Here you’ll find links to preschool-related and parenting articles on the web, including links to articles about the positive impact play has on intellectual development, a subject I feel is incredibly important. Over the last 20 years or so, what was once a 1st grade curriculum has become a kindergarten curriculum, and what was once a kindergarten curriculum is now a prekindergarten curriculum. Along the way, free play has been cut from the curriculum almost to the point of extinction in many schools. Not so at Hogarth, where we recognize the importance of balancing developmentally appropriate direct instruction with free play experiences. Check back from time to time, as I will add links as I find interesting articles.
Let’s start with a TED talk on play. “A pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults — and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.”
- New Hampshire Kindergarten Readiness Indicators from the New Hampshire Department of Education: “This tool was designed to provide parents, educators, and communities with a common understanding and standard regarding what children should know and be able to do as they enter kindergarten in our state.”
- Learning Point Associates. From their website: For more than 20 years, Learning Point Associates has worked to improve teaching and boost learning in schools across the country. We impact the education system by offering research findings and direct experiences that inform funding, policy and programming decisions. There is much free content at Learning Point Associates, and it might be worth a few minutes of your time to click around the site. You may find these pieces particularly interesting: Reading: Birth to Age 5 and A Closer Look at the Five Essential Components of Effective Reading Instruction: A Review of Scientifically Based Reading Research for Teachers
- When Should A Kid Start Kindergarten? from the New York Times Magazine. You may have to sign up as a member to access New York Times content, but it is free and worth it.
- Looking at Play the Healthy Way from the National Institute for Early Education Research.
- Training Young Brains to Behave for more on play from the New York Times Magazine.
- Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills on the importance of executive function and the role play has in its development from NPR.
- The 3 R’s? A Fourth is Crucial, Too: Recess on the critical importance of play from the New York Times Magazine.
- In Kindergarten Playtime, A New Meaning For Play on the “pushing down” of curriculum and the importance of play from the New York Times Magazine.
- Kindergarten Cram for a mother’s take on the pushing down of curriculum from the New York Times Magazine.
- How to Raise Our I.Q. speaks to the impact of quality early childhood education on intellectual development from the New York Times Magazine.
- 6 Food Mistakes Parents Make from the New York Times.
- It’s Too Mushy! It’s Too Spicy! The Peas are Touching the Chicken! (Or, How to Handle Your Picky Eater) from the folks at Zero to Three, a national nonprofit organization that informs, trains and supports professionals, policymakers and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers.
- Our Family Wizard: “When a marriage or other relationship comes to an end, it’s not easy. If you have children together, issues can arise. Children rely on their parents to make sure that everything is taken care of. In some cases, communication between parents may be difficult. The OurFamilyWizard® website was originally designed to reduce some, if not all, of the stress from communication and planning between parents who live in separate households, but now nearly any family could benefit from it.”
POTTY TRAINING TIPS: Each spring I always hear from parents of young students in my upcoming fall classes who are struggling with potty training. One suggestion I have for parents in the process of potty training is to be careful about associating using the toilet with going to school. If you do talk about school and potty training, always keep it positive. Visit the blog page and look at the pictures of the children. Talk about how “big” your little one is getting (just like the kids in the pictures), and how much fun s/he’s going to have in school. For many children, it works like a charm and is just the incentive they need to make the leap from diapers to potty. For some children, it adds to the stress and can even create a negative view of school for the child. You’ll know pretty quickly if it’s going to be a help. I’m including several links to articles on the subject. Maybe the tip you need is waiting to be discovered on one of these sites!