Saturday, December 22, 2012

Birthday Song One More Time!

"Every stage of development is complete in itself.  
The 3 year old is not an incomplete 5 year old.  
The child is not an incomplete adult.
Never are we simply on our way!
Always we have arrived!
Enjoy Now!" 
                                                        ...J.C. Pearce

   This quote just reminds us to enjoy each stage of childhood and life as it arrives!  As a mother of four teenagers, I can tell you that each and every moment should be just goes by way too fast!  Enjoy and embrace every stage.  

    I have some construction going on in my office (which is also my laundry room) this week, so this newsletter will be short and sweet!  My husband is adding a door to my office/laundry room, so that come Spring I can have access to my gardens!  

  We were given another lovely sunny day on Wednesday!  I was reminded of how children truly learn through "doing" this week.  I feel it is a gift to allow our children free time to repeat certain play over and over again without interruption.    I love that the children can fully engage in an activity for as long as they like!  It is through practice and repetition that true learning happens for all of us!

   Our playdough table became a birthday party...and we sang Happy Birthday over and over again! 

 We practiced our fine motor skills with some cutting and drawing. 

After Carson was finished tracing a Gingerbread Man cookie cutter she said, "Actually this is not a gingerbread man, it is a jellyfish."  This lead to a Jellyfish story.  Carson dictated as I wrote as fast as I could.  She later read her story to me.  This is emergent literacy in action!  If you are not familiar with Vivian Gussin Paley....I highly recommend her books.  She was a Preschool/Kindergarten teacher who wrote several books on children's play and storytelling. Good reading and one of my mentors as a teacher. 


 We cooked together.                                              

 We hung, climbed, slid, dug and swept!  

                                                                    We Shared!

 We read books!


                     We had loads of fun decorating our cookies!  

 We ended our day running our "sugar" off in the open grassy area!  Wish I had photos to post of this as it was lovely to see the beauty of children running freely without a care in the world (if you took a photo of this time...please share it with us).

NEXT WEEK:  Enjoy you Holidays!  We will not be meeting next week, but if there is enough interest....I would love to meet again Jan 2nd.   I will post on Meetups  and see how many RSVP.

Hugs to you all, Joy

Friday, December 14, 2012

Child-led Curriculum!

   "Play is the highest form of research"...Albert Einstein  

    As I clean up after our Wednesdays together, I have time to reflect on the day and appreciate the time we had together.  I  remember the cute things the children said and did and I am always amazed by how the day took on its own organic flow.... completely child led!  I always have activities for the children and "areas" set up for them to explore, but it is always changed into something much more then I could have ever have imagined or planned.  I have never been a huge fan of "themes" for preschool age children.  Meaningful natural learning occurs when a child takes their own interest or passion and works hard on it through play.  

  Our "free art" table is a good example of this.  It's all about the creative "process" and not the "product."  I put out different materials and the children's art never looks the same!   

We helped each and worked together on SpinArt! 

                        A true cooperative activity.

We made turned out great!  My family enjoyed it too!

The imaginary cooking area was more popular than the real cooking! 

The castle dollhouse turned into a car ramp funhouse!   

We had fun scooping and pouring together in the birdseed sensory bucket.  I added a volcano to the mix and the birdseed became "hot lava."

          The slide became a ramp for the cars and balls.

 The digging for treasure continued....with a little help from my son Andrew.

Sam and Carson began dancing.... we turned on some music and all joined in!

                            We loved our sharing time!  

               Another great day creating sweet memories!

   I want to acknowledge the amazing mothers we have in our group!  As I get to spend time with both you and your children I can tell you I have never seen such incredible parents!  I feel honored that you have chosen to have your child involved in our Natural Learning group!  Parenting is such hard work (and it doesn't get just continuously changes)!  A community of like-minded parents like ours gives us the extra support we need!   

Next Wednesday:  We will be decorating Gingerbread cookies and houses....please bring something to add to the decoration choices (small amounts are fine). 

SUNDAY: Meet real reindeer at The Chattahoochee Nature Center this Sunday December 16th 1:00-4:00 PM.  You can stop by for as long as you don't have to stay the whole time.  I will be there with my youngest daughter Kristen!  Let me know if you want to meet me there.  For directions and more information....look at The Chattahoochee Nature Center  

The address is: 9135 Willeo Rd, Roswell, GA    

You can text me when you arrive and I will wait for you at the front desk: (770) 820-4044

GOOD NEWS!!  The church is excited to have us use their space a second day beginning in January!  We just need to choose the day we prefer to see if it is available! Please send me an email saying if you are interested in the second day and if so....which day works best for you.  I will do my best to accommodate everyone;s schedule!  
 Have a great weekend!  Hope to see you Sunday and Wednesday too!  Hugs, Joy