Visit any preschool classroom during free play and you will likely see a child pretending to be someone else.
Make-believe play is a ubiquitous part of early childhood. And beyond being fun for kids, pretending and other kinds of imaginative play are also believed by some to be critical to healthy child development.
Research has found a relationship between pretend play and a child’s developing creativity, understanding of others, and social competence with peers.
As a psychologist who studies imaginary play and Read more
“What will happen if your grade drops from an “A” to a “C”?” I sometimes ask during a check-up.
Many kids shrug and say, “Try harder next time, I suppose.” Others look shocked and anxious about the possibility and are speechless.
Still others will point at their parents and say,”THEY would kill me.”
Observe a toddler learning a new skill. You will see him repeatedly try to fit a ball into a hole until he is either successful or wanders way. He is not anxious or afraid of failure. He is not “stressed” about trying to learn. Although all children start this way, too often toddlers become big kids who end up in my office discouraged and worried about school performance. Today’s guest writers, based on the work of Dr. Carol Dweck, discuss ways parents can influence their children so that they embrace learning.
– Drs. Lai and Kardos
Starting the year off right can be as simple as having a pair of confidence-boosting sneakers or a backpack full of brand-new pencils, pens, and paper.
But for families struggling to pay for housing and food, school supplies can be an unaffordable necessity.
On August 10, Cradles to Crayons hosted its 10th annual Backpack-A-Thon at Lincoln Financial Field, in partnership with the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. Over the course of just two hours, 600 volunteers filled 30,000 backpacks, assembly-line style, with new school supplies. Read more
Being a kindergartner today is very different from being a kindergartner 20 years ago. In fact, it is more like first grade.
Researchers have demonstrated that 5-year-olds are spending more time engaged in teacher-led academic learning activities than play-based learning opportunities that facilitate child-initiated investigations and foster social development among peers. Read more
My first hint that the Danes are generally not sentimental about animals came last year during our first Farm Week at my sons’ combined forest kindergarten and day care.
At the beginning of the week, I picked up my younger son—who was 2½ years old at the time—from the vuggestue (a day care center for infants and toddlers up to age 3) after his midday nap. He was groggy from sleep and enjoying an afternoon snack.
“We had a chicken in the vuggestue today,” the teacher told me, “because it is Farm Week.” Oh wow! A chicken! I imagined a chicken walking around in the back garden Read more
Who will be the thought leaders of tomorrow? Soon enough, today’s business people, lawmakers, educators, and military leaders will hand the reins of this country to a new generation. Some of us worry that we’re not preparing our youngest children for leadership despite evidence that the academic skills and character traits needed for lifetime success are instilled in early childhood.
In short, the better our child care, the better prepared children are for school and life. Child care businesses provide a vital service that Philadelphia cannot do without, and yet we are in crisis, with the entire community feeling the repercussions. Read more
We are all born with primitive reflexes. Their presence is critical to the survival of the infant. They serve as the training wheels for the brain early on in the infancy and show that the infant’s nervous system is functioning normally. On the other hand, if primitive reflexes persist to exist long after the expected integration age, they may hinder the healthy development of the child.
Primitive reflexes are automatic muscle reactions in response to outside stimulation that are typical in a newborn and naturally integrate during the baby’s first year. Read more
Pamela Guest is the founder and chief editor of IEP Magazine. “IEP” stands for “Individualized Education Program/Plan.” The IEP is the document developed for each public school child who needs special education. Pamela’s mission is to bring attention to inequities, advocate for change where it is needed, and help parents with the information and knowledge they need to effectively advocate for their children in the public school system.
More importantly, Pamela is the parent of a dyslexic child and struggled throughout her son’s education. She had to learn the ins and outs of the system on her own with little to no support. As my path crossed hers on our journey to help others facing the steep dyslexia hike, our common goals brought us together. Education is her passion and this is my interview with her. Read more
When a child has dyslexia, the child’s brain has difficulty matching sounds with letters, so reading and writing also become difficult. In addition, the skills needed to learn these basics—accurate and/or fluent word recognition and good spelling and decoding abilities—don’t come naturally.
The most effective antidote? Early diagnosis and intervention. Dyslexia can be diagnosed as early as age 3, especially if it runs in the family and there is an awareness of the symptoms. Ideally, it would be caught by kindergarten or first grade, before the gap widens between the dyslexic student and the student’s peers. Read more
With a history that includes “trying to bridge the education gap” and an approach to learning that engages the child while encouraging parental participation, Sesame Street is often perceived as the quintessential preschool television show in the United States. Dr. Jensen examines the initial reaction to Sesame Street that occurred in Denmark, a country that has held children and children’s television in high regard. —Cyndi Maurer, PhD (editor)
Last year I was a visiting lecturer at a couple of American universities where I participated in discussions regarding children’s media. In my guest lectures, I posed a question that often took students aback: “Can you think of a reason that Sesame Street might be considered inappropriate for children?” To my U.S. students, Sesame Street represented the epitome of an appropriate program for children: produced by a nonprofit organization; broadcast on PBS; loved by children, adults, and educators; and, on top of it all, devoted to promoting diversity and teaching children things that are highly valued in the school system. Read more