LEARNING’S ALL ABOUT PLAY
Research shows that kids learn best when they’re having fun and enjoying themselves — makes sense, right? So, to help keep that love of learning alive, the Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center (CFEC) offers Playful Learning for ages 3 – 5. The class is an alternative to preschool that includes outdoor play, stations time where kids can choose their own activities (with a little guidance, of course), and ends with music and yoga. Parents are invited to stay and have a snack with their kids, which is a good way to transition kids into the idea of being away from Mom or Dad, according to CFEC’s Keena Stricker, who adds that kids will still learn all those preschool skills like waiting turns, sharing, listening and sitting still for about the length of a story. Learn more at theplaceforfamilies.com.
Want to know how to build your kids’ enthusiasm for school? Head to our website beginning mid-August when our NEW Cincinnati Family and NKY Family Education and Enrichment Guide launches. The brand new downloadable digital series will have new issues online through October.
Get the scoop on what private schools are up to, find tips from local moms on organizing, surviving homework (and testing!) tutoring and more! It’s FREE, too.
What Age Kindergarten?
Cut-off dates for kindergarten depend on your school district (and vary widely nationally). According to the Ohio Department of Education, school district boards use either the first day of August or the 30th day of September as the date by which a child must be 5 years old to attend kindergarten. Find a link to all of Ohio’s school districts, including information on early entrance, at education.ohio.gov/Topics/Early-Learning/Kindergarten.
What’s Up With ESSA?
In December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by the Obama administration after a bi-partisan effort. ESSA is designed to replace No Child Left Behind, and according to its architects, will return more control and authority to the state level, particularly when it comes to assessments.
For now, Kentucky and Ohio are in a transition period gathering input from educators, school administrators, and parents for what ESSA will actually look like in your child’s schools. ESSA will be fully implemented in the 2017 – 2018 school year, but for now, get updates and submit your opinions and comments at the following: In Ohio, visit education.ohio.gov/ESSA or e-mail ESSA@education.ohio.gov. In Kentucky, visit education.ky.gov/comm./Pages/Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-(ESSA).aspx or e-mail KyEdListens@education.ky.gov.
What are your best back-to-school ideas to help kids prepare for the big day?
“We’ll go back on a sleep schedule August 1. I’ve already started stocking up on stuff to pack in their lunches, since the school lunch doesn’t fill them up. I’ll start making pancakes, waffles and sausage patties to put in the freezer. Makes mornings easier and cheaper than buying the store-bought frozen ones.” — DustySarah Frump
“One thing I implemented is a drawer system to make mornings less crazy. We pick out clothes for the week on Sunday after checking the weather, and put everything needed in the drawers. Each morning, they find what day it is and pull it open to get their clothes so they can get dressed independently while I get dressed. I also added visual icons to the outside so they can see what sports and activities they have for the day. We watch wake-up times about a week before to get back on track. I also recommend not only taking a walk through the school, but also playing on the playground. For kids with special needs, I recommend putting together a visual social story book with pictures of the school, playground, classrooms, teachers, etc., which will help reduce anxiety.” — Tina Pratt
“1. Use slip-on or Velcro shoes. 2. Practice eating lunch quickly. I don’t often send fruit cups, but when I do, I put them in easy-open containers. I also put kid scissors in lunch boxes because sometimes they will spend the whole lunch with their hand up waiting and not eating anything else. 3. Start going to bed earlier at least two weeks prior and being strict on morning routines. 4. Pack extra clothes in a Ziploc to keep in their backpack, including socks. 5. Go over the day as best you can and if you drop off, give them a hug, a confident ‘You’ll do great and I will see you soon!’ and LEAVE. 6. If you are considering doing the hot lunch, have them get it the first or second day when there is extra help because then the kids can get used to it with the extra support. 7. Label everything!” — Mandy Boes