Nature Walks

Nature Walks

This photo brings me peace and makes me happy. I am grateful every single day for being able to get outside, sharpen my senses, and feel connected to my family and the earth. 

Before kids, my husband and I always made time to walk and talk, even if we had to get up early and go before work. Then, when our boys were born, we would pack up all the equipment and still get out there.

Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

The Royal Wedding got me thinking about love and princesses and “happily ever after.” Meghan Markle is certainly a different kind of princess (or technically duchess), right? True confession: Before her engagement, I knew absolutely nothing about Meghan Markle. I still don’t, really. However, the adjectives I have read or heard spoken about her are what interest me.

Connections

Connections

A child’s day should be filled with connections: 

•When they wake up from sleeping all night 

•When they enter their classroom 

•When they get picked up from school 

•When they go to sleep for the night

After spending time away from a significant adult, children need to reconnect.

Common Sense Risks

Common Sense Risks

How much free, unstructured time does your child have each day? How much free, unstructured time with friends? 

Children stay pretty busy. When they’re at home, we spend a lot of time directing them. It’s time for this... time for that. Then it’s off to school. After school, it’s off to enrichment classes. When you think about it, that’s a lot of adult direction! 

Meaningful Relationships

Meaningful Relationships

“We human beings are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.” ~Dalai Lama XIV

Imagination

Imagination

Einstein said “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” 

Children’s minds are naturally open and curious. They learn about life through play. They should have all kinds of opportunities to strengthen their imaginations with open-ended activities, so they can begin to make unexpected connections.

Meaningful Connections

Meaningful Connections

Typically, when I walk on the trail, I keep my gaze at eye level or above. I notice the trees and birds and clouds in the sky. I pay attention to what’s coming up ahead of me. The other day, though, I happened to look down and notice these gorgeous little flowers with their colors popping brightly in the sun. It was as if they were begging to be noticed among the fallen brown leaves and weeds.

I Like Myself

I Like Myself

I love this little gem of a book by Karen Beaumont. In a very silly way, I LIKE MYSELF encourages children to remember to appreciate themselves for who they are on the inside, not just how they look on the outside. 

We all have value the minute we are born. Our worth comes from the fact that every single one of us is a unique human being. Our children should feel that they are important to our families the minute they arrive.  But how?!!

Noticing Children's Play

Noticing Children's Play

As your children play, stay close at times and quietly notice how they choose to spend their time. Give them the luxury of unscheduled free time every single day, so they learn to use their imaginations. Notice if they play in a way that helps them work through the ups and downs of their day.  Observing their play will tell you a lot about them- things they can’t articulate.

The Use of Technology in School

The Use of Technology in School

While I’m not anti-technology, I do believe children should be engaging all of their senses as they learn. They should be playing, exploring, questioning, creating, and collaborating. They should become active learners. That is what strengthens concentration and deepens critical thinking. Time behind a screen is time away from active learning, so we need to be careful in the early years. We need moderation. We don’t want to waste opportunities for higher learning to take place. I am okay with no technology in Kindergarten and limited use in the rest of elementary school. With strong human connections, the ability to stick with a task, and a true love of learning, I have no doubt children will catch on quickly to the ever-changing tech world.

Here is a short, thought-provoking article I came across from the Business Insider.