I met another like minded mama and her two boys. I am so excited to have found such a gentle and creative family so close by. This is big big news for us. DS had a grand time exploring a new home and getting to play with new toys and meet new children. And jump on a trampoline, visit the neighbours hens, share a mango. Just have a most excellent time, while two mama’s had real conversation. Chatting about Waldorf, Enki, Israel, mothering, crafting, IL’s. 🙂
This comes a day after I had been tested for my patience with DS testing his boundaries, and mine. My 3 minute walk to the local fruit and veg place became more than a half an hour meander as DS found his own route through the public garden. His latest love is climbing anything and everything. The rock monument proved to be irresistable, and he was climbing up and walking along the large rocks, while I practiced patient breathing. I turned my attention to observing how he makes decisions and how he does know his limits. He knows when he can step from rock to rock and when he needs my help, and does not hesitate to ask for it. But he will only hold my hand as long as is necessary, and then he is off again. On the issue of holding me hand, I am trying to instill a ‘tradition’ of taking my hand when we cross any road. It is proving difficult, as he will take my hand to make the curb, but then wants to run in the road. Practice makes perfect I hope, and for now I am always right by his side when we are near a road. But I do wish he was a little more reticent about crossing roads by himself.
E, I am very much looking forward to our next play date. A puppet show sounds wonderful. Glorious. Perhaps we can felt some puppets together? Hugs to Y and little E. Lyla tov
I am reading Smart Moves, by Carla Hannaford and loving it. I think that there is so much to learn and apply when it comes to how children learn and what we want to teach them.
I am quite sure that Waldorf schools are onto a good thing when they don’t rush reading and generally have a take it slow appraoch with introducing technology and ‘scientific thinking’. I do not see the benefit in rushing children to know their numbers and letters – or generally pushing kids to perform academic skills. I am inclined to believe that it is a misplaced belief of this being for the good of the child. Of course if every child is reading in grade one, it could be hard for my child if he were not. He might be made to feel stupid or inferior in some way. But that is still not enough of a convincing reason to prssure him to be reading and writing and doing math when he is younger than 7-8. I see reading, writing and math as the culmination of years of having developed the foundations – essentally perception. Without an understanding of how objects related to one another and how you relate to objects around you in space – reading and writing are going to be that much more difficult. Behind, in front, left, right, under, over, etc are the foundations for being able to decode written language. And the strongest way to lay the foundation for these perceptions is through movement. Children first learn kinesthetically (through movement) and then through 3 dimentions (ie blocks/toys), and then in 2 dimensions (on paper).
Anyway, many books have been written on this and I am defintily not the first to choose to stay away from ‘acamdic’ material in the first years. It makes sense to me and fits with my values and seems to be more in line with the ideal environment for little children to be growing and learning in.
With a title like this it can only mean that I am feeling very insecure about my choices and I have been doing some digging to make me feel better about my choice and why it is the best one for me and my family.
My aquaintance from the local funky mamas has started her son (2 days older than DS) in a kindy type set up – I don’t know what the term is, as play group seems to be when the mothers are present and this is mom-free. She is raving about it and I think would love for my DS to be part of the group. It’s all open ended toys, organic whole foods type of parents. So it could be my kind of thing…. BUT
For a 14 month old? This mum described how a day was organised for the children where people dressed up in costumes from different cultures and served food from that culture and it sounds amazing. But for a 14 month old? What on earth would that mean to my DS? What tools does he have to decode that experience and make sense of it?
I am also aware that I have a different approach to stimulation than many people around me. I do not feel comfortable pointing things out to DS. A bit like I do not feel comfortable coaching him to say words. What I do feel comfortable with is answering his quesitons. He has taken to pointing at things and touching things while looking at me as if to say “and this? what is this?”. He does say something that sounds like “et zeh” which would mean “this” in English when he points to things. He also says ‘ptzzz’ to things. Anyway, when he points to things, I do find myself naming the thing he is pointing to. It feels right and for now I am going with what feels right. As a reminder to myself – there is no need to worry about DS’s development until a problem is spotted. Then there are many professionals who know how to help, should we need their help.
My best solution so far. Provide a nurturing environment and let DS choose how to interact with it. I certainly do not have a firm enough grasp on every aspect of child development to be 100% confident that I know more about what my DS needs to be doing than he does. I see my role as providing the environment and the support and letting him do the rest. And he loves immitating me sweeping, raking, vacuuming, stirring, clapping, etc. My gut tells me this is enough for now. (Although more of a structured rhythm would be nice – slowly slowly I’ll get there)
And I am guessing that this environment will not be provided in a kindy for 14 months olds. The temptation to teach something would be too huge. And there is time enough later for DS to be formally instructed.
I am wanting to find a solution for DS to be in regular contact with a group of children/parents. I do not feel comfortable with me and DH being his primary sources for socialization….. hmmmm
More like it 🙂