The Growing Times – January 2020

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NOTE FROM MS. JANE:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Yikes—what happened to 2019? Time does seem to fly!  I apologize the Growing Times is so late this month…time is definitely flying by!

Don’t you just love the Children’s Art Gallery in B Hallway? It certainly makes me smile every time I walk down the hall. There is talk about auctioning off the pictures at some point so stay tuned. 

How about that Christmas Program? The children amaze me as they stand up there and sing the songs from their heart! A huge thanks to Miss Molly and the GTK staff for all of their hard work in getting ready for the program. We will start to work on the Spring Concert…so get ready for another fabulous night with children singing praises!

We try to go outside as much as we can during the winter months so make sure you send your child with a coat everyday. We have a chart that is posted on the bulletin board by the office with what you need to know about going outside.

PARENT TRAININGS

Mark your calendars for the following parent workshops:

  1. Relationship Revolution

What:  Relationship Revolution is training designed to help improve communication with our children, our spouse, our parents, etc.  Make plans to attend. 
Who:  David Freeman will be leading the workshop. David has trained people in leadership, collaboration, teamwork, and interpersonal communication since 1995. 
When:  Thursday, January 23, from 6:00-7:30.  Child care will be provided with meals for the children. 
Where:  Grow to Know…exact room TBD. 

2. Conscious Discipline

What:  Learn how to stop policing and pleading and become the parent you want to be.
You love your children, but if you’re like most parents, you don’t always love their behavior. But how can you guide them without resorting to less-than-optimal behavior yourself?
Who:  Jinny Datema will be presenting helpful strategies to help you with the daily struggle of parenting. Jinny works for Springfield Public Schools and has done numerous parent trainings helping parents with those difficult moments. 
When:  Thursday, February 6, and Thursday, February 13, from 6:30-8:00.  Child care will be provided with meals for the children. Snacks will be provided for the parents. You will need to let us now how many children will be in childcare for adequate staffing and meals. 
Where:  Grow to Know…place TBD. 

We will have a sign-up sheet for both workshops. We will need to adequately staff for childcare and be prepared for an appropriate training space.  

TUITION PRICE INCREASE IS NOW!

The minimum wage law was approved by the voters in 2018 to increase the minimum wage annually until the minimum wage is $12.00 per hour in 2023. The 2019 minimum wage rate was $8.60 per hour which increased by $.85 per hour to $9.45 in 2020.  The tuition rate increased by $10.00 per week beginning the week of January 6.  Check with the office if you have any questions. 

GTK CAN ALWAYS USE

  • Wipes.  Projects seem to cause messes and messes need to be wiped up so we use LOTS of wipes in a day/week. 
  • Hand sanitizer. We wipe a LOT of noses throughout the day!  Hand sanitizer helps keep the staff well.
  • Kleenex tissues. Some classes are completely out of tissues!

YOU CAN HELP US

  • By putting your child’s name in their coats, backpacks, etc! There are lots of coats, backpacks, etc and  several children have the same or similar things.    
  • By being VERY cautious on the parking lot. We have heard from several parents that there have been “near misses” in the parking lot.  Take it slow and easy and always watch for small children.
  • By locking your car when you drop off/pick up. 

INCLEMENT WEATHER

We have already experienced winter weather and the possibility of closing GTK for the day! Remember–the first thing you can do is to pray that ALL snow and inclement weather happens on the weekend!  Making the decision to open/close is a very difficult one. We will do our best to open and want to honor the parents so they can go to work but here is what we consider…usually at 5:00 AM:

  • Can the sidewalks/parking lot be cleared by 7:00 AM?
  • Can the staff get to work safely?  Can we stay within licensing ratio guidelines?
  • What is the weather forecast for the day?
  • What are the schools/colleges doing?
  • Would it be wise and safer to open at 8:00 instead of 7:00 to allow time for the parking lot to be cleared and staff to arrive?

We will do our best to have a decision to open/close by 6:00 AM. Check the Grow to Know Facebook page for updates. The decision to close will be posted on the Facebook page, the GTK website, and the local media outlets.  As was the case in December, we decided to close early based on the weather forecast and to open at 8:00 AM instead of 7:00 to allow maintenance some time to clear the parking lot and give the staff some daylight as they drive to work. It is NEVER an easy decision so prayers are greatly appreciated.

SAFETY

Lock your cars!  Do NOT leave anything of value in your car in plain sight.  Some items have been taken out of unlocked cars during the day. There is a LOT of traffic through the parking lot so make sure you are being safe. 

UPDATES AT GTK

  • We are making plans for the spring/summer at GTK.  Watch for updates in  the February newsletter.
  • Check the picture board by the gym for staff updates. 
  • GTK is tentatively planning to launch a center wide parent notification system. We hope to have something in place by February 1.  The new system will allow us to notify the entire center of news (deadlines, school closing, etc.), class news (Show and Tell, learning updates, etc.), and individual notifications (learning goals, more diapers/clothes, etc.)  We are very excited about the new system!
  • Reminder:  The teachers are required to be engaged with the children so all of the children are safe! If you need to talk to your child’s teacher, leave a message and they can contact you in the afternoon. 

HELPFUL TIPS FOR PARENTS

Check out the following websites for great ideas for parents:

  • Conscious Discipline Facebook page and the Conscious Discipline website (www.consciousdiscipline.com)
  • Springfield MO Parents as Teachers Facebook page. 
  • Read to your child!
  • Ask your child: “What was your favorite part of the day” instead of “Did you have a good day?” 

The following article is a great one to help you teach/learn with your child. 

Why does everything turn into a power struggle? People create power struggles when they feel powerless. With young children, power struggles often occur after giving the child a command or when the child is tired, hungry or otherwise stressed. Power struggles are such a prominent concern that I have recorded an audio lecture CD titled Preventing Power Struggles to empower parents and caregivers to better prepare for and respond to this particular kind of conflict. Knowledge of child development, connection and active calming will help you to lessen power struggles.

Child Development: Before age six, children process information 12 times slower than adults. We must slow down our speech and give only one or two commands at a time. If we speak at a normal pace and say, “Finish your snack, get your crayons and go color in the TV room.” The child may only process bits of information, hearing “crayons color the TV.”

Young children cannot conjugate the word “don’t.” When we say, “Don’t touch the lamp,” they hear, “Touch the lamp!” They look at you with a smile and touch the lamp. We think, “You wicked child, you deliberately defied me,” and enter power struggle territory. Instead of using “don’t,” pivot and tell the child what to do. “Don’t touch the lamp,” becomes, “Hold my hand (offer your hand) so you can learn how to touch delicate things softly.” “Don’t run,” becomes, “Walk slowly like this.”

Children under age seven also lack mature inner speech. Adults use inner speech to rehearse choices and outcomes before we act. Instead of inner speech, children encode information in pictures. So, we can use pictures to guide children’s behavior and avoid power struggles. Use your body as a picture by modeling what you want, use your words to help paint pictures of what you want, and put up actual pictures that show what to do. Instead of, “Walk in the house,” say, “Walk carefully with each foot going like this through the house.” Not only do you get better compliance (fewer power struggles), you also build language and literacy.

Finally, the brain is a pattern-seeking device. The more consistent your routines, the easier it is for the brain to pick up the pattern. If there is a consistent routine, the brain picks up the pattern, the child feels safe, and his neurological resources can be used for learning and exploration rather than for protection, and power struggles lessen.

Connection: Research indicates that the motivation to behave comes from being in relationship. Research also indicates that five minutes a day of focused play with children ages five and under reduces power struggles by 50%. Ten minutes of my I Love You Rituals per day will improve a child’s motivation and willingness, and decrease power struggles. If you don’t use I Love You Rituals, be certain to make time daily for specific, focused bonding activity you can share.

Active Calming: Finally, the absolute key for staying in control of yourself and helping to avoid power struggles is active calming. In Conscious Discipline, I call it “being a S.T.A.R.,” which stands for Smile, Take a deep breath, And Relax. Three deep breaths will turn the stress response off in the body. Once you are able to regulate your inner state through deep breathing, you obtain access to the highest centers of your brain. While you are taking these deep breaths, affirm to yourself, “I’m safe. I feel calm. I can handle this.” These words are chosen based on research: They unhook you from the survival center of your brain and plug you into the rational part of your brain. Now you can respond calmly in the face of a power struggle, and access your inner wisdom to come up with solutions rather than entering into the fray. Practice active calming in your life and teach it to your children. Read Shubert is a S.T.A.R. over and over so this deep breathing technique becomes second nature. Demonstrate being a S.T.A.R. when you’re having a difficult time, and help your child learn to do the same!

DID YOU KNOW????

  • That GTK has music and chapel once a week?
  • That each age group has science once a month?
  • That teachers are required to be observing/engaging with children while the chidren are awake? Staff are also required to observe each child while they are asleep–at least every 10 minutes.
  • Teachers are not allowed to be on their phones while the children are awake? It’s important that your child is safe at all times. The teacher may be able to talk to you during nap time.  You can always leave a message in the office. 

GROW TO KNOW KIDS (School Age)

Grow to Know Kids is using Pro-Care for signing up online! You MUST reserve AND pay in advance. The steps are listed on the GTK Facebook page OR call the office for more information.

  • Grow to Know Kids is available for school age children Kindergarten-4th grade. The cost is $35.00 per day beginning in January…due to the minimum wage increase.
  • Grow to Know Kids is available when Springfield Public Schools is scheduled out. We do NOT offer GTK Kids on snow days.  We must have a minimum of 10 children signed up to offer Grow to Know Kids.
  • Grow to Know Kids is licensed for 50 school age children. 

GROW TO KNOW KIDS (School Age)-SCHOOL YEAR 2019-2020

January 20
February 17
March 13-20
April 10

SCHWEITZER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

  • Check out Schweitzer United Methodist Church at sumc.co for more details on worship times, activities, and classes. 
  • Check out the Schweitzer Children’s Ministry for activities for children beginning in January. The Children’s Ministry has Wednesday night programs that include a free dinner for the kids.
  • There are a number of adult classes at Schweitzer beginning in January. Here are some examples of the classes being offered. Check out the website for a complete list and descriptions. 
    • Exploring the Old Testament
    • Financial Peace
    • Beyond the Broken Heart

INFORMATION

  • Grow to Know Hours:  7:00-6:00.  You will be charged a $1.00 a minute after 6:00 PM.  
  • Please call the office OR post on the GTK Facebook page if your child is going to be absent or will be arriving after 9:00.  (The kitchen staff does lunch counts during breakfast (9:00-9:30).
  • A $15.00 late fee is applied to late payments and balances carried over.  If you have specific questions, contact the office. 
  • Grow to Know has a private Facebook page for the GTK families and staff, so “Like” us on Facebook. Check out the Grow to Know website (www.gtkpreschool.com). 
  • We bill on Mondays for the week. 
  • Check with the office if you have concerns/questions about your GTK payments.

Bible Verse for January: But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidenceis in him.  Jeremiah 17:7

CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

January
1:  CLOSED
2,3:  GTK Kids
20:  GTK Kids
23:  GTK Family Class/Relationship Revolution @ 6:00-7:30

February
6:  Conscious Discipline Parent Training I @ 6:00-7:30
13:  Conscious Discipline Parent Training II @ 6:00-7:30
17:  GTK Kids
26-28: Kindergarten Screening

March
16-20:  GTK Kids

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