Outdoor Adventures

Screenshot_20180628-102015Click image above to view what Mi-Mini camps did the first half of the month – and what our plans are as we finish up July.
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After Independence Day we continued to learn about our nation and enjoyed make believe travels to big cities and nature reserves across the country.

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We continued talking about traveling and made mud transportation mud tracks as we learned to “look closer” at nature.

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We talked about finding clues and details in dirt and other images – and enjoyed Mother Goose Time’s “Get Close to Nature” book.

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We use Mother Goose Time’s curriculum to inspire theme driven learning for tots to teens in our program.

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Our littlest learners love the exposure to new concepts, while older students dive deeper into unit studies.

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MGT provides a pre-packaged ready to use curriculum. It can be easily adapted and modified as the open ended supplies can be used as desired!

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In the workbook provided students found ways to transition from how transportation moves to observing how animals move.

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Students learned about animal movements and tracked foot prints.  Students discussed ways to protect animals, plants and our natural resources.

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We spend a lot of time outdoors during our mini-camps and the kids loved having their own books to work on outside.

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Some students continued to tape found items and write notes for days.  They also loved sharing their findings with others.

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I love watching the progress of student scribbles turning to writings and watching them take pride in their work.

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Although students are learning all day long they don’t consider camp school as our days are packed with education through recreation…

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Although there are lessons we don’t sit at desks listening to lectures.  We look through suggested activities and discuss ways to explore topics.

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This months kit came with 2 “workbooks.”  “My Nature Collection” was a favorite for many who came to visit this week.

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Our program is part time so materials such as these books are a great way to encourage kiddos to continue learning at home.

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Some children come for a couple hours, some come a couple days a week.  All leave with activities to continue at home or keepsake projects they made.

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Mi Families programs encourage learning through hands on fun so please send those who attend with extra clothes as they often get messy working on our projects.

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From digging in the dirt to water play and paint, etc this program is designed to make friends while making a mess.

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Research tells us that we learn more through doing then listening. Our strongest memories are linked to activities that build on our emotions.

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I hope that the emotion felt during our activities is a happy feeling.  A feeling of joy, friendship, and a peaceful place to play.

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Sometimes we must play and learn indoors because the heat is too much to bear or there’s a storm outside.

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A group of boys loved playing hide-n-go-seek-tag in the rain the other day, and were bummed when thunder meant heading indoors.

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Sometimes we have to change plans (and while I prep other options) big kids love to look through materials to teach little ones with.

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MGT lesson plan books are available for big kids to find ideas and build confidence teaching our younger participants.

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Each MGT box comes with 20 theme related day kits, an extra holiday/seasonal study pack and teacher tools such as lesson plans and music cd’s.

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Teacher materials walk instructors through preschool assessments and how to know what skills are worked on during different activities.

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Activities are broken into sub themes.  I find creating smooth transitions through themes makes lessons connect easier.

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We transitioned from our summer travels to animal travels and as we move into deeper nature lessons – families can transition topics from camp to home.

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If you’d like information how to extend the learning at home feel free to email me at Christi@MiFamilies.com.

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If you’d like information on the curriculum mentioned (and photographed) contact www.MotherGooseTime.com.

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Mother Goose Time is only one curriculum we use. Mi Families works with many ages/stages so we use many curriculums to individualize lessons.

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Lessons are individualized based on struggles and strengths.  Strength and interest focused lessons are the key to learning.

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If a student is interested in animals or art or building – or whatever – interests are used to excite them about learning!

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As we hit the middle of our summer session we start preparing for fall programs.  This fall Mi Families is making some changes…

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NO WORRIES – Mi Families will continue providing programs for families and those who work with families!

FB_IMG_1530208988103But camps and child care options will end in August so stay tuned for new program details (including a new tutoring program)                                                                                                          (CLICK developmental services )                                                                                                                 AND if you haven’t already – sign your children up for mini-camps before summers over!

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Posted in Uncategorized

Summer Adventures

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Sorry it’s been a lil’ over a week again since my last post – but we’ve been busy having summer adventures!

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In our 1room school house and across Michigan we’ve been learning about summer adventures…

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and transportation by playing out and researching transportation timelines.

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We roll-played animal travel and how nature celebrates the summer season.

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We roll-played family summer traditions and planned how to celebrate summer holidays.

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We created festive foods for the 4th of July!

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Red-white-&blue fruits are always a seasonal favorite around here!

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We enjoyed cookouts and lots of outside fun.

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Daycare friends loved bubble breaks during recess.

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Tutor time students loved water play activities during the hot days.

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During one of the hottest days we braved the heat to explore Greenfield Village.

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Mi Families was able to secure homeschool discounts for this amazing fieldtrip!

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All year round Mi Families programs host field trips and events for families!

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The special day at Henry Ford lined up perfectly with our transportation lessons …

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and made a smoooooooth transition into our US history lessons!

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Learning about American History helped us prepare for our 4th of July activities.

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Tots to teens researched American history and how it’s impacting current news.

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Students researched old speeches, documents and symbols.

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Mi Families participants watched documentaries and listened to patriotic music all week long.

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Students made reports about topics they wanted to learn more about.

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From learning about our founding fathers to those who first discovered America…

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Students were eager to share what they learned and dive further into history lessons.

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Students will continue to learn about American history, national monuments… national parks…

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As we learn more about our nation we’ll be learning how we show our country and citizens respect.

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Respect for other and responsibility for ourselves is a year round character focus in our programs.

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Although some programs are simply a daily themed focus, we offer activities year round for all ages!

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Our youngest participants love our Mother Goose Time activities.

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Mother Goose Time is a preschool curriculum with a monthly topic.

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The curriculum includes an extra day of lesson plans for seasonal topics, such as the 4th of July!

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Little learners love being introduced to new topics through hands on activities.

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Older students love expanding on daily topics and help plan future days activities…

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Next week we still have a couple part time openings in our mini-camps as we continue learning about summer adventures for people – and for animals.  Animal topics will help transition us into future NATURE DETECTIVE lessons from Mother Goose Time as we expand on our national parks / respect and responsibility lessons.  Mi Families uses an “adventure academy” curriculum for all ages encouraging education through recreation.

Posted in Uncategorized

summer schedules

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I’m finding it hard to keep up with articles this summer! Between friends coming over for daycare, and students attending our summer school program, and my own family enjoying summer activities – it’s been a busy month! Here’s a link to next months busy schedule! JULY 2018

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Summer schedules for many are different then their school year routines.  Summer schedules can create anxiety for kiddos who rely on predictable daily patterns.  I recommend posting a calendar with upcoming events or daily activity list for easier transitions.

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I also recommend posting daily expectation lists to calm the chaos! For example my own kids have a chart to complete their chores and homework before they can have tech time (computer/tv options).  They also have limited tech time and spend a LOT of time outside!

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This summer we’ll be spending lots of time outdoors enjoying Mother Goose Time’s – Nature Detectives – curriculum! MGT provides a preschool based curriculum that is designed for little learners to be introduced to new concepts.

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Older students love to expand on MGT themes.  So when tots play in the water, tweens are researching waterways and waterlife.  Students help decide where themes lead us as we learn about the world around us.  As we head into our nature studies we’re finishing learning about the indoors.

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We’ve been learning about habitats and homes and communities this past month.  This week we’ve studied homes that travel such as campers and house boats.  We made maps and destination bucket lists.  We discussed summer vacations and exploring big cities to natural landmarks.

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As we continue to learn this summer, we’ll continue to connect with nature and our friends.  We invite more friends to join in the fun as we have a couple part time spaces still available for child care or summer school – tutoring.  Please email me at Christi@MiFamilies.com for more information.

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Also feel free to visit www.MiFamilies.com (or find us on LinkedIN, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc) for more information about our youth programs, our family events, our parent workshops, and our provider trainings! We’re going to start scheduling out fall programs NEXT MONTH!!!! JULY 2018

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Posted in Uncategorized

Parent Partnerships

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Mi Families facilitates programs for families and those who work with families – such as daycare providers and teachers.  Mi Families facilitates programs for infants through grandparents – with a focus on parent partnerships.  Parent partnerships include resourceful connections and communication with providers.

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Mi Families facilitates provider trainings, parent workshops and youth services – such as tutoring and child care.  This summer there is part time / hourly youth services available.  Child care includes thematic activities and outdoor adventures.  Tutoring is also theme based and filled with education through recreation!

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Last week our theme centered around Fathers Day.  Some years this has been tricky because of family dynamics – but we found ways to focus on father-figures and encourage dad day activities.  Mi Families is sensitive to all family differences and parent partnerships mean we include all parents.  This isn’t just another “mom’s club.”

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Many programs offer wonderful mom club benefits, but today’s families often include dad’s who want to be involved or dads who can’t be – or grandparent led families or foster families … All families have different needs and strengths and our focus is on individual strengths.

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All families have different homes, that celebrate their individual and unique cultures and traditions.  This week we talked about families, about our homes and our communities.  We branched off family trees and also home trees showing how homes connect to communities then the city and county and state and country.

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As we get closer to the 4th of July we’ll be learning more about our country and the different cultures and traditions within our “melting pot.”  We’ll be learning about the different regions around the USA and making summer bucket lists.  Even if they aren’t summer vacations we can travel to – we can learn about them!

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If your child would like to learn with us through small group activities or one-on-one lessons please email Christi@MiFamlies.com – feel free to email to inquire about our parent partnerships or provider trainings as well.  Or visit www.MiFamilies.com for more information about our programs.

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ALSO visit www.MotherGooseTime.com to learn more about a fun open-ended preschool curriculum. Their curriculum is open-ended enough that it can be adapted for younger children to learn new concepts, while older students expand on unit studies.  Each month has a main theme with 20 subthemed days, as well as a bonus day of activities – which was Fathers Day this month and photos in this article showcase the Father’s Day materials we utilized!

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CLICK developmental services to learn more about our youth programs!

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Connecting

JUNE 2018 (click 4 calendar)                                                                                                                  Mi Families (“my families”) reaches out with resources – in attempt to connect others with supportive materials, information, and people that benefit their lives. Our education-through-recreation program approach is not only resourceful, but fun, with a goal to put the fun in FUNctional for families, and those who work with families.

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Functional means the operation of a specific task, designed to be practical and useful,  rather than entertaining or fun.  Too often parents and providers (such as daycare staff or teachers) say they do the minimum to make sure kids are safe and jobs are completed. BUT what if you found ways to have fun completing tasks and caring for kids?

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Mi Families offers provider trainings and parent workshops to help adults learn FUN tricks, tips and tools.  Mi Families also offers developmental programs for tots to teens teaching them FUN ways to learn.  Developmental programs, such as tutor time, use a unique Adventure Academy curriculum that adapts to students unique learning styles.

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Some parents use our youth services for time to run errands or go on a date, some parents take the opportunity to stay and build up their tool bag of fun ways to help their children learn.  This week we’ve continued learning about houses and how to be respectful to others and responsible for ourselves at home.  If your child attended ask them about their chore challenges!

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We’ve been using Mother Goose Time’s “Alphabet House” curriculum to learn about homes and communities.  Next week we’ll be expanding our home studies to learn more about homes in our community, across our state, around our country, even the world! We’ll be learning about how our home and family is connected with the whole world and ways to be responsible and respectful beyond our front door.

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Theme lessons connect early learners with the world around them, while encouraging older students to expand on topics and connect all subject matters. To learn more about the themes and curriculums utilized or to enroll your child in our part time summer-school options email Christi@MiFamilies.com.  Feel free to email or visit www.MiFamilies.com for more program information or find us on LinkedIN, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest …

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developmental services (click for youth services information)

Posted in Uncategorized

SUMMER SCHOOL

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It’s June! That means it’s time to start our summer programs! Mi Families has limited spaces left for provider trainings, parent workshops, family events and youth services.  Youth services include tutoring sessions and mini camps.

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Mini camps are part-time small-groups designed to reinforce basic skills and prevent the summer slide. Our mini camps use various curriculums for theme based fun, such as Mother Goose Time’s “Alphabet House.”

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This week – Alphabet House encouraged us to explore animal habits and family homes.  As we continue learning about houses we’ll learn about own family responsibilities and respecting differences in homes around the world.

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Every home is different, because every body is different.  Everyone has different family dynamics, traditions, cultures, needs… Every home is different because homes meet personal and locational needs from apartments to igloos!

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From our own homes, to homes in our community, to the difference between city, state, country, continent … we’ll be using social studies to learn about history and science – while working on reading, writing and math.

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Summer school subjects are implemented through fun activities! Make learning fun for your tot-to-tween by signing them up to make friends, make a mess, make believe and make memories this summer.

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Email Christi@MiFamilies.com for more information.  Visit www.MiFamilies.com to learn more about our programs.  Network on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest…

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We’re growing our social media content, we’re growing programs and we’re growing our community.  Mi Families (“my families”) community is for families and those who work with families!

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CLICK HERE for our JUNE 2018 SCHEDULE / MEAL PLAN!

 

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It takes a village

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There is an ancient proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child.”  During a recent parent meet up one got defensive saying only parents should do the “raising.”  Not debating politics or worldly influences – we simply then conversed about the benefits of involving POSITIVE family, friends, teachers, coaches, church groups and other support systems in our children’s lives.

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Watching the news can lead to debates of negative influences and confirm worldly fears, but avoiding the “village” doesn’t teach a child how to survive in it. Bubble-wrapping a child and never letting them explore their village may avoid some bruises, but it may also avoid teachable skills, even motor development. Research proves adventures are important for a child’s body and brain.

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Adventures teach kids how to play safely.  Adventures to a park to run and climb are as important as adventures to a park to play with others.  Playing with others doesn’t mean having to find similar playmates. Playmates don’t have to be the same age or look the same … Playmates help us learn how to interact.

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Mi Families teaches through interaction.  During provider trainings, parent workshops and youth services there are times to simply interact with each other through conversation and hands on activities. Mi Families facilitates programs for specific ages, but also in multi age/stage classrooms. I hope those who participate feel we are a positive part of their village!

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We only have a couple weeks left of our spring programs – which included soccer, tutoring, multi-age child care, parent and me preschool, elementary art courses and a child development class.  It’s time to prepare for summer adventures! I hope you consider enrolling your child in our part time camp or summer school options.  1-on-1 and small group options are available.

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Next week’s article will include our summer theme plan.  This weeks theme was transitioning from Mother Goose Time’s “Growing Gardens” to “Alphabet House” curriculums.  We are transitioning by learning about garden visitors and other spring animals and learning about their habitats and how animals help their own “villages”/communities.

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If your child participated this week ask them about ways they helped their community while playing and learning in our programs.  If you’d like your child to participate email Christi@MiFamilies.com or visit www.MiFamilies.com for for more information.  You can also network with us on LinkedIN, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, etc :)

Posted in Uncategorized

Parent Partnerships

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Mi Families (“my families”) facilitates programs for families and those who work with families, through provider trainings, parent workshops, family events and youth services.  All programs have an “education through recreation” approach, and all programs have a parent partnership focus.

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Parent partnerships are important for student success. Tots thru teens that attend child care or tutor time programs get a portfolio that parents/teachers can use to save work showcasing development. The portfolio is also a communication tool to send daily notes back and forth, regarding child development, behavior, health, scheduling and more.

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Daily notes may include information on meals, potty training or milestone celebrations.  Notes may include topics such as student strengths and needs, as well as what a child is currently working on.  This week students were continuing to work on Mother Goose Time’s, growing gardens, theme and learning about spring growth.

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Growth is observed across the continuum using tools such as Mother Goose Time’s observation records.  Growth is observed across domains of social/emotional development, large/small motor skills, creative representation and STREAMS subject matters.  STREAMS includes Science, Technology, Reading (&wRiting), Engineering, Arts, (Music) Mathematics, Social Studies (hiStory).

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Various curriculums are used to support students individual learning styles in one-on-one, small group and large group programs. For more information on curriculum options, such as our unique Adventure Academy curriculum email Christi@MiFamilies.com.  Feel free to email or visit www.MiFamilies.com for more information about all of our programs!

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Our programs are year round and we are currently enrolling for part time summer care and tutoring through elementary levels.  We are also currently taking planning out fall programs and scheduling classes such as Child Development courses for teens, parents and providers.  I can’t believe we’re starting to plan out fall when our snow finally melted away last week!

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Pictures in this article showcase MGT supplies and a couple Mi Families service sites!

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Posted in Uncategorized

Communication

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Mi Families facilitates programs for families and those who work with families.  Mi Families (“my families”) facilities provider trainings, parent workshops, family events, and various youth services.  Youth services include part time child care, homeschool classes, tutoring and developmental assessments.

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I’m often asked to provide assessments/resources across all areas of development: social/emotional, large/small motor, creative representation, and all subject matters.  STREAMS covers all subjects: Science, Technology, Reading (&wRiting), Engineering, Arts, (Music), Mathematics, Social Studies (&hiStory).

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The subject I’m most often referred for is Reading / Writing (or Language / Literacy).  When a student is struggling I often find this area goes back to basic language / communication needs.  Helping a child find words for their struggles often helps them solve their struggles.

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Language struggles can impact one’s articulation, comprehension, reading, writing… which often impacts one’s ability to learn across other subjects.  Language struggles often impacts how one relates across learning, play and home environments.  But sometimes we don’t see the struggle at home.

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Sometimes in comfortable environments, and with the people who provide us the most comfort, one doesn’t struggle as much so we miss red flags.  Sometimes in comfort zones one struggles the most, because they feel comfortable to meltdown and release the anxiety about their struggles.

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Everyone struggles with something … Wherever one struggles help them find the words to express their frustration.  I have helped parents/teachers find solutions for many kids over the past couple decades, including my own kids! Finding solutions for my kids doesn’t mean I’m supermom, it means I found resources.

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Feel free to ask me to help you find resources for your infant thru teen.  Feel free to ask me to help you find connects and curriculums that help.  One fun curriculum I adapt for tots to tweens is Mother Goose Time.  Mother Goose Time makes (theme based) lesson planning easy!

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We’re currently using MGT to inspire some learning about spring growth and personal growth with their “Growing Gardens” kit.  As the spring warms into summer we’ll be growing gardens and growing programs for all ages.  Check out www.MiFamilies.com for more information or COMMUNICATE with me – email Christi@MiFamilies.com to sign up for programs or ask about resources…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Language 2 Literacy

As the director of Mi Families I work with kids and I work with adults – who work with kids (as parents or caregivers or teachers…). I also work with tweens/teens through babysitting and child-development courses.  During child development courses, provider trainings, parent workshops and parent/teacher conferences I’m often asked what to do if a child is showing red-flags for developmental delays/disabilities.  The answer depends on the situation.

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If I tried to answer what to do in all the situations I’ve been asked about – this article be too long. If I tried to answer for even one situation the answers would be many.  However, there is one area I’m most often asked about – language and literacy development.  I provide developmental services for children who are behind (or ahead) in all areas – but I’m most often am asked to help in areas of speech, comprehension, reading, writing…

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Throughout our lives we continue learning different subject matters and different skills.  Some learning takes time and effort, while other abilities come naturally.  The thing to remember is that everyone has natural talents, strengths and interests that can help them learn tasks that are more challenging.  Everyone has areas that are challenging, areas they struggles with, areas that can be “labeled” as a delay or disability.

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Everyone could be given a label in an academic, medical, physical, or emotional area.  Too often we focus on labels for what one can’t do – instead of what one can do.  Even if someone has language/literacy struggles they are labeled for – we must not discount the ways they try and communicate their needs, wants and ambitions.  Language labels are often given early to kiddos who simply need someone to help them catch up on communication.

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Language development starts with babies listening from inside the womb and later finding their voice as a baby.  Babies grow into toddlers who are learning how to walk and talk at rapid speeds – mimicking your movements and words.  As toddlers start to interact with other toddlers it’s obvious who is more mobile and who is more talkative.   Often tots who are ahead in one area of development are behind in others.

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All people, infants to adults, have area’s they excel at and area’s they struggle in.  If we all had the same abilities – what a boring world this would be.  Having different abilities and interests leads to people serving through different careers.  Different interests lead to authors writing about different topics for us to read about.  I love the quote that “everyone is a reader… some just haven’t found their favorite book yet.”

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Reading development comes after learning to talk, after being read to… after comprehension skills… then writing… Language delays can lead to literacy delays later.  I’m a huge advocate of early intervention.  I have seen intervention help my own children and children I work with.  I often feel we label “disabilities” too early, when it’s just a “developmental delay” in an area that one needs some extra practice and encouragement in.

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In my child care, tutoring and homeschool classes I offer lots of time for students to practice skills, while encouraging individual efforts.  Through multi-stage before age curriculums many activities are open ended so tots to tweens can work on similar themes at their own level.  Last week we focused on Earth Day activities as we dove into our spring studies.  This week we have been learning about creatures that help the earth – like bees, birds and butterflies.

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Kids are curious about the world around them so I attempt to prepare learning environments indoors and outside encouraging learning exploration.  I also use hands on curriculums, such as Mother Goose Time, that present themes for preschoolers – which younger peers can be introduced to concepts through and older students can expand on.  For example – as some painted worm pictures, others went on a worm hunt and some researched worm-work.

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“Reading for research” is a subject my students love to do, because through unit studies they become excited to learn more.  Building a love for learning is my goal for all students.  When we make learning fun they want to learn and grow throughout all subjects and skills.  When we turn speech therapy into a fun process of social play they want to participate.  When we turn stories into magical worlds they want to listen, then read, then write themselves.

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If you’d like ideas on encouraging education for your children or would like to enroll your child for summer school tutoring/care programs email Christi@MiFamilies.com. If you’d like more information on our programs for all ages visit www.MiFamilies.com.  Information on the curriculum mentioned (and many materials pictured) can be found at www.MotherGooseTime.com.

PS: CLICK HERE for our May 2018 (2)schedule/menu.  Our summer schedule starts next month!!! So enroll now

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