As a little girl, I remember my sisters and I tagging along occasionally in the summers as my Dad visited his classroom for various reasons we often paid no attention to. While he might be doing an inventory of equipment and compiling orders of beakers, burners, and other scientific tools, we would explore the old and often empty building, climb up and down what we thought were dramatic staircases, play school, draw on the chalkboards, etc. My memories are foggy but happy ones.
It has been a good long while since my last post, but most of you know why… somehow I decided to start my own business. How did this even happen!? Sometimes my head is still spinning, and other times, it just makes perfect sense.
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” ~ William Butler Yeats
For me, this quote perfectly sums up the rewards, importance, and purpose of a profession in education, especially one in early childhood.
That is the question, at least for families with a stay-at-home parent. And it’s not a simple answer. Parenting hardly ever involves simple answers, beyond meeting the most basic needs. It will probably take me a few posts to say all I want to say, all that I think parents might want to know or hear, but here goes…
Let’s say my three year old son attends an in-home daycare.
I shared the first part of this list 15 Worthwhile Toys for the Early Years a few weeks back, because the toy industry, children’s movies/TV and related products, Pottery Barn Kids, Target (both of which I LOVE!), educational products, etc. can be SO damn cute and manipulative, much like our little ones… and then bam! Or “CRUNCH!” Or “OW!” You’ve stepped on one of thousands of toys or supplies… no matter how much your munchkins actually help put them all away.
March 2nd was Dr. Seuss’ 114th birthday celebration. My social media feeds were a confusing mix of people lovingly and excitedly celebrating Seuss-day, aka Read Across America day, and others voicing an anti-Seuss movement, which stems from the opinion that Dr. Seuss’ works are steeped with racism and stereotypes.
My most recent gig in public ed was supervising and coaching other Early Childhood Educators to ensure the highest program quality, which we measure by our ability to build a strong foundation for future success in life, school, and the community. Ultimately this encompasses the whole child and ranges from social emotional, cognitive, language, literacy, and physical development, and also mathematical thinking, scientific inquiry, and so on… the job is a big one. But, our number one duty everyday is to keep children safe. Safety has to be first, so that they can learn, grow, thrive, and develop.
If you’re like me, you like keeping money in your pocket/bank, you don’t like your house being overrun by toys, and basically you hate wasting time and money on anything your children will outgrow or lose interest in within the lifespan of a housefly. (They don’t live long folks.)
As the twins (now 1 years old!) have really begun playing more independently, jointly, and with things, I’ve lost myself in thought about toys. I’ve been pretty picky about toys, so thankfully, I am fairly happy with the amount of and type of toys in my house, for the most part. But let’s face it: not all toys are created equally. Some toys stand the test of time and parent/teacher sanity, and some don’t.
Around our house, the New Year brought with it some sniffles, allergies, more teething for the twins (it’s like never-ending!), major nostalgia of being super pregnant a year ago and realizing my babies are about to turn ONE (EEK!), and also some real clumsiness on the part of this momma. To put it short, y’all, I’ve been a HOT mess! Meanwhile, for the rest of my family, the New Year brought some record COLD temps and/or snowfall where they live.
I am grateful for being a mom of 3 under 3 in a part of the country that is afflicted with boring, predictably 70 degree weather. Except for a few days ago as I drafted this, of course. That day, I turned the heat on and wore my coat. But anyway, I also feel like our big boy is missing out on experiencing real winter and snow, something he actually lived through for his first 2 winters, though he has no recollection of it. My life is full of conflict, I know.