OCTOBER 2020
Greetings!

ANNUAL FALL FESTIVAL
We are sad to announce that due to COVID-19, we will be unable to host the annual Fall Festival this year. 

On Friday, October 30 each classroom will host their own Fall Festival (for children only). Children are welcome to dress up in their costume, but are not required to. More details will be shared by your child’s teacher closer to the date.
CENTER HAPPENINGS
PICTURE DAY
Lifetouch Picture Day on Wednesday, October 28. Lifetouch will be following all of our social distancing procedures and will be doing “no touch” styling. Bri and Kate and your child’s teacher will be helping the children look their best! Keep a look out for more information!
PARENT REMINDERS
FILE UPDATES
Each quarter we audit our children’s files to ensure we have the correct information needed per Minnesota Licensing. If your child’s file is missing anything, we will contact you. Thank you for your assistance!
FALL CLOTHING
As the weather continues to cool down please be sure your child has appropriate outdoor clothing at EFC. We go outside every day, morning and afternoon, and want to be sure children are comfortable to be playing outdoors. Also, please check your child’s cubby to be sure there is extra clothing that fits and is appropriate for the current season.
CONFERENCE TIME
At Especially for Children we have parent-teacher conferences twice a year. The fall conferences will be held towards the beginning of November, and will look a little different this year. We will have the option to do conferences over phone calls or Zoom meetings. More information will be available soon. 

Each conference lasts about 15 minutes. If you feel you will need more than that please discuss this with the teacher. Parent- teacher conferences are the perfect time to talk about your child’s development and progress.
PARENT RESOURCES
HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION GUIDELINES FROM THE CDC
Many families may be wondering what Halloween will look like this year. The CDC has published guidelines and ideas for having a safe and fun Halloween during these unusual times.

You can check them out here:

ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
INTELLECT, THEN ACADEMICS

Every child is, by nature, an intellectual being--a curious, sense-making person, who is continuously seeking to understand his or her physical and social environments. 
-             Peter Gray, Ph.D
We spent a recent September weekend exploring the woods. One of the highlights was discovering the large variety of mushrooms in the area. We observed the different textures, colors, patterns, sizes, and shapes. We saw that some mushrooms grew out of the ground while others grew out of fallen trees. We wondered why some mushrooms are safe to touch and eat while others are not, and why something living grows on something dead. These observations and open-ended questions support the intellectual mind.

An intellectual mind is one that seeks to understand meaning through questions, observation, and analysis. As children grow, their innate intellects develop—they are always trying to make sense of the world around them and their own place in it.

Academic skills are those geared toward a correct answer; they are learned through practice, memorization, and formulas. Academic skills can aid in intellectual pursuits, and they become necessary as children enter their school age years. But research shows that for young children, fostering the intellect through play-based learning curriculum first is vital to the development of lifelong skills in all areas.

Clancy Blair, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at NYU, has studied a neurobiological model of school readiness. He has found that “preschool programs are best when they focus on social, emotional and intellectual goals rather than narrow academic goals. On the basis of his model, an intellectually rather than academically focused approach is most likely to yield desirable ‘school readiness’ as well as longer term benefits.” (Lively Minds: Distinctions between academic versus intellectual goals for young children, Lilian G. Katz, PhD).  

Young children who are exposed to environments that stimulate their intellectual curiosity through play, investigation, and social interactions enjoy the learning process because it stems naturally from the way their minds work. And when children begin to attribute meaning to academic concepts, they will find more long-term success in mastering those concepts. For instance, they may think, Why does science matter, and what makes it interesting? It helps me to figure out what my mind is naturally curious about (e.g. Why is it cloudy today? Will it be cloudy or sunny tomorrow?)

Furthermore, learning environments that emphasize emotional and social development help children to acquire lifelong skills such as resilience, self-regulation and initiative that are tied to school and work success:

“In many studies, behavioral self-­‐regulation contributes to achievement even after controlling for initial achievement levels and other background variables such as child IQ, age, ethnicity, and parent education level.”*

At Especially for Children, our goal is to create learning environments that support intellectual, social and emotional development first. We then introduce academic concepts in a developmentally appropriate way so that intellectual and academic development can support one another.





Angie Williams
Marketing Director

For more information on this important topic, read:

Lively Minds: Distinctions between academic versus intellectual goals for young children, Lilian G. Katz, PhD
How Early Academic Training Retards Intellectual Development, Peter Gray, Ph.D.
*School Readiness: Integrating Cognition and Emotion in a Neurobiological Conceptualization of Children's Functioning at School Entry, Blair
QUOTE FOR THE MONTH
Especially for Children
3370 Coachman Rd. 
Eagan, MN 55121 
(651) 452-0043 

Center Directors:
Bri Dieffenbach and Kate Beck
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