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6 Ways To Assure Great Dental Health For Your Kids

6 Ways To Assure Great Dental Health For Your Kids

As parents, we pay a lot of attention to the well-being of the child – give them timely nutritious food, make sure they wash their hands after they’ve been out, pay attention to appropriate clothing. However, the one thing that seems to be receiving less attention than it deserves is oral hygiene.

As a young mom myself, I often found myself fighting the temptation to skip the brushing and cleaning. First, I was often exhausted and second, the more important reason was that brushing time was often the time my kids got active all over again and I dreaded the crying fits later from exhaustion! And then, there were the feeding sessions in the middle of the night to calm a vigorous crying bout. Amidst all this, I have always found it a challenge to cultivate to sustain healthy dental hygiene habits with my kids.

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Here are a few ways to instil good oral hygiene habits in children:

1. Include a healthy diet

Research by Duke University suggests that junk foods can be a major cause for poor dental health in children. According to the study, children whose parents followed healthy habits had no difficulty with making good choices themselves. Foods like candy, soda, “fermentable carbohydrates,” and packaged food can produce acid and make it linger in the child’s mouth, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Modelling good dietary choices is the best way to ensure good oral hygiene for the child.

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2. Let them sleep if off

Stress in children leads to dental conditions like “bruxism”, otherwise called teeth grinding. Research confirms that children who grind their teeth are more likely to be withdrawn in school. The cause of stress could be school, peers, social situations. The best way to ease these symptoms is to inculcate a consistent bedtime routine and help them sleep it off. A storytelling ritual, a reassuring conversation or a comforting massage before bedtime are known to aid good quality sleep for children.

3. Keep them hydrated

Dehydration in children can be the beginning of bad oral hygiene. Germ buildup and stomach disorders lead up to mouth ulcers which prevent them from brushing well. Dehydration is also seen as a major cause for teeth-grinding. Setting up reminders to give children water or remind them to drink it can be very effective.

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4. Check habit formation

A study finds that habits form before the age of 9 in children. Children can easily develop habits like sticking the tongue out or breathing through the mouth that can have a direct effect on the jaw shape along with other health issues. When you see the child sticking her tongue out or keeping her mouth open during the daytime, gently distract her from forming a strong habit of it. Remind her not to do it or use effective distraction strategies to help overcome obsessive habits.

5. Make dental visits a regular feature

Make dentist visits a regular feature. My dentist could see that my daughter needed bite-correction and he suggested that we get her started while her jaw was still shaping up – resulting in a relatively non-invasive, pain-free and long-lasting treatment for her. Refrain from using dental visits as a threat to correct bad behaviour, or showing disdain for your own dental visits.

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6. Brush it off

Make the brushing routine a fun activity. As I said earlier, I ran the risk of getting them active all over again, putting off bedtime. Character toothbrushes, storytelling during brushing, or brushing together as a family can make it fun for them. When they were relaxed and saw it as a fun activity, they were likely to fall asleep much faster after the night-time brushing.

Featured photo credit: www.pixabay.com via pexels.com

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Devishobha Chandramouli

Writer & Founder @ www.kidskintha.com

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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