About Me

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Hi my name is Dr. Marian C Fritzemeier and I'm an education and child development specialist. I've accumulated many years speaking, writing, consulting and teaching both in the classroom and for parenting audiences. I believe the parenting process can be a fantastic and overwhelmingly fun journey with the right plan in mind. Need some help with that plan? Then you've come to the right place.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Something New

By Dr. Marian Fritzemeier, Ed.D. © 2013
Author, Speaker, Educator
On October 5th, I'm going to do something I've never done before.  For several months I've been exercising twice a week and doing some bike riding. My husband and I ride on some bike paths, but mostly I ride in our neighborhood by myself.  Well, almost by myself.

Dancing in Circles. I wear a front pack that carries my ferocious Chihuahua, Grace. Despite the fact that she barks all the time at home, she's the perfect bike passenger. She dances in circles when I ask, "Do you want to go on a bike ride?" and rarely makes a peep on the ride. I always feel safe when she rides with me.
Half-Way There. Today I'm proud of myself because I met my half way goal for my new adventure. I'll be riding a 20 mile bicycle "Fun Ride" at Clear Lake. I rode ten miles today. We're not discussing time here, just the distance. 
I Paid for That?. I've never done anything like this before. For those of you who know me, I'm not very coordinated and not even a teeny bit athletic. But I like riding my bike outside.  I love to see God's beauty and listen to the birds as I pedal along. I needed some kind of goal.

The Ride. I checked bike club rides but most are over 25 miles, so I had to start somewhere. I found this ride in a bike riding booklet. I even bought a pair of bike shorts. I never paid so much money for something so ugly. Oh, except for my hiking vest and pants when I started bird watching and hiking. I'm not sure which are the ugliest. 

What About You? So I'm doing something totally out of my comfort zone. What about you? or your children? Have your children or teens been talking about something they want to do...someday? Is there something you've thought about trying but decided not to? Schools started this week in Modesto. A new school year is the perfect time to choose to do something new. I'd like to hear your stories of your new adventures. I'll keep you posted on mine.

1. Image from: Stock.XCHNG www.sxc.hu/bike-route-both-directions-logo-1416709-m. Accessed 4/17/2014.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back to School: Study Habits

Dr. Marian Fritzemeier, Ed.D. © 2013
Author,  Speaker, Educator

Habits Begin Early. Children typically start getting homework in kindergarten. Many teachers send home a packet for parents to complete with their children during the week and return on Friday. The homework time is about 10 minutes per day for four days.
Some Families Ignore Homework. Unfortunately, many kindergarten teachers I know report that a large number of families don't do the homework with their kindergarteners. If parents don't begin establishing an important homework routine during kindergarten, their children will most likely struggle academically as school isn't a priority for these families.
Transition Time After School. Children need time to play and eat a snack when they get home from school or at their after-school programs. Just as parents need time to transition from work to home, children need this transition time as well. They've been in school all day and they need a break from academics. After an hour or so, they can do their homework.
Monitoring Homework. For first through third grades, parents will need to monitor their children's homework time. Restrain from doing the homework for your children. Have a designated area for homework. Many families use the kitchen table or counter. Keep school supplies nearby for convenience. This also helps children stay on task as they're not roaming around trying to find supplies. Its best to turn off the television and electronics so children can focus better. Active children need to do 15 minutes of homework and take a break. Then they can do another round of 15 minutes.
Transition Year. By fourth grade, hopefully the after school or evening homework routine is strong enough that children can start being accountable for initiating their own homework time. Fourth grade is a critical transition year for children. They go from cooperative learning in kindergarten through third grade; whereas, in fourth grade, the students do more individual work.  Parents must make sure their children are making this transition successfully and continue to ensure that the child is doing his/her homework. 
1. Image from: Stock.XCHNG www.sxc.hu/student-1-1361797-s. Accessed 4/17/2014.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back to School & Sleep

Dr. Marian Fritzemeier, Ed.D. © 2013
Author, Speaker, Educator
Ahhhh, summer vacation. Swimming, camping, amusement parks, and later bed times for children. But school is just around the corner. How can parents help get their children's sleep back on schedule so they're not tired when school starts and the alarm goes off way earlier than in the summer?
Do the Math. About two weeks before school starts, calculate how much earlier your children need to get up for school. For example, is your child is sleeping in until 9:00 AM and will have to get up at 7:00 AM for school, that's two hours. Figure out roughly how much earlier they need to get up each day so that they're ready for the school alarm clock. If they got up just ten minutes earlier every day, they'd be on track for the earlier wake-up time.
How Much Sleep? While you're figuring out their wake-up times, just how much sleep does your child need? The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2012) recommends that school age children (kindergarteners to 8th graders) need 9 to 10 hours of sleep. Ninth and 10th graders need 9.25 hours while 11th and 12th graders need 8.5 hours.

More Sleep? Your child needs more sleep if he/she has challenges getting up in the morning. Obviously, if your child falls asleep during school, he/she needs more sleep. Another reason your child may need more sleep if they are overly active and/or acting out.
Routines Help. Make bedtime consistent, relaxing routine. For younger children, a bath and story time are positive ways to end the day. If your children are sensitive to caffeine and/or sugar, eliminate these in the evenings. Don't forget, chocolate contains caffeine.

Electronics & Sleep. Keep electronics out of the bedroom two hours before bedtime. Even the light from televisions or electronic devices can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps aides sleep. Following these suggestions and a healthy breakfast will help your child be ready to learn when he/she returns to school this fall.

1. Image from: Stock.XCHNG www.sxc.hu/watching-for-sandman-409757-s. Accessed 4/17/2014.