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Wednesday
Apr292009

Audio Interview with Jim Fay of Love and Logic

Last week I interviewed the co-founder of Love and Logic, Jim Fay. Love and Logic is a philosophy founded by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D., and is based on the experience of a combined total of over 75 years working with and raising kids. It provides simple and practical techniques to help teachers and parents have less stress and more fun while raising responsible kids. Love and Logic offers many useful techniques that teachers and parents can begin experimenting with immediately.

Every Wednesday Love and Logic has a Free Weekly Tip. Signup for it on their website at: http://www.loveandlogic.com

Tuesday
Apr282009

Eight Sleep Tips for Every Child


It's a privilege for UMA to find great writers on subjects you and your parents can use. One childhood specialist that we are featuring is Elizabeth Pantley. Here is a great article by her on healthy habits for a child's sleep:

Up to 70% of children under age five have sleep problems. Sleep issues are complicated and have many causes. They’re hard to deal with because when children aren’t sleeping, parents aren’t sleeping, and that lack of sleep affects every minute of every day for every person in the family because lack of sleep isn’t just about being tired. Sleep has a role in everything -- dawdling, temper tantrums, hyperactivity, growth, health, and even learning to tie his shoes and recite the ABCs. Sleep affects everything.

The following ideas are of value to almost any sleeper, of any age. These tips can bring improvement not only in your child’s sleep, but also in her daytime mood and last, but not least – improvements in your own sleep and outlook as well.

# 1 Maintain a consistent bedtime and awaking time.

Your child’s biological clock has a strong influence on her wakefulness and sleepiness. When you establish a set time for bedtime and wake up time you “set” your child’s clock so that it functions smoothly.

Aim for an early bedtime. Young children respond best with a bedtime between 6:30 and 7:30 P.M. Most children will sleep better and longer when they go to bed early.

# 2 Encourage regular daily naps.

Daily naps are important. An energetic child can find it difficult to go through the day without a rest break. A nap-less child will often wake up cheerful and become progressively fussier or hyper-alert as the day goes on. Also, the length and quality of naps affects night sleep – good naps equal better night sleep.

# 3 Set your child’s biological clock.

Take advantage of your child’s biology so that he’s actually tired when bedtime arrives. Darkness causes an increase in the release of the body’s sleep hormone -- the biological “stop” button. You can align your child’s sleepiness with bedtime by dimming the lights during the hour before bedtime.

Exposing your child to morning light is pushing the “go” button in her brain — one that says, “Time to wake up and be active.” So keep your mornings bright!

# 4 Develop a consistent bedtime routine.

Routines create security. A consistent, peaceful bedtime routine allows your child to transition from the motion of the day to the tranquil state of sleep.

An organized routine helps you coordinate the specifics: bath, pajamas, tooth-brushing. It helps you to function on auto-pilot at the time when you are most tired and least creative.

# 5 Create a cozy sleep environment.

Where your child sleeps can be a key to quality sleep. Make certain the mattress is comfortable, the blankets are warm, the room temperature is right, pajamas are comfy, and the bedroom is welcoming.

# 6 Provide the right nutrition.

Foods can affect energy level and sleepiness. Carbohydrates can have a calming effect on the body, while foods high in protein or sugar generate alertness, particularly when eaten alone. A few ideas for pre-bed snacks are: whole wheat toast and cheese, bagel and peanut butter, oatmeal with bananas, or yogurt and low-sugar granola.

Vitamin deficiencies due to unhealthy food choices can affect a child’s sleep. Provide your child with a daily assortment of healthy foods.

# 7 Help your child to be healthy and fit.

Many children don’t get enough daily physical activity. Too much TV watching and a lack of activity prevents good sleep. Children who get ample daily exercise fall asleep more quickly, sleep better, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling refreshed.

Avoid activity in the hour before bedtime though, since exercise is stimulating – they’ll be jumping on the bed instead of sleeping in it!

# 8 Teach your child how to relax.

Many children get in bed but aren’t sure what to do when they get there! It can help to follow a soothing pre-bed routine that creates sleepiness. A good pre-bed ritual is story time. A child who is listening to a parent read a book or tell a tale will tend to lie still and listen. This quiet stillness allows him to become sleepy.

Work with these eight ideas and you’ll see improvements in your child’s sleep, and yours too.

Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill Publishing from The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Preschoolers (McGraw-Hill 2005)
http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth

Monday
Apr272009

PNMA Spring Sharing Fair

Last Saturday over 125 Montessori teachers, aides and directors gathered for the annual Pacific Northwest Spring Sharing Fair at Cherry Hill Montessori, part of the Seattle Muslim School. Over 15 vendors were there showing and selling their products. Plus there were classrooms full of demonstrations and exhibits for primary and elementary ages! The event ends with a raffle with many great and useful classroom items. It was great! Here are just a few pics:


Thursday
Apr232009

CALL FOR CHILDREN’S PHOTOS.

We are collecting photos of children’s faces for our website. We are currently taking submissions and would love to involve our Montessori community at large...as a united effort. (This sample photo is provided by UMA graduate, Martha Huester of Surabaja, Indonesia.)


Photo requirements:
High quality (1mb or less in size)
Color
Clear facial close up (we are able to crop if necessary)
Minimal background (no clutter, crowds…)
Ages 2 1/2 – 6 years
Clothing should have no printed advertising or cartoon characters
Natural pose (any expression)

We will need official permission to post your child’s photo on the UMA website. You may download this permission form, and submit with your photo(s).

We look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday
Apr222009

UMA Audiocast-Earth Day!


No use in reinventing the wheel when it comes to information on Earth Day and environmental issues that affect all of us. In this audiocast I list just a few but what I think are valuable sites:

Tuesday
Apr212009

Cultural Experience- The Norooz Table


The Norooz Table - A Cultural Experience

This Spring, UMA went for a visit to Harborpointe Montessori School in Mukilteo, WA and found a beautiful table display called “The Norooz Table.” Norooz in Persian means New Year Day. It is the traditional beginning of the new year in Iran and goes back 15,000 years. It begins at the beginning of spring on vernal equinox, March 21.

Generally, wheat, barley, lentils, and other vegetables seeds are soaked to grow on china plates and round earthenware vessels some ten days in advance, so that the sprouts are three to four inches in height by Norooz. A table is laid. Displayed here are typical items, such as candle, incense burner, bowl of water with live gold fish, the plate with green sprouts, fruit (apple), coins, fresh garlic, and painted boiled egg. Articles are prominently exhibited in small bowls or plates on the table. The whole table, beautifully laid, symbolizes the Message and the Messenger, light, reflection, warmth, life, love, joy, production, prosperity, and nature. It is considered thanksgiving table for all the good beautifully bestowed by God.

Monday
Apr202009

Practical Life: Putting away Dishes

At least once a week, we are posting old blog entries and they are great! What a treasure trove of goodness!

Here is one sent almost 4 years ago to us by Jenny Bright – Hollywood, CA
"Put Away the Dishes"

1. Dish Cabinet

2. 3 Tea Cups

3. 1 Teapot with Lid

4. 1 Vase with 5 Spoons Inside 5. 5 Plates

Thanks Jenny!

Saturday
Apr182009

Parents: Article on Strollers, "Looking Back to Look Forward"

So much controversy over the ergonomics we utilize for children.

Check out this article in the ThrivebyFiveWA.org blog:

http://www.thrivebyfivewa.org/GlobalPages/ThriveBlog/BlogRoot.aspx?post=Strollers&blog=ThriveBlog

Friday
Apr172009

News to Use: "Chemicals in Baby Products"

Our naturopathic doctor, Dr. Tamara Cullen, was recently featured in this local newscast, alerting parents to the potential risks of harmful chemicals in baby products. To view, click on the link below:

http://www.king5.com/video/topvideo-index.html?nvid=214460&shu=1

If you have other links related to this topic, please share with us through posting a "Comment" below.

Wednesday
Apr152009

Sensorial Exercise, Material Composition Board

It is great posting materials demonstrations from past blogs UMA has hosted. Here is one from Tracy Charlesworth-John of Port Orford, OR.

She writes:

"The idea for the "Materials Composition Blocks" was inspired by my daughter and her friend.

We were all sitting around the table, drinking and eating. My daughter's friend says, "I know what that is," (pointing to a glass), "That's glass.”
And my daughter replied, "That's plastic," (pointing to another cup). And her friend continued, "That's ceramic.”

So I held up a lid to a mason jar, and my daughter replies, "metal.” And we continued with the different materials that we see in our everyday settings. They were both really proud of their ability to identify and feel the varying textures and weights and seemed excited to express their knowledge!

The sensorial exercise is in the style of the "rough and smooth" boards and the "material match". There are 6 pairs of wooden blocks- each pair mounted with one of the following compositions: Metal, plastic, wood, cork, rubber, glass or ceramic. (Blocks are sorted into baskets, one of each pair (6 total) per basket."

Thanks again Tracy!