How to teach kids about Ash Wednesday ?

What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. Ash Wednesday is observed by fasting, abstinence from meat and repentance.

Lent : Lent start on Ash Wednesday and it occurs 40 days ( not counting sundays) before Easter. People attend mass on this day. Ashes are placed on the forehead in the sign of a cross as a sign of repentance.

Ashes : Ashes are gathered from the burning of the previous year’s palms from Palm sunday.

Gifted and talented Children

Gifted and talented Children.

10 things parents should avoid saying to children

Rebel_Your_Child1.Stop comparing: There is nothing more heart breaking than being compared to, because it simply means no matter what your child does they will never be good enough. Whether you are comparing them to family members, siblings or friends, stop it now. This highly contributes to lowering your child’s self-esteem especially when it’s the parents doing all the crushing. Love your child for who they are. Each child is an individual.

2.Stop telling your child that they never do anything right: The tongue is powerful and words spoken can hardly be reversed. Being called a screw-up or an idiot is demeaning. As a parent kids will take everything you say to them to heart. Focus on the things they are good at and compliment them on that.

3.“I wish I never had kids”: When you say that to your child in an argument, a child may feel unloved. As a parent you might say those words without meaning them but this can make your relationship with your child more volatile. Rather bite your tongue than speaking harsh words.

4.“That’s ridiculous, you can’t be upset over that”: Remember children are sensitive, especially teenagers. A child can get upset over a situation that may seem petty. Consider your child’s thoughts and feelings, but it’s their reaction to the situation. It may be petty for you, but a big deal for them. Support them emotionally when they’re upset.

5.“You useless”: Never tell a child that they are not of any use, you are making your child despondent.

6.“You’re not my favorite child”: Choosing kids and showing favor is an issue. There is nothing more tormenting than hearing your mom or dad tell you about how she loves the other child more. This causes fights and jealousy amongst siblings.

7.“You are not as pretty as your sister”: Trying to make your child feel less beautiful when she is disobedient is a very cruel thing, this can stimulate hatred.

8.Do not bad mouth your child’s father or mother: No matter how bad the relationship is between you and the father/mother of your child, there is no need for you to call him/her names and teaching your child about how much of a loser their father/mother is. If you have nothing nice to say about your baby daddy/mama to your kid, rather not say a word.

9.“I don’t have time for you”: If you don’t have time as a parent for your child, who else is supposed to take care of their needs or to listen to them?. Never be too busy for your child. Every child needs their mom and dad’s attention.

10.“I know I’m right. There’s nothing you can do to convince me otherwise: Those words imply that as a parent you have made up your mind even if your child is not in the wrong. Your pride makes you not to acknowledge your faults as a parent. Sometimes parents are found to be in the wrong.

Source : http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/youthtube/2013/05/20/top-10-things-parents-should-avoid-saying-to-children

Doing Too Much For Kids: 7 Signs You’re Overparenting

Positiveparentingtrial

Can you be “too good” of a parent?

Circle of Moms member Katherine W. says she’s worried she has been overparenting or pampering her kids. “I tried to do the very best I could,” she relays, “taking them to parks and interesting places every weekend, reading to them, working in their classrooms and every school event, supervising homework every night, helping with Girl Scouts, driving them to after-school activities, arranging play dates, making family dinners a priority, and on and on.” However, Katherine recently noticed that her child’s friend, whose parent was not as involved, has grown into a more confident and self-sufficient person. “Did all that effort even make any difference?”

Keep reading.

How do you know if you’re turning into an overbearing parent? If, like Katherine, you’re wondering if you should be less involved, here we’ve rounded up Circle of Moms members’ advice on signs that you may be overparenting.

1. You Praise Profusely

One of the tell-tale signs that you’re being overbearing, instead of balanced, is when you notice yourself giving your child a profuse amount of praise. While children need encouragement, parents can go overboard, for instance, when they have an “unconscious, incessant need to praise and reward their kids,” says a Circle of Moms member who calls herself “Chatty.” She explains: “I think the only time extra praise is warranted is when children are very young; babies and young toddlers have to learn what is appropriate and what isn’t, and praising them in an excitable manner when they master a new skill or act in an appropriate or desirable manner helps them to learn. But, if you’re over the top and praise them every single time they do something, especially when it’s repeatedly for the same thing they’ve already mastered and done 1,000 times, it’s doing them a huge disservice.”

As an example, Chatty says when first potty training her daughter, she and her husband gave her lots of “high-fives” and “good jobs.” But once her daughter mastered the toilet, she “opened a dialogue with her about how it made her feel to be able to go to the washroom on her own.”

2. You Offer Too Many Material Rewards

Similar to offering an abundance of praise, some parents spoil their children with too many material things. Stephanie Y. came to this realization when one year her 9-year-old son “clearly expressed his utter disappointment in his Christmas gifts. He explained that he didn’t get what he really wanted and poo-pooed what he did get,” she remembers.

After unsuccessfully trying to impart a lesson about the spirit of Christmas, Stephanie realized she had been giving her children way too much. “I am the mom that would carry my kids’ backpack for them, or buy the toy to bribe them to be good in the store! I needed to change, be more of a parent.” Vowing that her children would never be ungrateful at Christmas again, she reduced the gifts her children were receiving all year round, and also reduced her children’s candy consumption, so that they would learn to appreciate Halloween, too.

Charlotte R. is another mom who believes “kids these days have way too many things. When I was growing up we had one phone for the whole house and we had to limit our time to share with everyone. We never got to just sit on the phone and call our friends all the time, because we had household chores to do and our homework and getting ready for school,” she says.

3. You Have Low Expectations

With the rigors of school and extracurricular activities, sometimes parents are hesitant to give their children too many responsibilities. But an ill-fated result of not expecting a lot from your children is that parents “do too much for their kids,” says Tracy S.

Setting low expectations while assuming there will be big rewards is especially a common occurrence in school. “According to our local teachers, a helicopter parent is one who browbeats teachers into giving their kid good grades, even though they didn’t earn them. That’s what makes kids feel ‘entitled,'” says mom Jane S.

Tracy S. says her 15-year-old son sometimes would want her help spelling things and would whine if she wouldn’t help him without him first making an attempt. “I would tell him that if he can’t try it himself, then I don’t know how close he is to begin with.” Expectations can be set low even before the school-age years, Tracy S. warns. For instance: “How come even when I take my daughter (she’s 2) to the store and a store associate is nice and gives her a little something (sticker, sucker, candy, etc.) and I tell my daughter to say thank you, the associates proceed to tell me that she doesn’t have to?” she asks. “Too many parents think that kids aren’t capable and don’t expect things from them. I expect a lot from my children. I expect that they learn to be productive and contributing people who can care for themselves when they are 18. The only way to get from here to there is to teach them along the way.”

4. You Dole Out Few Responsibilities

Setting expectations for your children includes holding them accountable for age-appropriate responsibilities, Circle of Moms members add. From a very young age, Ellen B. says, “many kitchen tasks are fair game,” and that kids are capable and often willing to bring their dishes to the sink when done, set the table, take the garbage out, and help cook. “And, yes,” she adds, “teach them to clean up their messes.” Once parents “get over the perception the only you can get things done on time, you will find training them is a time-saver.”

Increasing responsibilities and “doing less for them can give them the best possible chance” at becoming self-sufficient, independent adults, mom Ellen explains. “The more children learn to do tasks and make good decisions on their own, the better odds they have of living a productive life,” she says.

When you educate your children about their responsibilities, just be sure they understand that they’re not being asked to do things because “‘mommy is task master,’ but rather [because] ‘we live together, and share both the work and the pleasure of having our own home,'” Lisa R. notes.

5. You Repeat Yourself Frequently

Once they assign responsibilities, overbearing parents often make the mistake of repeatedly telling children what to do. But parents are not raising robots that should follow every order, mom Angelique A. says. She admits she is sometimes guilty of this with her 14- and 15-year-olds and finds herself constantly telling her own children “to do this and that.” She adds: “I mean when will it register that if you see something that needs to be done, just do it?” Still, Angelique knows she needs to lay off if she wants to raise responsible adults. “I was taught independence at a very young age. When I had to, I knew what to do when my parents were away.”

6. You Help Without Being Asked

Most parents would help their children at the drop of a hat, but several Circle of Moms members advise that parents would be wise to step back and wait to offer help until children ask for it. As a teacher, Pamela W. says she sees today’s parents doing too much for their children when it’s not necessary. “I see parents carrying their children’s backpacks for them, etc., around the school campuses. I also see far more moms and dads who accompany their children into the classroom at the kindergarten level and spend time before the bell rings,” she says.

“It’s hard not to helicopter,” Shawnn L. admits. But as someone who works at a university, she doesn’t support it: “It is extremely frustrating to watch [parents] be overbearing and [make choices] for adult freshman student[s]. It is extremely frustrating to speak to the student and have the parent answer. It is even more frustrating to watch a student make excellent choices with regards to his/her studies, only to see the parent undermine every choice because they either weren’t involved enough, or didn’t agree.”

Lucy L. summarizes: “Don’t do something for your child that he or she is capable of doing for themselves.”

On the other hand, when parents let children make more decisions and help themselves, they often find that their children are more resourceful than they initially thought. Ann F., for instance, recently encouraged her children to sell their unwanted toys to make some money. “When I checked on them in the playroom, they had a whole pile of toys they wanted to sell and were in the process of lugging them out front.” Ann’s gut reaction was to stop them, but she had a second thought and asked what they wanted to do with the money they earned. “They said they wanted to donate it to an animal shelter or children’s hospital. The whole situation reminded me that sometimes it really is best just to get out of their way, not be overbearing, and when they are making their own fun without any parental involvement, to just let them be,” she says.

As a Circle of Moms member who calls herself “Vegemite Cheese” says of parenting, “It’s not always what you do for your kids but what you teach your kids to do for themselves.”

7. You Try to Prevent All Mistakes

Of course, when making their own decisions, children will make some mistakes, but Lisa B. says it’s healthy to let mistakes happen in a safe environment. “Both my kids are extremely careful about touching hot objects and getting their little fingers caught in doors/drawers. That’s because I’ve let them try it when they were 6 months old. As soon as they were able to open and close a drawer, I’ve allowed them to close it (not too strongly, though), on their own fingers,” she says. “Rather than preventing them from doing something dangerous, I let them experience the consequences (provided it isn’t health/life-threatening). They know what it’s like to touch a hot drink. When they fall, they know they have to get up and dust themselves off, all on their own.”

As another example, Lisa adds that her son once had a bad habit of putting his fingers and toys in his mouth. “After reminding him several times that it was dirty, I waited to see what would happen. He caught a very painful mouth sore. But now he knows the consequences of putting dirty objects in his mouth,” she says. Of course, she offers the caveat that she always tries to reinforce good behavior.

Ultimately, moms and dads can avoid overparenting by being supportive of their children, but not being overinvolved, Circle of Moms members say. “There is such a thing as being too involved, too loving, too praising, too in-tune with what your kids are doing . . . just as the other extreme suggests an unhealthy relationship with kids (no affection, attention, encouragement, etc.). Balance really is the key component of all facets of humanity,” Jamie B. says.

“Being over-protective is an easy and common mistake that parents make,” admits mom Riana F., noting she sometimes closes her eyes and says, “World please be gentle with this child of mine.” But, she realizes, “The world will never be gentle, it will only ever be real, and if I try to protect my children from its challenges I will also be protecting them from its rewards.”

Source: Circle of Moms. Written by Patricia-Anne Tom

Childrens free online books

http://www.magickeys.com/books/

http://freekidsbooks.org/

http://bygosh.com/childrensclassics.htm

http://storytimeforme.com/

http://mightybook.com/story_books.html

http://www.kidsworldfun.com/

http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/

http://www.grimmstories.com/en/grimm_fairy-tales/index

Top teaching Blogs

http://www.teachercertificationdegrees.com/top-blogs/

Science websites

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/treehouse/seasons.cfm?Slide=1

http://www.space.com/science-astronomy/

http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/

http://www.google.com/sky/

http://nineplanets.org/

http://mrnussbaum.com/science

http://teacher.scholastic.com/researchtools/articlearchives/animals/

http://www.animalinfo.org/

http://www.makemegenius.com/#

http://kids.usa.gov/social-studies/index.shtml

http://kidport.com/GradeK/Science/ScienceIndex.htm

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/science-space-kids/

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/World_GL.html

This will be periodically updated. Please let me know if you want to add you website in the list.

Spelling website

http://www.spellingcity.com
http://www.zaner-bloser.com/media/zb/zaner-bloser/spellingconnections/practice-pages.html
http://www.spelling.hemscott.net/#top
http://freehomeschoolresources.info/free-resources/printable-spelling-worksheets/free-printable-spelling-lists/
http://abcfastphonics.com/

Free Spelling ebooks

These are public domain books from Google Books. They are downloadable as PDF files and can be printed out as needed.
Go to http://books.google.com/
and type, search below topics.

McGuffey’s Eclectic Spelling Book

The North American Spelling Book

Word Lessons

20 minutes of your day

Just 20 minutes a day reading aloud with young children strengthens relationships, encourages listening and language skills, promotes attention and curiosity, and establishes a strong reading foundation. These skills are essential for success in school and in life.

It takes hundreds of hours of “lap time” for a child to acquire the pre-literacy skills necessary for learning to read early and well. From birth to age five, the pleasant activity of listening to and talking about stories trains a child’s brain, ears, and eyes for eventual success in learning to read.

“The early years set the stage for later learning…the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”

Once a child begins to read, it is essential to continue reading aloud together. Like other skills, reading is mastered over time, with lots of practice, and with the help of another person. The routine of sharing books together creates lifelong readers.

The magic of this process is the simplicity of action. Any adult can do it, in just about any place, with little or no expense. It doesn’t matter what language is spoken. Non-reading parents can make up stories to go with the illustrations. The essential elements are scheduled time with books and a positive attitude!

Make reading together the most important – and happiest – 20 minutes of your day!

Free online books : http://www.magickeys.com/books/

http://www.readingfoundation.org/index.jsp

The right way to praise your kids

Be specific. Instead of saying, “You’re such a good baseball player,” say, “You hit the ball really hard and you are an excellent first baseman.” Being specific is much better and helps kids identify with their special skill, Berman says.

Be genuine. Praise should always be genuine. Kids have a way of knowing when your praise is insincere, and when it is, you lose trust. Worse yet, they become insecure because they don’t believe your positive words, and they find difficulty in telling the difference between when you really mean it and when you don’t, Berman says.

Encourage new activities. “Praise kids for trying new things, like learning to ride a bike or tie their shoelaces, and for not being afraid to make mistakes,” Donahue says.

Don’t praise the obvious. “Try not to overdo praise about a child’s attributes: ‘You’re so smart, handsome, pretty, bright, talented, gifted,'” Donahue says. “Parents and grandparents are, of course, going to indulge in some of this, and that is OK. But if your kids hear a constant litany of praise, it will begin to sound empty to them and have little meaning.”

Say it when you mean it. Saying, “Good job,” when you mean it or, “Boy, you really worked hard on that paper,” tells children that, as parents, you recognize the value of their hard work and efforts, Donahue says. It also tells them that you know the difference between when they work hard at something and when it comes easy.

Focus on the process. Praise children for their effort and hard work, not for their inherent talents. Donahue says, “Remember, it’s the process not the product that matters. Not all kids will be fantastic athletes or brilliant students or accomplished musicians. But children who learn to work hard and persevere have a special talent. As I like to say, pluggers go far in life.”

Read more at http://www.webmd.com/parenting/guide/the-right-way-to-praise-your-kids