This series is dedicated to all of my friends whose children are starting "real" school this fall - whether at home or somewhere else.
Moms are often anxious about beginning "real education" with their little loves. I hope that this series provides simple ideas that can build an ARCH between your home and school experience. Life long learners are home grown, regardless of where they are schooled.
Often as the rush of school begins parents lose track of how their family rhythms and simple practices can help their child keep that love for learning. Other times I have seen families struggle as parents are told things that just don't seem right for their 5 and 6 year old. Parents need to know what is "normal" for the later years of "early childhood education". That designation has ALWAYS gone up to 8 year old children! Does that surprise you?
My aim is to support parents, not slight teachers. Not all children learn to walk, talk and run at the same time. If reading, writing and calculating are skills - why do we expect all children to master them at the same time and the same speed? Yet, this is the herculean task set before early elementary school teachers. This doesn't even account for the varied backgrounds that children bring into the classroom. I have utmost respect for the daunting task teachers face every day.
This series, for parents, will offer educational philosophy, research and practical tips about best practices in early childhood education and ways your home culture can support lifelong learning.
A.R.C.H. stands for:
A - Advocate for Play and Movement
R - Read Aloud
C - Coach Academic Skills
H - Habits for learning
As the series progresses over the next 4 weeks the links here will become live.
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If you JUST CAN'T WAIT to learn more, the pins at TheCommonPlace pinterest page link to my favorite resources.
Its not just me . . .
Rae Pica's What if Everybody Understood Child Development? is the most accessible overview of key ideas in early childhood education that I've found. Her short essay format (3 to 4 pages) covers a range of topics in an easily understandable way.
Not Just Cute did a blog series called Why We Don't Push Kids Down the Stairs to emphasize the point that development is a process. If you follow through to the series she provides a great overview of what early childhood development specialists look for in a quality environment.
These two have such respect for each other that Not Just Cute did a read along of Rae Pica's book. So if you want a reading schedule with commentary check it out.
DISCLAIMER - I have not been a full time classroom teacher (although I have worked in a few schools) nor have I sent my children away to school (I choose to work in schools or coops they attend). However, I have spoken to many moms about their anxiety and worry. Also, some of the concerns about approaches to early childhood education might be particular to my city and state and the ways that they develop and define "quality education". I hope that your area is more developmentally appropriate than mine can be at times!