Children’s House 2 December 2013 Newsletter
In the past month we’ve been discussing the concept of thankfulness and this flows perfectly into this month’s concept of giving. Children can be some of the most selfless givers on the planet, whether they are sharing their favorite toy with a friend or a hug and a kiss with you (just when you need it the most.) Help us to reinforce this idea at every opportunity and you can use the Amanda Strong Drive as a discussion and learning tool to help them on the path to becoming the peaceful, giving and loving people they are capable of being! We are sending home tennis ball containers with your children. If you are able, please fill them with small items for less fortunate families. Some ideas are underclothes, socks, tooth paste, tooth brush, etc. For example, if I placed some pencils, erasers, a small Lego bag, and boy gloves in my tennis ball container, I would make sure to mark the lid with male child. There will be a label on top of the lid and please mark it adult male, adult female, male child, OR female child-depending on what objects you put in it. Thank you so much for helping us with our charity! The tennis ball containers are due back to school by December 10, 2013. These are also supporting the Amanda Strong families (of Hamilton County) in need.
Have a safe, joyful and blessed holiday season!
Dates to Remember:
December 1: Tuition Due
December 13: Silent Auction, 6:30pm @ Ritz Charles
December 20: Noon Dismissal – NO Aftercare (Winter Vacation Starts)
December 23-January 3: NO SCHOOL
January 1: Tuition Due
January 6: School Resumes
PLEASE HELP US
*Be sure to send your child wearing warm layers as we keep the classroom at 68 degrees to beat high heating costs
*Be sure to send a hat, gloves and a warm coat every day, as we may go outside when it is clear and above freezing
*Have your child carry their folder into the classroom after you’ve emptied it (due by each Wednesday) so that we may send it home the next week with more insight into their daily “doings”
*When your child brings home a library book please note the due date (usually two weeks out) and make sure that they bring the book back in by then. This allows them the privilege of returning next time to pick a new book. Have them carry their book to our book return basket just outside our classroom door.
*The speed limit on Sycamore St. is 20 MPH and on our school drive it is 5MPH. Please, no matter how hurried you are, observe these limits for the safety of our children and parents, and for that of the neighborhood children and for the sake of happy neighbors
A big thank you goes to every parent who sent food and supplies for our Thanksgiving Feast. Extra thanks go to Yessy Handoko for organizing our sign-up. Your children had a blast and showed what good, grateful eaters they are!
Thank you for your snack donations this month. Also, if you have not yet sent in your Basket Donation or your general family donation (solicited for the auction) yet, please do so as soon as possible.
Please consider volunteering for Arrival/Dismissal and for Listening to Readers. We are still in need – so check signupgenius.com, and the Door Sign-ups inside the front entrance, to get those volunteer hours done!
We value each of you for helping out!
Also, we will be tallying and posting volunteer time so far for the year,
before break. Please make sure that you have recorded your time thus far in the binder by the front door, as this is the only way we may give you credit for time donated. If you have not gotten a start on your 10 volunteer hours, please see our signup genius account, or contact us with questions. We would love to have a couple of people who are available at the same time each week to make copies, listen to readers or to prepare materials. Let me know if this sounds good to you!
As mentioned earlier, the school is asking for non-perishable food and gently-used toys and clothing for local families. Please be sure to drop these items off at either canopy. We will also be sending home tennis cans for small donations. Information on these will be sent separately. Thank you for your generosity of spirit towards those in need!
In lieu of teacher gifts this year, we will be putting up a Gift Tree outside of our classroom. On it will be posted slips with wish items for the classroom. I will try to post it in the next week or so. No one is expected to contribute, but we like to provide some ideas if your family chooses to give a gift to the class.
Winter Holidays around the World / Spirit of Giving
Continent – South America
Composer – Tchaikovsky
Artist – Monet
As always, if your family has any special items or skills pertaining to this month’s curriculum please let us know. We would love to hear about different cultural holidays that your family may celebrate. Please contact Mrs. Bowe if you would be interested in sharing this month, or at any other time of the year!
We are gearing-up for our first annual Reading Fair! All students from Kindergarten through the Middle School participate and information sheets will be coming out prior to Winter Break detailing procedures and expectations. Projects will be due and judged in February. We just wanted to give you a head start over Winter Break to choose a favorite, age/skill appropriate book and/or to begin. Please ask if you have any questions once the materials come home. We want the children to be successful and proud of the projects that they choose!
GRACE AND COURTESY
This month we will be focusing on giving and sharing graciously. This can be a challenging skill for preschoolers, but if they are guided consistently, they will learn to be a generous contributor to the world at large. What better time to cultivate this skill?
Why Fewer Toys Will Benefit Your Kids
By, Joshua Becker
“The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation.” – Ray L. Wilbur
Toys are not merely playthings. Toys form the building blocks for our child’s future. They teach our children about the world and about themselves. They send messages and communicate values. And thus, wise parents think about what foundation is being laid by the toys that are given to their kids.
Wise parents also think about the number of toys that children are given. While most toy rooms and bedrooms today are filled to the ceiling with toys, intentional parents learn to limit the number of toys that kids have to play with.
They understand that fewer toys will actually benefit their children in the long-term:
- Kids learn to be more creative. Too many toys prevent kids from fully developing their gift of imagination. Two German public health workers (Strick and Schuster) conducted an experiment in which they convinced a kindergarten classroom to remove all of their toys for three months. Although boredom set in during the initial stages of the experiment, the children soon began to use their basic surroundings to invent games and use imagination in their playing.
- Kids develop longer attention spans. When too many toys are introduced into a child’s life, their attention span will begin to suffer. A child will rarely learn to fully appreciate the toy in front of them when there are countless options still remaining on the shelf behind them.
- Kids establish better social skills. Children with fewer toys learn how to develop interpersonal relationships with other kids and adults. They learn the give and take of a good conversation. And studies have attributed childhood friendships to a greater chance of success academically and in social situations during adulthood.
- Kids learn to take greater care of things. When kids have too many toys, they will naturally take less care of them. They will not learn to value them if there is always a replacement ready at hand. If you have a child who is constantly damaging their toys, just take a bunch away. He will quickly learn.
- Kids develop a greater love for reading, writing, and art. Fewer toys allow your children to love books, music, coloring, and painting. And a love for art will help them better appreciate beauty, emotion, and communication in their world.
- Kids become more resourceful. In education, students aren’t just given the answer to a problem; they are given the tools to find the answer. In entertainment and play, the same principle can be applied. Fewer toys cause children to become resourceful by solving problems with only the materials at hand. And resourcefulness is a gift with unlimited potential.
- Kids argue with each other less. This may seem counter-intuitive. Many parents believe that more toys will result in less fighting because there are more options available. However, the opposite is true far too often. Siblings argue about toys. And every time we introduce a new toy into the relationship, we give them another reason to establish their “territory” among the others. On the other hand, siblings with fewer toys are forced to share, collaborate, and work together.
- Kids learn perseverance. Children who have too many toys give up too quickly. If they have a toy that they can’t figure out, it will quickly be discarded for the sake of a different, easier one. Kids with fewer toys learn perseverance, patience, and determination.
- Kids become less selfish. Kids who get everything they want believe they can have everything they want. This attitude will quickly lead to an unhealthy (and unbecoming) lifestyle.
- Kids experience more of nature. Children who do not have a basement full of toys are more apt to play outside and develop a deep appreciation for nature. They are also more likely to be involved in physical exercise which results in healthier and happier bodies.
- Kids learn to find satisfaction outside of the toy store. True joy and contentment will never be found in the aisles of a toy store. Kids who have been raised to think the answer to their desires can be bought with money have believed the same lie as their parents. Instead, children need encouragement to live counter-cultural lives finding joy in things that truly last.
- Kids live in a cleaner, tidier home. If you have children, you know that toy clutter can quickly take over an entire home. Fewer toys results in a less-cluttered, cleaner, healthier home
If you are looking for quality toys that encourage learning, imagination, and pure play, please shop local at My Toy Garden. Each time Montessori School of Westfield is mentioned, we earn 3% back to buy products for the classrooms.
My Toy Garden
301 E. Carmel Dr., Ste. A500
Carmel, Indiana 46032
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“The undisciplined child enters into discipline by working in the company of others, not by being told he is naughty.”
Dr. Maria Montessori
Have a safe and beautiful Holiday!
Kelly Bowe and Lisa Fox