The Easiest Way to Prepare Your Child for a Bright Future: Pre-Kindergarten

Every parent wants to give their child the skills to succeed. For most, these tools include enrolling their children in school around the age of five, helping them with their homework, and emphasizing the importance of academics. However, some parents may be surprised to learn that one of the most proven ways to help their child find future academic success is an early-stage tool: prekindergarten.

Setting a Precedent

A vast and growing body of scientific research shows that enrolling in prekindergarten yields both short and long-term benefits for children and their communities. Preschool exposes young ones to numbers, letters, and shapes during a critical cognitive development stage. Preparing them to understand the concept of counting, giving them a sharper grasp of time, and engaging in fantasy play or storytelling. States that have invested in offering public education pre-k programs for all children have reported significant academic improvements across the board, for all income levels and racial groups. These educational improvements include letter identification, word identification, applied problem solving and spelling. All of which are crucial tools for students to master at a young age in order to stay abreast of their future education. Furthermore, studies that followed subjects for longer periods of time found impressive long-term results concerning educational progress, lowered delinquency, and post-high school earning power. More and more kindergarten teachers are expecting their pupils to already have a basic knowledge of the ABCs, 123s, and the primary colors. However, they now also want them to know how to spell and recognize their name, know the alphabet, name letters, count one to ten, and recognize most of the basic colors and shapes. A pupil entering kindergarten without these skills in hand may struggle to catch up or stay on the same pace as the class. Thus risking a larger and larger academic lag as their education continues.

Increase in Skills

In addition to scholastic improvement, children enrolled in school programs prior to kindergarten have greater opportunities to develop their fine and gross motor skills as well as their social and life skills. At ages 3-4, one should be able to use scissors, copy shapes, negotiate solutions to conflicts with peers, and show interest in spending time with other children. According to research, kids who have positive developmental experiences go on to have a higher vocabulary, are more apt to follow directions, and are more socially confident in their teenage years. Scientific studies show that these earlier educated children also have decreased chances of needing special education services later on in life. Not only does this obviously benefit the child and the family, but it also reduces the financial drain on schools and communities, freeing up extra dollars to be reinvested into improving and expanding other school activities and programs. Cities that invest in early public education see their dollars returned with a closing of their achievement gap, an increase in their graduation rate, and the creation of productive citizens.

In conclusion, parents should consider prekindergarten a crucial step for their children. 3 and 4-year-old brains are like sponges, ready to soak up valuable information and build a strong foundation. With prekindergarten, they will quickly learn how to navigate the academic and social world of kindergarten and beyond.

Molecular Assimilation – Is That the Future of 3-D Printing?

Now that the entire concept of 3-D printing has been introduced to the world, and mind you it’s nothing new, not really – people are now considering all the possible applications. For instance, think about the future of 3-D printing at the molecular level, call it molecular assimilation if you will. Not long ago, I was discussing this with an acquaintance half way around the world. Let’s talk.

You see, even if can “replicate” things, what about authenticity? Namely; “is it real or is it Memorex” as the old TV commercial used to say. My acquaintance told me the she believed; “Yes, I do think it would be good to have that replication, if or when it becomes available. People of the future will have the same need as we have, to refer to examples.” Still, as an artist she also worried that the replication of great artwork from the molecular level up, it just isn’t the same, is it?

Indeed, this is true and this speaks to the issue of “Authenticity” and I agree, but will humans in the future see it that way. For instance, today people are giving up their privacy, something the older generation is completely bothered by, perhaps because they know their history, with authenticity fall the wayside in a similar fashion? I don’t know.

Remember the food on the Starship Enterprise, any dish you want – tastes the same, is the same, identical, duplicated, but it isn’t the same is it? For instance, it lacks the real world bacterial counts, those test our immune system, keep us up to speed, living in a sterile environment might be more damaging when an invasive virus or bacteria comes along.

There were some sick Apes in the San Diego Zoo, in California. They fed them their favorite fruit but they kept getting sick – scientists went to their native land found that fruit had bugs in it, those bugs were triggering a certain enzyme that they had evolved in the rain forest to protect them from getting sick. They then flew in the fruit with the bugs in it, quarantined in a special container, and the apes got better immediately. Authenticity is real.

Nature is best with its minor flaws, who would want ever tree of a certain species to look identical? Where is the nuance, or the fun in that, who wants to live in a perfect world? Some might say that perfection sucks, and for brain waves that seems to be true, but again, I digressed, and maybe all this is a good thing. So, I leave you with that thought on the future of 3-D because, well, it’s about to change everything. Please consider all this and think on it.

Writing Tips: Modern Missions

Richard Hannula authored, Trial and Triumph – Stories from Church History initially for his own children, but many others of all ages find it very helpful. Additionally, I see value in these mini-biographies as great writing prompts.

Students learning to write need to remember to:

  1. Use transition words: transition is like a bridge between two sentences or two paragraphs.

Examples: first, next, finally, obviously, certainly, in addition, while, third, first, finally, last, to begin with, to conclude, unfortunately, notwithstanding, equally important, between, similarly, first of all, on the other hand, consequently, soon, again, farther, hence, equally, therefore, although, further, underneath, thus, as though, however, though, accordingly, moreover, instead of, besides, yet, so that, as a result, otherwise

  1. Avoid contractions, abbreviations and overworked words.

All contractions – such as: she'll, he'd, it's (Easy solution: she will, he would, it is)

Abbreviations – such as: Sept. ok (Easy solution: write the full form)

Dead words such as: get, got, very, nice, you, your, good, just, lots, a lot, well, fine, so, fun, great, every, the end, (Easy solution: substitute with more descriptive language )

Slang: awesome, cool, fine, totally, rad, raspy (Easy solution: substitute with more descriptive language)

Many writing handbooks have lists of words that replace "dead" words with more descriptive words. I found mine in a book that I have had for many years. My internet search did not find Mitzi Merrill in From the Paragraph to Essay, 1988 . Every student should have such a book for reference.

William Carey – Father of Modern Missions – 1761-1834

William Carey, a poor cobbler, sat in his workroom making, not shoes, but a leather globe of the world. With his huge hand drawn world map on the wall and the globe, he prayed for the heathen around the world. He made enough shoes to pay his expenses, but much of the time he preached to people who lived nearby. In spite of this opportunity and the many who believed in Christ, he longed for those around the world to be saved. He lived in a time where many of the churches believed that if God wanted them to be saved, He would do it without Carey's help or anyone else's. Later, Carey began attending a minister's meeting. At the first one, he encouraged the churches to send missionaries. They scoffed at his idea and did nothing. Then in 1791, Carey presented an 87 page paper, An Inquiry Into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen . Again at the next meeting, he preached with great passion, "Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God." Even with the deep moving message, the pastors again held back in fear. William took Andrew Fuller by the arm and pleaded, "Is there nothing again going to be done, sir?" Moved, Fuller spoke passionately to the men who reconsidered and began the progress. One year later, John Thomas and William Carey set sail to India where they began ministering to the Hindi. Six years later two English missionaries, Joshua Marshman and William Ward joined the team in India. God used these men to bring countless people from India to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. As a result, other churches formed missionary societies and began to send out missionaries. On his deathbed at the age of 72, Carey feebly said, "… when I am gone, say nothing about William Carey. Speak about William Carey's Savior."

John Paton – Witness to the Cannibals – 1824-1907

After three years of preaching on Tanna of the New Hebrides, John Paton left because of the danger. These people were cannibals. His wife and firstborn had died in childbirth and even then he had persevered. Then it was time to leave, but after a year, he came back having recruited coworkers. This time he went to the people of Aniwa. They thought he was crazy, especially after a long time of preaching and finally, John dug a well. These unbelieving people had never seen "rain" come from the ground, but when fresh water bubbled up from that well, the Chief asked to preach the next Sunday. Many people of Aniwa heard the Chief testify to his belief in Jehovah God, the God of Missi, as John Paton was called. Nearly all of these people came to Christ. Later, other missionaries went to the South Pacific Islands to preach and many believed. Generations of John Paton's family now serve in South Pacific Islands as missionaries.

Amy Carmichael – Mother to Outcast Children- 1867-1951

As a young child, Amy learned much from her parents regarding her God. She learned to pray; her heart's desire was to have blue eyes instead of brown. God did not give her blue eyes. Later in life she realized why God had given her brown eyes. In his sovereignty, God sent her to work with women in South India. In that country Hinduism and its caste system makes it difficult to live as we do. Amy's brown eyes helped her as she worked with these people who all had brown eyes. Those "breaking caste" by becoming Christians or even working in another field than their family, were in grave danger. Carmichael raised children and testified of God's grace for fifty years. Many books telling of her children remain long after her death at the age of 83. God used Amy Carmichael mightily!

Future Concepts and Modern Advances in Technology; Good or Bad?

Many Humanists and Scientists argue that our technology and civilization is out pacing evolution by a huge margin. They point to our tribalistic, band and small group human history that we survived with for hundreds of thousands of years is no longer anything similar to our modern societies. Indeed to argue against this fact would be futile as it is so. However we seem to for the most part done very well as out human populations swells around the planet.

Humanists will ask and one recently did; “Doesn’t it make more sense to be who we are and develop our true, and in my view powerful abilities (i.e. to communicate with each other through the energy fields that connect us without technology, to create with our minds a reality that is truly self sustaining, to connect with each other and rid the entire human species of the negative beliefs that are undermining us all etc…)?”

Well indeed he sure has brought up a huge question worthy of discussion. However let me take a crack at this question as I answer in the negative to his assumptions;

“NO. Because why should you choose one or the other, why not both. Have the capability and develop lost skills, while simultaneously using our brains to invent better technologies to improve on the human design. We do not have time for evolution to take its sweet time. You know you are talking about talking the species back to the stoneage, yet who would that really serve. We need sewer treatment plants, fresh water and energy for things. Not that they are totally necessary, but they have certainly improved life from other civilization of the last let’s say 5000 years anyway. Perhaps ancient cultures die previously have great advances and may have been extremely well adapted civilizations without all this fluff. Yet who is to say that was better and why should we make that decision for all humanity, as humanity has spoken and voted with their consumer dollar and well, they want all this stuff.”

As far as the observations of human civilizations in the present period and the dummying down of the population base; well now that they cannot function without all these modern technologies, they very much need it and cannot feel fulfilled without out it. Myself, well I could go without many of the modern amenities.

Humans need a challenge and advancement and forward progression of the species does provide that challenge. After all; why does someone climb a mountain? It is there and it is a challenge. Many including myself like challenges, creating stuff and inventing things, so why not? Using technology to help mankind along in his journey to create better, strong and better civilizations is wise. And as mankind reaches a place of heaven on Earth, with more leisure time and the Utopia we desire, who is anyone to say that technology is an evil to the human race? Think on that.