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Curriculum Post any curriculum ideas, activites or projects that wouldbe helpful to our Daycare community. What is your teaching philosophy?

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Old 09-06-2011, 10:32 AM
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awestbrook713 awestbrook713 is offline
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Default Unorganized And Feel Like Something’s Missing

I just feel unorganized and like I'm stuck in a rut. I just became registered August 1st but I feel like there is so much missing from my program. Last month I tried doing a weekly theme, letter and color of the week. We did an art project, special food project, coloring and watched fun videos about the theme and had discussions. I have a contract written up for parents and the normal paper work you are supposed to have but what about monthly news letters, do alot of you do this and what kind of stuff do you put into them. Are monthly menus a good idea or just a waste of time. I want the parents to feel involved and see what they are paying for, I don't want them to think I am a babysitter, I am a daycare provider. Also now that summer is ending and kids are going to school my group size is much smaller, how do you make the daily routine worth it when you only have 2 or 3 kids. Anyone know of daycare organizing websites I can go to?
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by awestbrook713 View Post
I just feel unorganized and like I'm stuck in a rut. I just became registered August 1st but I feel like there is so much missing from my program. Last month I tried doing a weekly theme, letter and color of the week. We did an art project, special food project, coloring and watched fun videos about the theme and had discussions. I have a contract written up for parents and the normal paper work you are supposed to have but what about monthly news letters, do alot of you do this and what kind of stuff do you put into them. Are monthly menus a good idea or just a waste of time. I want the parents to feel involved and see what they are paying for, I don't want them to think I am a babysitter, I am a daycare provider. Also now that summer is ending and kids are going to school my group size is much smaller, how do you make the daily routine worth it when you only have 2 or 3 kids. Anyone know of daycare organizing websites I can go to?
Have you considered being a babysitter for a year or so just to get your sea legs?

If you are struggling you may want to JUST focus on good food, good sleep, good supervision, good toys, good schedule.... good discipline and LEARN kids.

Maybe nix the activities, newsletter, and anything extra and just let the kids play toys, prepare a really healthy good meal... spend TIME with them when they eat... supervise them very closely... and just take the time to learn kids.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:46 AM
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I feel like that is pretty much what I am doing but when I was going through the registration process I felt a lot of pressure that you need to do this and that. At this point I'm trying to just keep good records and give the kids a stable, fun place to be while mom and dad are working. I feed healthy meals and snacks, let them color, read to them, go outside and play, play inside, nap time, a little tv time. If I can do what you are suggesting and not get any flack for not having a more dynamic program I think I can work on things and make my program the best it can be or at least close.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:52 AM
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I have a few things on my blog. I don't know if I'm allowed to post the site address on here or not. I'm going to start posting lesson plans, too. Routines are key for me to enjoy this! Even with just a few kids. They thrive on it!! I've found some helpful sites - I'll try to get on my PC (I'm on my phone stuck in the rocker right now!) And look them up and post them ASAP.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
Have you considered being a babysitter for a year or so just to get your sea legs?

If you are struggling you may want to JUST focus on good food, good sleep, good supervision, good toys, good schedule.... good discipline and LEARN kids.

Maybe nix the activities, newsletter, and anything extra and just let the kids play toys, prepare a really healthy good meal... spend TIME with them when they eat... supervise them very closely... and just take the time to learn kids.
Amen to this.

It seems to be more and more pressing for day care providers to be teachers nowadays. Parents expecting pre-school activities all day for their two year olds.

I do have a weekly theme and we do some activities during the week to go along with that theme. But that's it.

About ten years ago, I felt I HAD to come up with a "program" for the kids. It drove me nuts. The parents pretended they cared when they signed up, but before long, the art projects stayed in the kids' cubbies and I ended up throwing them away. It was a waste of my time and my money. The parents never asked about the program. They never looked at the calendar. They never followed any of the requests (wear red day for example) They just wanted a babysitter even when they SAID they wanted pre-school.

I came to the conclusion that those who really truly wanted PRE-SCHOOL payed mega bucks for a separate program with a qualified TEACHER. I am not a teacher. I am a Mom. I have 25 years plus experience in taking care of children. I do that very well. But I did not go to school to be a teacher.

I believe small children learn while they PLAY. They learn math skills when playing with blocks. They learn life skills when playing dress up and interacting with their peers etc etc.

If I was you, don't feel pressured into turning your day care into a mini kindergarten. Those little ones have plenty of time for a formal school education.

Your job is to love them, feed them and keep them safe as they play. They are toddlers..... not small college students.

De-stress!
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:57 AM
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Thank you this just made me take a deep breath and sigh.
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  #7  
Old 09-06-2011, 11:00 AM
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Default Cut yourself some slack!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awestbrook713 View Post
I feel like that is pretty much what I am doing but when I was going through the registration process I felt a lot of pressure that you need to do this and that. At this point I'm trying to just keep good records and give the kids a stable, fun place to be while mom and dad are working. I feed healthy meals and snacks, let them color, read to them, go outside and play, play inside, nap time, a little tv time. If I can do what you are suggesting and not get any flack for not having a more dynamic program I think I can work on things and make my program the best it can be or at least close.
Then you are doing great things!! When I first started my hchild care home, I had big plans to do developmental testing, porttfolios, monthly newsletters, etc, like I had done in the center I was at. I had a rude awakening! As one individual, I was setting my own standads too high, therefore feeling like a failure. If a child's basic needs are met, and they feel loved and safe, then yo are setting the stage for their brains to learn what they need to through play!! I've found that most parents who want their child in a home daycare want them to be there because it is a HOME. It took me a while to figure out they don't want all the bells and whistles; they want to know their child is comfortable and loved! It takes a long time to figure out what works for you and what your limitations are, but you'll get there! If you want to involve parents more, maybe send a mass text once a day or week to let the parents know what their kids are up to. I know I send tons of pictures via text and the parents love them!!
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:44 AM
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I think it depends on your group dynamics, for me the parents sought me out because I offer a preschool program and learning curriculum. The learning is mainly play based as that is what I feel is best for early learners, most are open ended and emergent; however, I do offer small group time, learning circles, and teacher directed activities. I also complete a progress report bi- annually, hand out calendars and news letters monthly, and go on field trips - this is why I have the parents I do and for the most part are appreciative. I could always offer less and stress a 'Home' like atmosphere and that would work too. What did you offer the patents when they enrolled and go from there
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awestbrook713 View Post
I feel like that is pretty much what I am doing but when I was going through the registration process I felt a lot of pressure that you need to do this and that.
Yes this is the problem.

Can you tell me what made you feel a lot of pressure?
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeko60 View Post
Amen to this.

It seems to be more and more pressing for day care providers to be teachers nowadays. Parents expecting pre-school activities all day for their two year olds.

I do have a weekly theme and we do some activities during the week to go along with that theme. But that's it.

About ten years ago, I felt I HAD to come up with a "program" for the kids. It drove me nuts. The parents pretended they cared when they signed up, but before long, the art projects stayed in the kids' cubbies and I ended up throwing them away. It was a waste of my time and my money. The parents never asked about the program. They never looked at the calendar. They never followed any of the requests (wear red day for example) They just wanted a babysitter even when they SAID they wanted pre-school.

I came to the conclusion that those who really truly wanted PRE-SCHOOL payed mega bucks for a separate program with a qualified TEACHER. I am not a teacher. I am a Mom. I have 25 years plus experience in taking care of children. I do that very well. But I did not go to school to be a teacher.

I believe small children learn while they PLAY. They learn math skills when playing with blocks. They learn life skills when playing dress up and interacting with their peers etc etc.

If I was you, don't feel pressured into turning your day care into a mini kindergarten. Those little ones have plenty of time for a formal school education.

Your job is to love them, feed them and keep them safe as they play. They are toddlers..... not small college students.

De-stress!
I agree with this!!

Mainly, I think you need to consider what will make you happy doing this job and what kind of program you want to offer. I used to try to do the preschool things, but as stated in the above post, parents just didn't care about what we did here.
I had one mom who would always refer to me as the babysitter, and i finally just decided to stop being angry about that and imbrace it.
I now tell people when they enroll that I am NOT a preschool program, nor will I be offering one. My home is a place for their children to grow, be loved, learn compassion, and be safe and happy. I provide childcare for mainly teacher's and that is what all of my clients are looking for. They know how stringent school is now, and they want their children to be in a home environment as long as they can where they can play and be kids.
Decided what you want your program to look like, then make sure that is how you market it yourself and don't be ashamed if you decided not to do preschool. You can't be everything for everybody, so do what you are comfortable with and you will find the clients that agree with your outlook.
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  #11  
Old 09-06-2011, 01:19 PM
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I don't do "teaching". I've been open almost 2 years. I am a "babysitter". My parents know that coming in. I provide a warm, loving "home" atmosphere. We eat, we play, we nap.

Now, do I teach, yes.
  • I have taught 3 of my kids to give up the passy at my house. The most recent, hasn't had a passy here in 5 weeks. She still has several at home.
  • Each time I read a book, we talk about shapes, colors etc.
  • When we are outside, we talk about trees, pine cones, rocks etc.
  • I work with them on eating with a spoon, etc.

You are teaching just with the everyday things you do. I tell my parents up front. If you want a preschool, long about 4 years, you need to move them to a center/preschool. I won't get them ready for Kindergarten. I love my babies. I've found most parents, want a home daycare for the babies and toddlers. Mainly b/c they don't get sick as often in a smaller setting. By the time they are older, they aren't mouthing all the stuff and sharing as many germs and are ok to put them in a larger center.

Last edited by SandeeAR; 09-06-2011 at 01:20 PM. Reason: bullet
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:27 PM
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I think it depends a lot on your OWN temperament, too! I HAVE to have a plan to function! I scaled down my lesson plans a lot from what I was trying when I first started, but without a plan, schedule, menus, I just feel out of sorts and my days don't go as smooth - I don't enjoy my job as much! But, everyone is different! I think the common theme in the posts here is: Find what works for YOU!
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:31 PM
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I guess the pressure came from all the rules and regulations and knowing big brother is watching you and that if he doesn't think your doing it right you can get in trouble. Maybe I was focusing on that and worrying that if my program isn't up to par I could get shut down. I am the type of person that likes reading to kids, answering their questions when they have them, sitting on the floor and coloring together, having heart to hearts when something doesn't go right or they do something wrong, and taking care of them when they become sick or unhappy. That is what I want my program to be if they learn while I try to do all this I will be happy. I want them to be in a happy, fun and healthy environment that they enjoy coming to each day.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:35 PM
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Hey everyone,
I have been doing daycare for seven years and this will be the first year I will do a pre k hour. I was the one who brought it up to parents and felt for the first time I would have a crew old enought and calm enought to actually participate. The response from parents has been very positive. I found a curriculum for five dollars per child per month. So I increased weekly rates to five dollars extra a week, for those interested in pre k (not a bad price). I am very excited to incorp this into our day. We usually do a craft at 9 am anyways and will be using this hour three days a week instead of the craft time. I also want to use Fridays for fieldtrips. But most of the time we just play and learn. I have six boys ages 2 and 3s so we are very active and outside a lot. I am a certified teacher through our State but would still do pre k even if I were not.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeko60 View Post
Amen to this.

It seems to be more and more pressing for day care providers to be teachers nowadays. Parents expecting pre-school activities all day for their two year olds.

I do have a weekly theme and we do some activities during the week to go along with that theme. But that's it.

About ten years ago, I felt I HAD to come up with a "program" for the kids. It drove me nuts. The parents pretended they cared when they signed up, but before long, the art projects stayed in the kids' cubbies and I ended up throwing them away. It was a waste of my time and my money. The parents never asked about the program. They never looked at the calendar. They never followed any of the requests (wear red day for example) They just wanted a babysitter even when they SAID they wanted pre-school.

I came to the conclusion that those who really truly wanted PRE-SCHOOL payed mega bucks for a separate program with a qualified TEACHER. I am not a teacher. I am a Mom. I have 25 years plus experience in taking care of children. I do that very well. But I did not go to school to be a teacher.

I believe small children learn while they PLAY. They learn math skills when playing with blocks. They learn life skills when playing dress up and interacting with their peers etc etc.

If I was you, don't feel pressured into turning your day care into a mini kindergarten. Those little ones have plenty of time for a formal school education.

Your job is to love them, feed them and keep them safe as they play. They are toddlers..... not small college students.

De-stress!
ditto this..
I provide a preschool program, and at the start parents are so into it and can't wait. Then after a week or two goes by, the parents stop participating in caring so much about what goes on here. They didn't care that it was show and tell, care to bring something that starts with the letter A, or even particiapte in returning permission slips that were sent home.

I used to make a montly calendar and menu, then parents would walk in and say oh what are the kids doing today or what is for lunch. Um it posted on the website, on the wall and one was given to you at the start of the month.

Well to end frustration, I stopped doing things to please everyone. It's about the kids. As long as they are having fun and are being well cared for, I really think that is all anyone cares about. At least in my experience.

Don't stress yourself out....buy some cool non battery operated toys, like legos and blocks and let the kids have at it.

I have so much stuff that we could do a different project everyday and we do most of it unplanned. Follow the kids lead and go from there.... Trust me your days will seem less stressed and you will feel better about your days too...
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:03 AM
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I agree that you should first get comfortable with kids and your new company. Don't force yourself to do things you aren't comfortable with or that don't come naturally to you especially when first starting out. We own our own businesses so we can run our business the way we want to - not to be dictated to on what to do or how to do it. If you are trying to force yourself to do things you are not ready to do, don't want to do, or aren't comfortable doing yet, it will show. You will be frustrated and your kids and parents will be able to tell. Do what you are comfortable doing.

I would not over do it at first with a lot of different information papers for the parents. Yeah, it's cute, looks more professional, etc. However, I have done that off and on and my parents really could care less about them! I did the menu, weekly "what your child will learn this week" papers, a monthly newsletter, which included that month's projected curriculum, little bits of medical/educational/news I had found online and thought the parents might be interested in, cute info about a couple of the kids (cute things they said or did the previous month), etc. I put a lot of work into those newsletters! My parents really didn't care at all when I stopped producing them - no one even asked for them when I stopped handing them out!

If you want to teach the children and let the parents know that you are teaching them and doing more than just a babysitter would, but aren'then while you are playing with the children, discuss the colors of the toys, count the blocks they stack up, if the blocks have letters on them, tell them the letters on the blocks they have and sounds of the letters sometimes, when out on a walk or in your yard, discuss the different types of trees you see, or the squirel, birds, simply talk with them about their homelife - ask what they ate for dinner last night, what they did over the weekend, what they like to do,etc. Basically add education in a natural way through play and conversation. Then when your parents pick the children up, you can mention a couple of things that you discussed with the children during the day. Or if you really want to hand them a paper about their day, you can sit down at nap time and write a note to each parent about what their child ate, something that their child did that was cute, and something that you taught them during playtime.

In time, you will notice that your children have certain interests, needs, etc. that you will naturally want to help them with. You will probably start working on numbers, letters, colors, shapes, animals, their bodies, weather, the seasons, personal grooming skills, self-help skills, and other concepts naturally and that will lead to you creating or purchasing a curiculum. After working with your children for a while, you will probably naturally develop a routine that you might not even realize you've developed because it developed so naturally!

Give yourself some time - maybe a year or so just to get to know kids and your new company. You will tinker with different things before you really get your business organized. You might change hours, days, routines, ages of kids, etc. Just realize that you need to give yourself time to figure out what you want to do with your new business.

Also, keep in mind that as you get different daycare kids (different ages, abilities, etc.), things change in your family (if you have young children yourself - as they go to school, sports, etc.) you might make changes to your daycare routine at different times throughout the years. I have had a couple of special needs kids at different times which required me to tweak my routine a bit. For a few years, I had to load up all my daycare kids at 4:30 to take my daughter to sports practices. I was back in time for parents to pick up. We had been going outside for freeplay at that time. But I adjusted lunch/nap time so I could get outdoor freeplay in before we had to leave for sports practices. After seperating from my husband, to get more income without having to go out to work, I began running my daycare 24/7 - that definately required some changes in routine both daycare and personal! Most of us have changed our routine a couple of times. Remember that you own your own business so you can make your day work for you.

So, start out simple - just play with the kids, add some eduction naturally through play, tell the parents what you've taught the kids through play, and in time, you will naturally develop a "program" and routine. As things change in your daycare or personal life that affects the daycare, be realistic and make changes in your daycare routine to allow your day so smoothly.

You own your own company so you can do what you want! Make your day enjoyable!
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