In July, we teachers and parents begin to see “Back To School Sales!” We look at July as halfway through the summer. I am not sure how “Back To School” will look this year.
The month of July brings a lot of dates to celebrate, such as July 4th, which emphasizes patriotism; Family Reunion Month, National Hot Dog month, National Ice Cream month, National Watermelon month, etc., but my favorite date to celebrate is “Make A Difference in a Child Month.” July is a month when I, as a teacher, try to prepare for my students and classroom needs for the next year. We as families have had much time during the pandemic to be with our children. We have had time to discern and assess some needs. Children are a Gift and a Promise! In sharing this with you, I’d like to take each letter of “promise” as we realize that your child is a Promise and a possibility as we explore ways we can encourage each child to be all they can be. Psalm 139:14– “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Realizing our children are a promise truly makes a difference to children.
P: Praise and encourage your child. Verbal praise is so important for a young child to hear when they have done a good job. Pats on the back or eye to eye contact or a wink saying, “I am proud of you,” mean so very much to children as well as to us adults. Time spent with your child spells LOVE! 1 Corinthians 13:13– “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
R: Reach out to your child. In our world today we spend so much time on the run. In reaching your young child, it is more important to spend free time with them rather than heading off to too many structured activities. Activities are fine, don’t get me wrong, but just not too many. Free play is so important for young children. Play is a way that children work, grow, and express themselves. It is so neat to let your child swing up to the beautiful sky. So is just running and walking around the yard or playing at one of our recreational areas, remembering to keep your child safe, social distance, and go by the rules of the park or area. Taking time to make “mud pies” or play house in or under a tree are such wonderful experiences in role playing, learning to interact with each other, and being free to express one’s self. Play is developmentally essential. Giving your young child time to play and interact with you as their parent, grandparent or caretaker (and with friends) is essential to a child’s happiness and well roundedness. Psalm 34:8– “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”
O: Optimism is contagious to be around. Children love to be around happy, joyful, hopeful people! Just like play-doh, young children’s hearts can be molded by our actions and words. In sharing with children, I love the term “POP,” in which the first “P” stands for “Positive,” the “O” for “Optimistic,” and the second “P” for “Peacemaker.” In guiding children to share and make friends, it is so important to guide them toward being positive. Life is not going to always be a bowlful of cherries, but it is our attitude and how we handle the circumstances of life that counts. You’ve heard the old expression, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” and it is so true. How to live life no matter how rough the going gets is a valuable lesson not only for a child but an adult. Too, Optimism is just part of that positive spirit. How to be a peacemaker is so important for a child to learn in order to grow and get along with other children by sharing, “giving and taking,” and most of all forgiving someone when they have done wrong. Ecclesiastes 3:12– “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and do good while they live.”
M: is Meeting the strengths of your child’s gifts and talents, how they are made and enabling them to be all they can be. Being available to offer them learning sessions and activities that enhance what they are inclined to do is a true gift that every child deserves. Talking and really listening to your young child will truly win them over, and they will see the love from your heart that you care. Just like we water our summer flowers, we need to nurture our young children so the flowers of confidence and motivation blossom. Ecclesiastes 7:14– “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.”
I: Interaction is so important in reaching and teaching a young child. There are several approaches to learning. 1. Visual learning is where a child learns more by seeing pictures or demonstrations. 2. Reflective learners usually learn best when they are alone. These children are usually observers for a long time in assessing their situations. They may be the children that will separate themselves by playing alone, looking at books by themselves and pondering on new learning situations. 3. Logical learners are geared to learn by following patterns or sequences. We think of ordering numbers and alphabetical sequence when we think of this kind of learner. 4. Physical learners learn best by a lot of activity, such as being active with their hands, feet and the rest of their body. We see these young children doing a lot of pretend play as well as enjoying outside play and games. 5. Relational learners interact and relate well other children. They are very social and love to work in groups. They learn by interacting with their friends. 6. Musical learners love to sing and hum, and they enjoy playing musical instruments. When tambourines, bells or cymbals are gotten out they love to march around the room and learn. This kind of learner makes up tunes for everything! 7. Natural learners love the world outside. They are little scientists who love to look closely at nature with all its plants and animals. Usually this kind of learner will migrate to the science table in a classroom. Jeremiah 29:11– “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’”
S: Special– I love to sing songs to the children on just how special they are! Children love to hear their names. We don’t have to celebrate a child just on their birthday but every day! God made them unique with talents, personalities and abilities just their own! What a gift we can give our children when we encourage them on just how special they are!
E: “Every” is such an important word as we watch our young children grow up so very quickly. Every day is a gift wrapped up in a bow when young children are at the beginning of their lives. Parents, they grow up so very quickly. In the blink of an eye they are grown and out on their own. Cherish every single day of your young child’s life! Never take one for granted; savor each moment as you watch your promise grow up to be a possibility! James 1:17– “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Beth Pinyerd, Classroom Observer