jueves, 27 de febrero de 2014

Global Paths Summer Program

Yes.. that's right, we are offering a 20% discount for students who submit their complete application by Tuesday 4th March, 2014.

So... If you know of any students who could be a good fit, pass on the word!

For 15-18 year olds

11 days touring the UK living on 4 different university campuses

Insight into different career paths from inspirational professionals

Tips from US and UK Admissions experts

Communication, problem solving and other essential skills for today's workplace

July 15 - 26, 2014

Apply: www.globalpaths.co.uk 

Questions: hrauckland@globalpaths.co.uk 

Helen Auckland
Global Paths Director

Highlights include:
  • Sightseeing and welcome party in London
  • Global teamwork project at Manchester University
  • Life Plan based on self reflection and tips from experts
  • Tour of Manchester United, Land Rover and Cadburys
  • Meet with employees from Google, IBM, Nestle and more
  • London School of Economics, University of Bath, Birmingham and Manchester


viernes, 21 de febrero de 2014

10 Tips on Hearing Your Child Read

Mother listening to her child read
As parents you are your child's most influential teacher with an important part to play in helping your child to learn to read.
Here are some suggestions on how you can help to make this a positive experience.

1. Choose a quiet time

Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough.

2. Make reading enjoyable

Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurize if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else.

3. Maintain the flow

If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to 'sound out' words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than 'alphabet names'.

4. Be positive

If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don't say 'No. That's wrong,' but 'Let's read it together' and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child's confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.

5. Success is the key

Parents anxious for a child to progress can mistakenly give a child a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect to the one they are wanting. Remember 'Nothing succeeds like success'. Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers.

6. Visit the Library

Encourage your child to use the public library regularly.

7. Regular practice

Try to read with your child on most school days. 'Little and often' is best. Teachers have limited time to help your child with reading.

8. Communicate

Your child will most likely have a reading diary from school. Try to communicate regularly with positive comments and any concerns. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value reading.

9. Talk about the books

There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favorite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.

10. Variety is important

Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials eg. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.

Shared from www.topmarks.co.uk

domingo, 16 de febrero de 2014

How Pets Benefit Child Development

Having a pet is usually a rite of childhood. Whether it is a hermit crab or gold fish, a dog, cat or horse, children enjoy the companionship offered by animals. Did you know, however, that not only can pets be a source of warm, fuzzy entertainment, but they can offer several developmental benefits to children as well? A child's physical, social, emotional and cognitive development can all be encouraged by interaction with the family pet.


"Pets provide an impetus for running and practicing motor skills," says Sheryl Dickstein, Ph.D., Director of Humane Education for the ASPCA. Walking a dog or running in the yard and throwing a ball are great ways to exercise the dog as well as for children to get away from sedentary indoor activities and move around. Small motor skills can be encouraged by allowing children to scoop food and pour water into dishes, and by helping to groom them. Depending on the child's age, parental supervision is recommended for both the child's and the pet's safety.


For children especially, pets can be wonderful social facilitators. Children are more prone to approach and interact with another child who is playing with a pet. In this way, a pet can be the bridge between a less socially outgoing child and other potential playmates.
A pet itself can be a social object for children because of the nature of their relationship. "Because animals accept us for who we are, pets give some practice in a social relationship," says Dickstein. Carlie Van Willigen's five-year-old son Murphy is developmentally disabled, and until the family got a dog two years ago, his mother reports that he never really noticed his surroundings. That changed when the dog came into the house.
"For a while, he didn't seem to even notice the dog, until one day he was running through the kitchen and skidded to a stop in front of the dog and started petting her. Eventually, he began throwing his ball and the dog would fetch it and he thought that was the greatest thing." Van Willigen sees their dog as one of the catalysts that helped Murphy learn that there is a world outside of himself and his own needs.


Pets can facilitate various aspects of emotional development such as self-esteem and a sense of responsibility. Says Dickstein, "As kids age and take on more of the care for the pet, it helps to build self-confidence." She points out however, that it is a misunderstood fact that pets teach children responsibility. "Parents teach responsibility," explains Dickstein, "Pets just make a good vehicle for learning."
The responsibility a child has for her pet needs be age appropriate. At the age of three, a child can help to fill food bowls. By five, he can begin to take on some basic grooming tasks as well as to help clean the pet's living area. As children reach the mid-elementary school aged years, they can begin walking a dog independently, and as the teen years approach, the child will most likely be able to take on the bulk of the responsibility for a house pet. Keeping pet-oriented tasks age-appropriate is not only necessary for the safety of the pet, but for the child as well -- both physically and emotionally.


As children grow, they may develop an interest in a specific type or breed of animal. Encouraging children to read about their favorite pet or to take part in obedience classes with a parent and the pet can all encourage a child's cognitive development as it sparks the desire for learning. Bringing the child along to a veterinarian appointment will give him a chance to ask questions about proper care and his pet's health.
With proper supervision, allowing children to research information about their pet on the Internet is another way they can learn about the pet's special needs and unique characteristics as well as to correspond with other owners of the same type of pet. If your child's desired pet is a horse but you live in a second story apartment, encourage your child to research horses anyway. Even if they can't have the pet of their choice, the learning will be valuable to them anyway.

Pets as therapy

Because of the special bond that often develops between pet and child, pets can sometimes fill the role of comforter. Since the relationship is non-judgmental from the pet's perspective, a hurting child might be more willing to initially trust a pet than a person.
Karen Hawkins runs a healing farm in Maine where she welcomes both children and animals who are in need of healing. Having worked extensively with foster children, Hawkins has seen the wonders that pets can work in the lives of these emotionally scarred children. "Some of my foster children had little or no nurturing when they were young. Having them help me nurture orphaned wildlife gave them some personal experiences of how nurturing should have been for them. I saw angry, sullen and sometimes downright vicious children - usually teens but sometimes younger - slowly become softer and milder in their behaviors. They began to trust more. They learned to confide their secrets to the animals and eventually that made it easier for them to begin to trust me enough to confide in me."
Brining a pet into the family is not a decision that should be made lightly. It first must be a commitment by the parents, not the child, as they will ultimately be responsible for the pet's welfare. Once that commitment has been made, however, and an appropriate pet has been found for the family, the joys and benefits of the pet relationship will last for many years to come.

Shared from www.sheknows.com

domingo, 9 de febrero de 2014

Is Yelling at Kids as Harmful as Spanking? Experts weigh in

In the grand scheme of parenting, spanking has gone the way of the dinosaur. While a quick swat on the behind was once common, parenting experts and mental health professionals alike have long expounded on the perils of corporal punishment as a parenting method.
Not spanking your child is a step in the right direction—but if you default to yelling instead, you might be doing more harm than you think.

Is Yelling at Kids Normal?

Statistically speaking, raising your voice is a normal parenting behavior. When polled in a 2003 University of New Hampshire study, 75 percent of parents copped to yelling at their children at least 25 times per year. Whether it's to gain control of a situation, to vent aggressive feelings, or just to feel heard, raising your voice can make you feel better.
But that doesn’t mean yelling isn’t causing harm, according to a study about yelling in a 2013 issue of Child Development. The findings were astounding: Harsh verbal discipline—including cursing, yelling, and insults—led to an uptick in adolescent depression and adversely affected adolescent conduct. So while you might feel like a little yelling is harmless, you could be doing more damage than you think.

What You Can Do

While it may not physically hurt your kid like spanking, raising your voice too often can put impressionable kids in a world of hurt. Here are some steps to ditch your yelling in favor of more effective, less damaging discipline the next time your child behaves badly.
  • Take ten to maintain your cool. When you feel yourself getting heated, walk away from the situation before you snap. "Yelling is a loss of control, much in the same way that hitting is a loss of control," says clinical psychologist Linda Smith. "When a child grows up in a home where people lose control frequently, they have much fewer opportunities to learn how to stay in control themselves." If you can avoid exploding at an ear-splitting volume, it’s important to understand that you’re modeling that behavior as an appropriate response to anger. The next time your child comes home with a failed test, let him know that you'll talk about it later and go calm down before you discuss the topic.
  • Consider the outcome. What do you hope to achieve by yelling? Identifying the source of your child’s behavior is key to figuring out how to effectively deal with it. Instead of bellowing, take a few deep breaths and talk to your kid in a calm manner, asking questions that get to the root of the problem. "When parents learn how to effectively help their children learn to get what they want responsibly and respectfully, there is no need for spanking or yelling," says developmental psychologist Nancy Buck.
  • Turn the tables. Before you yell at your own child, consider how you'd react if you were on the receiving end of the lecture. When your boss or spouse starts yelling, you probably stop listening—or question your ability to be an effective employee or partner. "Yelling articulates hostility and anger,” warns licensed profession counselor Shannon Battle. “It communicates language that penetrates the confidence and feelings of your child.” If the message of your aggressive boss gets lost in his shouting, how can you expect your child to hear your message when you’re doing the yelling?
  • Go for firm—not loud. While volume might seem like the best way to get your point across, aim for a firm—not loud—tone of voice. Being firm without screaming is the best way to show your child you mean business without causing him unnecessary stress. "If yelling is chronic and parents have difficulty managing their anger, children can become hypervigilant and develop anxieties that can also create other problems in their lives," says psychologist Robert W. Banks.
  • Consider the context. Everyone loses their temper and raises their voice every so often. But when it comes to yelling, context is everything. Yelling and insulting your child because of his grades will have a deeper negative impact than say, yelling about a messy room. Make sure that you're not saying anything you wish you could take back.
  • Set a good example. If your child screamed at—or worse, hit—his pals during a playdate, you would be mortified. However, that’s exactly the behavior you’re encouraging when you yell. "Both yelling and spanking are destructive disciplinary tactics that promote violence in your child,” says Battle. “Children that get yelled at by their parents tend to communicate in the same manner with others.”
  • Avoid setting a precedent. If you resort to yelling to get your child’s room clean or homework done, you could be laying the groundwork for long-term, harmful discipline methods. Licensed marriage and family therapist Lisa Bahar notes that yelling could condition your kids. "Conditioning occurs at parenting; therefore, yelling will become most likely the norm to consequences, meaning the behavior change may or may not occur unless yelling is part of the process."
Hey, even peaceful parents can lose it occasionally. The trick to disciplining your children isn't about spanking and yelling, but by making sure they really listen. By retooling the way you deliver your message, you can ensure that you're heard loud and clear without ever having to raise your voice.