Your Weekly Update from Natick Preschool
Greetings Preschool Parents and Guardians,
We are so enjoying our work and time spent with your children. The beauty of the preschool years is that they are filled with stages and milestones that are so much fun to build upon as children incrementally increase their self-regulation and age-appropriate independence. It is a joy to offer a child opportunities that become building blocks of their own empowerment and ultimately decrease their need to wait for adults to make things happen for them. One simple example is management of school tools. Effectively managing school supplies is a lifelong skill that translates into the work environment and thus, is never-ending. How amazing that little learners can build a foundation using their tiny backpacks, colorful lunch boxes, and red folders! Read on for an example of a backpack routine and the skills it can build!
Have a wonderful weekend with friends and family.
Natick Preschool Principal
Important Things to Know!
Here is a sample of the backpack routine at school:
-Every morning, children take off their backpacks, unzip their backpacks, and take out their red folders and snacks.
-At the end of the day, children put their red folders and snack in their backpacks, zip them up, and put on their backpacks.
NOTE: -These tasks are done as independently as possible, with teachers working this routine side-by-side with your children, narrating the sequence or providing visual clues for the next step. This supported repetition and practice enables the child to commit the steps and the motions to memory, leading to greater independence.
Here is how you can build on this routine before and after school:
-Identify a spot somewhere between their carseat and well before the school door (the corner of the building, the car, the bike rack, the yellow square in the sidewalk, etc.) to have them put on their backpack. If you are carrying it for them, you can guide them to ask you for the backpack when you get to the spot (rather than you telling them to put it on e.g. stop at the spot and say, “What happens here?” or “What do you need before you go into school?”).
-Use this same spot as the place where they take off the backpack after school. Encourage them to keep their backpack on until they get to the spot. Then they can either hand you the backpack or indicate, verbally or with gestures, they need help taking it off.
-If your child has mastered both of the above, you can extend further by asking them to retrieve the backpack from a storage spot at home, unzip it, add the lunch or snack and return it to the storage spot after school, then unzip, take out the snack/lunch container and place it on the kitchen counter.
You will be amazed as the year progresses, so will their ability to assume responsibility for the backpack for more and more steps beyond school. Any parent of a middle schooler will assure you that the repetition and practice you put in with these routines now will save you many reminders as kids get older.
Robert Glazer, author of Elevate, summarizes the benefits of similar structures in his online newsletter:
“Last month I had the opportunity to interview one of my favorite authors, Angela Duckworth, on the Elevate Podcast.
Duckworth is a professor at the Wharton School, CEO of Character Lab and the New York Times bestselling author of Grit. She’s the world’s top expert on subject of grit, which she defines as the combination of passion and perseverance in pursuit of a long-term goal.
As we discussed building grit in work and life, the conversation moved to parenting. I’ve written previously about the concept of snowplow parenting, an increasingly common style of parenting where parents proactively clear all obstacles from their children’s lives to give them an easier path. It would stand to reason that this method of parenting is not conducive to building grit, so I naturally asked Duckworth for her thoughts on the subject.
Duckworth revealed that there is actually a research-supported conclusion about the best style of parenting, regardless of cultural background. This style is also particularly useful in helping children develop grit and prepare for future adversity.
Duckworth explained three key characteristics to this parenting approach.
Warmth: A parent who has their kids’ best interest at heart, is kind and whose children believe that the parent is invested in their best interests.
Autonomy Support: A parent who helps a child become independent and who respects their decisions and opinions, even when they don’t agree with them.
Demanding: A parent who has high standards for their kids, and often raises those standards as they mature.
While snowplow parents often are strong in the first characteristic, they don’t possess the second or third. Many parents today constantly interfere to solve problems for the kids, rather than giving them the autonomy to solve their own problems and holding them to a high standard.
As a result, children of snowplow parents generally don’t develop the skills needed to overcome adversity...and demonstrate diminished self-confidence and increased dependency.”
Quote of the Week:
“Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child.” – Author Unknown
Natick Preschool School Council
Meets virtually, once per month, typically in the mornings 8am - 8:45am
If you are interested in serving on the school council, please email me at email@example.com.
What is School Council?
The School Council, in serving as representatives of our larger school community, seeks to enrich and enhance opportunities for teaching and learning that result in improved learning outcomes for students. We strive to improve the supports available to teachers, students and their families as we work together to better meet the needs of all our learners.
Reminder for Parents Who Want to Volunteer--CORI Checks
Reminder If you want to volunteer in schools, you must have a CORI check conducted and you must go into the building with identification (drivers license or passport) to do this. Click here for description of what a CORI check is and does. Without a CORI check, you cannot volunteer in the school. Here is the form to fill out for a CORI. Preschool volunteer opportunities include being a Mystery Reader for the class, presenting a family tradition and supporting special projects.
Social Emotional Learning and Independence
Support Social Emotional Learning and Independence at home using the same language and systems we use at school
Handwashing at Home video
Schedules, Visuals, Daily Living and Social Emotional Learning These can help!
- How To Use PBIS at Home complete with printable red birds (don’t have a printer? Have your child make some red birds or choose what household item you can use to represent them.)
Make Clean-Up Fun Gracie's corner clean up song
What is the Preschool Flip?
Fleece! Jackets! Chilly weather calls for additional layers. Use the linked video to practice the Preschool Flip to build your child's independence putting on a jacket. They will be so proud of themselves and you will have your hands free for extra hugs!
Speak Up, Natick!
Send us your questions or ideas via Speak Up, Natick!
Bullying Incident Report
Use this form to report a bullying incident.
View the latest COVID-19 updates from NPS.
- Title I: Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990Title II
- Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990Title VI
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964Title IX
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
- MGL, Ch.76, Section 5: Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76, Section 5