Parenting

Why we are excited about our partnership with Equinox

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Winter is nearing and we see families in search of indoor enrichment programs. Dearest is proud to announce that we have started a partnership with Equinox East 61st Street!

Here are the top three reasons why we are excited about our partnership with Equinox:

  1. Supporting modern parents in New York City
    Modern parents in NYC lead busy lives and are in constant search of quality enrichment and childcare services that support their unique lifestyle. At Equinox, parents are encouraged to pursue their own passions, stay fit, and healthy while fostering a safe and nurturing environment for their children. Dearest is proud to support this, by providing a differentiated program that helps children develop future-ready skills.

  2. Challenging the status quo
    Traditional institutions have fixed schedules, fixed standards, and fixed costs. Andrew Minigan of The Right Question Institute in Education Week says “curiosity often is not fostered in schools, especially those driven by test-based performance standards.” Learning can happen anywhere and everywhere - not just within a classroom setting. It can happen, for an example, at a gym. Equinox’s For Kids Only (FKO) programs are focused on interactive and play-based learning and are dedicated to curating an engaging experience that sparks children’s curiosity. Similarly, at Dearest, we deliver personalized and high-quality early childhood programs to families in NYC in the comfort of their own homes, and fuel children’s creativity.

  3. Letting children guide their learning journey
    Children learn best when experiences are customized based on their interests. Equinox offers diverse programs designed to further children’s development. With sessions pertaining to science, art and design, instructional swim, fashion and design, dance and movement, basketball, soccer, cooking, and languages, children have the opportunity to explore, ask questions, and discover new talents. At Dearest, we have over 300 educators with diverse expertise within the field of early childhood education. Designing the learning experience around each child’s interests is what we are all about!

If you’re curious and want to learn more about Equinox’s Winter and Spring Preschool Alternative and Children’s Enrichment programs, visit their site here.

If you’re a parent interested in in-home private sessions and/or tailored programs for your child, you can reach out to us at hello@dearest.io for more information.

Back-to-School Blues: How to Help Your Child Cope with Separation Anxiety

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That crisp feeling in the air, leaves changing color, your local supermarket carrying crayons, binders, and pencils. These are telling signs that the seasons are not only changing, but that school is in full swing! But after all the preparation for the new school year, parents are still left with a lot of questions: Are they enjoying their teacher? Are they making friends? And most importantly, are they adjusting to their new school routine? Some might have made a seamless transition, but some might be facing anxiety. If your child hasn’t fully adjusted yet, don’t worry! Here are some things that you can do!

  • Set Up Your Routine

If you don’t have nighttime and morning routines established, now is the time! If you had a plan that used to work but is now missing the mark, it may be time to reevaluate how you approach bedtime transition as well as morning routines. Your child is most likely exhausted from the longer school day, which is jam-packed with activity. As a result, they will need more sleep! Start by going to bed a little earlier as a family. Engage them in quiet evening activities, such as reading a special good night story, which will allow them to relax and get a full night’s rest.

It is also helpful to have them start a routine of packing their lunches, and laying out their outfits the night before. Even if they need assistance with these activities, they will feel like an integral part of their school prep. Not only does it give them some control of their situation, it also cuts down on morning chaos. In my experience, a well-rested child that has had an organized and predictable morning will have a much easier, tear-free drop off!

  • Reinforce Friendships

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A lot of anxiety comes from seeing a sea of unfamiliar faces. Even if they’ve been seeing their new friends in school for weeks, they may not have established a strong connection yet, which can lead to an overall feeling of dissatisfaction. This is especially highlighted if friends and family have only watched your child or if they haven’t gone on regular play dates. This point was really driven home for me this year when a new student would come in crying each day. I reminded him that, he stays the night with his grandparents, his classmates like him etc. so school should be a breeze. He responded with, “Ya, but they love me. My teachers and school friends don’t love me yet.” It broke my heart and I realized, he was absolutely correct. If the only experience they have is with family members, I would highly recommend setting up a play date with some students from their class. When they have friendly faces to welcome them, they will begin to grow more confident, build elements of trust and community, and find that sense of belongingness in school.

  • Read About It

Books are a great way to help your child deal with change. It allows them to read about characters that are going through a similar life experience, and provides an element of comfort. I personally love: “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn, “Llama Llama Misses Mama” by Anna Dewdney, and “I Love You All Day Long” by Francesca Rusackas. These books deal with the feelings of leaving family, making new friends, and separation anxiety. As a teacher, I use books all the time to introduce new ideas, or to deal with feelings in my classroom!

  • Home Sweet Home

The last bit of advice I have is a tried-and-true method, pack them something familiar. Bringing a little piece of home to school will provide a tremendous amount of comfort. It can be a piece of their baby blanket, a snuggly toy, a favorite book, or even a picture of your family. When they are feeling homesick they will be able to take it out and remember that home isn’t that far away!

If your little one is still clinging to you and cries, “Mommy don’t go! ” just remember this is a temporary challenge that will get better with each drop off. In a few short weeks, they will be begging you to stay in school longer!

About Ashley:

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Experienced School Manager and education professional with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry.

Family activities to do in NYC before summer ends

Have you decided on your late summer plans with your children yet?

Don’t worry if you haven’t; there are still great activities that can help your whole family learn, grow, and have fun at the same time. Read on for Dearest’s top picks for fun New York City summer activities for you and your children.

 Image: https://www.timeout.com/new-york-kids/events-calendar/august-events-calendar

Image: https://www.timeout.com/new-york-kids/events-calendar/august-events-calendar

Broadway Hits for Free in Bryant Park. Watch scenes from some of the most exciting Broadway shows this year. Just stop by Bryant Park and indulge you your kids. Previous offerings include Wicked, Chicago, Matilda and Something Rotten! The best thing about it is that it’s completely free. The event is ongoing until August 11, 2017.

 

Summer in the Square. Summer in the Square returns to Union Square Park with a line-up of free family-friendly activities and entertainment. Children’s shows, books to read, coloring activities, games, kids yoga and fitness classes, sing-a-longs, and dancing with kids bands like Hot Peas n’ Butter, story Pirates, Josh & The Jamtones… find all of the above and more every Thursday. This runs until August 10, 2017.  

Outdoor Play. Before the cooler weather of Fall sets in, enjoy the warm days of summer while they last. Enjoy the outdoors to the fullest while getting vitamin D. Explore the top 25 playgrounds (according to TimeOut) in NYC with your children.

Exhibitions & Museums. Museums in New York offer exciting programs for children of all ages during the summer. Take your children to a museum of their interest, and they’re bound to have their curiosity satisfied! Check out the Met’s family activities section or MoMA’s fantastic Art Lab, or explore these special exhibits below:

Let’s Dance! @ Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Bounce, glide, or leap your way to CMOM’s exhibition and dance space. Let your children engage in interactive video installation and be immersed in the various histories, styles, and forms of dance. They can experiment with dancing in colors and shadows projected onto a “stage” wall while exploring light design with child-friendly lighting boxes.  Be a choreographer with your child and create beats and rhythms with them. If your children like dance, music, or art, or simply want to hang out in a joyful space, this is where to go.

Mummies @ American Museum of Natural History. Have your children ever wondered about the secrets of mummies when you read them myths of pharaohs and stories of archaeological discovery? This special exhibition at AMNH will bring you face to face with some really ancient mummified individuals, and reveal how scientists are using modern technology to glean stunning insights about mummies and their cultures. Compare how ancient Egyptians and Peruvians were mummified and figure out who they really were in life. Sounds exciting? Take your little scientists there now - it’s open until January 2018.

The Dearest Blog by Dearest Educational Childcare. Visit dearest.io to hire amazing educators who combine learning with child care.