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Is It Still True That #lovewins?

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Two years ago, I wrote the article “When #lovewins So Do Future Generations.”The US Supreme Court had ruled that the Constitution guarantees the right of same-sex couples to be married.For so many Americans, it was a day filled with hope and admiration for a more understanding and compassionate world than the one in which we were raised.It was a sign that we were evolving, progressing and becoming a more accepting world.
Is that still true?Two years later, we seem more polarized with people to the far right and far left with no way or desire to come together.We struggle to discern fact from “alternative fact” and to remember that an “alternative fact” is fiction.We are like those early learners who cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality because we are bombarded with the strangest mix of both.In two years, have we changed so much or are we seeing that which we didn’t want to see?
I spend a lot of time with young children. They do not see differences in a negative way.They…

Play vs. Learning: It Isn’t a Competition

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More and more often, I notice articles, social media posts and television hosts asking the question “Should your early learner be playing or learning?”The question might be disguised in a sensational headline or a TV soundbite as alleged proof that learning is more important than playing.Just like so many other stories vying for your attention, these claims are a means of getting you to click or tune in and are not based in best practices for teaching young children.
We’ve learned not to believe everything we read and that couldn’t be truer than about the information being disseminated regarding learning and play.It isn’t a competition.Children do not either learn or play. They learn while they play.Early learning requires your children to be engaged, to have their curiosity piqued and to be interactive with their environment.Young children learn best, learn the most and learn more deeply while they play.
Think about the best learning experience you have ever had in your life.It doesn’t…

Tips for Asking Good Questions: Ignite the Thinking in the Young Child’s Brain

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Do you want young children to stretch their thinking?You don’t need elaborate toys, tablets or endless worksheets.In fact, those items can impede deeper learning.You need something that cannot be purchased.You need an understanding of good questions.
Good questions make people think.Those are the questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes, no or one word answer.Good questions require us to take a moment, ponder the situation and consider our reply.You know what good questions are – they make you say, “Hmm – that’s a good question.I have to think about it.”
Though we recognize them when they are asked of us, we too often only ask simple, one-dimensional questions when we speak with children.If you are going to ask a question when speaking with your child and it starts with “What is..,” or “Which one….” please stop.“What” and “Which one” questions tend to require only a quick answer that doesn’t require much critical thinking.
I was working with two children who were up to their e…