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Helping Your Child Adjust To Preschool

A new school year can be hard on your little one, and for that matter – the parent! If you are new to this routine, and your preschooler is struggling with this adjustment, don’t worry – we’ve all been there. There are few things in life that are more difficult than leaving your child crying in the door of a classroom, even though in your heart and mind you know that this is temporary and necessary for all ages!  Take a look at these tips to help you and your child transition through this to a fun and healthy school year:

It Begins With YOU!
Believe it or not, if you haven’t prepared YOURSELF for this major change in your daily life, your child can and WILL pick up on this. Even if you are nervous (as you most of us are) make sure that you exude a sense of calm and confidence – and watch what you say to friends and family – especially when your little one is near.

Consistency Is Key
Children need to know what they are doing, where they are going, and what you are expecting of them.  Be sure to set up a routine – even for the youngest of the bunch.  This will not only ease the chaos in the household but will also boost awareness of the routine that is exhibited in the classroom.  Here’s a simple, yet effect morning routine that can easily be adapted to all age group:  eat breakfast together, prepare a lunch or discuss the school lunch menu for the day, set a spot for school gear and have each child gather their things, double check for any missing items, and happily leave the house for a day of learning and friendship!

Leave With Confidence
Once again, when you leave your child in the classroom, they can feel your anxiety. Be sure to hug and kiss your child goodbye, assure them that you will return shortly, and walk away without any lengthy goodbye. Don’t sneak out without saying goodbye, this only makes things worse.  You don’t want your child to feel abandoned or tricked. You also want them to know what to expect, including a loving goodbye.

One thing to remember is that kids adjust to new environments on different timelines. If you notice that your child is having  a harder time than the others – don’t worry, this process can take a few weeks. Let them adjust at their own pace, your gentleness and patience will help this life lesson be a wonderful experience.

 

How Does Smiling Affect Your Health?

If you type “smiling makes you…” into your search engine the results immediately give insight into why a simple smile is so contagious. The search results for the benefits of smiling includes “smiling makes you live longer”, “smiling makes you look younger,” and even, “smiling makes you more attractive!” But there is one health benefit at the root of a smile, making people live longer and look younger and that is happiness.

Happiness is a common goal that almost every human strives for every day. We seek it through our careers, finances, family life and hobbies, but there are many conflicting arguments about what true happiness really is and how we can best achieve it.
Not only does smiling release serotonin, the neurotransmitter connected to happiness, to create positive feedback and emotions, but studies show that positive emotions can lower a stress-induced heart rate increase (whether it’s authentic or not!) This means that by reducing your stress-symptoms with a smile, you’re also reducing the negative health effects that go along with stress, like high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue and a decreased immune system response.
So, the next time you’re in a stressful situation, put on a big smile! It doesn’t matter if you need to look at a funny video or photo, or force a smile that engages the muscles around your eyes and mouth – both will be effective in inducing feelings of happiness and help your health in the long run.
You can also use this knowledge to help others who may be feeling stressed or unhappy. Even seeing someone else smile can uplift our mood, but smiles are contagious, and someone else is likely to mirror your happiness with a smile in return!

Give Thanks By Giving Back!

During the weeks leading up to AND surrounding Thanksgiving, we are often focused on what we are thankful for, and to whom we wish to give thanks. But there are also other things we can give! November is a great time to look back on the year and determine who and what helped us throughout the months, but it is also the time to help others. Here are a few ways that you can give to others during the holidays:

Donations:
While you can donate to any organization year-round, the holidays bring more specific efforts give to children and families. Contact your local shelters, food banks and soup kitchens to find out what items they need at the moment. If you find your holiday schedule is too busy for local donations, many popular seasonal donation boxes for toys, canned goods or even spare change can be found at grocery stores and libraries for convenient drop-off.

Volunteer:
With all of those donations coming in during the holidays, organizations will need more volunteers to help with sorting efforts. If the volunteer roster is full at your local foodbank or soup kitchen, there are still plenty of ways to get involved- look for park cleanups, charity runs or animal shelters that always need extra hands.

Small Gestures:
Because we may tend to look for larger ways to give, we may forget about small gestures to help our friends and family during the holidays. Try bringing in treats to the office or your child’s teachers, or calling a friend who you haven’t spoken to in a while to check in. Sometimes the smallest acts can uplift and motivate those who really need it.

Words Do Make A Difference In The Success of Your Child

With the signs of spring breathing new life into the creation around us, this is the perfect reminder to cherish the good that surrounds us with POSITIVE words and behaviors – and there is no better place to start than as a parent. Parenting is a balancing act that requires control – often tangling with the fine line of encouragement and exasperation. Positive words that you speak over your kids can help instill confidence and control in your WHOLE family in both the short term and long term.

Words spoken can become meaningless when they are not exhibited in an action. However, words alone do have great power – both positive and negative. We can all make a choice to speak in a positive way to everyone around us – especially to our children and all young ones that we encounter throughout the day. This behavior is one that they will begin to imitate – even though they may not recognize they are doing so.  You never know how the words of encouragement that you speak today will affect your kids to carry with them for the years ahead.

Be intentional in the morning – and set aside specific words that you are going to speak to kids. Write them down if you have to, or simply use your favorite word of encouragement that brings a smile to YOUR child’s face – over and over again.  The more you can follow up these words with actions of affirmation – the more power these words will have. Have fun and spread the kindness beyond your home – you’ll be amazed at the goodness that will follow!

Six Tips To Reduce The Holiday Stress

What is the most wonderful time of the year for some, can be the most stressful time of the year for others. From gifts to baking to family events, life can quickly become very chaotic during the holiday season. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Take a deep breath and make an active choice to have a stress-free December this year.
Set your priorities. Ask yourself and your family members what they look forward to the most during the holidays. Prioritize those activities and consider forgoing others that cause more stress than joy.
Make time for exercise. Exercising increases energy, helps you sleep better and reduces stress and tension; all important factors during the holidays. Plan ahead to ensure that exercise has a spot in your schedule so you will feel your best all month long.
Create a budget. Money can be a big stressor during the holiday season. Once you’ve determined your gift giving budget, stick to it. Make your money go further by checking store websites for discounts or by using a coupon app on your smartphone.
Don’t be afraid to say no. Whether the activity is too much for your holiday schedule or outside of your COVID comfort zone, it’s ok to say no. Practice kind ways of saying no that will express your gratitude, but firmly communicate that you are unable to accept the invitation.
Take a break from social media. In real life, not everything is as perfect as it appears on social media. By reducing the amount of time you spend on social media sites, you will be less likely to compare yourselves to others and create unrealistic expectations.
Take care of yourself. The holidays are a time when we continually give to others, but don’t always take care of ourselves. Pick something that makes you happy—a meal from your favorite restaurant, a manicure or a relaxing evening in front of a fire—and make it a non-negotiable this holiday season.

Summer is here…. it’s time to celebrate!

 

Summer is here, and while the summer of 2020 will be unlike any we’ve experienced before, you can still find ways to celebrate the season. Take advantage of the warm weather and let the summer sun brighten your days.

Feast on a summer dish. Enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season, like juicy strawberries, sweet cherries and perfectly buttered corn on the cob. Make good use of your grill with classic barbeque foods and eat outside as much as possible. Don’t forget dessert—nothing says summer like a big ice cream cone.

Select the perfect summer tunes. Certain songs just take you back. Create a playlist of songs that remind you of summers past or select an already created playlist from a music service. Search for top “songs of the summer” or turn on some reggae to go straight to the islands!

Get wet. The hot summer days almost beg for the cool relief of water. You don’t have to go for a swim to get wet, though. Have a water balloon fight with your kids, wade through a creek or head out on your boat. Research shows being near water really does make you happy, so go out and find some this summer.

Soak up the sun. We all know the importance of protecting your skin from the sun’s UV rays, but spending time out in the sun can also be good for you. Your skin produces vitamin D, which keeps bones healthy, fights diseases and reduces depression, in response to sunlight. Get out for a walk, read a book outside or have a chat with your neighbors and you’ll reap the benefits of the sun.

Relive your childhood. In a time when your previously planned summer activities may not happen, take time to enjoy the summer as you did as a child. Catch fireflies, drink lemonade, play card games, run through the sprinkler and roast marshmallows. Be thankful for the little joys in life that continue throughout time.

Attention Essential Personnel: We are here to take care of your children, while you care for others!

All of our Apple Tree Learning Centers remain open to our school families, as well as those families who are considered essential and are heading to work every day.

We have been chosen to be one of the trusted providers for local hospitals and other essential personnel who are on the front lines protecting and caring for the community.

Currently we have extended our operating hours* to 7:30 pm at the Greenbrier Preschool and Academy Center – located at 1141 Executive Blvd. in Chesapeake. 

*These extended hours are available for qualified essential hospital personnel only.

CoVid 19 — Academy Teaching Resources

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE:   During the quarantine period of the CoVid 19 pandemic, our program has incorporated an “ONLINE Learning Component” with our students as well as staff to student in the classroom. Our curriculum includes educational tools and resources that are a perfect fit to the needs during this time and for every learner.

We’re Here For YOU! All Apple Tree Learning Centers Are Open

While we face an unprecedented challenge for the immediate future, we want to be clear that the Apple Tree Learning Centers will continue to operate as long as it is safe, legal and practical. Our staff will continue to work diligently with local health officials to ensure the safety of our employees, vendors, partners, and customers during this time.

We are keeping a close eye on this developing situation and will continue to take precautions to protect the health and safety of our communities. We will continue to offer the highest level of service to all of our Families.

Be sure to refer to the CDC’s website for up-to-date information about COVID-19, as well as information about its current impact in the United States and locally.

Our prayers go out to each of you during this time of uncertainty and we want you to know that you have our commitment to continue providing care for your children and services you can depend on. Please reach out to your office if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation as we work together during this challenging time.

 

CoVid 19 — Academy Teaching Resources

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE:   During the quarantine period of the CoVid 19 pandemic, our program has incorporated an “ONLINE Learning Component” with our students as well as staff to student in the classroom. Our curriculum includes educational tools and resources that are a perfect fit to the needs during this time and for every learner.

Now Offering A Discount On Your Registration Fee!

When you join the Apple Tree Learning Center Family, we will discount your registration fee. Give us a call, or schedule an environmentally safe visit to check out the center that best meets your family’s needs!  We can’t wait to meet you.

Tax Free Weekend Is Right Around The Corner!

The 3-day sales tax holiday starts the first Friday in August at 12:01 am and ends the following Sunday at 11:59 pm.  Click here for complete details!

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