How To Prepare Your Child for Preschool

How To Prepare Your Child for Preschool

Steps you can take now to prepare your child for preschool

Many children throughout Fresno and Clovis will soon be embarking on one of the first big steps in their young life, starting preschool. For many, preschool is less than two months away.  Here are things you can do today to prepare your child for preschool, their first major life transition. 

While many parents are doing the obvious to prepare their child for preschool by working on the basic skills such as reading, playing and exploring, there are additional activities that can be added to the mix.  Additional activities include going on nature walks, working on puzzles and visiting the library.

Just as important as preparing your child intellectually for preschool is the need to prepare them emotionally.  Here are a few tips to help with the process of transitioning your child from home to preschool. 

Preparation before preschool starts

The following are activities you can start now, long before your child actually starts preschool.

Acting it out

.  Role playing or pretending is the way that many young children learn important life skills.  Use pretend play to prepare them for preschool.   Acting out such things as learning to hang up their backpacks, taking naps, working with others, taking turns, playing games, and using puppets are fun role playing activities you can play with your child.

Express and acknowledge feelings.  

It is natural for human beings to feel anxiety when preparing for a new experiences.  Your child starting preschool is no exception.  You can help your child by encouraging them to express their feelings.  Listen closely and acknowledge their fears.  Along with feelings of anxiety, you may notice changes in their behavior.  Children may regress in one area as they prepare for developmental growth in another.  With the proper support, the changes should be temporary for your child.

Work on self-help skills

.  The beginning of preschool marks a big period in your child’s young life when independence takes on a larger focus.  Help your child learn to master important basic tasks on their own such as using the restroom, washing their hands, cleaning up after themselves and putting their shoes and socks on.

Shift your schedule around.  

As your child goes through the first few weeks of preschool, make whatever changes are necessary in your routines to help the transition.  Make it a goal to create a calm and peaceful environment at home.  Limit media in your house as your child gets used to their new schedule and put them to bed at a reasonable hour.  It is also helpful to spend time outdoors, weather permitting and offer your child a healthy breakfast.  Developing predictable and consistent themes for your child in the first few weeks of school helps to make the transition to preschool happen quicker and all the more smoothly.

Preparing once your child starts preschool

There are additional things you can do to make your child’s transition into preschool all the smoother.

Visit the preschool

.  Visit your child’s classroom and meet their teacher a few days before school begins.    Show your child where the schedule is posted, talk about what to expect throughout the day and show them where they will store their backpack and personal things.  This is a great way to build excitement and anticipation for some children.

Get organized

.   As the first day of school quickly approaches, make sure your child has all the clothing that they need, backpacks and supplies.  This is also a great time to get your child excited about their new experience.  Set aside time to review all of paperwork sent home the first day of school.

Leaving your child the first day of school.

  Make sure your child arrives to school on time.  Most preschool classes structure the morning arrival time with fun activities which allow the children to meet and greet their friends.  It is important children have the opportunity to play before the class begins.  Arrival time activities help children transition to a busy day of preschool activities.   As you leave your child, offer words of encouragement and tell them how you will be back to pick them up in just a few hours.  Quick goodbyes are best.  

Stay involved

.  Some children develop independence quicker than others.  Keep in touch with their teacher to see if they are struggling to say goodbye to you.  Our teachers have a great deal of experience and will work with you to develop a plan to help your child.  Always tell your child that you are leaving and try to be prompt when picking up your child at the end of their day.

Your child’s experience in preschool helps to define the type of experience that they will have the rest of their academic career.  With a little planning and preparation, you can help the transition for your child be a positive, confidence-building experience that will shape them the rest of their lives.

Fairmont Private School Summer Camp 2017

We are looking forward to another epic Summer at the Fairmont Private School Summer Camp 2017

With Summer 2017 at our doorstep, we are preparing for an exciting, educational, and fun summer school class for Fairmont Private School of Fresno summer school students. Classes for students this year include:

  • Science and Nature
  • Math and Reading Enrichment
  • Sports Clinic
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Games of Strategy
  • Cooking
  • Photography
  • Acting and Improvisation
  • Show Tunes and Dance

Fun and learning do not end in the classroom. Inspirational field trips are planned for students to continue learning in new environments.

special events at Fairmont Private SchoolField trips for 1st-5th Grades

Learning as a child takes place throughout childhood. The following field trips are scheduled for Fairmont Private School summer school students grades 1st through 5h:

  • Fresno Chaffee Zoo:  The zoo is a culminating activity for the Science and nature class.  Campers will utilize their knowledge to identify animals and habitats
  • Bowling at Fresno State:  We have reserved the Fresno State Bowling Alley for our campers.  We will practice our basic math skills by computing our scores and learn the sport of bowling,
  • Miniature Golf at Blackbeards:  Campers will practice their golf techniques and enjoy a delicious lunch at Blackbeards.
  • Children’s Theatre:  Campers will attend the performance of The Hunchback of Notre Dame as a culminating activity for our Acting and Show Tunes Classes.  They will enjoy a live performance and critique the show

Guest Speakers

In addition field trips, Fairmont Private School Summer School will have guest speakers to present at assemblies for all of the children. Guests include:

  • The Bubble Man: Uses bubbles to teach science concepts. Interactive activities involving giant bubbles.
  • Visiting Chef: Visiting chef will cook with the children.

SUMMER SCHOOL CLASSES

Classes at Fairmont Private School Summer School are designed to educate, entertain and enjoy. Summer classes include:

Science and Nature

Campers will engage in hands on activities to learn about Physical science concepts, animal habitats, and the wilderness.

Math and Reading Enrichment

Campers will explore their favorite children’s books.  Each book will be celebrated with special culmination activities involving cooking, art, and crafts.

Sports Clinic

Campers will learn the fundamentals to new sports and also have opportunities to enhance the sports they enjoy playing.  Sports will include group games and individual activities.

Arts and Crafts

Campers will explore the art process through paint, ceramics, printing, paper mache, chalk, drawing, and natural elements.

Games of Strategy

Campers will enhance their critical thinking skills and problem solving abilities through board game opportunities.  

Cooking

Campers will plan and prepare culinary delights.  The cooking experience will be enhanced through visits from local chefs.

Acting and Improvisation

For those campers that are natural born actors and actresses, they will have the opportunity to build their skills through improvisation activities, skits, costume design, and set building. The children will showcase their talents through a special presentation for their families and friends.

Show Tunes

For those Campers that love to sing and perform, they will learn popular songs and showcase their talents at a special performance for their families and friends.

children in field at Fairmont Private SchoolIn Closing

Many of our former student’s fondest memories are of Fairmont Private School Summer Camp. Classes are filling up fast so enroll now to secure your child’s spot today. You can also call (559) 226-2347 or schedule a tour today.

 

 

Big Things Are In Store This Summer At Fairmont Private School

Summer School 2017 is shaping up to be pretty epic at Fairmont Private School in Fresno

With Summer 2017 just around the corner, this will be Fairmont Private School’s 43rd summer program. For forty-three years, we have been providing a challenging, stimulating, fun and entertaining summer program to the children of Fresno, Clovis, and Madera.

Since the first summer in 1974, we have tried to better the previous year by giving our new students new adventures and experiences. This year, we are offering the following classes:

  • Science and Nature
  • Math and Reading Enrichment
  • Sports Clinic
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Games of Strategy
  • Cooking
  • Photography
  • Show Tunes and Dance

At the end of the summer session, children who took the Show Tunes and Dance class in addition to the Acting class will be staging a performance for their parents and families.

In addition to exciting classroom activities, there are also have five field trips planned for students this summer session. They include:

  • The Zoo
  • Bowling
  • A meal at a restaurant
  • A trip to the Children’s Theatre
  • Miniature Golfing

We will be writing out our plans in greater detail for Summer 2017 in the coming weeks so please check back soon.

Sign up for Summer School 2017 at Fairmont Private School today to secure a spot for your child. Contact us or call at (559) 226-2347 with questions.

You can also schedule a tour of our campus if you are new to Fairmont.

 

 

Fairmont Private School, Family Built On Tradition

Our new motto that attempts to capture the essence of childhood memories of Fairmont

A motto is a short sentence or phrase chosen as capturing the beliefs or ideals guiding an individual, family or institution.

Fairmont Private School, Family built on traditionFairmont Private School Thanksgiving

This is our new logo that we are incorporating into all of our external communications.

We did not seek out a logo, rather it came to us after many conversation over the years with former students, many of who are parents and grandparents of current students.

The source of our motto

Fairmont Private School has been in the same location under the same ownership since 1974. As a result, we see the third generation of family members come through our doors. These people and their families are a very big part of who we are today.

In talking with many of them over the years, a recurring theme that comes up time and time again is the impact that relationships formed at Fairmont have had on their lives. There are many lifelong friendships that started here that endure to this day.   This is not limited to students from fifteen to twenty years ago but rather relationships that were formed in our earliest of days.

Fairmont Private School stories

Fairmont Private School kids playingOver the years, we have heard numerous stories from former students whose lives have been touched as a result of relationships formed at Fairmont. We speak to many of these former students when they drop off and pick up their children or grandchildren, students currently enrolled here at Fairmont.

The most common memories we hear about are of Holiday festivities such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Holiday programs we have held over the years seem to have had a big impact upon memories.

Another type of story that we hear about frequently about is how children were best friends here at Fairmont, go their own ways after graduation, and reunite later in life. These stories have been within the context of school, athletics, church and life. The recurring theme is how these people immediately recognize each other after many years and immediately reignite their friendships as though they never lost contact.

What is the source of these experiences?

Fairmont Private School, family built on traditionIn talking with others about these experiences, we find that they are unique especially when it comes to early memories of school. While we haven’t been able to nail down just what it is that creates these memories, the theme that comes up time and time is the unique family setting and traditions that have come to define what we do.

We have been moved by the stories we have heard and are honored to learn of the impact that we have had on the lives of so many of our former students.  We are humbled and thankful for being given the opportunity to play a role in the lives of your children and families.  

Contact us for more information, schedule a tour, or complete an application online.  Please feel free to call us at (559) 226-2347.

 

 

Fairmont Summer Camp 2016

An update on Fairmont Private School Summer Camp 2016

The Theme For Fairmont Summer Camp 2016, our 42nd Summer Camp is “A Unique Camp Experience”

Reading for EnjoymentSummer is a time when lifetime childhood memories are made. It is when we as children experience the Beach for the first time, a trip to a theme park, a family vacation, or a new experience.

Summer at Fairmont Private School has been a memory for more than three generations of children from the Fresno and Clovis areas as it has been a central part of our curriculum since 1974. During that time, our focus has been to provide our students with an intellectually stimulating, fun, learning environment that will prepare them for the year ahead.

Having successfully implemented over forty summer programs over the years, there are key fundamentals that have remained the same while new activities and events have been added to our program.

A Unique Camp Experience

Every year, we build a summer program around a theme. This year, it is “A Unique Camp Experience” where we will provide your child with exciting and fun daily activities that focuses on a Strategic Gamesfundamental skill that is essential for success later in life whether it be building upon their reading and math skills, social skills, how to use their imagination and creativity or any other assortment of essential life skills.

Summer camp at Fairmont is broken down into two sessions with session 1 taking place between June 14 and July 1 and session 2, starting July 5 and running through July 22, 2016. Camp hours are between 7:00 in the morning to 5:30 in the evening. We ensure that all of our campers have a positive experience with much of our Summer staff made up of Fairmont instructors.

Parent Feedback

016Every year, we strive to make our next Summer program better than the last. Parent feedback is very important to assess how we are doing because parent’s see and hear what their children are doing everyday.

Feedback we have received includes:

“We love the format of the camp. Fairmont Summer Camp offers the children academics and fun experiences.”

“My child looks forward to Fairmont Summer Camp each year.”

Summer Program Tracks

The Fairmont Summer program is made up of four different tracks, broken down by age and skill level including Toddler Summer Camp, Preschool Prep Academy Camp, Kindergarten Prep Academy Camp and 1st Through 5th Grade Camp. Each track consists of activities targeted at that specific age group with each track having its own unique goal.

Toddler Summer Camp

International CookingThe children are involved in active learning through the day. Activities will include climbing, dancing, creative dramatics, art, literature, language activities, snack time, and playtime. All children in the Toddler Summer Camp bring their own lunch and eat at 11:30 every day. Snacks are provided.

Preschool Prep Academy Camp

Preschool campers will enjoy a fun-filled morning of phonics, literature, math games, art studio, and ooey-gooey science fun.

Kindergarten Prep Academy Camp

Kindergarten campers will experience an exciting kindergarten curriculum designed to prepare children for kindergarten entrance in the fall.

1st Grade through 5th Grade Camp

Our first through fifth grade camp is a balance of academic enrichment, creative fun experiences, and field trips consisting of workshops that are designed to introduce campers to new activities as well as introduce curriculum learned during the school year. Workshops are enriching, purposeful and engaging, stressing teamwork and participation.

Activities and Schedules

Mad ScienceDaily activities and schedules for campers are broken down by days to ensure that they children are never bored and are learning new experiences. Our schedules across all four tracks are broken down as follows:

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Schedule
• Science and Nature
• Math and Reading Enrichment
• Sports Clinic
• Arts and Crafts
• Games of Strategy
• Cooking

PuppetryTuesday and Thursday Schedule
• Creative Writing and Journalism
• Sports Clinic
• Acting and Improvisation
• Arts and Crafts
• Show Tunes and Dance
• Cooking

Summer has always been our favorite time of year here at Fairmont. While the time is short, it is rich in activities, experiences and fun.

Additional information about the Summer Program at Fairmont including applications are online. You can also contact us, call 266-2347, or schedule a tour to see our facilities.

We are excited about this summer and hope that your child can join us for a summer of fun, learning, and building friendships.

SB 277 -New Law for Immunizations

SB 277 affects every child enrolled in public or private school in California

On January 1, 2016, a controversial State law went into effect that affects every child enrolled in a California school. Passed on June 29, 2015 by the California Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown signed California Senate Bill 277. California Senate Bill SB 277 removes the personal vaccine exemption for children attending daycare, and public and private schools.

FM Immunizations SB 277Most families will not be affected by SB 277 because their children have received all of their required vaccinations. However, this law will affect those families who have chosen to delay or decline one or more vaccines for their children and want their children to receive a public or private school education. Opponents to SB 277 argue that it is a violation of freedom of choice and informed consent while others argue that it is a matter of public health.

Naturally, many parents are concerned about how SB 277 will affect them. Here is a summary of what SB 277 does and does not do:

SB 277 does:

Remove the personal belief exemptions from statue for government mandated vaccines required for children to attend public and private schools, day care centers, nurseries, and nursery schools.
Apply to state mandated vaccines for diphtheria, Hib, Measles, Mumps, Pertussis, Polio, Rubella, Tetanus, Hep B (except for 7th grade and up), Varicella and “any other disease deemed appropriate by the State of California”
Allow for a medical exemption and defines a medical exemption as follows: “If the parent or guardian files with the governing authority a written statement by a licensed physician to the affect that the physical condition of the child is as such, or medical circumstances relating the child as such, that immunization is not considered safe, indicating the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstances, including, but not limited to, family medical history, for which the physician does not recommend immunization, that child should be exempt from the requirements of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 120325, but
excluding Section 120380) and Sections 120400, 120405, 120410, and 120415 to the extent indicated by the physician’s statement.”

SB 277 does NOT:

Require home schooled students or students who do not receive classroom-based instruction to be vaccinated.
Prohibit a student who qualifies for an Individual Educational Program from accessing any special education and related services.

Why was SB 277 enacted?

The passage of SB 277 is in response to an outbreak of the Measles that primarily affected people who were not vaccinated.  In January 2015, the CDC reported 84 people from 14 states had contracted Measles.  59 of those cases were linked to an initial exposure in Disneyland.

Please contact us should you have any questions about how SB 277 pertains to your child at Fairmont Private School.

Choosing A Summer Program for your Child

2016 Summer Program information for Fairmont Private School

Now that the Holidays have passed and life has returned to normal, it is time to start planning summer activities for your child.  When life is busy as it is with young families, time passes very quickly.  As a result, now is the best time to start planning summer activities for your children.  The good programs will fill up quickly.  My hope is that ‘choosing a summer program for your child’ is helpful to you.

Throughout Fresno, Clovis, and Madera, there are many summer programs for your children to choose from.  The key is to select the right summer program that will challenge your child whileSummer school program in fresno
providing them with fun, educational and creative activities.

California Summer Matters Campaign

Summer Matters is the first-ever statewide campaign focused on creating and expanding access to high quality summer learning opportunities for all California students. Chaired by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and co-chaired by Jennifer Peck, Executive Director of Partnership for Children & Youth, the Summer Matters campaign is raising awareness about the devastating effects of summer learning loss and the beneficial impact of summer learning programs.

Summer learning has been found to be essential to a student’s Kindergarten through Sixth grade success as a way to minimize the loss of concepts learned throughout the year.  Learning loss has been found to have negative health impacts on children who are not exposed to summer educational programs.

What to look for when choosing a Summer Program for your Child

The task force making up California Summer Matters Campaign has created a check list of the characteristics that a quality summer program should exhibit.  The characteristics are as follows:

  1.  A Quality Summer Program should broaden youth horizons – Your program should expose your child to new adventures, skills and ideas such as a nature walk, a new computer program, a museum visit or a live performance.
  2. A Quality Summer Progam should include a wide variety of activities – Your program should include activities such as reading, writing, math, science, arts and public service projects.  These activities should be done in a way that is fun and engaging to your child.
  3. A Quality Summer Program should help children build mastery – Your child should be improving at doing something they enjoy and care about, such as creating a neighborhood garden, writing a healthy snacks cookbook or operating a robot.
  4. A quality summer program should foster cooperative learning – Your child should be working with their friends on team projects.  Such activities should include a neighborhood clean-up, group presentation, canned food drive or other group activity.
  5. A quality summer program should promote healthy habits – Your child should be provided with nutritious food, physical recreation and outdoor activities.
  6. A quality summer program should last at least one month – Your child should be given enough time to benefit from their summer learning program.  It is recommended that the minimum length of time be one month.

The list of characteristics just described is meant to be a guide to help you find the best summer program for your child.  If you can find a program with more activities, that is all the better.

The Fairmont Private School of Fresno Summer Program

Fairmont Private School of Fresno has been providing a summer program for the children of the communities of Fresno, Clovis and Madera for 42 years now.  Our program is broken down into Toddlers, Pre-school through Kindergarten, and First through Fifth grade.

Fairmont Private School Summer Program for Toddlers

The toddler program at Fairmont Private School is for children 18 to 30 months.  It takes place Monday through Friday and is broken into two sessions.  Session 1 is from June 14 through July 1 and Session 2 is from July 5 through July 22, 2016.  The toddler program involves children in active learning throughout the day.  Activities include dancing, climbing, creative dramatics, art, literature, language activities, snack time, and playtime.

The afternoon Toddler Program will have a daily nap routine and will also include special projects and creative plays.
Application for the Fairmont Private School summer program for toddlers, including a flyer is available online.

Fairmont Private School Summer Program for Pre-school through Kindergarten students

class at Fairmont Private School of Fresno during business hoursFairmont Private School Summer Program for Pre-school through Kindergarten students is broken down into two academies, the Preschool Prep Academy and Kindergarten Prep Academy.
The Pre-school Prep Academy has activities such as phonics in the morning, math games, art studio and science fun.  The Kindergarten Prep Academy is designed to prepare children for entrance into kindergarten in the fall.

Both the Pre-school and Kindergarten workshops enable children to choose one of two afternoon workshops.  Crafts and cooking explores different crafting projects and delicious recipes.  Nap time provides your child with a quiet supervised nap routine.  Children who wake early will join the Afternoon Crafts and Cooking class.
Application for the Fairmont Private School summer program for Pre-school through Kindergarten, including a flyer is available online.

Fairmont Private School Summer Program for first through fifth grade students

The Fairmont Private School summer program for First through Fifth graders is designed to provide your student with a stimulating and fun educational experience.  

The schedule for Monday-Wednesday-Friday activities includes:

  • Science and Nature (morning)
  • Math and Reading Enrichment (morning)
  • Sports Clinic (morning)
  • Arts and Crafts (afternoon)
  • Games of Strategy (afternoon)
  • Cooking (afternoon)

The schedule for Tuesdays-Thursdays includes:

  • Creative Writing and Journalism (morning)
  • Sports Clinic (morning)
  • Acting and Improvisation (morning)
  • Arts and Crafts (afternoon)
  • Show Tunes and Dance (afternoon)
  • Cooking (afternoon)

First through Fifth grade Flyer and application to the Fairmont Private School summer program for 1st through fifth grade students are available online.

Preschool through Kindergarten Flyer and application to the Fairmont Private School summer program for Pre-school through Kindergarten are available online.

Toddler Flyer and application to the Fairmont Private School summer program for Toddlers is available online.

We hope that this checklist was helpful in choosing a summer program for your child.  Fairmont Private School has been offering Children’s summer programs for the past 42 years.   Tours, emails and phone calls to (559) 226-2347 are always welcome.

The Importance of Play in a Child’s Development

Playing is learning for your child

What is the importance of play in a child’s development?   This has been one of the most common questions I have received over the years from parents in my position as Executive Director at Fairmont Private School in Fresno.

Child playing in an imaginary airplaneFor almost thirty years now, I have come to believe that one of the most important things in a child’s development is their play activity.  For a child, their play activities are their work activities.  They are one and the same.

There are many thought leaders in the area of child development who share the same ideas.   I was recently reminded of this when I came across a recent blog post by the Gesell Institute about a My Weekly Reader article published in 1972.

My Weekly Reader

Weekly Reader is a weekly educational classroom magazine designed for Children.  Beginning in 1928 as My Weekly Reader, the weekly magazine covered curriculum themes in younger grade levels and news-based current events and curriculum themed issues for older grade levels

Play is learning

A child’s play activity has a tremendous impact on their development.  To a child, play and work are the same thing.  Through play, a child recreates that which they observe in the World around them.  A child explores the World through their senses – touch, taste, site, smell and hearing.  They practice what they experience what they explore.  In play, a child can test, experiment and manipulate.  The child imitates the adult activities that they see around them.children playing super-heroes

The importance of Play to development of a child in Pre-school and Kindergarten

Kindergartener’s first graders and teachers understand the value and spirit of play in the learning process.  The play process is the child’s natural way of investigating the World around them, learning how to understand it, and learning how to live in it.  In play, children imitate and dramatize roles, situations, and activities.  They can act out feelings and emotions, imitate and dramatize roles, all skills that they will need to use as future functioning members of society.

Children learn through play.  It is through that they acquire and build upon the skills that will enable them to success as successful members of society.

Four areas of play important to learning

There are four areas of play that are of prime importance to learning.  They are:

  • Discovery
  • Thinking
  • Imagination
  • Activity

Discovery as play

Childing playing the guitarChildren learn through discovery.  They constantly search for truth and knowledge.  Children are motivated by their curiosity and they derive a great deal of satisfaction from experimentation and discovery.   From the discovery process, the child learns about information and develops skills to progressively process more information and learn from that information.

To help your child learn from discovery, you can:

  • Make something creative from household items
  • Watch animals or go to the Zoo
  • Explore a new environment

Thinking as play

Intensive thought and problem solving skills are associated with children’s play because they are completely immersed in their activity.  From their discoveries, a child is building a library of experiences and that will be the foundation of their learning process.  A child uses this knowledge when they solve any problem, real or imagined, at work or at play.

To help your child learn from thinking, you can:

  • Learn how to handle a new pet safely
  • Play a new a game
  • Build something

Isaac Morehouse recently wrote a great blog post about how playing with Legos is more important than learning Algebra to children .  ()

Imagination as playChilding using their imagination

Play is creative and requires imagination.  It is through play that a child relives their investigations of the social world and recreates realistic experiences.  Encouraging your child in all forms of self-expression and play is very important.

To help your child learn from using their imagination, you can:

  • Make up far-fetched stories
  • Play dress-up as their favorite people or characters
  • Illustrate a favorite story

Activity as play

Spontaneous play powerful motivation for learning.  High interest in spontaneous play leads a child to put more effort into their activities, thus learning to accomplish more.  A child’s play has all of the qualities of their work.

To help your child learn from their activities, you can:

  • Cook with them
  • Learn a new rhyme to jump rope to
  • Mix paint to discover new paint combinations

Conclusion

Rest is just as important as activity, discovery, imagination, and thinking.  Rest can be in the form of sitting down somewhere, cuddling with you to read a good book or as lasting as being tucked into bed for the evening.  Rest to a child is as important as play.

At the end of a hard day’s work, you need to rest.  Remember that your child’s work is their play and they too need to rest after they work.

As your child plays, they learn the many things needed to assume a role in our society someday.  They are preparing for the years ahead.  When they rest, they are processing and absorbing all that they have learned that day.

I welcome your feedback and look forward to hearing your comments.

How Do I know if My Child is Ready for Kindergarten?

Nine questions to help determine if your child is ready for kindergarten

How do I know if my child is ready for kindergarten?  This is one of the most common questions I am asked as the Director of Fairmont Private Kids playing at Fairmont - blogSchool.  This question comes to me from young families of all social standings, economic class, and backgrounds.

Turning age five by the cutoff date designated by your State or school district is not necessarily the best answer when determining whether or not your child should start school.  When your child is ready for kindergarten will largely depend upon your child.

Factors that determine whether your child is ready for kindergarten?

When determining if your child is ready for kindergarten, it is important to not just look at the child’s chronological age but to take into account the whole child.  Look at the child’s social, emotional, physical, and intellectual characteristics.

The second component to determine if your child is ready for kindergarten is to consider the expectations of a school’s kindergarten program.  A child who cannot yet sit still, who can’t get along well with others, or who learns best through play rather than through workbooks will struggle in a program that emphasizes a strong academic focus and a highly structured environment.

Questions to ask to determine if your child is ready for kindergarten?

Your child’s social and emotional readiness will largely determine whether or not they are ready for kindergarten.  Some questions to ask yourself to assess your child’s readiness include:

  1. Can your child be comfortably away from you for an entire day?

    Most children have anxiety when separating from their parents for the first time.   However, does your child’s separation anxiety subside after a few minutes or do they continue until your return.

  1. Do they express ideas and feelings to adults other than immediate family?

    Many children experience shyness.  Does your child express ideas to people outside of their immediate family whom they are familiar with?  This could be the mother of a close friend, a babysitter, or extended family member.

  1. Do they accept minor disappointments or limits without tears?

    Do they have temper tantrums every time they don’t get what they want?

  1. Do they listen to and follow directions?

    How many times do you need to ask your child to do something before they do what is asked of them?

  1. Do they take turns and or wait for his or her turn patiently?

    Does your child have to be the first to speak every time and do they insist that whoever else is speaking stop so that they can talkKindergarten class at Fairmont

  2. Do they work independently without constant adult supervision?

    Is  your child able to focus on a task for a short period of time by themselves or do they require the attention of an adult to complete a task?

  3. Do they make simple decisions given a few choices of play activities?

  4. Do they take care of their personal belongings?

    Even adults are forgetful from time to time.  However, does your child look after those things that they know are theirs?

  1. Are they able to retell familiar stories, nursery rhymes, or songs?

 While you don’t have to answer ‘yes’ to all of the questions above for your child to be ready for kindergarten, these questions should be able to help you assess your child’s social and emotional readiness.

I hope that this information was helpful.

Please feel free to contact or call us at (559) 226-2347 to ask questions to better assess if your child is prepared for success in Kindergarten.

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Five Things To Do In Fresno / Clovis With Young Children

Educational and entertaining activities for young children in Fresno

What are five things to do in Fresno / Clovis with young children?  In talking with friends with children the same age as my own, I know that this is a question that every parent will ask themselves throughout the year, especially in the summer time when the kids are out for summer vacation.

As the parent of two boys, both of whom are quite physically active and interested in learning new things, all of the places mentioned below have provided a source of enjoyment for my children at one time or another.  A few of the places mentioned below are places that we visit on a regular basis throughout the year for family time or birthday parties while others provided enjoyment for the children just once.

Four of the places profiled are in Fresno while the last one is in Clovis.  Visiting these places can take from one hour on up to several hours with most costing money to participate.  In no particular order, the five places are listed below:

 Fresno Chaffee Zoo

The Fresno Chaffee zoo located at 894 W. Belmont Avenue in Roeding Park provides a few hours of entertainment that children seem to love.  Because of the heat in the Summer time, I would recommend going closer to when they open at 9:00 AM than when they close at 6:00 PM.

kids activities at Chaffee Zoo

The petting zoo, the show, and the various activities they have during the summer seem to provide the children with a decent time.  Because of the funding received as a result of Measure Z, there has been money available to add new exhibits.   Sea Lion Cove was recently added a second exhibit is forthcoming called the African Adventure.

The African Adventure is an 18-acre expansion of the Zoo and will feature new species in an environment made to resemble the African plains and savannas.  Animals planned for the exhibit include a pride of African lions, a family herd of African elephants, white rhinos and a new giraffe feeding station.

As of the time of this writing, the Chaffee Zoo in Fresno has 107 reviews on Yelp giving the Zoo and average of 4.5 stars.  Many of the reviews were from people who were from outside of the area.

Additional information about the Chaffee Zoo.

Forestiere Underground Gardens

Forestiere Underground GardenForestiere Underground Gardens is a nationally listed historical site right here in Fresno.  The Underground Gardens are part of a hand-built network of underground rooms, courtyards and passageways that is a great place to explore.  As a result, it can be a good educational experience for the kids.

Development of the Gardens took place over the course of forty years in the mind and through the hands of Baldassare Forestiere.  He never planned anything out on paper and only used simple farm tools to carve out what he saw in his mind.

Forestiere Underground Gardens have been reviewed 68 times on Yelp and has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Only guided tours are provided when the weather is good.  A tour lasts about one hour and can only be set up via email at tours@undergroundgardens.com.

Skywalk

Kids activity trampolineSkywalk Trampoline Arena, located in Madera along Highway 41 has been around for years and seems to continue to appear to children of all ages.  Their facility is over 7,000 square feet of trampolines.  Skywalk has a variety of different activities for people of all ages taking place throughout the week.  Monday through Friday from 10 in the morning to 10 in the evening is set aside only for children.  Children under 6 only are between the hours of 10 and 11 in the morning.   Skywalk can get busy during the week during summer months and on weekends with older kids.  As a result, you may want to visit the first time during hours designated for younger children.

As of the time of this writing, Yelp had 14 reviews for Skywalk giving the business an average of four out of five stars.  Most of the reviews were four stars or greater.   The less-positive reviews focused on the cleanliness of the facility and older kids.  However,  in the times that I was actually there, I did not see anything that jumped out at me and only have positive memories of my experiences.

You can learn more about Skywalk from their website.

MetalMark Climbing and Fitness

kids climbing wall fresnoMetalMark Climbing and Fitness is the best climbing wall in the Fresno/Clovis area.  Their facility located at 4042 Cedar in Fresno is a gym with a large climbing wall that features 12,000 square feet of climbing terrain and 80 top and lead ropes.

MetalMark Climbing and Fitness has activities available for children of all ages.  With walls and climbing routes for people of all ages and abilities, the climbing trails and routes are changed on an ongoing basis so that the course remains fresh for frequent users of the facility.

For first time climbers, MetalMark offers a course which is one hour in length which teaches the basic skills needed to start climbing such as how to secure your harness, how to tie a knot, how to do a safety check and other important safety-related skills.  A waiver is on the MetalMark website and the lesson includes a day pass, gear rental, and one-hour instruction for $28.  The lesson is free to members.

Both of my kids had a great time at their facility.  It was my youngest son who enjoyed MetalMark Climbing the most.   After spending the day climbing, both of my sons were exhausted and ready to rest.  They both had dinner and went to bed for a good night’s sleep.

Metalmark Climbing and Fitness has an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp out of 16 reviews.

Foxtail Gallery

Rock and Mineral store in ClovisThe Foxtail Gallery is a store located in Old Town Clovis that has a large collection of minerals, fossils, gemstones, and custom wood creations for sale.  This is the only store like it in the area.

The Foxtail Gallery is unique in that it has an amazing assortment of natural wonders that a child who loves nature is sure to enjoy.  My son was particularly enthralled with their large selection of rocks and minerals.  He studied most of the rocks and asked many questions which the store manager was happy to answer.

At first, I was a bit nervous about my kids going through the store but I just closely monitored everything they did and touched.  I would strongly suggest that you do the same.

My sons and I were in the Foxtail Gallery for a little over an hour.  They both thoroughly enjoyed themselves and asked many questions about everything that they saw.   We finished our visit to the Foxtails Gallery with the purchase of a fossilized fish embedded within a rock that has become the centerpiece of my son’s growing collection.  Since our first visit, my youngest son has become very interested in rock and minerals studying about them online on YouTube.  To this day, we continue to visit the Foxtail Gallery on a more or less regular basis.

The Foxtail Gallery also has an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp out of four reviews.

Conclusion

While we don’t have the activities for children that they do in Los Angeles or the Bay Area, there are nonetheless things to do to provide a child with an entertaining and educational time.  I have listed five things here.  What are some other things that will provide young children with an entertaining and educational experience?  Please let us know.