Hannibal Parents as Teachers
Back to School Edition: August/September 2021
We Can't Wait to Visit Your Family!
Parents as Teacher Enrollment Information
Home Visits, where we focus on individual families and children’s early childhood development.
Group Connections are fun educational opportunities for parent-child activities and socialization with other families.
Annual Screenings consist of developmental, health, vision and hearing screenings
Resource/Referral Network is available if a developmental delay or other family need arises
Complete this online form, and a Parent Educator will be in contact with you to set up a visit with your family!
Healthy Sleep Habits: Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics
Make sufficient sleep a family priority. Understand the importance of getting enough sleep and how sleep affects the overall health of you and your children. Remember that you are a role model to your child; set a good example. Staying up all night with your teen to edit his or her paper or pulling an all-nighter for work yourself isn't really sending the right message. Making sleep a priority for yourself shows your children that it's part of living a healthy lifestyle—like eating right and exercising regularly.
Keep to a regular daily routine. The same waking time, meal times, nap time, and play times will help your child feel secure and comfortable, and help with a smooth bedtime. For young children, it helps to start early with a bedtime routine such as brush, book, and bed Make sure the sleep routines you use can be used anywhere, so you can help your child get to sleep wherever you may be.
Be active during the day. Make sure your kids have interesting and varied activities during the day, including physical activity and fresh air.
Monitor screen time. The AAP recommends keeping all screens—TVs, computers, laptops, tablets, and phones out of children's bedrooms, especially at night. To prevent sleep disruption, turn off all screens at least 60 minutes/1 hour before bedtime. Ceate a Family Media Use Plan and set boundaries about use before bedtime.
Create a sleep-supportive and safe bedroom and home environment. Dim the lights prior to bedtime and control the temperature in the home. Don't fill up your child's bed with toys. Keep your child's bed a place to sleep, rather than a place to play. One or two things—a favorite doll or bear, a security blanket—are okay and can help ease separation anxiety.
Realize that teens require more sleep, not less. sleep-wake cycles begin to shift up to two hours later at the start of puberty. At the same time, most high schools require students to get to school earlier and earlier. The AAP has been advocating for middle and high schools delay the start of class to 8:30 a.m. or later. It is important that parents and local school boards work together to implement high school start times that allow teens to get the healthy sleep they need.
Don't put your baby to bed with a bottle of juice, milk, or formula. Water is okay. Anything other than water in the bottle can cause baby bottle tooth decay. Feed or nurse your baby, and then put him or her down to sleep.
Don't start giving solids before about 6 months of age. Starting solid food sooner will not help your baby sleep through the night. In fact, if you give your baby solids before their system can digest them, he or she may sleep worse because of a tummy ache.
Avoid overscheduling. In addition to homework, many children today have scheduled evening activities (i.e., sports games, lessons, appointments, etc.) that pose challenges to getting a good night's sleep. Take time to wind down and give your children the downtime that they need.
Learn to recognize sleep problems. The most common sleep problems in children include difficulty falling asleep, nighttime awakenings, snoring, stalling and resisting going to bed, sleep apnea, and loud or heavy breathing while sleeping.
Talk to your child's teacher or child care provider about your child's alertness during the day. Sleep problems may manifest in the daytime, too. A child with not enough, or poor quality sleep may have difficulty paying attention or "zoning out" in school. Let your child's teacher know that you want to be made aware of any reports of your child falling asleep in school, as well as any learning or behavior problems.
Talk to your child's pediatrician about sleep. Discuss your child's sleep habits and problems with your pediatrician, as most sleep problems are easily treated. He or she may ask you to keep a sleep log or have additional suggestions to improving your child's sleep habits.
Preschool Readiness: 5 Tips for New School Routines and First Day Jitters
Article Published from Scholastic
Preschool is a "big step" forward and an exciting time for you and your little one! While stepping into preschool for the first time is filled with lots of wonderful new experiences for your child, for some kids, it can also be a little scary because it's new. With this in mind, below are some tips that will help you establish new routines, calm first-day jitters, and prepare your new preschooler for the first day of PreK.
- Before school begins, if you can, visit the classroom together at least once, preferably when other children and your child's future teacher(s) are there. This will help familiarize him with his new school and learning environment, and help ease the "fear of the unknown." If you can't go into the school or classroom, drive or walk to the school and show your child where the school is located. You might also consider taking a walk around the neighborhood to familiarize your child with his new school surroundings.
- Be sure to talk about school with enthusiasm at home in the days and weeks leading up to the first day, and as the first days and weeks unfold. Try to avoid the temptation to say things like "There's nothing to be afraid of," and instead, help calm her fears with information about what preschool will be like and how her days will unfold with new teachers and classmates.
- Read books about going to preschool. There are so many wonderful stories about characters who go to school for the very first time. Use stories to help prompt lots of conversation about what preschool will be like, talk about the characters' feelings about going to school for the first time, and share observations from the story about the preschool experience. Reading books and sharing stories about what you enjoyed about school will help your child mentally prepare for what his new experiences will be like.
4. Adjust routines early. Talk about the new school routine: what time you'll be getting up and going to school, who your child's teacher is and who will be in the classroom, what time the day ends, and who will be there to pick her up each day. Try getting your kids back into a routine at least a week ahead of time. Kids need time to adjust to new morning and bedtime routines. Make a chart that outlines the few things they will need to do each day before leaving for school: wake up, have a healthy breakfast, get dressed, wash up, brush their teeth, and pack their backpacks. Kids like to know what to expect, and they thrive on routines.
5. Plan a short goodbye ritual. Before you drop your preschooler off on day one, plan out a ritual for saying goodbye so he knows what to expect. (The Kissing Hand mentioned above is a wonderful story that offers up a goodbye ritual I used every day with my boys when they were starting school. They loved it!) Children have a harder time with lingering goodbyes, so try to keep it personal, positive, and short. Be sure to also remind them that you (or your caregiver) will be there to pick them up every day.