Showing posts from 2017

Are We Insulating Our Children Too Much? Risk and Rewards in the New Year

We have become a fearful and, therefore, over-protective society.I remember when I was a young girl going to a store and having my parents tell us to “Go over to the toy section and we will meet you there.”Then, children like Adam Walsh were kidnapped and parents tightened the reins.I remember going to playgrounds filled with swings and seesaws. Then, someone got hurt somewhere and now new playgrounds don’t have those pieces of equipment.I remember when 24 hour a day news started to bombard our living rooms with fearful stories of people getting hurt and we lost a real sense of how much danger is or isn’t around us.This was around the same time when students started to be tested so much and so often that parents became afraid that their children wouldn’t measure up.
What has this all led to? It has brought us to a place where parents and teachers are afraid of the possibility of the littlest mistakes and the slightest possibilities of a minor injuries like a skinned knee.Students from …

Sharing – Is It a Realistic Expectation?

I don’t share everything.I don’t share my laptop, my car or my smartphone.I would be a tad uncomfortable if someone walked into my home, opened my glass display case and started handling my great-grandmother’s tea cups.All of these things have great value to me. The value is either monetary – it costs a lot to replace my laptop – or sentimental.I’m pretty sure my great-grandmother’s tea cups aren’t one of a kind but what if I cannot replace it?Even if I could, they connect me to long gone family.I treasure these things and so no, I will not share them.I’m sure you have things you do not share.
And yet – we seem to have an expectation that young children should share everything.They assign value to items, too.Value to a young child may not be about money but it is value nonetheless.There are so many things that we believe should be honored and respected about our adult priorities and then we do not do the same for children. The things they value fall into that category.
Not only is shari…

Teaching Early Learners About Thanksgiving

This is the time of year when I walk into early childhood classrooms to find teachers frustrated that their young students are not paying attention to the Thanksgiving book they selected.It is also common to walk into classrooms and see 3 and 4 year olds dutifully gluing feathers on turkeys.Inevitably, when I ask students what they are doing, they say, “Gluing feathers” and when I ask what they are making, most children don’t know.Even if they do know that they have been asked to make a turkey, very few have an answer to the question, “Why are you making a turkey for Thanksgiving?” nor can they answer the question, “What is Thanksgiving?What is it about?”
I know that Thanksgiving crafts are somewhat unavoidable – parents love them and, let’s be honest, they expect them.As a parent, it is nice to have holiday crafts to save.After all, their children won’t be doing handprint turkeys and gluing feathers for much longer.
As early childhood educators, we have to walk a fine line between doin…