Category Archives for Educate

Join us to talk about Car Seat Safety – get local tips and enter our giveaway for a new Britax Infant Car Seat!

All Moms are concerned about protecting their families. For new Moms and Moms of newborns, toddlers and growing kids it is vital that we find out about child car seat safety and keep updated with new models that become available.

Children need to remain in the backseat until they are 13 – did you know that? It’s a great time to remind ourselves about important safety tips, attend a fun event and enter our Giveaway!

Remember when you were a new Mom with a Newborn Baby? Or are you Pregnant or have a Newborn and planning ahead to bring your baby home?

Britax new Endeavours Car Seat

You might be planning to upgrade your car if you are adding a 2nd, 3rd or 4th child (or even more!) to your family. It takes some research to find the right car for you! We see tons of Moms swapping their suggestions in our Facebook group.

In addition to a new Car, we also look for a new Car Seat for our Newborn. Britax is front of mind in terms of Infant Car Seat Safety. If you are considering an Infant Car Seat Purchase soon, there is no better time than to come and meet representatives from Britax during Child Passenger Safety Week at a unique event on September 20th

It worries me to think that studies show that nearly three out of four children ride in car seats that are either installed or used incorrectly.

Are you #RideShareReady?  What about if you need to use an Uber or are riding in a Taxi? Do you know how to install the seat you have correctly in someone else’s car without a base?

Be Rideshare Ready for Car Seat Safety

Having representatives ready to demonstrate car seat installations and share their child safety tips in one easy location is a great opportunity!

Join me and meet representatives at the #TestDriveParenthood event

at Park Place Lexus Grapevine on Wednesday, September 20 @ 11 A.M – RSVP here

You can leave rest assured that you are equipped with the latest know-how from Britax having seen the latest family-friendly Lexus models that are available. Britax are also going to be showing us the innovative brand new Endeavours Car Seat, which is packed with safety features.

Don’t go yet!

Thanks to the great folks at Britax and SheBuysCars, we have 1 Endeavours Infant Car Seat to giveaway worth $299

Want to win one of eight (8) Britax Endeavours infant car seats?

How to enter:

Plano Moms Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

She Buys Cars Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Must be 18 or older to enter, US addresses only. No purchase is necessary to win. Void where prohibited. Must fill out Rafflecopter form.
Small print: Entries open until September 30. Contest open to U.S. residents only. The car seat prize value ($299), prize cannot be substituted for cash or other merchandise and cannot be shipped outside of the United States;

Still want to know more

Disclosure: All opinions are those of Plano Moms. This post may contain affiliate links and/or product(s) sent from companies or their PR team for editorial consideration. For more information, please view my disclosure policy.

A Local Mom’s Insight to Home Schooling

You made the decision to homeschool. Yet despite your resolve, all those first day of school photos got to you, didn’t they? We are on our fifth homeschool year, and they still give me a tiny twinge of something I can’t quite put my finger on. I always enjoyed school. Am I depriving my own children of the experiences? What about your own life? How are you going to survive?

One aspect of homeschooling that I think was the hardest to adjust to was finding friends. Most of my friends sent their children to school. Sure, we did after school playdates for a time, but they can’t go to the park mid day. They didn’t understand curriculum struggles and asked questions like “How are you going to socialize your children?” This question always amused me and still does because, well, we were at the park playing, wasn’t that socializing?

The first year we homeschooled, we joined a park play date co-op. I wasn’t ready to commit to an academic co-op yet. The park co-op was a bit awkward as all new things are. A lot of the moms knew each other so I felt like the out of place newbie. Thankfully, because it was the beginning of the year, there were other moms standing around equally as shy. My oldest, thankfully,  is super social. He started playing with a little girl about his age. Her mother was one of the other newbies so I sucked it up and introduced myself to my first homeschool friend, Deanna.

I only went back to that park co-op one more time. Deanna and I decided we hated being new and struck out on our own. Our children got along fabulously as did we. Then they moved away, and I may have cried. Hopefully your first homeschool friends won’t move away so quickly!  Making friends with Deanna’s family encouraged me to try again. Finding these gems of homeschool friends isn’t hard, it just takes a bit more effort than you may be used to.

 

One thing I can promise you, is that you will find friends.Good friends. Fast friends. Friends you can call in the middle of the day and get it. Friends who help you rationalize why you decided to homeschool and who remind you that one bad day or week doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel.

If you’re lucky your first homeschooling friends may find you. You may have to awkwardly introduce yourself to someone. They may awkwardly introduce themselves to you. I’ll let you in on a secret, we’re all a bit awkward in the friend making department! I have usually let my children gravitate towards others and then I start the first date like ritual of talking to a random stranger. But I have also made some amazing friends this way.

Next year about this time of year, you’ll see the first day of pictures again. That little weird twinge won’t be as big. Instead of second guessing yourself, you’ll  text one of your homeschool friends about going to the park later that day. Then you’ll lie back down and try to grab a few more zzz’s before you try to to make your child understand long division.

This post is written by Kristina Roegner, a homeschool mom of 3. She enjoys sharing about homeschooling with others and is always happy to help local homeschoolers connect. Visit her website at www.dfwhomeschoolresource.com to see all DFW has to offer for homeschoolers.

5 Tips For Parents of Language Learners

As parents we want our children to be successful in life; and so we teach them skills that we believe will help them achieve their goals. That includes learning a new language. Foreign Languages are an important tool in our growing multicultural world.

How do we help our little language learners in this journey? And what do we do if we cannot speak the language they are learning?

The Language Institute has taught languages for over 25 years, and here are their top 5 tips for parents of Language learners.

1) Talk, Read, sing and play

Talk, Read, sing and play in both the native language as well as the new language being learned. It is no secret that children learn through play and interactive activities. If your child is learning a language that is new to you, do not hesitate to ask the teacher for online resources.

2) Follow-up classroom learning

Repetition is the key to learning! Our advice is to review the class notes. It helps to review the notes, even if it’s just flipping through your child’s notebook and ask what he/she did in class.

Encourage your little language experts to talk to you in the language they are learning. While the students are in class, basic commands are enforced in the language they learn. For example: Hello, Please, Thank you, Listen, Repeat, I want…, and more.

 

3) Be curious about what they know

Encourage your little language experts to talk to you in the language they are learning. While the students are in class, basic commands are enforced in the language they learn. For example: Hello, Please, Thank you, Listen, Repeat, I want…, and more.

 

4) Add language learning to something they already like

A lot of children have a favorite movie or toy, and most time they know the words and songs. Some toys come with different language settings, and you can also find movies (or segments of a movie) in different languages. These are tools that can be used in the language learning process.

5) Learn

For parents who do not speak the language that the child is learning, consider learning it too. When you know the language you can help your child learn… and they can help you learn too!

Most importantly, ENJOY EVERY STEP OF THE PROCESS.

For more information, Check out the Dallas International School or contact (972) 991-6379.

Get the Back to School Advantage with Explore Horizons

Now that school is almost back in session, are your kids prepared? Have your kids been doing many academics on their time off? Explore Horizons is here to help.  Send kids back to school with an advantage and be a step ahead of the game with Explore Horizons!

The main concern of parents and teachers of the long summer break is that all the of the hard work and knowledge of the previous school year will drop from a long summer of doing nothing. Yes, kids deserve some time off, but they also need to keep up with their academics to keep up with their learning.

Explore Horizons is designed as an ongoing supplement to a school education and enables children to keep their brains active all year around.

 

My daughter was able to try out Explore Horizons for 1 month this summer and I was thrilled for this opportunity for her. I was so impressed with the entire program offered at Explore Horizons. I have been an educator for the last 17 years and I can say the program and skills taught are directly on target.

 

 

Each child is assessed to their individual needs and then progresses from their own unique levels in the area of math, reading, and writing.

 

The entire program is on the computer and is so interactive and engaging. No child is bored in these sessions! A staff member is close by at all times assisting and redirecting as needed and guiding the children through the lesson while offering positive reinforcement and encouragement.

 

 

Here are some facts about Explore Horizons:

  • For children of all abilities from pre-k through 8th grade in math, reading, and writing.
  • Aligned with the Texas curriculum so it correlates to STAAR so children will be successful
  • Lots of enrichment opportunities
  • Open 7 days a week
  • NO appointments needed, drop in basis (so nice for working parents!!)
  • Personalized learning plan for every child
  • Feedback for Parents at EVERY visit
  • Rewards/Postive Feedback/Acceleration System/Recharge time

I really can’t say enough good things about this facility and program. I didn’t know really want to expect when we first went for our consultation and free assessment but my expectations were blown away! The staff members were all so positive and supportive. They were eager to help and so uplifting to every single child in that room. The recharge time is such a great idea and really gives the kids some time to relax and just have fun!

The staff members were all so positive and supportive. They were eager to help and so uplifting to every single child in that room. The recharge time is such a great idea and really gives the kids some time to relax and just have fun! I also loved the attention the staff members give each parent at pick up. They read over a short report of the day’s session to really explain what was worked on. It was great to hear!

After 4-6 weeks in the program, parents will sit down with a staff member and go over a report which gives a full evaluation of progress. It was very detailed and I could really tell and see what my daughter had been working on and made progress on.  As a parent, this gives you a great idea of where exactly your child is and what they need more help with. This is great to show classroom teachers too! At this meeting, you can make goals for the next month’s session!

My daughter had a fabulous month and learned so much at Explore Horizons! I know she’s ready to tackle this next school year now and is fully prepared.

Would you like your child to be ahead of the game and ready for the school year? Make your appointment now with Explore Horizons for your free assessment. If you mention Plano Moms, your child will get one free hour of enrichment!

 

 

 

Help Your Child Learn Math Concepts

If you ask most parents to describe the way their children are learning math at school, you will hear a lot of frustration and confusion. “I have a college degree and I don’t understand the first-grade homework!” some parents say. “Why can’t they just teach it the way I learned it?” others ask.

The idea behind the Texas state standards (TEKS) used in today’s elementary schools is that children will develop mathematical thinking. They will have number sense and be able to understand what they are doing when they solve math problems, not just the rules for solving them. They will be able to approach problems in different ways and find multiple solutions.

The difficulty, of course, is that in a classroom of 20 or more children of varying abilities, on a time schedule and preparing for tests required by the state, is that children don’t have enough opportunity to use the hands-on materials that they need to develop this mathematical thinking. They need to be able to derive and discover concepts for themselves so that they will remember them long term and start applying them to other situations.

 

Growing IQ is not a tutoring center, but an enrichment program that yields long-term results. The highly trained and well-qualified teachers can help the children who struggle with math, and can also take the children who excel at math to new heights. They approach math from the perspective that math is in the world all around us. It’s not a separate subject only used at school- it is a key part of art, music, nature, technology, science, engineering, cooking, and so much more.

At Growing IQ, students come for two-hour sessions once a week and they are usually not ready to leave. Students play games, create art and crafts, build things, explore math manipulatives, and listen to music. All the while teachers use math vocabulary and guide children toward the concepts that will build their foundation of math. They also teach spatial reasoning, logical analysis and critical thinking, skills important to success in math (and all learning) but not addressed by school standards.

 

At Growing IQ, children are given that time and opportunity.

As Eileen Horng, a parent of two students said: “My two children have been taking classes at GROWING IQ for more than three years now. The difference is in the approach to math. GROWING IQ does not focus on math concepts per se; learning math concepts is a positive by-product but not the purpose of the instruction. Rather the focus is on how to reason, problem solve through experimentation, and apply past learning to new situations.” Eileen is a former elementary school teacher and has earned a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She was also formerly the Director of Research, Assessment, and Accountability for the Redwood City School District and Associate Director for the Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice (IREPP) at Stanford University. She is currently an independent education research consultant.

Growing IQ also offers a revolutionary toddler program called Math Music Motion (M-cubed or M3) that is focused on child development from a neurological perspective. M3 will help your child become a curious, creative learner, critical thinker, and problem solver! The curriculum is designed to cross-correlate both Math and Music to stimulate the different parts of the brain and its functions leading to the development of interconnected pathways which promote higher IQ, improved mental functioning, academic advantage and the development of many important skills. Motion encompasses a great portion of both gross & fine motor skills allowing for complex relationships to form between environmental stimuli, and the body’s reaction to color, pattern, sound and much more.

For more details, please look at their websites www.growingiq.com & www.mathmusicmotion.com and facebook pages https://m.facebook.com/GrowingIQ.Math/ & https://m.facebook.com/MathMusicMotion/ to get an idea of what they do. Check out Growing IQ’s 5 themed weeks of fun summer camp.

Growing IQ can help any child become a mathematician! Call or email them to schedule a free trial class for your child and remember to mention ‘PLANOMOMS’ to get 20% discount for life. This offer end 30th September 2017.

 

Plano Schools

If you are new to Plano or just have younger kids it’s a good idea to learn a little bit more about Plano schools. Plano schools are structured a little differently from other surrounding school districts. Here is some more info about Plano schools that might help you.

Early Childhood Programs: Plano has a number of options that you might not know about for preschool aged children.

  • There are 3 Early Childhood centers that your child could attend based on where you live around Plano. These are tuition based and are 5 days a week for children of age 4 before September 1st.
  • State and Federal Programs. If you meet the criteria stated, your child could attend one of the early childhood centers for free.
  • Full Day Pre-K: This is for families that live only in the Christie, Huffman, Jackson, Memorial and Thomas elementary schools. If you do not know what school area you live in check this school finder.
  • PreSchool for Children with Disabilities: PPCD is a special education program that serves children 3-5 with disabilities. You have to qualify to attend but some children go for speech and other like social and emotional delays. The cost is free after a child turns 3 years old.
  • Senior High Learning Centers: This is a tuition based preschool for children ages 3-5. The schools are located at each Senior High School and along with teachers, high school students interested in teaching help assist and work there. For more information check out their website. 
  • Plano Family Literacy: This is a full family educational program. It will assist in teaching the adults and children in the family. There are specific requirements for this program including low income and limited English.
  • Head Start: A federally funded program for children ages 3 or 4 and the families that meet low income guidelines.

Elementary: Once your child turns 5 (on or before September 1) they are ready to start Kindergarten and one of the local elementary schools.  These schools will be for grades Kindergarten- 5th grade.

Middle: Middle school serves grades 6-8th.

High School: This is for grades 9-10th only.

Senior HighSenior High Schools serve grades 11-12. Plano has 3.

Academy Programs: In the last few years, Plano has incorporated some academy high schools for some qualifying students. Right now there are 3 academy programs at different locations across Plano.

Finally, there is a program called Special Programs for PISD. Special programs serve students that are referred by an intervention team from their home school, that need some special behavioral training and assistance. For older students, they help with at-risk students that are in danger of dropping out or students that need some accelerated instruction.

 

Plano Library Storytime

Plano has several libraries across the town. Each one offers some kid-friendly events that are usually free! Before you make your plans for the day check out the schedule for each library across town for library story time.

Here’s a daily schedule of our libraries and the events they offer this Spring.

Library Hours
Monday – Thursday
9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday
1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

 Over the summer, the libraries will hold special events and fun kid activities so check the website for the summer schedule!

Self Help Skills to Know Before Kindergarten

When your child is of kindergarten age you might be worried about whether or not they are fully prepared. There can be so many things to do and prepare for this big transition. You will want to make sure your child can do some self-help skills on their own to function for the long day. Here are some self-help skills to make sure your child knows before starting kindergarten.

*Use the Bathroom Independently: Children should know this basic independent skill and this should include wiping and flushing. Most classes allow students to go into the bathroom area on their own so this is an important skill to have.

*Wash Hands: Teachers will not be standing there washing all the hands of every single student! Being able to get soap and wash/dry hands is important.

*Blow Own Nose: This is a skill that can take some time to learn. It can be easier has parents to just grab a tissue and wipe their own nose but teachers will not want to do this for every child. Teach your child how to hold the tissue over their nose and blow! (Then go wash their hands!!)

*Open containers: This is big!! Show your kids and practice before schools starts with opening lunch containers. Some things might be hard and will require teacher assistance but if they can open their own lunches not only will they get to eat faster, but they will have more self-confidence. This should include opening straws and water bottles!

*Put on Coat and Zip: On chilly days going outside will require wearing a jacket. Imagine a teacher having to put on and zip up all 20-24 jackets! That is so time-consuming!! This will require some practice but it will help in the long run.

*Tie Shoes: This might take awhile and not happen before kindergarten but it’s a very important life skill. There are so many videos and cook tricks so start them early on this!

It must be noted that children develop at different times. The above is just a guideline for some ideas of things to work on with your child. You know your child and what they are capable of. Use modifications as needed and these are just some ideas of self-help skills to work on with all children.

 

 

 

 

 

Find the Best School in Plano for Your Kids

Plano is named for being one of the best cities to live in. Not only is the cost of living reasonable, but the schools are rated some of the best in the state. Starting school is a huge milestone for kids. You want to find the right school to serve your child’s needs. Here are some ideas on how to find the best school in Plano for your kids.

If you are just starting your search or new in town it’s important to give yourself some time do some research. Think about your children and what might be best for them individually.  If you are just moving into the city then take some time to learn about the schools zoned in the neighborhoods you are most interested in.

Plano has 72 schools across the town that include early childhood, elementary, middle, high school, and senior high schools. So where to begin?  A good place to start your search is by looking at the district’s website. Here you can find out more information about all the schools. You can also do the school finder to help you find the schools that you are zoned for according to your address.

One of the most important things though is to consider the needs of your child.  When my daughter was about to start her elementary years in Plano,  I wanted small class size. Maybe you have a special needs child or a high achieving student. Every school in Plano has their own page that will give stats and list additional resources and classes offered at that particular campus.

If you are looking to get more into school rankings then consider  School Digger,  Great Schools, and Neighborhood Scout.  Though it’s good to get a variety of input from the community, these sites may not be able to tell you everything that you are looking for. They might not give you real Mom advice, so it’s a good idea to join in on the school talk on Plano Moms Talk!

With over 4000 members, these real Plano Moms will give helpful advice and they love to offer suggestions. Moms on the school hunt or moving into the area are always asking and seeking tips and suggestions. Don’t be afraid to ask.  Plano Moms are so helpful!