Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Self Esteem and Your Toddler: How to Instill Confidence from an Early Age

Children begin to build on an awareness of “self” from the moment they are born. Enabling a child to feel confident and successful will stick with them for as long as they live. In a million little ways, parents and teachers can foster self-esteem in toddlers, and help them become productive students and successful adults.


Avoid Comparisons

Every child is different, and rightly so. One child may immediately grasp a complex concept while another struggles with it for longer periods. For the teacher, trying to match developmental milestones with specific individuals is far more important than attempting to impose those milestones on all children equally.


Children Imitate Authority

Parents and instructors are vital to a child’s self-esteem. When a parent shows an interest in the projects or playtime fun of a child, it encourages them to do more. In contrast, a child that is told how their time is not being used wisely is more likely to be insecure and introverted. For those in a position of authority over a child, encouraging that child to shine is one of the best gifts that can be given.


Confidence and Motivation

If a child believes that they can accomplish a goal, they are more likely to actually do so. Little encouragements, even something as simple as saying, “You can do it!,” give a toddler the confidence to try. And when that child has tried, confirming their attempt, whether it was successful or not, is critical in building self-esteem and future attempts at the same or other goals. If a child believes they can, they will, and the opposite is also true.


Confidence and STEM

It is never too early for a child to begin learning about science, technology, math and engineering (STEM). A common problem in American education education is that children, especially girls, are taught that “math is hard.” In reality, the only real barrier comes from a falsely reinforced inability. Instead of reinforcing the misconception that math or science are too hard, spend more time encouraging those subjects as fun ways to understand the world and tools for accomplishing goals.


Build on Uniqueness

Every child can learn to play the piano, but there has only been one Beethoven. Helping children focus on the things they have a natural ability for will instill confidence. Trying to force them to become something they are not will cause them to lose faith in their ability to grow and learn. Recognizing the differences in aptitude and focusing on building those strengths is a large part of Montessori education, and should be practiced at home as well.


Children do not start out with insecurities, they learn them from people in positions of authority, and adopt them as facts of life. The best way to teach a toddler confidence is to offer praise and encouragement every time an opportunity presents itself, both at home and in the classroom.  The Montessori Method encourages and supports children to learn through self exploration at their own pace.  The teachers at Montessori Childrens House work with children from an early age, teaching them to be confident in who they are as individuals. Contact us today to schedule a tour.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Apps for your Toddler: Fun and Age Appropriate

When choosing an app for your toddler, you need to keep in mind how they learn at this age. Choose ones that focus on open-ended play and exploration. Extend your toddler's knowledge through digital media that helps them grow by learning about matters that relate to real life. Playing with your child through these apps will increase their desire to learn and make an enjoyable time for both of you.


Fun and Age Appropriate Apps for your Toddler

Computer time doesn't have to be a waste of time. Many worry our young are spending too much time with computers; however, many educational apps are fun while helping your toddler to learn. A great feature with the educational apps is they are often free, so you don't have to worry about spending a lot of money. If you are not sure which apps are appropriate and fun, check out our list to help you choose.


Baby's Musical Hands

Baby's Musical Hands is designed for toddlers two years of age and older. This app is a music-making app designed to be navigated easily by your toddler. Your child will love the musical sounds and the colorful starbursts that display each time they touch the screen. There are 15 squares producing piano, guitar, and percussion sounds with the iPad version. The iPhone and iPod Touch will provide your child with ten instruments as these versions exclude the percussion sounds.


Busy Shapes

Busy Shapes is an exploring-to-learn activity based on a theory of cognitive development. It will give your child a digital playground to explore with many features that will make it easy for even young users to navigate. It uses artificial intelligence, so your toddler will continue to be challenged and will keep a record for you to check on the concepts they've explored. This app is designed to teach how objects relate to one another and their impact on each other versus a name learning activity.


One Touch Reveal

The One Touch Reveal App is designed for your preschooler as an educational tool to teach them words and concepts all in a fun learning environment. Your child will be able to practice and learn about time, shapes, and have two different games to play. The material in this app will keep your child busy for hours. It is loaded with educational value with a touch of fun to make learning exciting for your toddler.


Montessori Approach to Technology and Apps

Montessori's approach to teaching is the philosophy that young children's education should be aimed at recreating their natural observations. It is believed they should be encouraged to self-direct their learning experiences, so developers are using this aspect by creating apps for toddlers to use both in and out of the classroom.


These apps and others are excellent educational tools that will give your child a wealth of information as they practice and learn their shapes, numbers, colors, and more. These apps are both fun and appropriate to make learning enjoyable.  While the Montessori School of Flagstaff Sunnyside Campus focuses on teaching the child through hands-on learning, they encourage parents to incorporate a variety of learning tools, such as apps, into their child's at-home environment.  Contact us today to see how the Montessori method encourages children to learn through various forms of exploration.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Appropriate, Interactive, and Educational Websites for Preschoolers

Kids all want one thing from their educational experiences, and that is to have fun while learning. When you present your preschooler with an interactive exercise, you'll be able to capture their curious mind and help them learn with enjoyment. These are appropriate and interactive websites your preschooler will enjoy that have educational value.


Educational Websites for Preschoolers that are Appropriate and Interactive

Many worry about children having too much access to computers. When the time is limited and spent on material with an educational purpose, computer time can be beneficial. Choosing a website with high educational content that is both age appropriate and interactive is often offered for free or a small subscription fee. These are some that you and your preschooler can interact with to make learning fun for both of you.


National Geographic for Kids

National Geographic for Kids has the answer to all those questions your preschooler has about animals. On this website, you and your child can watch videos, learn about nature and the animal world, and play games. This site will increase your child's knowledge about their world.


Agnitus.com

Agnitus.com is designed for use on a tablet or other touch-screen device. This website gives your child an actual learning experience as it asks them to "touch" objects. Your child will be invited to trace numbers and letters, learn about colors, consonants, and explore size relationships. There is a reading section included to expand your child's reading interests. Agnitus.com offers a free trial for you to explore its benefits.


PBS Kids

If you remember characters from your early years such as Elmo, Curious George, and others who appeared on PBS TV, you'll appreciate how your preschooler can now interact with these same friends online. A great feature on this website is how you can customize flashcards to your child's age and interest area. Pull down menus make it easy for you to select which subjects you want to explore with your child and includes fun activities you can complete anytime and anywhere.


ABCmouse.com

ABCmouse.com is an ideal site for children 2 to 7 years of age. This website is one of the most comprehensive learning sites on the web today. You and your preschooler can listen to books, music, color, and play games. It will even allow you to keep track of your child's progress. There is a free month trial after which you pay less than $8 a month to continue.


Montessori Schools and the Internet


Montessori School of Pleasanton teaches the student as a whole.  While the Montessori Method focuses on hands-on and interactive learning, we still believe that technology, and specifically, the internet can be used in a educational way.  Websites are are age appropriate, interactive, and educational, such as PBS Kids and ABC Mouse, are great supplements to a student's classroom learning.  Contact us today to schedule a visit in our Montessori classrooms.