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Homemade Gifts for Teachers

Many children want to give their teacher a gift for the holidays. While this is a great idea and one that should be encouraged, a “World’s Best Teacher” mug or glass is not always the best choice. Just about every teacher will tell you that they already have several of these. So, what should you give them to show your appreciation for all their hard work? The options may be a little closer to the heart for most.

Gift cards

Starbucks Gift Card

It's hard to go wrong with a gift card. These can be purchased at local grocery stores for just about dollar amount imaginable. And getting one from their favorite stores, coffee shops, or teacher supply outlets will go a long way to show that you care.

Homemade gifts and cards

We have found that many teachers love to receive anything homemade or crafted by their students. Your child’s artwork, a handwritten card, or a crafted Christmas ornament with your child’s name and the year on it are items that teachers can keep year after year to remember their students and all the lives they have touched along the way.

School supplies for all

Another great idea is to get them much-needed school supplies. Many teachers pay for classroom materials like lined paper, pencils, sticky notes, pens, erasers, and much more themselves. So, gifts of this nature are often much needed and will always be appreciated. If you don’t know what to get exactly a gift card to bookstores and teacher supply stores is a great place to start.

Donations in their name

For schools or teachers who aren’t in need of such items for their classrooms, they often suggest giving donations in their name instead. Find out what causes your teacher supports or cares about and donate either time, money, or specific items to that cause using your teacher’s name. This will show your teacher that you care and are willing to help others who may be less fortunate and also gives that teacher an opportunity to be a part of that giving.

Thank you letters or notes

Sometimes the simplest of gifts can be the most precious. The job of a teacher can often be a thankless one that is taken for granted. Writing a letter or short note can be just the thing to brighten their day and make all their hard work this year worth it. A heartfelt “thank you” can say much more even the most expensive gift.

Ask just about any experienced teacher what their favorite gifts over the years have been and they will tell you about ones that came from the heart. The ones that really mean something are ones that were well thought out, painstakingly constructed by little hands, and given out of honor and a heart of appreciation, not from obligation. This year, instead of another coffee mug, give your teacher something that matters a little more.

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Wright Flyer Aircraft model

On this day, December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright took their first or maiden flight in an aircraft they had designed together. And while it is unknown if this was the first actual flight ever made in history, it was done in the first ever patented aircraft, the Wright Flyer. The brothers went on to make further inventions and additions to aviation technology, leading the way for all future aviators.

History of Wright Brothers’ Day

President Dwight D. Eisenhower is the one responsible for creating this codified holiday. As such, it is commemorated each year and marked on government calendars but is not classified an actual government holiday. President Eisenhower declared on September 24, 1959, that December 17th should forevermore be celebrated, honoring the experiments of the Wright brothers and all others who have contributed to aviation history and technology.

How to Celebrate Wright Brothers’ Day

Wright Brother’s inventions

Since that time, every U. S. President has made an annual proclamation, honoring the Wright brothers and their endeavors in flight as well as inviting all Americans to do the same. Furthermore, Washington D. C. holds the Wright Brothers Dinner each year where the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy is awarded

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where that maiden flight was taken also celebrates the day with similar festivities, as does Dayton, Ohio, the brothers’ hometown. Many schools are known are to hold special activities that focus on aviation and its history, some even take field trips to the closest aviation museums. Other institutions or programs hold various luncheons and dinners to honor these pioneers of flight.

Individually, many decide to celebrate in their own way by going to museums that focus on aviation, going to the airport, attending air shows, taking a flight, or even taking flight lessons. It may seem to you that this old looking plane the Wright brothers flew wasn’t all that great, especially compared to what airplanes and crafts that are flown nowadays. However, you have to remember that at the time, there was nothing else like this. This was the cutting edge of technology, a dream of the future at the time.

Can you imagine what aviation would look like today if these two brothers hadn’t created the Wright Flyer and made that flight? While their craft is not the only kind that was manufactured, nor were they the only ones experimenting with such technology, their efforts led the way for inventions and aviation leaders all over the globe. This day is meant to remember and honor those efforts, understanding that actions and discoveries made today will someday be a part of history.

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Math learning toy numbers counting

It’s common to hear preschoolers reciting alphabet letters and even numbers. Many can even recite or “count” to 10 on their own. But is this really counting? Does it actually teach them anything about math? Recent research shows that this ability is simply memorization and doesn’t teach them to count or learn differences in amount any more than reciting the alphabet teaches phonic sounds. So, what should you teach them?

Give Real Examples

To actually learn any real math skills at a young age, a child needs to experience actual number sense. This means that instead of showing them the number, having them trace it and repeat its sound, they are given one object, like a toy car. Then give them another one and so on, counting as you add or subtract. When they begin to learn in real life situations like this, they begin equating a specific situation or setting to a specific number.

Sort

By age two, toddlers have the ability to sort or organize and even subitize. This helps to teach them comparisons and form the ideas of patterns and relationships. You will see them separate toy animals by kind, color, or size. By teaching your child to count and recognize the number of objects in those small groups and how they relate to one another, you are building their scientific inquiry skills.

Measure

Measurement Concept

This is continued even more when we draw on a child’s attraction with size. As we work with them to form relationships of bigger and smaller, we can begin to introduce the concepts of measurement, such as miles, inches, and/or pounds. This is one of the best and simplest ways to teach your child about math, as we use size constantly in every day life. And this helps to create a more compounded sense of logic and reasoning in children.

Speak of Space

Also important to early math skills is the language of space. Words like behind, over, under, in, circle, deep, next, front, triangle etc., not only allow children to understand the world around them better but also teach them spatial representation, giving them a foundation of math vocabulary terms. Make sure to point out spatial relationships when reading books, walking through the park, or even eating dinner.

Picture Patterns

Patterns are largely impactful on a young child’s mathematic abilities as well. Things like dance, visual art and movement patterns such as stop, drop, and roll help children to learn about making predictions, guessing and understanding what may come next and using reasoning skills, which is the basis of multiplication.

Encourage

The most important factor for any child learning math, or any subject for that matter, is a can-do attitude. If a child is to learn and master any skill, they need to be encouraged that they have what it takes to succeed. This attitude of self-efficacy that is learned as a child will most often carry them through their entire life, no matter what situation or subject they are dealing with. Be a constant support and place of encouragement to help them along.

Give your child the skills to succeed, give them encouragement and you will constantly be surprised at the accomplishments they can make. Sometimes, it all begins with just a few math lessons taught at a young age.

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Girl says thank you

In this age of entitlement and materialism, it can be difficult to feel that your child appreciates or is grateful for anything. However, there are some ways to try and curb this unattractive fad in your home and raise children that not only say thank you but also mean it.

Be a Model of Gratitude

It’s a proven fact that children learn from experiences. The same is true when it comes to their attitudes. If you as a parent are continually showing an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness, your children are likely to do the same. However, if you spend a lot of time talking about or making money, shopping, watching TV, etc., you are showing them that you value materials more than thankfulness. They are likely to follow your example.

Reduce Exposure to Contrasting Models

You are not the only person who your child learns from. Materialistic models are found by the multitudes on TV and online. If your child is exposed to these models on a regular basis, they will begin to emulate their ideas and values, ones that you may not want in your home. It is suggested that children 2 and up have no more than two hours of screen time per day (TV, computer, video game, and smartphone included).

And when they do come into contact with those values be there to talk about the intentions of the ad and how unrealistic many of them are. This will help to discourage your child’s desire to be that way or want a certain product.

Encourage Intrinsic Values

Happy Family

Research has shown that intrinsic values starkly contrast those that are taught by materialism. This means that if you teach your child to understand and appreciate ideas like having good and healthy relationships, trying to leave the world a better place, and following your own interests and curiosity for personal growth they will be less likely to think selfishly about themselves and what they want and do not have.

Expose them to Suffering and Beauty

When your children are allowed to see true suffering and beauty, they begin to see what they have in comparison and be grateful. Take your child to the local soup kitchen and serve a meal, volunteer your family for mission projects where your children will see others in need. You will be amazed at what they learn from those experiences.

True and deep beauty can have much of the same effect. Museums and nature are great places to start when looking for beauty. This can open their eyes to some of the vastness of the world and life. Typically, this sense of awe and wonder can start a conversation about gratefulness and contentment.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the many advertisements screaming for our attention and that of our children. However, we must remember that the impact of those may have a resounding effect on our youngsters, one that isn’t very desirous. Try at least one of these tips in your home and see how your child is affected. Start small and work your way up. You may just find that your child is genuinely more appreciative.

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How To Teach Persistence

At some point, every student finds a subject, an activity, or a situation that they no longer want to continue. It could be the new book they have been assigned in class or maybe the algebra problems they were sent home with. Maybe it’s a sport or musical activity. But we can’t let them simply quit. This is their education and it's too important. A little persistence can go a long way, but how you can get your middle or high school student to understand that and put it to good use?

Don’t Rush to the Rescue

As parents, it is difficult to see our children struggling, no matter what it is. And often times we find it tempting to come to their rescue and make it all better. However, that doesn’t teach them persistence. We all learn by trial and error. That means we have to give them a chance to fail and succeed on their own.

So instead of doing it for them, work through it together and ask them to do the thinking. If they never learn to do it on their own, they will never be able to solve their own problems. Life, in general, isn’t always fair or easy. Letting them work through these situations will teach them to persevere even if life isn’t being gentle.

Don’t Rush to the Rescue

Talk About it

Sometimes the best way to help them understand is to just talk about it with them. Hearing about the importance of persistence often can greatly benefit your child. If they are constantly hearing phrases such as, “I can do it,” “I won’t quit,” or “It’s always hardest the first time,” it’s much easier for them face problems with your positive voice in their heads. You might think of a family persistence mantra to say often, such as “Mistakes won’t get us down.”

Give them a Gentle Nudge

Pushing your child can be difficult for both parents and children, but it can make a world of difference. As creatures of habit, many of us, including our students, tend to stay in our comfort zone without straying too far. However, you can help your child by pushing them to try just a little harder, practice a little longer, and make it a little more challenging.

The key is to not push too hard or make expectations too great. A child will easily get discouraged and the lesson will be lost to them if are never able to reach your goals. A simple kitchen timer can work wonders here. For example, instead of only practicing their band instrument for 10 minutes, add another five minutes. And when they complain or grumble about it, remind them of their past achievements and give them encouragement.

When your child is feeling defeated and begins to say he can’t, make sure to remind him of all the times that he has. Use your family persistence mantra and give her a little nudge in the right direction. Your child needs to hear this from you and will benefit greatly from these persistence lessons that will last a lifetime.

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Pouring Water into Cup

Not many children or teens actually enjoy doing chores, in fact neither do many adults. However, these are activities are a must and so we do them. For teens, they can be an invaluable way to teach some very crucial life lessons, as well as prepare them for life as an adult. Below are a few common household chores most teens are very capable of completing on a daily or weekly basis.

Do Their Own Laundry

This is fairly simple. Teach them load and use the washer and dryer in your home. Washing their own laundry, including towels and sheets will help them to prepare for college life. This should also include folding and/or putting away the laundry, and even using an iron.

Sweep and Vacuum

They aren’t too young to walk behind the vacuum in the living room or sweep the kitchen with a broom. Depending on your teen and your typical cleaning schedule, you could have them do one room at a time or make it a larger project.

Take Out the Trash

Most families have a weekly trash pick up day. Your teen is old enough to go room to room emptying trash baskets and collecting them to be taken out each week. While this helps keep the house tidy, it also serves to teach your child some responsibility about making sure tasks are completed before a specific due date.

Tidy the Bathroom

You know that toothpaste residue that the sink always seems to be caked in? Your teen is now old enough to scrub it out himself. This is part of teaching them to pick up after themselves. They can also clean counters, mirrors, and even the toilet.

Take Care of Pets

If your family includes a few four-legged members, having your teen clean the litter box or feed and water them are simple tasks they can handle. You might even allow them to take them for walks or give them a batch occasionally.

Washing Dishes

Washing Dishes

Now is the perfect age for your teen to learn how to load, run, and unload the dishwasher. You can help them out by completing part of that task or give them the entire daily task, depending on your teen. They can also learn to scrub pots, pans, and items that might not be dishwasher appropriate.

Making Dinner

At this age, your teen should be perfectly able to prepare some simple and well-balanced meals. This does not mean mac-n-cheese out of a box. This will ensure that your teen doesn’t starve when he moves out of your home for college. Spaghetti is a good starting point and is easy to master.

Start instilling these life lessons in your teen today and soon you will find that not only do you have a shorter to-do list but your child will have learned some responsibility and be well on their way to a successful adulthood.

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Group of Children’s

Whether you have children or not, it's nearly impossible to see that they are our future. In just a few short years, those that are right now playing tag with their friends in the schoolyard or learning to tie their shoes and button up their shirts will be leading our nations, teaching in our schools, and tending the sick and dying. They will be in charge of making important decisions, leading their own children, and making the world a better place. So why shouldn’t we celebrate them? This day is made to honor all that they are right now and all they can be.

History of Universal Children’s Day

In 1954, the General Assembly of the United Nations first announced this day. They had two goals in mind. First, it is meant to encourage children to spend time together; learning from one another, getting to know each other, and understanding their differences, races, and religions. It is from this learning and understanding of each other that peace is built upon.

Secondly, this day is meant to bring awareness to the problems that face today’s children in governments worldwide. If we can change someone’s mind or allow them to see children who are struggling with certain issues, maybe changes can be made to better their future and the future of the world.

Since its inception, this holiday has served many honorable causes such as making sure children everywhere are given a good education and access to schools. It as also helped the commitment to stopping HIV/AIDS and other diseases that all too often affect children.

How to Celebrate This Day?

How to Celebrate Universal Children’s Day

While the United Nations has announced this day to be on November 20th every year, almost every nation celebrates this holiday on a different day. For example, in Cuba, it is held on the third Sunday of July, in South Sudan they celebrate “Children’s Day” on December 23rd, and in Poland on June 1st. Nearly every country has their own established day to celebrate the joys and gifts of children, however, the goal is same everywhere: to promote peace and concern for the future of our world through our children.

Some towns and areas may hold large festivals, while others celebrate in a much more informal and private way. Many simply spend the day with their children or the children who most influence their life.

If you have children of your own, this is a good day to spend with them, enjoying their presence, doing something they enjoy, and making memories together. It won’t be long before these young and care-free individuals will be grown and making independent choices without your help or guidance. Use this day to teach them of other cultures, environments, and different parts of the world, so they are better prepared for their future and all the wonders it may hold.

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Mother hepls her child in homework

Time management can be stressful for any adult, especially if you have children. Think about it. How often do you have to ask your child what is taking them so long or tell them to hurry up? If you are anything like most of us, its pretty often. However, you can help gain some of your sanity back by teaching them some basic time management skills.

Measuring VS Telling Time

This is teaching them to tell time, this showing them how to measure it. Even if they already know how to tell time, most kids struggle with measuring how much time certain tasks take. This why there is such exaggeration among youngsters when it comes to this topic. Set a timer during a math project or task they are working on. Or keep an eye on the clock and give them a countdown as they work. This helps them to get a better feel of what one hour or even one minute actually feels like. As they get better adjusted, you will be able to say things like “We are leaving in 15 minutes,” and they will understand that they don’t have time to watch TV, get a snack, and take a shower first.

Make A Calendar

This is a great way to teach children about what it takes to schedule your week and your day. While this can be family fun, art activity, it also teaches each child about what other members of the family have going on. It also gives them an idea of how they need to prioritize their time to make sure everything and everyone can work together. In addition to a calendar for the whole family, having one for each specific child or member of the family is a great idea. This allows a child to be even more creative with their schedule. Work with them to list daily activities, chores, and homework and prioritize them accordingly.

Don’t Be Too Busy

A common mistake for many households is that they feel the need to be involved in everything at once. This leads to double booking, miscommunication, and a constantly revolving door. Children quickly get worn out and frustrated if all they do is go, go, go. While this does teach them to watch the clock, it doesn’t give them the opportunity to learn time management skills the right way. Instead, make sure to not overbook your kids’ schedules. One of the best learning tools for children is free time and free play. So, make sure to schedule down time into your week and day. This enables the child to focus on more than just the ticking clock.

It Has To Be Fun

Time management for a child is not just about a clock and learning to tell time. Its learning to prioritize activities, free time, homework and much more. The best way to get them to understand it is to make it fun for them to do. Use kid friendly tools like colorful magnetic calendars, a bright and cheerful to do list that they can color and design themselves, or apps that are geared for children for those that love technology. Use stickers, make tasks a game, try to beat the clock. The more fun they have completing tasks, the more likely they are to learn the importance of time management and be able to utilize it.

For more tips and tricks click here.

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Best Brians Public Speaking Program

Public speaking has many benefits for professional success. But did you know that it has been proven to have many positive influences on a child’s academic success as well? For more information keep reading.Public speaking has many benefits for professional success. But did you know that it has been proven to have many positive influences on a child’s academic success as well? For more information keep reading.

Increased Listening Skills

As children enroll in speech classes or leagues like the one we offer, they get accustomed to hearing other students present topics of a wide variety and with many different opinions and viewpoints. These opinions may differ drastically from their own.

As a result, these children learn to listen not only to other viewpoints but also learn to understand why they may have differing opinions. This teaches them to compromise and find solutions to relational issues between family, friends, and coworkers in the future.

Increases Courage And Influence

Engaging in public speaking of any kind requires that a student voices their own opinion in the hope that they can positively influence others. By learning to do this successfully, a child becomes comfortable with this task, whether its speaking in front of a large group or just a few peers who may need some sound advice.

Childhood, in general, is a time of great change and personal growth. By giving your child the tool of public speaking, you give them the opportunity to voice their own opinion on things that matter, instead of simply following the crowd.

Improved Academics Overall

A crucial part of every good public speaking or speech class is to help children learn to research and write their own speeches. This trains them to dive into wells of information about certain topics and choose what is the most important or the most influential.

As a result, students learn better research skills and analytical thought processes that help them relate topics to each other and to be well-reasoned. When these skills are applied to other subjects and classes, students’ grades are shown to improve and papers are more thought out.

Overcoming Fear

The number one fear in the world over is public speaking. Therefore, it is likely that your child will be uncomfortable with this class. However, that fear can be overcome. A great public speaking class can take this child’s fear and turn it into an amazing tool for them to use for the rest of their life.

While the butterflies may still exist a little, your child will build confidence in their abilities to deliver presentations and be able to do so with conviction. Soon they will be using their skills to influence others for good, no matter how nervous they are.

Preparation For The Future

One of the most sought-after qualities of an employee is effective communication skills. So, it stands to reason, that learning to do well at this would enrich a student’s life, especially when it comes time to move towards a career.

These are also qualities of a great leader as well. Giving your child the opportunity to improve their leadership skills is an unmatched gift that will serve them and their community for years to come.

Those with a high degree of confidence, a listening ear, the ability to work well with others, and to also understand and relate to others can accomplish just about anything. These skills are needed in all areas of life. This is why we think it is so important for children to begin learning about speech at a young age. Our Speech League is designed to teach students to write and present various types of speeches all while cultivating their leadership skills, communication, and social skills.

For more information on our Public Speaking Classes and to enroll your child, click here.

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