Preparation and Resolutions for the New Year
Suggestions & Recommendations by Julie M. Armenta, M.A. Education & Family Specialist
With each New Year, we have the opportunity to reflect on our lives, and make adjustments to our life goals and objectives. These adjustments are usually expressed as New Year’s Resolutions. This New Year, as you begin the journey down a new path, share this new beginning with your child. Listed below are a few ideas.
Eat Healthier: Children between the ages of six and twelve eat half of the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Dole Foods’ website (www.dole.com/#/superkids) or Nourish Interactives (www.nourishinteractive.com) have suggestions on good eating habits and it gives great information on vitamins in fruits and vegetables. Try some healthy snack recipes from Better Recipes (www.healthy-kids-snacks.com) Your child will feel, act, and think better on a healthy diet.
Become More Physically Fit: With children choosing more often to play on computers, and watch TV, many are becoming sedentary. Children and adults should get some kind of exercise daily. The best kind of exercise is one your child will do regularly. Help him or her find activities that are fun and rewarding. Baseball, walking, soccer, jumping rope—anything is OK if it is enjoyable and done safely. Don’t push them to exercise. Instead join them in a fun, vigorous activity. Kids are more likely to be active when they have someone to do activities with. Everyone in the family will feel better if they are active every day.
Read More Books: The advantages of reading are endless. Help increase your child’s vocabulary and use of the English language, both verbal and written. I recommend 20-30 minutes per night. Check out websites like Reading Rainbow (www.readingrainbow.com), World of Reading (www.worldreading.org), and KidsReads.com (www.kidsreads.com) to help get your children involved and excited about reading. Your local library is always a great place to visit.
Start A Journal: It is a wonderful self-reflection tool, and it helps to keep your child focused on daily/weekly goals and events. Journal writing will improve your child’s writing skills. I encourage children to have a private journal where they have a safe place to explore their feelings, thoughts, ideas, and dreams. Or perhaps you could keep a family journal for everyone to share in and read. Journaling helps your child to become a writer at an early age.
Volunteer: Volunteerism is a great way to teach young children responsibility, not only to a particular task, but to the community in which they live. Volunteering is a great way to get children involved. They can work with animals, other children, technology, etc. There are many opportunities out there. Here are some informative websites for you and your family to check out:
Kids Care (www.kidcare.org)
Just Give (www.justgive.org)
President’s Student Service Challenge (www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/)
Creative Outlet: It is important for children to express themselves through music, dance, theatre, art, etc. Be creative and have fun. For some online creativity, try www.TouchPaint.com, www.funbrain.com, www.CyberCones.com, www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/, and Disney’s Kid’s Crafts (family.disney.com/crafts).
Quality Family Time: Have a family only night. Or, perhaps set aside a particular time daily. Try playing family board games, taking walks, or 20 questions games. Quality family time does not need to have a specific agenda or planned activity. This time can be spontaneous and varied in length from a few minutes to several hours depending on the situation. There are many activities that are enjoyable and can be of benefit to both you and your child. It is important to take advantage of quality time with your child. Take time to enjoy your family. Some great family geared websites are www.starfall.com/, pbskids.org/whiteboard/, and orangecounty.net/html/fun.html.
Study and Organization Time: Get in the habit of studying each night. Review and reinforce always! Elementary should work one-hour, middle school 1.5-2 hours and high school 2-3 hours daily. Get organized by making a schedule that works best for you and your family. Get started before you get too relaxed after coming home from school/work.
Julie M. Armenta, MA Founder & Education & Family
28062 Forbes Road, Suite B
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
949-367-WISE (9473) or 949-433-0898
At ALA our goal is to remove present homework and study habits and make learning simpler, easy and fun. This work at ALA and at home becomes part of your child’s life. We prepare students to perform and reach your child’s learning potential. Also, classroom conduct will improve, as your child gets satisfaction from achievement and performance rather than frustration. He or she will make new friends with like minded achievers who are going places in this world. Above all, your child will be happier because of doing something meaningful and finding success. This is the number one requirement for happiness in anything we do in life. What about grades? Those grades are passports to college, scholarships and great satisfaction of achievement. Students’ grades improve immensely due to specialized and small group instruction. Not only do we make learning fun, but we also see great results in all aspects of your child’s life.