Friday, February 25, 2011

Mr. Rogers has helped generations of families

Many parents have a vulnerability with their children.  They want to be the best parents they can, yet they’re not always sure how.
An answer for many generations was solved when they grew up with the TV program Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. But it almost ended.
In 1969 Fred Rogers, host of the longtime children's television landmark Mister Rogers' Neighborhood appeared in Washington, D.C. before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications to express his disagreement with a proposal by President Richard Nixon to cut federal funding for public broadcasting from $20 million to $10 million.
Mr. Rogers outlined his submitted testimony, stating that "one of the first things . . . a child learns in a healthy family is trust, and I trust . . . that you will read this. It's very important to me."  The subcommittee did, and the funding was restore.

More than forty years later, Fred Rogers’ compelling words about the power of television to help children grow up, dealing sensibly and humanely with others even when they are feeling angry, still resonate in living rooms, school rooms, and neighborhoods nationwide.
Fujimini Adventure Series books, games and apps are available for supporting your child’s education.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Celebrate Valentine’s Day as a Family

Valentine's Day is celebrated in Asia, specifically Japan and Korea, just as it is in the United States and throughout many areas of the world as a day on which people give presents, candy, chocolate or flowers to people they like as a sign of affection, romance and love. 

However, families can celebrate together.   For a fun Valentine's Day activity, the kids could be asked to prepare a meal for their parents. Ideally this would be breakfast in bed. This can be the start of an annual event on Valentine's Day and become a fun tradition.
Another fun family game for Valentine's Day is a kind of family trivia. Parents prepare a trivia game that consists of a series of cards with a bit of family trivia on each card. One family member draws a card and tries to answer the given question correctly. If correct, the family member gets a point. The one with the most points will get a prize or some extra chocolate sauce on their dessert. Questions might be like:
  • Who suffered a broken arm at the age of 9?
  • Which of us measured the length of tooth paste at the age of 4?
  • Which one of us slipped into mom and dad's room every night until the age of 6
Last, but not least, a fun family activity for Valentine's Day is to create cards for other people. The kids can handprint cards for their grandparents or for their friends. Handmade cards are much more meaningful than the ones you will buy in a shop. And additionally kids get a lot of experience of literally putting their hearts into crafting the cards for beloved ones.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Encouraging Your Child to Develop Thinking Skills

An advanced, critical thinker is willing to challenge others ideas as well as their own. As parents, we often mistake childhood as a time to follow orders, directions or guidance but the key to thinking, intelligence and educational success for your child may be in questioning what they know, what you know and what they read. You should encourage your child to challenge knowledge and entertain the possibility of being wrong. They need to be comfortable scrutinizing their own thoughts. The search for the truth (the positive side of challenging) is one that can be developed at a young age. The best way to encourage challenges to thinking is by reading to your child and asking them to make predictions about the text. As you read more of the story have your child correct their predictions. This is a gentle way of getting your child to recognize the mistakes in their thinking. It also encourages them to correct their mistakes. Reading helps children challenge what they know. You should also encourage questions as you read to your child. This activates their critical thinking skills. Challenging doesn’t have to be adversarial. It can be understated, cerebral and rewarding for your child and for you.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to Help Your Child Understand

How do you know when a child understands something? How can you help a chld understand something? The answer to both questions is ‘talk’. Talking to your child checks and deepens their understanding of topics. Do you often read to your child? The next time you read a book to your child ask them questions about what you read. Engage in dialogue with them. The plot of the book is gate to the beauty and complexity of their minds. Talking to your child engages their critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is about learning how to question, when to question and what questions to ask. It also entails learning how to use reason, when to use reasoning and what reasoning methods to use. Reasoning is derived from the word ‘ratio’ and essentially means to balance. When you talk to your child about a book you have read to them or that they have read independently you are gently encouraging your child to balance or weigh their thoughts and assumptions. You, as the parent, are a critical component of getting your child to think critically about a text. The critical thinking habits they develop under your tutelage regarding reading will last throughout their lives.

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