Eighty percent of a child’s future success and mental capability is set in stone before they ever step into a first-grade classroom, according to research cited by Kids ‘R’ Kids, a national leader in preschool education. Understanding the significant role a strategically planned curriculum can play in each child’s life is not only important for the schools’ leaders and teachers, but also for parents of infants and toddlers.
With back-to-school season upon us, Kids ‘R’ Kids wants to remind parents of a few simple things to help children get the most of their educational experience. Infants and older children alike can benefit from the tips listed below, and all of these (and many more!) are utilized at each Kids ‘R’ Kids School and Academy – most of which feature SMART Boards, computer centers and foreign language development, in addition to much-needed play equipment and exposure to gardening and nutritious diets.
First, kids need sleep. Studies have shown that missing a single hour of sleep can reduce the cognitive maturation process the equivalent of two years. For example, an eight-year-old will perform at the level of a six-year-old. Children should get a minimum of 8-10 hours of sleep. Less sleep is directly correlated to a smaller attention span, less focus and less self-control. Do not let children go to bed with distractions like iPods, television or computers.
“When children consistently get enough sleep, they are better able to handle things in life,” said Lonnie Hutson, Kids ‘R’ Kids Sugar Land, Texas owner. “I see major differences in children who get sufficient sleep and those who don’t. Children who do are happier, show fewer signs of ADD and do better academically.”
Next, talk nonstop to your infants. Infants through 18-month-old children need to be exposed to 3,000 words an hour. Kids ‘R’ Kids strives to have all its infant room teachers talk continuously, all day. In a sea of sounds, the infant’s brain is capable of determining which of those sounds is beginning and ending sounds on each individual word.
“One way we encourage speech is by responding to what the child is looking at and telling them what the object is,” said Director of Education, Terry Anderson, from the corporate headquarters. “Proper teacher/parent interaction with language makes all the difference. We urge each of our teachers personally interact with each student every day – together with the words and sounds that wire the brain for speech.”
Send children to school with a healthy lunch. Having a balanced diet will make a dramatic impact on the behavior of children, but at Kids ‘R’ Kids Schools and Academies, the nutrition specialists go a step further. Research has shown that artificial colors and preservatives, sugar, processed milk, MSG and high amounts of phosphate could not only have negative impact on a child’s health, but could also lead to increased symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). If your child is not eating at school, be sure to send them to lunch with a balanced lunch.
“It’s not always easy – children have a mind of their own,” said Connie Moscoso, Hixson, Tenn. owner. “I’ve seen parents send their children to school with chocolate doughnuts for breakfast and candy for snack. But we prepare our meals according to USDA nutritional guidelines, and most schools prepare each meal from scratch.”
A child cannot successfully perform “criss-cross applesauce” unless his or her brain is correctly wired. The child’s brain is divided into two separate lobes. The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and the left side controls the right. A number of physical functions – including sitting cross-legged, or as they say in preschools, “criss-cross applesauce” on the floor – require both sides to work together. These simple actions cannot be achieved until the brain learns to use both sides congruently. Sweeping, raking or even kicking a soccer ball will require the child to make a motion all the way across his or her body. This helps the brain learn to use both sides. Make sure you work both sides equally.
Each Kids ‘R’ Kids owner understands how important a child’s education is, especially at the time enrolled in Kids ‘R’ Kids Schools and Academies. Not only does each School and Academy focus on brain development and building foundations, but also on ensuring that children everywhere are primed to receive the most out of their education – and Kids ‘R’ Kids believes preschool is more important than any other time period in a child development.
About Kids ‘R’ Kids Corporate Headquarters
Headquartered in the North Atlanta suburb of Duluth, Ga., Kids ‘R’ Kids Schools and Academies ® provide a secure, nurturing and educational environment for children (ages 6 weeks – 12 years) to bloom into responsible, considerate and contributing members of society. With over 160 locations in 15 states, Kids ‘R’ Kids International® is a family owned and operated organization that ranks in the top 10 nationwide for franchised early childhood education centers. http://www.kidsrkids.com/