From the Superintendent's
Getting Ready for the Big Chill
is being written just before we set the clocks back and adjust
to a much faster nightfall to match the falling temperatures.
over to our fall/winter wardrobes and are trying to get our children to realize
that every day is now a “jacket day” until further notice.
While you’re checking
off the list of things you do to get ready for the winter weather, make one
of the items preparing for productive, stress-free time indoors with your young
children. Even without the dark coming early, we know that winter is right
around the corner because of the increase in toy commercials on television,
in newspapers, and in store windows with temptations that spill out onto the
street to attract your (and your children’s) attention. If you dread
the thought of spending the winter months stepping over discarded holiday toys
and trying to pry your children away from the video game system or television
now is the time to make some strategic plans.
First, take a look around your home. Is the most comfortable and appealing
space for your children in front of the television or the computer? Give
them an alternative and set up a book nook. In fact, a cozy bean bag chair,
a snack table, a warm throw blanket, a reading lamp, and of course, some
good books can all be wrapped up for the holidays and given as gifts to your
The winter can
be a good time to focus on music lessons that may have been pushed aside
over the summer. Time and space are critical to success. Schedule lessons
when there are the least distractions around and when there is time for follow
up practice later that day or the next day. If a great music lesson is squeezed
in between skating sessions, your children won’t have the time to go over what was learned
and to make real progress. It’s up to you to set the scene and give your
child the time and space to make the lessons valuable. An isolated hour of
piano once a week is just not going to make a difference. Leave time free for
your children to practice and hone their skills. Make it more palatable by
listening and showing appreciation for their talent.
Of course, video games will
not go away, and there are many games that even have educational value to them.
But you can be proactive and plan now to provide books, music, puzzles, and
yes, trips to museums, shows, and events that interest your children and broaden
We all know that winter is
coming. Be prepared and use this time to help your children discover the pleasure
of reading, music, or starting a project that makes them an expert on a subject
of their choice. Lead the way, and they just may follow.#