Q. I had to go back to work and now I need afterschool care for my 3rd grader. What should I look for in an afterschool program?
A. First of all, it’s important to be sure that the program holds a State of Texas Child Care license, which holds childcare centers to specific safety standards and can investigate any safety concerns. Also, make sure the afterschool program has low child-to-staff ratios and conducts adequate background checks to ensure the safety and supervision of all children. Activities offered through the program should be fun, hands-on, and align with the school day – allowing time for homework and reading to ensure time for extracurriculars and family time. Do ask about healthy snacks for the kiddos, as lunch is served so early in the day.
Navreet Pointer \ Operations Director, School Age Services www.ymcadallas.org/afterschool
Q. How does Dyslexia affect the various subjects taught in the regular school day?
A. Dyslexia is a neurological developmental disorder affecting reading, spelling, vocabulary, and word recognition which creates other secondary challenges. A student with Dyslexia may have difficulty with the reading of word problems in math while struggling to accurately read the symbols of the numbers and mathematic signs. Note-taking in all subjects may produce a challenge for the dyslexic student. Even a well prepared visual power point lecture might challenge the student to accurately read the information and appropriately process. Dyslexic students are smart! With proper systematic explicit instruction, they begin to learn language acquisition and start to develop strong positive compensations. Accommodations in school that help to create a “level playing field” are essential for success.
Dana Judd, M Ed, CALT, DLT \ Owner and Lead Instructor Inspire Academy \ www.inspireacademytx.com
Q. What are the main things I should do to prepare my three-year-old for her first year of preschool?
A. Start by answering all of her many questions about the world, so that she understands how things work. And talk about the reasons behind rules in schools. If she understands why certain things are done the way they are, she is more likely to comply cheerfully. Also, it’s best to visit the preschool with your child; show her the classroom, the restrooms and introduce her to her teacher. That way, she will know what to expect. Let her feed herself and dress herself as much as possible. This helps her to be as independent and as confident as she can be. Continue with the things she enjoys, like singing together, and playing together. This brings joy to both of you.
Hildegard J. Jessup \ Head of School \ Oak Crest Private School \ www.oakcrestschool.org
Q. With all of the recreational sports activities that my kids are involved in starting to ramp up, what can I do to prevent them from being injured?
A. Physical activities are a great way for children and adolescents to grow into well-rounded young adults. The safety guidelines for preventing injuries are similar whether in a summer sports camp or on a family outing. Warm-ups, stretching and cool-downs help to increase flexibility. Wearing appropriate activity-specific safety equipment like a helmet or shin guards protect from bumps and bruises and especially head injuries such as a concussion. Active kids, and adults, should keep hydrated by drinking fluids before, during, and after playing. Often overlooked, getting adequate sleep means they are more alert and perform better. Finally, kids should have an annual pre-participation sports exam. Have a safe and healthy summer!
Shawn Riley, MD \ Care Now \ www.carenow.com