Co-op Life

WWWDW Series: Teacher Support

Posted on Aug 2, 2016

WWWDW Series: Teacher Support

In this series we want you to get to know what it takes to make a cooperative school work. While having a strong teaching staff is essential, it is not enough to make your school run successfully on a day to day basis. Our families are required to hold a committee position during the school year and commit three hours per month to duties associated with the position they hold. From the tiniest to the biggest details, our membership is in charge of it all! One critical area are our teacher support committee positions.

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Co-op Family Traditions and Rituals

Posted on Dec 23, 2015

Co-op Family Traditions and Rituals

Every fall, after the Thanksgiving holiday, our families share their traditions or rituals with their classes. Our staff has placed an importance on developing traditions in the home. Traditions are family-specific as opposed to culturally-specific and are different than celebrations because they are generally more organized and occur regularly though maybe not annually. In celebrating traditions, the family is able to express their values and beliefs. Traditions typically connect families to previous generations. Rituals are broader. Family rituals include traditions, holidays or rites of passage within cultural, religious, or ethnic groups, and routines which show us the unique interactions of the family unit.

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A Conscious Gift Buying Guide

Posted on Nov 24, 2015

A Conscious Gift Buying Guide

With Black Friday happening this week and the holiday shopping season underway, we want to share our thoughts on what a good gift is for a child. It may take a little more effort or imagination to find gifts, but these are much more likely to be enjoyed for a long time to come or create an indelible memory. Before you head out with the masses, read and share with those you know and love. The list is simple and yet, in this day and age, not mainstream. Nevertheless, your child and home will thank you for it! Select toys that promote meaningful learning through play. Toys of value enhance children’s natural ability to engage in imaginative, meaningful play that allows them to try out new ideas, solve their own problems, and find their own solutions. When children play this way, they are developing a solid foundation for success in school. Choose toys that provide opportunities for dramatic play, manipulative play (puzzles, Lego’s, etc.), game playing, creative arts and physical play. Rules for buying gifts for preschool age children are: The toy or game must be 90% child and 10% toy. The child must be able to manipulate the toy. The toy should be “error prone” – Meaning the kids should be able to change the toy, have it not work or work differently and then try it again and again. The toy should be open ended – Meaning it can be used many different ways and interchange with other toys (example: blocks). No batteries needed. Keep it age appropriate – Look at the age recommendations on the box. Young children should not be playing with violent video games or anything that promotes violence. The toy should be affordable. Avoid toys that discourage children from using their imagination. Gift ideas: A suitcase filled with dress up clothes. A large cardboard box with all kinds of tape and markers. Toolbox filled with a tape measure, wood scraps, hammer, nails, screws and screwdriver. Make your own craft box and fill it with paper, buttons, material scraps, glue, paint, scissors, glitter, tape, wood scraps, etc. Box filled with envelopes, stickers, writing pads, pens, pencils, etc. Box filled with collection items – rocks, keys, hearts, cars, etc. An empty wood box to be filled up with a child’s treasures. Remember most of all, what children want is your presence, not your presents. Make the holidays about the traditions and time spent together baking, singing and playing. The younger we start with these types of gifts, the older we can extend the joy of simplicity in our children. Listed below are some websites the staff recommends: www.fatbraintoys.com www.hearthsong.com www.blueberryforest.com www.ravensburger.com www.habausa.com www.turnthepage.com www.nellieedge.com www.forsmallhands.com www.discountschoolsupply.com www.montessoriservices.com www.lakeshorelearning.com Please email this blog page or share with family on social media before they shop for your child this year. Did you have a favorite “toy” as a child that fit into these criteria? What was it? Has your child received a gift like these? What was their reaction, both short- and long-term? Thanks for...

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Kids’ Co-op Favorite Fall Art Projects

Posted on Oct 26, 2015

Kids’ Co-op Favorite Fall Art Projects

October and November just beg for families to gather and do some project or craft together. We wanted to share some of our favorite sites and specific projects that preschoolers can accomplish while having fun. These may require patience, a little planning and gathering, and a fair amount of clean-up on the parents’ part but for the children it’s pure play, creativity, and joy! Some of these even give us the opportunity to do our own version right along side of the kiddos. Enjoy the process and see the world through a child’s eyes as they create.

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It’s Race Time!

Posted on Oct 17, 2015

It’s Race Time!

On November 8, 2015, we’ll have the 8th annual Learning is Child’s Play 1mi/5k/10k. The event will begin at 9am with a run or walk through Wayne Bunker park at Tenaya Way at Alexander Road. The race will be professionally timed by  Xtreme Timing. After the race, the party will begin at our Finish Line Festival. At the Festival you’ll find refreshments, a raffle, a bounce house, face painting, yoga class and much more! Yoga for the Kids Tour the Fire Engine Kids Relay Race at Finish Line Festival Check out the event page and register to walk or run here. If you can’t make the event but would like to donate to our school, you may do so on the registration page in the right hand column.     We hope you can be a part of this fun day and meet us at the finish line. Questions? Call Amy Alexanian at 702-579-5771 or email at kidscoop.fundraising@gmail.com Our office administrator, Mrs. Thompson, has embraced our annual event by challenging herself to running the 5k again this year. Below she writes about her experience, struggles, and victories. Leave some words of encouragement for her! Will you be joining Mrs. Thompson this year? Race Lessons: Ok…I have something to confess…I am NOT a runner! The first year I ran the 5K, I almost didn’t make it to the finish line. There were a lot of people passing me but I was ok with this because it was my first time running a 5K. I just passed the 2nd mile mark and couldn’t see anyone in front of me and no one behind me. Kind of scary…was I going the right way? Well, I made it to the finish line, went home and went to bed! I was exhausted. The second year I decided I had better work on my endurance. Two months before the race, I started running at least a couple times a week. I got myself some music and was, in my mind, ready to run the 5K. Ok…I am at the race…doing better…at least I can breathe! I see the finish line and then…uggg…went the wrong way and had to backtrack to finish the race. This year is my third year running the 5K. I got smart and downloaded the trail and yea…it is right by my house and I’ve been running the trail at least twice a week. My friend Jean (who is a coach at Spring Valley HS) gave me some pointers on warming up and how to train. Ok…I am pushing myself to run 4 miles so that on race day the 3.1 miles won’t seem that far. The race is less than a month away. I think I will be ready. I have added some new songs to my playlist. Do you listen to music when you run or do you like the quiet? If you do listen to music, what’s on your...

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11 Ways to Work Cooperatively at a Co-op

Posted on Oct 4, 2015

11 Ways to Work Cooperatively at a Co-op

We are part of this LARGER family at Kids’ Co-op, which is a wonderful concept and when all gears are greased and turning the vehicle runs really smooth. But in today’s society, the tendency is not for cooperative living and community but rather the opposite: to privacy, seclusion, and not knowing one’s neighbors. Some of this lifestyle takes some practice and effort to break free of cultural norms. Here are 11 ways that we can get our school primed for a great journey this school year and beyond. How can we work cooperatively at a co-op?? 1. Know what it means to be a member. Read the policies, bylaws and handbook found on our website. Know what you have agreed to do when you signed the registration form. Remember, this is your school! 2. Learn about your committee or board position. Know who to ask for help and ask for help when you need it. Take ownership of your position. If you have a great idea, share it and act on it. 3. Stay informed. We have a number of ways to keep up with what is going on at school. Here are a few routines to get into. Read the weekly emails. Check out the bulletin boards for announcements, calendars, and schedules. Check our blog for school information and great info on child development. Check the work schedules and add working days, field trips, and meetings into your own calendar. 4. Help each other succeed and take pride in each other’s successes. Take time to listen and talk to the other parents in your classroom at drop-off, pickup, and at school functions. Small efforts turn into lasting relationships and support when you need it most. 5. Speak positively about each other and your organization at every opportunity. Our best referrals are always “This mom I met at the park.” 6. Try to do things with enthusiasm—it’s contagious. Keep in mind the big picture or the end-goal to your task, and ask yourself what you want your child’s attitude to be about the same things in the future. 7. Ask questions when in doubt—go to the source for the straight scoop. 8. Remember what it was like to be new and a little overwhelmed. Take time to introduce yourself. Offer help when you can. Encouragement and empathy go a long way! 9. Keep in mind that the facility you are in belongs to all of us. Please keep it clean and pick up after yourself. Observe rules regarding parking, use of telephones and cameras, and pick up procedures. 10. Let your voice be heard! Answer surveys, send ideas to the board, ask for conferences with any board member or teacher, or join the board. 11. Support parents when their child is acting out—it happens to most parents at some point, and it is always distressing! Which of these suggestions has helped you the most? As a current or former member, what areas made the biggest difference for you in your...

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