Author Archives: Dwight Brooks

Baby Steps: Preparing Your Child for Preschool

You’ve made the decision that your child will be enrolled in preschool for the upcoming year. But how do you go about making sure that your toddler will get the best pre-education? Preschool can be a challenging time for both parent and toddler, but a few tips and even more preparation can help you and your child to feel very confident about the preschool you’ve chosen.

Compile a list of possible preschools.

Take a look at the preschools in your area, browse through the phonebook or Internet, and get feedback from family and friends in order to compile a list of preschools you think would be good for your toddler. Base your decision on the location of the school, the amount of children per classroom, and the friendliness and qualifications of the staff. Be sure that the preschool is licensed by the state, and you can even check the National Association for Early Childhood Education (NAEYC) website to find a list of accredited preschools in your area.

While you’re making your list, take your schedule into consideration. Find out whether or not the preschool offers care for a full day or half a day, so even if the academic program is what you want for your toddler, you may have to major some arrangements to make sure your child can attend the school and have reliable transportation each day. So, try to choose a preschool that is as close to your home or job as possible. This way, your child will be able to make it to school on time each day, and won’t be restless or cranky by the time they arrive at school.

Find out the school’s mission or philosophy.

Another great way to help you choose the perfect preschool for your toddler is to talk to the director about the school’s philosophy and learning methods. Most preschools emphasize learning by doing, a concept based on the writings of John Dewey, and other preschools practice Montessori teachings, where a child’s individuality is encouraged. You should schedule a time to talk with the preschool’s director about which learning methods are used often in the preschool, and decide which of these learning styles will work best with your child’s personality. Ask about how much your child will be learning ‘on his own’ during the course of the day, how much time is allotted for play with other children, and whether or not your toddler’s social and emotional development will be just as much of a priority as his academic learning.

You may not be able to get a feel for all this over the phone, so schedule a meeting with a few schools, to see first hand how a typical day in the preschool is spent. You may even get a few reactions from parents who are picking their children up or dropping them off; this is an accurate way to determine whether or not your child will be happy there, since parents really don’t have anything to lose by being honest with you. Your visit will also allow you to see how clean the preschool is, how new or safe the toys or playground equipment are, and how meals are served during the day. After you schedule a time to speak with the administrator or your child’s potential teacher, ask if you can actually observe a class for about twenty minutes or so, so that you can see exactly how the class is run, how attentive the children are, and which teaching styles the instructor uses.

Talk to your toddler. 

Before you make any plans to register your child at a preschool, talk to your toddler about the idea of preschool and pay attention to his reaction. If he panics at the thought of you not being around, you may want to take a little more preparation time getting him used to the idea of not being at home all day. Or, your toddler may embrace the idea of preschool. She may be excited about going to school, and will want to know about meeting new friends and having a teacher. Your child’s personality is a good indication of how he or she will behave in preschool, so if you know that you eventually want to enroll your toddler in a preschool program, observe them early to find out which classes and day care centers would be best for them.

It may also be a good idea for you to set up a mock preschool in the home, so that your toddler can get used to the idea of playing with friends, problem solving, and various forms of instruction. Invite friends from the neighborhood and/or family members of the same age over to play during the day. And, set aside times for snacks and a nap, in order to put your toddler on a schedule. Let the toddlers play independently as much as possible, and step out of the room every once in a while, so that your toddler will get used to being without you for long periods in the day. Setting up a preschool in your home may help your child cope with the idea of preschool a little better, especially if he or she is afraid. Explain to your child that the activities you do at home will be similar to what goes on in preschool; this will help to ease some of the anxiety your child may have about starting preschool. Remember, this may take some time, so get your toddler prepared for preschool as early as you can.

You may also want to let your child pick out a couple of outfits for preschool, or ask what he or she will want for lunch about a week or so before the big day. Wearing a pair of favorite shoes or eating snacks from home will help your toddler feel comforted during the day, and provide a sense of security while you’re away. On the first day of preschool, many schools allow you to stay for a good portion of the day, so that your child can play and learn in a new environment, with the security that you’re right in the next room. If you can make time in your schedule to do this, it could make a big difference-after a while, your toddler will be excited to go to school in their own, and you can be confident that your child is in a safe learning environment, developing the social skills that will be valuable well beyond the preschool years.

 

Wedding Etiquette: A Guide to Wedding Traditions and Customs

Weddings are a celebration of a bride and groom’s love and commitment. Every wedding will reflect the bride and groom’s personalities with the bride being able to express individuality. Every event will oblige some wedding traditions and customs. Correct wedding etiquette is important to show that the bride and groom are serious about their life together. The bride and groom may chose cultural, social or family traditions and customs to follow. The bride and groom may chose not to abide by correct wedding etiquette but some wedding traditions are just age old and must be followed.

Wedding Dresses

Everyone will talk about the gown. The wedding gown is traditionally white. This became fashionable in 1840 when Queen Victoria wore an all white wedding costume. History shows that white was the Ancient Greek colour known as the emblem of joy and Roman brides wore white to pay tribute to the god of fertility. The old English rhyme suggests that married in white, you have chosen right.

Another wedding adage is not ignored by any bride. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe. The something old and something new represents the rite of passage with a link to the past and the hope of success for the future. To borrow something brings good luck, with the blue symbolising purity, love and fidelity. The coin represents future wealth.

The Bride

The bride must stand at the groom’s left side when taking her vows. This is because most people are right handed and the groom will be able to protect his bride from would-be marauders, explains Arlene Hamilton Stewart in her book A Bride’s Book of Wedding Traditions, 1995.

The bride traditionally adorns a bouquet of flowers or herbs as a good luck symbol. The throwing of the bouquet passes the luck onto the next to be married.

 

The attendants are traditionally expected to protect the bride. The more bridal attendants, the more protection provided from bad spirits.

The Groom

The groom’s attire relates to the time of day the wedding ceremony will take place. The later in day the more formal the groom should dress. An evening wedding justifies a formal black tailcoat, white waistcoat and white bow tie.

The Wedding Ceremony

The procession into the wedding ceremony of a formal wedding should begin with the ushers walking down the aisle in pairs, followed by the bridesmaids in pairs, then the maid and matron of honour, followed by the ring bearer, flower girls and then the bride accompanied by her father.

As the ceremony draws to a close the bride and groom kiss to the sound of wedding bells, sealing their commitment to each other.

The Wedding Reception

A feast of food and wine following the wedding ceremony is an age-old wedding tradition to celebrate the first meal taken together as husband and wife. The father of the bride is traditionally responsible for the expense of these arrangements.

The wedding cake is served at the end of the meal and is a symbol of fertility and plenty. According to wedding lore, the bride and groom must cut the cake and eat the first piece together as a sign of love. The top tier of the cake is kept for the christening ceremony of the couple’s first born child.

The bride and her father commence the first waltz with the groom joining in with his mother. Today this tradition has been replaced with the bridal waltz when the bride and groom commence dancing together.

It is correct wedding etiquette to give wedding favours, a small gift or memento given to the guests. Three or 5 sugar-coated almonds wrapped in tulle and tied with a ribbon are the traditional thank you gift representing fertility and wealth.

No guests should leave the wedding reception until the newly married couple have been farewelled for the honeymoon. Then the guests may depart thanking the mother and father of the bride.

Following the correct etiquette, customs and traditions will provide luck for a long, happy, fertile and prosperous marriage.

Baby Phat Girlz Back to School Tees: The Newest Collection

Send your little princess back to school in style in the newest collection of Baby Phat girls’ tees and tops. The Baby Phat Girlz Tee Collection features comfortable cotton fabric, adorable patterns, and flirty designs. Here are a few of the newest girls tees from the Baby Phat Girlz fall collection.

The Newest Collection of Baby Phat Girlz Back to School Tees: Jersey Cap Sleeve Tee

School days are back and your little princess will look absolutely cute and cuddly in the Baby Phat Jersey Cap Sleeve Tee. This adorable girls tee highlights a signature Baby Phat foil kitty logo at front, has comfortable cap sleeves for easy movement, crew neckline, stone sparkling details, a form fitting pattern and a Kimora Lee Simmons signature line at front. The Baby Phat Jersey Cap Sleeve Tee with Foil and Stones is made of cotton and is available in girls’ sizes (small-extra large). This cute girls tee is offered in the colors black and white. Visit Baby Phat online for more available colors.

The Newest Collection of Baby Phat Girlz Back to School Tees: Cotton Jersey Tee

Complement this tee with denim jeans or khaki pants for the ultimate back to school outfit. The Baby Phat Cotton Jersey Tee has an attractive short sleeve design, shirring detail at chest, a foil signature Baby Phat logo, a logo crest with embellished sequin crown kitty tail and Baby Phat tag at upper back. This flirty girls tee is made of 100% cotton and is available in girls’ sizes (small-extra large). The Baby Phat Cotton Jersey Tee is offered in the color emerald. Visit Baby Phat online for more available colors.

The Newest Collection of Baby Phat Girlz Back to School Tees: Ruffle Trim Tee

She will look pretty and dazzling in the Baby Phat Ruffle Trim Tee. This sassy girls ruffled tee has an appealing ruffle trim design at sleeves, signature Baby Phat logo foil print at front, a sequin sparkling kitty print at center, an embellished filigree detail and Kimora Lee Simmons signature line at bottom. The Baby Phat Ruffle Trim Tee is made of 95% cotton, 5% spandex and is available in girl sizes (small-extra large). This trendy tee is offered in the color black. Visit Baby Phat online for more available colors.

The Newest Collection of Baby Phat Girlz Back to School Tees: Side Tie Sequin Logo Tee

The Baby Phat Side Tie Sequin Logo Tee adds radiance and style to any back to school wardrobe. This delightful girls tee has a stunning sequin detail, a charming side tie, ruch designs, short sleeve pattern, and signature Baby Phat logo at front. The Baby Phat Side Tie Sequin Logo Tee is made of 95% cotton, 5% spandex and is available in girl sizes (small-extra large). This fashionable tee is offered in the color white. Visit Baby Phat online for more available colors.

For more girls tees from the Baby Phat Girlz Back to School Collection, visit Baby Phat online.