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Preschool and Learning Ages 2 to 5 - Free Parenting Resources

Advice about Parent Co-operative Preschools

From the Berkely Parents Network.  Featuring advice and information about parent co-op preschools in a Q&A format.

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Americans for the Arts

“The goal of this campaign is to make sure that you—parents and concerned citizens—know that you are potentially the best and most powerful supporters of arts education. We have supplied you with information and resources on this website that help establish the place of the arts as both a full academic subject area and as uniquely empowering activities that carry over into other areas of life and study.”

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Back to School in Six Easy Steps

Six tips for easing the transition to a new class or school. 

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Bay Mills Community College Head Start Resources

With a huge Head Start library featuring National Bulletins, training materials, training guides, support materials, reports, videotape companion guides, and other publications.

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Born Learning

“Born Learning is a public engagement campaign that help parents, grandparents, and caregivers explore ways to turn everyday moments into fun learning opportunities.”  Also available in Spanish.

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Cooperative Children’s Book Center

From the University of Wisconsin Madison’s School of Education.  Features author and illustrator links, a comprehensive listing of books for children and young adults, and an Intellectual Freedom department.

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Cures for the First Day Jitters

10 tips for an easy transition back to school.

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Discount School Supply

“Discount School Supply offers the lowest prices guaranteed on quality products and supplies for early childhood educators, caregivers and parents of young children. Select from Arts & Crafts, Active Play, Curriculum Resources, Dramatic Play, Manipulatives, Learning Center Equipment and Furniture and Special Offers.”

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Educational Development Center (EDC)

"EDC is a global nonprofit organization that designs, delivers and evaluates innovative programs to address some of the world’s most urgent challenges in education, health, and economic opportunity. Working with public-sector and private partners, we harness the power of people and systems to improve education, health promotion and care, workforce preparation, communications technologies, and civic engagement.

EDC conducts 350 projects in 35 countries around the world.

Our services include research, training, educational materials and strategy, with activities ranging from seed projects to large-scale national and international initiatives. EDC enjoys a worldwide reputation for its excellence in program and fiscal management and for the impact of its work."

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Facts and Terms Every Parent Should Know About NCLB

Essential information about the No Child Left Behind act.

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Family Education Homeschooling

How to homeschool, subject toolkits, making the decision to homeschool, making homeschool connections, and books and materials from Pearson Learning Group.

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Family-Schools.org

"When the school functions as a community rather than in a community, its constituents associate with one another and share common values about the education of children. Those children become our children, and parents are full partners in the education of their children and each other's children. Teachers are professionals integrated into the web of community and buoyed by common purpose."

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Federal Citizen Information Center

Funded by the US General Services Administration, this site offers free publications on everything from “How to Maintain Your Tires” to “Caring for a Loved One.”. A huge, comprehensive resource for free publications.  Try searching for “school,”  “math,”  “homework,”  “pediatrician” or any other applicable topic.

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Federal Resources for Education Excellence

Teaching and Learning resources from federal agencies.  With science experiments, activities, and visualizations, simulations of key math concepts, online challenges for students, activities for families, language arts resources, and themed history activities.

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Federal Technical Assistance for Early Learning from the Department of Education

Federal Technical Assistance for Early Learning from the Department of Education including recources for Selected Technical Assistance Resources, Longitudinal Studies, Research Studies and much more.

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Get Ready to Read

The site offers “exciting and friendly ways to make helping children develop vital early literacy skills easier than ever,” with separate pages for parents, educators, and health care professionals.  The parent page offers screening tools, literacy checklists, activities and much more. Also available in Spanish.

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Helping Your Child Learn History from the Department of Education

Helping Your Child Learn History from the Department of Education includes links to offers activities parents can use to help young children (preschool through Grade 5) learn about history. It includes suggestions about how parents can work with teachers and schools to help children succeed in school.

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Helping Your Preschool Child from the Department of Education

Helping Your Preschool Child from the Department of Education including resources and offers fun activities for parents to use during everyday routines to help babies, toddlers, and preschoolers develop skills needed for success in school and life. The booklet also describes behaviors and changes parents can expect to see during these three developmental stages.

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International Reading Association Parent Resources

IRA resources are available to help parents as they take on their critical role as their children’s first and most important teachers. Resources include Getting Your Child To Read, Supporting Your Beginning Reader, What Kids Really Want To Read, and Storytelling: When? Why? How!

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LiteracyCenter.net

The LiteracyCenter.net serves as many as 1.7 million free literacy lessons a day to children in more than a 160 countries with safe learning activities for parents and teachers to share with young children. All online lessons are free of advertising and free of charge.  Also available in Spanish, German, and French. 

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MegaSkills Online Education Center

From Houghton Mifflin, featuring articles in .pdf format such as “How Much Homework is too Much?” and “MegaSkills for Hispanic Parents and Children.”  Check out the minibooks and videos, and kids can enjoy the early childhood activities.

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Montessori and Waldorf Schools

A comparison of the similarities, differences, history of the founders of each discipline, how schools are certified, and methods.

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National Association for the Education of Young Children

Information about conferences, early childhood, public policy, publications, and information for members, teachers, families, students, and affiliate groups.  Articles such as “Helping Young Children after a Disaster,” “Books for Families,” and “Early Years are Learning Years”.

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National Character Education Center

Parents page from the National Character Education Center with articles, tips, programs, and seminars.

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National Education Association

Members and educators page with activities, booklists, and professional development resources; a parents’ page with information on parental involvement, parent-teacher conference pointers, and homework help.  Also discusses issues in education and has multiple other resources.

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Ounce of Prevention

The Ounce of Prevention Fund is dedicated to ensuring that, beginning at birth, children in low-income families can overcome the challenges of poverty and enter kindergarten fully prepared to achieve.  We believe it far more cost-effective, and caring, to help at risk children and their parents build healthy foundations than to treat problems later in life.

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Playful Learning

"Engaging in playful learning experiences with your children requires planning, preparation, flexibility, spontaneity and free, unstructured periods of time in your schedule.  This website has been designed to help families with the first two requirements: planning and preparation.  Incorporating the last three items: flexibility, spontaneity and free, unstructured periods of time into our lives is a process that is worthy of sharing with each other."

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Public vs. Private--What's the Difference?

A discussion of the main differences between public and private schools.

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Public vs. Private--Which One is Right for Your Child?

This article discusses the benefits and advantages of both private and public schools.

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Reading is Fundamental

Includes comprehensive reading resources for educators and parents including motivating kids to read, literacy rich homes, school connections, lesson plans, activities, Gateways to Early Literacy videos, and tons more.  Also features a Spanish bilingual version of the site.

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Reading Rockets

This multimedia site “offers hundreds of articles that provide research-based and best-practice information for educators, parents, and others concerned about reading achievement.”  Also checkout their shows on PBS, podcasts and videos, free guides, Spanish site, and tons of other information.

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Reading Rockets Tips for Parents of Kindergarteners

"Play with letters, words, and sounds! Having fun with language helps your child learn to crack the code of reading. The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child."

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Reading Rockets Tips for Parents of Preschoolers

"Read early and read often. The early years are critical to developing a lifelong love of reading. It's never too early to begin reading to your child! The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child."

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Reading Rockets Tips for Parents of Toddlers

"Being a toddler is all about action. Encourage continued language development and interest in books and reading by keeping things lively and engaging. Everyday experiences are full of opportunities to engage in conversation and develop language skills. The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child."

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Reading Tips for Parents

This booklet from the US Department of Education answers important questions parents have about helping their child learn to read, choosing an early reading program, strategies for creating strong readers, the five essential components of reading, and information about the No Child Left Behind act.

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Saving Strategies for Back to School Clothing and Supplies

How a little patience can save you hundreds of dollars on clothing and school supplies.

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Savvy Source

A great tool for finding and comparing preschools near you.  With ratings, ebooks, a free weekly newsletter, and book and toy recommendations.  

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Sound Prints

SoundPrints.com offers a wide variety of books and audio books for kids 12 months and up.  The company partners with organizations such as The American Veterinary Medical Association, the Smithsonian Institution, and the World Wildlife Federation to create accurate educational books, audiobooks, and accessories.

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Succeed to Read

Information about auditory skills, teaching how to rhyme, phonics vs. whole language, literacy websites for parents and teachers, alphabet lists, and reading 1-2-3.

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Teaching Literacy in English to K-5 English Learners from the Department of Education

Teaching Literacy in English to K-5 English Learners from the Department of Education provides videos, slideshows, and tools for teaching reading to K-5 English learners.

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The Educare Institute

The Educare Institute works, "To inspire children to achieve their very best; to educate children in character and leadership by drawing out their hidden character traits and leadership qualities; to help them realize that their character is their real strength and that all other acquisitions like wealth and education is of no real value without character;  to develop good leadership qualities among youth and make them understand that the labor of leadership is a character issue; and to encourage everyone to think about the well-being of our planet."

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The International Montessori Index

Featuring Montessori methods according to age, materials organizations, and other resources.

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The Right Choice for Kids

"The National Association for the Education of Young Children can help you feel good about the child care, preschool, and kindergarten programs you choose for your child.  NAEYC-Accredited programs provide a safe and healthy learning environment with well-trained teachers who work with curricula that are appropriately challenging and developmentally sound.  Look for the NAEYC-Accredited program torch when choosing a program for your child."  Find the NAEYC program near you by following this link.

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The Waldorf Library

A resource primarily for Waldorf teachers, but parents can get good information here as well.

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Tips for Parents: Academic Redshirting

Why holding children back from kindergarten actually hinders learning.

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Tips for Parents: Authentic Assessment

Understand why authentic assessment is a better tool for measuring students' achievement.

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Tips for Parents: Character Education

Understand the importance of character education in schools.

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Tips for Parents: Class Size

Tips for increasing learning and reducing class size.

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Tips for Parents: First Day of School

Useful ideas to ease your child into school.

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Tips for Parents: Home is Your Child's First School

Understand your role as your child's first teacher.

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Tips for Parents: Improving Memory

Methods and tricks for improving memory.

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Tips for Parents: Invented Spelling

Learn how children first begin to write and why early spelling mistakes actually help your child read and write better.

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Tips for Parents: Learning Styles

Discover your child's learning style and why it's important.

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Tips for Parents: More Standardized Testing?

A testing expert, James Popham, makes recommendations about the quantity and quality of standardized testing in America's schools.

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Tips for Parents: Multicultural Education

The importance of multicultural education and what you can to do make sure your child receives it.

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Tips for Parents: Preschool Options

In Tips for Parents: Preschool Options, learn about the common public and private preschool options available, including their benefits and drawbacks; and get links to more information.

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Tips for Parents: Starting School

Tips for making the first day of school a positive experience.

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Tips for Parents: Summer Reading Programs

In Tips for Parents: Summer Reading Programs, learn why reading during the summer is important, what summer reading programs offer, and how to find a summer reading program near you.

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Tips for Parents: The Gender Gap in Schools - Fact or Fiction?

For decades we’ve been hearing about the “Gender Gap” in our schools.  This gap referred to research done in the 1970s, 1980s and particularly the early 1990s that indicated that girls were performing significantly lower than boys in math and science, received less attention from teachers, and that more men than women were going to college.  Today, a growing tide of researchers and educators are loudly claiming that not only was this research flawed, but the exact opposite is true.  Boys are the ones falling behind.

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Tips for Parents: The Necessity of Art

Why art is a necessity in education.

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Tips for Parents: Whole Language

Learn about whole language and how it helps kids learn.

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Video: At What Age Kindergarten?

How to determine when children should enter kindergarten.

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Video: Bring on the Picture Books

The importance of picture books in a child's education.

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Video: Developmentally Appropriate Early Childhood Education

What developmentally appropriate education is and why it's important.

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Video: Early Spelling

Invented spelling is one of the stages of learning to write.

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Video: First Day of School-Getting Ready

Help ease your child's apprehension about starting school.

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Video: How Reading and Writing Begin

Tips to help your child develop writing skills.

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Video: Invented Spelling

How invented spelling allows children to experience writing on their own earlier.

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Video: Picking a Pre-School

What to look for when choosing a pre-school.

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