Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Jenna at Sussex

The teachers at Momentum Early Learning dedicate much of their time and heart to the children in their classroom. We appreciate all of their hard work and the commitment they make to maintain a higher standard of excellence in everything they do. The culture at Momentum is driven by one unified vision… “Grow as a cohesive and fun team with purpose, engagement, passion, and quality”. Here is a look into the life of one of our many excellent teachers. Find out what they love and what inspires them to be a great educator.Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing

Introducing, Ms. Jenna at Sussex!

How long have you worked at Momentum?
pinkOne year. I started working at Momentum in May of 2017

What classroom do you teach?
Little Scholars

What made you want to become a teacher?
Growing up, I did lots of volunteer work with kids. Through these experiences I found out that I loved working with kids, Becoming a teacher seemed like a perfect fit for me.

jenna5What or who inspires you?
My family inspires me to be the best version of myself. They are always there to lift me up and jennafsupport me. My family really means a lot to me!

What is your favorite kind of activity to teach?
Fine motor activities and small group activities are my favorite to teach. I love planning the games and activities that are offered at center time everyday!

What is one of your first memories from school?
I remember being nervous to start school, as I was a quiet and shy girl, but once I made friends school was a great experience for me!

What is one of your hidden talents?
Baking is one of my hidden talents. In my free time I love to bake! I even went to culinary jennaf2school for a year.

Do you have any pets?
No

What is your favorite thing to cook?
I love to bake! My favorite things to bake are cookies and cakes.

What is your favorite way to relax?
Watching TV or movies, and spending time with my close friends and family.

What is your favorite TV show/guilty pleasure?
I watch quite a few TV shows but my favorites are Lost, The Vampire Diaries, and Game of Thrones.

What makes a “good day” at Momentum?Walking into my classroom and being greeted with excitement and lots of hugs from my students. A good day is also when my students are engaged in activities, and most importantly, just having fun!

What kind of morning routine do you have to get excited for the day?
On my commute to work each morning I listen to my favorite songs in the car. I pick songs that are going to put me in a good mood and help me get excited for my day.

What is the best thing about being a teacher?
jennaf4The best thing about being a teacher is being able to make a meaningful impact on a young child’s life. Getting to see each of your students grow and develop over their time with you is very rewarding.

If you could take your class on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would take my class to a National Park. Throughout my childhood, my family visited many different National Parks around the U.S. and now I have a great appreciation for them. I would love to share that same experience with my class.

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

Parent and Child Date Ideas

Finding fun, kid friendly activities and outings can be a challenge, but it is important to spend that quality time together. By frequently going on new outings, you get to share exciting new experiences and immerse your children into new environments and social situations. It can be daunting to take your temperamental toddler or stubborn three year old out somewhere new, but every time you do can be an excellent learning experience! Take the time to plan out fun “dates” with you and your child, especially now since you have many options for adventure in the summer!

It’s also important to facilitate one-on-one time with mom and dad separately to build those special bonds with both parents. It makes your child feel special and you’ll even find that they are more open with you because they are just so excited to spend that quality time with mom or dad. These date nights remind parents how important it is to simply listen to your child and make special memories together. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Explore a nearby river, lake, or local beach
  • Take a picnic lunch to the park
  • Choose a new plant at a local nursery and plant it at homegarden
  • Have a star gazing night with lots of pillows and blankets outside (and snacks of course)
  • Bake something together
  • Make dinner together – Homemade pizza is always easy and fun!
  • Go roller skating
  • Go see a play
  • Go to the Milwaukee Public Museum
  • Go to the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum – A new “Science City” Exhibit will be opening on July 3rd! Check out their website for other fun events happening this summer! https://www.bbcmkids.org/events/
  • Make a huge fort with blankets and pillows
  • Go to a Milwaukee Brewer’s Game – Tailgating is always fun, but so is hopping on one of the local shuttles for a bus ride that drops you right at the front of the stadium!
  • Play a sport of your choice in the backyard
  • Go out for frozen yogurt where your child can choose all of the crazy toppings they want icecream
  • Go for a bike ride or walk somewhere you haven’t been before. There are so many different park
  • Go strawberry or blueberry picking
  • Go to a farmer’s market
  • Go to a yoga class – there is FREE yoga every Saturday at Cathedral Square Park in Milwaukee with a Farmer’s Market to follow! yoga
  • Have a game night with fun appetizers for dinner
  • Go to an indoor rock climbing wall – Adventure Rock now has two locations with one in Brookfield and a new facility in Milwaukee. Their auto-belays are perfect for children and parents who don’t know how to manually belay! If you do want to learn more about climbing, they also have great classes!rocks
  • Go fishing
  • Do an art project together! Go to a local craft store to pick out the materials and get creative!
  • Take a painting class or pottery class together! Uptown Art in Sussex has many kid friendly classes and The Potter’s Shop in Waukesha also has classes.
  • Get dressed up and go to a fancy restaurant. A great opportunity to practice proper restaurant etiquette and table manners!
  • Go to the movies! $5 Tuesdays are at the Marcus Theatres. Also, June 24th– August 29th is the Kids Dream Film Series at Marcus Theatres, where select movies are just $3 on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesdays at 10 am.
  • Go to a book store and choose a new book
  • Go to the public library and pick out new books. There are also many fun programs that the libraries provide in the summer, and it’s free!reading
  • Go bowling
  • Go miniature golfing
  • Go for a nature walk and take photos
  • Cool down on a hot day and go ice skating. Local ice rinks like Nagawaukee Ice Arena and Eble Ice Arena have open skate to the public from 1-3pm. It’s always good to call ahead to make sure there aren’t any special events going on!
  • Go to the Milwaukee County Zoo – Have you seen their new Otter Exhibit?!zoo

 

 

 

Pinterest is a great resource for parents looking for child friendly outings. Your local community also might have a website with a calendar of family friendly events. We hope some of these ideas will inspire you to get out and try something new with your child! Remember, they are only little once and those early bonding moments are so important for every child’s social emotional development.

Pictures for this blog were found on the following websites:

https://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler/photo-gallery/games-that-teach-preschooler-shapes.aspx

https://www.masterfile.com/search/en/eating+icecream+with+dad

https://adventurerock.com/camps/

Why Is Reading To Your Kids Important?

 

Outdoor Fun for the Whole Family

At Momentum Early Learning we hold four very important Core Values: Safety, Education, Cleanliness, and Technology. To maintain our higher standard of child care, we focus on education and curriculum. We asked Ms. Kelsi to show the importance of being outside and some activities to jump start your summer!

Summer is now approaching and you can feel it in the air. Some of the best activities happen in the summer because you can take all of the same subjects of learning, outside! Blocks, puzzles, games and art are not just made to be used inside. There are many old activities that you can make new again with a twist of the outdoors. Did you know that there are benefits to being outside? These benefits range from teaching responsibility, promoting creativity and imagination, as well as reducing stress and getting our bodies moving. Going outside is not only important for kids but adults as well. Here are a few summertime outdoor activities for your whole family!

rock tick toeRock Tick Tack Toe

This activity promotes creativity but and conscious thinking about what move to make next in the game. Spend time painting rocks with two sets of certain colors and get creative. This bumble bee and lady bug design is too cute not to share!

Tie Dye with a Twist

If your family is a little bit competitive, like many I know, this is a great activity to incorporate into your summer agenda. Tie dying with a twist. Instead of tying up your shirts and trying to get all of the dye to soak in, try this instead! Hang your white items up on a clothes line, fill up squirt guns with the mixed up and color dye, and then have a water fight at your t-shirts! What a fun new way to tie dye, and the product is a cool t-shirt to show off and share.tie dyeee

Birds Nest Nature Activity

While you are out an about bring a bag and fill it with everything nature provides. Sticks, rocks, feathers, grass, etc. Fill it with as many different types of materials possible and together build a bird’s nest. Which one is the sturdiest? Which one is the softest? Not only are you learning about the environment, but you also get to take a nature walk as well.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/25543922867153183/

smroess

Solar Oven S’Mores

Food is something that is loved by most, so why not put a twist on the age of sweet treat of S’Mores by making them in a homemade solar oven! This activity is something that all ages can enjoy, especially the yummy s’more at the end! The link is attached below on the steps to creating your own solar oven.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/471963235932509982/

Side Walk Sponge Toss

This game aids not only cognitive development like thinking critically, but it also helps mathematic and physical development. On the driveway draw 4 circles all inside of one another, and label each circle with a number. For older kids you may want to do groups of 10, or even 1-4 would work for the younger kids. At different points outside of the circle add in shapes. Each child stands in the shape and tries to throw a wet sponge as close as they can to the middle (like darts) and add up the points at the end. You can cool down during this game and work on number identification and adding skills!

bock toss

No matter what activities your family decides to do this summer, make sure you take the time to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer. There are so many different things you can do throughout the summer to cool off, work on cognitive skills, physical skills, and most importantly make memories. There are many different resources out there that you can use to explore all that nature has to offer. Here are a few for you to explore:

https://www.parents.com/fun/activities/outdoor/

https://www.parenting.com/family-time/activities/10-awesomely-messy-outdoor-activities-kids

https://www.sixsistersstuff.com/50-outdoor-summer-activities-for-kids/

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com

Capture

Resources:

Child Mind Institute. Why Kids Need to Spend Time in Nature. Retrieved from: https://childmind.org/article/why-kids-need-to-spend-time-in-nature/

 

 

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Shauna

The teachers at Momentum Early Learning dedicate much of their time and heart to the children in their classroom. We appreciate all of their hard work and the commitment they make to maintain a higher standard of excellence in everything they do. The culture at Momentum is driven by one unified vision… “Grow as a cohesive and fun team with purpose, engagement, passion, and quality”. Here is a look into the life of one of our many excellent teachers. Find out what they love and what inspires them to be a great educator.

Introducing, Ms. Shauna at Germantown…dhgfd

How long have you worked at Momentum?

A little over a month

What classroom do you teach?

Cuddly Cuties 1

What made you want to become a teacher?

My speech teacher in Kindergarten, Ms. Fleur.

What or who inspires you?

My speech teacher from Kindergarten. She inspired me by always being very positive. She always took the time to work with me to achieve my goals. Ms. Fleur always pushed me to achieve my goals.

What is your favorite kind of activity to teach? (sensory, gross motor, etc.)

I like to teach gross motor activities. It is always exciting to see a child start to crawl and meet their milestones.

 

What is one of your first memories from school?

Walking in the doors and seeing all the different art that kids did from last year.

What is one of your hidden talents?

I like to write children’s books. I get inspired by anything around me. I recently wrote one on Fireflies.

dhg

What is your favorite thing to cook? (if you don’t like to cook, what is your favorite food?)

BBQ Pulled Pork and Lasagnafgd

What is your favorite way to relax?

Watching TV and spending time with my family.

What is your favorite TV show/guilty pleasure?

I am a fan of the vampire type series. My favorite series has to be The Originals, but my guilty pleasure is fruit snacks. My favorite flavor is: Strawberry.

What makes a “good day” at Momentum?

When my babies in my classroom are happy. Seeing them smile and laugh brings me such joy.

What kind of morning routine do you have to get excited for the day?

I drink my cold mocha coffee and sit outside in the mornin

sgfd

g to enjoy the weather. Then I get my children ready to go to school.

What is the best thing about being a teacher? 

I absolutely love to see how I have made them happy. Seeing their smiling faces is all I need.

If you could take your class on a fieldtrip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would take my class to Florida. I would take them to the beach so they can take their shoes off to feel the sand in between their toes.

 

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

Golden Hearts Educating Young Minds

Education is one of the most valuable things you can give your child. Education in the early years of life is even more valuable. Early 16426116_10154628357157224_8630960358352816094_neducators share much of the responsibility for molding that blank slate your child was born with. It might not be the most glamorous job, but it is one of the most purposeful jobs one can take on, and boy is it messy! It starts with building trust and security as an infant teacher. Not only do these teachers secure a bond with the child, but they build a trusting relationship with that nervous parent who sheds a few tears as DSCF3582they drop off their infant for the first time. It ends with that same infant strutting down the hallway five years later thinking “I’ve got this!” as they make their way out of our doors and into kindergarten. At Momentum, our teachers work tremendously hard to teach children  how to be their best self that they can be. They leave a lasting impression on the ones they teach by giving children the skills and confidence to be successful for the rest of their lives. Our teachers are proud to share these early experiences with your child. Here is why they love what they do:

“I became an educator because I always wanted to help young children. I have a love and a passion for teaching young children.”

“I’ve always had a passion for young children. I love that they are always curious and honest. They probably teach me more about life than I teach the, about knowledge.”

“To learn more about children – health and overall background for my future career.”

“Because I believe the preschool years are so important for teaching the building blocks of learning.”

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher growing up. I would teach my stuffed animals in my kitchen. I’m also going back to school to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education this fall.”

13406739_10154067018802224_3027227005968623058_n“I have always enjoyed working with kids and no matter where I go in life I always feel called back to teaching.”

“I love kids and I always wanted to be a teacher.”

“I have always been someone who has loved kids and wants to be a pediatric nurse, this is a great stepping stone in my career.”

“There is nothing I love more than seeing a child’s face light up when they accomplish something they didn’t think they could do. I also feel strongly about the important of Early Childhood Education and I love being able to help mold their minds.”

“Because I love to see how much a child grows physically, emotionally, socially and academically from the beginning of the year to the end. It’s so rewarding to know that you have helped shape that mind.”

“I became an educator because I love children, I love to help them grow and reach development goals.”

“It starts from loving the hugs and smiles you get every day. I am never bored. Then I get to experience the highs and lows that always end with some sort of milestone that you and your team helped to succeed.”

“I am educator because I love bringing fun and joy to learning and seeing how much fun a child has when they learn and laugh. As well as sharing what I know and teaching children of all ages.”

“To nurture, love, teach and create fun experiences for my students.”wotyc

“I love young children. I love seeing them learn something new and the smiles on their faces. Their hugs and shines bring so much joy to me. I love my toddlers.”

“I love to teach children, and watch them grow and develop. I love to see the smile on their faces when they are successful and learn new things. If there is a happy child there is a happy teacher.”

“I love to watch young minds grow and see young children’s enthusiasm when they learn new things. Every day is a new learning experience.”

“I love young children. You get a feeling of joy when you see children grasp concepts and see the smiles on their faces when they learn something new.”

“Even on the toughest days, at some point at least one child will do something to make me smile or laugh. Those are the moments that make me love what I do. I love having fun laughing with kids.”

“Being an early educator has taught me to embrace the unexpected parts of life. Every day brings something new, whether it’s a new development, a funny moment for everyone to laugh at, or unexpected challenges.”

“I love working with younger kids, watching them grown and learn each day is very rewarding. Just walking into the room to see them smile and say hi makes my day!”

jenna“I am an early educator because I love helping kids grow and learn. I love helping them navigate their way through the world and I enjoy making a positive influence in children’s lives.”

“I started off as a 5th grade reading buddy to 2nd graders, and became a Sunday School Teacher for 12 toddlers. My love for babies lead me to a career in Early Education. Watching their faces light up through music, finger play, and books gives me joy.”

“I love watching children grow and learn something new every day! Seeing children successfully complete milestones make my days rewarding and fulfilled.”

“I enjoy helping young children learn new things each day. Also, every day they make me feel young and smile. Their hugs are great!”

“I see so much potential in young children so I want to support young families in their goals for early childhood education.”

“To provide children with a strong, solid foundation as well as a skill set that they will carry with them through life in order to be successful. I also want to give children the support they need and deserve so they can learn and grow into people they are and will cassi teachingbecome.”

“I am and early educator because of my son’s dad. We started our first business in 1999.”

“I chose teaching because I love it. Being able to work with children and watch them grow is the most amazing thing in the world. When you watch their little minds at work and their imaginations go crazy, it makes you realize that there is so much life that isn’t worth stressing over. They are so innocent, and they just want to learn how to do anything and everything. Having the opportunity to help them realize their potential is the most rewarding part of being a teacher.”

We are so lucky to have these amazing teachers at our centers! They truly make a difference everyday, and it shows on the smiling faces of the children who grow with us at Momentum Early Learning. We can’t say thank you enough for all that you do. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to all of the Educators out there!

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Ashley at Germantown

The teachers at Momentum Early Learning dedicate much of their time and heart to the children in their classroom. We appreciate all of their hard work and the commitment they make to maintain a higher standard of excellence in everything they do. The culture at Momentum is driven by one unified vision… “Grow as a cohesive and fun team with purpose, engagement, passion, and quality”. Here is a look into the life of one of our many excellent teachers. Find out what they love and what inspires them to be a great educator.

Introducing, Ms. Ashley at Germantown…

ashley giving high five to friendHow long have you worked at Momentum?
At the end of May it will be one year!

What classroom do you teach?
I currently am the Assistant Teacher in CC3, but last summer helped with Camp.

What made you want to become a teacher?
I am actually currently going to school at Moraine Park Technical College in West Bend to become a nurse, but have always wanted to work with children regardless of the occupation. My dream job is actually to become a Nurse Practitioner and I would love to work at Children’s Hospital! I have always wanted to work with children in a medical setting to be an advocate for them when they feel they do not have a voice and to make them happy on their worst days.

What is your favorite kind of activity to teach?ashley at summer party
I enjoy taking my kids outside and being active, since that is something I am interested in and passionate about.

What is one of you first memories from school?
My favorite memories from school were in my favorite classes. I enjoyed anything health, science, or math related, especially my high school anatomy class and psychology!

What is one of your hidden talents?
I am most talented in and enjoy going to school. This will be my fourth semester with a 4.0 GPA (until Fall when I start nursing school)!

Do you have any pets?
I have a goat named Sam, a duck named Junior, two barn cats, two indoor cats named Ozzy and Spike, a hunting dog named Bo, and an indoor dog that is a Chihuahua named Eddie! (we live on a farm).

ashley eating an ice cream coneWhat is your favorite thing to cook?
I HATE HATE HATE cooking, but love to eat and try a lot of foods. My favorite food is ice cream- hands down, and I also love quesadillas.

What is your favorite way to relax?
My favorite way to relax is honestly going to the gym. It is my only me-time, since the majority of the time I am either at work or school.

What is your favorite TV show/guilty pleasure?
My favorite TV shows are Bob’s Burgers and Last Man Standing.

What makes a good day at Momentum?
A good day at Momentum is when every child is happy. It is even better when they all learn something new!

What kind of morning routine do you have to get excited for the day?
I get up two hours before work and go to the gym. Going before work in the morning starts my day off right and wakes me up.

What is the best thing about being a teacher?
ashley and her boyfriend at packer gameFor me, the best part of working with children is making them smile and laugh. It’s one of the many reasons that I want to work in pediatrics or neonatal as a nurse.

If you could take your class on a fieldtrip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
If I could take my kids anywhere in the world, I would take them to Disney World because I feel like every kid deserves to go there at least once! I went when I was four and am planning a trip for next year with my boyfriend and his family.

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

Introducing a Second Language into Early Childhood Classrooms

At Momentum Early Learning we hold four very important Core Values: Safety, Education, Cleanliness, and Technology. To maintain our higher standard of child care, we focus on education and curriculum. Cultural diversity is a key component of YoungStar and our curriculum. We asked Ms. Angela at our Sussex Campus to explain different ways to incorporate a foreign language in a child’s life at a young age. We hope that Angela’s tips will help other teachers, and inspire parents to get creative with cultural diversity at home!

Meet Ms. Angela
My name is Ms. Angela, and I am currently a floater at Momentum’s Sussex Campus.  I have been teaching Early Childhood for almost 13 years, primarily working in toddler classrooms.  I have a BA in English, with a Spanish Minor, so language has always been fascinating to me.  I hope to show you a few ideas I have used in my own classroom or during Spanish Enrichment that encourage exposure to a second language.

Conflicting Information
When researching for this blog, I found conflicting theories.  Some say it is beneficial to introduce a second language at an early age, citing cognitive and academic benefits spanish5(http://www.cal.org/earlylang/benefits/marcos.html).  Other studies say it hinders primary language growth (http://www.meits.org/policy-papers/paper/learning-foreign-languages-in-primary-schools-is-younger-better).

I believe early childhood is a great time to introduce a second language, as it is an easy way to incorporate diversity into our center.  As a 5-Star Provider, different cultural experiences are part of our curriculum at Momentum.

 

Classroom Ideas

  • Music and Movement
    • Spice up your “Music and Movement” times with some fun language music.  Kids will get excited dancing to upbeat music and pick up on the words to the songs.  YouTube is filled with fun songs:  “Bate, Bate Chocolate”, “The Hello Song”, “Hello to All the spanish6Children of the World”, etc.  Also, use nap time as a time to showcase another language.  “Asian Dreamland” is one of my favorite naptime albums.
    • Twister is an easy way to work on colors and body parts.  Our kids will think it’s silly to be all twisted up and will focus on learning colors in another language as they are shouted out.
  • Dramatic Play Activities
    • Pack a suitcase full of clothing items and let the kids pick out what they want to wear.  Each child can identify articles of clothing using a Spanish word.  You can also play a game, asking the kids to find the “zapato” or a “chaqueta” and see who can correctly identify the correct clothing item.  Kids will giggle the whole time trying to find the correct clothing items.spanish8
    • Print out grocery store circulars in Spanish and have the kids pick out what they would like to purchase by circling items on the flyer.  Then, use play food and shopping bags to go to “the grocery store”.  Again, you can play a game where you have the children look for the “manzana” or “juevos” and see who can identify the food item first.
  • Matching Games
    • In our toddler rooms, we play a lot of matching games.  At all age levels, this can be incorporated, making it a simple match the object game or work up to a memory game.
    • You can make color, clothing, weather, food, etc. games.  During some small group times, you can work on matching “rojo” with “rojo” or “verde” with spanish7“verde”, etc.
    • For older classes, UNO is a fun game to work on numbers and colors.  Kids love playing card games.
  • During calendar times, introduce the month in English and another language.  You can also sing days of the week and weather songs in another language.
  • Cooking
    • A weekly cooking activity or food experience is part of Momentum’s lesson plan, which is a great opportunity to pick an ethnic dish to prepare with the class
    • Send home the recipe, so kids can talk about it at home or even make it at home with their parents.

Resources
The Library is a great place to find books in different languages and books that represent differentspanish cultures. I frequent the Oconomowoc and Watertown libraries. Both have large sections of board books, picture books, and audio books. Fortunately, we live in a society with easy internet access. If spanish3you get hung up on a word, a simple google search will help out.

At the end of the day, it can be a bit nerve-wracking to attempt a new language, particularly if you aren’t familiar with the language. I often feel self-conscious trying to speak Spanish in my Midwestern accent. Don’t worry; our kids won’t judge us! Use this as a time to try new things. Our kids will love these new experiences. Good luck!

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Hannah at Sussex

The teachers at Momentum Early Learning dedicate much of their time and heart to the children in their classroom. We appreciate all of their hard work and the commitment they make to maintain a higher standard of excellence in everything they do. The culture at Momentum is driven by one unified vision… “Grow as a cohesive and fun team with purpose, engagement, passion, and quality”. Here is a look into the life of one of our many excellent teachers. Find out what they love and what inspires them to be a great educator.

Introducing from Sussex, Ms. Hannah! Image

How long have you worked at Momentum?
I am very excited to be at Momentum! I’ve been here since February 2018.

What classroom do you teach?
I teach in the Cuddly Cuties 3 classroom.

What made you want to become a teacher?
I love teaching because I enjoy watching the children learn and discover. They are also so cute and make me smile! 🙂 who inspires you

What or who inspires you?
My grandma and my mom inspire me because they are two very strong and resilient women with a great capacity to love and support me.

What is your favorite activity to teach?
I love to teach large motor skills because it is important to keep active for a healthy lifestyle, and it’s fun!

One of first school momentsWhat is one of your first memories from school?
Being home-schooled and child number six of seven in my family, I remember I couldn’t wait to “start” school. I also remember school on the road, as my father served in the Air Force and we would travel with him.hidden tallents

What is one of your hidden talents?
I was a three sport collegiate athlete (tennis, basketball, and volleyball) and received the “Female Athlete of the Year” award at UWWC.do you have any pets

Do you have any pets?
I have a one month old Saint Bernard puppy, Copper.

What is your favorite thing to cook?
I love to bake!

What is your favorite way to relax?
I relax by lighting a candle, listening to music, or drawing.

What is your favorite TV show?
I have several favorites: Teen Wolf, Vampire Diaries, and all things Disney!

What makes a “good day” at Momentum?
Every day is a good day, but it’s especially good when everyone is healthy.

What kind of morning routine do you have to get excited for the day?
My alarm goes off playing “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack, I feed Copper and play with him, and I get ready to come to work excited to see those sweet faces greeting me in the morning!

What is the best part about being a teacher?
Being a part of the lives of the children.

If you could take your class on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
We would visit the penguins in the Antarctic and then a quick trip to Disney World!

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

Lauren’s Addison’s Journey

As most of you know, Ms. Lauren at our Germantown Campus has Addison’s Disease. This means that Lauren’s body does not produce cortisol. February 28th, was Rare Disease Day and on that day Lauren shared a bit about what it means to have Addison’s Disease. April in Adrenal Insufficiency Awareness Month and we decided that today, April 13th would be known as Lauren’s Day. Because today is Lauren’s Day,  she wanted to provide you with a more detailed account of her journey with Addison’s.

lauren in the hospital

lauren and johnFor as long as I can remember, I was always sick. Growing up, I would always vomit and doctors weren’t quite sure what was wrong with me. Vomiting became my norm and became a running joke with my friends. For years, vomiting was my main symptom. Then slowly, things started to progressively get worse.

I started becoming faint all the time. I would be at a store and would have to literally sit on the floor in the middle of an isle because my heart would race so fast I thought I was going to collapse. As someone in their late teens and early twenties it was beyond embarrassing. People would stare and I would have absolutely no idea what was going on. I also had no energy at all. I chalked it up to working full time and going to college full time, but deep down I knew something was really off. A normal person wouldn’t close their eyes and literally sleep for hours and hours on end then wake up feeling the same exhaustion they started with.

lauren in blue dress2

After this photo was taken, Lauren lost an additional 12 pounds.

I saw every possible doctor imaginable. I had over 15 different tests to try and determine what was wrong.

I’ve had doctors try to diagnose me with everything from depression to bulimia. I’ve had doctors tell me I just needed to “take a breath and calm down.” I am so thankful for my family who knew that something was still off.

The vomiting continued for years. I became a pro at vomiting in my car, walking out of class to vomit and vomiting at stores. As sad as it sounds, vomiting for me became normal. I would vomit anywhere from 5-40 times a day. On a “good day”, I would vomit at least 5 times. As you can imagine, the weight loss that came with all the vomiting was horrendous. I was slowly withering away to nothing.

One morning, I had to call into work because I was so sick. I was so physically weak at this point I was crawling from room to room. I thought I was going to collapse at any given moment. My grandparents picked me up and took me to the hospital. The ER doctor looked at me and my chart, and said she had a hunch as to what was wrong with me. She said she remembered something from a college lecture and did a test for Addison’s Disease. It came back positive- I had Primary Adrenal Insufficiency.

Had that doctor skipped that college lecture and not run that test, I am confident that I would not be alive today. That is how deathly low my levels were.

I was so excited that I finally found out what was wrong with me. I thought I could finally live a normal life. I saw an endocrinologist who told me “Lauren, you take a steroid pill and you will feel better.” Sadly, that is not the case. According to their textbooks, this was true. However, after joining an online support group for people with Adrenal Insufficiency, I realized how wrong that statement was.

There is currently no way to check your cortisol levels on a daily basis. It is often a guessing game. In a normal person, if they are sick or their body is experiencing physical

lauren and her family

or emotional stress, their body will naturally pump more cortisol through them. Because my body does not produce cortisol, I have to lauren and john at the hospitalliterally guess how much extra steroids to take. Often, I won’t realize right away that my body is internally fighting off an infection and my body will crash into an adrenal crisis. When this happens I have to go to the hospital immediately for a steroid injection through the IV and fluids.

Because of the severity of these Adrenal crisis, my doctor has written me an emergency note to take with me when I go. A portion of my note states, “ Patient has history of recurrent ER visits due to Adrenal crisis. It is very crucial to triage patient promptly, provide IV hydration and give adequate glucocorticoid (IV steroids).

Because Addison’s Disease is so rare, often- even WITH my letter signed by my endocrinologist- I often sit waiting to be seen in the waiting room. In an Addison’s crisis, timing is crucial. People are dying while waiting to be seen. There is no time to be wasted. Once after waiting for about an hour, I had to threaten to go into the parking lot and call 911 to come in by ambulance to get seen immediately. That made them realize how seriously Addison’s Disease was and they immediately took me straight back. This should NEVER, EVER happen!

lauren sick at her weddingAfter being diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency in September 2013, my journey can best be described as rocky. Like I said in my previous blog, Addison’s Disease is often referred to as an invisible illness. I could be happy and smiling on the outside, but truly struggling on the inside. A smile can hide so much. People have often asked me if given a choice, if I would rather physically look sick so people knew how much of an impact Addison’s has on me. My answer is and will always be- NO. I would rather have people think of me as a happy smiling person!

lauren and her parents2

I’m currently about halfway through my pregnancy, and even after 5 years with this disease, it still manages to throw me through loops. Because of all the changes in my body right now- and even with extremely close monitoring with my team of doctors- I’ve gone into more Adrenal crises then I ever have. Even so, I continue to stay strong and fight like crazy. This disease will not defeat me. This disease will NOT win.

I hope I was able to share a bit more about my journey with Addison’s disease. If I can leave you with something it would be this: If you feel like something is wrong with you or a family member, keep fighting until you get a diagnosis. It could truly save your life. Thanks Mom and Dad for always believing me and fighting like crazy for a diagnosis! You’ve saved my life.

Megan’s Autism Story

According to AustismSpeaks.org, it is estimated that 1 in 68 children in the United States are on the Autism Spectrum. The term ‘spectrum’ reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with Autism. Today, April 2nd, is marked as World Autism Awareness Day. The purpose of this day is to spread awareness, increase understanding and acceptance of those with Autism. At our Germantown Campus, our friend Max teaches us each day what it is like to teach, know and love a child with Autism. His mom, Megan, shares their story.

megan and max smilingHi, I’m Megan, Max & Cali’s Mom. Our family has been a part of the Momentum Family since 2016. Thanks for taking the time to read this little piece on Max and getting to know Autism in OUR house. I say this because everyone’s experience with Autism can be SO different as Autism runs on what we call a spectrum. The one thing that these amazing kiddos all have in common is that Autism has wired their brain just a tad differently to process the world. For some- it’s too bright, for others- it’s too loud, for some- fabrics feel like they’re wearing brillo pads, and the list goes on…it’s what makes each child so unique, but can make it also very challenging for parents as they try to figure out the puzzle pieces for their kid (this is why Autism is usually represented as puzzle pieces).
ward family photo

We currently reside in Richfield and are part of the Germantown Momentum Family, and I do have to say it’s been the best thing for Max. My husband, Matt, and I have been married for 12 years and also have a 7 year old daughter, Cali. After Cali was born, we were very excited to continue to grow our family, and when Max joined us, we were elated.

From day 1, things were different and extremely hard and challenging. Autism is usually not diagnosed until kids are about 2 or 3, but we are both teachers (my husband teaches Special Education), and we knew something was off. Max was delayed in his crawling, his walking, he was a terrible sleeper, and was very delayed in talking. We kept pressing doctors and asking questions and finally met the company WEAP.  WEAP (Wisconsin Early Autism Project) is an Autism therapy company in Wisconsin (there are actually TONS of them). WEAP does extensive evaluations of kids, and if they are diagnosed with Autism, they will set the family up with a team to provide the child with 40 hours of therapy a week. This therapy is to help them catch up and figure out their puzzle. We struggled so hard for three years but finding WEAP has truly helped us to understand Autism and how to parent Max.  They also really helped us to realize that our life will be different from what we expected, but we can enjoy it.

max reading a book

For Max, our biggest obstacles are his lack of communication and his outbursts. He has come SO far since WEAP, but Max still does not speak like a typical 4 year old. He is slowly getting more words and phrases but they are often out of context or challenging for him to get out, so he just says all the words he knows. There are many autistic kids who are non-verbal and never learn to communicate in the traditional manner, so this is something we are faced with as well.

Max’s other major struggle is his frustration with people not understanding him or being in his space. Max’s frustration often manifests in physical outbursts. For many years we dealt with Max scratching us, pulling our hair, hitting, kicking, etc. This is the part that many people do not see with Autism, but it’s very common. Children with Autism get violent when they are frustrated or anxious. Not only is it extremely mentally hard on a family but, physically as well. Through therapy and learning Max’s triggers we have come a long way, but it is still a challenge for us and for him at school at times. Finding a daycare that is understanding of this and willing to work with you actually proved to be quite a challenge for us, which is why we are so happy we are where we are now. Often because a child can look “fine” on the outside, people fail to see what Autism does.

So what does Autism mean in our house?

Max is one of the goofiest kids I know…he LOVES to laugh. He wants to be part of the joke; he wants to be part of what is happening in our house. His favorite phrase is “Alexa fart.”  Unfortunately she can’t quite understand him, but it never fails that he bursts into laughter after she does it. When Max gets excited he often squeals or yells and flaps his arms. He LOVES a good time. If there are people cheering, he’ll join in.  If they are clapping, he gets so excited and joins right in. He loves to be part of this world.

max and matt at swimming lessonsmax playing a keyboard

It also means he’s full of anomalies that we cannot understand. He HATES shower/baths – screams bloody murder, but LOVES swimming. He is not a big TV watcher, but will sit on the floor and read for hours. He gets startled and hates loud noise but LOVES to have the music on as loud as he can and so much more. He loves being in the car, but hates to actually travel overnight. He loves to be cuddled and tickled and touched and WANTS to make eye contact and interact with you, which is very unlike most autistic kids, but struggles because he can’t. If you ever see him, ask him for a high five – you’ll make his day!

It also means change is hard for Max…new routine, new people, new places are very stressful for him. Traveling is very hard on him. Whenever we do, he will often just say “HOME” for most of our time there. We continue to try to help Max experience new things and each time we do it, it does get better. Despite his slight disdain for overnight travel, Max loves big events. The loud noises do scare him, but he loves sporting events and outdoor event. He loves anything with a lot of stimuli. Max also loves music.  He loves to have music on, play his keyboard or bang on his drum– Mom and Dad, not so much. Max loves routine. Saturdays and Sundays are tough for him because we are home. We often take mini trips out to see buses or trains, as he likes to see the world.

max with cali

Autism in our house also means a very different life for Cali and us as parents. A lot of time and attention is devoted to helping Max, redirecting Max, and with his therapists, so we have had to really work on consciously being present for Cali too.  She went through a period where she started acting out as well because so much time and energy was devoted to Max. In addition as parents, it means our home life is VERY different. We have therapists in our house six days a week. They follow us home after work, they stay through dinner, and they are there on Saturday morning. Our time alone in our house is very limited which is very challenging. While we are FOREVER grateful, it does take a toll on our family dynamic as well. As a parent, all of your thoughts and beliefs on what life will be like changes, and that has been a great struggle for us. Through therapy myself, I am learning to redirect those thoughts and process to life now with Autism.

So that is Autism- it’s amazing, it’s horrible, it’s wonderful, and it the hardest, greatest thing we’ve ever done. Max has opened our eyes to a whole new world. A world that is fascinating. I could sit and watch him process and learn the world all day long. To watch him come from a kid who couldn’t talk, wouldn’t sleep and cries all the time to a kid who is babbling, smiling, sleeps like a champ and enjoys life is amazing. We have no idea where he will end up or what life will look for him, but right now we know that we are giving him every, and all, of the tools we can, and he amazes us every day. Everyone needs a Max in their world to remind them there’s more than one way to do it all.

ward family with silly glasses

For more information on Autism, visit Autism Speaks
For more information on WEAP, visit Wisconsin Early Autism Project