Monday
May092011

Calm and Compassionate Children - A Handbook

Calm and Compassionate Children by Susan Usha Dermond is the book that started it all for me.  I encourage every parent and educator I know to read this title.  You can find out more about Susan at www.susandermond.com.  Below are tips from her website for promoting calm and compassionate children.

Six Tips
from Calm and Compassionate Children

Celebrations, Routines, and Rituals

Buy a calendar that shows the phases of the moon. Each night as part of your bedtime ritual, put a sticker on the day and count how many days remain until the full moon. Make a ritual for each full moon. This could be going for an evening walk together to admire the moon when it's visible. If it's cloudy or rainy, you can light candles at home and read a book like Jane Yolen's Owl Moon or The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons. On earlier nights in the cycle, read Wait Till the Moon Is Full by Margaret Wise Brown. 

High-Mindedness

When you put your child to bed, lie down beside her and ask her to share the best or most inspiring moment of her day. Then share yours. Or you begin and then let her tell you hers. Make this a daily practice, and you will see great change in your contentment and the intimacy of your relationship.

Nature Awakens Feeling

When you are hiking, ask a child to find something, for example, four objects of different shapes, three different-colored leaves, a rock with a stripe on it. Providing a task so specific gets the child focused quickly. After she has accomplished the goal, she will probably become observant and calm enough to enjoy just being outside exploring.

Movement, Breath, and Touch

In the summer, fill a spray bottle with filtered water and a few drops of essential oil. Lavender is calming, rosemary purifying. When your child becomes hot and whiny, offer a few sprays on the face and neck (and spray yourself when you feel frustrated). Keep the bottle in the refrigerator and take it with you when you run errands. It will do a lot to keep your child cheerful when getting into a hot car.

Concentrate to Calmness

Help your child settle down by asking questions requiring a sequence of answers. For example: What are the names of your aunts and uncles from oldest to youngest? Or, tell me three different things you used a pencil for in school today, from the end of the day going backward. Or, can you name all the teachers on your hall at school, beginning from the side door and going toward the center of the building?

Personal Power

 When your son or daughter complains that another child has treated him unfairly or does not want to play, focus on your child’s power to choose to be happy anyway. Never ignore evidence that your child is being bullied, but realize that if you intervene in every little childhood rejection, you are teaching your child that being liked is more important than being in charge of one’s own moods.

Saturday
May072011

One more coat of paint!

Such amazing transformations are taking place!  The lime green color that graced the walls of our new school has slowly been replaced with “Philadelphia Cream”.  It is beginning to take shape!  A special thank you to Cora’s mom and dad who have devoted hours to helping us get ready!  Thank you, Thank you!  By Tuesday afternoon the major work should be done!  I cannot wait! 

Tuesday
Apr192011

April 15th Newsletter

Our New Home

I am so excited to announce the location of our school!  Heart Centered Multi-Age will be making Pleasant Street in Bristol its home starting May first.  After much consideration I decided that this location would best fit our needs.  A major component of HCMA is getting children out of the classroom and into the community.  Being right in town will allow us to easily access Minot Sleeper Library, utilize Kelley Park and participate in other community events.  Watch the school scrapbook section of our website for before and after pictures as we transform an open space into our classroom!  www.heartcenteredmultiage.com

September Themes and Outings.  

We will start the first week of school with a study of the monarch butterfly, complete with live caterpillars that we will watch progress through the lifecycle of an insect.  We will discover what qualities make an insect an insect and look at the monarch butterfly's habitat in a field. As the month progresses we will look at the adaptations that amazing insects posses and look at the cycles of nature and how insects are able to survive the seasons. Throughout the month we will have insects on the mind while on our hikes at Squam Lake, Paradise Point and Franklin Falls (Weather Permitting).

The second half of the month will find us looking at where we live, starting with the Earth, North America, the United States, New Hampshire and our town.  Speaking of our town, we will take a walking field trip to the Fire Station and talk with the firemen that keep our town safe.

We will conclude September by investigating the lifecycle of trees and apples.  A trip to Cardigan Mountain Orchard and a bit of pie making will be in order!

The Benefits of a Full Day of Kindergarten 

Full-day kindergarten allows children and teachers time to explore topics in depth, reduces the ratio of transition time to class time, provides for greater continuity of day-to-day activities, and provides an environment that favors a more developmentally appropriate approach to the curriculum. Recent research indicates that, compared with children in formal academically oriented programs, children in kindergarten programs that provided more child-initiated and informal activities rated their abilities significantly higher, had higher expectations for success on academic tasks, and were less dependent on adults for permission and approval (Stipek et al., 1995).

While our school is a multiage environment of children between the ages of 5 and 8, we understand the need of families for a quality full day Kindergarten program.  Many families are unable to provide transportation for their children in half day programs and others find it difficult to find quality care for their children before or after Kindergarten.  Kindergarten at HCMA is distinctly different than any other program in the area because children are enrolled in a program that matches their parents work schedules and are provided a quality learning experience delivered by a licensed and skilled teacher each and every day.  Some nursery schools and daycares offer Kindergarten programs.  These programs often are just 'spin offs' of a nursery school or daycare program, and are rarely delivered by experienced elementary educators. 

Kindergartners at HCMA spend their days learning with peers and older children, they are not just simply the older children among preschoolers.  Our approach to individualized learning will allow all of our children to soar and meet their full potential. 

Why Heart Centered?

Children learn best in a fun and exciting environment.  Learning to be honest, kind, and cooperative, but calm in one's own body are all lessons of the heart.  These basic beliefs set the tone for all daily interactions between students and teachers.  The early elementary years of a child's education should prepare them on not only for the academic challenges ahead, but also provide them with the tools to live socially adept and inwardly happy lives.

Heart Centered Multi-Age is Affordable!

HCMA offers one of the most affordable private school programs in the Lakes Region.  To put it in every day terms, after care for Kindergarteners traditionally cost 25 dollars per day.  When you break down tuition at HCMA, it works out to 30 dollars per day.  HCMA is open from 7 am to 5pm daily, eliminating the need for any additional care for your student.  Please visit our website www.heartcenteredmultiage.com for more information.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday
Apr142011

Our New Home!

 

I am very excited to announce our school’s new home!  Heart Centered Multi-Age will now be located on Pleasant Street in Bristol.  This location will work just perfectly for the community based program we are offering.  The children will be able to walk to activities around town, as well as to Kelley Park and the library.  We are VERY excited!  We will begin the transformation of our classroom on May first.  Please feel free to stop by whenever you see us there, and check back here for before and after pictures as we chronicle our journey from empty space to classroom!

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