We Don’t Have Any Money! Money Matters for Preschoolers

“Mommy, I want candy.”

“We don’t have money for that,” I state. I continue adding items from my shopping list to the grocery cart.

“I want donuts. Pleassssse,” my three-year-old daughter begs.

“We don’t have any money,” I explain once again. “Count three cans of corn for mommy. That’s right; you found three cans from our shopping list.”

Embarrassing Moment

After several more times of telling my daughter we don’t have any money, we finally finish our grocery list and approach the checkout stand. The clerk scans all the items and summarizes, “That will be $28.35.”

“My mom doesn’t have any money,” my daughter quickly informs her. My face reddens with embarrassment.

The kind clerk informs her, “That’s okay. I don’t have any money either,” as she smiles at me.

No Money for That

Of course my child thinks I don’t have any money to buy groceries. How many times did I say that to her? What I neglected to explain to my three-year-old is that we have money for what we NEED, but not always for extra things that we WANT.

Wants versus Needs

So began our new home campaign. When Kristen saw something she wanted, my husband and I started explaining the difference between a need and a want. For example, “It would be really fun to have ….. Let’s put it on your want list for the future.” If it was something she needed, we clarified, “Yes, you’re right. You need new shoes. Your old shoes are too small.”

Over Time

By the time our daughters were in early elementary school, they could accurately identify the difference between a need and a want. God always provides for our needs. And many times He blesses us with our wants.

Lessons Learned

In the grocery store that day, I learned a key component of money management. We must teach our children the difference between a need and a want. It is a basic principle of training children about money. Do you know the difference? What about your children? Do they know the difference? Today’s a perfect day for teaching this concept.


Image source: Stock.XCHNG www.sxc.hu/. coins-1428100-s.



Book Review: The Trophy Kids Grow Up

When I talk with community and business people about challenges they’re facing with today’s workforce, I frequently share one of the most relevant books I’ve read addressing this topic.

The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation is Shaking up the Workplace. Author Ron Alsop traces this phenomenon and how parenting the Millennial Generation has impacted Fortune 500 companies.

The Millennial Generation

If you work with young people who were born between 1980 and 2001, information about the Millennial Generation (also called Generation Y and Generation Next) explains about this new kind of student, worker, and global citizen.

These children received “trophies” or rewards for most everything they’ve ever done. Now they’re entering the workforce demanding “rewards” for completing standard job responsibilities.

Fortune 500 Companies

The “helicopter parent” provides the foundation for Alsop’s observations. Their children are showing up with college degrees at Fortune 500 Companies and bringing their parents with them for interviews and salary negotiations. You’ve probably heard of “Take Your Daughter to Work,” but he addresses “Take Your Parents to Work” and the challenges this is creating for corporate America.

Stirring Up the Workplace

This eleven chapter, 262 page book, addresses the millennial generation’s tendencies, how the millennials and employers will adapt to one another, and organizations who are taking the lead in effectively working with this generation and their parents.

The book cover states, “The Trophy Kids Grow Up will show employers, parents, and millennials themselves how this remarkable generation promises to stir up the workplace–and perhaps the world.”

Book Information

The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation is Shaking up the Workplace, Ron Alsop, Jossey-Bass, 2008. Available from Amazon.com. Hardcover $19.16, Kindle $13.00, audible $9.95 (9/18/2015).






Making a Difference for Children

“Would you like to join the council?” asks the council chair.

“Thanks for the invite, but I’m still visiting. I’m on medical leave this year from the College. I’m going back to work next fall,” I explain.

But that didn’t happen. My health deteriorated and I was put on Disability/Retirement. With that major life change came countless disappointments and struggles alongside blessings and joy.

The Council

The Stanislaus Child Development Local Planning Council (SCDLPC) is both a blessing and a joy. This is my fourth year serving alongside a 16 member group appointed by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors and the Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools. This group meets monthly and is comprised of:

 Child Care Providers,

 Community Representatives,

 Consumers of Child Care Services (Parents/Guardians), and

 Public Agency Representatives.

Mission Statement: “The Stanislaus Child Development Local Planning Council shall provide leadership in supporting the development and availability of child care for children in Stanislaus County.”

Second Term

Since my husband and I moved back to Modesto, the SCDLPC was a terrific way to connect with people who are concerned about children. I’m starting the 1st year of my 2nd three-year term as a community representative. The council has 13 responsibilities. This forum identifies local priorities for child care services; develops policies that meet those needs; and then prepares a countywide child care plan.

Wait List

Very popular with parents is the centralized eligibility child care wait list. In the past, every site managed a child care wait list. Now, parents call the Resource and Referral office. The staff helps them find available child care matching the parents’ needs. If the desired programs are full, they are placed on a consolidated wait list that serves the entire county.

Parents Needed

Parents are a vital component of the council. Parents or individuals who have used child care in the past 36 months, are eligible to serve as a Consumer of Child Care Services representative. Currently, the council has openings. If you want more information, please contact me or use the links below.

Professional Development

As a former child development professor, my favorite council responsibility is improving the retention of qualified child care workers who work directly with children either in a Title 5 or state-subsidized program. We provide stipends for continued education, from earning an AA degree through a master’s degree. We also select and offer workshops that child care staff can use to meet the 105 professional growth hours required every five years.

NEW! Transitional Kindergarten Teachers

I’m excited about a new program the council’s overseeing. With the implementation of Transitional Kindergarten (TK), TK teachers hired after July 1, 2015 are required to obtain 24 early childhood education units by 2020. The SCDLPC is helping teachers locate appropriate early childhood or child development courses and manage the brand new reimbursement program. Though units are required, teachers do not bear the burden of costs. TK teachers can be reimbursed for books and courses when they earn a “C” or better. And what good teacher would earn less than that.


Recognition Certificate Presented in June 2015 for Serving on the SCDLPC.

Thankful for Collaboration

As I begin my fourth year serving on the SCDLPC I’m thankful for such a wonderful opportunity. I consider it a privilege to collaborate with such a diverse group representing a variety of organizations.

Because of the networking through SCDLPC the county’s received several grants that required collaboration. I miss being part of the college community, so being a part of the SCDLPC is truly a joy and blessing for me.

To learn more about SCDLPC go to www.stancoe.org/cfs/lpc/welcome.htm. To access the two- page application, go to www.stancoe.org/cfs/lpc/documents/SCDLPC Membership.


Parents Can Help with School-Age Children’s Friendships

What kind of friends do you want for your school age child? That simple question is complex for many families. The topic brings up memories of parent’s school friendships and feelings about their children’s friendships.

Pride or Problems?

If the child is well-liked, parents burst with pride. If their child is unpopular, they cringe and hope no one notices, especially their child. But the child does know if he or she is popular or not.


Children with friendships have a greater sense of well-being, a better self-esteem, have more fun at school, and have fewer problems as adults. (1) In this blog we’ll look at some simple ways parent’s can help their school age children develop healthy friendships as we begin the new year.

Your Child’s Social Style

Developing a loving, accepting, and respectful relationship with your school age child provides the foundation for helping your child build friendships. (2) This means respecting your child’s social style. (1) Some children make many friends easily while others make friends more slowly and may only need a few good friends. Some are social butterflies while others are more quiet and reserved. Avoid pressuring your child to make friends at your pace and style.

Child’s Temperament

Consider your child’s God-given temperament, level of activity, and stress. (3) Some children need quiet time, a chance to slow down, be alone, or even relax rather than spending all their free time with friends. Other children like being on the go with friends and activities.

Eyes are Watching

Remember that your child is always observing you. Model appropriate social behaviors, empathy with others, and demonstrate reciprocity. (1, 4) Reciprocity for school age children means what they do for each other.1 Friendship is a two-way relationship. Keep in mind a New Testament Bible verse, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (5)

Variety of Friendships.

Demonstrate kindness by keeping a wide variety of friendships, such as with the elderly, shut-ins, the homeless, and those living in poverty. Your children will learn that a wide variety of friendships are valuable.

Group Status

It is also helpful for parents to know their child’s friends and where their child stands in the group. (4) “Your child doesn’t need you to manage his social life, but he does need you to provide a steady, supportive environment for his social experimentation.”(4) If your child needs help in making better friendships, provide direction and support. For example, maybe your child needs to learn to take turns or ask others to join in play. “…research shows that children who were better adjusted socially had parents who were more involved in their children’s social activities.” (1)

Don’t Go “Back to School”

And lastly, in helping your child make friends, avoid going back to school yourself. (4) This may sound like, “When I was your age, I…” or stories of regret. Every adult has painful memories of childhood friendships. Friendship challenges are a natural part of our children’s social development.

Separate Self From Child

Try and separate your feelings and needs from your child’s. “Children can experience undue anxiety when parents pressure them to behave in ways that meet parents’ needs more than their own.” (3) While making friends is not always a smooth road, these ideas for helping your school age child make friends can make the road less bumpy.



1. Do Kids Need Friends? Anita Gurian, Ph.D. and Alice Pope, Ph.D., NYU Child Study Center, www.education.com › … › Social Emotional DevelopmentFriendships. Updated July 9, 2010.

2. The Importance of Friendship for School-Age Children, Millie Ferrer-Chancy & Anne Fugate, University of Florida IFAS Extension, ©2002. Reviewed 2007. edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy54.

3. Friendships: Fostering Children’s Friendship in School Age Children, www.families-first.org/…/tips.cfm?…Friendships…Fostering%20Children‘…

4. Let’s Be Friends: Help your child’s friendships flourish — even in the face of difficulty. Scholastic Parent, www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/stages…/lets-be-friends.

5. Ephesians 4:32. New American Standard Bible (NASB). www.biblegateway.com/versions/New-American-Standard-Bible-NASB/.

6. Image: meg-and-friends-909386-m Kevin Rohr [freeimages.com]


Zipper Songs, Monkeys & Bees

While I’m driving to lunch my five-year-old granddaughter Khloe says, “Six more days until Kylie comes. What day is that?”

“It’s Thursday. Remember the song I taught you?”

Years ago a Merced College student taught me new words to a familiar song. I begin singing, “There’s Sunday and there’s Monday, ….” I sing the entire song, “Days of the Week” to the tune of “The Addam’s Family.”1 [You Tube link below].2 The song’s fun and catchy, even for little ones who have no idea about “The Addam’s Family.”

My granddaughter and I just sang a zipper song. A week ago, I didn’t know that’s what it’s called. I learned about zipper songs during the Learn 2 Read, Read 2 Learn conference. 3

Learn More with Music. Keynote speaker Alesha Henderson from Lakeshore Learning 4 noted the power of music for young children learning language.

            “We remember three times as much with music than without music.”

My response: I really can’t carry a tune. How can I do this?

Her answer: Zipper songs.

Charlotte Diamond, Canadian children’s singer recommends zipper songs as part of her P.R.I.Z.E. method of teaching songs and chants. Diamond says, “Encourage children to compose their own songs by adapting songs they already know.” 5

Type One

There are two different types of zipper songs. The first type is to make up new words to a familiar song, such as in “The Addam’s Family” example. One group attending the conference wrote new words for a well-known song, “The Wheels on the Bus.”

The monkeys in the trees go swing, swing, swing . . . ,” followed by,

The bees in the trees go buzz, buzz, buzz . . . ”

Type Two

The second type of zipper songs is when a familiar tune is sung traditionally except that one or more key words are substituted for each verse. 6 “This Old Man,” is a perfect example of  the second type. “This old man, he played one /he played knick knack on my thumb/ . . . Then replace the underlined words with “two . . . on my shoe,” “three . . . on my knee,” 7 and so on. Other well-known songs that fit this type are “Old McDonald” and “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain.”

Fun with Language

No matter which way you sing a zipper song, children learn new words quickly and have fun with language. “Zipper songs are great sing-along songs because they require little learning time and can be sung for a long time.” 6

What zipper songs can you create with your students, children or grandchildren? I’d love to hear the tune and words they make up.


  1. Jean and Friends. Days of the Week (Tune: “The Addams Family”) http://www.drjean.org/html/cds_f/friends_lyrics3.html Accessed 9/4/ 2015.
  2. Conference sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education.
  3. Days of the Week clap clap! [to the tune of the Addams…] Uploaded by Michelle Lebowe May 12, 2013. youtube.com/watch?v=yIvQOab00OQ. [0:31]. Accessed 9/4/ 2015.
  4. lakeshorelearning.com
  5. ZIPPER SONGS: Let’s make up a new song! The P.R.I.Z.E. Method of Teaching Songs and Chants byCharlotte Diamond. http://www.songsforteaching.com/charlottediamond/prize.htm Accessed 11/10/2015.
  6. http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/resources/music/chapter6/129370.shtml Accessed 11/10/2015.
  7. Public Domain, “This Old Man.” http://www.pdinfo.com/pd-song-list/pd-song-list-best-t.php. Accessed 11/10/2015.
  8. Image: Birthday Monkey Clip Art [order.upprintinvitations.org] (Free to share and use commercially, 11/11/2015).



Sally, Seashells and Same Sounds


Marian with Match-Ups give away from “Read 2 Learn, Learn 2 Read” Conference

By Dr. Marian Fritzemeier, Ed.D.

Play with language. Be expressive. Use music. Be animated. Bring back nursery rhymes. The endless ideas were presented at the Learn 2 Read, Read 2 Learn seminar on August 29, 2015 in Modesto.

Trainer: Lakeshore Learning’s 1 trainer Alesha Henderson integrated active participation with her enthusiastic and energetic presentation.

Three hundred early childhood educators filled the room with laughter and fun while learning strategies for language, phonological awareness, print awareness, and letter recognition. Today I’ll share a great phonological awareness activity.

“Sally sells…” You probably remember the first line of the poem, “Sally sells seashells by the seashore,” 2 but have you ever written one like this? Some people call these tongue twisters but technically they are called alliteration.


Definition Alliteration: “Noun. The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.” 3


Beginning Sounds are Easier. The reason we focus on the beginning of a word is because it’s easier to discriminate. The ending of the word is the next sounds children learn, followed by sounds in the middle of the world. Here’s the alliteration my friend Barbara, another participant, and I wrote together.


“The big black bear bounces on the bumpy brown bridge to board the big blue bus.”


Create! Not bad if I do say so myself. Trust me; I couldn’t have done this on my own. It was the brainstorming and collective ideas of three educators to create this. But do you know who easily creates alliteration? Children. Ask a child to create a 5-10 word sentence that all start with the same letter or sound.

Fun & Reinforce. To reinforce the concept and make language fun, ask the child to say it fast. Then S – L – O – W. Say it softly. Now in a sad voice. Finally, say it how your mother would say it. Why do all this? It helps children with phonological awareness.

Learn 2 Read, Read 2 Learn

Learn 2 Read, Read 2 Learn Conference, Modesto, CA

I invite you to send me what children said. I’m sure my readers will not only enjoy them, they can use the creative alliterations with their students, children, and grandchildren.

P.S. I need you! If you’re a teacher, follow the link below to read “a letter to my teacher from a kid with difficult behavior.” 4 It will remind you of how important you are to every child.








1. www.lakeshorelearning.com

2. http://guidezone.e-guiding.com/sallyat.htm

3. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/alliteration

4. http://lemonlimeadventures.com/letter-teacher-kid-difficult-behavior/

All sites accessed September 2, 2015.