If you could measure the quality of an early childhood setting by only one factor, what would it be?
When I do workshops and trainings with teachers, I often hear several variations of the same question.
“But what about at home?”
“Process over product”. We hear that phrase frequently in early childhood, most often referring to the perspective that the process of participating in the creative process is more important to a child’s development than the craft-factory product we may be tempted to focus on.
In America, we currently have this idea that our children are struggling academically so the answer lies in pushing them more and more, at earlier and earlier ages… If our children are struggling academically, it does not make sense to make them do more of the same things that are failing them and from a younger age.”
I was once asked during a presentation for a parent’s group what it is that preschoolers need most to prepare them academically.
As another year gets ready to close, I’ve been spending a little time reflecting. 2016 has had plenty of turbulence, but there’ve been some great things going on here at Not Just Cute and some exciting things to look forward to in the year to come. I’m so grateful to have some of the best readers to be found on the internet, and I’m thrilled to have you with me for the adventures up ahead. [Read more…]
A few years ago, the Gesell Institute, named for developmental pioneer Dr. Arnold Gesell, decided to test the premise that kids today develop more quickly than they used to. They took the developmental norms established by the work of Dr. Gesell in the 1940s and launched a three year study concluding in 2010 to gauge whether or not the same framework still holds up. What they found, of course, is that even over the span of decades, the developmental norms remain the same.
The idea of guiding a large group of children can send some adults into a cold-sweat panic. What they may have envisioned as an idyllic reading of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” or a thoughtful conversation about the life cycle of the butterfly begins to look more like a full-scale mutiny as serene children on the rug bounce around like popcorn kernels and contribute thoughts to the group discussion that range from what they did on Wednesday (“or maybe that one other day that wasn’t yesterday but wasn’t a long, long time ago…..”), to the dead frog discovered in their driveway, and on to an impromptu performance of a funny commercial they saw this morning.
I'm a writer, teacher, speaker, trainer, and mom. I advocate for children and for childhood, and for intentional, whole child development.
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