No Spin Zone

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They’re untested, unproven and, in my opinion, unnecessary. I’m talking about fidget spinners and other devices to keep kids focused during the school day.

I talked with WCCO about Little Newtons’ unique curriculum that engages the mind and body, and why we don’t need fidget spinners in our classrooms. Click here to watch the interview.

Smartphone Ban for Kids?

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When are kids old enough for a smartphone? One group says not until age 13. PAUS (Parents Against Underage Smartphones) is trying to pass a law in Colorado that would ban the sale of smartphones to kids 12 and under.

Little Newtons’ Krissy Finco talked with KARE-11 about the effects of too much screen time on kids and why Little Newtons is device-free.

Click here to watch the story.

The Importance of Early Education

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Reading, writing and arithmetic are not just for kindergartners anymore! A new national study  shows the benefits of focusing on education in preschool. I was thrilled to share my thoughts on this national study and Little Newtons’ unique academic curriculum with WCCO-TV.

Click here to watch the interview with WCCO.

Click here to read my blog on the benefits of academic preschool.

Ready for Kindergarten

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All Kids Need to Know….

They won’t learn in kindergarten. Kids can get a strong head start on their education before they step into their kindergarten classroom.

Even if your child has been in preschool, making the transition is a big deal – both for the kiddos and for the parents! Children start kindergarten with such different backgrounds and educational experiences, it can be tough to determine if your child is ready.

At Little Newtons, we teach children from infancy through kindergarten. I have seen the wide range of skills and knowledge among five-year-olds firsthand.

Many kids heading to kindergarten can read on their own. But don’t be discouraged if your child can’t read yet. If he can recognize all of the uppercase letters he’s got a good base. When it comes to math, she should know her numbers well enough to count to 30. Most of our students can count to 100 or even higher – many can count forwards and backwards.

Transitioning to kindergarten is about more than academics. Your child should have the ability to listen to teachers and respect authority. He should also be able to share with friends. This is not something kids are born with; these are skills that need to be learned, and the best way is through experience.

Many parents who aren’t sure if their child is ready are opting to “redshirt” them, or hold them back another year. Studies show kids who are redshirted may get higher scores on standardized tests in their early years, but there is not long-term benefit. By high school, there is not a significant difference in test scores.

If you have concerns about  your preschooler heading off to kindergarten, make education and skill building a priority this summer. Early childhood education programs like Little Newtons don’t follow the September through June calendar; they are in session year-round. Enrolling your child in an academic-focused program is a good way to improve in any areas they’re behind. You can also work with your child at home, utilizing educational books and apps.

Minnesota summers are over in the blink of an eye! Before you know it, you’ll be waving goodbye as the bus pulls away or the classroom door closes. The next three months are a wonderful opportunity to set your kids up for lifelong learning.

Cutting Back on Juice

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The nation’s leading pediatricians agree: babies should have NO juice in their first year of life, and toddlers and preschoolers should cut back on how much they’re juicin’. It’s the first time in more than 15 years the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidelines.

Krissy Finco, from Little Newtons, talked with CCX-TV about why the new guidelines are important for our kids’ health and how the changes can positively affect their brains!

Click here to watch the video!

 

 

The First Five Years: Ground Zero For Learning

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Little Newtons was founded with the belief that kids can learn anything. Five languages, math, science, encyclopedic knowledge. Nothing is off-limits in our classrooms, because there’s no limit to what a child can comprehend.

I searched for this kind of education when my oldest daughter, Franchessca, was born. When I couldn’t find it, I decided to open my own center with an intensive academic curriculum. Eight years later, we’ve helped hundreds of kids get a head start on their education.

That’s why I was thrilled to hear about a new national study that confirms what we at Little Newtons have believed and practiced since day one. The study found kids who attend what they call “academic-oriented” preschools are two-and-a-half months ahead of their peers in literacy and math by the time they graduate kindergarten.

“Academic-oriented” programs spend time nearly every day on skills, including increasing vocabulary, sounding out words, counting, measuring and telling time. We focus on that and so much more at Little Newtons. Our kids learn the Periodic Table of Elements. They can name the presidents and tell you facts about them. Many are reading by the time they graduate and head to kindergarten.

Some parents who read this study may be concerned about such a rigorous curriculum. They’ll argue that “kids need to be kids.” But I can tell you that our kids are having fun while they learn! They’re not sitting at a desk being drilled with flashcards; our teachers are incorporating all sorts of ways to learn, from art projects to science experiments, even yoga poses based on the theme of the week!

I truly believe we are doing a disservice to the next generation if we wait until kindergarten to focus on education. By the age of five, 90% of a child’s brain has already developed. We need to take advantage of this crucial time in order to set them up for academic success.