Mar 11

7 Ways to Use Media & Tech to Raise Bilingual Kids

There are many ways to use media and technology to ease the sometimes challenging task of raising kids to speak a second (or third!) language.

For example, watching a movie/TV in the target language can help increase your child's vocabulary and help develop "an ear" for the language. Exploring bilingual apps and bilingual books are also great ways.

Read the full article at Common Sense Media:
7 Ways to Use Media and Tech to Raise Bilingual Kids»

Although the author's focus is on Spanish as the target language, these 7 tips can be applied to any language!

Read related articles on Jump! Blog:

Feb 19

Taking Time for Family

Author: Dana Matthews

It is interesting how children put your life into perspective!

Growing up, both my parents worked and were also pursuing advance degrees. Needless to say they were busy! When I was 8 and my sister was 6 we had a favorite commercial. I still remember the chorus to the song:

“Take the time to give and care for kids sake.
Make the time to live and share for kids sake.
You’ll feel better when you see them grow,
Take the time to give and care for kids sake…”

One day my mom and dad were studying but my sister and I wanted to go to the zoo. But they were studying so hard! Five minutes later my sister started singing the “For Kids’ Sake” commercial to my mom, with emphasis on “you’ll feel better when you see them grow!” My mom turned to my sister and said “get your shoes—we’re going to the zoo!” Who knew that would work!

From then on, whenever we wanted to do something, we sang the “For Kids’ Sake” song. As children, we never understood why it worked.

For nostalgia’s sake, here’s the "For Kids’ Sake" public service announcement:

Fast forward 30 years...

Now I have a daughter age 6. My husband and I both work full time and I was pursuing my Master’s degree. (Interesting how things come full circle.) I was busy writing a paper but my daughter wanted to go skating. I politely said that I have to finish my paper. My daughter turned to me and said “Why are we so busy?” All of a sudden, I recalled the "For Kids’ Sake" song and how it made my family spend quality time together. I told my daughter to get her shoes on and that we were going skating—we had so much fun! And yes, my paper was still completed on time.

It was at that moment that I understood why the For Kids’ Sake song worked for my parents. It helped them (and me!) realize that the most important moments are spending quality time with your family. We learn so much from our children!

Jun 11

Dental Health for Kids

Author: Bri Rodriguez-Cancio

As I was bemoaning the fact that my six-year-old did not brush her teeth well (i.e. thoroughly enough for my taste), a pediatric dentist that I know, Dr. Mouli Patel of Pediatric Dentistry of Union, shared some great advice with me.

She said to use this general guide:

If your child can tie her shoes, then she can brush her teeth alone.

More than a general correlation to age, Dr. Patel said that much of the manual dexterity in tying shoelaces also assists with all the angles needed to brush all sides of the teeth. Who knew?! That's your tip of the day!

Now, if you are looking for manual dexterity, our dedicated teachers at Jump! help pre-writers get ready to have proper pencil grip with scissor cutting and pincer work, to name but a few examples.

Come visit and see what our smart students can accomplish, as they "play!"

Let's Brush Our Teeth!

Pictured: Heather Miele, a dental hygienist from Tender Smiles 4 Kids taught Jump! students all about the mouth, its hinge, and proper brushing & flossing techniques.

Instead of peering into an actual mouth or using a small plastic mouth as a sample, several children volunteered to line up as "teeth" and Miss Heather showed how to brush (using a 4-foot tall inflatable toothbrush!) and floss (using a strip of cloth!).

Thank you Miss Heather for the fun and informative visit!

May 18

Teaching Responsibility Without "Training Wheels"

Author: Bri Rodriguez-Cancio

What do you do when your child is NOT turning in their homework on time, or not at all? What if you feel, as "Super Parent," that they are not doing the assignments "to their fullest potential?" Do you do it for them? Hover over them and point out how, concretely, to make it "better?" Let's examine.

Several weeks ago, I coincided with Jackie Sanin, the Founder of Jump! Immersion, on a Saturday afternoon at Jump!. As a parent, I had had a bit of a rough week, stressing out over the lack of enthusiasm I witnessed in my child to finish her book report/project. Even worse, she had missed some math homework… a first in this household. What was going on here?

I lamented this state of affairs with Jackie. Right away, she looked me straight in the eyes, and said, "You must it let it go; let her stand on her own two feet and FAIL." We have a friendly relationship, so she could be this direct. I felt like I had been punched in the chest; let my baby F-A-I-L? This goes against my cultural underpinnings and personal philosophy. What was Jackie saying?

Turns out, she was right. She explained that, in her experience as a parent, she had had some difficulty with her child turning in homework around 2nd or 3rd Grade.

She Took the Training Wheels Off

She told her child, in a calm and loving way that she had to budget time for the project. If she did not do this, the assignment would not be complete. "Mom" was not going to bail her out and do shuttle diplomacy or ask for leniency from the teacher. "Child" was going to have to speak to the teacher and state, matter of factly, that the work was not complete and give no excuses.

Fast-forward a few days in the Sanin Household...

The homework was not completed and Child had to go the teacher and state her case. Child was mortified; she learned her lesson with that emotionally stinging confession, in front of her peers.

I digested this information. Let my darling child get a bad grade in school? Sigh. Alright; I'm ready for the experiment.

I sat down with my child and calmly told her what my expectations were for this assignment. I advised her to budget her time. Consequently, she did not. The night before the assignment was due I emailed the teacher and advised her of my child's incomplete report and my stance. Teacher was ready to greet her the following day. My child had to present what she had, and explain to the teacher what was incomplete and why. Her teacher spoke to her about her own expectations, and we reviewed all this at home the following night. I think my daughter "got it." She is growing up and needs to follow the steps to finish her work on time. Good choices, good consequences. "Bad" choices, other consequences.

Teaching About Choices & Consequences

We all can agree that this was a "teachable moment."  Not an easy one, no "aha moment", but one that required reflection. This is something that I learned in smaller instances, with the teachers at Jump! Immersion. Children are not "punished." They are given the opportunity to reflect in a calm setting on the choices they’ve made that have impacted their classmates: A toy that was snatched. A hurtful word. All typical preschool and elementary moments.

The teachers keep a watchful eye on the class and individual dynamics, and step in to guide the child/ren to a meaningful understanding of their actions and the repercussions. It is truly amazing to watch.

As a parent, I sometimes don't feel as if I have this moment in time to stop, assess and reflect. It does us all good... Too bad that I can't fling this blog post to the person who cut me off on the Garden State Parkway yesterday...

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