About SYC . . .

School for Young Children Welcome to the website of the School for Young Children in Columbus, Ohio. Our program was founded in 1969 as a part-time preschool program.  Our philosophy has remained consistent through the years; that children be allowed to develop at their own pace in an atmosphere of free play enriched with a variety of creative materials and the support of teachers who respect them as individuals.

As a community outreach program of the First Unitarian Universalist Church, we are a welcoming school--we do not discriminate upon the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, or cultural background of parents or children.

Journeys

Posted on January 20, 2017 in category Director's Blog

Journeys

We are all on our own journeys, some of which we can control and some of which we can’t. When I became a parent, I thought that I would have a considerable amount of control over that part of my journey.  I’d worked with children for a dozen years, was well-read in current child development theory and was pretty sure I’d figured out all the mistakes that I’d seen others make and would definitely not make myself. At conferences I offered parents advice and simple answers.  I had this figured out.

Then my first child arrived, and I soon found out I had no idea what I was doing.  This child had (and still has!) a smile that melts my heart, an amazing sense of wonder in everything, and a wicked sense of humor, but they were also colicky, had trouble sleeping, and cried for no reason that I could find.  The only thing that would make them fall asleep was a long ride in the car until they eventually wore out. As they got older we met other challenges that I had never imagined or that I thought I’d be able to avoid with my expertise.  Everything I thought I knew was thrown out the window – despite my experience, despite my education, despite my cocky self-confidence.

Kid number two came along and though you’d think that this time I’d know better, I instead was sure that I had it figured out now.  My experience would lead me to not make the same mistakes.  And I didn’t.  But this was a different kind of kid with different needs, and I made different mistakes.  Again, this kid is a loyal friend, a delightful companion and easy-going in so many ways, but we still ran into our challenges.

Now, we approach parent-teacher conferences, I think about moving from the teacher side of the conference table to the parent side.  I remember the feeling of going into a conference as a parent, wanting – needing – to know that the teacher and the other kids liked my child, that they could see how deeply I loved my child and was doing the best I could for them, that they knew how special and amazing my child is.  Yes, I wanted to hear if the teachers had any concerns about their development or their learning.  But most of all, I wanted to know that the people who were spending time with my beloved child really saw them, and loved them.  

 
This is my goal as a teacher when I invite a parent to meet with me:  I want them to know that I see their child, that I love their child, that I know their child within the context of their classroom and want to know what they’re like in other areas of their lives, and that I know they’re doing their best and that parenting can be a tough job.  We’ll talk about any concerns either of us may have, and we’ll talk about what comes next for their child, but most of all I want the parents to know that I’m on their side in this parenting journey.

…Susan Roscigno, Co-Director

 

2017-18 Registration Materials are Available Now

Posted on January 06, 2017 in category From the Office

2017-18 Registration Materials are Available Now

School for Young Children’s 2017-18 school year registration is going on now. Please check our Enrollment Page here for information on how to register. If you are new to SYC, please call the SYC office at 614-267-0254 to schedule a visit before you submit an application.

Conflict… Being the Adult You Want Your Child to Be

Posted on December 12, 2016 in category Director's Blog

Conflict... Being the Adult You Want Your Child to Be

We often carry expectations for our kids that we don’t hold for ourselves.  Many of us say “ I want my kids to speak up when someone hurts them” “I want my kids to ask questions to seek information about something they don’t understand.”  “I want my kids to tell their friend when they hurt their feelings.”  Yet this is something that many of us as adults struggle with.

A child’s first and most important teacher is their parent.  They watch everything we do and say but our words hold much more weight if they see our actions behind them.

I recently got into a conflict with my sister. We exchanged some text messages, both saying things out of hurt feelings.  We knew that texting or avoiding the conflict wouldn’t resolve anything.  So we agreed to discuss it over the phone when we both could give the conversation the time needed.  Resolving our issues was dependent both on being able to speak up about the things that hurt my feelings, but also on being able to hear my sister describe her feelings.

During one of our weekly family dinners I described the process with my family, leaving out details as it wasn’t their conflict to solve, but as a way to demonstrate how to work through a conflict.

This past Monday I attended an offsite meeting to which the goal of the meeting still did not feel clear to me after the 2 hours.  I thought to myself “What would I tell my kids to do if they attended a class at school and did not understand?  I would tell them to speak up and ask for clarification.” So I held myself to the same standard.  I raised my hand and explained to the facilitator that I didn’t have a clear goal of what the purpose of the meeting was.  Sure…I felt nervous in a room full of other professionals but If I expect it and believe it for my kids, I needed to model it and live it.

We encounter many people on a daily basis who have different ideas.   Different ideas on how to celebrate the holidays, how to raise kids, how to load a dishwasher, whether it’s ok to color outside the lines, who to vote for, etc.  Conflict is inevitable.  We can practice respectfully disagreeing, setting boundaries and limits on our emotional and physical health, and listening and respecting others’ limits and boundaries.

While we have these same goals for our children, keep in mind that adults have the ability to decipher and determine if a conflict is worth pursuing or if they should let it go.  Most young children are still viewing through a lens of black and white while we have more experience and can see the grey.   At SYC our goal is to help guide these conflicts so our kids can have the practice and gain confidence in becoming clear communicators who can set and listen to others limits and boundaries as adults.

…Amy Rudawsky, Co-Director

The Holiday Season with Children

Posted on November 23, 2016 in category Director's Blog

The Holiday Season with Children

As I prepare to tackle many of the tasks of our holiday season, I am reminded of some of the challenges and expectations the young children in our lives have.  Routines are an important part of their daily life to keep things predictable.  Oftentimes, their holidays are spent travelling to relatives’ homes that they spend little time in, with the expectation that they will be on their “best” behavior. What a hard task to live up to.  I know I feel cranky when I travel to places where I have little control over where I sleep and when and what I get to eat.  Don’t you?

Being around relatives and close friends is just part of the gig for the holidays but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for ANY of us.  Oftentimes, it’s lovely to catch up and make memories.  On the flip side many a meltdown can surface (and I mean that for all of us).  

Here are some survival tips for getting through the holidays:

  • Keep your routines as predictable as you can.  If lunchtime is usually at 12:00, try to keep it as close to that time as possible.  If you have a bedtime routine, stick with it.  
  • Try to find 30 mins to have down time with just your immediate family while traveling.   Taking a break for a ride in the car or to play a quiet game, reading a book together or going on a walk together.  Having some special family time while traveling can help to de-stress.
  • Sleep.  It’s often hard with the excitement to keep a regular bedtime.   We need all the recovery and energy we can get from sleep.  Bring your own pillows.
  • Help your children set boundaries on relatives.
    • Grandparents and relatives love to greet children with a hug or kiss.  Kids may not be ready and have a right to say no.  It models as a safety lesson to children.  (Check out the chapter It’s OK not to Kiss Grandma in Heather Shumaker’s book “It’s OK to Go Up the Slide”).  
    • Playing with cousins can also be tricky.  Help guide your kids in setting limits and listening to limits of relatives that your kids may be playing with.  
  • Know when to keep your stance and when to let it go.  You will likely encounter family members with different parenting styles during the holiday season.
    • If you have a hard and fast rule in your family, stand by it.  Remember in times of conflict to increase communication.  
    • If making a stance on something is not as important to you and will cause more family stress, just let it go.  Kids can begin to understand there are different rules at different places.  
  • Prep kids ahead of time as much as possible on your expectations for them.  
    • If it’s important to you that your kids say Thank You after receiving a gift, let them know that ahead of time.  “When I get a gift I say Thank You even if I don’t like it. “  
  • If all the tips and best intentions go out the window, that’s OK.   You will get through it and get back on track.  It will make coming home that much sweeter.  

…Amy Rudawsky, SYC Co-Director