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PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES
Twice each year we offer conferences with your child's teacher. Teachers share curriculum goals for the year and will fill you in on what your child's day is like here at EFC. 
 
To help prepare for fall conferences, each family will receive a Parent Conference Form. We ask that you complete this form and return it to the office before conferences are held. The completion of this form provides an opportunity for you to form a partnership with your child's teacher to identify your child's strengths and establish goals together. We will be starting to use Sign Up Genius as a new, online tool to facilitate conference sign-ups. Look for further communication and instructions regarding this in early/mid-November.

UPCOMING EVENTS
STORYTELLING WITH MIKE THE BAKER
Mike the Baker will be here on Friday, November 10, to share some stories with the children. The preschool show will begin at 9:30 with the toddlers to follow at 10:00. 
PARENT REMINDERS
UPCOMING HOLIDAY CLOSINGS
EFC will be closed on Thursday, November 23, and Friday, November 24, for Thanksgiving. We hope your family enjoys the time together to relax and celebrate.
 
EFC will also be closed on Monday, December 25, for Christmas as well as for New Year's on Monday, January 1, 2018

STAR WELLNESS
star wellness
STAR WELLNESS MOVEMENT
Are you looking for some fun ways to keep those little bodies moving? The Turkey Hokey Pokey is a fun movement activity this time of year!

TURKEY HOKEY POKEY
You put your right wing in. 
You put your right wing out. 
You put your right wing in, 
And you gobble all about. 
You do the turkey pokey
And you gobble all around. 
That's what it's all about. 
Additional verses: Left wing, Drumsticks, Stuffing, Wattle (Head), Tail Feathers (Bottom), Turkey body.

PARENT RESOURCES

8 WAYS TO INSTILL TRUE GRATITUDE IN YOUR CHILD

1. Express your gratitude.
Have a moment of thanks each day when everyone shares something they're thankful for. Whether the list includes a favorite toy, a particularly good piano lesson or a birthday card from Nana, this daily tradition can help develop a positive frame of mind. Older kids might even prefer to keep a gratitude journal and write down a few things they were thankful for each day before going to bed. This can be especially important if your child has had a particularly hard day or is in a negative mood. Realizing the good in their lives can result in a quick and significant shift of attitude.

2. Be a grateful parent.
What an invaluable exercise it is to tell our kids why we're grateful to have them! It goes without saying that we love our kids, and that we're thankful beyond words for their love, their smiles, their hugs and so much more. When we tell them what makes them special to us, their self-esteem is boosted for the right reasons (not because they have the latest smartphone or because they're dressed fashionably). Plus, our example shows them that gratitude extends well beyond material things.

3. Resist the urge to shower them with too much "stuff."
The old adage "all things in moderation" is a useful guideline here. Of course, we to want to give our kids the best, and this isn't to suggest that we refuse to buy them anything but the bare essentials. But buying kids whatever they want, whenever they want, dilutes the gratitude impulse and it can mean that they don't learn to value or respect their possessions. They wind up having so much stuff, they don't appreciate each toy or game or device, as they keep setting their sights on what's shinier and newer.

4. Have them pitch in when they want something.
If your kids get an allowance or earn money at a job, have them participate in buying some of the things they want. When kids themselves take the time to save up, they have an ownership stake in the purchase and gain an understanding of the value of a dollar by working toward what they want. It also teaches restraint and encourages kids to appreciate what they have, as well as giving them a more realistic perspective on what you and others do for them.

5. Keep thank-you notes on hand.
Sadly, sending handwritten thank-you notes seems to be a dying art. But it's actually a perfect way to encourage kids to express gratitude - and as an added bonus, it can make the recipient's day. Of course, it's more than appropriate for kids to send notes when they receive gifts, but we can also encourage them to thank teachers at the end of the school year, Little League coaches, ballet teachers, kind pediatricians, helpful librarians, families who host them for overnights or parties. There are loads of opportunities throughout the year for kids to recognize and thank those who have done something special for them, and it's a habit that if they start young, they'll naturally carry throughout life. It's important that kids compose and handwrite the notes themselves, and we as parents can set the example by making sure to write thank-you notes on a variety of occasions.

6. Set a good example by saying "thank you" sincerely and often.
The values our kids embrace as they get older aren't those we nag them into learning, but the ones they see us living out. There are countless opportunities every day for us to model gratitude for our kids - for example, thanking the waitress who serves your food, the cashier who rings you up at the grocery store, the teller at the bank who cashes your check. When our kids see us expressing sincere thanks all the time, they'll be more inclined to do so as well.

7. Encourage them to give back.
The old saying "it's better to give than to receive" has stuck around for a reason. It really does feel great to help someone else out. Depending on their ages, kids can rake leaves for an elderly neighbor, say, or volunteer at a nursing home a few hours a week. You might even make service a family activity. When kids give their time and energy to help others, they're less likely to take things like health, home and family for granted.

8. Insist on politeness and respect all around.
When we teach our children to treat others with dignity and respect, they'll be more likely to appreciate the ways in which those folks contribute to and improve their lives. By the same token, they'll be less likely to take assistance and kindness for granted, and more likely to give it the value it deserves. It's crucial for us as parents to model for our children the importance of treating all people with respect.

11 Tips for Instilling True Gratitude in Your Kids
 
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD'S READING DEVELOPMENT
For the past several months, my 5-and-a-half-year-old grandson and I have been enrolled in a Beginning Reading Program. The classes are taught by instructors from the U of MN Institute of Reading Development. I thought it would be interesting to see how this program approaches reading development for 4- and 5-year-olds.
 
The biggest message to the adults is "Read aloud to your children regularly." This is the most important thing we can do to help our child develop a love of reading and learn to read more easily. Reading aloud builds:
  • enthusiasm for books
  • stamina for listening
  • comprehension
  • the desire to read independently
And if a child connects reading with being together with you, it becomes a powerful way to communicate your love for each other.
 
In the classes we focus on a variety of wonderful children's books - some of which are classics and others I had never seen. What I find to be particularly helpful is the ways in which the instructors expand the experiences with simple techniques. I thought I would share some of those with you.
 
The books we read are all heavily illustrated picture books. It makes sense that pictures pull your child into the story, increase comprehension, and can help children see the humor when a book is funny. Even though your child cannot read the words in these books yet, he can enjoy the pictures and the feeling of reading by himself. Then, as an independent activity after you have finished your reading time together, your child can page through the book which allows him to do for himself what you were doing for him, which was giving
him the pleasure of the reading experience.
 
Many times, after we read a book, the instructor asks the children to identify their favorite part of the story, or sometimes their favorite picture in the story. That causes us to thumb through the book again and think about what had happened and relook at the illustrations. On some pages we spend extra time and inevitably we see so much more detail in the drawings than we had seen during the first reading.
 
It is clear to me that while reading the books our real objective is to enjoy the illustrations, the plots and the characters. During another portion of the class we work on alphabet skills, phonics, rhyming and some sight words. Those are key beginning reading skills. But to enjoy the literature for its own sake is the most important goal of our time together. 
 
Sometimes we do an activity that connects to the story we read. One week after we had read
a story about houses, each child drew a picture of what she would like to do during each month of the year at her house. We used one piece of paper for each month. The child drew a picture and described what he/she had drawn. The adult wrote those words on the page. By the end the child had become both author and illustrator of a 12-page book! It was fun to see how much the children understood about seasons, family traditions, etc.
 
We also bring some simple games into the mix.  "I Spy with My Little Eye" is fun to play looking at an illustrated page and saying, "...something that begins with the letter P - or something that rhymes with hat." Then we switch roles and let the child be the leader. This game can be done with any book you read, not just alphabet or rhyming books.
 
After reading Curious George Rides a Bike we were encouraged to make a paper boat at home, just like George did. The instructions are right in the book so it was a fun and simple project. We put ours in the bathtub and it actually did float for a long time until it got very soggy. But then the boat became a science experiment! We let it dry overnight and it was almost sailable again by morning!
 
So, enjoy your reading aloud time with your child. Think of ways to expand the experience. Reading together is the most important thing you can do for your child's future success as a reader!

TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS
Now-1/5 Tinkertoy, Build Your Imagination, Children's Museum, Saint Paul
11/7-1/7 How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Children's Theatre, Minneapolis
11/17-12/28 Disney's Beauty and the Beast Jr., Stages Theatre, Hopkins
11/23  Drumstick Dash 10k and Cranberry Cruise 1 Mile , Lake Harriet, Minneapolis
11/23  LifeTime Turkey Day 5k , Minneapolis
11/24-12/23 Holidazzle , Minneapolis
As a follow-up to our Especially for Parents article, check out the Parent Blog for a sampling from the list of the "Best Books for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners" published by the Institute of Reading Development.



Especially for Children
5015 W. 70 St
Edina MN 55439
(952) 946-9971

Center Directors:
Susan Wilson and Michelle Botz
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