No sooner had I drawn my first face (I love drawing from old black & white movie stills) had she swooped over to me with an intense look. "OOOH! Is that a NEW sketchbook? Can I draw in that too, mama?" I have to admit, the girl knows good art supplies when she sees them. I muttered something about how it was my special book, how she had her own supplies and blah blah blah, but the appeal of new art supplies was too much for her to resist. In a very serious tone, she looked at me and said, "If you can't share, we might have to take it away if you can't share."
This is Offbeat Families's archive of Teaching and Learning posts.
When I was pregnant with my son I felt as though there was an almost innate need for him to be home schooled. I had forgotten about it after I went through a very stressful birth with him. When he was 18 months and in Early Intervention for speech I revisited the idea. When I couldn't find a curriculum or school system I agreed with in public, charter or Catholic school I ended up walking through this door of infinite possibilities — home schooling! Many people started to emerge and extend their hand towards us, offering trips to conventions, curriculum, catalogs, websites and help.
Hiking is so much more than just walking around in nature with a hiking stick, a back pack, and some provisions. It can be a way of escape, it can be a time of meditation, it can be challenging, it can be educating, it can be down right frustrating. For us… it's all of the above.
The A-Z explanation of human sexuality is far too much for young children to grasp and would certainly be overwhelming, but I wholly believe that it is empowering for kids to know about their bodies — real, accurate information delivered in small doses adding layer upon layer of detail as their questions prompt further answers. I think this is one of our most important jobs as parents. It falls to us to be our children's most reliable, honest source of information because if those answers don't come from us, they will come from somewhere else and you can be sure that other sources will serve them up in ways that will anger/upset/terrify you.
We are mere weeks away from our little one returning to school. Back-to-school supply ads and lists are dominating our dining table. Conversation about which backpack to use for school, which past classmates will be in this year's class and how we prioritize homework and soccer are taking place daily. For our family, back to school also means that our family has another opportunity to come out, be seen and expand our circle of friends. Our little man is a remarkable soon-to-be second grader. He's curious and friendly. He's independent and playful. And he's proud to his two mamas.
We want so much for our kids, don't we? We want them to have what we wanted when we were younger, we want them to participate in life and enjoy every waking moment. We want them to learn, grow, thrive. We want their dreams to be sweet, we want the world to be kind to them. I think we end up feeling that if we throw money at our bag of wishes and wants for our children, somehow it will come to fruition. If we do THIS wonderful thing, THEN we'll get that wonderful result.
I still remember the conversation, in the coat room of a restaurant for my eighth birthday where my parents tried to explain to me that I had done nothing wrong and why I needed to tell them when an adult acted in a way that made me uncomfortable. They also reiterated that while respecting adults is important that, my body belonged to me and that no one should yell at me, bully or ever touch me without my permission.
How do you explain the concept of colours to a small child who had never seen anything but black? When we got told that there was to be a blind child at our kindergarten class, we got sent to a course in how to best stimulate such a child. The number one thing we learned was to play with her other senses, which is often more developed than in people with normal eye sight.