Memorial Day

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The original intention of Memorial Day was to honor the union soldiers who died fighting the civil war. In celebration of the first official observance of Memorial Day, in 1868, women would place flowers on the graves of soldiers, and men would raise the American flag, except in the south. In the south, people had been honoring their fallen soldiers for years before General John A. Logan issued the order that all Americans observe the recognized holiday. Southerners refused to recognize the official holiday until after World War 1.

What many people don’t know is that the actual first Memorial Day was in fact celebrated in 1865 by a group of freed slaves in Charleston. The location had been a Confederate prison camp, and then became a mass grave for Union soldiers who had perished while imprisoned. The liberated slaves removed the dead Union soldiers from the mass grave and reburied them in separate graves, fenced in the graveyard, and even built an entry arch proclaiming it a Union graveyard. They proudly declared this to be “Decoration Day” which they observed every year even though it was extremely dangerous for them to do so. The south was not a Union friendly sort of place in those first few years after the war, and it would be nearly another century before anyone with really dark brown skin was made to feel appreciated.

The freed slaves were grateful and appreciative to all of the soldiers who died to assure their freedom. In return, the American government appropriated this day of respect and named it their own. Hmmmmmmm, pretty much the same way they did for the African slaves themselves, and the Native Americans, and the country of America itself too.

After the First World War, the observance of Memorial Day was altered to include every soldier who died in defense of America. During Memorial Day speeches right up until the last decade, the word “woman” was not mentioned among those who should be honored, even though many women served and died in the armed forces.

I think there should be some replacements of holidays, and a few other days added to the calendar of American holidays. Below is a list of my ideas, what would your suggestions be?

Apologize to the African-Americans Day

Honesty Not Hypocrisy Day

Native Americans, Please Forgive Us Day (Instead of Thanksgiving)

Guilt and Retribution Day (Instead of Columbus Day)

We Should Have Done Things Differently Day (Instead of Independence Day)

It’s Perfectly Ok to Be Single Day (Should Be Celebrated the Day after Valentine’s Day)

We Have Freedom Of Religion, Right? Day (Should be observed for the entire period of time between Christmas and Easter)

Wasn’t Jesus Really Born In Spring? Day (Instead of Christmas)

Christians Aren’t Really In Charge of Everyone and Everything Day

 

What Types Of Questions Should You Ask A Potential Child Care Provider?

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New parents sometimes are unsure how to interview potential childcare providers. Some parents are even afraid to offend the person with questions that might be to intimate. As a provider myself, let me assure you that most of us would wonder about the parent if the right questions were not asked. On the other hand, it is understandable that important topics are often over looked once the conversation gets going. Parents should never be afraid to ask new or even the same questions again after the care provider is hired. The following list will give you a thorough starting point of questions to ask the people you are considering for the care of your children.

Basic Information Questions

· Why do you enjoy babysitting?

· Do you have children of your own?

· What is your hourly per child rate?

· Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime? What type?

· How many years have you been working with children?

· How many families have you cared for and how old were the children?

· Can we contact your former employers?

· Do you know First Aid?

· Do you know CPR?

· Have you had any childcare education?

· Are you comfortable caring for newborns?

· Have you had experience caring for newborns?

· Can you tell if a room is childproofed?

· Do you prefer to work in the child’s home or your own?

· Are you comfortable with preparing meals?

· Would you be willing to provide transportation to outings or appointments if needed?

· Is your driving record clean and safe?

· What are your child raising beliefs? (Discipline, behavior, learning, etc.)

· Describe how you believe a typical day with the child would be. How you would spend the time with the child?

These questions are only a basic example. Every family has unique considerations and needs, so it is up to you to ask the questions whose answers are most important to your family. Whatever information you want to know, do not be afraid to ask for it. This is YOUR child that this STRANGER is going to be caring for. If this person is not comfortable with your questions, you probably won’t be comfortable with the care they provide for your children.

How to Teach Reading to Preschoolers

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While it is highly unlikely that any preschool age child under the age of 4 would actually be able to read books, it is possible to teach them the fundamentals of reading. In fact, by teaching your preschooler the alphabet, basic phonics, and some very easy sight words, you will be giving them a strong advantage for when they start regular grade school. If you intend to home school your child, then these early reading skills will enhance the entire learning process for your child.

A child between the ages of 0 and 4 years old.

Children’s books. (Fairytales and storybooks)

A picture dictionary

Alphabet flash cards

Sight word flash cards

Phonic flash cards

Every ounce of patience you possess

As soon as you discover that you are pregnant, start reading to your baby. Studies have proven that reading to a child in the womb stimulates brain development and encourages learning. Continue reading with your child through the formative years, even after he or she is able to read alone. Reading together is one of the closest bonds parents and children can enjoy.

When your child is 1 year old or perhaps even earlier, depending on the child; start pointing out words to her, such as on signs or toys, or in books. Sound out the letters of the words in the picture dictionary with them. This helps them learn to speak, and will help them learn to read later on as well.

At 2 years of age your child is probably ready for you to teach the alphabet song to him. Use the alphabet flash cards as you sing the song, so she can learn to recognize the letters by sight and by sound. Some children are ready before 2; you will know your child’s capabilities.

By making the above steps a regular part of your interaction with your child, by the age of 3 your child will find learning a fun activity and learning the sounds that different letters will practically become ingrained knowledge. You can reinforce this skill with the phonics flash cards and sight word flash cards.

When your little reader is 4, you can play learning games with all of the flash cards. Such as using the sight word cards to have your child form sentences. By this age, your child will more than likely have come up with other ways for you “play” with the cards.

A great way for your child to learn the letters and the other skills is to have them learn to trace and then write the letters, and later the words from the flash cards or stencils. You could also purchase coloring books that include these types of pages, or learning activity books.

Every child is unique, and learns at different stages. Don’t worry or get discouraged if your child takes longer to learn reading skills. Also, use these guidelines to discover your own teaching ideas and learning activities for your child.

 

This article can also be read at http://www.ehow.com/how_4466358_teach-reading-preschoolers.html

Early Education for Children

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At what age should children start school? Is it better for them to wait until Kindergarten at age 5 or 6, or will it help them to start their education with some type of Preschool when they are 3 or 4?

Parents, teachers, researchers, and other educators have different opinions on this topic and the debate has been raging for many years. The main question seems to be whether starting the formal learning process at a younger age is actually more harmful than helpful to the kids.

Some children have a difficult time adjusting to a classroom setting when they start school in Kindergarten. It is believed by some that if they had been exposed to the more relaxed setting of Preschool, they would have been able to conform to the structured environment more easily.

Another opinion is that in some cases, parents of teenagers believe that their children lost interest in learning as they grew older because they were pushed into school too early. Other parents feel that if kids start school early, they develop a lifelong love of learning because of the encouraging atmosphere in Preschool.

Additionally, many teachers and parents are convinced that children younger than 6 simply do not have the mental development to grasp the concepts learned in school.

In some states, Kindergarten is mandatory when a child reaches 5 years of age, and many schools offer children something called “4-K.” This is a combination Preschool/Kindergarten type class where children start learning basic educational concepts such as shapes, colors, numbers, alphabet, and social skills such as sharing, communication, and interacting with other people.

For many parents, the decision to send their children to Preschool is made as a childcare option. It simply makes more sense financially and for convenience as opposed to a private baby sitter.

There are good points to be made for both sides of the argument. In the end however, it really depends solely on the child how they will be affected. The educational curriculum within schools varies by state. However, it seems as if our kids are learning more in earlier grades than we did. The schools teach them more advanced skills faster than we learned them, so isn’t it better if we give our kids a head start?

What’s your opinion?

 

10 Easy Tips for Being a Good Role Model to Your Children

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Children learn from our actions, and from our words. They also learn things we never realize we are teaching them. Even our behaviors, reactions, and habits teach our children lessons we never intend for them to learn. In the world today, there is entirely too much “Do as I say but not as I do” involved in the raising of our children. Is it really fair to expect our children to become healthy, strong, and compassionate people, if we do not at least make an effort to do the same?

Many things have changed in society; our children are exposed to so many things so much earlier than the previous generations. We as parents must look at the world from their perspective if we are going to teach them how to live better lives. We must also teach those life lessons by example if we want them to benefit from the lessons.

  1. Be proud of who you are and express that you are happy and content with yourself. Your children will always have a natural feeling of self-confidence and a healthy self-esteem if they grow up within that type of atmosphere.
  2. Include your values and beliefs as everyday aspects of your life. If your heritage is important to you, share this interest with your children and it will become important to them as well. If you value honesty, make it a factor of how you live, and your children will too.
  3. Share the successes and the failures of your life with your children in an appropriate manner. If something happened at work that was positive or negative, discuss how it affected you and what could be caused by the event or what you could have done differently. Children understand a great deal more than we give them credit for about many things. They will learn how to deal with difficult situations from our reactions.
  4. Do not hide sadness or disappointment from your children. They need to see how you deal with emotions in order to learn how to handle their own in a healthy way.
  5. Allow happiness and excitement to be part of the atmosphere in your home. These emotions will integrate themselves as part of your child’s very personality if they are encouraged by you.
  6. Live a healthy lifestyle and your children will live that way also. Discourage those around you from exhibiting the types of behaviors that you do not wish your children exposed too. If you do not approve of drugs, smoking cigarettes, and alcohol use, then show your children how you feel about those types of habits by discussing them honestly and openly and by not indulging in them yourself.
  7. Listen closely and carefully to your children when they talk with you. Sometimes, what they say is not nearly as important as the way they say it, and how we hear it. Your child could be telling you what seems like a trivial story to you, but the event actually had significant meaning for them. Important lessons are hidden everywhere, don’t take a chance and miss any of them.
  8. Be aware of the world you and your children live in. Knowing what is happening in the world is important for your families’ safety and well-being. Instilling this virtue in your children at a young age will greatly aid them in their lives when they are adults.
  9. Believe in and practice consideration and compassion for others. Kindness and respect for everyone around us are gifts that we must give if we expect them to be given to us. If we are selfish and rude, then our children will behave the same way to people.
  10.  Express your individuality and independence. Raising your children to think for themselves and stand behind their convictions will only work if you show them that they have the right to do so.