One of the things I have consistently noticed in observing children’s play is the powerful influence television and movie characters have. Not only in how they play but also in their ability to play and engage their own creative force.
Coles notes version of what we strive for in my own home:
Zero media for children under 2
Highly selective media for all children and ALWAYS with a parent present for guidance.
Our family benefited from routine and rhythm around our media consumption
in the form of “movie night” or “Little House on the Prairie Night“
No hand held devices for children under 10 (no tablets, no ipods, no phones)
Equivalent time outside IN WILD NATURE for every moment spent in front of a screen.
That is to say that he walked across the room to me without falling to his knees and crawling the rest of the way. It is a skill he has been working on for the past few weeks. He took his first “step” about a month ago and has been averaging 3 or 4 here and there until yesterday when he walked several times to his destination. A milestone for certain in his development.
Last night he woke around midnight and cried for half an hour straight. Waking in sobs, refusing to nurse, nothing I did would console him. Eventually I lit a candle which seemed to calm him down and gave him a carrot to chew on this seemed to help ground him and he eventually settled back into a fitful sleep in which he cried all night long. My son is 13 months old and has always been an avid nurser. In fact before last night I can’t think of a single time he refused to nurse when he was in distress.
A look inside Montessori & Our Program inspired by Waldorf Education
For many parents choosing the school their child attends is a conversation that happens even before conception. It factors into where they choose to live, how much money they need to make and how many children they have.
Education for the whole child
Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner both had a strong sense of societal reform built into the content they were teaching. They believe in developing the whole child, teaching children to think for themselves and, above all, showing them how to avoid violence. These are beautiful ideals which will help build a better world for the future.
Rudolph Steiner and Maria Montessori both believed in the importance of childhood and in protecting children from the stress facing adults.
Child Development Focused
Each use curricula which are developmentally appropriate and have based their education on the needs of children and not on governmental curriculum. Read more
One of the things I have learned in my life is that I build strong connections and associations to information I take in while I am doing a simple task with my hands. The strongest example of this I have is that I learn new songs while I wash dishes and chop vegetables. I copy out lyrics by hand and then tack them near my kitchen sink where I can easily glance up at them until I learn them by heart. Read more
Many people have commented on the hat my son is always wearing. They say it is beautiful, ask if I knit it or are surprised when they see how bald my baby is for the first time. His lack of hair is not why he is always wearing a hat nor is it the reason he has no hair, all of my children have been rather bald in the beginning. No the reason my son always wears a hat is because I am doing what I can to ensure he reaches his full potential.
If this sounds odd or you are unsure how wearing a hat contributes to human development then read on. Read more
This is a story about how my journey and evolution as a parent and how I went from sneaking my child into kindergarten a year early to skipping grade 1 entirely in favor of an extra year of kindergarten. Seems crazy right? Well it was probably the best parenting move I ever made.
My son is a January baby. The 5th to be exact. 5 days off the enrollment cut off for public school in my province – 5 days. He is a tall child, certainly physically and mentally mature for his age and was my youngest. In his earliest years I had to frequently remind myself (and the rest of the world) of how little he was because he appeared a full year (or even two) older than he actually was.
My daughter is 10 this year and in grade 5. I can hardly believe how time has flown by and how far we have come. From very early on she was identified as needing “extra support” in the reading department. Our school had excellent resources and a wonderful reading program where she was given all of the tools, support and resources she needed to build those skills she was lacking. But guess what? None of them worked.
Nothing the school did to support her helped her catch up. She was pulled out of her class twice a week for three years and still just barely kept up to “approach expectations” as prescribed by the Ministry of Educations definition of a normal elementary school child. She struggled, she stressed and she learned that she couldn’t read as well as her peers and thus labelled herself “dumb” and “stupid”.
What it comes down to is that reading a language like English, Spanish or German as though the words were pictures doesn’t give children all of the tools that are available to them. Japanese and Ancient Hieroglyphs are pictographic languages, Chinese is often thought to be pictographic as well but in actuality evolved into a phonetic one. English is a phonetic language and as such it should be learned that way. Children who learn that “eat” says ‘eat’ are going to have a hard time making the mental leap to “great” says ‘great’ not “greet”. That is if they even do manage to see the word that they know ‘eat’ within ‘great’ & associate the two. However the same child given the correct phonetic tools will be able to sound out new words using already acquired knowledge instead of having to relearn every word that they come across.
You may have already heard your toddlers first attempts at singing her favorite songs. Music is one of those wonderful things that knows no bounds, it can be shared and enjoyed with your child any where, any time and any place. It is at your fingertips, with a clap or a stomp, a hum or whistle; you can hear it with the wind in the trees or in the sounds of the rain on a roof.
Your childs favorite songs can soothe her to sleep or stir up an imaginitive world of discovery. Singing with your child brings a joy and richness to your lives that goes far deeper than just learning the words or enjoying a moment together, it can bring a closeness and love that goes beyond words and into the depths of your soul.
I own a book that is over 40 years old. I do not keep it up high on a shelf or hidden away in a cupboard, it is in my kids toy box and I hope to pass it on to my grandchildren so that it may go in their toy box as well.
It was made by my Nanna, I believe for my mother and it is a felt ABC book. Each page is made of felt & contains a picture and letter made of felt and glued on. The book is bound with yarn, tied in knots at each end. It is not beautiful or exceptionally well done but it is something that I cherish very dearly and my kids love to play with.
Making your own books can be a wonderful experience for you and your children and is something that you can pass down through the generations with pride & joy.