April The Fours classes had a lesson about opera with an opera singer! Kim LeDone taught the children about different languages that opera is sung in, high and low notes, and different emotions portrayed through opera. It was a real treat to hear her sing some pieces from Figaro.
April The four year olds have become such great friends this year! Below, the children brought in pictures of themselves as babies and now. They have all been trying to guess the right pictures to match! They also drew pictures of what they want to be in the “Past, Present and Future” unit.
April Critter Caravan visited our school this week. Who knew chinchillas love to jump, even off off Mrs. Spitz’s head!
St. Mark’s Preschool has benefitted from having a licensed social worker, Susan Reichman O’Brien consult with us. Her impressive credentials and experience working with children and families has been invaluable for parents as they navigate the preschool years. Please see below for notes from a workshop she held in January, 2019. We look forward to more parent workshops in the coming year: October 22 at 9:15 and January 14 at 6:30pm.
Parenting: the Most Difficult Job in the World
A Conversation with Susan Reichman O’Brien, LCSW
1. Parent Coordination is Very Important
a. Parents must figure out how to ‘blend’ their styles as a couple, people are often raised differently and/or have different ideas about how to parent. Agreeing on styles creates a balanced approach where both parents are on the same side.
b. Figure out what works, what doesn’t; this involves some trial and error. Also, spend time talking about this topic.
2. Family Rules
a. Make them clearly established and consistent and only make 3-4 rules.
b. Write them somewhere and display in home, also, refer to them when correcting a child’s behavior. Follow through is very important for rules to work.
c. Rules evolve as children get older, the appropriate rules for a four year old are not the same for an eight year old.
3. Family Meetings
a. Hold regular family meetings so you can discuss rules and what works and what doesn’t. Communication and dialogue creates “buy-in” for family members.
b. Doesn’t have to be formal and should only be 10-15 minutes. Make sure the children get a chance to talk!
4. Setting Expectations
a. This is similar to Family Rules but used more for planning ahead of time for activities. It is important to make regular habit of telling children what’s expected.
b. Discuss the schedule for the day. Also, how they are expected to behave, (or ask them how they think they should behave!) There are different expectations for things, for example: going to the grocery store vs. going to the playground.
a. Time-outs are no longer considered a good strategy if a child needs to calm down; it can create feelings of banishment or rejection.
b. Instead, give children choices: you can calm down, you can use words or parents can decide for child if he/she is unable. Use a quiet, nearby space for the child to calm him/herself. Count to 10, or pretend to blow “bubbles”, pretend to blow out a candle are additional calming techniques (these can work for adults too!)
a. Children thrive with having expectations including small tasks around the home; it gives them something to accomplish and to focus on. They know that they are being a helpful member of the family.
b. Children should have 10-15 individual undivided attention. Play something that they can direct and engage in conversation. If there are multiple children at home, make time with each child separately.
a. Feed children the healthiest foods at point of day when they are the hungriest, for example, if your child typically eats a large breakfast but a small dinner, make sure breakfast is full of nutritional foods.
b. Snacks are fine for children but be mindful of offering nutritional options. It is important to stay balanced with food; being overly strict/prohibitive or overly complacent will often result in control issue over food.
c. Model what you want your child’s diet to look like; if you don’t want children eating Twinkies, don’t eat them in front of them!
9. Book Recommendation: Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, by Jane Nielsen
Friday June 3, 2016
It is with great excitement that we announce the appointment of Prisca Spitz as the next Director of St. Mark’s Preschool, effective June 15, 2016.
Mrs Spitz has superior credentials, and we believe she will be a great leader of our school. She has worked in administrative and teaching capacities with preschool, elementary, and middle school students for twenty-three years. Mrs Spitz's educational philosophy aligns fully with the warm, nurturing, play-based environment at SMP, where we raise up the whole child–mind, body, and soul. She believes that children thrive in an environment with trusting and caring relationships between school and home. Gentle boundaries, thoughtful routines, and caring adults all create a nurturing program for young learners.
Mrs Spitz graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in General Studies from the University of Connecticut. In addition, she has an Associate of Arts degree from Bard College at Simons Rock and holds both a Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership and a Master of Science degree in Business Leadership from Manhattanville College.