Showing posts from November, 2016

Retirement, Simple Living, and Me-- Warning: There Are Squirrels Involved

Anna and Nana (me) doing a little "leaf crunching." ( 20009) This fall season has been extremely weird as well as unsettling . By weird, I'm talking about the weather and by unsettling, I think you know what I mean. Even though the temperature has not been "fall" like, the leaves are turning and falling in great numbers.  The pups and I have enjoyed many morning walks that involve one of my favorite activities "leaf crunching" and one of  their favorite activities, "squirrel stalking." Regarding the unsettling part, probably the biggest concern is the fear of the unknown. What will happen to the economy? What will happen to the environment? What will happen with funding for quality early childhood education programs? Who will win Dancing With the Stars?  Okay, not so much that one, but you can tell I've been a little anxious and frankly, a little scared lately. I had a friend whose granddaughter was having trouble learning to

Jean Piaget Meets Pete the Cat

One of my favorite early education theorists has always been Jean Piaget. I have written about him in a previous post to talk about his views on the importance of play in children's development. Today, I would like to address his theories on emotional self regulation in young children. Let's start with a definition of emotional self regulation: it is the ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed.   Wikipedia In other words, it is helping children develop the tools they need to respond to situations in their life in an appropriate way.  This might include times of sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety, disappointment as well as excitement. Babies learn to soothe their upsets by being soothed by parents or care givers. Toddlers and preschoolers can learn to self regulate by be

"They" Say She Should Be Reading!

Word on the street is that children in kindergarten (age 5) should be reading. In fact, some people think that they should actually go to kindergarten reading. If you are a parent or grandparent of a preschool age child you may have been told this by a well-meaning teacher or other parent. If you have been told this, my first piece of advice is do not panic!   In order for children to learn to read there are some basic building blocks that must be in place. The building blocks necessary include: vocabulary, storytelling, and phonological awareness. I will talk about these in more detail in just a bit, but first I would like to share a story about two little girls who learned to read in two very different ways. Little Girl 1 was very verbal from a very young age. She developed a very large vocabulary, loved to listen to books and retell stories and learned the names of letters and the sounds that they made as well. Her well-meaning mother thought that she could speed up the proc