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Connection Precedes Learning and Self-regulation ~ Why Relationships are Foundational in Education and Life

Note to the reader: If you have already read my previous articles on connection and the right brain, you may wish to skip further down to the section on co-regulation. Connection precedes learning “Putting your students’ emotional needs first is important because without feeling safe and understood, no instructional strategy will be effective.” ~ Jasper Fox, Sr. How often and in how many ways do we make learning far more important than connection? The school system has been designed to make learning paramount and so often at the...

Nothing in Nature is Linear, Yet We Push and “Ready” Children Along Straight Pathways

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein “(A) study, titled ‘Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?,’ compared kindergarten teachers’ attitudes nationwide in 1998 and 2010 and found that the percentage of teachers expecting children to know how to read by the end of the year had risen from 30 to 80 percent. The researchers also reported more time spent with workbooks and worksheets, and less time devoted to music and art.” ~ The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids | Erika Christakis,...

We Heal Not To Continue Healing, But To Live

There comes a point along the healing journey when we reach a threshold. We know, intuitively, that it’s time—time to translate all the wisdom we have gathered and gifts awakened into art, into service; time to make courageous changes, to stop searching and begin planting roots for living. It’s time to make ourselves much more available to life, to those who need us. For those who’ve been staunchly committed to their healing journey for years, this can feel incredibly daunting. A great deal of time and energy has...

Much More Than Things, It’s YOU Children Want ~ Playing With Simple Moments of Joy and Connection

I had the fortune to wander through a forest-nestled playground with a group of young children a few weeks ago. It was the beginning of Autumn here in Vancouver. The leaves were turning golden yellow and burnt orange, falling large and small from soaring maples. The idea was to take the kids to one of the most imaginative outdoor playgrounds in the city. Full of colorful slides, swings, bongo drums, climbing apparatuses, bouncy and spinny things, the playground did not fail to delight their curious eyes, exploring hands...

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...