Showing posts with label School. Show all posts
Showing posts with label School. Show all posts

Moving Homes with Children

Moving city or country is not easy for anyone, but moving with children brings a whole host of considerations into play. Like your fragile glassware, children too need to be handled with care.

Tips to make a move smoother
Struggling socially in the beginning after a move is very common, but few children will have lasting effects. Children from families who have relocated revealed feelings of being conspicuous, feeling like the odd-one-out, literally or figuratively not speaking the language, having no idea of how to go about being accepted, and not being able to catch references or understand in-jokes. As a parent, knowing that these are common emotions that your child will experience can allow you to be more empathetic to his moods.

Talking the good and bad emotions through really assists with the settling process. Don’t be surprised by changes in your child’s behaviour while he is settling in. You can expect some regression, some acting out and some grieving. Children who become very withdrawn or aggressive for more than a few weeks should sound alarm bells. Try to talk through his feelings with him, but seek expert advice if you do not see his mood lifting.

The passage of time usually smoothes down the rough patches in a move, but what can you do to lessen the impact of a move on a child’s emotions and behaviour?

Here are some tips for making the move smoother :

Before the move:

1. Tell your child about the move as soon as possible. It gives him time to get used to the idea.
2. Sell him the benefits of the move in a way that he can relate to.
3. Reassure him by telling him what won’t change about the family life.
4. Make the move more concrete by showing pictures of where you are moving to. Older kids can go online and do the research themselves.
5. Say a positive goodbye to all the people and places your child loves. This will assist in achieving closure. It might also help to create a book for each child with photos and contact details of all the important people in their lives.

During the move:

1. Don’t treat the move as a time to discard all your child’s old toys as it will compound the feelings of loss. Take everything he wants even if it stays in the box once you arrive.
2. Let younger children get used to the process by packing their own belongings.
3. Pack a “must have” suitcase for each member of the family containing favourite possessions.

After the move:

1. Re-establish your family routines as quickly as possible.
2. Create a symbolic settling-in ritual like hanging up your wind chimes, or planting a familiar plant from home.
3. Make a game of getting to know the new neighbourhood (and establishing the boundaries of where children can and can’t go).
4. Put a huge effort into helping your kids form friendships by inviting other kids over to play.
5. Allow your child to experience the benefits of the new environment by doing things that he couldn’t do in the old one. Arrange outings and treats.
6. Help your child keep contact with the friends and family left behind by emailing lots of photos.
7. Focus on your relationship with your partner. A strong family nucleus is the source from which your children can draw strength.
Before, during and after the move, you will find yourself wanting to cover your child in bubble wrap to prevent him from experiencing the hard knocks of relocation. But what you might discover is the inner resilience that a move’s juxtaposition of gains and losses unearths in your child and yourself. “Here is the surprise,” admits Debi Hawkins of her move with her two children, “Without Jasmine and Monty I would have dissolved into a self-pity party very often. But having to think about the day-to-day things for them swung my attention from me to them, and they saved me from myself.”

School Readiness for Boys

Is He Ready for School?

Parents of 4, 5 and 6 year olds begin to wonder about first grade readiness: Is he ready for school? How is he ever going to be able to behave in school? He can�t sit still!

It is important to think about what schools are asking of children. The pace of education has increased. However, our brain structure and development has not changed since our brains evolved when we were hunters and gatherers.

What are we asking our children to do that they don�t actually have the brain structure and development yet to do?

When you observe kindergartners or first graders, the boys are typically 1 to 1.5 years behind the girls in their fine motor development, their ability to sit still, and their ability to follow directions.
Send him to school as late as possible! That way, he�ll be the oldest in his class. This will benefit him through all the years of school

An extra year of kindergarten is advisable. A rising trend in America, and more established in Europe, are outdoor kindergartens. This gives boys, especially, an opportunity to be outside, to be physical, learning in a way that suits him much more. It is better than teacher (93% chance she is female) saying, Here you are in the classroom, it�s time to sit still and learn.�

Another part of development is the language areas of his brain. They are slower to develop than girls. So, while there are girls in first grade who can write complete stories, follow sequences, and read, your boy may not be ready to read until second or third grade.

Of course, there are boys that read when they are 3 or 4, each child is different. But overall, trying to teach a 5 year-old boy to read is like teaching a 3.5 year-old to read! Can you image?! Developmentally his brain is not yet ready to process language, track words across a page, and be able to match sounds and symbols.

In school, we�re asking too much, too early, of many of our boys.

Having boys enter school before they are developmentally ready and attempting to teach them to read before they are ready, sets them up for failure from the beginning. In first grade, they feel school isn�t for them, they see the girls succeeding where they can�t - yet.

What are their alternatives to this stress? They become withdrawn. Or they get even more rambunctious, perhaps becoming the class clown because somehow they have to act out, to process what they�re feeling.
We see this pattern of failure manifest at the other end of school, too. Fewer males are graduating from high school than ever before. And even in college, here in America, only about 44% of the college population is male. The males that do go to college are less likely than their female counterparts to finish their degree program.
We�re setting them up for failure by putting them in school too soon.

10 Ways to Bring out his Best at School:

- Boys need to move. If he travels in a car or rides the bus to school, he needs to move before he enters the classroom.
- Arrive early and jump rope, play basketball, run around the block.
- Recess. While schools are shortening recess, it�s being shown that academic performance actually increases with more movement.

- Active learning. Lessons designed with an active learning component builds social relationships and increases memory retention.
- Water. Frequent sips of water reduce stress and hydrate the body and brain.
- Relevance. Boys want their learning to matter and they want to know how to apply it and how it will impact the world.
- Allow gross. Boys express themselves with different subject matter. We need to make blood and guts as acceptable as unicorns and flowers.
- Free time. The kind of free time you remember when summer days seemed to stretch endlessly because there was nothing on the schedule. Be sure to schedule in some quiet, free play time every day. He needs time to process his day.
- Nature. Nature is the antidote to all the stress of school, media, family dynamics, and just simply growing up. Time in nature is essential to healthy bodies and minds.
- Teachers. Gently bring them on board. Let them know about resources such as Boys Alive Bring Out Their Best! by Janet Allison and Boys and Girls Learn Differently by Michael Gurian. Both available at Amazon.

About The Author
Janet Allison is an author, educator, family coach and speaker who interprets gender intelligence and brain based differences for parents and teachers. Find more videos with parenting and communication skills insights and practical strategies at


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