Category: Parents’ Interests

Curriculum Night 2019 at The International Preschools

Working with math manipulative toys in the classroom.

On Wednesday, October 16th, The International Preschools will host its annual Curriculum Night for the families of our students.  The purpose of this evening is to teach parents the important aspects of the school day, including IPS teaching philosophies, topics of study, daily schedules and routines, and upcoming events throughout the school year, as well as answer any questions that parents have about their child’s school day.  On Curriculum Night, the 76th Street and 86th Street locations will allow visiting families to take a look at their  child(ren)’s classrooms from two points of view:  the teachers’ and the students’!

The curriculum of The International Preschools centers around the philosophy of play-based learning.  Play-based learning allows for children to organize and make sense of their social worlds.  It supports a child’s ability to acquire cognitive skills (i.e. number/shape/letter/color recognition), increase motor skills (used for writing, climbing, running, etc.), boost language development (the ability to converse with teachers and peers, and express needs and wants), and assist with problem-solving.  Teachers facilitate learning by sitting with and observing the children when engaged in independent or small group play, answering questions or providing guidelines.  During whole group activities, teachers prompt the children with verbal and visual directions which allow the children to complete tasks at hand.

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Preschoolers and Technology: How To Use It Wisely

The following blog post originally ran in September 2018.  Continue reading for the pros and cons of technology for young children, including how it affects a child’s ability to self-soothe…and what we can do to help them!

Children engaging in sensory-based activities in Pre-K.

If you’re like me, you’re one of the many parents who are amazed at how quickly toddlers and preschoolers work their way around an iPad or an iPhone.  Scrolling and clicking on various apps seem to be second-nature to young children these days.  With technology being an ever-prominent aspect of day-to-day life, it’s a wonder that activities such as drawing, building with blocks, and movement or dancing  haven’t fallen completely by the wayside.

Unfortunately, a reliance on technology to entertain young children is apparent everywhere you go.  I’m always surprised by the amount of toddlers clutching an iPhone instead of playing with a favorite toy or looking at a book while riding in a stroller.  In restaurants, it’s not abnormal to see children watching videos on an iPad instead of engaging in conversations with their parents or siblings.

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After School Programs at The International Preschools

Mr. Doug leads a music class at our 86th Street location. You can join Mr. Doug in two after school programs this fall: Mr. Doug Music Academy and Chibikko Karate.

On Monday, September 16th, the after school programs at The International Preschools welcomed excited children into a variety of engaging classes. Enrolling your child in after school programs allows him/her to make new friends, practice transitioning between classes, and most of all, learn a new skill while having fun!

If you haven’t signed up already, there’s still time to join us!  Read on to see what we offer, why you should register your child for one (or more) of the classes, and finally, how to enroll!

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Back-to-School Jitters: Separation Anxiety

Pre-K children during their first days of school at IPS.

Separation anxiety (and the separation process) can be one of the most difficult times of the year for children and parents alike!  At The International Preschools, we take separation seriously and strive to provide the most productive and nurturing route for our students.  Click below for a blog post on separation anxiety and how to deal with it, which I run every year in September.  Happy first days of school!

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IPS Parents’ Interests: “A Train Analogy”

As a parent to a three-and-a-half year old and an eight month old, one of the most difficult concepts to navigate is how to help your child when he/she is upset.  It pains me beyond words when my daughter or son is (seemingly) inconsolable. Adults use distraction techniques to help soothe themselves and avoid having to deal with unwanted feelings.  As an adult, I’ve learned to “compartmentalize” as a coping mechanism; that is, instead of being overwhelmed for weeks about an upcoming event, I’m able to shorten the anticipatory anxiety to occur only just before the experience.

Children, however, need to learn how to handle these difficult feelings not only with the support of their parents or caregivers, but also through the ability to self-soothe.  (This is a technique best learned, in my experience, when you are younger, rather than having to learn it as an adult!) . The only way to learn to self-soothe is to allow your child to experience all of the feelings in the moment:  sadness, despair, hysteria (on occasion), to name a few.  A few years ago, I was aghast when our beloved pediatrician suggested that we leave our (at the time) nine-month-old daughter in her crib, whether she was crying or not, for short amounts of time in order to teach her how to get herself to go to sleep.  After one or two nights of extreme upset (where I actually left the apartment, leaving my husband to hear the brunt of the tears), my daughter magically was able to go to sleep on her own.  Who would’ve thought that could happen?  Not me, even as an experienced teacher, but sure enough, it happened.

I recently read a blog post by Katie McLaughlin called, “The Train Analogy That Will Change How You See Your Crying Child.”  It reminded me of what our pediatrician told us, and how incredibly helpful it was to myself, my husband, and our daughter, despite the pain I may have felt at the time.  I’ve provided the link to the article for you all below, in hopes that it can help other parents and families.

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End-Of-Year Transitions: From School to Summer

This week’s blog post is an updated version of one that originally ran in May 2017.

Children in the Pre-K 2 class brought in baby photos and then drew a picture of themselves as four-and-five-year-olds.

The last few weeks of classes at The International Preschools are exciting for our students.  Teachers and children begin play-based learning activities to celebrate the end of the school year:  classroom parties with parents, end-of-the-year gifts, and memory books.

But after the festivities have concluded, what’s next?  The “what’s next,” for some children, can be  filled with uncertainty, sadness, or fear.  Sometimes, these feelings can result in regressing behaviors, such as difficulty separating from parents or caregivers.  This is an opportunity for children to develop life-strategies for transitioning between one set of routines towards another exciting phase in their lives.

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76th Street Museum Night at The International Preschools

76 Pre-K 1 created a replica of the Empire State Building for their New York City-themed book study.
Families observing the Pre-K 3 exhibit at the 76th Street Museum Night.

On Tuesday, April 9th, The International Preschools’ 76th Street location hosted its second annual Museum Night for the Green Rooms (3s) and Pre-Kindergarten classes (4s).  Museum Night first took place in 2018, as a Green Room function. Families were invited to observe artwork, photos, and other projects created during each class’ curriculum theme.  Pizza was served and children were invited to dress up for this special evening celebration!

This year, our Pre-K classes joined the Green Rooms in displaying work from their winter author and book studies. Read on to find out more about this special event!

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Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud Photos: Winter 2019

The International Preschools is currently closed for spring break, reopening on Tuesday, April 2nd.  Please enjoy this gallery of photos taken during our annual Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud event.

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Summer Camp 2019 at The International Preschools!

Heading to swim lessons at IPS Summer Camp!

Spring will arrive on March 20th, but here at The International Preschools, we are already looking forward to the commencement of summer camp!

This year’s camp season will begin on Tuesday, June 11th and run for seven weeks through August 2nd; camp will be closed the week of July 1st.  Read on to find out what to expect, what’s new, and how to sign up for camp!

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Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud at The International Preschools

Each year, The International Preschools hosts an event called the Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud.  It was created ten years ago to foster a love of reading in young children.  Because, in the past, mothers and female relatives had often made up the majority of guest readers, the Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud provided an opportunity for fathers, as well as other male relatives and friends (brothers, grandfathers, uncles, neighbors, etc.), to model positive feelings about reading to preschoolers.  Currently, our Read-Aloud occurs in conjunction with the author and literary studies that take place in the Green (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classrooms during the winter months. Continue reading →