Get your preschooler to bed earlier! Great results!!!


WebMD News from HealthDay

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Sending preschoolers off to bed early may bring them an unexpected benefit: less chance of obesity when they are teens.

So suggests research that compared preschoolers who went to bed at 8 p.m. with same-age kids who had later bedtimes. A team at the Ohio State University College of Public Health found that a bedtime just one hour later seemed to double the likelihood that young children will be obese teens.
“For parents, this reinforces the importance of establishing a bedtime routine,” said the study’s lead author, Sarah Anderson, an associate professor of epidemiology. “It’s something concrete that families can do to lower their child’s risk.”

She added that the earlier bedtime is also likely to benefit youngsters’ social and emotional development as well as their brain development.

The study reviewed data on nearly 1,000 children who were part of a study that followed healthy babies born in 1991 at 10 U.S. locations.

When the children were about 4 years old, they were divided into three groups: those who went to bed by 8 p.m.; those whose bedtime was between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., and those went to bed later.

Half of the youngsters went to bed between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The rest were evenly divided between early and late bedtimes, according to the study published July 14 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Researchers then looked at the kids’ weight at an average age of 15. They found that only 10 percent of kids with the earliest bedtimes were obese teens. That compared to 16 percent of the children with bedtimes between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., and 23 percent of those who went to bed after 9 p.m.

Most likely to become obese were kids who went to bed latest and whose mothers’ interactions with them were observed to be less supportive and more hostile, the researchers found. They said later bedtimes were more common among non-white children who had less-educated mothers and lived in lower-income households.

However, only an association was seen between bedtimes and obesity risk, rather than a cause-and-effect link.

“It’s important to recognize that having an early bedtime may be more challenging for some families than for others,” Anderson said in a university news release. “Families have many competing demands and there are tradeoffs that get made. For example, if you work late, that can push bedtimes later in the evening.”

The study authors said their findings suggest that household routines for preschoolers are important.

Slow, repetitious music helps your child’s brain development!

AdminAbout Our Products, Parenting, Teaching, Uncategorized

Many top educational researchers recommend integrating music into phonological awareness instruction. These researchers recommend songs, and specifically rhyming songs, as an effective mechanism for building phonemic awareness with children in early childhood classrooms (Adams, Foorman, Lundberg & Beele.

Building an understanding of the sounds within words must begin with an ability to discriminate similarities and differences in sounds. Not surprisingly, then, researchers have found a link between musical pitch discrimination and reading ability in young children. • First grade children were tested on both phonemic awareness and musical pitch awareness. The researchers found a high degree of correlation between phonemic awareness and pitch discrimination. The ability to perceive slight differences in phonemes appeared to depend on the ability to extract information about the frequencies of the speech sounds. The researchers proposed that “carefully structured musical training should be an essential component of the primary school curriculum” (Lamb & Gregory, 1993). • Another study examined the relations among phonological awareness, music skills, and early reading skills in 100 preschoolers. The researchers found that music skills correlated significantly with both phonological awareness and reading development (Anvari et al, 2002). • A third study confirmed the correlation between phonological awareness and musical aptitude as measured by pitch awareness. Preschool children completed both phoneme manipulations and deletion tasks and musical aptitude tests. Those children with higher levels of musical aptitude had greater ability to manipulate speech sounds (Peynircioglu et al, 2002). Research Into Practice: ABC Music & Me Within ABC Music & Me, teachers use songs with rhyming lyrics, which help children build phonological awareness. In the “Laugh and Learn” level for younger children, students are exposed to rhyming songs. In the “Move & Groove” program for older children, students receive explanations of rhyming before or after singing and generate words that rhyme. This link between music ability and phonemic awareness is supported by recent brain research in both adults and children. • A study by Stanford researchers (Gaab et al, 2005) found that musical training improves how the brain processes the spoken word. Specifically, the research found that musical instruction and experience helps the brain improve its ability to distinguish between rapidly changing sounds, referred to as auditory processing. This auditory processing is critical to developing phonemic awareness and to learning to read successfully. In a study of adult musicians who began playing an instrument by the age of seven and continued playing into adulthood, it was found through functional magnetic resonance imaging scanners, or fMRIs, that musicians had more focused, efficient brain activity than did non-musicians. Researchers stated that this finding may have important implications for improving reading skills for young children. • Another study (Musacchia et al, 2007) demonstrated that playing musical instruments triggers changes in the brain stem as well as in the brain cortex. Senior study author Nina Kraus explained this finding to mean that music training may enhance reading and speech functions because the brain stem is a pathway for both music and language. Researchers measured the activity of neurons in the brain of the experimental subjects who had been playing musical instruments since the age of five. They found that musicians’ brain stems not only showed increased activity, but also quicker response times to both music and speech sounds. The longer a person had been playing an instrument, the sharper the responses. As a Scientific American article (Swaminathan, 2007) summarized in an article reviewing this research study, Sesame Street had it right when they paired music with early literacy instruction. • Based on the success of adult studies, researchers (Magne et al, 2006) conducted a study of the impact of musical training on eight-year-old children. Specifically, researchers examined the impact of 3–4 years of musical training on pitch processing in both music and in language. In language, pitch is the essential component of prosody, the patterns of stress and intonation in a spoken language. Prosody is often called “the music of speech”. Prosody not only conveys emotional messages, but also is essential at the phonological level in helping to understand words. The results of these EEG studies of brain functioning showed that musician children outperformed nonmusicians on both music and language tasks. Researchers concluded: “… the present findings highlight the positive effects of music lessons for linguistic abilities in children. Therefore, these findings argue in favor of music classes being an intrinsic and important part of the educational programs in public schools….”

Take a look at some of my music products that give your children a head start.


How do you teach phonics?


How do you teach phonics?


To teach phonics, educate children on how to find patterns in the English language through visual, kinesthetic and auditory learning activities. Start with simple letter and short vowel sounds, and then move on to more complicated consonant blends and long vowel combinations.



  • Is it easy to learn how to read based on phonics?

  • What are some learning activities for toddlers?

  • What are some fun language arts activities for the letter G?

Check out this phonics kit that I created for parents and teachers!


There are 42 sounds that make up the English language. First, teach the sounds in isolation and then create conceptual understanding of the sounds through reading and writing. For example, show the child the digraph “th” and explain its special sound. Then look for things around the room that start with “th,” and write them down. Play a simple game, such as bingo or concentration, to reinforce the concept. Sort words into categories, such as “th” words in one line and “ch” words in another line. Read a book together, point out all the words with “th,” and have the child practice the words. Create a word bank with “th” words, and have the child write sentences using those words.

Keep lessons short and fun. Add variety, movement and music. Do not get frustrated if the child does not pick up the concept right away. If he is frustrated, move on to another concept and come back to the initial concept later.


The Sooner The Better

AdminParenting, Teaching

BARBI 2-3 2015

The Sooner The Better

Early Childhood Education, A Key To Life-Long Success

Thomas Ehrlich and Ernestine Fu

ContributorBarbara Milne

“The sooner the better” is the perfect tag line for early childhood education. There is no magic bullet to ensure a lifetime of self-fulfillment in personal and career terms. But rigorous research shows that high-quality early childhood education is an extraordinarily powerful means to promote continued success in school, in the workplace, and also in social and civic realms.

It may seem surprising, but the experiences of children in their early years have disproportionately large impacts relative to experiences during their school years and beyond. If children lag in those early years, chances are that they will never catch up. Remediation of deficiencies in learning of all types is far more difficult and expensive than learning early on. The good news is that high-quality programs focused on early childhood years can have powerful long-term impacts for all racial and economic groups across the country.

Professor Susanna Loeb at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, in collaboration with Daphna Bassok, wrote an extensive review covering studies on early childhood education and achievement gaps based on it. The White House issued a report last December that also summarizes research from a wide variety of studies, and includes proposed actions to meet national needs in this arena.

Perhaps the most often cited study is the HighScope Perry preschool experiment that assigned randomly 123 at-risk low income black students to either a control group or a high-quality, two year pre-school program. These students were followed from ages three through 50. The impact of the pre-school program was powerful. Of those who participated in the program, 65% graduated from high school compared to 45% in the control group. By age 40, the annual income of those who were in the program was $20,800 compared to $15,300 in the control group. As the Loeb and Bassok article states, the study showed that those in the program “were more likely to be employed, to raise their own children, to own a home or a car, and to be far less likely to experience arrests or utilize drugs.”

Another study examines kindergarten test scores to predict whether children will attend college (and the quality of the colleges if they do), the earnings of those children as young adults, and many other adult outcomes.

Research also shows that high-quality early childhood programs lead to income gains of 1/3 to 3.5 percent each year when the children are adults. That may not seem like much. But compounded, the higher earnings account for between $9,000 and over $30,000 when the program costs are subtracted. Viewed nationwide, if all families were able to enroll their children in pre-school programs at the same rate as high-income families do now, the total enrollment nationwide would increase by around 13 percent and would yield a present value of at least $4.8 billion – some estimates approximate this number as high as $16.1 billion – from the lifetime earnings per person after deducting the costs of the program. High-quality early childhood education programs provide long-term benefits that far outweigh the costs.

But there is more. Studies also shows that if children are enrolled in these programs, the overall economy will be boasted by a more skilled workforce with higher earnings. If all adults have a kick-start through high-quality early childhood education, our entire society benefits. Fewer people will need welfare support, crime rates decrease, and our population as a whole will be healthier.

High-quality early childhood education is not a magic bullet to ensure that those participating will be destined to be successful in and out of school for the rest of their lives. Lots of other factors have real impact. But the evidence is overwhelming that the social and economic benefits of high-quality early education for children are both substantial and lasting. And they benefit not just the children who participate, but also our society as a whole.

It is no surprise, therefore, that groups across the country have mobilized to promote high-quality early childhood education. They realize that programs too often serve high-income families, while low-income families are left out. Sadly, less than a third of all four-year old children have access to early childhood programs even though they exist in 40 states. Early Edge California is one organization that addresses the problem in our country’s largest state.


10 Books A Home brings books and reading to the homes of disadvantaged children. Photo Credit: Paul Thiebaut III / Palo Alto Online.

Many faith-based groups are also partnering with these organizations. One is Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos, California, where Tom Ehrlich and his wife, Ellen are members. Congregation Beth Am has chosen high-quality early childhood education as the single Congregation-wide societal issue on which it focuses attention. Some congregants are volunteering in local classrooms with underprivileged students. Others are engaged in a program called “10 Books A Home,” through which they bring books and reading to the homes of disadvantaged children. And some are focused on advocacy at the local, state, and national levels to bring more support to high-quality early childhood education.

The message should be clear. Wise investments in high-quality early childhood education can mean profoundly better lives for children, their families, and our society as a whole. Consider what you can do in your community or state — and then act!


This was reprinted from Forbes article of April 1, 2015. Thank you for bringing up the importance of Early Learning.!


A Key to Helping Your Child Succeed in School

Barbara MilneParenting

Through all my years of teaching, I would always have one or two children who stood out abovethe rest. They were more attentive, always raised their hands with information to add to our class lessons and did well with their work. The key difference was the degree of involvement their parents had in their education.
In the early years, one of the best routines to establish is reading as much as possible. Even tiny children’s brains are growing every time you spend reading.

I used to go to the library, check out the maximum number of books allowed, and read at least two or more books a day. If some books were too wordy, I changed them to make them more age appropriate.

As children get older, you can get books from different subjects like science and biographies of famous people in our country’s history. That’s a sure way to increase their participation in school discussions around our president’s holidays. Biographies are also a wonderful way to reinforce how hard work and perseverance lead to great accomplishments.


The #1 Way to Get Your Children to Respect your Words

Barbara MilneParenting, Teaching

The #1 Way to Get Your Children to Respect your Words

Even when children are very young, they can learn that what you say is important!
So how do you give power to your words?
First: Speak with a calm and pleasant voice.
If you’re telling your child to stop something fun, be sure to give advanced notice.
For example: ” Well be leaving the playground in 5 minutes so do your last favorite thing.”
After 5 minutes, “OK. It’s time to go.
Second: Make sure that your child does what you asked in your nice voice.
How? If your child doesn’t come right away, you walk over very close and say nicely,” You
probably couldn’t hear me. It’s time to go and we need to leave now.” If your child isn’t coming
at this point, you calmly take him or her by the hand or arm and make sure that you leave the
Third: Never repeat yourself and never raise your voice.
Simply follow through with your body And remain calm, even if your child isn’t.
This technique works very well if you are consistent.
Imagine clean up time at home. “It’s time to clean up your toys in 5 minutes.
5 minutes later, ” OK. It’s clean up time. ” if your child doesn’t start cleaning up right away, say,
” Can you put those toys away by yourself or do you need me to come over there and help you
be sure they’re all cleaned up?”
First, you speak nicely and second, you FOLLOW UP with your actions to make sure your
words are listened to

What Every Good Parent Should Know

Barbara MilneParenting

Is your child’s future determined at birth because of the genes passed down from mom and dad?

Not when you realize that babies are born with only 100,000 genes compared to 100 billion neurons or brain cells!! The more those brain cells are connected, the smarter your child can become.That means that every minute you spend enriching your child’s environment can affect your child’s future. In fact, if you follow some of the suggestions below, you can actually change the structure of your child’s brain so that learning will become easier.

What can you do?

Cuddle your baby and talk, talk, talk!

A) Talk slowly with a higher pitched voice.
B) Allow your baby to watch your mouth and face as you form words.
C) Sing smile tunes to your baby, even if you think you can’t sing well. It will still help you baby learn and speak sooner.

Snuggle and read,read, read!

A) Choose simple books with bright pictures.
B) Choose some books that rhyme or even have music to accompany the words.

Set time aside and play, play, play! Children can develop an enormous number of skills if you chose their toys carefully.

A) Choose toys that engage your child’s mind, not just toys with an on and off button.
B) Choose a variety of toys to develop math, reading , ball skills, creativity and more.

Expose your child to abundant musical experiences.

A) Babies can even learn from music in the womb. Rhythm and repetition increases learning at all ages.
B) Get out a pan and a spoon or real musical instruments that you and you child can use to tap rhythms together.
C) Play simple music with clear lyrics and simple tunes such as nursery rhymes that you and your child can sing together.

Most of all, enjoy as much precious time as you can. It’s the best investment you can make!!!

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What ‘Sounds Like Learning’ is all about!

Barbara MilneAbout Our Products

Special Features

  • 65 minutes of soothing music with voice & guitar Children love it!
  • Non-pressure approach to teaching skills children will need in school.
  • Valuable phonics chart in full color.
  • Contents include: Phonics, ABC’s, Counting 1-30, Counting by 10’s, Addition, Manners, Opposites, Simple Spanish, Months of the Year, Lullabies, and Children’s Favorites

Selling Points

  • Great for naps & bedtime! Has over 60 minutes of soothing music.
  • Calms children on car trips, bath time, or while playing with toys.
  • Wonderful for remedial purposes and an invaluable tool for early auditory learning.
  • Inexpenisive purchase considering the many hours and years it can be used.
  • Fantastic aid to fathers or baby-sitters when Mom is away.

Educational Play Value

  • Based on concept that learning and remembering increases when a person is relaxed.
  • Tempo is slow and non-frustrating. Children can hear and learn more easily.
  • Repetition is abundant, unlike other recordings available. While repetition may bore adults, it gives young children comfort and security.
  • Introduces lower case letters. This is important because they occur most frequently in reading.
  • Strengthens left to right progression.
  • Promotes auditory and pre-reading skills, math, and language development.
  • Gives children that first magical experience of reading something in print.

Demonstration Suggestions

  • Play the music softly in the background as people are arriving at your toy demonstration, or at your conference booth. This creates a pleasant atmosphere and stimulates interest.
  • This method often SELLS! Play the first two lines of the “Apple apple, Aaa” song and show the ABC chart with it, pointing to Apple, apple, Aaa, etc. Explain the points under Educational Play Value before you play the lines.
  • If you can’t play the CD, explain the education value and be sure to show the phonics chart. Explain the importance of the hidden letters that are placed over each picture. Let them know that this increases retention and helps the child decode the letters.
  • Take several CDs with you to your demos. They are light and easy to pack. Guests will be thrilled to have something so special to take home that day.

Purchase My CD Today!


CD Download / Physical CD

About the Creator

BARBI 2-3 2015

Barbara Milne is the vocalist and composer for the original songs on this CD. Mrs. Milne has a background in children’s music, early childhood education and psychology, with a degree in education from the University of Southern California. She also has over 35 years experience as an elementary school teacher and Parent Ed. Preschool instructor. Mrs Milne has a line of learning CD’s videos, and games that develop the young mind.

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The Difference between “SOUNDS LIKE FUN” and “SOUNDS LIKE LEARNING”

Barbara MilneAbout Our Products

The question we get most frequently is: “What is the difference between Sounds Like Fun and Sounds Like Learning?”

Many people, especially teachers, say, “Why did you change it? I like SLF. I used it for years and even made great teaching aids to go with it.”

The answer is: SLF is a great and powerful teacher! It has exactly the same rhythm for each word using two syllables and it is easy to pronounce and sing.

Sounds Like Learning was born from the constructive criticism of certain teachers who loved Sounds Like Fun but thought it could be even better.

One teacher, Sandy Lakin, (ABC Adult School, Cerritos, California) was particularly helpful. She loved not only Sounds Like Fun, but many of our other CDs and was using them regularly in her classroom to teach counting skills, manners, opposites and much more. She loved the accuracy of Sounds Like Fun and its ability to start children on their path to reading. But she noticed that Sounds Like Fun didn’t give the children the opportunity to engage their bodies in the learning process. She knew that the more senses you involve, the greater the learning and retention.

So I took her suggestions, and gathered even more information when I was taking a masters level course at California State University-Fullerton. This led to several valuable changes that make Sounds Like Learning an even more effective product.

17 of the pictures were changed to meet 2 rules.

1. The picture had to be something the children could act out with their hands or bodies.

You can see these motions on YouTube ( One of my students performed the actions while I sang to ensure distinct and accurate pronunciations. In the classroom, this engages the children more fully. I even brought in real props like the lollipop and T REX dinosaur with 2 claws and so on. I actually collected 1 prop for every letter. We let the children pick the props of their choice after clean up and before circle time started.

2. The pictures had to look as much like the letter itself to provide a “memory hook” and increase retention.

Thus, scissor in Sounds Like Fun became a snake in Sounds Like Learning and so on. The rhythm and pronunciation is more difficult than Sounds Like Fun because I had to use 3 syllable words like “dinosaur” and “kangaroo.” That’s why Sounds Like Fun is still a great choice for small infants and certain language learners.

The last and most fun change is that we hired new artists, Adriana at ( )  to redo all the art and give it a more whimsical spirit. All in all they are both wonderful aids for the early development of reading.

5 Ways to Teach the Alphabet – Teaching Mama

Barbara MilneTeaching

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Teaching Mama’s five ways to teach the alphabet are…

  1. Sing Songs – Best way to introduce your children to letters.  Her children love Barbara Milne’s Sounds Like Learning CD which has the ‘Alphabet Song’.
  2. Read ABC Books – Repetition in reading all types of alphabet books help children learn the sounds.
  3. Make Sand Paper Letters – Helps your child see how a letter is shaped and the direction they go both uppercase and lower case letters.  She also includes ways you can use the cards while teaching your kids.
  4. Create Alphabet Boxes – Alphabet boxes are filled with items that start with the letter you want to teach.
  5. Make an Alphabet Book – Create your own alphabet book with your child.

It is known that preschoolers should know how to…

  • Recite/sing the alphabet
  • Identify uppercase letters
  • Identify lowercase letters
  • Match uppercase letters to lowercase letters
  • Identify the sounds each letter makes

…before kindergarten.

Check out Teaching Mama’s article for more detailed instructions and explanations for our five ways to teach the alphabet.


Teaching the alphabet is foundational for reading and writing. I’m sure you would agree with me that learning the alphabet is important. Some kids catch onto learning letters very quickly and others need more repetition and time. Here’s what a preschooler should know before Kindergarten: Recite/sing the alphabet, Identify uppercase letters, Identify lowercase …

Source: 5 Ways to Teach the Alphabet – Teaching Mama