What is the educator’s role in supporting play in the early childhood classroom?read more
Connecting with Kids at Home
The pressure of raising successful children for parents
As an educator, I know exactly what expectations wait for my daughter when she enters the classroom – still a few years away. I know the journey through school, the pressure to carry on beyond those foundational years into the great halls of universities and colleges, to boardrooms and beyond.
The pressure to succeed – the pressure to have your child succeed; it’s terrifying.
I think back to my own pressure growing up. Of wondering what success would be for me (more on that here), wondering what role I was supposed to play in my community, what job would take me from Monday to Friday, what books I should read to get me there.
It was exhausting. It placed me into a tiny space of checklists and due dates and grey walls.
That first flicker of my daughter’s eyes looking up at me the night she was born changed my perspective. A fire already in her, keeping her awake while every other baby in playgroup slept soundly in its mother’s arms. I trusted her.
I trusted that she would figure it out, with my support. I trusted that if I let her crawl around the corner she would learn that I was nearby. I trusted that when she took her first steps and fell, she would be motivated enough to give it another shot.
I want so much for my daughter. To open our front door and for the world to welcome her with open arms. If only it was that friendly beyond our adorable neighborhood.
I want to give my daughter everything under the sun. I want her to have everything, to laugh always and to only carry the best memories with her.
But I’m also realistic.
Magic in the Mundane
I also have to do the things that normal families do. I have to clean up after supper, to sweep the floor, to change that light bulb, to move the laundry into the dryer.
These can be my moments too. To invite her to take part in acts communities long before her took part in. I welcome her to join me, a smile on my face as we lift the heavy wet pants and socks from one machine and put them into the next.
A conversation begins.
First about hippos, then about texture, and counting, and colors.
To the untrained eye this is all random. And it is – she’s in the lead and I have no idea what we are going to talk about next. It’s taking longer than it should. I could have finished this task in seconds, not the many minutes that have already passed.
But it’s also my magical moment with her. So there’s no rush.
While we lift the wet clothes my daughter uses her whole body – every muscle in her being for they weigh nearly as much as her. How does the laundry feel? How do you feel when you help Mommy? I’m so happy to have you here, helping me.
She solves the issue of reaching to the back of the machine by finding a stool to stand on; problem-solving beyond her years.
Her language grows each time she shares with me. Her words more descriptive than the last time I heard her express her love for story. She feels that I am engaged and listening and it encourages her creativity. She adds a wild twist, I’ve not heard before, smiling from ear to ear with excitement.
We count socks. Talk about colors, textures and size.
The drum of the machine – which way does it spin? Why are there holes on the side? The science nerd in me thrilled that she noticed the details.
We begin to close the door. What’s written here? Can this sticker come off?
No time to answer.
SLAM! Music to her ears. Pride on her face that part of the job is done. What else makes noise around us?
Turn the dial. Click. Click. Click. Agonizingly slow to some. Satisfying slow to her.
Press the button in (a whole hand needed) and it pops back out. Processes and routine.
Why this, then that? It makes it go!
Listen to that? Tumble, rumble, mumble.
I didn’t have time today to show her the world.
Instead, I prepared her for it.
Doing such a simple task we learned: language and literacy, the beauty of storytelling, cognition and early mathematics, science, discovery, fine and gross motor skills, large muscle movement, social and emotional development, spatial awareness, depth perception, problem solving. Love.
How do you raise a successful and happy child?
Is Your Child Heading to Kindergarten soon?!
Looking over at that amazing child of yours, thinking of slipping the straps of a backpack far too big for their still tiny shoulders as you send them off to kindergarten for the first time, armed with the perfectly packed lunch and all the love in your heart; what a milestone!
Well, Mama. I can help you prepare for this amazing adventure.
In a FREE email course, I walk you through
the 5 MOST IMPORTANT steps to preparing your child for kindergarten.
Creating meaningful learning in early childhood education doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated. You don’t need the newest toys, you don’t need to spend a small fortune changing your playroom into dramatic play environments that are worthy of Pinterest or Instagram. You just have to trust in the learning that comes from play, with the child in the lead.read more
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Social Skills from Storytelling I love my job. I genuinely love what I do. I get to work with educators who are changing lives every day. I get to watch the magic happen in between wiped noses and zipped zippers. That magic spot where a child feels fully heard and...read more