Aldersgate Preschool


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Ice cream Social – another year, another fabulous time!

Each year the Ice Cream Social promises fun, yummy treats, great auction items and a wonderful time with our Aldersgate Family.  This year met all those expectations fabulously!

Of course this event cannot happen without a lot of people!  Our staff helped set up things and worked different areas – I hope your children enjoy them all.  Some of our previous staff came back to help work our bake sale – thanks also to everyone that donated those YUMMY treats!  Kendra, as always, helped tremendously as we prepared for things and is now currently counting and organizing our proceeds.  Our preschool board, headed up by Julia Willhite, did a fabulous job collecting awesome bid items, scooping ice cream, gathering supplies and setting things up!

Here is the event captured in small moments! The weather cooperated and many enjoyed the playground in between all the other fun.  I love seeing our families enjoying themselves!

 

We are so grateful to anyone that donated items, sponsored items or even made items for us!  Our fundraising helps us maintain the quality program we are so proud of!  Below is a list of all the people that donated

 


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You mean I have to control my emotions too?

I haven’t really written about Love and Logic on this blog before.  It is an approach to parenting that has been around since 1977.  But, I don’t disregard it as “old school.”  I think there are a lot of valuable ideas within their process.  As with anything, I encourage you to read it and embrace the ideas that feel right to you.

This is how kellybear.com describes it:  The Love and Logic process includes sharing control and decision-making, using empathy with consequences, and enhancing the self-concept of children. They assert that their methods lead to improved student behavior and achievement. Their methods help children learn to be responsible and gain self-confidence.

I get regular emails from them at my preschool email.  It is something they call the Insider’s Club.  Their emails often cause me to pause and reflect – which is always a good thing.   Just click on the photo below to find the site where you can sign up.

Today’s topic touched a chord with me.  As much as I have patience with your children here at school, I struggle with managing my emotions when I am frustrated with things that don’t make sense, when I feel like I’ve made a mistake, and when things that are supposed to work – just don’t.  To be even more honest, I could list many other times that my lack of patience shines obviously for anyone around me.  (Dealing with services such as our satellite subscriber. . . .)  Perhaps you will see why this newsletter email especially spoke to me:

If I’m being honest, I have to admit that I often struggle to control my own emotions. This is especially true when I am driving on city streets or highways. There seem to be more distracted and aggressive drivers to dodge than ever before. Which means I must be more alert, more aware, and more self-aware than ever before. It’s often a great struggle, of course, to remain calm and refrain from overreacting.

Kids today are in a similar fix. Are there more people out there who are hurting these days? More people who dump their emotional garbage onto others? More temptations and pitfalls for young people? Kids today must be equipped with better social and emotional skills than at any previous time in our society so that they can avoid the very prevalent threats to their emotional well-being.

Just as I often feel tempted to declare that I’m never going to get behind the wheel again and brave the dangers and frustrations on the highway, I often feel the urge to keep my beloved children off life’s highways and protect them from all the bad social and emotional traffic. It’s really rough out there and I don’t want one of my kids becoming a “statistic.”

The wisdom of Love and Logic has taught me that instead of overly protecting or overly warning my kids, I must teach them life skills. Life skills are more effective and more lasting than warnings or coddling can ever be.

There is sobering news about these life skills: they must begin with me. Teaching by example is a huge part of raising kids with Love and Logic. On the road, I might take a few slow, controlled breaths and tell myself something positive (and true) such as, “This too, shall pass.” I might repeat some other phrases such as, “Today, I will avoid appearing on an episode of ‘COPS’” (or a reality show, news program, or YouTube video).

While I am driving, I might be very honest in front of my kids by saying, “It sure is hard to have patience in traffic like this.” Does it help kids when we are honest about our own struggles while modeling skills to guard our own hearts and attitudes?

My best hope is that when my kids hit tough situations, they will guard their own hearts and attitudes, just like their dad does in traffic—most of the time!

Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible.
 
Jedd Hafer

 

I would check out their website HERE.    There are also two books that might be of interest to you.


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My dog Rudy helps with the Chore Chart

As we head into our Rockin’ our Responsibilities focus for February I wanted to give you a few resources.  Recently our staff had an in-service about giving kids responsibilities and how to encourage them.  We watched a video that explains the benefits of jobs and duties for young children  You can watch that by clicking on the words below.

Research on the effect chores have in developing concern and respect for others

I also created a list of videos and books that would be great to share with children as you focus on this aspect with kids.

Books:

Being Responsible by Cassie Mayer

How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms? By Jane Yolen & Mark Teague

Good Think You’re Not an Octopus by Julie Markes

Just a Mess by Mercer Mayer

All by Myself by Mercer Mayer

Cami Kangaroo Has Too Much Stuff by Stacy C. Bauer

Videos:

Joey Runs away  (click for the link) Watch a kangaroo that runs away to avoid cleaning his room.  There are some pretty comical pictures as you see his room inside his mom’s pouch.

The Little Red Hen (click for the link)  Enjoy the traditional story of a hen and all her friends that don’t want to help her with the work of making bread.

A German Shepherd helps with chores around the house (click for link)  I’d watch this with the sound off and just enjoy how clever this dog is doing some pretty amazing jobs around the house.

When giving chores it is important to think ahead about what YOU will be able to follow through with.  As with everything with kids, consistency will help this go much more smoothly.  Children will not complete chores to your quality level but that doesn’t lessen the importance of giving them.  Once you carefully explain how a job is done you can let your child give it a try.  I would offer support as children work – but not too much.  Think about having a boss that oversees every aspect of the job you are doing.  You wouldn’t feel like they think you are capable and that would not build your confidence or motivate you to work hard.  Kids actually can feel that same way.  So I would encourage them, hold them to a developmentally appropriate standard, but let them have some autonomy.

How to encourage:

As with all areas, encouraging the actual work the child is doing is the most effective.  Rather than “Great job”, you could say, “It really helps the family when you  . . .”  “You are working hard at . . .”  “I think you are learning more about doing . . ., you didn’t need my help with any of it.”   When we focus on what the child is doing rather than generalizing about the child’s character it is most effective.  This way the child more easily internalizes the idea of hard work, doing his or her best, etc.  On the other hand, when a child is struggling with a task they don’t see their whole value placed on the job they are doing.  I would say something like, “I know you don’t want to take time out to do . . .  but we all have jobs when we are part of the family.”  “Bummer, I know you don’t want to do this right now but it’s your job and I know you can do it.” “I am cleaning up after dinner. It’s time for you to do your job of cleaning the table.”

The Blog post title mentions something about my dog:

Once I decided to use the flipping puppy as a “hurrah” in our classrooms for a job well-done, I also decided to use a dog theme to bring this focus together.

Many of you may remember my dog, Rudy, has visited school a few times.  He is a sweetheart that loves people.  I was trying to think of a way to make doing job “more exciting.”  While Rudy’s primary jobs are to:

Make everyone in the family feel loved

 

Play with the grandkids

   

Play and snuggle

And make us laugh

 

And he is good at all of those things.

He is also good at posing for photos.

And we have fun having Rudy hide in photos – can you find him?

So, I decided he could be a model for the photos for our chore chart.  You can click on the links below the photos to access the file if you would like to print these for use at home.

chore chart

chore chart pictures

My thought was you could cut out the photos of jobs you will have your children do and then paste them into the day you would want that done.  We are sending home a paw print stamper that you can then have your child stamp onto the photo once they have completed the task.  Hopefully doing this is another motivator for getting a job done.

In another blog post I will share many other links to sites that have chore charts and other good resources for helping children learn to be responsible.

Let’s see those kids Rockin’ Their Responsibilities!


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I Want to be Thankful

Today we had a Devotion Worship.  As you can imagine, we talked about being Thankful.

I started with couple of videos about turkeys.  This first one is a song about turkeys.  The second one showed real turkeys and how they gobble.  The kids (and teachers) thought this was interesting.

I then asked the kids “Why are we talking about turkeys?”  They quickly replied, “Because it’s Thanksgiving.”  I then asked, “But is Thanksgiving just about turkeys?”

We talked about being thankful.  I read the scripture,

Let us come before God with Thanksgiving and praise him with music and song.  Psalm 95:2

We then talked about what we are thanful for.  Some of the responses included; my house, the world, presents, rabbits, food.

Did you know we use other words sometimes to say we are thankful.  Gratefulness and praise are also part of giving God thanks for all we have.  The Bible verse also mentioned singing as another way to thank and praise God.

We ended by watching and dancing to a wonderful Group VBS song, THANKFUL.  

After class today we had a teacher training.  We also did our weekly joys and concerns with the staff.  We ended by saying the prayers each class is currently using.  We also said the prayer by Dear Abby.

O heavenly Father:

We thank thee for food and remember the hungry.

We thank thee for health and remember the sick.

We thank thee for friends and remember the friendless.

We thank thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.

May these remembrances stir us to service

That thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and may God bless you and yours.

Wish wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

And may we all be thankful for our many blessings.

 

 


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Upcoming Fun in the Community

Fall is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy activities throughout the community.  There is a blog, MacaroniKid that gives information about events for specific towns.  . Here are a few that would be great for families of young children.

Fall Festival (of course!)

We are preparing for a lot of fun THIS THURSDAY from 5-7pm – right here at your preschool.  We hope you will join us for the fun.

Hot dog meal (with chips, banana, carrots, and cookie), carnival type games, crafts, pumpkin patch, preschool friendly campfire and so much more!  You don’t need to pre-register or anything.  We will collect money at the door to cover the cost of dinner.  Adults, $3.00, children 2 yr and older, $2.00

Touch a Truck

No photo description available.  October 5, 11am – 1pm   (click on the photo to take you to the post online)

Come see fire trucks, police cars, cool cars, construction equipment and other awesome trucks!! PLUS: Food, Games, Prizes and More Fun!

Visit a pumpkin patch

Aldersgate patch is open from 10am – dark.  The proceeds from the patch support youth mission projects.  Your child will have chances during the day to check out the patch with their class.  It would be a fun time to stop and pick a pumpkin and then play on the playground.  Just a quick reminder – we ask you to close the sandboxes and keep toys on the playground you find them.

Here is a place to find out more about the area pumpkin patches. (click on the picture to take you to the online post)

Milldale Farm Fest

Mildale Farm Fall Fest logo Woman helping 2 little kids decorate a pumpkinOctober 26, 9am-2pm  (click on the photo to link to the full online post)

Explore the acres of this well-known farm.  Among other things enjoy a petting farm, crafts, fishing and more.

Trunk or Treat

  Aldersgate UMC annually hosts a trunk or treat.  This year’s event is Sunday, October 27th, 4-6pm.  Children wear costumes and visit the various decorated trunks (sponsored by members and groups at Aldersgate UMC).  Be sure to visit the Toy Story themed trunk sponsored by the Preschool Board.  There are also games and other activities for families to enjoy.

You can always check out MacaroniKid blog for other activities in the local area.  HERE is the link.


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CLICK, CLICK, CLICK, This Year is LOOKING GOOD!

It is always so good to have all the staff back for our back-to-school meeting.  This year we had a photography theme so it was the perfect way to use our HURRAH as the title.

For those of you new to us, we have little “hurrahs” we do at the end of music that just celebrate us and help indicate this is over and we are moving on to a new activity.  You can look forward to learning about those this year.

It is important for our staff to connect so we did that first.  With our photography theme we shared our first and last photos that are saved on our phones.  It really brought about some good conversation.

Next we covered the important items that we all need to know to keep children safe, help things run smoothly, etc.  I like to have fun, even in meetings, so we did this as a game show.

We spent some time talking about why we take so many photos of the kids.  We reinforced our belief that a . . .

a picture is worth a thousand words!

We have heard from families over the years how much they appreciate seeing their child’s day in action.  Having the DVD’s or printed pictures are also wonderful memory keepsakes.

So we spent some time talking about makes a good photo.  One of those aspects is light.  We talked about how we can bring the best “light” into our classrooms.  Through our connections with God we carry the light of his love to reach out to everyone; each other, our kids, our families and the community around us!

Another way to bring the best out of a child in a photo – well in EVERYTHING – is to really get to know them.  I shared this quote from one of my trainings this summer.

You have to reach a child before you teach a child.

Temperament is an important part of each child.  This is a topic we spent quite a bit of time learning about.

I used a lot of information from these two books for this in-service training.  I wish I had some of this information when I was raising my own kids.  We have these two books in our parent library if you are interested.

Temperament Tools; Working with Your Child’s Inborn traits, by Helen F. Neville, B.S., R.N. with Diane Clark Johnson

Raising Your Spirited Child, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Ed.D

We followed our meeting with a wonderful lunch provided by our Preschool Board.  These ladies worked hard for us!


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Back to school – there is a lot to get ready!

Its an exciting time of year!  I’m sure your are busy getting things ready for school. I remember that feeling even as I readied for High School.  Some children worry about things as the year approaches.  It is important to allow those nerves but also reassure children that our teachers are here to keep them safe and to help them enjoy school.

It is also a fun time for school supply shopping.  Every child will need a regular size back pack and we have sent out a suggested school supply list.  You can find that HERE.

Previously I posted information about other ways to prepare your child.  You can find it HERE and HERE.

We are busy too – only our busy is probably quite a bit different than yours.  Our office staff are busy with files, forms, lists and so much more.  I’m busy preparing for our Back-to-School staff meeting.  Our teachers return this week!  Last week we had our tile floors stripped and waxed and tomorrow the carpets are getting cleaned.

We have also done  a little renovating in our bathrooms this summer.  Ms. Virginia is helping out by painting those rooms.  Thanks so much Virginia

It’s a busy time but also a time filled with excitement as we look forward to another great year here at Aldersgate Preschool.  See you soon.