather report, have your
child find the highest and lowest temperatures in your home
state. Subtract the lowest from the highest to find the
- Find a news story that contains two
different viewpoints. Defend one of the positions while your
child defends the other.
- Read a short news story to your
child and have your child tell you the who, what, when, where, why
- From the ads, have your child cut
pictures of animals, food, clothing, and toys. Paste them on
construction paper, and label them with the specific name of the
- Have your child cut out all the
titles of the comic strips in the newspaper. Then help your
child paste them on a sheet of paper in alphabetical order.
- Organize a newspaper scavenger
hunt. Before the hunt begins, prepare a list of 15-20
items. Have your child find eight to 10 of the items, which
they then cut out and paste on a sheet of paper. Hunt items
could include a picture of a political leader or movie star, a
word with more than five letters, the name of the president, a
specific number, or a word that starts with a certain
letter. The possibilities are endless, and more items can be
added for later hunts.
Adapted from Wisconsin
Dept. of Education
are the joy makers.
Parker Willis (1806-1867) Writer
Fin, Fur and Feather
Bureau of Investigation (FFFBI) Headquarters: The site uses
interactive stories and original thinking games to get kids to solve mysteries
and learn crucial skills such as using the Internet for research and
investigation, reading, and writing. The project encourages
exploration of a wide range of subjects from math and science to
geography, genetics and history. There is a
section for teachers which helps explain what's going on.
Nonsense: In this sequel to Privacy Playground, for ages 9-12,
the three CyberPigs learn some important lessons about authenticating
online information and observing rules of netiquette. They also learn
how to distinguish between fact and opinion and how to recognize bias
and harmful stereotyping in online content. As Les, Mo and Lil
discover, "just because it's on the Internet, doesn't mean it's
true." There is a teacher guide, as well.
site is dedicated to teaching, learning or living more than one
language. A collection of over 40 virtual picture books in
English, French and Spanish, including games, curricular suggestions
for teaching and learning these languages, and links to more
resources. Illustrated throughout with colorful drawings
including entries in the large pop-up glossary.
Walking with Prehistoric
Beasts: Welcome to the last 65 million years on Earth, which ushered
in the rise of mammals, the freezing of the climate and the arrival of
humans. Learn about the players (creatures from the Cenozoic
Era), their habitat and the science behind these
discoveries. Interactive features on this site allow students to
Build a Beast from skeletal remains, view the changing environment of
the creatures, and e-mail a scientist with unresolved
Geography For Kids:
This and other 4Kids sites (Chem and Biology) bring science basics to
the level of elementary or middle school students. One great
feature of this site is the virtual reality shots of geography
landforms. Check out the Examples, where students can click on a
link in an index to get an image of the object described.
Navajo Code Talkers: World War II
Fact Sheet: Navajo code talkers took part in every assault the
U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945, transmitting
messages by telephone and radio in their native language....a code
that the Japanese never broke. This is a great example of
language skills that played a role in history.
Wishing you joy
From the Knowledge HQ Staff
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