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Archive for May, 2011

DOES MY CHILD NEED A TUTOR? 

Posted on: May 26th, 2011 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

Hiring a tutor for your child can be stressful but worth it for many parents and children and can even improve your relationship. With the ever growing class size, offing a one on one option may be beneficial if your child begins to fall behind OR begins to get bored with the current education the school is able to provide in the classroom.

Signs Your Child May Need a Tutor

  • Parents don’t have the time to help with homework.
  • Grades begin to fall despite hard work.
  • Your child gets easily frustrated at particular subjects or tasks or states they are not good at it.
  • Your child stops completing their homework or projects.
  • Your child seems behind the skill level in basic math, writing and grammar to other children his/her age.
  • Your child seems to have lower self-esteem.
  • Your child suddenly rebels and dislikes going to school or wants to avoid regular activities with other students like riding the bus.
  • Your child is an advanced learner and seems bored.
  • The college your child wants to attend requires high grades and test scores.

Benefits of a Tutor

  • Individual attention. One on one, a tutor can pin point what a child is having difficulty grasping about a certain subject.
  • It is easier for some children to learn from and be corrected by someone they don’t know.
  • Tutors have knowledge and experience with the current curriculum to more easily or quickly assist your child with questions.
  • You can hire a tutor specific to a subject field for certain expertise.

Finding a Tutor  

  • Most teachers and/or schools offer afterschool help.
  • There are many tutoring options.  Tutors from Club Z Tutoring,  will come to you to tutor your child in your home.  Others offer programs that help students with academics  and connecting socially like Brain Balance Achievement Centers.
  • If you are going to a tutoring center bring your child with you to the tutor interview. Your child needs to like or have chemistry with the tutor you hire.
  • Create a plan with your tutor in order to address each difficulty. Layout the steps needed to meet your child’s needs and how they will be assessed.  Ask for feedback and how the tutor will measure successful learning.
  • Let your child’s teacher know you’re hiring a tutor. Teachers could have insight on subject areas to target and inform the tutor on the upcoming lesson plan to stay with the rest of the class.
  • Summertime is a great time to get your child to get caught up or get ahead. Rice Psychology Group offers programs for kids to help the think effectively, focus better and remember more.

SUMMER CAMPS

Posted on: May 20th, 2011 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

(By Angela Ardolino as seen on Daytime TV)

With the school year coming to an end, now is the time for parents to start thinking about how to best occupy the kids for the summer. Camps are a great option because they continue the learning and fun, and can provide a bit of a relief for parents as well.

Are you opting for a camp right in the neighborhood, or perhaps you’re considering a camp that’s away from home? There are several reasons to consider a camp for your children and ways to select the ones that are a great fit.

Benefits of a Summer Camp Experience


Promotes responsibility

  • Your child will have to fend for him/herself and take charge of daily tasks like making the bed, picking out clothes and taking a shower. These may be things your child does on his/her own already, but now s/he will develop a sense of self-reliance.
  • Although you will miss them, they will be forced to interact with others and form bonds on their own.

Expands their horizons

  • Interacting with a diverse group of kids their age from across the globe will expand their cultural understanding and encourage them to communicate with people who are different.

Establishes new friendships

  • They may be interacting with people from various areas of the city, county or country and they will be able to develop a network of friends who will become invaluable when applying to college and finding a job.

Builds self esteem

  • As your children realize they are capable of being on their own they will begin to feel better about who they are, as well as about their capabilities.

Selecting A Camp

 
Consider your children’s interests

  • Figure out if your child has any special interests. Have you ever caught him/her using your coffee table as a stage? Do they spend time in the kitchen using the garbage as a basketball hoop?
  • Ask your child what s/he is interested in doing this summer. If your kids have more than one hobby or interest consider splitting the summer in half and sending them to two camps.

Research and then research some more

  • Ask other parents that you know well and trust where they send their kids to camp. They will be able to share experiences—good, bad and ugly—and help you narrow down your search.
  • Check out their websites to see what kind of activities they offer, view the facility and figure out if the price is in your range.

Safety is a priority

  • Once you have narrowed down your search, be sure to figure out what kind of safety measures the camp has implemented and how trained the staff is. For example, do the counselors know CPR? Are they trained in First Aid?
  • It is important to be aware of the counselor to child ratio. The smaller your child is, the fewer children per counselor there should be.

Experiment and try something new

  • Summer is a great time to have your kids learn something new. Learn an instrument, a new language, paint, dance, explore, volunteer, the opportunities are endless.

TAKING CARE OF SICK CHILDREN

Posted on: May 19th, 2011 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

When your child starts to get sick or you begin to sense that something just isn’t right with your child, it can be an extremely nerve racking experience. What should you do next? Well, the first thing is don’t overreact. Here are a few tips and signs to help you figure out your next steps to help your child get better and spot and prevent illness before it completely develops.

Some Signs of a Sick Child:

  • Fussiness, frequent crying or clinginess
  • Does not eat well
  • Lack of fluid intake
  • Fever
  • Irregular sleeping
  • Irregular urination

What Parents Need to Know

  • How to tell when a child is sick
  • When to call the doctor
  • What to do in emergencies
  • What medicine to give and how to give them.

Be prepared.

  • Keep a phone list in a convenient place in your house and also save these numbers in your cell phone. Include telephone numbers of your child’s doctor and who to call after hours, the hospital, poison control, the fire department, your local pharmacy and their after-hours line. Inform your babysitter of where these numbers are located in case of emergency in addition to how you can be reached when you are out and a backup person in case they can’t get in touch with you.
  • Talk to your Doctor about what to do and what warrants an after-hours call or emergency. Your doctor can advise on handy items to keep in the house and commonly used medicines to keep in your medicine cabinet.
  • Research for yourself what common ailments children can have at each age and what you can do to prevent or help them get better if they do catch something. A good source for this is the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Take a first-aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) course for children and adults. Learn the Heimlich maneuver (for choking).
  • Don’t panic! Stay calm and take a breath in order to react the best you can for your child in the situation.

When calling the Doctor:

  • The earlier in the day you can contact the doctor the better. Chances are, if your child isn’t feeling well in the afternoon, he won’t feel any better by bedtime.
  • Remember to speak calmly and be ready to provide the doctor with your child’s basic information like name, age, weight, date of your child’s last doctor visit, medical history and current medications your child is taking.
  • Provide detailed information on your child’s symptoms, the duration of the symptoms, fluid intake, vomiting, temperature, etc.
  • Try to keep people with cold, flu or other symptoms away from your child. Let your physician know if you think your child has been exposed to an illness.

PREPARING FOR A SIBLING 

Posted on: May 12th, 2011 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

Introducing a new baby to the family can be an exciting time and a stressful one for older siblings. Read below for ways to help siblings adjust to a new baby coming home.

Be Honest

  • The moment you know you’re expecting you should tell your child. There is not a single moment that is right or perfect. Just be up front and honest with him/her.
  • If your child responds by asking questions, for instance: “Where do babies come from?” Tell the truth. This is not necessarily a question that requires you to explain sex. In this case, it is appropriate to say the baby forms in the uterus, inside the mother’s body. Your child may ask more questions, which again you should answer honestly.

Encourage Bonding

  • To get your child interested in his/her unborn sibling have him/her spend time with friends or family members who have newborns.
  • Encourage your child to participate in picking potential names for the baby. S/he will feel like a part of the family if you make your child a part of discussion. You can also bring your children along on doctor’s visits so they can hear the baby’s heartbeat.

Schedule One-On-One Time

  • Remind your child that she is special by scheduling time for just the two of you once a week. As your pregnancy moves along you will be more caught up in preparing the baby’s room and going to doctor’s appointments. Setting aside time for the two of you to have dinner, watch a movie or play a board game, will remind your child that you love her and will discourage any jealousy she may have about her younger sibling.

Empower Your Children

  • Let them know how important their role is as an older sibling. Remind them that they will be a role model and that they can teach their little brother or sister things they already know. If they feel like they are needed by the new baby it will make them feel special and will make them want to be a part of welcoming the newest member of your family.

Angela’s Teachable Moment: When shopping for your baby, ask for your older children’s input. Making your children feel like an important part of the process will make them proud to be an older sibling and make them feel interested in their new brother or sister.

REDUCING WASTE

Posted on: May 5th, 2011 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

 

Follow these steps below to see how waste-wise you already are and what you can do when shopping to improve and reduce and recycle the excess in your home.

Shop Thoughtfully

  • When buying items for the house, make choices about packaging. Do not buy items that come in non-recyclable packaging. Begin to think about how much waste each item will create and make your buying decision based on these items.
  • Shop at local and farmer’s markets. Most items do not come in packages at all. If you bring your own bags you will create zero waste.

Be Prepared: Become a Packer

  • Eat, or bring, most of your family meals from home. By doing this you can significantly reduce your daily trash production. Pack your lunch boxes for your kids. Bring snacks with you when going out for the day.
  • Package items in re-useable baggies. Reduce the purchase of portable drinks and “snack size” packaging. Carry a water bottle that you can refill from a fountain.

Raise a Green Baby

  • Cloth diapers have come a long way. They are now available in stylish patterns and are becoming popular again. While this is a change that will take some getting used to, consider that it is estimated that it takes 500 years for a standard diaper to breakdown in a landfill. If cloth diapering is too much of a change for you, there are hybrid and compostable diapers now on the market.
  • Make your own baby food and put the food in reusable containers. Not only will you know exactly what is in the food but you will be saving money and waste.

Compost as a Family

  • Even when you buy items from the farmer’s market or perhaps bring in vegetables from your own garden there will still be some waste generated. This type of waste, however, can be saved and with a little effort later be used to create important nutrient rich soil for your plants and garden.
  • Look for composting bins for your countertop and composting bins for your yard.

Recycle

  • Most counties now have free bins and curb side pick-up of household recycling. Make this a fun project for your kids! Color code the bins in your garage and discuss the benefits to the earth and local community. To find out if your neighborhood has this check out your counties website for more information.
  • There are businesses that work with schools to collect recyclables as fund raisers for the school. One fundraising project called, Tera-cycle uses these items to create new consumer products, extending the life of what would otherwise be put into landfills.

~ By Angela Ardolino and Krayl Funch

Angela’s Teachable Moment: Teach your children about environmental consciousness by explaining the importance of using a re-useable water container over plastic water bottles. When they feel like they can play a role in protecting our world they will feel important and want to practice environmentally friendly habits.

 

photo credit: istockphoto.com