Here we go! Round two of the Friday Five. If you have an article to share, please post it in the comments.
"Kindergarten was originally designed to nurture creative play, encouraging children to interact with nature and to sing and dance. Today kindergarten is where children learn herd behavior, to sit quietly and take turns. It is little more than an introduction to the constraints of the academic life they are entering. It is a training ground, which is far from its original design."
"While playing, children actively control their games and they are in control of their lives. They can role play and dream. All these activities promote higher thinking skills and a sense of emotional security."
This is why so much of the day at GFC is "free play." The materials, provocations, and literature changes often to inspire a wide range of topics and experiences, but REALLY? The children are the curriculum.
Read and Observe: 9 Picture Books to Help Develop Observation Skills
"Observation is an important science skill that includes far more than simply looking at an object. To observe, one needs to pay close attention to many details and then compare and analyze them."
This is a great list to get started with observation skills, but really any book you read with your child can be used. This month our curriculum includes understanding describing words. Describing words can be color, shape, size, texture, use, category, grouping, etc. Next time you are looking at a book together, pick a describer and ask your child to find that in the picture.
Regulations are needed to set a minimum of health and safety standards for child care, although most of it is common sense. However, the educators that are comfortable with letting children play and have real world experiences need to be able to do that. We play with mud, sticks, and rocks. We use hammers and nails. We go outside when it is freezing, snowing, or raining.
Just Say Yes
"There were so many times I wanted to interject. I challenged myself to question why I wanted to stop them from doing something, and then either let it go, or altered my approach."
This is one that I am still working on. My expectations for the day (hour? 5 minutes?) sometimes just need to be let go. If no one is getting hurt and nothing is broken, why not let the blocks be used at the art table? Why not use the sit & spin to give rides to our puppets? Why not let the children dump their gray water and get new water while painting? They are smart and capable and I shouldn't hold them back just because my ideas for organizing were different.
"I’ve been the nation’s leading trainer, author, and advocate for the business of family child care care since 1981.
I’m a licensed attorney and have presented hundreds of business workshops for family child care providers across the country. I answer thousands of calls and emails each year to help providers, tax professionals and trainers understand complex business and tax issues."
- This is actually from the "About Tom" page, as the article is a list of training.
As much as I would like to spend all of my working hours dedicated to the children, taking care of business is a necessity. Check out these available webinars to stay up to date on your business practices.