Gables Montessori Blog

PERSONALIZED CHILDREN´S ROOM

Children rooms

How should a child’s room look? Parents may think that the sanctuaries of their little ones must be places to be relaxing, full of calmed colors that motivate the concentration to study and read. But that’s not the reality. That may be the vision of the adults but maybe not the children’s. Instead, designers recommend let the room reflect their personality, even if that involves some more vibrant colors and patterns. The idea is working together creating a comfortable but organized area where they can develop creative activities.

Kids do homework, read, watch television, play, entertain friends and do much more than sleep in their rooms. So, it is a real challenge to try to meet all the needs in a few walls. For a scholarly child, the room must have a desk, a chair, and good lighting. For the social one, a relaxing seating area should be the center of attraction. At present the rooms of boys and girls are not usually so markedly different, so finding the right colors of the walls depends more on the children´s mood and preferences. Obviously, primary colors can be overwhelming so it is better to think of others as light orange or yellow or neutral tones like greens, browns, light grays or soft blues.

About the theme, let your child choose it, maybe there is a favorite hobby, sports team or activity that can customize the room. Artwork and accessories can also highlight a child’s interests and are easy to change out as they get older. Regarding space, there must be storage shelving and furniture adapted to the size and ability of your children, an organized room will help them relax and learn to be responsible of their own space.

Some designers say that, ideally, the child´s room should be media-free but it is almost impossible today, computers and tablets are part of the study material. Maybe a good option is to keep a computer in the room but visually separated from the sleep space with a bookshelf, curtain or another creative design idea.

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ARE YOU RAISING A “MILLENNIAL”?

Millennials

Millennials are also known as Generation Y and the “Echo Boomers” (children of the Baby boomers), they were born in the 1980s and 1990s and have certain characteristics that give them a specific character and behavior. According to some studies, Millennials are a “civic-minded” generation with a strong sense of community both local and global. They are special, sheltered, confident, team-oriented, conventional, pressured and achieving. Also, there is a sense of entitlement and narcissism, a preference for a flat corporate culture, an emphasis on work-life balance and social consciousness.

When it comes to their professional lives, according to authors from Florida International University, Millennials place an emphasis on producing meaningful work, finding a creative outlet, and have a preference for immediate feedback. Findings also suggest the introduction of social media has augmented collaborative skills and created a preference for a team-oriented environment. This special generation also tends to the public service and has social liberal views, this is an overall support for classical liberal economic policies. They are flexible about same-sex marriage and are also more likely to oppose animal testing for medical purposes than older generations. The projected population of this interesting social group was 95 million people (in the U.S.). for 2004, but in a 2012 Time magazine article, it was estimated that there were approximately 80 million U.S. Millennials and The United States Census Bureau, using birth dates ranging from 1982 to 2000, stated the estimated number of U.S. Millennials in 2015 was 83.1 million people.

Based on information from Wikipedia, Millennial characteristics vary by region, depending on social and economic conditions. However, the generation is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. Some research indicates that these young professionals want their jobs to provide opportunities to engage with “good causes” for positive social impact and according to data gathered by Accenture in 2016, millennials in Asia Pacific are expected to have the biggest spending power than any previous generation. Undoubtedly a social trend of this new era that it is impossible to pass unnoticed.

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A FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN

Hurricane Harvey

The Earth is always changing and natural disasters can occur anytime or place. Floods, tornados, ice storms, hurricanes, and others can affect our life without previous warning. Therefore as vulnerable humans, the best we can do is be ready with a family emergency plan that helps us to mitigate the effects of these events. It doesn’t matter where you are, or how close or far you may suppose you are, it is important to be ready and prepared and also teach your family to manage the crisis. Recently we saw the consequences of the devastating hurricane Harvey, so it is appropriate to remember some essential measures to be alert. First of all, you must always keep a list of telephone numbers of emergency assistance groups and teach your children how to contact them or use the 911 service. Also, you should keep a permanent kit at home with some basic things:

  • Water (one gallon of water per person for at least three days).
  • Non-perishable food and special items that a specific family member might require.
  • Non-prescription medications (pain relievers, anti-diarrhea, personal hygiene items, etc.)
  • Towels, sleeping bag or blanket for each person.
  • Extra batteries on various sizes.
  • Whistle to notify location.
  • Charging devices and a backup battery for mobile devices.
  • Personal documents (insurance policies and cards) preferable in a waterproof portfolio or envelope.

Regarding children, we can help them to understand their place in the world and how the disasters might affect their routine. The best we can do as parents is to teach our kids to cope more effectively with a disaster, that is possible if we try to explain in a simple way what is happening and what they can do to help protect themselves. Providing unnecessary details may only alarm them so concrete explanations are the best. One excellent recommendation is limit media coverage and helps children to process the information they receive. Be sure to ask them what questions they have, that helps to evaluate if their fears are realistic and to show them how to cope with the feelings that might be arising. Other important tips are: let your child know that it is all right to be upset and maybe anxious; if you feel you are not capable of giving some support ask for help (family, friends or professionals), allow children to express their regrets and help them figure out what they can do to help others in their community, if it is possible.

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TOLERANCE: AN IMPORTANT WORD TO LEARN

Some recent events in the country bring to the fore a necessary word in education: tolerance. What does it mean? Why is it so important? Tolerance is the willingness to accept behaviors and beliefs that are different from our own, although we might not agree with or approve them. We are surrounded by differences in ethnicity, religion, culture, gender, disabilities and other differences that simply we cannot deny (even politics). Some people see the multicultural society as a marvelous scenario to act in but others do not feel at ease. That’s why it is important to encourage tolerance in our kids from an early age.

Educating our children as human beings capable of learning from other cultures means make them feel relaxed and open to new ideas, experiences and knowledge. We need to teach our children the ability to learn to work with others, to understand and appreciate people for who they are and not for what they believe or look like.

Always keep in mind these tips:

  • You don’t have to sacrifice your heritage or beliefs. Being tolerant is respecting yourself and celebrate the differences of others.
  • Parents are role models. The tolerance they show naturally teaches their kids how to behave. Remember: children closely watch and imitate us, even before they can speak.
  • Look at the way you treat and speak to others, even those who you do not have a very close relationship. Think carefully about the words you use, avoid joking and any degrading name.
  • Be sure to talk to your children about programs, movies and games that can motivate intolerant behavior. The media has a a powerful ability to shape attitudes. Let them express themselves about they think or believe and discuss together.
  • Look at the differences within your own family, help your kids to appreciate and accept the qualities each member possesses.
  • Explore with your children how different cultures celebrate special occasions, learn together about other traditions. Make new and good friends from different groups. Travel as much as you can to meet other people.
  • Remember: it’s up to parents, teachers and other positive role models to guide children as they explore the technology world.
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GARDENING, A HEALTHY THERAPY FOR ACTIVE KIDS

Taking care of plants in the garden can be an excellent project to develop with our children. It can also be an activity to eliminate stress and stimulate creativity, as some scientific research suggests. Being outside and gardening can help kids to control the temper, burn off extra energy, develop stronger immune system, stimulate the appetite, improve the ability to focus and capacity to manage information and react to situations.

No matter if you don’t have a large garden at home, you can probably achieve the same beneficial effect by having some plants inside the house. Outside or not, when children learn the life cycle process they develop an environmental awareness that is essential for their construction as a conscious human being that lives in a planet and a great ecosystem shared with animals, plants and other important resources in perfect balance. Also gardening is a great way to teach kids where food is coming from and the dedication, time and effort that it takes.

If you have the privilege of having a garden, the most important thing is that must be a sunny area, where children can have their own space to start and decide what will be grown. To ensure the safety of the smallest ones, there are special tools in the specialized stores. The space must be a place of exploring, independence and adventure more than a structured center of learning.

Some tips and ideas for your kids to start enjoying small projects in the garden:

  • Choose those plants your kids love to grow, those that have strong smells, are easily recognizable or grow quickly as lettuce or tomatoes
  • Transform your garden in a creative place full of color, forms and funny activities where children can learn by discovering.
  • Create a calendar with hours, activities and responsibilities for your children.
  • Teach your kids how are the plants from different countries and continents and how gardening could change depending on the zone of the planet and the seasons
  • Build a compost area and start composting the vegetable and fruit scraps from lunches and teach your kids how plants are fed
  • Select seeds of vegetables and fruits from the kitchen that children can plant in egg cartons and after take to the garden
  • Collect soils from different spots and teach your kids to compare texture, color, and how they absorb water
  • Emphasize in the importance of water for the life of all living beings, teach the youngest to appreciate this vital resource
  • Do not leave your children alone using gardening tools even if you have purchased those that seem harmless and appropriate to your children’s age

 

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YOGA FOR KIDS

Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices originated in ancient India. There is a broad variety of yoga schools but the essence is unique: the combination of physical exercise, meditation, spiritual core and its ultimate goal: moksha (liberation). Based on asanas or postures, yoga is a form of exercise that has been considered as an alternative medicine and increasingly recommended to promote relaxation, reduce stress and some medical conditions. As yoga has became more popular in schools and gyms, also the controversy. Many people link this art to religion, particularly Hinduism and even some persons remain skeptical of its advantages. But despite the controversy yoga is simply beneficial, even for children who can encounter a healthy way of managing emotional, physical and social conflicts dedicating a few minutes to this art daily.

Some experts say that yoga helps to build self-esteem and self-respect, since a child practicing it has the opportunity to play and focus without worrying about being wrong, also kids learn important values such as non-harming, truthfulness, moderation, cleanliness, gratitude and self-discipline. At the physical level, kids can improve flexibility but also gain strength because they learn to use their muscles in new ways, it’s amazing to experience how a seemingly easy posture requires strength, concentration, focus, and flexibility, no matter if it is done standing, sitting or lying down.

Balance and coordination are also important elements of yoga. So, if a child has some problems to stay balanced, the meditation and breathing that require the movements can be used to improve the gross and fine motor coordination.  The child is encouraged to focus in the effort, in consequence he takes this skill to other areas in school and may get better performance and better grades. That boots self esteem and confidence which inevitably leads the child to feel good about his accomplishments. In a modern world that changes and moves very fast children are always under constant pressure, but yoga teach them how to act bravely but compassionate, to know love and happiness and to find inner pace. No matter what age your kid starts practicing yoga, it is always beneficial, the recommendation is to follow the instructions of expert teachers who know the proper techniques to make the postures. The final word belongs to your kids, let them try all the alternatives that can lead them to a higher quality of life and to a better knowledge of themselves.

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