About Deborah Stewart & her Blog
Deborah is a winner of Top 25 Teacher Moms - 2013
What's one of your favorite new books for children?
I adore the book "Red & Yellow's Noisy Night (The Olive Branch)" by Josh Selig. It This is a wonderful book to read aloud to young children and the concepts that can be expanded into other types of learning are endless with this book.
What advice would you give to a mom who thinks her child has too much homework?
Time spent as a family is such a critical part of the education experience. I am not saying that having hours of homework is a good idea, in fact, I think it is not a good idea. But I am saying that where possible, see if homework can be placed in the center of a family environment rather than children off on their own for long periods of time. Working and studying as a family leads to the modeling of placing education high on the list of priorities, great study habits, and a well informed parent. As families work together, what can seem like too much homework could possibly turn into extra time spent together.
What's one of your favorite educational activities that can be done outside the classroom?
Journalling has to be one of my favorite educational activities that can be done outdoors. By bringing a journal to the outdoors, children are able to integrate writing skills and creative thinking with the exploration of the outdoor environment.
A little tip for outdoor journals: Don't feel like the journal needs to be all about writing words. It can include a variety of skills or approaches. For example, drawing a picture of what a child sees or closing your eyes and listening to what your hear while coloring. Making leaf prints in the journal or taking photos of outdoor favorites and then writing something (or dictating) something about the photos.
And one more tip: Make sure that the materials used (Crayons or Paper) for outdoor journalling will be really usable in the outdoor environment. Put paper on a clipboard if necessary and put crayons in a small bag with a handle for taking along easily as you go for a walk.
What are your favorite blog posts?
What's a good way to motivate and support children who are struggling to learn a certain school subject?
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Try letting the child be the teacher and the parent be the student. Through role play and role reversal, the child reveals what he or she knows but isn't put on the spot to have to be the one to provide all the answers rather the child can be led to observing how the parent seeks to find the answers. The parent can...
Start off by choosing an assignment the child is supposed to accomplish.
1. Raise a hand to ask questions (Let the child be the authority)
2. Ask simple question the child can answer (build child confidence)
3. Demonstrate out loud the thinking process (role model study skills)
4. Do a few of the problems of the assignment on a separate piece of paper (walk through the process)
Then switch roles and let the child redo and finish the assignment with the parent as the teacher.