With the holiday season in full swing, it’s important for children to know that Christmas isn’t the only holiday out there. Living in a such a diverse world today, encourage your children to learn about the many holidays people from different cultures celebrate. Understanding other holidays helps children to acknowledge that there’s more to the holidays than gift giving and helps them to build respect for other beliefs and traditions. Holidays teach us to learn the foundations of society, embrace cultural history, and build values.
Here Are 4 Other Holidays You Can Teach Your Child About!
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that lasts eight days, beginning on the 25th day of the Hebrew calendar month of Kislev, which usually falls sometime between late November to late December of the Gregorian calendar. In 2019, Hanukkah celebrations will begin on December 22 and end on December 30th. This holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, supporting the victory of a battle won by a family of eight brothers who fought against the Syrians who made it illegal to practice Jewish customs. Jewish people participate by lighting a candle each night on a menorah, playing games, such as spinning a dreidel, giving gifts to one another, and eating foods with religious significance.
Kwanzaa is a week-long African diaspora holiday celebrated from December 26th through January 1st. Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach, and the name stems from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. The holiday is based on ancestral traditions and celebrates African heritage, unity and culture. Kwanzaa is usually celebrated with singing, dancing, feasting and giving gifts. Kwanzaa also celebrates the three primary colors of the Pan-African flag: red, black, and green. Red represents the blood that connects ancestry; black represents the people; and green representing the abundant land of Africa.
Diwali is one of India’s major holidays, lasting a total of 5 days. The holiday is a celebration of lights, symbolizing the victory of a religious figure, Rama-chandra, who won a significant battle against the demons. The first two days consist of families cleaning and decorating their homes to attract good fortune. On Day 3, people attend a festival, and on Day 4 and 5, people visit their families with gifts and food.
4. Lunar New Year:
Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is one of the most popular holidays in the world. Originating from China, it is commonly referred to as Chinese New Year. But the holiday is celebrated by many East and Southeast Asian countries. The holiday celebrates the beginning of the new year based on the traditional Chinese calendar, and it typically last about 15 days. Each year is represented by one of 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. An animal usually symbolizes and highlights certain characteristics that will bring good fortune to the new year. Activities include decorating with red paper lanterns and lights, feasting with family, and giving gifts.
How We Encourage Diversity at Silverline
At Silverline, we pride ourselves in providing a school environment that is inclusive and open to any race, culture, and religious affiliations. Our classrooms provide students the opportunity to reflect diversity and connection to the world through hands-on activities. We encourage our students to be culturally aware and learn to develop a profound respect because it helps them to be better communicators and prepare for the real world.
With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time to get prepared! Children love the spectacles that come with Halloween, but many fail to realize how susceptible they are to the dangers. As parents, we want our children to enjoy themselves, but it’s also our job to keep them safe. Here are some important safety tips to follow while you and your child go trick-or-treating this year!
1. Pay attention to the road
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal accidents caused by drunk drivers were more likely to occur on Halloween than on New Year’s Eve. That means that as you walk at night, you must take extra precautions. Never assume the right of way because many drivers have difficulty seeing trick-or-treaters. Also, try to use the sidewalk as much as possible and make sure you have a flashlight.
2. Plan your night ahead
Make sure you’re mindful of the weather, and plan costumes wisely. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of walking, and you want you and your child to be comfortable. Plan on where you and your child may want to go and set a curfew because staying out too late can be dangerous.
3. Travel in groups
You’re more likely to be safe with a group rather than trick-or-treating with your child alone. Consider going with your friends or neighbors if they have children, or your child’s peers. Even if your children seem mature, insist on them going trick or treating with at least 3 or 4 other people. Groups are also easier for drivers to spot on the road.
4. Home etiquette
When approaching a new house, make sure you practice proper home etiquette. When trick-or-treating, you can never be too sure if a house is open to trick-or-treaters or not. It’s best to go to a home that has a light on and seems occupied, and never enter someone’s home even if they invite you in.
5. Look at all candy before you eat it
Make sure you examine every piece before you eat it. Watch out for any sharp objects, weird marks, smells and colors. If your child has a severe peanut allergy, make sure to look at every treat they have, especially chocolates. For younger children, be wary of hard candies because they can be a choking hazard.
Halloween at Silverline Montessori:
At Silverline Montessori, we understand that Halloween is a highly anticipated holiday within our students. This year, we’re hosting our very own Trunk-or-Treat event where there will be treats and special attractions to provide a fun and safe Halloween experience. It is free to the public, and all ages are open.
With Pearland being one of the more popular cities to live in Texas, the city has numerous activities for the entire family. Located only 15 miles from Houston, Pearland is within close range of a lot of Houston’s top tourist attractions.
1. Centennial Park, 3219 McLean Rd, Pearland, TX 77584
If you prefer having fun while spending time outdoors, this park is the perfect option! It’s a very family-friendly park with a golf-course, off-leash dog area, and a playground with seasonal water play. Your child will enjoy getting some fresh air while having fun!
2. Space Center Houston, 1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058
If you want to further your child’s development in STEM, take them to the Space Center Houston! The Space Center is one of Houston’s top attractions and it hosts some of the best educational programs in the nation. Children will learn about a variety of topics including the stars, the planets, and what it’s like to be an astronaut!
3. Froberg’s Farm, 3601 Hwy 6, Alvin, TX 77511
Froberg’s Farm is a fun-filled farm that provides fresh produce, nuts, candies, and homemade goods. As we are heading into Fall and Winter, Froberg’s Farm offers a Fall and Winter Festival with themed holiday events filled with fun activities for the whole family.
4. Pump It Up, 310 Genesis Blvd, Webster, TX 77598
If you have an energetic child that loves to jump and run around, take them to Pump It Up! Pump It Up is an indoor playhouse with inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and play structures. With affordable prices and daily deals, it’s the perfect option for a fun-filled day out.
5. S.E.C.R.E.T. SPY GAME, 1500 Binz St, Museum District
Serving ages 6 and up, the S.E.C.R.E.T. spy game lets your child live out their undercover spy dreams. Children get to report for duty and go on secret missions throughout the museum. With state-of-the-art technology and detailed scenarios involved, this experience feels almost close to the real thing!
6. Code Ninjas, 12810 Broadway St Ste 160, Pearland TX 77584
If you’re looking for something educational to do with your child, then this is the perfect location for you! This playcenter combines technology, games, and having fun with friends all into one exciting day. If you have dreams of your child having a future career in engineering or technology, Code Ninjas will help your child get a head start by learning to code through a game-based curriculum.
Silverline Montessori in Pearland, Texas
Our goal at Silverline Montessori in Pearland, Texas, is to encourage our families to spend quality time inside and outside of the house. We believe that when children go to new places and experience new things, it can be an extremely rewarding experience for them. Throughout the school year, we hold several events for our students to expand their senses and offer them different perspectives.
No matter what age, practicing self-care is ideal for everyone! Self-care is defined as working to maintain or improve one’s physical and mental health. It’s best, as a parent, to create self-care routines for both you and your child. As parents, we all know that raising a child is one of the most difficult yet rewarding things that we can ever do, yet we undermine the effect that it has on our own mental health. Parenthood comes with a lot of stress, a lack of sleep, and a lot more responsibilities.
It’s important to take care of yourself so that you can be the best person you can be for your child. Children, especially, are unaware of how significant it is to take care of their emotional well-being, which is why they may act out, throw tantrums, and do things that might seem out of the “ordinary” to you! It’s best to kill two birds with one stone and help both you and your child practice self-care.
Here are some of the best self-care routines for you and your child to do together!
1. Mask days
When people hear the words “self-care”, putting on face masks is what usually comes to mind. Face masks are easy to make and there are so many different types you can try. The most commonly used ingredients are honey, avocado, egg, yogurt, and turmeric. Face masks have many benefits, including clearing up skin pores, and moisturizing, hydrating, and relaxing the skin.
Encourage your child to journal! Throughout the day, we all face different emotions and experiences. What better way to cope or deal with those experiences than by writing our feelings down in a journal? Journaling is perfect for self-care because it helps to manage anxiety, reduce stress, and deal with depression. Children especially should be encouraged to journal because they are at a more sensitive age and period of development. Not only will it help them know how to acknowledge their own feelings, but it can aid them at becoming better problem-solvers.
3. Art days
Plan days with your child where you both paint your lives away on an easel. This helps your child to feel at ease because they’re expressing themselves freely with no restrictions on what to paint or draw. Art has a lot of positive benefits for children. Art can help a child with their creativity, self-esteem, and problem-solving skills.
4. Home cleaning “concerts”
One of the best things you can do for self-care is listen to music while cleaning your home. Music naturally is calming for both adults and children, and it promotes self-expression, and acts as a mood lifter. Having a clean house has a lot of mental health benefits as well, including lower stress levels, increased productivity, and boosted creativity. Doing chores while cleaning with your child will combine both benefits and leave you with a happier child and a cleaner house!
5. Nap time dates
Naps are quintessential for everyone. Naps help you to recharge, de-stress, and boost your mood. Having nap dates with your child is a great way to bond with them as well. Children love to sleep with their parents because of the feeling of closeness and security. You will both wake up feeling relaxed and refreshed!
Self-Care At Silverline Montessori
At Silverline Montessori, we encourage our children to learn self-care skills in addition to educational topics. When children learn how to deal with and identify their own needs, it helps them to become more independent and self-sufficient individuals in the long run.
Whether you’re a child or an adult, anyone can benefit from using positive affirmations in their daily lives. A positive affirmation is anything you say or think about yourself in a positive light to build self-esteem. When you repeat these words often, you can start to make positive changes to your daily life.
How we feel about ourselves affects our emotional and social development. It’s important children know how to create encouragement, love, and support within themselves because they will be more independent and less likely to seek validation from others. It’s crucial to start teaching children how to build positive attitudes while they’re young because it serves as a foundation for the rest of their lives, and it can play a huge part in building their confidence. At such an impressionable age, words can make or break a child’s self-esteem.
Have your child repeat these top self-affirmations every day!
1. I am beautiful inside and out.
Children often depend on their peers for validation on their inner and outer beauty. Teach them to have self-love, and understand that beauty is the eye of the beholder and what they think about themselves is what matters the most.
2. I am important.
Teaching your child to feel important will let them know their lives have meaning, and they have the potential to change the world. When children have something to look forward to, they become more self-motivated and eager to take on new responsibilities.
3. It’s okay to not know everything.
Children need to understand that it’s okay not to know it all because there’s always more for them to learn, and everyone learns at a different pace. Attempting to a be a know-it-all can act as a hindrance to their learning. If children think they know it all, they are less likely to listen to others and less open to criticism.
4. I know my talents.
Self-comparison is the thief of joy, and children often fall into that trap when it comes to evaluating their own abilities. Children often base their intelligence and talents based on what they can achieve academically and are often pressured by a sense of competition among other classmates. It’s important for them know their talents outside of the classroom as well.
5. I’ll be okay no matter what.
Even as adults, it’s hard for us to grasp the concept of thinking we’ll be okay when we go through mistakes and inconveniences. It’s important for us to both understand and teach our children that our problems won’t make or break us. Teach your child that mistakes always have a lesson. Approach mistakes as opportunities to learn something new and improve our results in the future.
6. Today is going to be a great day.
Teaching your child the importance of speaking a good day into existence breeds them into optimistic individuals. They will be less likely to have a bad day if they’ve conditioned themselves into only thinking positive thoughts. This will also improve their performance and relationships in the classroom.
Teaching Positive Self-Esteem At Silverline Montessori:
At Silverline Montessori, we take pride in helping our students become their best selves and fostering a high sense of self-esteem. It’s important to know that when it comes to raising a confident child, children need to understand that confidence comes from within. We help our students develop social skills such as collaboration and respect for others and encourage students to develop strong friendships with their peers. These healthy relationships make children feel confident and comfortable in their environment and in themselves.
Curiosity is an essential driver of early cognitive and emotional development in children. It instills a thirst for knowledge and has a lasting effect on a person’s character and tastes. Because of that, it’s important for children to develop their curiosity in a conducive environment, and with the help of supportive influences.
But how exactly can that be done? Here are a few ways you can spark your child’s curiosity naturally and effectively through Montessori methods.
Create an experiential learning environment
Children in the first plane of development, or birth to age 6, are in a stage where they want to experience things for themselves. Typically, this is when children want to dress themselves, brush their own teeth, etc.
According to Dr. Maria Montessori, “Our work is not to teach, but to help the absorbent mind in its work of development.” In other words, experiential learning helps children learn more about the world around them.
When your child wants to figure something out, assist them in learning how they can do it by themselves. Create a structure to reach their learning goals and allow them the freedom to act as individuals.
Children learn initially by observing the world, and the people in it. Every action and reaction you make creates an impact in your child’s development.
So, when something new or interesting comes up, investigate it further with them. If you don’t know the answer to something, let your child help you figure it out. Be curious, and let your child be involved in the process.
Don’t be afraid of questions
It is crucial to a child’s healthy development that they feel safe to ask any kind of question, and feel confident in their ability to find the answers. Answer as many questions as your child may have, and ask your child open-ended questions to stimulate their reasoning skills.
A different dilemma every day
Find ways to keep your child’s curiosity active every day at least once. Whether it be an experiment from online sources, or a book about strange new topics, make an effort to discover what interests your child. Additionally, find materials that go into more depth about what your child is curious about
Ultimately, the process for developing a child’s curiosity is just as unique as the child itself. Pay attention to what your child is receptive to, and follow their lead.
Sparking Curiosity at Silverline Montessori
Silverline Montessori is devoted to the growth and development of each child’s full potential. Through our enriching programs, our students learn to follow their curiosity freely in a respectful, peaceful environment.
Screens are everywhere in this day and age. Mobile devices are crucial for working people, televisions are a major source of information and entertainment, and entire industries have been founded upon the world’s use of screens. Screens are so pervasive, but are they a good influence for a child’s development?
Let’s take a look at the greater discussion on the use of screens in early childhood.
The physical effects of screens
Research has shown that children spend an average of 7 hours a day looking at screens; basically, a third of each day is spent looking at bright lights behind glass panes. Because of how much time children watch screens, they must have an effect of some kind on children, right?
In fact, they do. For starters, screens tend to adjust our body and mind’s daily rhythm. Screens are bright, and that light goes through our eyes to the pituitary gland of the brain (that’s the part that affects our mood and alertness based on how much light the eyes receive).
As a result, the the body can be regularly tricked into staying up later at night than necessary. In some cases, this can contribute to mild insomnia. For a young child in the midst of cognitive and physical development, even the slightest bit of insomnia can have negative effects on their growth like slowing or stunting development.
Learning with screens
While too much screen time can hurt mental and physical growth, we shouldn’t ignore the learning potential for children that technology has to offer.
Mobile devices that have access to the internet are immediate sources of knowledge. If you can think of a question, there is most likely a link or website with the answer. From a Montessori perspective, this can be a great tool for children to follow their curiosity.
Children are naturally curious, asking many questions about the world around them. Technology nowadays can act as a guide, much like an instructor, for a child’s cognitive development. Just as your child’s curiosity is almost limitless, so is the wealth of information available at their fingertips within seconds.
Conclusion for parents
Technology can be a very helpful learning tool for children if used properly. Apart from over-usage or poor timing, the freedom of the internet can be overwhelming at times. With proper guidance and very clear boundaries in place, children can gain much from looking at their screens.
Screens at Silverline
At Silverline Montessori, we are dedicated to helping children become better prepared to succeed in the modern world. Our computer learning program blends seamlessly with a Montessori curriculum, so that children can find the balance between computing tasks and other activities.
Empathy is the ability to emotionally connect with another person by understanding and sharing their feelings. It can be considered one of the most important characteristics of social behavior and is something that should be taught early on in childhood.
Let’s look at the importance of, and how we can teach our children, empathy.
Why Empathy Matters
The ability to reciprocate feeli.ngs is an important social and emotional skill, for people of all ages.
For parents, empathy can be a highly effective teaching tool. Having empathy can maintain an emotionally positive environment in the household that is conducive to child-development. Being empathetic with your children also helps them learn to love and trust you more deeply, allowing for better communication.
For children, practicing empathy can help them become more aware of their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Not only does this help children control their own emotions more effectively, it also assists in creating and maintaining healthy relationships.
Empathy in 3 Steps
Teach your children to follow these 3 steps to empathy by modeling it when interacting with them:
1. Recognize: Take a moment to recognize what your child is feeling. This initial emotional connection with your child shows them that you’re on their side, not against them.
2. Define: Find out where the emotion is coming from by starting a dialogue with your child. This will let your child know that you are ready to listen to their feelings and that you understand them.
3. Solve: Offer a solution with your child’s emotional well-being in mind. If something must be done to improve your child’s feeling, give suggestions and ask if your child would be willing to do them.
At this point your child will be more open to changing behavior if necessary, because you have established your intentions to help and understand them using empathy.
Practicing at Home
Practice makes perfect when it comes to empathy. At home, it is important to lead by example. Be empathetic in any scenario that applies. If your child is excited, ask them why and decide if praise or celebration is in order. If your child is sad, be open to talking about it and offer solutions to make them feel better. It’s all about communicating with your child frequently.
Talking and listening to your child, and being empathetic with them, can greatly help their emotional and social growth. Following the three steps of practicing empathy, and teaching them to your child, can make a world of difference in the long run.
How Silverline Teaches Empathy
At Silverline Montessori, we understand that children open their minds towards academic development when they feel comfortable and respected. Our caring, trained teachers take the time to learn each child’s name and guide them individually towards growth. Our teachers lead by example and demonstrate empathy every day by how they interact with our students.
Positive reinforcement, the idea that external rewards must be used to build a child’s confidence, is believed by many to be the best tool for guiding the growth and development of children. This is not entirely true. While positive reinforcement is a helpful tool in giving children feedback, it’s not the only means of development for them.
The Montessori method has proven to be an excellent guideline for teaching children to reach their fullest potential, but the Montessori perspective on positive reinforcement may surprise you.
The Montessori Method
Dr. Maria Montessori realized that the key to a child’s full development is intrinsic motivation. She noticed that, when left on their own to learn at their own pace, children have a natural desire to understand the world around them.
The Montessori method of teaching explains that the job of parents and teachers is to guide this desire to learn. Children motivate themselves to work towards intelligence, and we must not distract them from their path. In other words, there is no need to excessively offer children rewards for something they should motivate themselves to do.
Does that make Positive Reinforcement bad?
Not necessarily. While children need to drive their own learning, they still require your feedback. It is beneficial for children to receive some form of reinforcement, such as guidance or affection, in order to remain motivated. However, the Montessori perspective recommends avoiding certain methods of providing feedback.
Saying, for example, “Good job!” is a natural reaction to let your child know you approve of the work they have done. Unfortunately, this creates an emotional connection between your child and the task. Though seemingly innocent, this sets a precedent for your child to measure their own worth by the completion of objectives.
This can have a few negative consequences. Your child may begin to feel insecure about themselves when they fail, or they may become overly confident in their abilities. If your child is afraid to fail or take risks, they might avoid challenges and unintentionally stunt their own growth. If your child feels they can do no wrong, narcissism may present itself and hinder development as well.
To avoid these outcomes, the Montessori method proposes a different approach to positive reinforcement.
Positive Reinforcement, the Montessori way
According to the Montessori perspective, the ideal use of reinforcement comes in the form of descriptive praise.
This is a form of verbal reinforcement that focuses the evaluation of praise on the effort a child places on a task, rather than completion. This is done by describing the actions the child took and their consequences in a positive light.
For example, when your child shows you a drawing they made, a descriptive form of praise would be, “Wow that’s so creative! You put a lot of work into that.”
Instead of biasing the completion of the task, the praise reinforces your child’s ability to think freely and put effort into an objective. Reinforcing the work ethic, not the work, can be much more helpful in guiding your child’s development, and can have lasting positive effects.
How Silverline guides growth with the Montessori Method
At Silverline Montessori, our authentic approach to Montessori helps to guide students towards academic enrichment. With the help of dedicated and carefully trained teachers, students are able to reach their fullest learning potential and develop long-lasting skills.
Pearland, Texas 77584
Pearland, Texas 77584