As early childhood educators, what would we say if children’s play actually didn’t make a difference in their lives as future adults? If play was something that children did, not because it made them into better or more competent adults, but because it was a critical element of experiencing the world as a child. Would we still work so hard to defend it?read more
There’s something powerfully rooting, deeply reassuring about knowing the place where you live. Noticing the smells after rain. Following animal prints in the snow covered sidewalks. Observing the predictable cycle of birth and death and rebirth in the cycle of the changing seasons. Saying hello to the same people walking the same routes day after day. Watching for the same cat at the same driveway every afternoon. Catching the same snails, lizards, and beetles.
We crave this kind of connection to physical places, but cultivating this knowing depends on slowness, intentionality, and repetition. We have to walk the same paths day after day. We have to leave our headphones behind and notice smells, sights, animals, and neighbors. We have to dig into the dirt and plant flowers. We have to walk instead of drive. We have to name the emotions that these physical places bring to mind in us.read more
Okay, so remember last August when I told you I wrote a book? Way back then, it still didn’t have a title. But we’ve made progress!
Discovering the Culture of Childhood will be released in June 2016. The cover has been finalized, and I can give you a sneak peek today! Isn’t it lovely? The design team a Redleaf Press did a fabulous job; I couldn’t be more pleased!
Also, I am excited to share that my book features stories contributed by early childhood educators from across the United States and Canada of their work with young children, including Kisha Reid, Marc Battle, Kelly Matthews, Tom “Teacher Tom” Hobson, Melissa Cady, and Denita Dinger. Their voices add a spectacular richness and complexity to my narrative, and I am so grateful that they were willing to share their stories in this book.read more
We are winding our way through Yellowstone, and my oldest daughter, is hard at work with a pencil and paper. She is flustered, and cries angrily.
I want to fix. I want to untether her creativity from the pursuit of perfection. I want to free her love of drawing. I want to ground her sense of self, that she might feel proud of her effort, even when she falls short of her own expectations…
“I canNOT do it! I am TRYING to draw a BEAR! It does not LOOK like a BEAR!! I drew an elk that I am very proud of, but I cannot DRAW A BEAR!”
She is frustrated. Annoyed. She works the lines but they are unwieldy, her fine motor skills failing to interpret between her mind and the paper.read more