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    (The Conversation)For adults, communicating in our first language feels easy and natural. Yet learning language is a complex process that is influenced by several factors.When young children are beginning to learn language, some influences, such as the amount of speech a child hears and the amount of time they spend in back-and-forth language interactions with others, have what may appear to be obvious connections to language learning. Perhaps less obvious is that children's own physical experiences with their environment help them learn new words.In new research in the cognitive sciences, we investigated how this is the case by considering how children learn words that refer to something you can touch, grasp and interact with. We asked parents to rate how easily a child can physically interact with the object, idea or experience that a word refers to. We found words that refer to objects that are easy for children to interact with are also words that are learned at an earlier age.Spoon: Something you touchFor instance, a word such as spoon is usually learned earlier than a word such as...
    JACQUELINE JOSSA has sparked debate by saying homework for young children should be axed. Speaking on ex-Towie sisters Sam and Billie Faiers’ podcast, The Sam & Billie Show, the actress, 29 – who is married to reality star Dan Osborne, 30, and mum to Ella, seven, and three-year-old Mia ­­– said: “My daughter is six years old. I just don’t feel like she should be doing homework three days a week.” 4Here, two mums give their view on whether homework should be ditched for kids until they are in secondary schoolCredit: Getty 4Jacqueline Jossa has sparked debate by saying homework for young children should be axedCredit: Instagram Here, two mums give their view on whether homework should be ditched for kids until they are in secondary school. Yes, says Tanith Carey YES says parenting author Tanith, 54, who lives in north London with husband Anthony, a journalist, and daughters Clio, 19, and Lily, 16. She says: "IMAGINE getting home after a long, stressful day at work, during which you’ve had to behave perfectly and do everything your boss told you....
    A German professor has said German playgrounds are built to be dangerous, forcing children to negotiate perilous obstacles while risking injury if they fall.  Professor Rolf Schwarz of Karlsruhe University of Education, argues that 'safe' playgrounds prevent kids from learning how to handle risk in the early stages of their development. 'Playgrounds are islands of free movement in a dangerous motorised environment,' said the professor of motor development and active schooling for children, who advises councils and playground designers.  'If we want children to be prepared for risk, we need to allow them to come into contact with risk.'  Meanwhile, a professor of risk management at Middlesex University David Ball told the Guardian that playgrounds in the UK 'have become too sanitised.' 'If you look at them only as a series of potential hazards, you are missing something important,' he said. This climbing tower, built in 2018 in Ludwig Lesser Park in Berlin, is an example of a growing trend of new playgrounds designed to force kids to conquer difficult obstacles while managing risk The Ludwig Lesser Park still has some play...
    (CNN)I taught my 12-year-old daughter to change a car battery at 8 p.m. in a grocery store parking lot. It's one of the many skills that I want her to know in case she ever finds herself stranded in a parking lot -- just like her father at that very moment. I also wanted to get her familiar with a car engine, even though to me it mostly looks like metal spaghetti. Parents know there is a whole host of life skills that our children need to learn, but my reasons date back to my childhood. My father taught me how to do laundry, but no one talked about mental health -- we covered up our issues with bro talk and the firm belief that real men don't cry. And no one said anything about finances. That might explain why I took out a 22% car loan when I was 24. To make it worse, both of my parents were accountants. Forty-year-old me cringes at that memory. (Yes, I've let them know I hold a grudge.)Do your children know how...
    A Taliban fighter hands me his phone, pointing to a video of his friend driving a truck. "We all signed up to be suicide bombers," the 22-year-old said. "Unfortunately our names were not picked." The video continues a few seconds until the truck explodes.  Before lunch is served, another Taliban member from the same unit walks into the room. "He has just returned on a flight from Herat, they are in charge of doing security on the domestic airlines," one fighter sitting nearby added.  (Trey Yingst) Two months ago these Taliban members were in the middle of a fierce battle against Afghan Security Forces. In their early 20s, they can't remember living in Afghanistan without war.  For many of them, this is the first time they’ve been to a city. It’s certainly the first time they’ve had tea with an American. Earlier in the year, they would’ve killed me. It’s something they joke about now. These men were raised to be religious militants. The battlefield is all they know. TOP PAKISTAN DIPLOMAT DETAILS TALIBAN PLAN Amid a crumbling economy,...
    SOUTH LOOP — Though COVID-19 has been dominating conversations across the globe, children going through this crisis are rarely giving them the opportunity to express themselves. One local organization, Once Upon A Time Capsule, is helping kids find their voice. More than 35 youth-related groups across the city collaborated on time capsule projects with children ages 5 to 12, the majority of them kids of color. Earlier this month, several kids participated in a time capsule event at the Adler Planetarium, where they put pen to paper to share their thoughts and feelings about the tumultuous year. Once Upon A Time Capsule co-founder Stacey Gillett and her partner, Stephanie Hodges, spent the past year talking with pediatric psychologists for guidance on how to give kids awareness of all the complexity they’ve navigated since the start of the pandemic. “These are predominantly time capsules of stories and memories, and this is a way of elevating them,” Gillett said. For Edward Cheng, his wife and his three children — Lily, 12; Maddie, 11; and Nate, 9 — the past 18...
    Every parent worries when their little one goes to school but with kids denied of socialisation during the pandemic, many will be fretting about how they'll cope with independence for the first time.  British influencer Molly Howard, who runs a blog dedicated to toddler and preschool activities, shared with Femail her top tips on preparing under fives for starting reception.  Molly, who runs the CreateMakeandPlay Instagram page, uses simple hacks and games to encourage children to develop essential skills they'll need ahead of starting school.  Her advice, complied in collaboration with childminding experts tiney, includes teaching kids to put shoes on the correct feet going to the toilet independently, washing their own hands and cutting their own food.  The shoe trick: How to teach children to put their shoes on the correct feet Teach children the phrase: 'The straps in the middle need to meet or they are on the wrong feet!' to help them remember which foot to put their shoes on  It's important for children starting school to wear shoes with straps, until they can tie their own laces. This...
    Information courtesy of Water Smart Broward!, SWIM Central, and the Florida Department of Health in Broward County The Children’s Services Council of Broward reminds you, while staying at home for work and school, don’t lose track of where your children are! Now more than ever, distractions can cause a tragedy in and around water. If you can’t find your child, check the water first! Remember the layers of protection: Install alarms on doors leading to water, place fencing around pools, learn CPR, and remember to always be Water Smart! Did you know drowning is the leading cause of injury death to children from 1 to 4 years old? The majority of children who drown in home pools were not expected to be in or even near the pool. Most children who drown in a home pool enter the water without the knowledge of their parent or caregiver. Children need capable, close and constant supervision, especially toddlers who easily and quickly leave a safe, supervised area unnoticed. A dedicated “Water Watcher” can help save children from death or injury from drowning....
    Reading aloud to children is one of the joys of parenting. All children, whether they’re infants, toddlers or school-aged, can benefit from being read to, and parents whose youngsters have grown up often look back on story time as some of their favorite moments as moms and dads. Reading aloud to children is about more than just establishing a bond between parent and child. According to Reading Rockets, a national public media literacy initiative, children as young as infants can benefit from being read to. Infants can look at pictures as their parents point to them and say the names of the various objects within them. By drawing attention to the pictures and associating words with them and real-world objects, parents are helping infants learn the importance of language. Kids of all ages can benefit from being read to, even after they learn to read on their own. The following are a handful of ways that reading aloud to children can benefit them. – Reading to children dramatically expands their vocabulary. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Developmental...
    When schools and day cares shut down in March, no one thought it would last more than a few months. But in the United States, the Covid-19 pandemic is nowhere near under control. That makes in-person schooling an iffy proposition in many parts of the country. Even if your school plans to have students on campus for at least part of the school year, it’s wise to prepare for repeated shutdowns, closures, or quarantines when children, teachers, and staff test positive for Covid-19. Remote learning is here to stay, so we spoke to several edtech experts about identifying possible obstacles and aiming for reasonable goals. Your child might not become an Intel Science Fair finalist this year. But they can still be healthy, happy, and able to pick up facts. “Don’t try to replicate everything. That’s just setting yourself up for disappointment,” says Sal Khan, founder of the online education nonprofit Khan Academy. “Focus on the basics first and get your legs under you.” If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps...
    Fairfax County, Va. mom Amber Condry told "The Ingraham Angle" Tuesday that she was "very frustrated" with the local school district's reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic. "I'm just saddened that it doesn't seem like there's a push to get kids back in school," Condry, whose children are in elementary school, told host Laura Ingraham. "Because there's constantly these changes sent down by the governor where we have to abide by some new rule and then they're going to have to change their whole game plan again. "It just seems like, are we even going to open? And how long until our kids are able to learn?" TRUMP ADMINISTRATION VOWS TO WORK 'HAND IN HAND' WITH LOCAL GOVERNORS TO REOPEN SCHOOLS Ingraham outlined the choice given each Fairfax County parent in her "Angle" monologue last month. "Families are given two options: Enrolling their kids in 100 percent online classes four days per week or in-person classes for just two days a week," Ingraham said at the time. "Now, with the latter option, kids will have to remain six feet apart at...
    HUNCHED over a PC, kids’ worksheets all over the place, the Hoover propped up against the wall – this is the lockdown reality for many parents. Dividing work, chores and parenting is a military operation, with three in four mums finding it challenging according to a survey by campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed. 6Be the best parent by making the most of the time you have with your kids, even if it is just an hour a day, with our expert's adviceCredit: Getty Images - Getty Parenting expert Anita Cleare, author of The Work/Parent Switch, says the quality of time spent with children is what’s important, and making the most of the time you have with them. Anita tells Rebecca Pascoe how to be the best parent you can be in the time you have with your little ones – whether it’s six hours or just one. GIVE 100 PER CENT FOR 15 MINUTES 6Anita Cleare, author of The Work/Parent Switch, says giving a hundred per cent of your time for fifteen minutes is a great way to bond with...
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