eTips: Daily Tips for Families/Consejo del día

Monday, May 3, 2021                                                                   [En español]              

Strengthen skills with time outdoors

Being out in nature sharpens children's observation skills and builds creativity. Go outside with your child and give her time to quietly watch the environment. Then ask some questions. "Can you feel where the wind is coming from?" "What's the ant doing?" To stimulate creativity, encourage her to make up poems, songs and stories about what she's seeing and doing.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Nag-free solutions boost motivation

When it comes to motivating children to learn, nagging doesn't usually work. To spark your child's desire to learn, be a learner yourself. Show curiosity and tackle new projects. Then share what you learn with your child. Show an interest in what he is learning, too. Above all, express your confidence in your child's ability to learn, and help him see that problems can be solved.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Help your child consider the possibility of a great future

Does your child think that success is something that just happens to others? One way to change that mindset is to talk about all the good things that could possibly happen to her. Be creative. Let your child know you see a bright future for her. Chances are, you'll start her thinking about positive possibilities, too. That's an important step toward success.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Bicycle safety is no accident

Children need exercise to stay healthy and fit to learn. But it is important to exercise safely. Each year thousands of children are injured while riding bicycles. Many of these injuries are preventable. Teach your child about bike safety and supervise when he rides. Make sure he always wears a properly-fitting helmet. And until kids reach age 10, they should not ride bikes in the street.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Ask about progress, problems and preparing for the future

As this extraordinary year comes to a close, you may be wondering about your child's readiness for next year. Consider scheduling an end-of-the-year parent-teacher conference. You can ask the teacher whether your child has made the progress expected, and about strengths and weaknesses. Ask how you can work together to overcome any issues, and what you can do over the summer to prepare your child for next year.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Talk with your child about living up to promises

Responsible students can be counted on by their parents, teachers and classmates. But promises are often easier to make than to keep. Talk to your child about the importance of being trustworthy. Ask your child to think about what happens when people don't do things they've said they would: Plants that don't get watered wilt, garbage that isn't taken out smells and animals who don't get fed get hungry!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

…And this little book is just right

What makes a book "right" for your child? It should be well-written and designed. Most importantly, it needs to appeal to your child. When choosing books, look for well-developed characters and strong plots on topics of interest. While most of the words should be familiar, it's OK to pick a book that is a little beyond your child's ability. You can read it aloud now, and your child can read it alone later.

Monday, April 26, 2021                                                                                                     [En español]

Have your child try singing for test success

Is your child trying to memorize information for a test? Encourage him to put it to music. After all, that's probably how he learned his ABC's. Suggest he try putting his facts into a song he knows well, such as "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." For example: 7 x 3 is 21, EIEIO. Memorizing his song will give him more confidence going into the test, and you can sing his praises for his effort!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

For writing fun, have your child pretend

The best way to become a better writer is to write more. To interest your child in getting some writing practice, ask her to pretend she is an object, such as a mirror, a soccer ball, or a frying pan. Then have her write a story about her life as that object. Make sure she gives herself a name, describes what she looks like, what she sounds like, where she lives and what a typical day in her life is like.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Think and plan before leaving your child alone

Ideally, children should be supervised at all times, and states have laws against leaving children alone. Even if your child is legally old enough, before leaving him alone, consider whether he can handle it responsibly. Review safety procedures, such as not opening the door to anyone, and who he should call in an emergency. For more information, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website:

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Assign your child some laundry math

The next time you do laundry, help your young child build math skills while you complete the chore. Have your child sort the clean clothes. Then ask, "How many socks are there?" "How many pairs of socks?" "Are there more washcloths than towels?" Help your child keep a tally of different items and compare totals from week to week. Did your family use more towels this week than last?

Friday, April 30, 2021

Watch and identify birds together

Here's a way to help your child sharpen her powers of observation while learning about nature and birds. With your child, look around your neighborhood for birds. Note the ones you see most often. Ask her to make drawings of them. Can either of you identify them? Look online for a bird identification website or app, or check out a bird guide from the library to learn more about the birds in your area.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Celebrate May holidays with learning

Memorial Day (May 31) is only one of the holidays you and your child can celebrate with learning this month. Practice kindness to a pet during Be Kind to Animals Week (May 2-8). Write limericks on Limerick Day (May 12). Discuss tolerance, inclusion and understanding on the International Day of Living Together in Peace (May 16). Read about aviation on the anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's historic flight (May 21).

Sunday, May 02, 2021

There's value in putting numbers into words

Writing numbers out in word form is a good way for your child to understand the mathematical concept of "place value." Give your child a list of four or five numbers, such as 562, 73, 184, 16 and 43. Have him write them in words: five hundred sixty-two, seventy-three and so on. Talk about how the words go from the highest place value to the lowest. Then give your child the words and ask him to write the numbers.
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