Grover vs ….?

I am a product of Sesame Street. Yep, I counted with the Count and ate cookies with Cookie. And deep down I’m probably still in enamored with loveable furry ‘ole Grover!

According to this month’s podcast there are 34 years of research that shows I very likely went to kindergarten having ‘learned’ from Sesame Street! Knowing that tv truly is ‘teaching’ our children can be both exciting and frightening at the same time.  This month’s podcast addresses how we can sift through what our children should and shouldn’t watch on television.

As I think about what my children might be learning from tv, I think most about all of the different channels available. I only had three options. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the different programming options available. My girls and I enjoy several of the nature and real life types of shows on various channels, but have also watched the cartoon-y children’s programs. We like the options!

Do I limit what they watch – yes I try my best. Are there times that they may be watching something less than stellar in my opinion? Absolutely. As I was listening to the podcast I appreciated the recognition that different channels may have both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ programming. That one channel may not be all ‘bad’ or all ‘good’. The bottom line was that I needed to pay attention to the different programs, watch them for myself and then determine whether it would be something I should let my girls watch.

What types of characteristics do you look at when you determine whether or not your children should watch something?

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

More Posts

Still trying to convince him preschool is FUN!!!!!

Preschool. End of September. We are all comfortable and happy when we start off to preschool right? The transition is now complete.

Umm not really. There is still fussing over shoes, whining over show-n-tell and dragging feet at the car door. You think to yourself, “Am I the only parent still struggling to get my child comfortable with starting preschool?” or “Why does everyone else’s child bound happily in the front door while I have to carry mine in?”

Guess what? You are not alone! Every child transitions or has a comfort level for beginnings, at a different rate. In fact, it is likely that by the time your child gets comfortable, there may still be others that haven’t completed the process. Children adjust to new situations (like starting preschool) based on their own individual temperament. And, if you really think about it, you may even recognize some of your own uncomfortable apprehensions in the face of your child (they got their temperament from you!).

As we think about trying to help our children through new situations it is most important to continually think about how it seems from their point of view. They have never been to preschool before, and each DAY is literally a NEW day to them. Yes, they may have been there for 2-3 weeks already but now it’s colder, they have more things to pack in their back pack, more items to remember, the building looks different when it is surrounded by brown & not green, their friends may be louder as they have become comfortable, it’s ALWAYS a NEW DAY. And with newness comes apprehension and uncomfortable feelings. Real feelings we can’t ignore.

Each time we remember to appreciate or acknowledge the apprehension our child feels,  instead of becoming frustrated by it we are able to show our child that we ‘understand’. We may not be able to help our child alleviate the apprehension to newness but we can ‘acknowledge it’ and try to ‘understand’. Those two things alone may help increase your child’s comfort level.

What are some ways that you have shown appreciation for or acknowledged your child’s apprehension? What happened when you did? What are some techniques that you have done to help your child feel more comfortable in uncertain situations? Share your ideas with us!

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

More Posts

Keeping It Real

Project based learning sounds like an educator’s way of keeping it real. At least that’s what I heard in the podcast. I liked how the guys talked about getting the learning out of the textbooks and into reality. Lori shared a great example of project based learning at her house. I want to go the other direction and talk about examples from the school perspective.

I recently chatted with Dorene McCart who is the Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Wayne Community School in Corydon, Iowa. Dorene does an outstanding job of giving her students opportunities to show to a larger audience, than just herself, what they can do. Students in the foods classes keep the kitchens humming year round. They prepare food for: volleyball tournament, National Honor Society induction, community play, community programs, prom, etc. They go through the planning process, make decisions, write out market orders, prepare the food, and serve. And talk about keeping it real – the students plan meals for a family of 4 for a week and are able to figure the cost per serving.

My favorite example from Dorene’s long list has to do with used clothing. A woman who moved to the community from New York City was amazed at the clothes available through the used clothing center. She approached Dorene about how the students could help in spreading the word about this resource. The students first studied the elements of design. Then they went to the center and chose 10 outfits with accessories. Students invited their mothers and grandmothers to a specially prepared lunch and presented a style show in their economical, but fashionable clothing.

There you have project based learning in a nutshell. A person saw a problem or issue. A product evolved into a project which was integrated into what the community already had – an underused clothing center, a classroom of eager students, and an innovative teacher. This is keeping it real. This is keeping it connected to the street.

What’s going on at your school that fits the concept of project based learning?

Donna Donald

Donna Donald

Donna Donald is a Human Sciences specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach who has spent her career working with families across the lifespan. She believes families are defined by function as well as form. Donna entered parenthood as a stepmother to three daughters and loves being a grandmother of seven young adults.

More Posts

Episode 7: Project-based Learning

Get kids engaged in project based learning, and they’ll learn more by creating solutions to real-world problems. Learn how in this month’s Science of Parenting podcast.

ISU Extension materials

Help Children Discover Answers with Project-based Learning (PM 3002D)

Related Resources

More from Science of Parenting

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

More Posts

Helping with Homework (Part 1)

Homework is a part of every child’s life.  On average, 5th and 6th grade students have 1 to 1.5 hours of homework each night, while 7th and 8th graders have up to 2 hours of homework each night. As a parent, there are things you can do at the beginning of the school year to set your child up for a successful year of high quality, homework completion!

Make sure your child has all the supplies necessary to be successful. Schools provide a list of school supplies before beginning each year. Help your child be prepared by ensuring he/she has all the supplies on this list. Especially for middle school and high school student, getting your child a planner is a great way to help with organization. Finally, be sure to provide a well-lit, quiet place at home where your child can complete homework.

Set up a regular homework time. Even if there are nights when your child does not have homework, establishing and maintaining a regular homework time will help your child stay organized and stay “ahead of the game.” When your child does not have specific assignments due the next day, suggest that he/she work ahead on assignments, or study for upcoming tests.

Make sure your child understands the teacher’s homework expectations. Most middle school and high school teachers give students worksheets that explain homework assignments. Help your child be successful by reading through these instructions together, and if possible, clarifying anything your child does not understand. If the directions are unclear to you as well, encourage your child to talk with the teacher and ask questions. This might be scary for some students, but as a parent, you can help ease these fears by reminding children that teachers want to help students be successful.

Encourage your child to work with “homework buddies.” Talk to your child about finding one student in each of his/her classes who can be a homework buddy. A homework buddy is someone your child can call with questions about assignments, someone who can take notes if he/she is absent, and might even be someone your child can work together with to complete assignments.

Get in touch and stay in touch with teachers. With advances in technology, there is a variety of ways to maintain contact with teachers, including email, phone, and in person visits. Teachers can inform you of your child’s academic progress, his/her behavior in the classroom, and things you can be working on with your child to encourage development. You can let the teacher know of any changes at home or in your child’s life, and also find out ways that you can get involved in your child’s classroom.

Donna Donald

Donna Donald

Donna Donald is a Human Sciences specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach who has spent her career working with families across the lifespan. She believes families are defined by function as well as form. Donna entered parenthood as a stepmother to three daughters and loves being a grandmother of seven young adults.

More Posts

Helping Teens Get Organized

To be successful in the academic world, students need to be organized. For teenagers, this can be a difficult task.  With school, extra curricular activities, friends, and family, organization can seem like a foreign concept to adolescents.  Here are some tips teens can use to stay organized.

Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each morning will help ensure that you get enough sleep.  This also helps your body get into a routine, enabling you to feel rested and refreshed each day.

Get ready to go the night before. Laying out your clothes, packing your lunch, and packing your book bag the night before will help avoid the feeling of being rushed in the morning. This also gives you time to think through and gather all the things you need for the upcoming day, to ensure these items are not forgotten.

Use a daily planner. A daily planner gives you one space to write everything down. From homework assignments to practice schedules and doctor appointments, having a planner keeps you focused and on track. Planners can also be used to create “to do” lists. Having a list to follow helps to make study halls and designated work times more effective and efficient.

Designate a study area. Each person has a different environment in which he/she studies best. Create an environment for yourself that allows you to get the most out of your study time. Be sure your space is quiet, well lit, and comfortable. However, do not make it too comfortable. A big, comfy couch is often more conducive to sleeping than to studying.

Don’t overload your schedule. Know that there is only so much you can accomplish in one day. There may be times when you need to say no to getting involved in an extra curricular activity, or spending extra time with your friends. Knowing your limits and carefully managing your schedule will allow you to keep up with school work, excel at the activities you do choose to participate in, and maintain a balanced social life.

Donna Donald

Donna Donald

Donna Donald is a Human Sciences specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach who has spent her career working with families across the lifespan. She believes families are defined by function as well as form. Donna entered parenthood as a stepmother to three daughters and loves being a grandmother of seven young adults.

More Posts

Subscribe to our blog

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner