Each classroom at Beginnings created their own impressions of different masterpieces and artistic styles using a variety of techniques, from squeeze bottles and sponges to their own feet. Now we are auctioning off the pieces to our parents in a silent online auction from now until June 3rd. Click here to enter the auction page and place your bids- remember, to place a bid you need to create a username and password. Proceeds will fund our new Creative Arts Studio. Let's get the bidding started!
This month our teachers Karen from the Jr. K Moon room and Liz from the Star preschool room brought some fun recipes into the classrooms and the results were delicious!
Moon Room Banana Bread
3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
sprinkle top with sugar
Mash bananas, mix in butter, egg, applesauce. Mix dry ingredients in and pour batter in bread loaf pan. Bake at 350' for 50 minutes or until firm and golden brown on top. Let cool and enjoy!
Beginnings School will be holding a special weekend Open House on Sunday March 10th from 10am-12pm. Come meet our teachers and administrative staff, tour the facility, and meet the Founder, Dr. Donna Housman. Please let us know you are coming by calling 781 891 1011 or emailing
So often our kids' plans and agendas may differ from or clash with our own. This can result in tears and/or tantrums. Parents often wonder if these differences can be dealt with in ways that result in a positive outcome. Limit setting can help!
Learn how to listen to your kids so your kids will listen to you by watching this presentation: "When Our Heads Say 'No' But Our Hearts Say 'Yes': Setting Limits With Our Children".
Founder of Beginnings School Dr. Donna Housman gave this session to an audience of interested parents of infants, toddlers, preschool, and elementary school aged children.
Click here to watch.
The fight against bullying starts with us but in order to effectively guide our children we must have the tools needed for success. In this seminar Dr. Housman, Founder of Beginnings School, discussed the concept of emotional intelligence and how, when taught to children from a very young age, it can better prepare them with confidence and resiliency for handling bullying and successfully dealing with life's challenges.
The session was entitled "Stop Bullying Before it Starts by Arming Our Children with Emotional Intelligence" and was organized by the Lex Fun Seminars at the Youville Center in Lexington on Tuesday, January 15th. The audience was composed of a mix of parents, grandparents, and educators.
Click here to view the seminar.
Beginnings Gift Drive! Yesterday all of the gifts donated for our annual gift drive were delivered to the Department of Children & Families in Framingham, MA. The toys, clothes, and other very needed items will be truly appreciated by the families. Each classroom had a list of about 4 children with details about their names, ages, and what they needed ranging from dolls to winters coats. It was a great opportunity for the children at Beginnings to do something special, connect to a child in need, and perhaps even find a deeper meaning of the holidays. Thank you to everyone for participating and happy holidays!
In light of the tragic event that has recently occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, as parents and teachers we are left with the most basic and fundamental question of how do we protect our children and help them feel safe and secure - not only when they are with us but also when they are apart from us.
Both children and adults alike are stricken with this traumatic act. How do we help our children deal with the realities of what has happened and the potential intense emotions accompanying this tragedy?
Although most parents have protected their preschool-age children from sharing information about this event, it is important to know that your child may find out about this through older siblings, out on the playground, overhearing parents discuss it, or through TV, and hearing this may leave them feeling frightened, confused, and threatened in terms of their own safety and security. Therefore as parents and teachers we need to be prepared to talk about what has happened with our children. How we talk about this traumatic event should be adjusted by age and your child’s individual temperament, for example, children under five can only take in small amounts of information. Saying something like “A very bad thing has happened at a school but the adults, parents, and teachers are dealing with it to help resolve the problem and make sure everybody is safe”.
The fight against bullying starts with us but in order to effectively guide our children we must have the tools needed for success. This seminar will delve into the concept of emotional intelligence and how, when taught to children from a very young age, it can better prepare them with confidence and resiliency for handling bullying and successfully dealing with life's challenges.
The concepts taught in this talk are applicable to all aspects of both your child’s/student’s life, as well as your own. These practices can enhance your relationship with a spouse, co-worker, boss and student by enhancing your ability to communicate constructively and compassionately with a sense of the others in mind. Cultivating a healthy emotional intelligence goes hand in hand with education for character and moral development.
Founder of Beginnings School, Dr. Donna Housman will be giving this session which is free and open to the public entitled "Stop Bullying Before it Starts by Arming Our Children with Emotional Intelligence". The seminar will be held on Tuesday, January 15 at 7:00pm and will be held at the Youville Center, 10 Pelham Road in Lexington, MA. Please RSVP to
or call 781 891 1011.
Find more suggestions for helping your child develop a passion for learning by checking out these resources:
* Discover more suggestions that can help your child learn to love reading on this page from FamilyEducation.com .
* Take a closer look at the importance of reading for preschoolers on this page from KidsHealth.org
* Head over to this page from Education.com for reading activity ideas to try at home with your child.
* You can learn more about the common signs and symptoms of ADD on this page from MayoClinic.com .
* Parents of children with ADD can find tips and guidance on this page from Parenting.com .
* Find some excellent age appropriate children's books selected by Beginnings' teachers by visiting our reading room.
At Beginnings School we encourage our students to learn about other languages and cultures. Since many of our families are international and speak languages other than English at home, we like to incorporate basic words into the classroom and oftentimes Beginnings parents share their traditions from home in the classroom by reading stories in their native language, cooking dishes, or other activities. In this photo, Beginnings School parent, Kristy, is reading a story in Russian to the children from our Seedling infant room and our Star preschool room. We encourage all of our current parents and potential parents to get involved and learn more about the foreign language classes we offer including Spanish and new this year Chinese Mandarin.
Check out this resource with info on language acquisition in young children called Language Castle.
Contact us at Beginnings to learn more about how we incorporate language learning into our unique curriculum for infant, preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten age children.
Yesterday I had a really terrible day at work and when I went to pick up my 5-year-old daughter from school she was so excited to see me she came running with a huge smile and open arms. I wanted to just forget about my day and be happy with her but I really had to fight to hold back the tears. I tried but couldn’t hide the sadness from my face and she immediately picked up on this – she asked me “Mommy, are you ok?” and I thought for a moment and I said “Of course honey, I’m fine.”. I wasn’t quite sure what to tell her because I don’t want to burden her with my own negative feelings but I’m not sure I should lie to her either. Do you have any advice?
Dr. Donna’s Response:
How honest should we be with our children about our own feelings? I understand that you are trying to protect your daughter by not telling her the truth but when you are not truthful by saying you are fine, what ends up resulting is that she is left feeling confused.
Beginnings' Parent Association will be sponsoring an annual Book Fair on Wednesday, November 7th and Thursday November 8th from 8:00AM- 9:30AM, 11:30-12:30PM, and 3:30-4:30PM.
I have been noticing that my 4 year old daughter gets jealous whenever I spend time alone with my 2 year old toddler. For example, at bedtime, I try to put my toddler to sleep before my 4 year old, so I take him upstairs with the intention of reading him a book, singing him a song, and putting him to bed first. This routine is always interrupted by my daughter who comes running up the stairs, a little bit nervous and anxious, and sitting herself on my lap (oftentimes pushing away my son or plopping down right on top of him). I want to be able to put him to bed early and spend a few quiet moments just with him but there just seems to be no way without upsetting my daughter too. What can I do?
Dr. Donna's Answer:
One of the things that is important when you have 2 siblings and both of them or in this case one of them does not want you to spend time alone with the other is that they each need to have their quality alone time with you. This has to be set up front and center.
It’s helpful for your 4 year old to know that her special time with you will be after your time alone with the younger sibling so that she is assured that she will get her time with you too! You can even explain it with a positive yet accurate twist: because she is older she gets to stay up longer and do so much more than her younger sibling. This also can help your older child in other situations where you have to give attention to your toddler by letting your older child know that you are spending a little bit more time with the younger child because they can’t do as many things on their own as she can do like getting dressed, riding a tricycle, and need your help.
At times you may even want to invite the older child to be mommy’s helper. This encourages them to learn to engage and interact with the younger child in a helpful way, which assists in developing important life skills like collaboration, cooperation, and empathy. Just remember that you don’t want to put the older child in a parental role: there is a difference between having skills they can teach their younger sibling versus taking over the role of the parent.
It’s critical to communicate to your children that “You are both my children but you don’t do things the same way because one is younger and one is older and you both need different things, but I still love you each very very much, I love you googolplex* .” In terms of sibling rivalry, children will fight no matter what, but at least if you are able to take away the element of fighting over who is getting more of your attention, well, that’s one less thing to fight about!
*More than anything in the entire universe
Attention everyone! Join us for our Fall Festival Saturday, October 27th from 10:00am-12:00pm. There will be a costume parade, magic show, pumpkin bowling, a pie contest, and more! It's a perfect time for those of you who have never visited us before to see the school, speak with our parents, and learn more about us!
Recently I read an article in the Boston Globe, “What to Test Instead” (Ideas, September 16), which I found to be a thought-provoking piece really highlighting what is critical in educating our children.
The ability to create, collaborate and problem solve can be developed, facilitated, encouraged, and supported very early on in a child’s life. In fact, when these competencies are introduced within the child’s first three years, they can actually shape the brain’s circuitry, becoming an integral part of a child’s academic and moral development.
Over the last 25 years I have seen, first hand, that these skills can be taught and cultivated right from the start. Imagine what typically happens when a four-year- old has an argument with a peer: yelling and fighting followed by a teachers’ intervention. At Beginnings School, we offer a Peace Table where children come together to resolve problems. Here, preschool age children sit with classmates to work out conflicts by discussing, listening, and problem-solving. Under the guidance of a teacher, the Peace Table exercise fosters communication and team-work and helps build self-confidence, resiliency, and collaboration. Mastering these skills is essential for a lifetime of personal, social and academic success.
Beginnings School's SPARK Kindergarten class was highlighted this week in the Weston Town Crier in an article entitled: "Kindergartners Learn to Make Peace in SPARK Program". Click on the image to read the full article.
Beginnings School will be holding a SPARK Sr. Kindergarten Open House on Tuesday October 2nd in the evening from 5:30-6:30pm. SPARK is a full-time certified Senior Kindergarten Program emphasizing emotional intelligence and creative play as primary building blocks of learning and success. Join us to find our more about our unique SPARK program!
All children develop in the context of a relationship, what we as parents do, teach and expect are critical in what are children learn. Given kids learn through imitation, observation, guidance, coaching and contingent reactions - what we say AND what we do are both instrumental in what are kids become with regard to their character and moral development. All children need/want to be loved, accepted and understood. How do we help our kids become respectful, responsible, compassionate citizens?
Parents need to provide love but love alone is not enough! We also need to nurture and to set limits! Setting limits is a way of guiding our children in terms of what is appropriate behavior and what is not and following through with consequences when are kids act inappropriately - not the 5th time but the first time. A myth perpetuated by many is that loving our kids too much is what spoils them. Kids can't be loved too much! But what can and does happen is kids not being taught the necessary skills that help them develop responsibility, respect and regard for self and one another. It is not loving our kids that spoils them but rather not knowing what to do when our kids need guidance and structure for what is expected, socially appropriate behavior and consequences for inappropriate behavior - not the 5th time it happens but the first time.
Last week the kids from the Adventurers Class performed Camping in the Desert. The children wrote the play themselves and parents were invited to see the show. A lot of work was put into the show and nerves were high but when the curtain rose the kids kept their cool under pressure and it was a total success! We are so proud of them! Below is the summary of the play:
Camping in the Desert
Written and acted by the Adventurers
Many parents who have gone through a divorce feel guilty about it with their children and feel they need to compensate to try to spare their children any ill feelings whatsoever. If a teacher was disappointed in them, they come to the rescue. If they don’t win a race, they indulge them. Stepping in for them communicates you don’t have faith in them being able to handle things with just your guidance and support. It also communicates that there is always a safety net guarding against poor choice and doesn’t allow your child to learn from mistakes. How do we break this mindset?
Statistics show that over 50% of marriages end in divorce. When parents can explain effectively that although mom and dad no longer love each other, they still do love their children very much and will always love them and be there for them, then overcompensating (for what?) becomes a moot point.