Notes from the Director
Happy New Year! Like most of you, I start the new year by making resolutions that will hopefully make me and my family healthy and happier. My number one resolution this year is to reduce my screen time. When I got my new iphone, it tracks the amount of time I spend on my phone and I was shocked at what I saw. Add to that the time I spend on the computer and watching TV and it is quite frankly disgusting. I have been making small changes such as turning off the TV when it is just background noise and listening to music instead. At bedtime, I have been doing my bible study with a real book not my phone. The one thing I noticed by doing this at bedtime is that I fall asleep much quicker and more peacefully. So far, with just a few adjustments, I feel more present and focused.
This year, Compass Christian Preschool made the decision to give up our NAEYC accreditation primarily because of their focus on technology in the classroom. As you know, we do not use computers and TV in the classroom as we believe that the children we serve have enough screen time outside of school. Preschoolers learn by interacting with the world around them. They need to be physically active — to run, climb, and swing on the playground — and to have creative outlets like drawing or dress-up. But too much screen time can have unhealthy side effects. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting the amount of time that preschoolers spend in front of a screen. It’s good advice — but in today’s world, it can be tough to keep kids away from all the TVs, tablets, computers, smartphones, and gaming systems.
Here’s how to keep time spent with screens as productive as possible.
How Much Is Too Much?
Preschoolers ages 2 to 5 should have no more than 1 hour of screen time each day. The exception to this rule is video chatting with grandparents or other family friends, which is considered quality time interacting with others.
Not all screen time is created equal. For example, you and your child playing an interactive phonics or numbers game on a tablet or watching high-quality educational programming together is good screen time. Use screen time as a chance to interact with your child and teach lessons about the world.
Screen Time Tips
The same parenting rules apply to screen time as to anything else — set a good example, establish limits, and talk with your child about it.
To make your preschooler’s screen time more productive:
Be with young kids during screen time and interact with them. That can mean playing an educational game with your child or talking about something you see together in an age-appropriate TV show or video. Research games and apps before getting them for your child. There are thousands of apps and games that claim to be educational, but not all of them are. Search online to see which ones educators and doctors consider the best. Schedule plenty of non-screen time into your child’s day. Unstructured playtime is important for building creativity, so young children should have time to play away from screens every day. Family meals and bedtimes are also important times to put the screens away and interact with your child. Keep devices with screens out of your child’s bedroom after bedtime, and don’t allow a TV in your child’s bedroom.
Coffee with the Director
On Thursday, January 17th at 9:15am in the True North Chapel, we will have the second Coffee with the Director of the school year. We will be discussing screen time and the effects on children. Part of our discussion will include ideas you can use at home and in the car to break the screen time habit. Please feel free to bring a friend. This is also a time for you to ask any question you might have about child development or Compass Christian Preschool.
As we start another new year, I think about how music is all around us. Music is present in many aspects of our lives: entertainment, worship, holidays, and celebrations. But none is as important as how we use music with our children. From birth, parents instinctively use music to calm and soothe children, to express their love and joy, and to engage and interact. Parents can build on these natural instincts by learning how music can impact child development, improve social skills, and benefit kids of all ages. Music ignites all areas of child development: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development promotes learning sounds and word meanings. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills. In addition to the other benefits of music, it also provides us with joy. Just think about listening to a good song on the car radio with the window down on a beautiful day. That’s joy. This month, I have the joy of sharing with your children western swing songs so we can learn to do-si-do, skating to the classical piece, Skating Waltz, and experimenting with sounds using sand blocks.
15th – Spirit Day (Wear your school shirt)
17th – Coffee with the Director at 9:15am
Transitional Kindergarten Parents invited to chapel at 1:25pm
24th – Western Day dress-up
Pre-K Parents invited to chapel at 1:25pm
25th – Transitional Kindergarten Information Meeting at 9:15am
29th – Wild Zoo to You to visit the school
31st – White Day
Registration Packets go home
Three Year Old Class Parents invited to chapel at 1:25pm
4th – Abby Rudolph
19th – Pam Pritchett
19th – Kristy Slinker
20th – Taylor Helgason