Kindergarten is a public school program to help young children get ready for 1st grade. Kindergarten helps children become ready for school by developing their social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and language skills. Most children start kindergarten when they are five years old.
Kindergarten attendance is NOT mandatory in Massachusetts. However, Massachusetts regulations require all public school districts to offer a free kindergarten program for their residents. The kindergarten programs must include a minimum of 425 hours of structured learning time per academic school year, or 2.5 hours per day.
I find it interesting that kindergarten attendance varies so much from state to state. Not only does the birthdate in relation to entrance to kindergarten fluctuate but also numerous states do not require your child to go to kindergarten at all. These states include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, MASSACHUSETTS, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Why is is that kindergarten is not mandatory?
I have taught kindergarten in Massachusetts for 8 years now and I have never understood why states would not require students to attend. The advantages that a child receives help to foster their continued growth in first grade. In addition, students create peer and teacher bonds that support their expanded learning. Though when I searched to identify why states do not require kindergarten I did find a variety of conversations between mothers, teachers, politicians that debate the importance of kindergarten. Some say they want their freedom to choose. Which to me is unclear. I mean families can choose to homeschool. Why should they have a choice about kindergarten but not about first grade and beyond? Having an inside view of of one kindergarten program on Cape Cod I must say that the amount of direct literacy instruction alone that kindergarteners are privy to is quiet extensive. Many say kindergarten is the new first grade; and I tell you they are not far off. The expectations are more stringent in just my 8 years of teaching. I have my own beliefs but please share yours...
As I posted earlier this week, we have moved Ella into her own crib to sleep. She is clearly showing signs of independence, and Mommy and Daddy need their space! In any case, Night 2 statistics are as follows: Down at 7:00; crying and yelling at 7:25 so I continued nursing and she went down again at 7:50; backyard neighbor started playing piccolo between 8-10pm off-and-on and my poor child had several random outcries but self-soothed; 2 minutes of loud fussing at 9:45 but then back to sleep until 2:40am when I nursed and rocked; down again until 5:00am when I nursed and rocked; Ella was up with a smile at 7:30am :-) I don't know how to count the 8-10pm area, so I will say she slept 12 hours with four wakings, during two of which she was fed.
Night 3 statistics: Down at 8:15pm; 2 minutes of crying at 8:50pm but self-soothed; 12:00am nursed and rocked; 5:00am nursed and rocked; 6:30am up with a smile :-) Total: 10 hours sleep, three wakings, two of which were feedings.
Night 4 statistics so far: Down at 8:40pm, one peep at 12:25am...
As a mom to a baby rapidly approaching 1 year old, I find myself every day trying to get creative in foods I expose him to and the way in which I expose him. We have really begun to move out of small chopped indivdual pieces of veggies, fruits and meats. And while it is still great to use chopped pieces as snacks or for meals, we have started experimenting with presentation, ie: looking like adult food. We chose to use a Baby Led Weaning approach with our son but we also use baby food quite often. I am a huge fan or adding real veggies or fruits to the baby food jars, just to create texture. I have noticed how curious he is when he sees Mommy and Daddy eating different things especially pizza or fish. Because he often likes to mimic what we eat, I have been happily forced to eat better and prepare meals that we can both benefit from. We aren't perfect and every day is different but we found several snack/meal quickies that really work for us. Enjoy and let me know if they work for you! Bon apetit!
A quick and easy way to make pizza that is delicious, healthy and toddler friendly! Plus you can sneak in some healthy yummy veggies and protein for the little one too!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Take a piece of flatbread/rollup, etc. and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on it and spread evenly with a spoon. (I personally prefer Lavash bread because it is heart healthy, has oat, bran and flaxseed-great for any BF moms out there).
Add toppings! You can choose whatever you find most delicious. I like using chopped up spinach, tomato, cheese (the picture above is cheddar, but I preferred the Montery Jack we had done the night before), and organic apple chicken sausage. The apple chicken sausage gives the pizza a really nice cinnamon taste when cooked plus it is healthy.
Add a few spices: basil and oregano.
Bake in oven for approx. 10 mins until edges begin to brown and darken.
Let cool, slice and enjoy!
Cut up into smaller pieces so baby can enjoy too!
I got a George Foreman Panini Grille last Christmas, and I really love using it, but you can make this snack just as easy with your toaster for a treat that is delicious for Mom and baby!
Veggies (you can choose more if you want): Brocolini, onion, zucchini, spinach,tomato.
Cheese (only 3 or 4 small pieces-cut up)
Humus (or another spread of your choice)
(You can also add some meat if you want!)
(If you don't have the panini or foreman, then toast the bread first)
Spread some humus over the bread. Then add chopped up brocolini (the ends not stems), onion, zucchini, and spinach.
Sprinkle little pieces of cheese.
Add tomato. I like to use only the inside part for this sandwich and just drizzle/glob it on different parts of the sandwich.
Put on panini/grille and heat til cheese melts and you have some golden bread! (If you toasted, then at this point put in microwave or crisp in over for less than a minute)
Cut into pieces and share with baby!
Fruit Yogurt Parfait
A yummy snack or breakfast that is quick and easy. If you make a few at beginning of the week, the granola with get really soft, making it even tastier! Plus it makes a great on the go snack for Mommy or Daddy!
1 container of Greek Yogurt-vanilla works great, but you can do whichever flavor or brand you enjoy best!
1 container of granola
Fruit: Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pineapple, mango, etc
Take a small plastic or Dixie cup (or containers if you are making for the week). And scoop in some yogurt. It should be enough to cover the bottom. Tap the cup to even the yogurt out.
Add a layer of granola and then fruit. Tap the cup again to even it out.
Repeat this process using different fruits until you fill the cup up.
Put in fridge or serve.
"Traditional Grilled Cheese"
Warm frying pan and take out 2 slices of cheese from the fridge
Lightly butter 2 slices of whole grain bread
When frying pan has warmed, lay one slice of bread butter-side down top with 2 slices of cheese and then top with remaining slice of bread; butter side up.
Fry and flip sandwich as needed until bread becomes golden and toasted.
Hide meat and/or veggies in there!! Turkey, Chicken, Cooked Broccoli, Carrot Slivers, Onions, Peppers, Tomatoes or even Green Beans for example!
QUICK -N- EASY SMOOTHIE
1 cup 100% nothing added fruit juice (you do not have to use fruit juice-you can use vita coco, or any other liquid you choose!)
1 cup plain, vanilla or fruited yogurt (not with fruit on the bottom!)
Fruits or Veggies-banana, carrots, spinach, squash, zucchini, oranges, etc
Place yogurt and juice in a blender or a lidded container/cup and shake until mixed well
Pour into Toddler's cup.
Add in the fruit or veggies for an extra boost (ensure you grind/blend it finely enough to be able to pour out of cup).
Jessica's Adventures of Sleep
After babysitting and nannying for more than 25 years, I felt confident in my ability to put kids and babies to bed. When I had my own baby girl just over seven months ago, I realized I had much to learn about my own choices. As a babysitter, I basically followed instructions; my little one came with no such direction. Other Mamas from my Awesome Breast-Feeding Support Group at Falmouth Hospital shared parenting ideas Tuesday after Tuesday at 10am all winter and spring...I soon found myself co-sleeping and breast-feeding on demand every night. I was going to give my daughter the "Fourth Trimester" experience The Happiest Baby on the Block promotes. Those three months went by and my husband innocently asked, "It is time for her crib?" After a few "failed" attempts, Ella remained with us and I justified this experience saying, "It won't be long before she is leaving the house saying 'See ya bitches!'" My daughter has a co-sleeper attached to the bed which only acts as a safety net were she to fall from the plush, king-sized Temper-pedic bed. She has been far too cool to sleep in co-sleeper, which we gladly purchased second-hand. All summer I have been listening to my friends struggle with transitioning their babies from co-sleeping to their own cribs. Finally, in the last seven to 10 days, Ella hasn't been the nicest bed-sharer. She kicks, she squirms, she grabs, she twists whatever she grabs, and she won't even let me get up to pee without crying out thus waking my husband and the dog. My husband took himself and the dog to the guest room for a few nights, and I continued to go to bed with her around 7:30pm and was basically held prisoner until about 6:30am. Yesterday, I woke up on a tear...something had to give. Maybe my child is actually as sleep-deprived as we are. Yes, I said it--I am tired! I want to eat my dinner sitting down and help with the clean-up! I started by lowering her crib mattress to the very bottom as she is quite the climber/stander now. I changed the sheet and reattached the bumper. I then moved the glider and stool from our room to hers. I positioned the the lamps for reading and rocking. I checked the nightlight. At 8:00pm we started our new bedtime routine: bath, three books, rock and nurse to sleep. At 8:55pm, I placed her in her crib and she stayed asleep. At 9:59pm, she awoke. We let her fuss for 10 minutes but it was escalating so my husband went in to rock her. Part of our plan is to not let her cry. He had trouble putting her down without her waking up again, so I went in after 10 minutes, rocked her, put her down, and did the famous Shelley strikes to her tailbone--it worked! She slept until 1:10am at which point I nursed her for five minutes then got her down again. She awoke again at 2:48am and I nursed the other side for five minutes and got her down again! I'm thinking I am really on a roll! I was so excited that I laid awake from 3-4am reading...poor me as she awoke at 4:20am! I went in, nursed for five minutes, and declared that would be the final nighttime feeding. She cried out three or four times in the 10 minutes following, then slept until 7:15am! She went 10 hours with only waking at 10, 1, 3, and 4! I then thought we would do some nursing and cuddling in our bed like old times, and after five minutes she fell asleep for another hour! At 8:15am, Ella awoke making cute baby noises and smiling and rocking on all fours! I think she had the most sleep of anyone in the house, except maybe the dog. If I add that sleep in, she went over 11 hours with five wakings. Nursing took place for five minutes at four of the wakings. Let's see what happens tonight! My dream is for her to wake for one feeding tonight, and be down to zero for the weekend :-)
"I meet my best friends in playgroup, and my kids are now 13 and 16."
"If it wasn't for your Lap Babies group, I would still be in my pajamas. Thank you for getting me out of the house!"
"I moved to the Cape and didn't know a soul. After attending your playgroup with my daughter, I made friends and so did she."
"Thank you making me, and my wiggley child, feel so welcome in Music and Movement. This group is perfect for us!"
Real quotes from real moms: if you close your eyes, you can almost here the relief in all of their voices. All of our groups are free and open to anyone with children birth to school age.
We're the Coalition for Children and we are looking for you! Registrations are available at your local library (Falmouth, Mashpee, Bourne, and Sandwich), or by calling (508) 548 0151 x 172. Once you register, follow up phone calls will go out by the first week in September and groups start the week of September 12th. Drop in groups will start at the same time, and there is no registration necessary for drop ins. Don't be left out. Call today!
A current read of Jessica..."Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right" by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
I am only a few chapters into the book, but Dr. Fuhrman is rearranging the molecules in my brain! I know that breastmilk is better than formula; I know that home-made baby food is better than jarred; but I didn't know just how costly my diet is to my baby! Molecules of everything I eat get passed to Ella through my breastmilk; everything she sees me eat and wants a taste of gets passed more directly. If she sees me eating, she wants to try! Food issues run through her genetic paternity and maternity; Dr. Fuhrman's direct-approach to eating might be able to save her (and the rest of us). He basically says that so-called "kid's food" is all garbage and that kids are sicker when they eat it. He has four children who would take vegetables for snack and wonder why the other parents don't love their children enough to feed them healthy. A funny aside, my best friend is a veternarian who is constantly reminding clients not to give "people-food" to their dogs; these people claim to love their dogs, but they let them become obese and unhealthy. Don't mistake laziness for love! There are so many ways to love your kids without giving in to brightly-colored packaging and sugar! Kids do not understand nutrition but we can! I have to attend to my whiney baby now...ttys!
The negative mind
~I recently came across the following article that really hit home for me. It's about our all too familiar, daily ritual of beating ourselves up over diet and excercise. I bet it's safe to say that we could all stand to give ourselves a break once in a while. I believe that there's an insurmountable truth to the notion that positive thoughts create positive outcomes. Let's start with our view of ourselves. :)
The following article is from Pole Spin Magazine www.polespinmag.com
The Negative Mind
“You are fat and you will never be able to do the cartwheel mount!” “Why do you even try? You are a loser!” “You have got to get your eating under control! Why can’t you just stop eating sugar?” “How could you eat that donut?” “You blew it! Eat as much as you want today because tomorrow the diet begins, fatso!” If you have ever heard these comments directed at you, then you most likely heard them coming from a voice in your own head. Professionals in the field of eating disorders call that voice the Negative Mind, and it hurts you as an individual, and as an athlete, more than you may realize.
It doesn’t matter whether it is an internal or external dialogue that you are being abused by. What do you think happens when you repeatedly tell yourself that you are fat? Whether or not you are actually fat, you are going to behave as if you are, and you are going to believe that you are. Your thoughts define the reality that you live with…make a choice to create a better reality for yourself!
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
So, if you are causing your reality to be the way it is because of how you speak to yourself, how do you change it? How do you manifest a body that you love and in the process develop a positive relationship with food? First you need to become aware of your internal dialogue, and then you start practicing the “Thumper Principle.”
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!” – Thumper (Bambi’s Friend)
Take some time to silence your Negative Mind. One of my clients found it beneficial to open a closet door and – figuratively, of course – leave her Negative Mind there for the day. If she ever heard her Negative Mind speaking to her during the day, she would say, “How did you get out?” and she would put it back in the closet and continue practicing the Thumper Principle.
After you have practiced the Thumper Principle for a while, it will be important for you to start speaking to yourself with a kind and nurturing voice. Think of how you would speak to a child, a friend, or a student. Instead of saying, “You are fat and will never be able to do a cartwheel mount.” Say, “Everybody is beautiful. Some moves just take time, patience and practice. You will get there.” Whether or not you totally believe what you are saying does not matter … what matters is that you are saying it, and that you have quieted your Negative Mind.
Some people go so far as to create a positive mantra for themselves, especially if their Negative Mind is highly invasive. Twenty years ago, when I was recovering from Anorexia and needed to buy myself food, instead of allowing my Negative Mind to say, “You can’t buy that, it has too many calories. You can’t buy that either because it has too much fat. Blah, blah, blah!” I would drown out the Negative Mind by saying, “I can eat anything I want; it really doesn’t matter. Everything is okay.” I would repeat it like a song while I was in the grocery store. Cheesy? Possibly. But it works.
So, what does the Negative Mind have to do with nutrition? Actually, a lot! The way you speak to yourself permeates how you feed and care for your body. If you are actively listening to, and believing, your Negative Mind then you are probably not paying attention to your body. You may be completely unaware of what it needs because all of your attention is focused on managing your food intake through degrading comments. You may be feeding yourself too much, or too little. You may be missing a lot of the nutrients that your body needs. Listening to, and honoring, your body’s needs and preferences is the key to attaining a natural and healthy body that you truly love.
Until the next issue, pay attention to how you speak to yourself, and notice if the Negative Mind is the strongest voice in your head. Practice the Thumper Principle – if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. After that, practice speaking to yourself with a kind and nurturing voice. This process is simple, but not easy; things that truly matter seldom are.
Pole Spin magazine print editions are available through the Subscription page. Also now on sale at Barnes & Nobles bookstores and select newsstands.
This is a Pole Spin Magazine exclusive, written by Rebekah Hennes, R.D. ©2011 Pole Spin Magazine. All rights reserved.
~Julia Roberts' character nailed it in the movie Eat Pray Love. She says "I'm soo tired of saying no. Waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before. Counting every calorie I consumed so I know exactly how much self loathing to take into the shower. I'm going for it. I have no interest in being obese, I'm just through with the guilt."
~I say right on sister!!!
~Try to keep in mind that life is about balance. Colories in vs. calories out. Humans were meant to work for their food, carry their water up and down hills, tend to their own crops, carry their children strapped to their backs all day, everywhere they went, lol. In modern day society we do none of the above. Therefore the calories we take in are just sitting there, waiting to be used. Get out there and move your body EVERY DAY....even if just for a stroll.
~I'm a big advocate of positive affirmations. Here's a fun website I happened upon last winter. It's just for fun but some of you may like it.
Caldecott Medal Winners 2011
The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Most of your school-aged children encounter this medal in picture books in school. It looks like this:
This year the winner is A Sick Day for Amos McGee illustrated by Erin E. Stead.
The two honorary books are David the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave illustrated by Bryan Collier and Interrupting Chicken illustrated by David Ezra Stein.
Make a special trip to the library to share these beautiful stories with your child and take the opportunity to teach them about the Caldecott Medal. You may even want to hunt for books that carry this prestigious award!
Join me in welcoming the newest addition to our Cape Cod Mommies Fitness Advisor Team: Jennifer LoFiego. Currently a full time resident of Falmouth MA and the Pole Fitness/ Dance & Burlesque Chair Dance Instructor at Uptown Body in Falmouth MA. (www.uptownbodycapecod.com)
Jennifer has over three years of Pole Fitness training experience. She has been a waitress at the Roo Bar on Main Street for the past seven years and has worked in real estate for the past five years. She is currently a short sale preforeclosure specialist for ONEIR Realty. A little over a year ago, Ms. LoFiego got the urge to develop a pole fitness class for Uptown Body, focusing less on the advanced user and more on the novice. Her classes incorporate everything from step aerobics to ballet to figure skating moves and are reasonably priced.
Pamela L. Bardelis, owner of Uptown Body, said the classes are a perfect complement to the yoga, Pilates, and personal training offerred at her studio. And she said it helps Uptown Body to stand out from its competitors.
“There is nothing like this around in Falmouth that I’m aware of,” she said.
Read more about Jenn's fantastic class here: http://www.capenews.net/communities/falmouth/news/871
Osterville Family Dental is offering a complimentary back to school dental screening for kids for the month of September.
If you are interested, please call the office to schedule an
This would also be a good chance to get the little ones in
for their first visit to a dental office. If you would like peace of mind that
everything is healthy and developing normally, they offer a free infant/toddler
care program. They will be happy to answer any of your questions about baby
teeth, traumatic tooth loss and what to do if your child breaks or loses a
tooth, fluoride etc...Please call the office for further details.
21 Pond Street
Parent Resource Guide
Travel & Vacations
Cape Cod Birthdays
Cape Cod Family