Showing posts from July, 2012

Play – The Olympic Effort of Early Childhood

As the 2012 Olympic Games begin, there is an excitement that cannot be matched by any other sporting event.  We will watch young athletes from all over the world come together in peace.  Years of hard work and dedication will culminate in one sprint, dive, swimming lap or gymnastics routine.  In my home, we watch the Olympics as a family.  We talk about how wonderful it is to watch people of all cultures come together peacefully.  We admire the dedication of the athletes as they worked hard to master every nuance their sport.  Every time we have these discussions, it occurs to me that I am so fortunate to work with young children.  I spend every day watching their Olympic effort to understand their world.  I watch children interact peacefully regardless of cultural origins.  I watch children do the hard work of childhood.  I watch them play.
Play is the Olympic, herculean effort of childhood.  It is through play that children lay the foundation for all future learning and social inte…

Children Can Hear You!

For some reason, adults forget that children can hear us. Adults tend to think that when they whisper or speak to another adult in the room, children will not listen.   In one of my less stellar moments as a preschool director, a clown yelled at me.  That’s right – reprimanded by a comic child’s entertainer.  I invited parents to see a show at our summer camp program.  The parents sat in the back of the room and whispered to each other.  The clown walked over to me to strongly point out that they were disruptive.  The clown was right.  The children were trying to quietly watch while the adults seemed to think that the children couldn’t hear them.  The children kept turning around because their attention was clearly divided.   I tell that true tale every time I invite parents to an activity in the Early Learning Center.  They laugh because they recognize themselves – they whisper at children’s activities as if the children cannot hear them.
The false perception that children will not …

What is Your Child's Learning Style?

A child’s learning style impacts the ease with which each experience is received.  As adults, we have spent years in learning situations, both inside and outside classrooms, and can usually identify how we learn best.  At the most basic level, there are three learning styles – visual, auditory and kinesthetic.  We subconsciously tailor our activities to our learning style throughout our lives.  During summer vacation, for example, each type of learner will visit a museum differently.  A visual learner is apt to enjoy going to each display and reading the provided information.  An auditory learner will want to rent the audio tour of the museum rather than read the placards.  A kinesthetic learner is more naturally inclined to participate in physical activities and will gravitate quickly toward the hands-on experiences.  If there are no hands-on experiences available, kinesthetic learners tend to move quickly and are the first ones ready to leave the museum.  Though we tend to be some …