If you happened to read yesterday’s guest post from Heather Shumaker, I’m guessing you’re already hungry for more. And that’s great news, because you’re about to get whole lot more!
Heather’s book, It’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids* will be the read along book for next year! (*Affiliate link)
In addition to being a great writer, Heather’s got an amazing grasp on how kids learn, grow, and develop. She’s done the research and the leg-work, but what I love best of all is that she knows it because she’s lived it.
As a child, she attended The School for Young Children in Ohio. The influence went beyond her preschool years as her mother was also a teacher at the school and brought those principles home. As a mom to two, Heather began looking for schools that espoused the same philosophy. She found not only that a school like that was hard to come by, but that as a whole the tenor of early childhood environments had moved further away from the foundational beliefs of the school she loved.
So she set out to learn all she could about what made that school so special, and how its tenets could be applied in homes and schools everywhere. The result is a fascinating book that is sure to spur some great discussion!
Oooh, discussion! That’s part of what has me really excited about this book! Heather has been generous enough to agree to not only answer your questions at the end of the read-along (as Ellen Galinsky so graciously did), but to be a part of a discussion on Google+ each month! She and I will gather over there with another guest or two and we’ll chat about some of the concepts in that month’s “reading assignment”. Along with our own impressions, I’d love to address some of the things that strike you as well, so please plan on adding your thoughts and questions to the comments section so that they can color the discussion we have with the author!
(You can follow me on G+ here. Don’t worry if you’re new….so am I! We’ll figure it out together! And if G+ is just too much for you right now, the chats will be available on YouTube as well!)
My favorite part of the book’s introduction is when Heather recounts talking to a long time teacher at the School for Young Children about her project:
“When I first told Jan Waters the title of this book, she objected. “But the ideas aren’t renegade!” she said. “They’re not renegade or rebellious at all.” “Well, they are unconventional,” I said. “You’ll have to admit that.” Jan was undeterred. “They’re Good Old Solid Child Development Principles That Work,” she said. “Make that the title of the book.”
Whether you want to call it renegade or solid practice, here are some of the “renegade rules” you can look forward to in this read along:
- Don’t steal play.
- It’s OK not to share.
- All feelings are OK. All Behavior isn’t.
- Kids need conflict.
- Paint off the paper.
- Bombs, guns, and bad guys allowed.
- Be buddies with dead birds.
- Goof up.
The reading schedule will be posted in January, so I’m hoping that this announcement will give you plenty of time to chase down some copies of the book! You can pick one up at Amazon, where they’re currently 25% off (affiliate link).
You could win one for free!
Heather Shumaker is sending a free copy to one NJC reader! Just comment here and let us know why you’re excited for next year’s read along. One comment will be selected at random and that reader will be getting one copy of the book mailed directly to him/her! Selection will be made by Friday, December 13th at 10 PM MST. (Physical book limited to United States and Canada. Ebook version provided for winner if overseas.)
I can’t wait! How about you?
(*This giveaway is now closed, but we’d LOVE to have you join us for the read along next year! Check back for details in January!)