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What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

  • 1.  What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-01-2019 07:25 PM
    I am interested in learning what curriculum your school uses. My school is very play-based and does not have a formal curriculum. All of the teachers create their own curriculum. Since I am teaching threes/fours, I do try to incorporate play and more formal learning (such as worksheets) for crucial skills such as scissor practice, handwriting, and number, color, and shape recognition/identification.

    I have worked in other schools and fell in love with the Project Approach. I felt it was a very developmentally-appropriate curriculum and allowed children a more hands-on-approach to learning through monthly themes. I am also familiar with the Creative Curriculum.

    I would love to learn new and exciting ways to incorporate different curriculums into my teaching.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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    Jennifer United States
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  • 2.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-03-2019 08:55 PM
    I run a family child care home with preschool/prek ages and I mix mother goose time, starfall and my own ideas together. I dont have a ton of time to develop my own curriculum but I have found that I can do wonders by doing this because I am able to better focus on designing hands on projects that relate to the theme we are learning about.

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    Temesha (Ms. Tessie) Ragan
    Family Child Care IF Facilitator
    Perfect Start Learning
    Family Child Care Provider
    Edwards, CA
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  • 3.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-04-2019 10:42 AM
    Hi Temesha,

    Thank you so much for your ideas. I am trying to make the learning environment at my daycare the best it can possibly be. Your ideas are very helpful.

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    Jennifer United States
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  • 4.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-04-2019 01:57 AM
    What state are you in ? 





  • 5.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-04-2019 10:37 AM
    Hi Brittney,

    I am in Illinois. I have worked in many daycares and this is the only one that does not have a formal curriculum. I am trying to incorporate a more educationally-based curriculum style such as those I have used in previous daycares I have worked in such as the Project Approach and the Creative Curriculum.

    I am trying to create a more structured environment in my classroom by developing age-appropriate circletimes and activities. Some of the children have behavioral issues and will benefit from more structure.

    Many of the children who are leaving for the fours classroom do not know how to hold a crayon/pencil correctly, many of their letters, and so on. It is very frustrating and I would like to help those leaving and entering the classroom in the best way possible.

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    Jennifer United States
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  • 6.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-04-2019 03:43 PM
    Well I use the Nevada pre k standard. Because I am in Las Vegas. I have also used high scope and links to learning. 





  • 7.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-09-2019 06:17 PM
    Hi Brittney,

    Thank you for the ideas. I am trying to maintain Illinois Early Learning Standards, but would like to add a little more to the learning environment. I will look into High Scope and Links to Learning.

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    Jennifer United States
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  • 8.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-11-2019 07:15 AM
    We are Reggio inspired so we are very project and play based and our learning is focused on the children's interest.
    I have taken a lot of training fro Fairydust Teaching and learned a lot of my current child focused practices from working with that group of educators.

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    Helen Meissner
    Lead Teacher
    Love To Grow On
    Saint Paul MN
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  • 9.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-11-2019 09:40 AM
    Hi Helen,

    I have heard much about the Reggio Emilia approach to learning. Does Fairydust Teaching offer courses online? It sounds very interesting and in my current situation, the Reggio approach to learning may work very well.

    Any information would be great.

    Thank you.

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    Jennifer United States
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  • 10.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-11-2019 02:12 PM
    Yes, Sally Fowler Haughey is the founder. I have taken many classes over the years on line from them and they offer 2 amazing online conferences through the year that are some of the best I have ever attended. 

    Www.fairtydustteaching.com I believe is the website.
    Helen Meissner 
    --

    Nobody minds having what is too good for them. - Jane Austen






  • 11.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-15-2019 10:56 AM
    Hi Helen,

    I will definitely check this out! It sounds amazing. Thanks again.

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    Jennifer United States
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  • 12.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-09-2019 11:08 AM
    Most of the preschools I have worked at have not had a curriculum. However, when I was at HeadStart we used Creative Curriculum. I wasn't a big fan other than the beginning the year book. Now I'm at a center that uses FrogStreet, and I love it. FrogStreet designs curriculum infants-5.

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    Rhiannon Jester
    Teacher
    Murfreesboro TN
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  • 13.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-09-2019 06:24 PM
    Hi Rhiannon,

    Thank you for letting me know that most of the preschools you worked in did not have a curriculum. I generally have worked in more corporate daycares that had more structure to their learning. I too am not a fan of the Creative Curriculum. I feel it is too broad and doesn't offer much direction for interactive learning experiences. I will look into Frog Street.

    I am hoping to blend a variety of curriculums to create a more enriching learning experience.

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    Jennifer United States
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  • 14.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-23-2019 09:34 PM
    I am kind of surprised that 2 people are not a fan of Creative Curriculum.  I am a big fan!  I love the studies.  Most university child development centers use Creative Curriculum with their Early Childhood Education students doing practicums, because it is a great model for what the Early Childhood Education major teaches.  I used it for a grant I received, and one reason i got the grant was because I had researched the best curriculums that align with each state's quality standards for young children's education, and I found it to be SO be so much better than the others out there.

    I did the DIAL testing on all the children at the beginning of the year, and then again at the end after using Creative Curriculum for the whole year, and the children's scores really improved more than would be expected due to normal maturation.  One girl started out in the 8th percentile and was in the 50th percentile by the end of the year.  They really learn so much when it is used to fidelity.  Many of the children were in the 90th or 98th percentile.

    I'm curious as to why you did not like it and if you used it completely like it was intended.

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    DeAnn Jones
    Co-Facilitator for the Family Child Care Interest Forum
    Discovery Place Child Care, LLC
    Bozeman, MT
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  • 15.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-24-2019 11:34 AM
    Hi DeAnn,

    The only reason that I do not like the Creative Curriculum is because I never fully was introduced to the Curriculum by the daycare I taught for. We watched an informative video and were handed a couple of sheets about block building and that was about it. Each classroom had a Creative Curriculum textbook, but most teachers just based their lessons on a theme-based center environment.

    I know that many professors love this curriculum and it is used in many lab schools. I read some of the textbook, but found that it was very broad and less-detailed then most curriculums.

    I truly adore the Project Approach and wish that my current daycare would use this. Unfortunately, I am still trying to make our learning environment more educational, but fun, but some of the teachers just want to give up because "all the children want to do is play". I still try to encourage circletimes and teacher-led activities so that it is easier for the children to adjust during the school year. This is the time they will be expected to sit and listen for short periods of time.

    Unfortunately, this seems how this daycare will always be. I am doing my best to foster a love of learning, but do not receive much support for curriculum development in our daycare. Everyone just does whatever they like in the classroom.

    I truly want to get the daycare more interested in the Handwriting Without Tears Handwriting Curriculum, but they say that it is too expensive. They have the wooden blocks for letter-making, but no one ever uses it. I perform Mat Man and use the wooden blocks to create letters, but I am the only one that uses this.

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    Jennifer United States
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  • 16.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-24-2019 11:51 AM
    This is also the reason I am not a fan of the creative curriculum. I don't consider it a curriculum in the strict sense. I consider it A framework for teachers to develop their o n curriculum which is great if I had time to develop my own. 

    I LOVE handwriting without tears and I love the project approach for this age. You can do so much with them at this age and have it not be teacher led but still introducing them new concepts. 





  • 17.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-24-2019 11:59 AM
    Jennifer, I now understand why you don't like it.  You are referring to it as a book, but it is a whole curriculum package that costs $2,149 for the basic package.  I realize your center will initially say they cannot afford it, but I can attest that it is worth every penny. It provides lots of training that is built in with the curriculum.  It is research based and complies with each state's early learning standards.  There is an assessment tool built in and has daily lesson plans and 'studies" in place of themes.  Her is the link to it:
    https://teachingstrategies.com/solutions/teach/preschool-2/
    You can click on 'request a sample' to get a free sample of their resources.  Take this sample to your director and they will be impressed and find a way to order it.  You could even ask a local business that is community focused to fund it.  Then mention this business in your newsletter and thank them in the newsletter (so they get free advertising to your parents) and give them a copy of the newsletter to show your appreciation.  Creative Curriculum is very much 'project focused' because the studies are student driven.  The students decide what they want to learn about each study and how they will find out the answers.  You select studies based on students' interests. I used it as part of a grant to experiment with quality preschool in my state and students really progressed well with it.  It was SO much fun!  Here is a link to an article about us in the newspaper: https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/first-year-of-montana-s-state-funded-preschool-seen-as/article_848b5650-17db-5f2e-868e-75cbeb110430.html?fbclid=IwAR31bBFQQlLuFO8FH7eq9WRCwda36Zaqt_RDO_Pqw2xdCMYR9kJo8WwwOOU I had 3 children with Kindergarten parents who particularly adored the program.  This is what one preschool teacher wrote about it for my website:

    "As a former kindergarten teacher, I had hoped to find an environment that prepared my daughter both socially and academically for kindergarten. Even more so, my husband and I, who is also an elementary teacher, wanted our daughter to learn through play and hands on experiences instead of mundane seatwork. DeAnn's play-based approach to early childhood education at Discovery Place Preschool far exceeded all of our expectations! My daughter enjoyed following a recipe to bake a muffin and learned the science behind the ingredients. She drew pictures and wrote stories in her journal, caught and examined bugs outdoors, painted self-portraits, experienced hours of pretend play, and even learned to ride a bike while simultaneously learning the intricacies of friendship, expectations of a school setting, and personal responsibility. One would be challenged to find a more dedicated teacher with such an effective yet gentle management style. It was remarkable the way she built a relationship with each child, learning their strengths and areas for growth. We are incredibly grateful for the memories our daughter made and for all the skills she was able to practice this past year in DeAnn's care. We would highly recommend any early education program DeAnn Jones offered." - Kristin Wild

    Let me know what you think when you share this with your program director and once you receive the free packet of resources.

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    DeAnn Jones
    Co-Facilitator for the Family Child Care Interest Forum
    Discovery Place Child Care, LLC
    Bozeman, MT
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  • 18.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-25-2019 11:49 AM
    Hi DeAnn,

    Thank you. I will look into this.

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    Jennifer United States
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  • 19.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-25-2019 01:25 AM
    If the mission of the program is to be a play based one, DAP guidelines should be followed. Teachers can create their own child-centered curriculum based on DAP.
    No worksheets whatsoever.
    Creative Curriculum is a tool for teacher preparation and fostering parent participation.  It is a vehicle moving toward a curriculum but not a practical one.

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    Patricia Jack
    Boulder City NV
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  • 20.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-25-2019 10:32 AM
    Hi Patricia,

    While I do understand my program's needs and DAP, I have spoken to the director and she has no issues with worksheets or how I am using curriculum. I am beginning to use simple worksheets because the teachers in the later 3's and 4-year-olds are using them and most of the children that moved into this classroom from the room I am teaching in currently did not know how to write their names and hold a crayon/pencil correctly. Many did not recognize many of the uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet either. I am trying to better prepare current students so that they are less stressed in their more academic environment in the next room.

    All the teachers in this school use either worksheets or coloring pages on a daily basis and it is not frowned upon. This is why I am looking into different curriculums to blend together a curriculum that best suits the childrens' needs.

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    Jennifer United States
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  • 21.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-25-2019 11:48 AM
    I am glad that you are exploring new options.  It is important to recognize that we should be using a push up curriculum instead of a push down one with pressure from future levels to succeed.

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    Patricia Jack
    Boulder City NV
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  • 22.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-26-2019 11:18 AM
    With regards to worksheets in preschool/prekindergarten, I am reminded of the William Penn quote, "wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it and right is right even if no one is doing it"

    Melissa Meyer

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    Melissa Meyer
    Early Childhood Special Education
    Jackson MS Public Schools
    Jackson MS
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  • 23.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-26-2019 11:59 AM
    Hi Melissa,

    I do understand that the use of worksheets in preschool and kindergarten is considered developmentally-inappropriate, but I do not want the children to feel that they are falling behind when they enter the next room that is greater academically-based.

    There will always be a great debate on the use of worksheets in preschool/kindergarten. I was taught never to use them, but some skills can be taught more easily through the use of these such as letter tracing for names.

    Most of the day is play-based with a short circle, hands-on activities, and a single worksheet a day.


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    Jennifer United States
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  • 24.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-26-2019 12:46 PM
    Jennifer,

    You can turn the tracing of the child's name into a play-based activity by having a sign-in book they sign into at the same time their parents sign it at drop-off each day.  It feels for the child like they are being "grown up" by signing in.   I did this all this year and parents would often take a picture of their child's name on a day they did an exceptionally  good job on it.  It was fun to notice them do this. Parents could also look back through the pages to see their chid's progress.  There was a new page each day, just like for the parents' sign-in/sign-out book.  They didn't trace over their name, but they had a line with their name printed to write their name next to it, similar to what the parents have.  I also had laminated cards with the children's names on they could trace over with a dry erase marker as a free play choice at the writing center.  They also used each others' name cards when they wanted to write them a card or a note, or when they played post office and delivered letters.  I also gave them a notebook to put in the Animal Shelter play area they could use to "sign in" as they waited to have their stuffed animal pet seen by a vet.  The vet would call out the next name on the list.  There are lot of ways to still have name writing be part of play.  When they are allowed to include it in their play, they learn better and faster, and the more experienced children become a role model and often help the less experienced children.  It has worked great at my place!

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    DeAnn Jones
    Co-Facilitator for the Family Child Care Interest Forum
    Discovery Place Child Care, LLC
    Bozeman, MT
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  • 25.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-26-2019 07:14 PM
    Hi DeAnn,

    Thank you for your ideas. I will try the dramatic play idea! It sounds very fun. Unfortunately, I will not be able to do the sign-in book since I am an afternoon teacher. I can suggest it to the morning teacher, but I am uncertain if she will perform this activity with them.

    She and another teacher are the ones that have issues with the kids sitting in circle for a short period of time because they feel that "they just can't sit" and "it's like crickets (the children just don't understand or get it)". I hope that this suggestion will go over well with them.

    I truly feel if we don't continue to work with the children in circle and through activities, they will continue to have issues with attention and listening.

    I will continue trying to work with them and hope that one day, everyone will be on the same page (teacher-wise).


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    Jennifer United States
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  • 26.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-26-2019 10:32 PM
    Jennifer,

    If you aren't there in the morning, you can have children (4 and 5 year-olds) sign out.  Parents sign at the ending of the day too, so the children could do it with them at the end.  I also love the circle time ideas about keeping them active and moving.  Even for 4 and 5 year olds, it is suggested that circle time only last 20 minutes, so for younger children, it should be even less.  Toddlers can do 10 minutes of very engaging activities.

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    DeAnn Jones
    Co-Facilitator for the Family Child Care Interest Forum
    Discovery Place Child Care, LLC
    Bozeman, MT
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-27-2019 10:53 AM
    Hi DeAnn,

    We combine at the end of the night with multiple age groups outside or in the gym. This is the time that parents are picking up. I need to be fully watching the children or need to leave in order to clean my room. I wish I could do this activity, but staff ratios are very low. This is another issue that makes it difficult for learning.

    Thank you for your wonderful suggestion. I really appreciate it.

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    Jennifer United States
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  • 28.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-27-2019 03:14 PM
    Jennifer, what I mean is there would be a book there, whether you are there or not, for children to sign out.  Parents could be the ones overseeing their child write their name.  It would be an 'optional' activity, but would be there just for those who want to.  I understand your struggle with this, though.

    ------------------------------
    DeAnn Jones
    Co-Facilitator for the Family Child Care Interest Forum
    Discovery Place Child Care, LLC
    Bozeman, MT
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-27-2019 09:06 AM
    Melissa, great quote and I completely agree.  There will be plenty of time for worksheets once they head to "the big school".  Preschool learning can and should be achieved through play.

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    Susan Ricci
    Director/Lead Teacher
    Vale UMC Preschool
    Oakton VA
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  • 30.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-26-2019 11:30 AM
    What is an example of the work sheets used? And do the 3-4 year olds sit at tables a ton? I would say that most worksheets can be made into a hands on activity.....activities like lacing, free coloring, writing with markers can help with pencil grip. Patterns on the floor with manipulatives. Cooperative learning games can help with learning numbers.

    So maybe adding of intentional small group activities can achieve the same results you are looking for while keeping the play environment in mind?

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    Temesha (Ms. Tessie) Ragan
    Family Child Care IF Facilitator
    Perfect Start Learning
    Family Child Care Provider
    Edwards, CA
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-26-2019 11:50 AM
    Hi Temesha,

    Worksheets are used sparingly for practice of numbers, shapes, and tracing activities. I have tried lacing activities and they are still working on this skill. I do do a short circletime with cooperative games and songs and many of the teachers have given up on this because "the kids just don't sit still". They literally just let them sit and play with the manipulatives in the classroom for much of the day.

    I find this wrong and am trying the best I can to continue working with them with short bursts of learning such as flannel boards for pre-subtraction skills, simple count and clip cards, sorting activities, age-appropriate books and the like.

    I am also a fan of sensory tubs based on the topic for the children to explore their senses and get a feel for each topic. Simple science experiments are often used for cause and effect scenarios and the like.

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    Jennifer United States
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  • 32.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-26-2019 12:20 PM
    Oh my gosh I LOVE circle time lol. Circle time can be hard but if they don't sit still you can still do circle time. Much of it will have to be on their feet. I start out circle time with a song we dance we introduce the topic of the day we dance again do calendar and weather dance again story time and then we dismiss for centers or free play. 

    It sounds like you and the other teachers are not on the same page for what the goals of the day should be. Do you have individual goals for the children or group? Breaking it down that way can help with finding a theme and working the goal in for the month. 

    If you want a sounding board feel free to email me! I understand what you are saying and there is a work around if your center will not invest in the curriculum you choose. I also have handwriting without tears for my class so I can show some of the activities that are done with materials you already have :) 





  • 33.  RE: What Curriculum Does Your School Use?

    Posted 06-26-2019 07:17 PM
    Hi Temesha,

    Thank you so much for your thoughts. It was such a nice reply. I will be contacting you so that I can speak with someone that can help me encourage children to learn through play and based on their specific goals.

    It has been a very draining experience and I just want what is best for the children. I know how long and tiring the day must be for them.

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    Jennifer United States
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