Avoid A Back To School Breakdown

Avoid a Back-to-School Breakdown

How to successfully transition from summertime to school-time.

For many of you, summer is drawing to a close. You’re bracing yourself for the end of summer, while children eek out their last few days home. Some of you may already have returned to the busy routine of sack lunches and school buses.

Regardless, this time of year can be stressful. There seems to be more to do than there is time in the day, and it can be hard to part with your child after having them home all summer. Young learners pick up on this, and they often approach the beginning of the school year with mixed emotions. If your child is back in the classroom, you may have already noticed some anxiety on their part.

Whether you’re kissing your child goodbye at the bus stop or still hunting down the perfect lunch box, I’ve been there. Every year I face the same stressors, and I implement new tactics to make it easier. Today I want to share with you my three top tips to making a successful transition from summertime to school-time (for everyone involved).

Ease back into a routine

There’s a good chance your summer routine is drastically different from your school-year routine, and the same goes for young children. Summertime tends to be less structured and the activities tend to be less academic in nature. Even if a child spends ample time engaged in critical thinking activities, there’s a good chance they were formatted differently from those during the school year.

Because of this, it’s important to slowly ease back into the school-year routine. Take time to practice waking up and going to bed earlier, and begin organizing your day around a more structured schedule. Your mind and body will both thank you.

This is also a good time to create systems of organization around the school year. Reflect on the previous year and think about how you could better arrange your day. Decide on a few small modifications that will help you stay on top of all your responsibilities.

Create an atmosphere of excitement

So often the idea of returning to school is met with groans of unhappiness instead of anticipation. To help young learners reclaim their excitement, emphasize the amount of fun they will have. As a parent, take time to integrate learning games into the day, so students are already accustomed to the practice.

If you’re a teacher, integrating ample play time that allows for critical thinking practice will help students look forward to their time in your classroom. Not only that, but students who play more are given a chance to discover more. They internalize concepts through the act of playing, and are able to naturally investigate a wide variety of concepts.

Give students a say

It can be easy for children to feel as if they have no control over their life, especially in the beginning of the school year. They’re being told where to go, what to learn, and how to spend their time. Often they are limited in the amount of discovery time they have, and as a result, it becomes difficult for them to take ownership of their learning.

To resolve this, make a habit of asking young learners open-ended questions. Give them opportunities to make small decisions, such as which backpack to buy or what game to play, in a structured environment. Parents and teachers both can practice this, and will find that engaging students in conversation rather than simply issuing demands actually makes them more efficient learners.

Don’t forget to have fun! Your attitude is contagious.

If you’re miserable, odds are your students or children will pick up on it. So as you settle into a new school year, keep your own mood in mind. By settling slowly into a routine, making school something to anticipate excitedly, and giving students a say in what happens you’re setting the stage for an exciting school year.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

The 7 Bad Habits of Extraordinary Parents

The 7 Bad Habits of Extraordinary Parent

You strive to guide your child and give them all the tools they need to be successful in life. You work hard to keep lines of communication open between teachers and caregivers and to be your child’s biggest cheerleader. You’re a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, and a push out the door when needed.

You are an Extraordinary Parent. Continue reading “The 7 Bad Habits of Extraordinary Parents”

Is your child struggling with math?

Even Numbers Have Words!Is your child struggling with math? Work on their language skills.

Tom has five apples and Sayid gives him two more. Later that day, Tom’s sister Jenny eats three of his apples. How many apples does Tom have left?

Do you have your answer? If you said four, you’re correct.

Now, what if I asked you to explain how you were able to solve the word problem above? It goes beyond simply knowing how to add and subtract – after all, the words “add” and “subtract” never appear.

To figure out how many apples Tom has, you need to call on a specific skill.

This skill, of course, is language. Continue reading “Is your child struggling with math?”

Why is building vocabulary important?

Chatty children make for successful students

How parents can improve their child’s vocabulary

You probably remember your child’s first words, and the excitement around them. You likely recall how thrilled you were to witness the transition from baby-babble to full-fledged words and sentences.

It’s an exciting time in a child’s development, and one of the most important. According to The Urban Child Institute the child’s brain grows to 80% of its adult size between the ages of zero and three. Not only that, but their brain is twice as active as an adult’s brain. During these years, your child is absorbing new knowledge at an incredible rate, and that includes language. Continue reading “Why is building vocabulary important?”

Academic Boot Camp Shows Amazing Results!

Critical Thinking Boot Camp for Kids

Fall 2015 Preschool Academic Boot Camp results are in!

CTC Fall 2015 PreK Results

Student success largely attributed to parent involvement
The results of The Critical Thinking Child’s Fall 2015 Academic Boot Camp are in, and the participating students saw significant improvement.

In comparing baseline data collected at the onset of the boot camp with post-program testing, all of the participating children increased their critical thinking scores, some by as much as 150%. The vast majority of the children saw an increase of 30% – 50%. This success is being largely attributed to parent engagement and involvement in the program. Continue reading “Academic Boot Camp Shows Amazing Results!”

Why is summer learning important?

Summer Learning Through The Critical Thinking Child’s Academic Boot Camp
Summer vacation is often perceived as a “break” from education. In reality, this “break” is an important opportunity for your child. It is the perfect time to enroll your child in a summer learning program that will help them master critical thinking skills.

During the summer months, many traditional preschools and grade schools are out of session. Unfortunately, this often turns summer into a missed opportunity. In the fall, when students return to school, teachers spend weeks re-teaching old information. Continue reading “Why is summer learning important?”

Summer Programs for Chicago Kids

Summer Program Fair

Hey there! We’re super excited to announce another event where you’ll be able to meet our team and learn about our Preschool Parents Mastermind which will give parents the tools and expertise they need to plot their child’s academic future.

This event is FREE of course and we are looking forward to all the meeting all the amazing families wanting to change the course of their child’s future through molding an educational plan to fit their needs. Continue reading “Summer Programs for Chicago Kids”

How do you choose the right preschool?

5 Tips: Find the best preschool for your child

How to choose the right preschool for your child

Enrolling your child in preschool can be a major transition. Trusting a stranger with their education and well-being, can be intimidating. Even worse, parents have so many options and face pressure to find the perfect fit.

It’s hard, but you don’t have to worry. With the right approach, you will find the best possible place for your child to learn and grow. There are some simple things you can do to cut down on the stress and make the process easier.

Tip #1: Start your preschool search early

You want time to evaluate all your options, and you don’t want to feel rushed into making a hasty decision. Continue reading “How do you choose the right preschool?”

How Do Parent-Teacher Conferences Work?

Productive Parent-Teacher Conferences: A Primer

Parent-teacher conferences may seem intimidating, but they don’t have to be. After all, you and your child’s teacher share the common goal of helping your child succeed. Each conference is a new opportunity to develop an action plan for your child’s success.
There are a few things you can do to ensure that both you and the teacher get the most out of the conference.

Do Your Homework

The best way to be a part of your child’s success is by becoming familiar with what he or she is learning. Play an active role in their education by staying on top of their grades. Continue reading “How Do Parent-Teacher Conferences Work?”

5 Misconceptions Preschool Parents Make About Academic Assessments

As a parent, you want to help your child succeed. We know exactly how you feel: we’re parents, too. Thinking ahead to Kindergarten there can be a lot of pressure to ensure your child is properly prepared.

Let us help you with our academic assessments, which are designed to take the chance out of education. We will show you the exact areas where you can best help your child. No more running around for resources. No more stressing over whether you’re teaching the “right” concept. Continue reading “5 Misconceptions Preschool Parents Make About Academic Assessments”