Thursday, December 29, 2011

Online Parenting Class And Early Learning Tools From ChildUp

If you don't know yet, Childup offers online parenting classes and early learning tools that includes game cards that teaches kids to count from 1 up to 10 or helps them identify animals.

Here are actual kids that are learning how to count long before kindergarten:
part 1
part 2
part 3

part 1
part 2

ChildUp has 2 sets of game cards
Teach Your Child to Count to 10 - Math & Logic 1
Teach Your Child to Count to 20 - Math & Logic 2

If you are interested in their online parenting classes, do visit them at Online Parenting Class | ChildUp

Friday, December 23, 2011

Parenting Articles - Parental Involvement Is A Key In Reading Improvement

Across England and Wales, 16% of 11-year-olds failed to reach the expected level or better in reading.

Maybe this is due to the rapid growth of technology. Most kids these days just glue their eyes on electronic gadgets and the television. Not only will this lead to being solidarity, it may also affect their reading skills. Parents should supervise and limit the number of hours their kids spend with those. They should encourage theit children to read short stories. It really helps a lot.

As a kid, my parents will read to us stories before bed. Not only did it nourished our imaginations, it made us curious about reading and this resulted in our parents teaching us how to read in an early age. Reading in class is never enough. Occasionally reading at home helps too, it gives children a boost of confidence in their reading skills.

An excerpt from the ChildUp Blog:
"Children going in to school who have been read to as infants; children who share stories with their parents; children who go in to school with a wide vocabulary and an understanding of stories and how stories work and how the world works are at a huge advantage."

Happy Holidays to all!!

For more parenting articles, visit them here =)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Parenting Articles - How to Get your Kids to Eat their Vegetables

We all encountered this situation where children would just shut their mouth and refuse to eat vegetables.
I for one, never liked eating vegetables as a kid. Maybe because it has no taste for me. I used to sit on the table for hours and just stare at the green leafy stuffs.

It was not until my twenties that I learned to eat vegetables. It's really good for everyone;)

Here's an excerpt of ChildUp's parenting articles about getting your child to eat veggies.
"How do you get your kids to eat their vegetables?  Having read all the horror stories about stubborn, veggie-hating children, I decided on pre-emptive strikes by giving Maia the green stuff as soon as she was weaned off of breast milk. Her earliest encounters with solid foods included finely chopped spinach leaves boiled with rice, and served like a watery porridge."

For more of this parenting article, click here

Monday, October 17, 2011

Parenting Articles - Good Parenting Prevents Bullying

I do believe that when children are showered with good parenting skills by their parents, they have less chances of being bullied. Good parenting builds up children's self esteem and they are not afraid to talk about any thing to their parents. Communication really plays a big part in the relationship between parents and children. Being able to talk to children let's you know what happens to them at school. Parents, talk to your children, it helps a lot.

For more parenting articles, visit ChildUp's website. They have tons of parenting articles that highlight the importance of parent involvement for the good development of bright and happy children.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Parenting Articles | The Pre-K Illusion

One of the newest parenting articles from ChildUp | Online Parenting Class is titled The Pre-K Illusion. It talks about some parents leaving their children in nurseries that cater pre-K programs. It is not that real bad but I prefer taking care of children personally before they start school.

As most of us know, the first 5 years of a child's life is very crucial since it is when they develop their foundation for emotional and intellectual development. Children will learn faster with us since we only concentrate on them unlike in nurseries where there are a lot of children and only a few "teachers".

 For the full story, visit ChildUp | Online Parenting Class
or if you want more interesting parenting articles, visit the ChildUp Blog.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Parenting Articles - Are Math Skills Genetic?

are they really genetic?

Base on a new research by the Johns Hopkins University, it suggests that a person's abilities at math might entirely be handed down by one's ancestors. They made a concept called "number sense" for kids who have not yet taken any math lessons. Number sense is the thing people employ when they are sitting at a Florida Marlins home game and wondering if there are 4,320 or 4,750 people in the ballpark.

Accoring to Melissa Libertus, one of the heads of the research, "The relationship between 'number sense' and math ability is important and intriguing because we believe that 'number sense' is universal, whereas math ability has been thought to be highly dependent on culture and language and takes many years to learn."

For more of this parenting article, click

Visit the blog at  ChildUp - Online Parenting Class for more informative articles

Monday, July 18, 2011

Parenting Articles - Children’s First Years Are Crucial

Janet French, a recently retired pre-kindergarten teacher, understands the importance of preparing 3- to 5-year-olds for kindergarten, even when others scoff at the notion.

French started teaching that age level 23½ years ago, a time when many believed pre-kindergarten amounted to nothing more than just babysitting.

According to a United Way of Danville Area initiative, Success by Six, early learning is critical to an individual’s success later in life.

In 2009, the Danville agency was licensed to become a Success by Six United Way, and as such also is the local contact for Born Learning, a nationwide public awareness campaign that states children begin learning at birth; their emotional, social and cognitive development starts the moment they enter the world.

During the first few years, a child’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s brain, so a child’s environment — which should be filled with loving, nurturing relationships and social experiences — has a long-lasting impact on his or her ability to learn.

“We studied the research on early childhood development that resoundingly illustrates that during the first five to six years of life, it is crucial to nurture children in order to help their brains develop to their full capacity, as during those years 80 to 90 percent of their learning takes place,” said Jeanne Mulvaney, president of the United Way of Danville Area.

Success by Six in Danville provides local resources and services for parents, grandparents and guardians of young children “so they can raise their child successfully.

“We aim to provide resources to nurture and interact with parents so their children are ready for school and ready for life,” she said. “We want to ensure our children are safe, healthy, cherished and enter school ready to learn.”

Some of the resources available to local families through Success by Six are the Family Yellow Pages, a guide filled with information about schools and health and human services organizations; the Community Help Line, an information and referral line and database for young families and people of all ages; and new parent packets distributed to families with newborns at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center.

Another Success by Six resource is the Born Learning organization, which Mulvaney says works hand-in-hand with the United Way.

Born Learning research shows that when adults interact with young children, they stimulate language and vocabulary development and build foundations for learning to read.

“We believe their early years are crucial,” Mulvaney said of children. “During the early years, the foundation for learning is built.

“If they can read by third grade, they will perform better in school, have an easier transition into middle school and are more likely to graduate high school.”

High-risk children

By age 5, many children in high-risk environments are already developmentally behind. This gap continues to grow over time, undermining school readiness and success in life, according to Born Learning.

The East Central Illinois Community Action Agency in Danville oversees the local Head Start program, which serves 431 children in Vermilion, Iroquois and Ford counties at 10 sites.

The age breakdown of the children in the local Head Start program is: 31 percent are 3-year-olds, 54 percent are 4-year-olds and 15 percent are 5-year-olds.

Many of the children come from what could be considered high-risk environments. Eighty-two percent of the children are enrolled in Medicaid, and 13 percent have been diagnosed with a disability.

Of the 389 Head Start families served locally, 66 percent needed education, literacy or employment training, and 79 percent were below $15,000 annual income.

“There are a lot of factors,” Danville Head Start Director Jean Cunningham said when determining if a child is at risk.

“Most of the families we serve are at or below the federal poverty guideline,” she said. “Right there, the child is at risk.”

Cunningham described Head Start as a “comprehensive services program.”

“It’s not just educational; it’s about social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth, too,” she said.

Head Start also makes sure children are well nourished so they will be ready to learn.

Depending on whether the child is enrolled in a three-and-a-half hour session or the six-hour session, Head Start provides the child with one-third to two-thirds of their daily calorie requirement by serving them breakfast, snacks and, if they are enrolled in the full-day session, lunch.

“Basic development starts with good nutrition,” Cunningham said.

French ended her career in June at East Park Elementary School in Danville, but she previously taught the Head Start program at Fair Oaks, where she said she brought “literacy to the kids.”

French said administrators and principals now realize the value of teaching this age level to get them ready for kindergarten and beyond.

District 118 Superintendent Mark Denman said he heartily agrees that “early learning experiences are key for the community and education, specifically.”

Furthermore, Born Learning cites a 40-year longitudinal study that followed infants into adulthood which shows that investing $1 in early learning saves $17 down the road, with tangible results measured in lower crime, fewer teen pregnancies and higher individual education and earning levels.

Other studies show children with better-quality early education have stronger language, pre-mathematics and social skills.

Born Learning, however, contends too many children aren’t getting enough quality early learning experiences.

Specifically, Born Learning points out:

--Kindergarten teachers estimate that one in three children enter the classroom unprepared to meet the challenges of kindergarten.

--Forty-six percent of kindergarteners come to school at risk for failure.

--The poorest children start kindergarten one to two years behind in language and other skills important to school success. One in three children is born into poverty.

Higher expectations

French admits what youngsters must know before entering kindergarten is much more rigorous than generations past.

“A lot is expected of them,” she said. “That’s what kindergarten teachers expect.”

Each week, French introduced youngsters to a new letter of the alphabet.

“They have to know and identify a minimum of 20 to 25 letters before they get to kindergarten,” she said, adding that the alphabet she teaches actually contains 52 letters because youngsters have to be able to recognize and identify uppercase and lowercase letters.

“They also have to be able to identify the numbers between one and 10 and count from one to 20,” she said. “They’re also supposed to know how to write their name.”

Just a couple of decades ago, few parents bothered enrolling their children in pre-kindergarten or trying to teach them letters and numbers, believing that their children would learn it when they got to kindergarten.

“When I went to kindergarten, we learned all of that there,” French said. “Parents didn’t have to do that.”

However, teachers nowadays expect parents to work with their 3- to 5-year-olds on basic skills before their child arrives for the first of school.

French said she can detect immediately which children have parents who are actively involved in their education.

“At the first parent-teacher conference, I come down hard on them,” she said of the apathetic parents. “The parent is the first teacher. I tell them they can do it.”

Still, some parents resist reviewing alphabet letters and numbers or showing their children how to cut with a scissors.

“They’ll tell me, ‘Well, he’ll be OK,’ or ‘she just doesn’t get it,’” French said. “I tell them, ‘You need to practice at home. Do you think we’re just playing here?’ There are social and behavioral skills and academics being taught.

“It’s aggravating as a teacher to have parents like that,” she said.

Head Start’s Cunningham echoed French’s sentiments. “Parents are the first and best teacher, and we help them with parenting skills,” she said.

“We look at the whole family and teach them the skills so their children do well in a formal educational setting,” she said.

Mulvaney also agrees that a child’s first teacher is his or her parents, grandparents or family members who care for the child during the day.

Born Learning points out:

--What families do to support literacy in the home is more important than family income or level of formal education in predicting future success.

--Sensitive and responsive parent-child relationships are associated with stronger cognitive skills in young children and enhanced social competence and work skills later in school, illustrating the connection between social, emotional development and intellectual growth.

Unfortunately, today’s apathetic parents are the product of their own apathetic parents, according to French.

“If some parents don’t care and don’t go to the parent-teacher conferences, it’s because their parents didn’t care and didn’t go,” she said. “A lot of it is the home environment they grew up in.”

In the long run, it’s the child who suffers the consequences of not being prepared to learn at a young age that leads to problems later in life.

French said she recently taught a boy who was born on Aug. 20, but whose mother said he was born prematurely and should have had a September birthday.

The boy struggled to keep up in pre-kindergarten and should have been enrolled in the following year’s class when he was older, more mature and ready to learn.

Unfortunately, the boy was going to be retained, but because the school district does not allow children to repeat pre-kindergarten, French feared the boy would lose a year of learning time.

“You want to support them. I feel sorry for the kids,” she said.

Source: Danville Commercial News -

For more parenting articles, visit ChildUp - Online Parenting Class

Monday, May 23, 2011

Parenting Articles - Are Parents to Blame for their Kids’ Academic Failures?

Do you beat yourself up if your child performs poorly in school? If you don’t, you should, according to some states. And if you don’t, they’ll do it for you.

Recent laws passed in Alaska and California allow schools to fine or bring parents up on charges if their kids miss school without a good reason frequently enough. Florida considered a bill that would issue reports cards on parents (not to, buton).

As Lisa Belkin writes in The New York Times:

Teachers are fed up with being blamed for the failures of American education, and legislators are starting to hear them . . . If you think you can legislate teaching, the notion goes, why not try legislating parenting? [T]he thinking goes like this: If you look at schools that “work,” as measured by test scores and graduation rates, they all have involved (overinvolved?) parents, who are on top of their children’s homework, in contact with their children’s teachers, and invested in their children’s futures. So just require the same of parents in schools that don’t work, and the problem is solved (or, at least, dented), right?

It used to be that how a child acted in class was thought to be a reflection of their parents, and at home, parents were supposed to reinforce to their children that in school, the teacher is boss. However, Belkin argues that these days, parents are more likely to point a finger at teachers, the tenure system and unions if their child isn’t succeeding in school.

Various legislation has been introduced in different states to try and crack down on slack parents, including a bill in Indiana requiring parents to spend three hours each semester volunteering either in the school building or at a school-related function to up the amount of parent-teacher interaction, giving teachers a chance to talk to parents and giving parents firsthand knowledge of the feel and requirements of the school.

Another in Florida would require teachers to grade parents on their involvement in their child’s education, and to post that grade on the child’s report card.

Not surprisingly, both bills have not been smiled upon by by parents. Some PTA groups have argued that what counts as “involvement” varies widely and means different things to different parents, and that defining a parents as “good” or “bad” is too subjective.

Neither measure made it to a vote.

But other states are not deterred. In Alaska, parents are fined for a child’s truancy. A misdemeanor charge can be brought against parents in California is their child’s truancy is seen as flagrant. And California also requires parents of gang members to attend parenting classes.

Some experts argue that focus on punishing the parents is misguided, and instead the system should help educate the parents sooner on how to help their kids, and that the core problem is poverty.

While I think there’s much truth to the last point, I think there are plenty of parents who like to blame everyone else for their kids’ problems, and that many parents would do better if the spotlight shone on them when it came to their kids’ performance. If you’ve got nothing to be ashamed of and you know you’re giving it you’re all, then what have you got to lose by being graded?

How much, if any, responsibility do you think parents should accept if their kids perform poorly in school?

Source: Babble (blog) -

For more parenting articles, visit ChildUp - Online Parenting Class

Monday, May 9, 2011

Parenting Articles - Less Sleep – More Obesity, Smoking, Drinking

There are 70 million Americans with sleep disorders who would like nothing more than to relax at night. Now there’s more reason to keep you up late.

People who sleep fewer than six hours or more than nine hours a night are more likely to have health problems, according to the largest government study linking obesity to irregular sleep.

Health problems also include higher rates of smoking and alcohol use among those who sleep too little or too much.

The report finds that restorative value of sleep has been underappreciated in public health recommendations.

In time of stress, the body is known to hold onto fat stores. That’s why diets often result in weight gain. The lack of sleep may also create a similar stressful situation. Expect to see more emphasis on eight hours a night as a key to good health.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics surveyed 87,000 Americans from 2004 to 2006.

Among the findings:

* Smoking rates were highest for those who got under six hours of sleep a night. 31 percent were smokers. Heavy sleepers included 26 percent who smoked. The average rate of U.S. smokers is 21 percent. Among those who slept an average of eight hours, 18 percent were smokers.

* Obesity rates for light sleepers were 33 percent, for heavy sleepers 26 percent and 22 percent for normal sleepers.

* Alcohol use among the light sleepers was the heaviest. Regular and heavy sleepers have about the same rate of alcohol use.

* Exercise rates were low for those who slept a lot, worse than regular or light sleepers. Health problems or being elderly age may account for that

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine finds an increasing number of obese youth are not getting enough sleep. Obesity rates among children and teens have doubled in the last 30 years and AASM says sleep may be as important a component in fighting fat as diet and exercise.

Infants to 11 months need 14 to 15 hours of sleep a night; toddlers 12-14 hours; preschool children 11-13 hours and adolescents 9 hours. Adults should get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

For those who have trouble falling to sleep follow these rules:

* Find a consistent bed time to go to sleep and wake up

* Keep the room completely dark free of lights from clocks or cable boxes

* Keep the room cooler

* Do not consume caffeine, colas or chocolate before bed or in the evening

* Take a break of at least an hour before bedtime from electronics

Also for children:

* Avoid videos or TV shows that are not age appropriate

* Use a half hour before bedtime for a bedtime routine and to read, interact and be close

* Do not let your child fall asleep while being held, rocked or nursed

* Avoid hunger at bedtime

Source:, FL

For more parenting articles, visit ChildUp - Online Parenting Class

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Parenting Articles - When Should Kids with Late Birthdays Start Kindergarten?

On the agenda for many parents this month: Kindergarten registration. Children turning 5 by December are supposed to report to their districts to sign up. And that can cause a dilemma.

Parents whose children fall on the younger side -- who won't turn 5 until October, November or December -- often struggle with the option of holding the children out of kindergarten an extra year.

"Much of these decisions are almost a gut feeling of the parent of whether the child can handle the rigors of a kindergarten class," says Steve Hartman, a psychologist in the Sachem school district in Long Island, N.Y.

Even experts disagree on a best course.

"There's never a downside as far as I can see. It's really giving the child an advantage," says Wendi Fischer, a psychologist for kindergarten through third grade in the Elwood school district. There's no stigma, she and others say, to holding a child out of school until the next year.

But Doris Fromberg, professor of education at Hofstra University, argues that the most powerful brain development happens in the first half-dozen years, and if a child sits out, he or she might miss that opportunity for rich experiences. Gains from holding a child back usually disappear by second or third grade, other experts contend.

Tamar Muscolino of Melville, N.Y., has 5-year-old twins -- a boy and a girl who were born Dec. 3. In her school district, the cutoff birth date for kindergarten is just a few weeks later -- Dec. 31. If she started Brooke and Jacob on time, they would forever be among the youngest in their class.

"My daughter was so ready to go. She's Miss Social Butterfly," Muscolino says. But Jacob had speech and occupational therapy when he was 3, and was more socially reserved.

Muscolino and her husband, Jordan, wrestled with whether to hold the twins back a year. "We stayed up nights talking about it, changed our minds 20 times," she says. In the end, they kept their children in preschool. "It was the best decision I ever made," Muscolino says. Jacob's confidence grew and he blossomed, and now she feels sure he's ready to start kindergarten in September.

Fischer offers two caveats to her hold-them-back leanings. One, if the child has a lot of preschool classmates or neighborhood friends who will be starting, reconsider. You don't want him to wonder why he didn't start, too. And two, think again if the child is bigger than other kids his age.

Hartman agrees on the size issue: "Even the youngest child will be able to pick up on the obvious difference and say, 'Wow, that boy is huge' or, 'That girl is much bigger.' That could open a child up to ridicule."

Lisa Valentine's two children both have late-October birthdays. She says she never seriously considered holding either of them back from kindergarten because their preschool teachers never raised an issue indicating they wouldn't be ready. "My attitude was, 'Don't fix it if it's not broken,' " Valentine says.

Both kids were also tall for their ages -- "off-the-charts tall," Valentine says. "If I kept them back, they'd be monsters." Shaye and Palmer are now 9 and 7 and doing great, she says. "They have no issues," Valentine says. "I feel like I did the right thing."

Donna LaSpina, a special-education teacher at Charles Campagne Elementary School in Bethpage, N.Y., also encourages parents of children with special needs not to hold them back because they will get language services and other support through the school system. "Early intervention is the best route with these children," she says.

Parents should look more at social, emotional and developmental readiness than at academics, all child experts interviewed agree. In general, parents might look more closely at holding a boy back, many say. "Girls mature a lot faster than boys," Fischer says.

A small boy interested in sports might benefit from starting later, so he'd be more competitive for teams, Fischer says. "I would never keep a child back because of that," she says, but add it in with other factors.

A family also might have financial considerations. Holding a child out of public school could mean paying an extra year of child care.

Some experts say that being older in high school can be advantageous because it might engender more mature decisions.

If parents are still on the fence, routine kindergarten screening that goes along with registration will point out concerns. Some districts have a solution: Summer school to get children up to speed for kindergarten.

Source: Detroit Free Press -

For more parenting articles, visit ChildUp - Online Parenting Class

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Parenting Articles - Language Link to ‘Bubble Blowing’

Infants who can blow bubbles and lick their lips are more likely to pick up language quickly, research suggests.

A Lancaster University study of 120 toddlers found the ability to perform complex mouth movements was strongly linked with language development.

They also found children who were good at 'pretending' an object was something else had better language skills.

The findings could help experts identify children who may struggle with language skills at an early stage.

At 21 months - the age of the toddlers in the study - children are learning new words at a faster rate than any other time in their lives...


The researchers said they expected to find that children who had better cognitive development, such as being able to do a puzzle or match pictures and colours, would have better language skills.

But in fact, only the ability to pretend that one object was another object - such as pretending a wooden block is a car or hairbrush - was associated with better language skills.

Dr Alcock said: "Until children are about two they are very poor at licking things off their lips or giving someone a proper kiss.

"If they don't have those skills it's going to be a big stumbling block in learning to form sounds.

"Children who have speech and language problems before they go to school do tend to have problems with learning to read and write.

"It's important we give children who need it extra help as early as we can."

Dr Alcock added that children learn to speak at different times and most children who start late will catch up.

"The best thing parents can do to help is talk to their kids," she added...

Professor Stephanie Stokes, professor of speech and language pathology at the University of Newcastle, said: "Previous studies have shown that children who have well developed symbolic (pretend) play skills and a range of hand gestures at the age of 14 to 18 months have better language development at 28 months than children who do not show such early skills...

Source: BBC NEWS

For more parenting articles, visit ChildUp - Online Parenting Class