Thank you for all your support with the value of the month for December, which was Peace. We hope you had a peaceful break and that everyone is now looking forward to a new start in 2020.
Our value of the month for January is Independence
The freedom to exercise our own personal abilities is independence.
Why is independence important?
Children are born totally dependent on adults to provide their needs, but their ultimate survival depends on their learning to be self-sufficient and independent. A healthy individual is independent yet respects the interdependence human kind needs for survival.
Suggestions for parents to work with children at home:
Help children to be self-sufficient as soon as possible. Teach them to brush their own teeth, put on their shoes, pour their own drinks, select clothes and dress themselves. Children are completely dependent at birth. Holding on to their dependent behaviours can become habit-forming for parents. We get so used to taking care of every need that we forget to turn some of that responsibility over to children. It’s also often easier to do it yourself than to suffer through the tedious chore of letting them do it themselves!
Praise children’s independence. When they put on their shoes and socks, compliment their efforts. When they button their shirt for themselves, let them know how pleased and proud you are. This way you’ll reinforce and encourage independent behaviours, and you’ll give your children much-needed acceptance and attention.
Look at your child’s Baby Book together, and point out how they have grown more and more independent. Talk about first rolling over, first smiles, first steps and so on. Make a growth chart for your child and use it to show new accomplishments and independent behaviours as well as height.
Help your children find their unique talents and encourage them to develop them. One child may play the violin, another might be good at gymnastics. One might be a natural artist; another might be good at skipping or riding a bike.
Talk with your child about being independent and what it means. Get them to name some things they can do all by themselves. How does being able to do things yourself make you feel?
Get them to name some things they want to be able to do all by themselves. How will they learn to do these things?
With your children, sing ‘This is the way I brush my teeth’. Sing the song again, each time substituting a new skill-’This is the way I comb my hair’, ‘This is the way I dress myself’ etc. Ask the children to suggest additional verses. Talk about how much they have already learnt to do for themselves and how independent they are becoming.
Provide opportunities for problem-solving and making choices. Encourage your child to choose as often as possible- which clothes they want to wear, which filling they want in their sandwiches, which activity they want to do next. If problems occur, such as spillages, invite them to think of solutions.
Let your child do as much for themselves as possible. Let them take on responsibility for the things they need in school during the day -their PE kit, swimming kit, homework folder, reading book etc.
Invite your child to celebrate their individuality and interdependence with a jigsaw-type mural. Cut a large sheet of paper into puzzle pieces – have one for each member of your family. Encourage each person to draw themselves or something about them on their piece of the puzzle. When everyone is satisfied, put the pieces together to make a family picture.
Please let your child’s teacher know if we can celebrate any work from home, in school. If you can support us in any way, please get in touch via the school office.