Recent articles on current research and best practices in Early Childhood Education: 

CHILDREN AND MEDIA: Tips for Parents
by American Academy of Pediatrics
Technology use, like all other activities, should have reasonable limits. Unstructured and offline play stimulates children's creativity. Make unplugged playtime a daily priority, especially for very young children. And — don't forget to join your children in unplugged play whenever you're able. Read full article American Academy of Pediatrics

Building Resiliency in Your Child
by Joan Almon
The capacity for being resilient abides in each of us but whether it comes to the fore depends on a child’s own nature, their upbringing, and education. In the United States, there is concern that today’s children are growing up without enough resiliency to meet the demands that will face them in life. Out of these concerns comes a new image, instead of “helicopter parents,” who swoop in at the slightest hint of a problem for their children we have “hummingbird parenting,” in which parents stay nearby but only swoop in when really needed. They let their children face as much risk as the children can handle. There is yet another stage to aspire toward—to prepare children so that they can range as freely as possible given their age and circumstances. Such children are generally very confident and resilient. read more

arenting Your Strong Willed Child
ave a strong-willed child? You're lucky! Strong willed children can be a challenge to parent when they’re young, but if sensitively parented, they become terrific teens and young adults. Self-motivated and inner-directed, they go after what they want and are almost impervious to peer pressure. As long as parents resist the impulse to "break their will," strong-willed kids often become leaders.
lick here for 10 Parenting Tips from Aha! Parenting

Compassion Deficit Disorder
by Diane E. Levin
hildren are having trouble sharing, grabbing or hurting other children, or worse bullying their way to get what they want.  We can influence the lessons that children are learning about relationships and how to participate in them. Too often, schools are sacrificing opportunities for children to develop social knowledge and skills in favor of intensified academic instruction. Learn what you can do to help your child build and sustain relationships with others. read more

Limit Daily Screen Time to 1 or 2 hours a Day

Nearly 40% of children under 2 have used a mobile device, a jump from 10% in 2011, according to a study by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit child advocacy group.  And, a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study found, children between 8 and 10, on average, spent nearly eight hours a day using electronic media outside of school -- that's more time than they spend in school!  The explosive growth in young children on iPhones and iPads comes just as the American Academy of Pediatrics releases updated guidelines on children and screen time, calling once again for families to discourage any screen use for those younger than 2.

The doctors' group is also recommending parents limit the amount of total entertainment screen time -- television, movies, video games, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. -- to one to two hours a day for children over the age of 2.

Click here to read the complete report

eading Rockets Videos
Becoming Aware of Print (3:58)
ncouraging Young Storytellers (2:21)
eading as Dialogue (:51)
he Building Blocks of Reading (3:44)

When to Start Kindergarten?
"arents have more choices than they realize; and they do have a responsibility to find out what the options are rather than simply acquiescing to what other parents are doing. They can choose to push their child ahead regardless of the school climate and expectations because, after all, the child does meet the cut-off date. They can choose to keep their child out a year, if this is financially possible for the family, because they think he will benefit from the extra time to develop. Or they can search for—and perhaps more importantly, advocate for—a school or classroom that meets and supports the learning needs of their child, where he is developmentally right now. "  Read the full articl


7 Ways to Know You Are Being a Good Dad
We pour our hearts and time into what we treasure—whether it’s your family, sports, friendships, work, or anything else. Author Mark Merrill rovides seve practical ways to help ads and moms nswer that questio. Read more. 


Creating Lasting Memories
by Laurie Rankin
ose your eyes and think of your favorite childhood memory. When assigned this simple task, in my experience, most adults immediately come up with an answer that involves the outdoors. Sometimes the memories involve others, sometimes not. Not once has anyone mentioned a favorite television show. The rapid influx of new screen devices, phone apps, and other electronic entertainment targeted at children, however, is drastically changing childhood. ead More

Gardening with Children
t’s messy, it’s chaotic, and the more children you add to the scenario, the more instruction goes out the window and you just hope something is getting through. The amazing thing is that something always does. The children remember days, weeks, even months later that they picked a chive from the garden and ate it on the spot. They remember that they cooked something inside that they grew themselves outside. Read more

hy the U.S. Doesn't Deliver on the Promise of High Quality Early Childhood Education
Rhian Evans Allvin and Adele Robinson - NAEYC
Most federal, state, and local funding streams emphasize either keeping children safe while their parents work or providing a high-quality early-learning environment, which many parents must supplement with additional child care. That divide limits the ability of most early-childhood programs to deliver on a key promise: creating a level playing field for all kindergartners. What children and families need are policies and funding that address both care and education. Read more

Bridging Our Communities With Clay
Mary Ann Biermeier and Sabrina Ball
Visitors to the preschools are often amazed that the tiles are made by children, parent volunteers and teachers because of the high quality of the mosaic.  The project has brought together families and classrooms, connecting the community as the people create something beautiful and long lasting. TYC Mgazine published by NAEYC
Click here to download pdf of article

Process Focused Art Experiences
Laurel Bongiorno - NAEYC website
Open ended art experiences, with no predetermined outcomes, help children gain confidence.  When teaching is focused on the process of learning and creating, rather than a canned outcome, children's social abilities, language and literacy skills soar.  As children create, they compare, predict and solve problems.  Read more

Engaging Environments & Materials
Deb Curtis - NAEYC Website
When children explore unusual and interesting objects, they engage all of their senses, building on their understanding of abstract ideas, patterns and how things work.  Click here to learn more.

Teaching Gratitude to Your Kids  Children who are thankful learn to empathize and appreciate the feelings of others - a life skill that will serve them well as adults. Here are some parenting tips for teaching young children about being thankful.  Click here to view a 2 minute conversation with Dana Points

10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play
NAEYCE Website
Remember as a child how play just came naturally? When you give your children time for play, you are providing the chance to practice and reinforce their learning. Only you can make sure they have as much time to play as possible during the day to promote cognitive, language, physical, social, and emotional development. Click here to read more.

Let Teachers Teach
The Atlantic|  April 2012
The co-founder of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) explains how charter schools may solve bureaucratic red tape in the American school system. "Freeing teachers and principals to do what they do best is a big step. It takes enormous dedication to students and a clear commitment to accountability in order to work. But when all these elements are combined -- a clear goal and achievable standards, authority at the school level, and flexibility in the classroom -- the results are powerful and transformative. A 2010 independent report by Mathematica found that the vast majority of KIPP schools produced academic gains in math and reading that are significant and substantial."

Read the entire article: Let Teachers Teach

Raising Reading Scores Starts Where Language Begins
Arizona First Things First Newsletter|  April 2012
Dr. Hirsh-Pasek – who was in town as part of the Issues in Public Policy series sponsored by First Things First – said the past 15 years have yielded great scientific insight into the brain function of infants and toddlers, and that much more is going on in the minds of young kids than we can see. 

To help young children develop crucial language skills before they enter school, we need to focus on six basic principles, Hirsh-Pasek said. They include:

  1. Children learn what they hear most – frequency matters.
  2. Children learn words for things and events that interest them.
  3. Interactive and responsive environments build language learning.
  4. Children learn best in meaningful contexts.
  5. Children need to hear diverse examples of words and language structures.
  6. Vocabulary and grammar develop together. 

Presentation PDF: Language for Reading by Kathy Hirsh Pasek 

Kids Aren't Just Playing; They're Learning!
Arizona First Things First Newsletter|  January 2012
Psychologist and co-director at Temple University's Infant Lab Kathy Hirsh-Pasek discusses the importance of learning through creative play. Active, engaged and meaningful play.

Watch the video:  video link

Stimulating Brain Power in Children: Simple Things Parents Can Do
by Andrew Loh
Your child's brain works based on some core principles: shower love and affection, regular breakfast and nutritious foods, sleep, creative play and activities that promote culture and the arts.

Read the entire article at: 

Meeting the Sensory Needs of Young Children
by Stacy D. Thompson & Jill M. Ralser
Young Children Magazine  |  May 2013
All children have sensory processes that help them organize the information coming in from their environment.  A child’s ability to use this information to respond appropriately to the environment—including sounds, lights, textures, motion, and gravity—is known as sensory integration, the way we put together and sort out, and then use information so that one can make an adaptive or appropriate response.

Read the entire article at:

A Medley of Pictures and Children’s Drawings
by Cathleen S. Soundy & Yoon Hyung Lee
Young Children Magazine  |  May 2013
Children draw in many different ways to construct knowledge and to make sense of the world around them.  This article encourages adults to recognize and respect the structural dynamics of children’s drawings and the little flickers of invention that occur in their visual representations and oral communication.

Read the entire article at: