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Parents' Corner

How Your Older Child Can Benefit from Afterschool Care

Posted by David Smith on Wed, Aug 18, 2021 @ 06:15 PM

The varying needs of older children — defined in this context as fourth-graders through middle schoolers — can provide an array of challenges when designing an effective afterschool program that will build confidence, foster independence and promote growth. This is true because the youth of these ages are quickly maturing as they approach their high school years and because each student has unique needs as they progress along their journey.

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Topics: Afterschool

6 Tips to Help Your Child with Homework

Posted by Dave Smith on Wed, Oct 04, 2017 @ 08:00 AM

“Children need to know that their family members think homework is important. If they know their families care, children have a good reason to complete assignments and to turn them in on time. You can do many things to show that your child that you value education and homework.” —U.S. Department of Education

How exactly do you convey to your child that homework is important? Here are six tips to help your child with homework.

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Topics: Learning, Afterschool

4 Easy, Healthy & Cheap After-School Snacks

Posted by Dave Smith on Wed, Sep 13, 2017 @ 08:30 AM

When your child comes home after school, he or she is likely to say, “Hey, I’m hungry! What do we have to eat?” And, depending upon how hectic your day has been, it may be tempting to offer your child whatever snack is easiest to provide. That’s only natural. We put together a list of four after-school snacks that are quick and convenient — but are also healthy and easy on the budget.

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Topics: Child Nutrition, Afterschool

8 Summer Activities that Build Gross Motor Skills

Posted by David Smith on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 @ 09:48 AM

We’ve been talking about activities that help toddlers and preschoolers develop gross motor skills by exercising the large muscles in the legs, arms and trunk.  Today, we continue our list of summer games that parents can play with their children to encourage gross motor skill development:


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Topics: Skill Building, Horizon Education Center, Summer Camp, Afterschool

The Benefits of Afterschool Programs

Posted by David Smith on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 @ 08:30 AM

“Effective afterschool programs bring a wide range of benefits to youth, families and communities. Afterschool programs can boost academic performance, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a safe, structured environment for the children of working parents.” (Youth.gov)

Afterschool programs provide structured, supervised programming outside of school hours for children and teens, providing “academic support, mentoring, youth development, arts and sports and recreation.” Although these programs can benefit all children and youth, there are additional benefits of afterschool programs for working families as they provide a safe haven after school while parents work.

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Topics: Afterschool

How to Teach Tweens to Embrace Change

Posted by David Smith on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

Change can be uncomfortable for anyone. For tweeners who are desperate to fit in with their peers, change is often devastating. They have a hard time recognizing that others are dealing with the same issues that they are.

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Topics: Social Interaction, Afterschool

Tips on Preparing Children for the Transition to Middle School

Posted by David Smith on Fri, Dec 26, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

Concerned about your tween’s transition to middle school? From the scary to the fun, help your adolescent avoid common pitfalls with these tips:

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Topics: Child Behavior, Afterschool

Get Children Involved in Community Service to Build Empathy

Posted by David Smith on Mon, Nov 03, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Kids of all ages are inquisitive, creative, curious, and like to explore new avenues of adventure. Whether it's a toddler figuring out how a new toy operates or middle schoolers looking for interesting ways to be active, it all boils down to one thing; a need to be involved.

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Topics: Child Behavior, Learning, Afterschool

Tech Tips for Tweens: Monitoring Social Networks and Privacy Settings

Posted by David Smith on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

You keep them safe at home, and we take care of them in our afterschool programs. Yet no matter where they go, kids are surrounded by technology—and that brings both benefits and risks. While the internet powers modern education, we also need to stay aware of how social media affects tweens, who often need help navigating the waters.

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Topics: Horizon Education Center, Social Interaction, Tech Tips, Afterschool

The Importance of Family Time for Middle Schoolers

Posted by David Smith on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 @ 08:30 AM

Entry into middle school and the beginning of adolescence is a time of growth and change that is both exciting and worrisome – for parents and their children. As your children venture beyond the family group and begin spending more time with friends and meeting new people at summer camp and other activities, they are exposed to new ideas, values and behaviors that may be quite different than those practiced in your own home.

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Topics: Child Behavior, Family Time, Afterschool

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