Thursday, October 22, 2015

How Childcare Changes the World...






I've been really enjoying my time running my little Waldorf Friends Class. I have been trying to organize the childcare space and make it welcoming and inviting for the children. I love being able to offer them a gentle place to play and grow, free from electronics, tv and video games. 

I have some very firmly held beliefs on early childhood education. One of them is that I feel it is important for us to break through many of the stereotypes we place on children.  One in particular is that only little girls should play with dolls or act out loving and nurturing behaviors in their play. I think it is important to allow little boys to play with dolls and doing so helps raise gentle and loving fathers for our future world.   


I also love childcare that can include children of mixed ages whenever possible. Because of state regulations and our educational system starting Kindergarten so young, this is not always feasible but in home daycares, with small ratios, it is. When the ages of the children are varied in a program that is home-like, it mimics the natural setting of living with siblings at home.  Little ones are able to learn from the other children and it provides older children with the opportunity to help guide others and build their self-confidence. 



Sometimes I think it is hard to remember how very important our work is raising these little people.  It is especially hard to remember during the tough times.  Being a parent, teacher or caregiver literally changes the world one child at a time.  It is a sacred job that should be cherished, valued and deeply respected as the future of our world depends upon it.  We desperately need more childcare and parenting programs that promote this type of loving care from an early age, as those years are so pivotal in the development of a healthy and whole human being. Just imagine the possibilities if every child - even those who live in undesirable home situations - received this type of gentle love and care in their childcare program all day long.  What difference would it make in who that child is able to become later in life?

As many of you know, I have written many books and non-academic curriculum to help others teach and raise their children in this way. Please be sure to visit my website and check out some of the free sample weeks for you to use at home or school.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Autumn Came, With Wind and Gold...








Autumn is here and the girls and I have been taking every opportunity we can to soak in all of the beautiful colors, sights, activities and abundance this time of year offers us. I try to take them apple picking each year together and it has become a fun tradition for us that we look forward to as Fall approaches.







I love walking around our property when the seasons change like this and capturing as much of it as I can in photos. The colors of the trees are in full change right now in Connecticut and we have acorns, hickory nuts, pinecones and so many leaves on the ground.  


Our local farmer's market is just wonderful this month too. I've been volunteering my time a little bit to help manage it and it feels so good to support local farmers. We hope to grow the market as the years go by and I'm excited about the possibilities.   


I love that the weather is getting more crisp and we can put on our woodstove and bundle up when we go outside. It's cozy and awesome knitting and reading weather. 









We went to a fun corn maze and picked our own pumpkin. It was the first time we actually went to a place where you cut the pumpkin off the vine and it was a fun experience.  It was hard to find a good pumpkin though as the field was pretty much picked over but we found an area that was blocked off and one big, perfect pumpkin was there just waiting for us.  It weighed 11 lbs and we can't wait to carve it. Our garden hasn't done as well this year as it has in previous years so we did not grow our own pumpkin in our garden but we did grow other veggies - and we just started picking our carrots. The children in my program loved helping harvest carrots from the garden... 






And the chickens loved the carrots too! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Nursery Days at Little Acorn Learning

I haven't posted in a long time. The last few months have been very busy and have come with extra work, some personal challenges and I've needed to focus on home and myself. It's my favorite season of the year and I haven't had a good chance to slow down and really appreciate the beginning of autumn the way I would like. It's a time of change and refocusing for me. It seems September always is - right around Michaelmas time. In Waldorf Education, this time of year is a time for us to face our dragons and a time of new growth... I've noticed it to always hold true for me. I've worked hard to focus on rebuilding my work with children and have begun advertising to fill up my little in-home nursery school.  My next goal is to carve out time to continue my love of writing and promoting my e-books.

I am running a Waldorf Friends class and we have been having a great time together enjoying the rabbit, chickens, outdoor play and crafts.















This particular week we began talking about weather and learned about the sun.  We sang songs, made sun art, talked about the color yellow and circles and read stories about the sun.


The children worked to warm up their beeswax and we made little suns together to take home.

 

My hope is to continue to grow my little school and eventually employee staff (and maybe one day move it out of the lower level of my home), while also building upon my writing and curriculum e-books. It's a lot to do but I'm passionate about both areas of working with children so I hope eventually I can create what I envision with a team of others helping me.  For now, it's a modest start toward a bigger dream.

For those of you who live near Brookfield, Connecticut, I am in the process of interviewing to fill our little classes and eventually part-time and full-time nursery school positions.  More info here:

http://littleacornlearning.com/childcare-and-nursery-school-in-brookfield-ct/