It’s Not More Anti-Bullying Measures Kids Need, but Rather Kindness

0 Comments
It’s Not More Anti-Bullying Measures Kids Need, but Rather Kindness

“When faced with the choice of being right or being kind, choose kindness, and you’ll be right every time.” ~ Richard Carlson The above image offers a couple of reminders about the wisdom of teaching kindness instead of anti-bullying. Taking into account how easy it is to focus on the negative (especially in today’s world), as well as the inherent goodness I feel in kids, I certainly believe it’s kindness that needs nurturing, not greater attention to problems; its kindness that needs confirming in the spirit of kids and drawn out with compassion and encouragement. Let’s show kids that we see them instead of focusing so much on the consequences of not being seen. For bullying is a symptom of not having their innate goodness […]

When Kids Long for Your Ignorance More than Your Knowledge

3 Comments
When Kids Long for Your Ignorance More than Your Knowledge

“It’s only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.” ~ Henry David Thoreau  A friend unreservedly praised her wise young daughter while proudly showing me a picture of this rising star. Only 18 years of age, she, at the time, had already left home, knowing, as she had for many years, exactly where she wanted to live—in the progressive community of Nelson, Canada, amongst others she held as like-mind. With a wistful smile, my friend recounted an outstanding mindset her daughter had which she relentlessly advised her mother of—“question everything”; to look beyond the literal, the surface features of life, and sense that lying beyond the veil of reality most in the West traditionally acquiesce to. This young seeker knew there […]

The Adventure We Long For Lies in our Childlike Heart and in Feeling the Unexpected

5 Comments
The Adventure We Long For Lies in our Childlike Heart and in Feeling the Unexpected

“Tiny humans see magic and possibility where big humans only see mess and responsibility. May we see the magic again through their eyes and rediscover all the possibilities life has to offer.” ~ L. R. Knost A child is excited to wake up in the morning. Open to surprise, she wanders through her home and yard drawn to the next thing capturing her attention. Maybe it’s the dog, or her new magnetic toy, or the bright golden dandelion blooming through the sea of green grass. Each moment is filled with wonder for this young one, a bubbling awe leading her from one fascination to the next. Each moment is an unfolding adventure. As people depart the wonders of childhood for the predictabilities of life, however, […]

Your Fears and Beliefs Create the Edges of a Child’s Playground, and Your Own

4 Comments
Your Fears and Beliefs Create the Edges of a Child’s Playground, and Your Own

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are made for.” ~ Grace Murray Hopper  Child safety has become obsessive in our society. Children are being controlled to the point of having their natural play-spaces and freedom ripped away from them at an alarming rate. For instance: “…nearly 20 homes on Esgore Drive, in (Toronto), were threatened with $90 fines from the city if they did not remove hockey and basketball nets from their street in the next 20 days.” The article goes on to say that, “A bylaw… states that ‘no person shall play or take part in any game or sport upon a roadway and, where there are sidewalks, no person upon roller-skates, in-line skates or a skateboard, or riding in […]

Children’s Play Becomes Work When You Get in the Way. Let Them Be.

0 Comments
Children’s Play Becomes Work When You Get in the Way. Let Them Be.

“In today’s world there is such a focus on a child’s academic abilities that the social is becoming obsolete. I have seen children as young as 2 years of age who know their entire alphabet, the sound each letter makes and numbers up to 10. Parents are so proud of their child that they are “sooo smart”. However, the same child does not know how to play by himself—even for a few minutes—is constantly seeking approval from their parents, and has the highlight of their day being what they refer to as ‘lesson time’—which is an app on a tablet—because that is when they get to spend time with mom or dad.” ~ Early Childhood Educator  Play does not have a beginning and ending. It […]

Be Gentle On Yourself and Children. There is Another Way.

0 Comments
Be Gentle On Yourself and Children. There is Another Way.

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength.” ~ Ralph W. Sockman I had to learn the hard way, ironically. Given where I came from and what I had to endure as a small child, and the rough edges of schooling and society I grew up in, it is only natural that gentleness would be considered a weakness, a way of being that in no way could serve and protect me. I’m not the only one. If raised in an environment of consistent gentle affection and care then this becomes how we understand love and life to be; it becomes our learned experience and it improves the likelihood that we recreate that experience in our future relationships, including our relationship […]

We Over-Educate Children Because We Over-Think and Are Afraid to Feel

3 Comments
We Over-Educate Children Because We Over-Think and Are Afraid to Feel

There is enough research to clearly show that we are over-educating, over-pushing our children in school. But if you need extra evidence, here are two studies for you: “According to Daphna Bassok, an assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia, in 1998, 30% of teachers believed that children should learn to read while in kindergarten. In 2010, that figure was at 80%.” ~ Why are our kids so miserable? | Jenny Anderson, Quartz  “One major study of 700 preschool classrooms in 11 states found that only 15 percent showed evidence of effective interactions between teacher and child. Fifteen percent.” ~ The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids | Erika Christakis, The Atlantic If you need more research, please read Inspiring, Troubling […]

The Right Brain Develops First ~ Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning

60 Comments
The Right Brain Develops First ~ Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning

Photo credit: Thank you to Emek of Emek Studios Did you know that the right brain develops first? It does so by the time children are 3-4 years of age. The left brain, on the other hand, doesn’t fully come online until children are approximately seven years old; hence the first seven years being recognized as such a critical period in child development. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein The left brain’s functionality is one of language, numeracy, literacy, analysis and time. It is the logical, calculating, planning, busy-bee part of us that keeps us anchored in the pragmatic world, and in past and future. The right brain, on the other hand, is responsible for empathy, intuition, imagination and […]

Re-Imagining Education ~ Awakening the Gifts and Purpose Inherent in Each Child

2 Comments
Re-Imagining Education ~ Awakening the Gifts and Purpose Inherent in Each Child

Beyond the accidental universe “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore What if the universe we live in is not accidental? What if it is a fluid intelligence spoken through sage stars, prophetic planets and guiding galactic spirals; through the bees that know how and when to collect the nectar we use for our honey; through the sun that rises everyday with the gift of light pulsing through curtains of clouds; through the salmon that somehow know exactly where they come from and when to come home to spawn; and through the trees that release their golden leaves every Autumn to the beckoning earth waiting for nourishment? What […]

Inspiring, Troubling and More: Research and Stories on Child Learning and Development

0 Comments
Inspiring, Troubling and More: Research and Stories on Child Learning and Development

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” ~ Stacia Tauscher For a while now, participants in my keynotes and playshops have asked me to share the growing collection of research and stories I have on child learning and development. Teachers, in particular, want to share these finding with parents and education faculty to broaden perspectives on the importance of such things as play and nature in learning and development. Each piece below is listed as an excerpt of useful information with a link to its associated article making your perusing easier. Feel free to come back to this page as I will add new findings regularly, listing them at the top of their respective category. Scattered amongst […]