Birth to Three

Life Work with a One-Year-Old by Cynthia Aldinger

"Did you hear that?” my daughter-in-law and I queried one another.  It sounds like she is saying “Thank you.”  Such are the fantasies of a mommy and gramma of a newly-one-year-old.   But hey! It might actually be true.  Maybe my one-year-old granddaughter’s first words were “thank you,” translated something like “da do.” That would be pretty cool, considering that gratitude is the moral quality we hope to awaken in the young child. 

El Dormir de los Niños by Maryliana Wickus

Antes de que Mateo llegara a nuestras vidas yo escuche muchos, diferentes y variados comentarios acerca de como lograr que los niños duerman seguido y por largo tiempo. Esto hizo que mi esposo y yo nos dispusieramos a leer, aprender e informarnos acerca de este tema en profundidad. Especialmente porque yo tengo bien claro que soy una persona que necesita dormir bien, para sentirme fuerte, presente y dispuesta a cuidar de otros. Algo que llamo bastante mi atención fue la frase “A los bebes hay que enseñarles que se duerme de noche y se esta despierto de día, por supuesto mostrandoles con claridad la diferencia entre el día y la noche”.  Fue entonces cuando yo comprendí que en realidad el nuevo ser no sabe nada de horarios o de tiempo, ni siquiera sabe distinguir entre la noche y el día.

Giving to Children: What Our Children Really Need, by Jaimmie Stugard

By Jaimmie Stugard

When I was pregnant with my first child, my mailbox swelled with unsolicited parenting magazines, ads and baby life insurance offers.  Just open your pocketbook, the ads implied, and you can procure all the items your unborn baby needs to get ahead in the world she hasn't even seen yet.  You can teach her to read, or better yet, put her in front of the television and she'll morph into Einstein himself. 

Odelay and the Great Storm, by Jaimmie Stugard

As the days grow shorter and the crisp air hearkens the coming of the dark winter months, some Steiner-inspired kindergartens and preschools prepare to celebrate Michaelmas.  Stories are told of fearsome dragons, brave knights, benevolent kings and heroic princesses.  Children eat dragon bread and dye silken capes with goldenrod.  They explore the roles of warrior, princess and dragon in their play.  Something about these age-old themes spark their imaginations and tales of epic battles between good and evil are treasured by many young children.

The Habit of YES

The Habit of YES

I’m pleased to share that an article of mine has been published in the lovely online magazine Rhythm of the Home.  If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look!  My article is titled The Habit of Yes, and can be found by clicking here.

Warmly,

Faith Collins

 

Creating a YES Environment

Creating a YES! Environment

By Simone DiMarzi

    What does it mean to say YES when taking care of children birth to three?  The child's first words are often "No."  One of the best ways not to chime in with the children and always have to say "No" is to create a YES environment.  The environment is key to all sorts of exciting discoveries and developments for children, and is something that I thoroughly enjoy creating!  I sit often and just watch the children play and explore, and as I watch I think about ways to make this environement be even better for them.

The Art of Re-Direction, by Faith Collins

Taming the Wild Beasts

          What I want to talk about here is the art of re-direction. That’s a large part of what positive discipline is: instead of saying what NOT to do, say what you DO want your child to do. This can be very straightforward (“Please talk in a soft voice”), but it can also be creative, and here is where you can really learn to enjoy being with young children in a whole new way. My first exposure to this was when I was first considering working in early childhood, and I was observing a kindergarten class at a Waldorf school in Colorado. It was a class of 18 children, and during the free-play time there was a group of four 5-year-old boys who were playing that they were a pack of wild dogs. They roamed wildly around the classroom, growling and barking and wreaking havoc on the games others were playing. 

Math and Science in the Kindergarten Waldorf Early Childhood Settings

By Lisa Gromicko

Steiner-based, early childhood settings abound with rich opportunities for the development of math and science concepts.  This may be surprising to some who can easily see the beauty, language, and coziness of the Waldorf kindergarten, but not necessarily the mathematical or scientific side.   A primary focus of Waldorf early childhood education is on the care and development of the physical body of the child, and that of the child’s environment.  Considering the ‘physical’ basis of the early years, it then becomes possible to glimpse the natural mathematical relationships.  In reality, all activities of Steiner-based early childhood education are math and science based, including activities of language acquisition and pre-literacy, such as listening and word recognition, patterning, and story sequencing.    

Foundations for literacy, numeracy, honesty, integrity and lifelong learning

By Cynthia Aldinger, Founder and Director of LifeWays     

Can daily life really be a curriculum?  Can little children truly be prepared for the rigors of academic life through play and through participation in practical activities of the household? 

What are our ultimate goals, hopes, interests on behalf of our children and the children in our care?  We accept that early childhood experiences lay a foundation for future capacities for abstract learning.  We also recognize that their early encounters are foundational to the human qualities of caring, having compassion, being resilient, and finding joy in life.  Is it possible that our goals for the development of these lofty soulful characteristics and the more materialistic academic capacities can be achieved through similar means?

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