Life Balance

Newest
Oldest

10 Safety Tips for Independence Day

My memories of Independence Day celebrations are filled with cookouts, visits from friends and family members, and staying up late to watch the fireworks displays.  My siblings and I would spend most of the day chasing each other around in the backyard and then join with our neighbors in the front yard to share in a cookout.  It was always an exciting time. Now with my own children in tow, the celebrations and fireworks take on a slightly different kind of excitement: keeping my children safe throughout the crowded parade routes, cookouts, and firework spectaculars. I have compiled ...

Infant
Kindergarten
Preschool
School-Age
Read More

Earth Day Activities for Children

Earth Day is April 22th and Stepping Stone School is celebrating the roots of Earth day as well as sharing an appreciation for learning through hands on exploration and investigation! The idea for a national day to focus on the environment was Gaylord Nelson’s idea.  On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans came together for a healthy, sustainable environment. In 1990 Earth Day went worldwide, uniting 200 million people in 141 countries bringing the importance of protecting the Earth and our environment to a global audience. After Earth Day 1990, a huge increase in recycling efforts ...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
Read More

5 Ways to Teach and Encourage Respect

In preparation for this month’s Community of Character focus, I asked my four-year-old about Respect.  He pondered for several moments and then provided an exasperated reply, “I don’t know; what is it?” I found myself challenged to come up with the words to describe this character trait and fell back on examples of when we have seen respect displayed through the actions of others. Respect is one character trait you may easily recognize when you see it and just as easily identify when it is absent. Partnering with you to encourage this valuable character trait, our Steppin...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
Read More

Developmentally Appropriate Chores for Children

Spring is in the air! Which also means spring cleaning is just around the corner. This year, consider including your children in this annual home ritual. Through age-appropriate tasks, children acquire important social skills as they continue to learn what it means to be a part of a family. Children learn responsibility, how to care for materials and pets at home, and how to work cooperatively with family members to get things accomplished. The 2015 Texas prekindergarten guidelines suggest that right around the time a child turns four, he or she begins to recognize personal role...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
Read More

The Benefits of Quality After School Care

Many parents rely on afterschool programs to care for their child(ren) after they get out of school until they can pick them up after work.  Often though, it is difficult to know which program to put them in when the benefits of one program are unclear as compared to those of another.  Many research studies over the years have shown that there are indeed benefits to enrolling your child in an afterschool program, but only after certain conditions are met.   A study done at New York University that was recently published in Science Daily entitled Afterschool Programs Environment...

School-Age
Read More

Traveling with Children 101

Destination – picked; Plans – made; Luggage – packed… But what about the journey there?!?! You plan a great vacation, but then remember you must travel for SEVERAL hours with young children before arriving at your destination.  You may be thinking to yourself, “Whoever said ‘the fun is in the journey’ did not have to travel with toddlers.” Developmentally, young children have very short attention spans and require interaction and physical movement – all of which can be difficult to accommodate in the confined spaces of a car or an airplane. Helpful Tips for Your ...

Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
Read More

Screen Time Guidelines

At Stepping Stone School, we continue to explore the latest research on behalf of our families to remain current with the most up-to-date educational practices regarding early childhood development.  In doing so, we have closely monitored the developing body of research surrounding the use of technology in early childhood education.  Our desire is to support families as they determine how best to balance healthy technology usage in their home while enabling their child to learn about the benefits technology offers. In recent months, much research has surfaced regarding the effects of e...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
Read More

3 Ways to Teach Compassionate Living

As this year’s calendar flips to its final month, I reflect on moments over the past eleven, noting certain instances which stand out in my mind.  These times are often the result of either being on the giving or receiving end of compassion.  Whether by tangible gifts of charity or simply the exchange of encouraging words, compassion takes many forms. In children, compassion may involve one child offering a comfort item like a teddy bear or blanket to a crying child.  Helping a friend pick up her toys or asking someone to come play.  Recent research supports theories stating childr...

pre
Pre-Kindergarten
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
Read More

5 Things to Do with Your Children Before School Starts

My soon-to-be kindergartener asks regularly, “Do I get to go to Kindergarten today?” We’ve marked the calendar, purchased school supplies, met with other up-and-coming Kindergarteners, but, the day is not coming soon enough for my excited five-year-old. Whether your child is entering elementary school for the first time or returning for another year, here are five things you can do to help your child prepare mentally for the challenging rigors of the upcoming school year: Get Reading. Beginning in infancy, reading together builds language acquisition and literacy skills. A ...

Advanced Pre-K
Pre-Kindergarten
Preschool
School-Age
Read More

What I Learned at Stepping Stone School

It seems that many of our most important life lessons are learned during our early formative years. As adults, we take for granted these instrumental lessons picked up while painting and playing in our earliest classroom settings. Excerpt from “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum “These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Wa...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Read More

Gardening with Children

“Gardens offer children perfect laboratories where scientific concepts literally come to life.”  -Pam Mohrmann, author and educator My three-year-old can tell you the parts of a plant, a plant’s life cycle, and which parts of the plant are good to eat. He can identify several insects that help our plants along with several of the harmful ones.  He enjoys pulling weeds, inspecting fruit and vegetables, and eating them fresh from our garden.  This knowledge is the result of numerous experiences “playing” in the garden. Shortly after his second birthday, I gave him his fi...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Read More

Journaling with Children

Most of us think of writing in a journal as a “diary” kept locked away or something we wrote in when we were teenagers. However, journaling is an essential literacy experience. Journal is defined as… Journal 1 a: an account of day-to-day events b: a record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept regularly for private use. Given this definition, a journal can be a rich resource for all. For young children, journaling can be an opportunity to write the experiences and reflections of their lives. How can a preschool child journal if they cannot write? Literacy activi...

Advanced Pre-K
Pre-Kindergarten
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
Read More

Three Stars and a Wish

The world we live in is hyper connected and technology driven, but in this fast-paced society we may have forgotten how to be present and connect with those around us. There are many times I catch myself checking e-mail or mindlessly scrolling through the Internet when my two beautiful children are playing happily in front of me. I am missing the most important moments with my children, and I begin to think, “Do I even know my children as well as I think I do?”   Taking time to connect and re-connect with those we care about and love is fundamental to our happiness, but how c...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Read More

Embracing Nature!

In the spirit of fall, I took my children to a nearby farm for some outdoor fun.  Squatting in a small field, I attempted to capture some cute pumpkin patch photos while the children sat on the itchy hay squinting in the sunlight: “It too bright, Mommy!” my three-year old says. My older daughter whines, “I’m hot!” And then the baby falls back, hits her head on a pumpkin and begins to wail. Outdoor time over… All too often outdoor time is grouped in the “Maybe later…” category of our lives or we shorten it to fifteen minute chunks of time and call it reces...

Read More

Using Work Strategies at Home

We may joke that working with our coworkers is like working with children. But did you know that you can apply some of the same strategies to get things done at work and at home? Foster teamwork – Let your children contribute ideas just as you encourage input at work meetings. Children tend to try harder to reach goals they’ve helped establish. Communicate to be heard and understood – Keep requests and instructions short and specific. Talking slowly, calmly and softly means others must listen closely to hear. And of course, what would communication be if we forgot to liste...

Read More