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Menampilkan postingan dari Mei, 2019

READY OR NOT...

Gambar
I understand that in the North America and Europe children are heading back to school and I was thinking about my days as an early years (kindergarten) teacher. On that first day, those shining faces would enter my classroom... some excited... some petrified... some "ready"... some "not." And the kids were excited too.

SCHOOL READINESS Now this business of "readiness" is a subject of much debate amongst educational thought leaders, school administrators, teachers, and of course, parents. Everyone has their version of THE list of essential skills and abilities necessary before the first day of school and parents are mindful and often fretful that their child (and by extension, their own standing as a parent) measures up.

But in and amongst all this well-meaning, grown-up toing-and-froing over the annual Readiness List, there's one question I rarely hear anyone ask...

Who says you need a list?

THE OBSTACLE COURSE In early childhood development, EVERYTHING is…

IN DEFENSE OF READING WITH YOUR FINGERS

Gambar
The other day I was speaking to a mom of a six year old who was beside herself because her little one uses his fingers to follow the words on the page when reading. She asked if this suggested a developmental delay or if she should be looking for a reading tutor for her son. Here was my answer...

In a word, NO.

So here's the deal.

PHYSICALIZING LEARNING Children learn with their bodies first,so why should reading be any different? The common wisdom is that children should read with their eyes only and, for that matter, keep their fingers out of the counting. But this ignores the fact that young children learn just about everything else kinesthetically.

For early readers, the fingers often form a little scouting party for the eyes, helping keep the eyes on track and flowing from one word to the next. This actually helps him focus on the meaning of the words rather than on the physical mechanics of moving his eyes from one word to the next. As his eye muscles mature and become more fam…

A BAD BOUNCE FOR KIDS

Gambar
Never, NEVER, NEVER! in my 30+ years of advocacy for early childhood movement and play did I ever think I'd have to defend the role of the red rubber ball in a child's life, but alas...




It was reported a while back that a school in Canada had banned soccer balls, footballs, volleyballs, basketballs, and the like from the playground for safety reasons. As you can imagine, all I could say at the time was grrrrrrrr. 


But here's the good news. I wasn't alone in my outrage and after many complaints the ban was lifted and childhood restored on that playground, at least for the time being.




That said, in case there is any remaining doubt, I think it's worth taking account of the obvious, and perhaps not-so-obvious benefits of ball play...




























ON A ROLL...

The objective of pretty much every ball game is to MOVE the ball which, in turn, makes it high energy play. How, where and when you move and control the ball is up to you in accordance to the rules of the game you choose, but by a…

UNTIL...

Gambar
"Weeds are flowers too when you get to know them."




The other day, I ran across this quote by A.A. Milne, author of the classic Winnie the Pooh tales. How lovely it must be to live amongst such thoughts I think. Its conspicuous innocence dances with me, yet I struggle to hold on...




"Weeds are flowers too when you get to know them."




I circle its earnestness. It circles my adultness. And just when I think we've found our rhythm, my reason shatters the music...




"Weeds are flowers too UNTIL you get to know them."




Until. A single word can change everything.




Until snatches the sweetness away.

Until stops the imagination cold.

Until insists it is the only, obvious, and irrevocable truth.




Until I remember that "until" is a mere matter of opinion.




A MATTER OF OPINION

Your child knows what she knows and no more, equipped only with her own, naive reference points to evaluate and categorize information then form her own opinions about things. Until...







ULTRA-ABSORBE…

STROLLER TIME! Making the Most of Your Walk

Gambar
I walk every day in the local park near my house and I see a lot of moms out with young children in strollers and push chairs. It’s good exercise for moms and gives children lots of fresh air and a nice change of scenery. In fact, a nice long walk is a great idea for both of you, but it can also be a missed opportunity, not only for your child, but for you too. Here’s what I mean...

FRONT ROW SEAT Many strollers and push chairs are designed to position the child facing outwards. It seems like a good idea on the surface because it gives your child a front row seat to the world (or at least the park). And for certain, I would never argue with giving children new and exciting things to look at each day. That’s great visual stimulation in and of itself.

However, beyond that, I’m not sure what else a very young child actually gets out of his “front row seat.” You see, infants don’t know what they’re looking at and without the comforting sounds of someone familiar (you) “narrating” the scene, …