Help Save Our School. Please share :)

Our fundraiser is posted on YouCaring.com website and FaceBook. The links are below (click on the hyperlinks or copy and paste the links directly into your browser):

One fundraiser posted on FaceBook asks to give as little as $1. YouCaring website,you can give as much or as little as your heart desires.

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We were displaced from our building because the landlord claimed the building was sold and needed us out of it. Although our lease expired on September 30th, we asked for an extension, which he denied. After giving us the impression that he would put us in touch with the new owner, and allow us to stay, the last 4 days of the month, he claims he changed his mind. We had to move without notice to our families.

28 families are with out childcare. 10 Staff members are without jobs and income. We operator 100% on tuition payments. Therefor, we have  no money for anything at this time.

Why give? In this area where we live, quality childcare is sparse. Flexible childcare is unheard of. Affordable childcare is only given to those who qualify for state programs. At Lil’ Bobcats, we:

  • gifted approximately $25,000 in tuition payments so families can afford childcare.
  • created a flexible care schedule so parents could have options whether the care needed was full time, part time, or flexible days during the week.
  • we have extended hours for parents who commute to allow them traffic time without feeling rushed (7 a – 6:30 p).
  • we’re like a family. being small has allowed us to offer a family like environment for the children in our care.
  • we have low ratios. meaning we can give more one on one teaching to the children.

Why give? If the above listed reason are not enough reasons, then take this on for though ~ these children are our future. We need to invest our time, energy and finances in them. We need to be committed to ensuring these children get the quality education they deserve to not only prepare them for primary school, but also to prepare them for life.

Follow the links above and/or below. Please donate today.

Respectfully,

Sophia

Direct Links:

https://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/help-sophia-s-fight-for-education-save-our-school/243856

http://www.facebook.com/LilBobcatsEarlyLearningCenter

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A peek inside my earlier life

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Sophia ~ 1980

I recently had a birthday. My sister posted the attached picture on my Facebook with a birthday wish. What memories that photo created. I was in the 5th grade. For some reason, I see my 5th grade year as being one of the happiest times for me. Moreover, Of all they school photos over the years, I loved this photo the best. 

So many things are happening during 5th grade and into the middle school years. Puberty, Boys, Friendships, Grades, Maturity, Independence. Growth and Development. Brings me back to a discussion I was having with an applicant seeking a position at the learning center. She shared she was unsure about which age group she wanted to teach in the long run. I made comparison between 2 and 3 year olds with middle school aged children. Not at all stating that middle schoolers act 2 or 3, that would be insulting; but to look at each group to understand why both age groups are so frequently misunderstood.

I’ve learned both via text and personal experience that the age groups have similarities with child growth and development. Both stages, the children are trying to ‘find’ themselves. Who are they? What interest them? They are curious to learn  more about whats around them. This age group is developing mentally,socially, physically and emotionally and have to learn how to deal with all of that. Additionally, both groups are developing a level of independence and confidence to want to do everything themselves or make their own decisions. Most important of all, both groups require patience from parents and educations, in addition to love and a little extra understanding for us adults. In short, I explained to the applicant that working in early child care just may prepare her for her future endeavor of working with middle school aged children should her career path point her into that direction. 

Childhood Favorite Book

Other favorites of my childhood include a book written Dr. Seuss titled, ” In a People House,” I could read that story 1000 times and come up with a different ending. I used to picture myself walking through the house, each room offering a new adventure. The mirror affect inside the front cover of room after room after room amazed me. I told myself when I grown up, I would have a house just like that one.  I never had a house like that as an adult, but every time I have the opportunity to read that story to someone, the memories flood my head and the adventure begins. 

I believe my childhood experience make up the person I am today. Positive memories like 5th grade and this book helped shaped me over time. Yes, there were other factors and perimeters that shaped me as well. However, positive childhood experience can direct a child in the way most appropriate than not. As a result, my practice is to ‘be intentional and purposeful when educating young children’. They are at an age where they are ready to learn. To other educators, I implore you to step out of your comfort zone when teaching young children. Don’t be afraid to learn something new to pass on to them. You never know, one day they just might write a blog about it.

Family Fun Night

Please click on the video below to see a family sharing their family time.

When was the last time you hosted a family fun night with your children? Who has time for that? You do! Even with the busiest schedule, there is time for a family fun night in your life.

I am married with 3 school aged children at home, ages 15, 13, and 9. I worked part-time and attended school full-time, working towards my Bachelor Degree. One afternoon, I was doing my homework when my 9-year-old son interrupted and asked me to help him figure out his new Nerf gun set. A week or so prior, I got him the set with the vests that the foam darts stick to. He couldn’t open it until his room was clean. He cleaned his room and was ready to explore his new toy. I stopped for a short period to assist. I asked him to put the vest on so I could see if it would fit him. Once he got it over his head, I shot him with a Nerf dart and said, “It works!”. My son laughing hysterically, got the other Nerf gun and shot back. In a short moment, we were having a nerd war. It was a refreshing break for me and a few moments of quality time with my son.

A short while after, my 13-year-old daughter came home with a friend. They were in my daughter’s room talking. My son and I quietly approached…then blasted them with Nerf darts. They screamed, then laughed, we ran off laughing. The two came out of the room, asked to see the toy and began shooting each other with Nerf darts.

The whole scene lasted about 35 minutes. We laughed, we hugged, we talked, we played…..

Typically, our family fun nights are more planned like ordering in pizza while watching a movie at home, which we frequently do as well. The point is there is always time for a smile, laughter and fun. These moments with your children are so precious. One day they’re home needing you, the next moment they’re gone because most of their day is spent between school, activities, work or friends. Don’t let the good times pass you by.

Ideas for Family Fun Nights that worked in our home:

Pizza and a movie: Order pizza out or make your own together. Stop by a Red-box on the way home and select a movie or two. Push back the furniture, set out blankets, eat in front of the TV and watch a movie together.

Ice Cream Social: Buy a variety of ice cream and toppings. Go home and set up an ice cream bar. Let your children create their own masterpiece. Children can be very creative. My daughters ice cream dish looked so good, I asked if she could make mine just like hers….and she did. The children made it a contest to see whose dish looked and tasted the best. We talked about anything that came to mind and enjoyed each others company. 

Movie night: Simply popcorn and a movie. One weekend, we had a Star Wars movie-thon and watched all of the Star Wars movies. My son lasted the longest. We all waged on who would fall asleep first. The next day, we continued watching at the point where most of us fell asleep. Over the next few days, we talked about the different episodes sharing favorite scenes. 

Pajama Party: Have a pajama party in the living room. Grab the pillows, blankets and snuggies and camp out in the living room to soft music.

Spa Day: Host a spa day. Give each other a manicure or a pedicure. Let them give you a facial. It’s the best thing ever. 

Visit a theme park: My family and I have season passes for SixFlags. SixFlags has a membership option to spread payments out over time. Passholders also receive a coupon book with offers good throughout the year. Some offers allow passholders to bring a friend for free. During special times in the year, we visit SixFlags together. My younger children enjoy hanging out with their older siblings and I enjoy seeing all of us together. https://www.sixflags.com/fiestaTexas/tickets/

Visit the neighborhood park, go swimming, play a game of basketball or flag football, have a game night or a dance party.

Each family fun night listed was the idea of one of my children. See, at one point I lost sight of how fast time flies. I have two children ages 25 and 21. I missed a lot in their life working all of the time. In my second term of parenting, I vowed to value the time we have together and I did. I learned to listen to my children and make time for what’s important in all of our lives.

Family time with your child(ren) leads to positive social and emotional development. Children are able to understand more about relationship when they have something positive and meaningful to relate to. By spending time with your children, you are teaching them language, problem solving, giving them choices, allowing them to be creative and interactive in family planning. These skills will help them tremendously not only in an early childcare program, but with school readiness as well. Your child would have developed imagination skills, learned to play games with rules or conditions, and know how to follow and carry out more than one task. In short, family time seems like just playing, but there is so much more going on deep down within.

For more ideas (with and without educational content), I subscribe to various family magazines and educational websites such a Family Fun Magazine, Woo! Jr. and Education.com. Both have wonderful ideas about things you can do at home with your children.

Here are the links:

Family Fun Magazine http://www.parents.com/familyfun-magazine/

Education.com http://www.education.com/

Woo! Jr http://www.woojr.com/

I really hope you found this topic helpful.

Enjoy your Family Time,

Sophia

Video

Positive Child Guidance

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The video explains the difference between discipline and child guidance. The speakers explains guidance techniques and the different styles of guidance.

There are four parts to the each video series (videos I, II and III).
Part 2 of 4: http://youtu.be/ty6MmDM6na8
Part 3 of 4: http://youtu.be/EtqsKGh0Gxk
Part 4 of 4: http://youtu.be/BxdUy9PScvk

So that you don’t get overwhelmed. The additional series will be posted over time.

Choosing Childcare

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imagesAs I prepare to open a new child development center, I find myself answering questions such as what type of curriculum do you offer?, is part time available?, what ages do you serve?, is it a mixed age classroom?, etc. Finding good childcare isn’t so simple and easy anymore. As matter of fact, in some full time centers, children spend more hours in childcare than they spend at home with their parents or family. Quality care is a necessity and essential to meet the needs of all parties.

The first step in choosing child care is to determine what type of care you need. Full time care or part time. Full day or Half day? Home care or Licensed Center?

The second step is to check out the center. Call, Visit, Search them online. The Department of Family and Protective Services has a child care search that gives very detail information about providers registered with them. It’s not easy handing your child over to someone you just met for hours out of the day. Although children are more trusting that parents and make friends with others fairly easy, the parent should definitely check things out. If the center is not registered with Child Care Licensing, its probably best that you avoid that program.

money childThird, what can you afford? vs. What are you willing to pay? I have seen cost for infant care rate over $800 per month for full time care. Centers that charge these rates may have all the bells and whistles but what exactly are you paying for? More doesn’t always mean better. In other words, just because the tuition is higher doesn’t mean the care is better. Some families struggle to pay high cost tuition because they truly believe their child is receiving better care and service. Don’t look exclusively at cost, also look at class sizes, ratio, staff turnaround and educational levels of the teachers.

Child Care Licensing has several pamphlets and information guides on finding childcare. (Click on the link below if your browser does not automatically open a new page.)

https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Care/Information_for_Parents/default.asp.

The site also has information on parenting, child safety and child development.