Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Let’s Bring Learning to Life at Home and in the Classroom: 12 Great Resources!

Monday, December 14th, 2015


Hello fellow educator!

Can’t believe I’m saying this already, but Happy Holidays! (Where has the time gone?!)

I’ve been a cheerleader for math (and, really, education as a whole) for as long as I can remember (in fact – that’s ultimately why I started my own site!). Over the last several years, I’ve tutored 100s of students to make math more attainable and fun.

Teaching becomes increasingly difficult during the holiday season when thoughts of sugar-plums are dancing in our students’ heads! 🙂 That’s why I decided to put together a list of resources to help educators keep a classroom full of excited children focused and (hopefully!) ensure that learning still happens during this somewhat chaotic time! 🙂

Please enjoy! And feel free to share with others (on your site:, and any other medium you prefer)!

Different Learning Styles in Education

Eight Key Strategies for Deepening Your Effectiveness in the Classroom

A Guide to Classroom Technologies that Increase Learning: An Educator’s Resource

12 Easy Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom, Even for Technophobic Teachers

Embracing Technology in Education and Government (Video)

Lesson Plan Library from

Lesson Plans on Finances & Real Estate

Science & Technology Lesson Plans

Engineering the Future: The Educator’s Guide to Building and Construction

Lesson Plans for Teachers from the Humane Society

Serve Up Classroom Nutrition Activities

Make a Splash in the Classroom: A Hands-on Curriculum with Lessons and Activities on Swimming and Pools

I hope these resources ease this somewhat chaotic time for learning!

Keep Calm and Teach On! 🙂 Stacy

EMail me at [email protected] (or snail mail: 500 Westover Dr #9372 Sanford, NC 27330) if you have suggestions for my site or if you’d rather I not email you in the future.

November is Early Childhood Mental Health Awareness Month!

Monday, October 26th, 2015

The term “mental health” for young children can seem questionable to some, as it is associated closely to mental illness. However, the two are quite different from one another as mental illness refers to a problem (illness) and mental health focuses on something positive (health). When referring to early childhood mental health we are focusing our attention to the positive results of early intervention for children who are experiencing challenges socially and emotionally so that they can be successful learners in the future before problems become more serious. Healthy social and emotional development for children includes learning to express and regulate their emotions, forming close and secure relationships and learning to explore their environment.  We would like to raise awareness of the importance of Early Childhood Mental Health this month by providing resources and articles relating to the topic. Each week we will send home an article for parents and also include helpful websites as resources for your family.

Below is the first article that we will be sharing with parents that simply explains what mental health is for young children and lists tips on healthy social and emotional development.

What is Early Childhood Mental Health?

We are always here as your first resource. Please do not hesitate to share with us any questions or concerns about your child’s social and emotional development. We will be happy to help answer those questions and provide you with the services needed for your child and family.

Benefits to singing with your infant

Monday, June 8th, 2015

It is an absolute joy to be back among my LifeSpan friends and family. We are such a wonderful community of teachers and advocates for early childhood education. It’s such a comforting feeling to know the difference we make and the lives that we impact.

As many of you know, as the music teacher for our daycare components, I’m the one who sings, dances, acts with little inhibition, and leads the children in truly rewarding and instructional music activities.

As wonderful as it is to hear the voices of children singing, and to see them dancing without inhibition, we sometimes forget how influential and important music is in regards to the development of infants.

Below you’ll find an article published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The article touches on the importance of singing with our infant children, and what they learn from vocalization.  Although we already know that singing encourages language, rhyme, and rhythm; we don’t always realize the social-emotional impact it has on young children.

Also, please see the article below written by a Pre-School music teacher. Although the beginning of the article address benefits of singing to children, it’s the ending of the article that is a little more interesting for parents. Although not all of us are the best singers, that should not stop us from enjoying music with our children., is quoted in saying:

“Children who grow up hearing music, singing songs, and moving to the beat are enjoying what experts call “a rich sensory environment.” That’s just a fancy way of saying a child is exposed to a wide variety of tastes, smells, textures, colors, and sounds. And kids who enjoy such a rich environment do more than have fun. Researchers believe they forge more pathways between the cells in their brains.”

It’s important for us as educators to realize that a “wide variety” does not mean complex. You don’t have to have the greatest singing voice, and you do not need to sing complex songs to encourage and advocate for music education. Keeping it simple is the best way to use music as a bonding tool for you and your child.


Are you looking for some fun indoor activities during the winter months?

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

The cold, winter months are here! This time of year is always a great time to enjoy indoor activities with your children. There are lots of fun activities to do on a cold, winter day. These activities can cover a wide variety of topics.  Arts and crafts are fun indoor projects. This includes fun activities such as painting pictures or ceramics together. Introducing an art activity such as painting may create a new hobby or interest for your child. Cooking or baking together is another great indoor activity. Making snacks and cooking together helps your child learn about the different food groups. This is a good chance to discuss the different food groups and healthy eating. Math also ties into baking and cooking. Simple math skills such as measuring, time, and counting can be incorporated as well. Cooking and baking also involve gross motor skills by mixing or pouring. Another great way to use gross motor skills is through music and movement. Some children love to have fun dancing to music or playing a game of freeze dance!  Creating a maze for younger children to crawl around is another gross motor idea during the winter months. Then, there is always fun in reading together. I always feel that you can never read too much. If your child is older, then they can have fun reading to you! Some of these activities along with others can be found at:

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

Thursday, February 5th, 2015




Dental health is an important concept to encourage children to develop. It must start at an early age. Maintaining good dental care early in life helps ensure continued tooth and gum health in the future. When it comes to dental hygiene for kids, you can never start too soon. The most basic elements of dental care are regular brushing and flossing, but it’s important that your children know effective dental hygiene techniques and have access to quality dental products. You should also try to make your children comfortable with visits to the dentist and routine dental cleanings. The earlier you start exposing them to good dental care, the more likely they will be to keep their beautiful smiles for life.

Infant Dental Visits will help to…

Establish a dental “home” for your child, which is important when you have new concerns or emergencies.

Avoid anxiety. Children who begin regular dental visits at age 1 are less likely to have anxiety with future visits when compared to children who have their first visit at age 3 or older. Early dental visits can also reduce anxiety that parents may have related to their child’s oral care.

Lower oral health costs. Studies show that the dental costs for children who have their first dental visit be-fore age one are 40% lower in the first five years of life than for those who do not see a dentist before their first birth-day.

Reduce your child’s risk for cavities and improve oral health throughout childhood.

Here are some tips to keep kids’ teeth healthy and strong

0–2 years

  • Wipe gums with a washcloth after feeding. This will help get rid of the sticky coating called plaque that can cause tooth decay.
  • Brush teeth twice a day with water and a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  • Schedule first dental appointment before first birthday.

3-5 Years

  • Start using fluoride toothpaste at age 3
  • Use only a pea-sized amount. Make sure your child spits it out after brushing.
  • Try to break thumb-sucking and pacifier habits by age 4.

6–9 years

  • Begin flossing as soon as teeth touch.
  • Let your child know that it’s normal for baby teeth to fall out. That’s how “grown-up” teeth come in.
  • Until children are able to practice proper oral health habits alone, parents should help their child brush and floss    twice a day.   Always pay special attention to the back teeth, which may have more plaque.

10–12 years

  • Require children who play sports to wear a mouth guard to protect their smile.

13+ years

  • Parents can make the most of their teen’s interest in how they look by reminding them that a healthy smile and fresh breath will help them look and feel their best.



Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Did you know that RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is very common during Fall, Winter and Spring? It may look like just a common cold, but for infants and older adults it can be very serious.

Help Prevent the Spread of RSV by following some of these tips:

  • Wash your hands often Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Washing your hands will help protect you from germs.
  • Keep your hands off your face Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Germs spread this way.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people Avoid close contact, such as kissing, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who have cold-like symptoms.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in the trash afterward.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that people frequently touch, such as toys and doorknobs. When people infected with RSV touch surfaces and objects, they can leave behind germs. Also, when they cough or sneeze, droplets containing germs can land on surfaces and objects.
  • Stay home when you are sick If possible, stay home from work, school, and public areas when you are sick. This will help protect others from catching your illness.

For more information check out:

Your Tablet: More than a T.V. Screen

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Since most households now have access to a smart phone or a tablet, it’s time to start looking at free and inexpensive resources which are available to us. It’s very easy to give a child a tablet or phone and let them watch, but it’s so much more beneficial to let them play and discover.

Anytime I walk into a classroom with my iPad, I know the children will ALL want a turn for whatever activity I have planned. These young learners are already, “technologically literate.” They know more about my iPad then I do. It is truly amazing to watch these children dive into technology as if it were a second language.

Below you’ll find links to a website which gives recommendations for “the best music apps for children,” and “the best Spanish apps for children.” Most of them are either free or reasonably priced. They contain the Mr. Hunter Seal of Approval!

Music apps:

Spanish apps:

With the latest update from Apple computers, iOs 8, all iPhones and iPads have been uploaded with a great program called “Garage Band”. It allows us to record songs, play instruments, layer tracks, and add prerecorded music to existing singing. This new app allows children to become pop stars and really explore the technological side to music recording. It’s fun for all ages! Below you will find a link which gives some simple instructions on how to introduce garage band to your children.

As an educator, I myself, use a lot of these resources while teaching the children at LifeSpan School and Daycare. I find that children become “electronically literate,” much faster than most adults. It’s up to us to encourage them!

Below you will find a great article from “The Alliance For Childhood” about the importance of Technological Literacy in Children.

As always, if you have any questions and you see me walking about, feel free to stop and ask!

Easy to Grow Fruits and Vegetables

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

By Jocelyn Psitos

Now is a great time to start thinking about gardening with your child. It’s fun. It’s therapeutic. It’s a great learning experience. And, it will be one of those family memories that you and your child will always hold dear.

Raising your own fruit and vegetables is a rewarding and economical choice. If you’re a    beginning gardening, start with low-maintenance varieties that grow well in your local climate.

Undemanding, easy-to-grow vegetables include peas, snap beans, onions, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and a variety of leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach. Fruits include strawberries, raspberries, grapes, currants and gooseberries.

While sunlight requirements vary among gardener crops, most fruits and vegetables require full sun for most of the day. Plant your garden away from large trees that might shade the plants, and take advantage of the southwest sun as much as possible.

Refer to your seed packets when planning your planting schedule. Some plants, such as peas, are cool weather crops, while others, such as tomatoes, require warmer soil

Read more:

The Benefits of Yoga for Kids

Monday, April 7th, 2014

V__20E2Gymnastics, swimming, dance, martial arts, basketball, soccer… There are already many choices available to parents for physical, movement-based extracurricular classes for their children. What makes yoga different? And what are the benefits for yoga for children?

Our children live in a hurry-up world of busy parents, school pressures, incessant lessons, video games, malls, and competitive sports. We usually don’t think of these influences as stressful for our kids, but often they are. The bustling pace of our children’s lives can have a profound effect on their innate joy—and usually not for the better. By practicing yoga poses, children can learn how to exercise, develop confidence, and concentrate better. As yoga becomes more popular in schools through physical education classes and after-school programs, yoga’s rising popularity can be attributed to its basic stretching advantages and improved body awareness, with the added component of a mind-body connection. Yoga is beneficial to children in many ways. Because children encounter emotional, social, and physical challenges or conflicts, a dedicated and intentional yoga practice that includes breathing techniques, behavioral guidelines, and physical postures can be incredibly valuable for them.  Yoga is something children can practice anywhere and that the breathing, the concentration, the poses, and the way children learn to act or react to situations, will lead to constant self-discovery and inquisitiveness, yoga builds self-esteem and self-respect. A child’s yoga practice is a rare opportunity to experience play and focus without worrying about being wrong, yoga is an option for children who shy away from physical activity or group activities for fear of failure or being picked last, and it helps athletic children excel in other physical activities and sports, yoga introduces cornerstone values such as non-harming, truthfulness, moderation, cleanliness, gratitude, and self-discipline.. (more…)

Grab your hat and read with the Cat in the Hat on Monday, March 3, 2014

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Title: Grab your hat and read with the Cat in the Hat on Monday, March 3, 2014,
On March 3rd, in honor of Dr. Seuss’s 110th Birthday, we celebrate the 17th annual Read Across America Day. The Seussical celebration kicks off a week of reading across the nation. LifeSpan School and Day Care is no different. This entire week, we celebrate not only Dr. Seuss, but enhancing literacy in young minds. Although this week is very special and near and dear to our hearts, we cannot forget to encourage literacy EVERY DAY!
Literacy and reading is an important stepping stone in the development of a young mind. Here at LifeSpan, we encourage literacy in many different and creative ways. Whether it be a simple read aloud, or a Dr. Seuss Sing a-long; we use these tools to broaden the horizon in the young minds we care for.. (more…)