School Readiness

School Readiness

Smooth Transition From Home To Classroom

Are your children ready to make that transition? How do you know?

For children entering a classroom–a structured environment, often for the first time–the experience can be pretty traumatic. In order to make sure a child is ready for the transition, a number of factors should be considered:

  • Does the child know his/her birth certificate name?
  • Does the child know mother/father’s names (other than mama or dad)?
  • Does the child know how to sit still for at least 30 minutes?
  • Does the child demonstrate ability to focus on starting and completing a task (tying shoes, coloring a page in a coloring book, etc.)?
  • Does the child know where their address and parent’s telephone number?
  • Does the child know his/her birth date?
  • Does the child recognize letters of the alphabet?
  • Does the child recognize numbers 0-9?
  • Does the child use the bathroom by themselves?
  • Does the child know how to hold a pencil/crayon?
  • Does the child know how to hold a book?
  • Does the child know how to follow instructions?
  • Does the child know how to socialize appropriately with other children?

The above are the basics that every child should know before they ever cross the threshold of a classroom. Knowing these fundamental basics will insure a child’s success and learning will not be as traumatic as it for those who don’t know. A traumatized child means parents get lots of phone calls from teachers and principals.

A good pediatrician will always tell parents if there are physical or cognitive concerns about a child by the time they’re 3 years old. They monitor physical, fine motor skill development and the child’s ability to follow simple directions. Making sure a child is vaccinated ensures they’ll not infect others or get infected with communicable diseases. Make sure a record is kept of all their developmental milestones in a safe place.

To get a child ready for this monumental occasion, read to them, sing to them, play games with them that ignite a desire to learn and when they get to school, they’ll be ready to learn what the teacher has been prepared to teach. A child who sees a parent read a book is more apt to want to read for themselves. Having a variety of books available for children is a necessity to encourage strong literacy skills.

Breathe deeply–inhale–hold it, now let it out. Helping a child make this transition can be as easy as breathing when you know they’re ready for school. Help them and yourself–make sure they are SCHOOL READY!

 

 

What We’re Taught!

What We’re Taught!

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:1-8 NIV

Not every child was raised in a home where love was evident, practiced and expected. And whatever that child was taught or learned by observation and experiences early in life, that is what’s carried over in adulthood.

A question that arises in the midst of any behavioral study is how long will it take for people to shed negative behaviors and replace them with constructive ones. The answer is not the same for all since some people, are more resistant to change and won’t change until they see a necessity to change. People–don’t change other people–an individual has to see the need to change themselves for any lasting change to be effective.

Some children are taught to hate within the environments they are raised. They hear and see how parents and other adults or peers treat people who are different and become ensconced in the behavior because for them–the behavior is normal. So calling people negative names based on skin color, location of where they live, gender, ethnicity, or religion is a learned behavior. Thinking they are superior to other human beings is also a learned behavior and when people feel this way, they think they have a right to make others feel inferior. When this type of behavior is reinforced by a person’s living conditions–parents, community–it leads to the development of personality disorders and sociopathic disorders.

How do we recognize what adults were taught as children? By listening and watching. When adults cannot hold a conversation with another adult without resorting to name-calling, it is because of what they learned as a child and they have not successfully navigated that phase of life and it carries over into adulthood.

When people are taught to love–they are more tolerant, charitable, and generous. They believe in justice, fairness and equality for all. They know how to disagree, agreeably, understanding that not everyone is going to agree with everyone else. People who know how to love volunteer their services to make life a little easier for others. People who know how to love speak truth and abhor lies. People who know how to love–love unconditionally–everyone they meet.

Now, which group of people is a reflection of who God is? Those who love and know how to love, for God is love. Jesus said, “I am the way, the life and the truth.” The bible also tells us that God hates  liars–and lying is an abomination to Him.

Based upon The Word–which is Donald Trump does not know God, has never had a relationship with God and certainly won’t know how to govern with love reigning the only effective benchmark or standard by which we should measure anyone–in the White House. Therefore, since I do know God and all of His many attributes, I have no obligation to respect or honor the person who does not know God, and only inspires hatred.

People can do whatever they like in this matter for they have to deal with their own conscience, but I will not celebrate a person who has no redeemable qualities. Considering how his involvement in the hacking of the DNC, rigging of the election with promotion of false propaganda and blatant lies, and his obvious admiration for Putin, he will never be a legitimate president. I will resist and oppose his being a legitimate president every chance I get and I will support every group that seeks his removal from office.

Lord, save America from the tyranny that resides in the heart of one who does not know You and has never recognized You for who You are. Let truth and revelation be the standard bearer for all actions for all in positions of leadership in all areas of government. Move upon the hearts of those who have redeemable qualities and create a desire in them to change for the better and shed behaviors that are not of You. Let love abide in the hearts of all so peace can be obtained.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

If We Love…

If We Love…

Why is there so much hatred
Just because skin tones vary
And faith reigns in the multiplicity
Of cultural, ethnic, and social beliefs?

Why can’t parents raise children
With respect and discipline, knowing
How to receive love and love in return?

Why is it that parents who claim to love,
Abuse and misuse the children they brought into this world?
How can they not see the damage and lifelong misery
They cause with their neglectful, hateful ways?

Why do we need guns to settle differences
When all we need is communication—listening and hearing,
To one another, accepting differing perceptions of life, wrong and right,
Rather than creating a mockery of justice by taking lives?

Why do we need to self-medicate on drugs of choice,
Instead of seeking assistance, allowing pain to be our voice
In the deserts of waste and want and desire to arise,
Above current situations, seeing what we could be in a different light.

Why do we allow corrupt politicians to legislate
Laws that do nothing to help forward movement, but
Do everything to hinder justice for all, igniting even more
Hatred—fueling frustrations, igniting detonators lying deep within
The hearts of those who refuse to bend to the Will of God?
If we love as God loves—why can’t we do as God does—
Love unconditionally without thought to race, religion or doubt,
Just ready to love and forgive the slights shown to us, by those
Who don’t know Him, but we do— and should not act as those who don’t.

If we love our parents, why can’t we care for them in their hour of need,
Just as they took care of us, until we could care for ourselves,
Or do we just look inwardly and think only of self, not caring for others,
Despising and distancing ourselves from fathers and mothers,
Who even if they were wrong—the parent-child relationship should remain strong.

If we love our neighbors as ourselves,
Why can’t we see their hurt and need and allow compassion
And kindness to reign in our hearts as we tend to their comfort,
Knowing, what we do for others will be done unto us.

If we love, why can’t we sit down and talk about differences
And those needs we have in common—shelter, clothing and food,
Joy, peace, happiness, more love and all things good,
That guarantee the continual perpetuation of humanity,
Without the continual perpetration of abuse and misuse?

If we love, why can’t we love ourselves enough to see,
Where we need to grow up and mature, behaving responsibly?
Looking deep inside, outside and all around us—noting changes
That require movement on our part to sustain us and those
We say we love.

If we love…

© 2015 Mary M. Hall-Rayford

Pointing Fingers At The Wrong People Solves Nothing!

It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. (Romans 14:11,12 NIV)

The time is coming and very quickly when we will see God’s Word–front and center–alive and blazing brightly so everyone will see and know–He lives! And whether a person has lived their life in belief or unbelief, they shall bow before The King of Kings and acknowledge Him as such.

For those of us who know this–our lives should proclaim this truth–on a daily basis so all who know us will have opportunity to see God’s Word in action. And when He returns, none will have an excuse for not believing Him.

As it is now–we know by listening to the media reports–many do not believe Him and certainly have not given Him Lordship over their lives. It is sickening to see how people have so little value for not only their lives, but for the lives of others. In one week, how many times do we have to hear about gun violence and people being killed? How many times must we see car thieves kill innocent people when they attempt to “run away” from the police?

In particular, two children–on a sidewalk–were killed yesterday when the driver of a stolen car, running from the police plowed into them. That wasn’t enough–they kept going and injured three more children and an adult before crashing. The driver attempted to run, but was caught.

Here’s the problem for me–today: Interviews with parents, witnesses, and others appear to blame the police for trying to stop a thief. I know there has been uproar about police chases, but at what point are we going to stop blaming the police for trying to stop a crime and put the blame where it belongs–on the criminal?

If the person driving the car had not stolen it, there would have been no need for police involvement. Had they had any respect for life–they would not have plowed into innocent children. THE POLICE DID NOT KILL THOSE CHILDREN! THE IDIOTIC DRIVER KILLED THOSE CHILDREN AND THE BLAME–WITH ALL FINGERS POINTED IN HIS DIRECTION–IS HIS!

This is not necessarily a popular position to take–especially in life of all the police abuse of others as we have recently seen, but let’s get real. Honestly, every time a person commits an act that requires police involvement–they are to blame, not the police. Let’s stop pointing the fingers at the police and change the culture in which we live where young people (and older people, too) think they have a right to help themselves to the property of others, trespass on the property of others, and do whatever they want–without regard for the rights of others.

If all we do is point fingers at those we think are the problem, we’re not solving any problems. Parents must be better parents in teaching their children right from wrong and holding them accountable for what they do. We need laws that are enforceable and court systems that are more interested in justice being served than serving their political agendas.

What we need is for people to believe God now and live like they believe Him! Then and only then, will we see an end to senseless violence and the loss of innocent lives.  We shall all give an account to God for what we have or have not done, so let’s get this living on earth, right!

Holding Hands!

“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13 NIV)

Remember when…

After we crawled or scooted to move

From place to place until we found

The courage to wobble and hold onto

Whatever was sound, pulling up into a stand,

Getting ready to take that first step, but

First, someone–mom, dad, sibling–held our hand,

Or both, with our arms raised, hands held high,

We held them tight, afraid to let go, and we heard,

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you, keep going.”

From the cradle to the grave,

We’ve had to move from one point to the other,

Sometimes, fearful–but moving to go forward,

Building our courage and hope in God,

Once we know Him, we know we have no need to fear,

Following His instructions, obeying His voice,

Keeping our focus on Him and using the gifts He gives,

Plotting the path for our success and then we hear,

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you. Keep going.”

And then sometimes in our golden years,

When bones and muscles tend to yield

To aches of aging and we rely

Upon canes, wheelchairs, and sometimes,

Those who are younger and stronger,

Holding our hands as we cross a street,

And when unable to do so on our own,

Pulling us up, holding our hands, to our feet,

And we hear–if we can–

“Don’t be afraid. I’ve got you. Keep going.”

Remember when…

We first held hands with that special someone in our lives,

Taking that fearful step into romance, standing side by side.

When we first realized that God is always holding our hand,

With the greatest love anyone could offer and then we hear,

“Don’t worry. I’ve got you. Keep going.”

Every once in a while, we need to hold someone’s hand,

Bringing them comfort, reminding them, they’re loved,

And when they’re afraid of life’s events, we can say,

“Don’t worry. I’ve got you. Keep going.”

Grab a hand and hold it–don’t let go,

Someone needs to know today,

They’re not alone and someone cares,

Enough to stand with them, side-by-side,

Reminding them they have no reason to fear,

For perfect, unconditional love, makes no room

For fear or doubt or unbelief, in Him who says,

“I am The Lord, Your God, I’ve got your hand,

Don’t be afraid, I’m here to help you.”

Teach The Children!

“All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.” (Isaiah 54:13 NIV)

Have we dropped the ball? Are we know longer demonstrating what The Lord has taught in our own behavior? Are we the reason the children are the way they are?

We have all been “children” at sometime or another and unfortunately, some fully physically grown adults are still children. They were not taught the basics of socialization--common courtesy, sharing, consideration, respect, self-control, and self-respect. If we didn’t learn these as children, chances are we never will.

I remember when I first started working at one of the high schools and I was trying to squeeze past a young lady blocking my path. I said, “Excuse me.” Her response was, “Excuse you?” and then she sat there staring at me like I’d grown horns. She had no idea what I meant.

Too many of the children in schools, at home and in the general public take their “anger and frustration” with them, everywhere they go.Why are they angry? Their home life is less than desirable. We have kids going hungry, being abused, sleeping on mattresses without linen, sleeping in their clothes because they’ve never had pajamas, and then they have mamas who have different live-in boyfriends every other week, there’s never enough food or money, some in the dark without heat or light and then mama’s boyfriends are abusing the children and daring them to tell it.

It is not their fault that their parents never learned to parent, but someone has to teach them right from wrong and how to get along with others in this society because we do not live alone in isolation.

This happens because the parents were not taught when they were children and so they cannot teach their children anything worthwhile, but those of us who know, can and should teach them whenever we find a need to do so, wherever we are; it is our responsibility to teach the children in the ways of the Lord, by example not just by what we say!

So, let’s make a pledge–a commitment–to correct lovingly (if we can) and show those children who were never taught the things that they ought to know and do, so our communities and school and homes, too will know peace and harmony will reside in the midst of it all–Let’s Teach The Children!

My name is Mary M. Hall-Rayford. As an educator, parent, grandparent and child of the Most High, I approve this message!

Educating Our Future!

Some schools–depending upon where one lives–are already in session for a new school year. Others are going back soon! What are the students going back to do?

Speaking from experience with Detroit Public Schools, many of the inner city students are going back to chaos–overcrowded classrooms, overused testing, and demoralized, unhappy teachers. None the chaos is the fault of the students, but they are the ones who will be negatively impacted by it the most.

First of all–PARENTS–get your act in gear and teach your children to respect authority and property of others. One of the reasons for the overcrowded classrooms is the budget allocation for textbooks which students either take home to keep or deliberately desecrate with profanity–making them inaccessible to others. The other reason for much of the chaos–ill-mannered, ill-behaved students who interfere with the process of learning. They have never learned to do school and when a teacher meets some of the parents–they know the apple truly did not fall far from the tree.

If parents truly want a quality education for their children, they need to engage in the process–get actively involved with the schools and the legislators making decisions about the schools.

The Detroit Public School district has had an assigned Emergency Manager for five years now that has not made a difference in the debt accrued. Why? Too many people coming into the system with the sole purpose of “lining their pockets” and totally forgetting about the kids they are supposed to help educate. This would not happen if we had anyone with integrity having oversight of the Detroit Public Schools. For those who know the power of prayer–it’s prayer time–pray for all Emergency Managers to develop a conscience and do their jobs–not line their pockets with the funds that should be spent on educating the children. Everyone needs to get out and vote–getting rid of all those politicians who are only interested in promoting their own–self-serving agendas–not the benefit of all the people.

EDUCATORS–FIGHT BACK–and stop the testing nonsense and spend the time–TEACHING your students. Students do not learn anything from over-testing; they learn from educators who have time to teach them the skills for which they are being tested. If they have not been taught, why are they being tested? A little common sense is needed here.

ADMINISTRATORS–grow a pair–and move out of the way of those teachers who are “still interested” in teaching children what they need to know to survive in this world. Using threats, being demeaning, humiliation and coercion will not accomplish anything other than unhappy, rebellious staff who will only do the minimum required to get you off their backs.Abusing your staff does not make you a great administrator–understanding what your staff needs and supporting them in their efforts will get the job done. If you are an administrator and are only a doormat to the district–resign! Get out of the way so our children can learn!

From observation and research, I know there is a conspiracy afoot to keep students from Detroit in a rut–for manual labor only and everyone who is involved in the system and is not willing to change the way we do education in Detroit is guilty of being a participant in the conspiracy. Our students need to know grammar–for conversational purposes as well for writing. When the District decided that grammar did not need to be taught (almost 20 years ago)–that should have been a signal for all to understand the complicity in keeping our children–illiterate. Now, we graduate functionally illiterate students who cannot read above the seventh-grade level. Where do they get to work? Fast–food restaurants and anywhere they do not have to think or read with comprehension. Just take a look at the cash registers being used today and you’ll understand my point.

So now, what are you going to do? Get mad at me or do something about educating our future?

You can read more in my book, If Parents Cared Enough, Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read  found here: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ/

Get mad, but get busy when you get over being mad!