PARENT RESOURCES

Healthy Technology Use at Home | Tanya Komandt  24th of March 2020 

BE A ROLE MODEL

Finding a healthy balance of technology use is not just a challenge for young children and teenagers. Many of us engage in unhealthy behaviours when it comes to the amount of time we spend on our phones and computers. 

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH

Rules and limitations will be most effective if the whole family is involved in the process and everyone is following them. 

HOME MANAGEMENT

Time

Aim for a balance and designate screen free times (i.e. during meals, in the car).

Space

Set screen zones (where parents can monitor) and screen free zones in the house for younger kids.

Limitations

Not all screen time is equal. Consider what limitations you will place on content that is not age appropriate.

Communication

Open communication and family agreements are more effective than parental controls and arbitrary rules. 

HOW MUCH TIME IS TOO MUCH? 

Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this question. The latest research shows that it is not the AMOUNT of screen time that is important, but rather the QUALITY of the screen time. Focus therefore on what your child is doing online.

Kids listen to other kids, so videos like this one can be more effective than simply listening to adults.  

RESOURCES

Full of great resources for parents and educators, including family agreements and product reviews.

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A helpful Youtube channel with useful videos about technology. 

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A handy resource that reviews apps for kids. 

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A tool to help control screen time in your home. 

Supporting Learning in Primary School | Madeleine Stadler  25th of February 2020 

Body 

Children need to be physically ready to learn. A sense of the body is the foundation for perception and concentration. 

By training the body we train the mind, so encourage your children to exercise, do sports and craft. 

Nutrition is also important. Children need: 

  • Potassium (which is found in vegetables)

  • Omega 3 (which is difficult to get enough through food alone)

  • Limited sugar (sugar feeds Candida  fungi that is not good for the brain)

Mind

Character and temperament is mostly hardwired. Social and emotional skills can be influenced by the environment and are very important to success.  

You can help shape these skills by: 

  • being available

  • be a good listener

  • ask questions instead of judging

  • avoid simply choosing the quick solution

  • match words with actions

  • don't say yes when you mean no

Work Attitude

School is like an unpaid job for children. Just like adults, children don't always enjoy their job. All children will eventually develop an effective work attitude, but those who learn these skills as a child have an advantage.

Parents are key to teaching their children to have a good work attitude. You can help by: 

  • ​Remaining calm, clear, and firm

  • Don't just give in for a quiet moment

  • Ask a lot of your children but also give a lot of support

  • Don't complain about them or put them down in front of them

  • Be connected to their schoolwork and link it to the real world

Structure

Many children are naturally disorganized. But structure makes life easier. Outer structure needs to be provided by the parents first for children to develop inner structure. You can help by: 

  • being organized yourself (try your best)

  • keep routines & visual planners

  • break down large tasks into smaller steps

Skills

It is important to foster your children's interests early and teach them real-life skills. Do this by: 

  • exposing them to broad experiences

  • let children practice real job skills (i.e. the Loreto school offers courses in German)

Applying for College in the U.S. | JulieAnne Dietz  4th of February 2020 

Choosing a College

  • College vs. University

 Both mean the same thing. 

  • Variety

There are lots and lots of options in the U.S. to suit every student's needs. It is important to take the time to explore and understand the options.

  • Social Life 

Consider what type of social activities the student enjoys in order to find the best fit. 

 

  • Ask the Questions

What do you need to be happy and successful?

What has made me struggle with learning in the past?  

What are my long term goals? 

  • Costs

Use a net calculator to learn about the true cost of college, including tuition, accommodation, meals, etc. 

Applying for a College

  • Transcripts

From international schools are accepted.

  • SATs vs. ACTs

SATs & ACTs are two standardized tests. You can do one or the other, you do not have to do both. You can do the SATs several times (on average 2 or 3) and get a super score (your highest scores across each test taken). Some schools are test-optional, so you don't need to take these test

 

  • Students in the local system  

Students are able to take AP exams even if they do not study the AP course at school. If a student is learning in a foreign language they have to take an English proficiency exam (i.e. TOEFL) even if they are a native speaker.

 

  • Personal Essay

Colleges want to know the student's passion and what have they done to pursue it.

  • Resume

Start working on it early, i.e. starting Grade 9. 

Resources

To help you choose the right college

To find the best area to live near college

Take a virtual tour of U.S. Colleges

Free SAT study material

Contact JulieAnne

Reach out to JulieAnne if you have questions about your child's search for the right college.

Local, Bilingual or International School?  | Stefanie Busse-Dickinson  21st of January 2020 

School Systems Pros & Cons

Cons

  • School hours

  • Low level of English

  • Little parent involvement​​

Cons

  • Cost

  • Location

  • Limited German

 

Cons

  • Cost

  • Is it truly bilingual? 

LOCAL  

Pros

  • Integration

  • Free

  • Fluent German​​

  • Many pathways available

INTERNATIONAL

Pros

  • Direct path the university

  • Project-based curriculum

  • Day school

  • High level of German

BILINGUAL

Pros

  • Flexibility

  • High level of German​​

The Local System Pathways

Local School Important Info

KINDERGARTEN

  • 1st year is voluntary, 2nd year is compulsory

  • Cut off date is different for every school, but it is around 4 in April (1st yr) and 5 in February (2nd yr)

  • You will receive notification from the city

PRIMARY TO SECONDARY

  • There are different streams

  • No entrance exams in Kanton Zug, based on performance in Grade 5 & 6

  • Gymnasium entry need a 5.2 average and teacher recommendation

Book an appointment with  Stefanie HERE to get personalised advice 

Boost Your Child's Concentration & Learning | Dr Irina Schurov  26th of November 2019 

Workshop Highlights

The gut is the second brain with 100 million neurons

90% of all genetic material in the human body is microbial.

Gut dysfunction contributes to brain dysfunction. 

So, changing the microbes in our gut can have a significant impact on brain development. 

Just like weeds compete with flowers for space and nutrients in a garden, ‘bad’ bacteria compete with ‘good’ bacteria inside your gut.

What can damage our gut? 

  • Poor diet

  • Alcohol

  • Stress

  • Infections and Disease

  • Medicines

  • Pollution and toxins

Sugar causes a blood glucose roller coaster. This makes it harder for us to concentrate. 

 Be Brain Fit 

  • Eat plenty of SMART fats (i.e. nuts, fish)

  • Eat fermented food and probiotics

  • Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit

  • Drink plenty of water and green tea

  • Have good quality sleep

There is no one size fits all diet. A diet that helps one can harm another. Diets need to change over time. 

How to Shop

  • Eat Organic, Local, Seasonal, Whole, Home-made

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables lose nutrients over time, so eat them as fresh as possible

  • Read food labels and watch out for hidden sugars (i.e. sucrose, dextrose), high fructose corn syrup or preservatives E200s & E300s.

Traffic Light Eating

Green Light Food = GO!

Food grown, not manufactured Eat as much as you want! 

Yellow Light Food = Slow Down!

Provide different vitamins, minerals, & other nutrients - Too much of a good thing is still too much!

Red Light Food = Stop & Think!  

Lower in nutrients. High in sugar andadditives. Includes any processed food. Look for an alternative!

Visit Irina's blog HERE to get more great resources

Book an appointment with  Irina HERE to get personalised advice 

All learning issues are symptoms of functionally disconnected brains

Bilingual Language Development & Disorder | Jessica Gigandet & Julia Dahlet |  12th of November 2019 

Workshop Highlights

Jessica began the workshop by laying a foundation of how language develops in children.

She stressed the fact that no matter how many simultaneous languages a child is learning, milestones are always the same.

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A good rule of thumb is 1 word at one-year-old (..e using single words such as mum, dad, milk), 2 words at two-years-old (i.e. putting two words together such as mum sad or big dog), and by six-years-old children should have mastered some grammatical exceptions (such as I run vs. I ran).

She stressed the value of speaking with your child in your own mother tongue language. 

 To learn a language a child needs:  

  • Quantity of Language Input

Enough exposed to the language? 

  • Quality of Language Input

Good quality of instruction, preferably from native speakers? 

  • Context / Environment

Exposure across different contexts & environments

  • Motivation 

A desire to learn & enjoyment of the language

Myths Busting:

 

  • All children can learn multiple languages   

  • Mixing languages and grammar is normal

 

  • Bilinguals do NOT start speaking later 

  • Speaking more than one language will NOT confuse a child

Preparing Your Child for Life Outside the Nest | Lydia Eckstein  29th of October 2019 

Workshop Highlights

Lydia's presentation highlighted that students in college and university are reporting and seeking more mental health support than ever before. 

There is a disconnect between what parents wish for their children and the prioritise of schools. While most parents hope to raise happy and resilient children (character markers), most schools focus solely on teaching academic skills as markers of success.

Lydia discussed the eight components of social-emotional maturity that are important to promote in your child. It is never too early to check if your child has these skills and to start promoting them at home. To do this speak openly with your children and model these skills yourself. 

 8 Signs of Social Emotional Maturity 

  • Consciousness

Are you ready to take responsibility for the consequences of your actions? 

  • Self Management 

Are you ready to take over the routine tasks of everyday life in an unstructured environment?

  • Interpersonal Skills 

Are you ready to make friends, deal with room mates, and find suitable social activities?

  • Self-Control

Can you set resist temptations and distractions?

  • Grit

Are you ready to persist in the face of disappointment, frustration, and failure? 

  • Risk Management

Are you ready to have fun without taking too many unnecessary risks?

  • Self Acceptance

Can you accept your faults, tolerate mistakes, and deal with feelings of shame? 

  • Open Mindset / Help Seeking

Are you ready to ask for help when you need it?

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Recommended Activities

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Recommended Reading

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The Forrest App

More Information coming soon

Social Skills and Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder  | Sinead Botterill & Julia Dahlet  1st of October 2019 

Workshop Highlights

What are social skills? 

​​These are the  skills we use to communicate and interact with others. It includes the way we talk, work and play together. When we smile at someone, hold back comments that might upset them, look at them,  nod to show interest or read their body position to know how they are feeling we are using social skills.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? 

ASD is a developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. Children with ASD need to be explicitly  taught the social skills that they do not naturally develop. 

How parents can support the development of social skills? 

  • Praise and reinforce positive behaviours

  • Modelling and role play

  • Break social skills down into step by step tasks

  • Context cues

  • Social stories

  • Teach emotional awareness

  • Increase opportunities for play with sympathetic peers

  • Communication temptations

​​

Resources

An example of early social communication

Parenting with Awareness  | Rylla Resler  17th of September 2019 

Workshop Highlights

The following eight points were the main takeaways from the evening. Which resonate with you?

  • Trust your instincts 

 When we get too caught up in what everyone else tells us to do, we can lose touch with our instincts. There is no one right way to parent and you are the only expert on your family and your child. 

  • Review household rules

Are they your own rules or holdovers from your childhood or societal expectations?

  • Honour your children for who they are 

Strong willed children can be difficult to raise, but they become strong independent adults. 

 

  • Reflect on strong emotions

Why are you becoming emotional in a situation? Could changing your expectations alter your emotional response? 

  • Support personal expression

Let your children express themselves without fear of repercussion. 

  • Allow your children to come up with their own ideas of how to solve problems 

As soon as we jump in and offer suggestions, we take away their independence.

 

  • Allow your children to experience natural consequences  

Allowing children to fail within a safe environment will help build their resilience, problem-solving skills and independence.

 

  • Reframe reprimands and boundaries.

Frame the discussion around your own emotions, ie “I am afraid when you…”, or “I love you and want you to be safe that is why.."

There is no one way to parent and no one else can tell you how to be the perfect parent, you have to try out different strategies to find what works to nourish you and your family.

 

Try a new strategy with your family today.

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