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  #1  
Old 03-11-2018, 12:26 AM
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Default Sharing An Article. Thoughts?

https://wehavekids.com/education/Cho...arly-Education

Iíve went to enough trainings and classes to understand the value of play based learning and open ended art. I just canít get fully behind it even with all of the research.

I do everything on this list to a point. Play is the majority of our day here and I love giving the kids new experiences and tools to explore with. But I canít do without the structure of a circle time and activity time. We do calendars, not so much for the concept of time but because we are counting, counting down days to special events, using patterns. We sing our songs, read a book and I try to incorporate a game where they are physically and actively involved. I occasionally do worksheets. And some crafty type art where they have to actively listen to directions and wait patiently for the next. Using fine motor skills to use their pencils, scissors and glue. We also do name tracing (eek)
I do use a letter of the week and every few weeks in we have a review week. So far the childrenís recall has always been impressive. I guess Iím just stuck in my ways, but it always seems to work. My biggest focus is self help skills. Social skills and learning to behave in a classroom anything else they learn along the way is a bonus. But I always feel confident that my daycare kids are happy and well rounded and will fully be prepared to go to kindergarten.

I am truly interested though in observing a classroom that successfully meets all the points in this article and where children are coming away learning and the classroom runs smoothly with limited chaos by playing all day. Because for me children strive off of routine and structure.

I would love to hear others thoughts on this article, and if you avoid all of these points how to you provide a classroom or daycare that provides for structure, teaches children and also teaches them to follow rules and directions and doesnít just seem like complete chaos. As for me, I guess Iím old school because I just canít 100% get behind play based learning.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:37 AM
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I feel that article is right on. Too many limited activities stifles a child's curiosity and exploration. BUT OTOH I also feel there is a time and place for coloring pages. And those have been squashed as detrimental for awhile now. I think both styles of teaching have their place but should not be used 100% exclusive of the other. IMO a flexible blend of both is an excellent way to teach, with the key word being flexible. Plus I feel older preschoolers need a slightly different approach than younger ones(3 yo versus almost 5 yo). I also feel there needs to be an emphasis on self help skills, which are sorely lacking in some kids these days. I remember when my own kids were little, one goal was to have them tying their shoes by Kindergarten. One of my dcds teaches 4th grade and he says some of his students still need help with zipping their coats and tying shoes. WTH????
In a world where parents are too busy, rushed, self-involved, kids are falling behind with simple independent skills. They cannot self-regulate. Their free time is spent with electronics/tv, etc. I realize parents are busy and tired but guess what? When my own kids were little I did dc all day and still took care of and taught my own kids. Just because we work at home doesn't mean, we're not busy and tired too.

Ok wait, sorry I went off on a tangent. But you get the idea.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:39 AM
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I'm a big proponent for play based and child directed. I have written about it a lot in here but I finally backed off lol cause no one wants to hear it, it felt like! I learned to do all play based in my classes and my son attended a play based co-op with no lessons and only a singing "group time" which I loved. We read to the kids every day. We still had activities set up everywhere for kids to choose from and they did. They would use real tools (saws, screw drivers, vices, etc) or make Play-Doh (measuring, counting, waiting turns, fine motor, large motor, etc etc), build an obstacle course with peeprs and adults (large motor, problem solving, cause and effect, cooperative decision making, waiting turns, creative ideas, etc etc!), There would be painting, chalk, bubbles, puzzles, mega blocks, wood blocks, writing table, obviously dramatic play etc. Everything they could choose. All of it was developmentally appropriate. None of it was academic or required. They had the choice to sit in the sand box all day or ride bikes all day. And some did. And they worked through the developmental need that that choice fulfilled. And once they mastered it, it was time they decided to move on! That's what's child directed, when they choose their learning, they are actually doing what their minds and bodies need at the exact time they need it.
Now I do the same at my family childcare but I don't do a singing group time. I sing with them at random when they seem to be interested. And they love it. I set up items, (in addition to my permanent set up which is always available) that relate to a direction we are going based on children's interests and developmental needs. For months we did baby care. I set up baby baths, and had the babies and strollers and bottles and diapers set up all the time. And got books from the library about babies. And the children (toddlers) were in "transportation" mode. This is a play schema that is common and known to be one of several ways that children need to play and will choose to play until a certain developmental need is met! Play schemas is why all one year olds dump baskets of toys and adults telling them "no" and getting mad is useless and hurtful to the child. Something to look into if interested in play based (or children!).
I digress.
In order for my families to see what our emergent curriculum is about and what their children are doing and learning, I make photo collages with text that explains it. Because these kids aren't bringing home paper work (other than paintings and scizzored up scraps they cut or cardboard with sand and rocks falling off). The parents love my collages and asked me if I would make a book of them and parents would pay for it. Ha. Idk about that (like a year book). But I'm glad it's respected.
I also shared an article from the same blog. I have mentioned recently here on DC.com that I'm sure my style has lost me families that want to do premature academics, but I'm very happy with the families I do pull in, because they are fully on board.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CalCare View Post
I'm a big proponent for play based and child directed. I have written about it a lot in here but I finally backed off lol cause no one wants to hear it, it felt like! I learned to do all play based in my classes and my son attended a play based co-op with no lessons and only a singing "group time" which I loved. We read to the kids every day. We still had activities set up everywhere for kids to choose from and they did. They would use real tools (saws, screw drivers, vices, etc) or make Play-Doh (measuring, counting, waiting turns, fine motor, large motor, etc etc), build an obstacle course with peeprs and adults (large motor, problem solving, cause and effect, cooperative decision making, waiting turns, creative ideas, etc etc!), There would be painting, chalk, bubbles, puzzles, mega blocks, wood blocks, writing table, obviously dramatic play etc. Everything they could choose. All of it was developmentally appropriate. None of it was academic or required. They had the choice to sit in the sand box all day or ride bikes all day. And some did. And they worked through the developmental need that that choice fulfilled. And once they mastered it, it was time they decided to move on! That's what's child directed, when they choose their learning, they are actually doing what their minds and bodies need at the exact time they need it.
Now I do the same at my family childcare but I don't do a singing group time. I sing with them at random when they seem to be interested. And they love it. I set up items, (in addition to my permanent set up which is always available) that relate to a direction we are going based on children's interests and developmental needs. For months we did baby care. I set up baby baths, and had the babies and strollers and bottles and diapers set up all the time. And got books from the library about babies. And the children (toddlers) were in "transportation" mode. This is a play schema that is common and known to be one of several ways that children need to play and will choose to play until a certain developmental need is met! Play schemas is why all one year olds dump baskets of toys and adults telling them "no" and getting mad is useless and hurtful to the child. Something to look into if interested in play based (or children!).
I digress.
In order for my families to see what our emergent curriculum is about and what their children are doing and learning, I make photo collages with text that explains it. Because these kids aren't bringing home paper work (other than paintings and scizzored up scraps they cut or cardboard with sand and rocks falling off). The parents love my collages and asked me if I would make a book of them and parents would pay for it. Ha. Idk about that (like a year book). But I'm glad it's respected.
I also shared an article from the same blog. I have mentioned recently here on DC.com that I'm sure my style has lost me families that want to do premature academics, but I'm very happy with the families I do pull in, because they are fully on board.
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2018, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil_Diddle View Post
https://wehavekids.com/education/Cho...arly-Education

Iíve went to enough trainings and classes to understand the value of play based learning and open ended art. I just canít get fully behind it even with all of the research.

I do everything on this list to a point. Play is the majority of our day here and I love giving the kids new experiences and tools to explore with. But I canít do without the structure of a circle time and activity time. We do calendars, not so much for the concept of time but because we are counting, counting down days to special events, using patterns. We sing our songs, read a book and I try to incorporate a game where they are physically and actively involved. I occasionally do worksheets. And some crafty type art where they have to actively listen to directions and wait patiently for the next. Using fine motor skills to use their pencils, scissors and glue. We also do name tracing (eek)
I do use a letter of the week and every few weeks in we have a review week. So far the childrenís recall has always been impressive. I guess Iím just stuck in my ways, but it always seems to work. My biggest focus is self help skills. Social skills and learning to behave in a classroom anything else they learn along the way is a bonus. But I always feel confident that my daycare kids are happy and well rounded and will fully be prepared to go to kindergarten.

I am truly interested though in observing a classroom that successfully meets all the points in this article and where children are coming away learning and the classroom runs smoothly with limited chaos by playing all day. Because for me children strive off of routine and structure.

I would love to hear others thoughts on this article, and if you avoid all of these points how to you provide a classroom or daycare that provides for structure, teaches children and also teaches them to follow rules and directions and doesnít just seem like complete chaos. As for me, I guess Iím old school because I just canít 100% get behind play based learning.
I am a lot like you in my approach. I do calendar time with my 18 mos-3 year olds (gasp, how inappropriate!), because they enjoy it! It also helps them to know when something is happening which they love to know, as in today is Monday, tommorow is Tuesday and that is Susies birthday so when you come to school tommorow Susie will be 3. I also do a craft some days, because that is one on one time. We also do circle time when we read story, sing and do finger play.

I don't deal well with our day not having a structure to it, and neither do the kids in my class. We all need to know what comes next. We do a lot of free play time, but intermix it with large group time, which includes calendar time, circle time, and dance time.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:33 PM
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I think I have attended enough sessions on play than I need to last me a lifetime. I get it, kids need to play.
that being said.

first, I still don't understand what's wrong with coloring pages. I hate, hate, HATE drawing. always did, and probably, at this point it's safe to say that I always will. I thrived on coloring books. they are therapeutic, let alone wonderful sources for woodburning projects. whatever I have shown has come from a coloring book. why all of a sudden they are a bad guy, I don't know.

second, I was turning my nose up on worksheets until my then-3-year-old found one that was handed down to us in a pile of books, grabbed a pencil, and asked to tell her what it needed her to do. before I knew it, I had a separate pile of workbooks, and she couldn't stop doing those evil, horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad worksheets. what am I supposed to tell her? "sorry, kiddo, this is developmentally inapporpriate according to latest research, go play with Barbie"? bottom line is, some kids actually like worksheets, despite the bad rap. actually, I liked those, too, but I had maybe 2 or 3 books, and I went through them quickly. we just didn't have them published in the amounts they are printed here.

so, yeah, play is important, and this is what the childhood is for. but it is equally, if not more, important to be flexible enough to adjust for children's interests and abilities. yes, even if that means a worksheet or a coloring page.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:52 PM
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This is exactly the direction I am headed. I thought I wanted to be more academic because that is what is expected in my area for kids 2.5 and up. But it never felt right. I am now embracing all things play and working to build a huge stash of loose parts to rotate and setting up different open ended activities daily.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalCare View Post
I'm a big proponent for play based and child directed. I have written about it a lot in here but I finally backed off lol cause no one wants to hear it, it felt like! I learned to do all play based in my classes and my son attended a play based co-op with no lessons and only a singing "group time" which I loved. We read to the kids every day. We still had activities set up everywhere for kids to choose from and they did. They would use real tools (saws, screw drivers, vices, etc) or make Play-Doh (measuring, counting, waiting turns, fine motor, large motor, etc etc), build an obstacle course with peeprs and adults (large motor, problem solving, cause and effect, cooperative decision making, waiting turns, creative ideas, etc etc!), There would be painting, chalk, bubbles, puzzles, mega blocks, wood blocks, writing table, obviously dramatic play etc. Everything they could choose. All of it was developmentally appropriate. None of it was academic or required. They had the choice to sit in the sand box all day or ride bikes all day. And some did. And they worked through the developmental need that that choice fulfilled. And once they mastered it, it was time they decided to move on! That's what's child directed, when they choose their learning, they are actually doing what their minds and bodies need at the exact time they need it.
Now I do the same at my family childcare but I don't do a singing group time. I sing with them at random when they seem to be interested. And they love it. I set up items, (in addition to my permanent set up which is always available) that relate to a direction we are going based on children's interests and developmental needs. For months we did baby care. I set up baby baths, and had the babies and strollers and bottles and diapers set up all the time. And got books from the library about babies. And the children (toddlers) were in "transportation" mode. This is a play schema that is common and known to be one of several ways that children need to play and will choose to play until a certain developmental need is met! Play schemas is why all one year olds dump baskets of toys and adults telling them "no" and getting mad is useless and hurtful to the child. Something to look into if interested in play based (or children!).
I digress.
In order for my families to see what our emergent curriculum is about and what their children are doing and learning, I make photo collages with text that explains it. Because these kids aren't bringing home paper work (other than paintings and scizzored up scraps they cut or cardboard with sand and rocks falling off). The parents love my collages and asked me if I would make a book of them and parents would pay for it. Ha. Idk about that (like a year book). But I'm glad it's respected.
I also shared an article from the same blog. I have mentioned recently here on DC.com that I'm sure my style has lost me families that want to do premature academics, but I'm very happy with the families I do pull in, because they are fully on board.
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  #8  
Old 03-11-2018, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad_Pistachio View Post
I think I have attended enough sessions on play than I need to last me a lifetime. I get it, kids need to play.
that being said.

first, I still don't understand what's wrong with coloring pages. I hate, hate, HATE drawing. always did, and probably, at this point it's safe to say that I always will. I thrived on coloring books. they are therapeutic, let alone wonderful sources for woodburning projects. whatever I have shown has come from a coloring book. why all of a sudden they are a bad guy, I don't know.

second, I was turning my nose up on worksheets until my then-3-year-old found one that was handed down to us in a pile of books, grabbed a pencil, and asked to tell her what it needed her to do. before I knew it, I had a separate pile of workbooks, and she couldn't stop doing those evil, horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad worksheets. what am I supposed to tell her? "sorry, kiddo, this is developmentally inapporpriate according to latest research, go play with Barbie"? bottom line is, some kids actually like worksheets, despite the bad rap. actually, I liked those, too, but I had maybe 2 or 3 books, and I went through them quickly. we just didn't have them published in the amounts they are printed here.

so, yeah, play is important, and this is what the childhood is for. but it is equally, if not more, important to be flexible enough to adjust for children's interests and abilities. yes, even if that means a worksheet or a coloring page.
I agree with you....as providers, we know our kids and while PLAY is the essence of childhood there are THOSE kids who enjoy workbooks, coloring books, etc. When I was doing my CDA observation, I had a four year old that loved to trace things...so I had ordered a special book that had a broad range of pictures and how to place paper in the book and trace it. The observor immediately let me know how inappropriate that activity was. I explained how no one else was even interested but this particular child thrived from these traced drawings.....so I feel providers KNOW their kids and there are exceptions to every rule. Providers are expected to meet all children's needs and I feel I did that with this four year old.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Annalee View Post
I agree with you....as providers, we know our kids and while PLAY is the essence of childhood there are THOSE kids who enjoy workbooks, coloring books, etc. When I was doing my CDA observation, I had a four year old that loved to trace things...so I had ordered a special book that had a broad range of pictures and how to place paper in the book and trace it. The observor immediately let me know how inappropriate that activity was. I explained how no one else was even interested but this particular child thrived from these traced drawings.....so I feel providers KNOW their kids and there are exceptions to every rule. Providers are expected to meet all children's needs and I feel I did that with this four year old.
Exactly! I agree with this and Mad Pistachio, there is a time for everything. I don't think you can make childhood all about one direction only. You have to be flexible and let the child/ren lead. One of my former dcms came in with her 4(maybe 5) yo dd, never sent her dd to preschool. I loved that she didn't jump on that bandwagon but one day she came in claiming her dd was loving the workbooks she'd just discovered. Inwardly, I started rolling my eyes thinking oh no, so developmentally inappropriate. So I pulled out an old one I'd had tucked away for years and let her go at it. She was loving it, and showing me all that she knew. I was thinking wow! Would I offer a steady diet of workbooks or coloring pages? No. But they can have a place if a child enjoys them and wants to do them. I grew up on coloring books and paper dolls, plus without electronics(oh the horror!); I don't feel it stunted my growth any.
The 'professionals' are always telling us we should be doing things this way or that way, as if one way will produce the perfect child. No wonder parents are confused and competing against each other so much.
Give children as much experience and as many opportunities as possible and let them choose.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:32 AM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad_Pistachio View Post
I think I have attended enough sessions on play than I need to last me a lifetime. I get it, kids need to play.
that being said.

first, I still don't understand what's wrong with coloring pages. I hate, hate, HATE drawing. always did, and probably, at this point it's safe to say that I always will. I thrived on coloring books. they are therapeutic, let alone wonderful sources for woodburning projects. whatever I have shown has come from a coloring book. why all of a sudden they are a bad guy, I don't know.

second, I was turning my nose up on worksheets until my then-3-year-old found one that was handed down to us in a pile of books, grabbed a pencil, and asked to tell her what it needed her to do. before I knew it, I had a separate pile of workbooks, and she couldn't stop doing those evil, horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad worksheets. what am I supposed to tell her? "sorry, kiddo, this is developmentally inapporpriate according to latest research, go play with Barbie"? bottom line is, some kids actually like worksheets, despite the bad rap. actually, I liked those, too, but I had maybe 2 or 3 books, and I went through them quickly. we just didn't have them published in the amounts they are printed here.

so, yeah, play is important, and this is what the childhood is for. but it is equally, if not more, important to be flexible enough to adjust for children's interests and abilities. yes, even if that means a worksheet or a coloring page.
If they are teaching you in these workshops/trainings that worksheets are bad then they are mistaken as well.

Worksheets aren't bad but they aren't always developmentally appropriate either.

That is the difference and it's a big difference.

Most children in child care are under 5.
Most, not all kids under age 5 are in what Piaget described as the preoperational stage of cognitive development.

Letters and numbers typically mean little to the 3-5 yr olds in this stage. These children use concrete rather than abstract symbols to represent objects and ideas.

So unless a child has a fairly good grasp on concrete/abstract concepts worksheets can be developmentally appropriate but at the same time be developmentally inappropriate for the next child the same age.

Worksheets also dictate a sense of "right/wrong" so when a group of young children are asked to do a paper-pencil task, some will succeed and some will be less successful.

The successful children may truly comprehend the task or may simply have guessed correctly.
The less successful ones often learn to think of themselves as failures and ultimately may give up on school and on themselves. (http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/ea...?ArticleID=134)

IMHO, it also has alot to do with the teacher or caregivers understanding of development etc. Play is definitely a foundation for positive growth and development and worksheets definitely have a place in that development at times as well and the reasoning as to why both can be developmentally appropriate and inappropriate is dependent on the teacher in many cases.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
If they are teaching you in these workshops/trainings that worksheets are bad then they are mistaken as well.

Worksheets aren't bad but they aren't always developmentally appropriate either.

That is the difference and it's a big difference.

Most children in child care are under 5.
Most, not all kids under age 5 are in what Piaget described as the preoperational stage of cognitive development.

Letters and numbers typically mean little to the 3-5 yr olds in this stage. These children use concrete rather than abstract symbols to represent objects and ideas.

So unless a child has a fairly good grasp on concrete/abstract concepts worksheets can be developmentally appropriate but at the same time be developmentally inappropriate for the next child the same age.

Worksheets also dictate a sense of "right/wrong" so when a group of young children are asked to do a paper-pencil task, some will succeed and some will be less successful.

The successful children may truly comprehend the task or may simply have guessed correctly.
The less successful ones often learn to think of themselves as failures and ultimately may give up on school and on themselves. (http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/ea...?ArticleID=134)

IMHO, it also has alot to do with the teacher or caregivers understanding of development etc. Play is definitely a foundation for positive growth and development and worksheets definitely have a place in that development at times as well and the reasoning as to why both can be developmentally appropriate and inappropriate is dependent on the teacher in many cases.
Yes....this is why I dislike QRIS or some education classes because similarly to core curriculum in schools, all children are placed in the same box, but there is always that EXCEPTION that a child care provider or teacher should be able to offer some of these "considered inappropriate" activities to meet all needs of children.

ETA: Every college class or workshop I have attended in my state teaches that worksheets are bad....and I totally disagree with that.
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by CalCare View Post
I'm a big proponent for play based and child directed. I have written about it a lot in here but I finally backed off lol cause no one wants to hear it, it felt like! I learned to do all play based in my classes and my son attended a play based co-op with no lessons and only a singing "group time" which I loved. We read to the kids every day. We still had activities set up everywhere for kids to choose from and they did. They would use real tools (saws, screw drivers, vices, etc) or make Play-Doh (measuring, counting, waiting turns, fine motor, large motor, etc etc), build an obstacle course with peeprs and adults (large motor, problem solving, cause and effect, cooperative decision making, waiting turns, creative ideas, etc etc!), There would be painting, chalk, bubbles, puzzles, mega blocks, wood blocks, writing table, obviously dramatic play etc. Everything they could choose. All of it was developmentally appropriate. None of it was academic or required. They had the choice to sit in the sand box all day or ride bikes all day. And some did. And they worked through the developmental need that that choice fulfilled. And once they mastered it, it was time they decided to move on! That's what's child directed, when they choose their learning, they are actually doing what their minds and bodies need at the exact time they need it.
Now I do the same at my family childcare but I don't do a singing group time. I sing with them at random when they seem to be interested. And they love it. I set up items, (in addition to my permanent set up which is always available) that relate to a direction we are going based on children's interests and developmental needs. For months we did baby care. I set up baby baths, and had the babies and strollers and bottles and diapers set up all the time. And got books from the library about babies. And the children (toddlers) were in "transportation" mode. This is a play schema that is common and known to be one of several ways that children need to play and will choose to play until a certain developmental need is met! Play schemas is why all one year olds dump baskets of toys and adults telling them "no" and getting mad is useless and hurtful to the child. Something to look into if interested in play based (or children!).
I digress.
In order for my families to see what our emergent curriculum is about and what their children are doing and learning, I make photo collages with text that explains it. Because these kids aren't bringing home paper work (other than paintings and scizzored up scraps they cut or cardboard with sand and rocks falling off). The parents love my collages and asked me if I would make a book of them and parents would pay for it. Ha. Idk about that (like a year book). But I'm glad it's respected.
I also shared an article from the same blog. I have mentioned recently here on DC.com that I'm sure my style has lost me families that want to do premature academics, but I'm very happy with the families I do pull in, because they are fully on board.
I love absolutely everything about this post! My first experience in a "formal" childcare setting was at a center that very much catered to the parents desire for academics. I was the infant room lead teacher from beginning to end of my career there, as well as an associate teacher in the 3's preschool room. It was required that even the infant room (6 weeks to 18 months) had a planned and posted weekly curriculum. We seriously had to plan set times for babies to "reach and grasp to coordinate hand and eye movement". At 12 months, we were required to do circle time with them. I absolutely hated the structure they were trying to impose on these kids.

I am entirely play based. The kids follow their interests, and we focus on self help and social-emotional development. Currently I have 4 kids 2 and under, with 3 of them being boys ages 18 months to 2. Their current interests are Little People and Cars, Baby Dolls, and and books.

They spend their days setting up their little people town's in many different ways, lining up their toy cars by size and kind, and learning to share the most coveted people and cars.

They play baby dolls, practice getting them dressed, wrapped in blankies and bottle feeding them in their rocking chairs.

We are really focusing on "I can do it myself" and encouraging independence and self help. We have books on every topic from farm equipment and animals to babies, food, and getting dressed and going potty. They just devour these books, and we read them over and over. They get excited when they read the book about clothes and then identify their clothing items. When they read a book about picking up and taking care of our toys, then are then so eager to help that they work as a team to help clean up.

There are so many things that a child will learn when they are allowed to do so naturally, in their own time.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:29 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Missouri
Posts: 187
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thank you all for sharing your thoughts. I loved reading all the replies of what works best for all of you. Iím always wanting to find ways to grow.
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