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Spring Cleaning and Organization In The Washington DC Area

It’s that time of the year again to start thinking about spring cleaning, which likely means some serious decluttering, reorganization, scrubbing and polishing. Spring is the time that we all begin thinking about cleaning and organizing our homes. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that a good spring cleaning is a worthwhile exercise.

 

But did you know that it can also benefit your health and wellbeing? Below are some reasons why clearing out those closets and grabbing the polish can actually good for you. Let the cleaning commence!

In the Washington, D.C area, many residents lead busy schedules that prevent them from routine spring cleaning as other responsibilities become prioritized in the “to-do-list”. Spring Cleaning can increase productivity. Making the effort to declutter and organize your home or office can save you tons of time looking for or replacing lost items in the future. Organization makes you more productive, while the cleaning process itself can increase energy levels. We all need to learn to let go. If you haven’t used something since the last spring clean, it might be time to say goodbye. Cleaning can be a great way for Senior Care professionals to get clients active and engaged.

Spring cleaning is also healthy. Many elderly individuals struggle with allergies but already take a slew of medications leaving little room for allergy medication. A good spring clean can help you avoid allergy symptoms and lower Asthma attacks. Removing allergens from the home can make you feel healthier, especially at a time when allergies are rife. You want to try to get those hard to reach places too where dust build up. Make sure though to ask for help moving big pieces of furniture or climbing up ladders when going for those hard-to-reach spots.

 

Spring cleaning can make you happy. Taking the time to thoroughly clean and maintain a tidy home makes people happier, studies have shown. The act of cleaning provides a sense of satisfaction, which in turn can put you in a good mood. Also, putting on some of your favorite music while cleaning can make it even more fun!

Spring cleaning can help to reduce stress. Cleaning and organizing your personal spaces lets you enjoy a tidier and more organized environment and this can relieve stress. Levels of stress can also be reduced during the act itself as cleaning is considered to be therapeutic. But make sure to always be realistic. If it’s all getting too much, take a break. It’s not a race after all.

 

Lastly, Spring leaning can help you to focus. Those who make a point of clearing out the clutter once in a while are able to free up the brain for more essential decision-making, according to a study carried out by the founder of America’s Anxiety Disorder Center. A thorough clean helps to clear your mind of things that need to be done around the house and makes it easier to focus on other more important things. You should concentrate though on one room at a time to make sure you get the job done properly

Early Stage Dementia: What To Do

Recognizing Early Stage Alzheimer’s in the Washington DC area

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition that affects each individual differently. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for roughly 80% of all new dementia diagnoses. Each stage of Alzheimer’s introduces symptoms that directly impacts the cognitive and functional abilities of the individual. In the early stage of the disease, symptoms are generally mild and may be difficult to notice. At this stage, the individual may functional independently with the ability to complete all of their own activities of daily living. However, they may begin experiencing frequent memory lapses or the inability to identify familiar words. Friends and family may notice the individual struggling with performing routine tasks or maintaining organization. During a medical examination, doctors may identify problems in memory or concentration. It can be helpful to involve Senior Care professionals, family and friends in the examination to provide their personal accounts of symptoms, as the individual may not be readily able to identify changes in themselves.

Common challenges in the Early-Stage of Alzheimer’s include:

  • Difficulties with planning or organization
  • Difficulties with recalling the right word or name for familiar objects
  • Difficulties with performing social or work tasks
  • Frequent memory lapses
  • Frequently losing or misplacing valuable objects
  • Difficulties with retaining new information
  • Difficulty following storylines
  • Deteriorating sense of direction

Once medical examinations are completed and an Alzheimer’s dementia diagnosis is received, it’s important to optimize the safety and quality of life of the individual. Caregivers and friends should provide the individual with support and empathy while preparing for upcoming challenges ahead. Senior Home Care professionals should discuss advance directives and preferred future plans of care with the individual, to ensure that their wishes are upheld when they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. Take the time to carefully plan for comprehensive and holistic care which meets the entire needs of the individual– it’s the best way to honor their life and legacy. Finding holistic and comprehensive care in the Washington, D.C area can be challenging. However, care that is tailored to the needs of the individual and enhances their well-being is essential to ensuring longevity.

Sources

Alzheimer’s Association . (2017). Stages of Alzheimer’s. Retrieved from alz.org: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_stages_of_alzheimers.asp#mild

Higuera, V., & Ellis, M. (2016, July 12). 10 Early Symptoms of Dementia. Retrieved from healthline.com: http://www.healthline.com/health/dementia/early-warning-signs

Mayo Clinic. (2017). Dementia. Retrieved from mayoclinic.org: http:www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dementia/diagnosis-treatment/diagnosis/dxc-20198511

Arts and Crafts

Home Care in Washington D.C.

 

St. Patrick’s Day Wreath     

This craft is fun for older children (and adults!) – Age 6+.  There are quite a few steps that younger kids (Age 2+) can help with, but they won’t HOME-CARE-IN-WASHINGTON-D.C.be able to do the craft independently.  This is a good family project!

Materials:

Wire coat hanger
14 to 16 tp rolls
Optional:  Saint Patrick’s Day color paint like shades of green or colors of the rainbow (we used shades of green)
construction paper (you could also use craft foam or white paper if you’re using our templates)
tape,
glue,
scissors

Instructions:

ADULT:  Take each toilet roll and cut a slit HALFWAY through.
Optional:  Paint toilet paper rolls a saint Patrick’s day color.  You can see from the finished craft that not too much shows through, but my kids have fun painting, so we painted them all shades of green.
Let dry.

ADULT:  Bend the coat hanger to form a circle.
Using the slits cut halfway through the rolls, slide each of your tp rolls onto the hanger to form a big circle of tp rolls.

Optional:  Take a bit of masking or scotch tape and tape the tp rolls together.  (tape the openings of the tp rolls on the inside of the circle together).  This will keep the rolls from spinning around while you’re working.  If you decide not to do this, the paper shamrocks and rainbows will keep everything from spinning on the finished craft.

You can either print the templates below and cut them out or do what we did:
Fold a piece of green construction paper into 4.  Trace a shamrock onto the front of the folded paper and cut out (that way one cut/trace makes 4 shamrocks).  Repeat so you have 8 shamrocks.
Fold a piece of red construction paper into 4.  Trace a large circle onto the front of the folded paper and cut out (giving you 4 circles).  Repeat with yellow construction paper, only make a smaller circle — then green, then blue.  Glue the circles together (red, yellow, green, blue) and then cut in half.  You’ll have 8 rainbows!
One person can be doing this part while another is assembling the tp roll wreath base.  This works well if you have crafters of different ages (the base is more difficult than cutting out hearts).
Tie a bow on the top if you want to.

If you’re like me, right now you’re envisioning all the different types of wreathes you could make this way… Halloween with jack’o’lanterns, ghosts and bats, Christmas with holly leaves and berries, Autumn with leaves, etc, etc.  I’m sure you’ll see templates/instructions for various wreaths made along these basic lines pop up on the site over the next year or two!

 

Leprechaun Hat Cookies

HOME-CARE-IN-WASHINGTON-D.C.

Recipe:  From Betty Crocker

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/leprechaun-hat-cookies/c64027b8-9c4f-4e5d-9557-827cc7f89b00

 

Ingredients
1-pouch Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix

½ cup butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1 container (1 lb) Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting

¼ teaspoon Betty Crocker™ green gel food color

24 large marshmallows

24 small (1-inch) chewy chocolate candies

12 small green gumdrops

 

Directions

  • Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms. Roll dough in 24 (1-inch) balls. On ungreased cookie sheets, place 2 inches apart.
  • Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Immediately place marshmallow on each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  • In microwavable bowl, microwave frosting on High 30 seconds. Stir; frosting should be a thick spoonable glaze. Stir food color into frosting, adding more if needed to achieve desired color. Spoon warm frosting over each cookie, coating completely and allowing excess to drip off. Let stand 20 minutes to set.
  • Roll chocolate candies into ropes. Flatten with rolling pin into 1/8-inch-thick ribbons. Cut into strips with scissors to resemble hat bands; arrange around base of marshmallow on each cookie. Cut gumdrops crosswise in half (reshaping as needed). Press cut side onto hat band. Lift cookies onto serving platter with pancake turner, leaving excess frosting behind. Store in airtight container.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Washington D.C., please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.

February Newsletter – Articles

Home Care in Washington D.C.

 

The Power of Love

For many years love has been assumed in different cultures to be a powerful aspect of human connectedness. When love is adequately Home-Care-in-Washington-D.C.communicated it can have a long lasting impact on the social, emotional and cognitive flourishing of children. Due to advancements in scientific technology the powerful implications for love has been supported in studies. In a study, children of nurturing mothers had hippocampal volumes 10 percent larger than children whose mothers were not as nurturing. Research has suggested a link between a larger hippocampus and better memory.

 

According to Donaldson and Westerman (1986), children first begin centering their concepts of love around objects or events. For example, a child may define love by how often their parents give them their favorite foods or toys. However, as the brain further develops a more concrete understanding of love is based on memories and attitudes. For example, Mom cooked me soup and held my hand all night while I was sick last winter. Additionally children begin to learn how to deliberately demonstrate their emotions for others. The adequate communication of love can make a more profound impact on the child’s development.

 

 

Love Language

According to Gary Chapman, there are 5 love languages in which we communicate our love and appreciation for each other. These languages include; words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, receiving gifts and acts of service. Each person has a primary love language in which they communicate their feelings for others. Gary posits that conflict or disconnect arises when families, singles or couples are not aware of each other’s primary love language. For example, a mother’s love language might be receiving gifts, thus she may purchase extravagant new toys and gadgets for her child. However, her child’s primary love language may be quality time. The child may feel like their mother is not showing genuine love because she expressed love through gifts versus spending quality time. These disconnects in communication of love can hinder the ability for people to effectively bond and establish a harmonious relationship. The relationship between parent and child serves as a template for later relationships both professionally and personally. The ability to show love and appreciation for others that may not speak your primary love language can enhance leadership and social skills. For example, a teacher that recognizes her discouraged students love language is words of affirmation may be tactful in offering words of encouragement to improve their confidence and motivation.

 

 

Sweet Benefits

The ability to effectively communicate love can increase language skills and emotional intelligence. When children are prompted to communicate their feelings and empathize with others wants and needs, they develop a higher understanding of social engagement.  Acquiring the ability to effectively communicate love enhances friendships and relationships. These skills allow others to feel appreciated and affirmed. Children often struggle with identifying and communicating their feelings about themselves and others. Teaching children how to recognize and demonstrate various love languages enables them to recognize and express love in various arenas, leading to a more fulfilled life at home, school and extracurricular.

 

 

Tips for Learning Your Child’s Love Language

 

  • Provide your child the opportunity to choose which way they would like you to express your love. For example, ask them if they would rather spend time together at the park or have you bake them their favorite cookies.
  • Learn your child’s primary love language and focus on that one.
  • Model the use of love language with other friends and family members.
  • Quality time: for boys set up a man-cave night or tea-bake night with girls.
  • Affirmation: create little encouragement sticky notes and place them in your child’s lunch box.
  • Physical touch: Every now and then join your child in his or her bed and cuddle with them.
  • Receiving gifts: create a photo collage or timeline for your child’s accomplishments.
  • Acts of service: Bake your child’s favorite cake, cookies or cook his/her favorite dish.
  • If you are struggling to identify your child’s primary love language strive to balance to use of all them as frequently as possible.

 

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Washington D.C., please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.

Newsletter for November

Home Care in Washington D.C.

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An Attitude of Gratitude & Heart of Thankfulness

Today we live in a society in which instant gratification is at our fingertips or just one tap of away. It can be challenging to avoid conditioning children have an attitude of expectation and entitlement. There are many great psychological and social benefits to maintaining an attitude of gratitude. Ultimately, maintaining an attitude of gratitude cultivates a conditioned heart of thankfulness.

 

What Have You Done for Me Lately? Teaching Gratitude

According to Barbara Lewis, young children are typically self-centered or ego-centric by nature. Their self-centered nature can be manifested in tantrums, emotional outburst and refusal to share or cooperate with others. Around age 2-3 children are able to express thankfulness for objects such as toys or food. At this age it can be challenging to help children express thankfulness or identify instances to be thankful when tangible objects are not related. By age 4, children may begin to understand the concept of being thankful not only for material things but for acts of kindness, love and caring. These attributes are fostered by consistent parental efforts to prompt their children to recognize instances in which to express gratitude.

 

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

Fostering an attitude of gratitude in children can be quite challenging. However, the degree of psychological plasticity in children allows them to learn habits more quickly and maintain them long-term. In order to help children, adopt an attitude of gratitude consistency is imperative. Many times parents prompt children to show thankfulness sporadically or whimsically. The lack of consistency in expressing gratitude can condition children have varying experiences of gratitude. Adopting a mindset of appreciation should begin the moment a child starts the day. It may be beneficial for parents to help children to recognize each day as a gift of life.

 

Additionally, it can be beneficial for parents to prompt their children to be thankful for assistance with task throughout the day (i.e. teeth brushing, shoe tying, packing lunch). However, it is important to avoid prompting in a “nagging tone”. Finally, it is exceedingly important for parents to model an attitude of thankfulness. Children learn most of their characteristics and attitudes from their parental figures. It is essential for parents to express their gratefulness for acts of service and kindness from their children and other adults. Children may view parents as hypocrites and be resistant to express gratitude if they rarely witness their parents modeling the same behaviors. Expressing gratefulness for their children’s compliance and acts kindness can be a great way to model an attitude of gratitude.

 

Gratitude & Well-being

According to a 2014 study published in Emotion, showing appreciation toward others can help foster ongoing relationships with others. Overall, showing appreciation can be an expression of love and admiration. These aspects are essential for maintaining healthy relationships. According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, Individuals with higher levels of gratitude reported feeling healthier than other people. According to Dr. Emmons, a leading researcher on gratitude, individual’s with high levels of gratitude had a reduction in a multitude of negative emotions related to envy, frustration and regret. Overall, these are common emotions experienced by young egocentric children as they develop healthy self-esteem and try to meet the expectations of adult figures.

 

 

Tips for Cultivating and Attitude of Gratitude & Heart of Thankfulness”

 

  • Work gratitude into daily conversation with children. For example, “We’re so lucky to have a good cat like Satchmo” or “I am so thankful that we were able to spend time together”.
  • Designate a time of the day to give thanks. The best time would typically be dinner time when all member of the family are gathered together to share their gratitude.
  • Having everyone involved increases the influential power.
  • Designate task for children to assist with and show appreciation for their help. Engagement in task helps children recognize the effort involved with various duties and promotes appreciation.
  • Be a great example in displaying gratitude with family members and friends consistently
  • Practice saying “no” or “not now” to decrease entitlement tendencies. Instant gratification of every whim decreases a sense of value and appreciation.
  • Encourage children to use their strengths to show kindness and gratitude toward others.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering HOME CARE IN WASHINGTON D.C., please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.

 

Philia’s Parents Night Out!

Home Care in Washington D.C.Home-Care-in-Washington-D.C.

 

Philia is having its parent’s night out event! We are going to be doing this on a bi-monthly basis. Located at the Philia office on: 4420 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008.

 

This will be a GREAT time for kids!!  Arts & Crafts, Movies, Story time. Pizza, snack. Planned by and cared for by PHILIA NANNIES & TEACHERS!!  Small & cozy size. A guaranteed good time. A DATE NIGHT for you!

Email: services@philia-care.com or call: (202) 607-2526 to register now!

Have your kids join us for the next Parent’s Night Out!!!  It will be held on Friday, September 30th from 5:30-9:30 at Philia, with the them “Back to School”.  Your children are sure to have a blast while you get some alone time with your partner.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering HOME CARE IN WASHINGTON D.C., please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.

Newsletter for October

Home Care in Washington D.C.

Home-Care-in-Washington-DC

Even Bigger Treats

Halloween is a special time for kids, filled with fun and an abundance of delicious candy. However, Halloween has been found to have longer lasting effects than just a highly apparent sugar rush. According to researchers, Halloween can be a great way to help promote habits of gratitude, altruism, health and self-esteem.

 

Gratitude

Trick or Treating is can be a great way for children to practice displaying an attitude of gratitude. Children are constantly in a position of receiving from others. However, this position places children in a mindset of expectation versus gratitude. Teaching children about gratitude as early as possible is the foundation for success in current and future relationships. Halloween is a great opportunity to help children practice saying “thank you” and being friendly with others that are giving them treats. When children are able to show gratitude even when they receive a treat that is not of their preference, this prepares them for keeping an attitude of gratefulness in the event of future disappointments.

 

Social Skills

Research has found that interpersonal skills are important for peer acceptance and social adjustment throughout childhood and adolescence. Technology has reduced the opportunity for children and adults to practice face-to- face interaction. In many ways excessive use of technology to communicate with others can stunt social development. Halloween is a great time to introduce yourself to neighbors that you may have not met or catch up with neighbors with whom you have had little communication. Young children struggle with learning how to interact and develop peer relationships. Taking children to meet neighbors is a great way to teach children how to use their social skills to meet unfamiliar people and begin the process of developing connections with others.

 

Halloween Safety

Before you go out trick-or-treating, review the rules of Halloween safety. This is a good idea whether you are accompanied by an adult or old enough to go out with just your friends. Remember to be very careful when crossing streets. It is probably going to be very dark. Masks and other costume parts may make it harder to see oncoming traffic. Carry a flashlight with you and keep it on so that drivers can see you. Try stapling a disposable aluminum pie pan to your trick-or-treat bag. It makes an excellent reflector and will help drivers notice you.

Finally, never eat one single treat until it has been brought home and inspected by an adult. This is especially important when you have been trick-or-treating at the houses of people you do not know. It is a very sad fact that harmful substances and objects have been discovered in Halloween candy. Because of this, more and more people have decided to give small prizes such as pencils, rings, or stickers rather than something to eat.

 

 

Jack-o’-Lanterns

Part of the fun of Halloween is in preparing for it. One of the traditional decorations of this season is the jack-o’-lantern. The children in Britain and many other countries make their jack-o’-lanterns from turnips. But the pumpkin is traditional in the United States and Canada. An older child or an adult will need to carve out the top and face of the jack-o’-lantern. But children of all ages can help design the face and scoop out the seeds and pulp inside. After the seeds are washed and air-dried, they can be used to make seed pictures. Or they can be made into a tasty snack. This is done by coating them with cooking oil and roasting them in a 350°F (175°C) oven for about an hour. Just add salt and they will be ready to enjoy.

Your jack-o’-lantern can be lighted from the inside with a small flashlight or a candle. Great caution should be used around jack-o’-lanterns with candles in them. And they must be kept where they won’t fall over and out of the reach of very small children.

You might want to make an entire jack-o’-lantern figure to put on your porch for the Halloween season. Stuff an old pair of pants and a shirt with crumpled newspaper. Tuck the shirttails into the pants and safety pin them together. Pin old work gloves stuffed with paper to the shirt cuffs and tuck the cuffs of the pants into an old pair of boots. Set your figure in a chair on your porch. Rest the jack-o’-lantern head on its shoulders or, for a real surprise, on its lap. This jack-o’-lantern should not be lighted with a candle because the old clothes might catch on fire.

 

Self-esteem

Self-esteem is one of the most important pillars of childhood development. Recent research underscores the importance of the early childhood years as a critically important for establishing self-esteem. Many children lack self-esteem and have anxiety about various aspects of their personality being accepted by peers. Halloween is a great way for children to explore and express various

alter egos that they may not ordinarily display to the public. Dressing up and expressing themselves in an exaggerated manner allows the child’s imaginative thoughts, wishes and desires to be recognized by others and celebrated. Granting children permission to choose their costume and freely express themselves provides them with permission to be comfortable with expressing humorous, ambitious and creative aspects of their personality.

 

Healthy Balance

Today children typically ride in car’s and have less opportunities to engage in walking. Trick-or- treating can be a great opportunity to teach children about balance in their physical health. Walking up and down neighborhood blocks can burn thousands of calories. This could be a great opportunity to show children how exercise can be a great way to balance indulgence in unhealthy foods. Additionally, Trick-or-treating can be a great way for children to become familiar with their neighborhood and become less reliant upon parents to transport them to nearby places.

 

Tips for Promoting “Longer Lasting Treats”
  • Encourage children to participate in choosing or making treats that their peers may enjoy.
  • Prior to trick or treating, assist your child in practicing the use of manners and showing thankfulness when they receive a treat.
  • Encourage your child to give something back, such as a treat or compliment.
  • Be a great example in displaying social skills when meeting neighbors. Prompt your child to introduce themselves, greet others and share about their costume.
  • Allow your child to participate in choosing their own costume and discuss how the character they chose relates to aspects of their personality.
  • Avoid driving your child from house-to house. Assist your child in keeping track of calories burned during the walking experience.

If you or an aging loved one are considering HOME CARE IN WASHINGTON D.C., please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.

What Hearing Aid is Right for Your Elderly Loved One?

Home Care in Washington D.C.

Hearing loss is something that most people have to deal with as they age. Without the ability to hear the noises that surround them, they Home-Care-in-Washington-D.C.could put their own safety at risk. For example, if they are crossing a street and are unable to hear vehicles around them, this could lead to a dangerous situation.

If this sounds like your elderly loved one, it is probably time to consider getting a hearing aid. Hearing aids work by making the sounds that surround the elder much louder and easier to hear. This is done with the use of small microphones that help by collecting the sounds in the environment. One size does not fit all when it comes to these devices. There are many different styles to choose from, so help your loved one choose the one that is best for them. Here are some of the most common styles to choose from.

 

In the Ear

In-the-ear hearing aids come in two styles – one that will fill up the outer most part of the ear and one that fills the lower part of the ear. This hearing aid device can help by:

  • Having a large battery for longer uses
  • Being easier to use and has a volume control
  • Picking up more noises than other hearing aids, such as the sound of wind
  • Being invisible inside the ear.

If your loved one is self-conscious about having a bulky hearing device that can be seen by all, this may be the right one for them. However, it the speaker can easily become clogged by ear wax.

 

Completely in the Canal (CIC)

The CIC hearing device can be customized to fit properly inside your loved one’s ear and is ideal for elders with mild to moderate hearing loss. This device is:

  • Small and difficult to see
  • Less likely to pick of noises from the wind
  • More difficult to handle and has a shorter life span since small batteries are used
  • Prone to being clogged by earwax

The CIC hearing aid does not contain extra features like the In-the-Ear device, including volume control.

 

In the Canal

This hearing aid is designed to fit most of the bowl-shaped part of the outer ear and is used by those with mild to severe hearing loss. With this device:

  • A larger battery makes for a longer battery life
  • Extra features are available, including volume control, but it may be more difficult to control than other devices
  • No one will be able to see it because it has a more invisible design than other hearing aids
  • Earwax may block the speakers

The kind of hearing aid your loved one uses also depends on the severity of their hearing loss. In order to help your loved one stay safe, a home care aid may be needed along with a hearing aid as a way to help the elder continue living a full and independent life.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering HOME CARE IN WASHINGTON D.C., please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.

 

Source:  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/in-depth/hearing-aids/art-20044116

Balancing Fun & Academics

Home Care in Washington D.C.

September is an interesting time of year as it marks the month that opens the door to the start of fall. By September most children are Home-Care-in-Washington-D.C.enrolled in school and still becoming acclimated with new teachers, peers, and schedules. Children often equate going back to school with the end of summer fun. However, September can be seen as typically the last call for “summer fun” and preparation for autumn fun. In the DMV area, September typically has sunny days and lowering humidity levels. These changes are a bonus considering the hot and humid months that many DMV residents experience over the course of the summer. September can be an excellent time for families to come out the air conditioning haven and enjoy some summer outdoor activities that have been on the bucket list. Additionally, it can be the best time to train children to balance their academics and engage in extracurricular fun.

 

Benefits of Balance

 

Many parents struggle with getting their children involved in extracurricular activities. Some parents lose hope in the battle to keep their kids active and begin to ration that it will not make a difference in their child’s well-being. According to educational research Erin Massoni, regular engagement in extracurricular activities has a great impact on attitude, academic performance and behavior. Attitude can play a significant role in a child’s performance and overall engagement in the classroom. Regular participation in activities outside of the classroom can provide a significant boost in a child’s mood. It is no secret that children that are happier perform better. Additionally, children that engage in activities outside of school with their parents feel more secure and have a healthier self-esteem. At various stages of development, children can become extremely active and easily excited. This high activity is due in large part to changes occurring in the brain that keep children stimulated as they grow. These changes can lead to hyperactivity in the classroom. Many children that are hyperactive struggle with impulsivity and behavioral problems. It is essential that hyperactive children have outlets to cope with these developmental changes. Research shows that engagement in extracurricular activities outside of the classroom can improve behavior.

 

How to Keep the Balance?

 

The busyness at the beginning of the school year can cause parents to get off track with engaging with children in regular activities outside of the classroom. It is hard to incorporate activities into your schedule once you have become accustomed to particular routine. It is important that parents train their children to maintain this balance at the start of the school year.  An excellent way to keep this balance is the schedule different activities specific days of the week. Additionally, it is important to plan activities that are realistic considering your schedule. Many parents become overly zealous and schedule activities that are time-consuming and may be too much to undertake on a weeknight or weekend. This poor planning can lead to not following through with plans and disappointment. Finally, plan activities according to the weather forecast for the month. One mistake parents make planning outdoor activities without consulting with the local weather station first. Unexpected weather changes can lead to ruined plans of fun.  It can be beneficial to refer to a weather website to get a month forecast of the weather for each day of the week. Also, be sure to check the forecast the day of the activity to check for any changes or updates so that you can switch planned activities if necessary.  Also, don’t be afraid of a little rain. If the there is a light drizzle outside be willing to put on rain coats and boots and continue activities. This level of commitment is a great way to teach children to be flexible with changes and maintain a positive attitude despite unexpected circumstances.

 
Tips:

 

  • Assist children with creating a summer bucket list.
  • Create a month of September calendar and schedule activities according to the weather.
  • Prioritize activities according to most and least interest.
  • Avoid choosing activities for your child.
  • Make completing homework assignments or studying a requirement before engaging the activity.
  • Use activities as an incentive for good academic performance.
  • Be flexible with weather changes and stay committed to the schedule.
  • Maintain a positive attitude as this can teach children to keep stressors separate from times of enjoyment.

If you or an aging loved one are considering HOME CARE IN WASHINGTON D.C., please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.

 

Gearing Up for Back to School!

Home Care in Washington D.C.

Back to school already?!?Home-Care-in-Washington-D.C.

Yes, many students start school during the last few weeks of August. Believe it or not the new school year will be here before you know it! As summer winds down, it’s time to get ready for a new school year. Buying notebooks and scoping out sales is the easy part. There are less tangible things you can do as well.

Families know that teachers say keeping a student’s skills sharp over the summer will help them transition into the next grade. The challenge is that it can be difficult to ask any child to put aside their summer fun for some time doing worksheets. Families can utilize some fun, and perhaps sneaky strategies to engage students in learning during the last bit of summer.

It’s a fact: Parents who play an active role in their children’s education make a huge difference in their success. Here are some things you can do to help your child prepare for the upcoming school year:

Get the children to bed on time. During the summer, children aren’t always on a schedule. But, proper rest is essential for a healthy and productive school year.

Help your child get used to the back-to-school routine: start the transition now to earlier wake-up times and bedtimes. Use the last few weeks of summer to get into a school-day rhythm. Have your child practice getting up and getting dressed at the same time every morning. Start eating breakfast, lunch, and snacks around the times your child will eat when school is in session. It’s also important to get your child used to leaving the house in the morning, so plan morning activities outside the house in the week or two before school. That can be a challenge for working parents, but when the school rush comes, hustling your child out the door will be less painful if she/he has broken summer habits like relaxing in his/her PJs after breakfast!

Communicate with teachers and the school. Contact your child’s teachers at the start of the school year. Get acquainted with them and let them know you want to be an active partner in helping your student to learn and grow. Plan to keep track of your child’s subjects, homework, activities and progress throughout the school year. And, consider serving on your local PTA or joining other parent groups that engage with and support your child’s school.

Provide for healthy meals. Hungry kids can’t concentrate on learning, so good nutrition plays an important role in your child’s school performance. Studies show that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches do better in school. Fix nutritious meals at home.

Take your child to the doctor, and make sure your child has health insurance coverage. It’s a good idea to take your child in for a physical and an eye exam before school starts. Most schools require up-to-date immunizations, and you may be asked to provide paperwork showing that your child has all the necessary shots and vaccines. So, check your state’s immunization requirements. And, always keep your own copies of any medical records.

Prepare a study area. Set up a special place at home to do school work and homework. Remove distractions. Make it clear that education is a top priority in your family: show interest and praise your child’s work.

Read Together. Take the pledge to read with your child for 20 minutes every day. Your example reinforces the importance of literacy, and reading lets you and your child explore new worlds of fun and adventure together.

 

Getting Children Ready for a Successful School Year

After a summer filled with fun, it can be challenging getting children back in the groove of the school routine. Many children struggle with waking up on time, having an adequate breakfast and getting prepared for the school day. The process of preparing children to go back to school can be bittersweet for parents. Naturally, parents want to ensure their children are prepared to have the most successful school year possible. However, getting children on board with the program can be quite a hassle. It is common for parents to avoid the process of transitioning their children to going back to school to avoid blow-ups or tantrums. Poor transitioning results in poor habits being carried out into the new school year. Consequently, the poor transition has a negative impact on the child and overall academic performance.

 

Preparing for Academic Success

Many parents worry that their child may not me academically prepared in the different subject matter to meet the benchmark requirements for their new grade level. It is quite common for parents to compensate over and require their children to do an extensive amount of work before the start of classes to ensure their child will be on target. Even though it is essential for parents to provide homework outside of class time to supplement their child’s intellectual growth, it is also important to note that some children learn better in collaboration with peers. Depending on the child, excessive amounts of isolated homework time over the summer can create an environment of stress and resentment. To prevent discouragement from settling in, try to create learning activities that involve their closest friends or peers they may be attending class with in the upcoming school year. Create games that involve learning new subject matter and invite their friends over to keep them engaged in the fun learning. Efforts to keep their closest peers involved can increase their motivation to stay engaged and learn. Additionally, the shared experience will increase the likelihood that the lessons will be stored in their memory. Collaborative learning helps condition children to view learning and studying as a fun experience that can be planned with peers. Overtime, this will motivate them to plan study time with their peers independently.

 

Organization

If your children are not already organized, it can be a struggle training them to keep all of their school work in order. Naturally, some children are more organized than others. Poor organization can lead to lost school supplies, textbooks, and homework. Many children fail to excel in their studies due to loss homework. Younger children rely heavily on parents to assist them with staying organized. Consequently, children will develop their organization skills to the degree of their parent’s own abilities. For younger children, it is important for parents to prompt them to check their book bags and folders for items they will need. Additionally, it is essential for parents to prompt younger children to track whether school work is stored in the correct folders and whether they have everything their need in their book bag the night before. As children grow older, they are expected to operate more independently and keep track of all their supplies and assignment due dates. Although many parents believe that their children of age should have learned basic organization skills, some older children still struggle with staying on track. As subject matter becomes more challenging and coursework becomes heavier children struggle with utilizing strategies to stay on task. Many parents believe their children are secure as long as they are using their academic planner. Some children inappropriately use planners by failing to note details of an assignment or highlight major assignments that may require more time to complete. It is important for parents to sit down with their children and discuss their current strategies and assist them with making adjustments that will suit their new grade level. Additionally, review their current academic planner and provide suggestions that may help them clearly note assignment requirements, deadlines, and timelines for completing them.

 

Morning Routine

After a long summer of sleeping in and staying up past their bedtimes, children may struggle with getting back into a time restricted schedule. It is important for parents to start setting an earlier bedtime and rising time to help children adjust to these sleep changes. Younger children that are beginning school for the first time may rely heavily on parents to assist them with getting themselves ready for school in the morning. Children that have not had an adequate sleep may be cranky, and this may make the process feel like pulling teeth. When children are organized and have all the items they need for the morning prepared this can decrease the stress related to this process. It can be helpful to encourage children to get involved with choosing their clothes and packing their lunch the night before.

Additionally, creating a morning check list for them to review and follow in the morning. Although, older children rely less on parents to get prepared for school in the morning, many children continue to struggle with tardiness or missing the bus due to poor preparation the night before. Parents should encourage older children to use alarm clocks and eliminate distractions at night to ensure they receive adequate rest. Additionally, cutting off the television in the living room and storing away cell phones at a specified time may decrease the likelihood of older children staying up late. Children typically don’t eat a well-balanced breakfast before school. It is essential for parents to ensure their children have quick nutrition food/snacks that will not require a significant amount of preparation time. Mornings are an essential time of the day that place children on either a frustrated or excited path for the day. The morning time before children’s arrival at school can dictate their attitude and performance for the remainder of the day. Remember the old wise saying “how you start how you finish”.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering HOME CARE IN WASHINGTON D.C., please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.