SHOW AND TELL
Bring a thing Dad uses
Topic: Male Role Models
We’ll appreciate the male qualities of strength and risk taking.
The value we’ll be studying is courage to deal with things that are scary, difficult, or painful.
For ecology, we’ll be studying water, like how it gets dirty and then how it gets clean.
Outside, we’ll be playing Red Rover.
The songs we’ll be singing are Happy Talk, 76 Trombones, I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, High Hopes, and Let There Be Peace on Earth.
For creative dramatics, we’ll be playing dress-up relays.
Our art activities will be family rock portraits, flag collage, who’s in my family, and where I live.
For motor development, we’ll be working on strength with situps, deep knee bends, and rocking horse. For body movement, we’ll be working on postural response with find the shape, crab walk, and tight rope.
CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE
There’s a beautiful little poem called Children Learn What They Live. In it are lines like “If a child lives with criticism, he learns to criticize”. At the school, we call these vignettes indirect lessons. They’re things like how to walk, how to enunciate clearly, how to carry a tray. Our children observe every detail of their worlds, and learn how they should walk, talk, and act. As we read distressing stories about vandalism and violence, we wonder how that could happen. But then we watch as a father sets his child on a shelf unit to tie her shoe. Can we wonder that this little girl learns it’s not important to respect furniture? We hear a mother talking with another mother about how stupid her supervisor is. Can we wonder that her son doesn’t respect his teacher? When we see a child’s piece of artwork carelessly tossed into the trash*, can we wonder that the child cares nothing for the white wall he’s painted on?
It’s hard to know what is the right thing to do. Living with our little ones every day at the school, we feel their turmoil. We’re so conscious of their fear of trying new things and of their anxious waiting for mom or dad to arrive at the end of the day. And then we watch harried parents arrive and barely speak to the little face so eagerly turned toward them. Our children can value others only when they’ve been valued. It’s so easy for us to protest that, of course, we value our children. But do we act like it? Compare just the time you use digital media to the time you read to your child, take a walk, or listen to his ideas. It’s easy to get into the habit of treating a child like a thing as we dress, feed, and put her to sleep.
William Bennett in his Book of Virtues suggests that we must focus on excellent things if we want excellent children. It’s an awesome responsibility every time you’re within eyeshot of your child. We have to be the role models for what we want our world to be. More of that poem reads, “If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice. If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.” We build our lives everyday. Parents seem to be willing to accept the charge to be excellent. Maybe that’s why family is the building block of our society.
*Hint: Use the top of your refrigerator for all that “work”. Your child can clearly see that it’s there and if she asks about a picture, you can quickly retrieve it. After the stack gets so high it threatens to topple over, pull the bottom several inches out to put in the trash (confidentially, of course). It’s so old your child doesn’t remember it anymore. This is also a good stack to pull out of when sending things to grandparents. They’ll love these samples of work.
Independence Day Holiday – The school will be closed on Friday, July 3, in honor of our forefathers who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to fight for the idea that all people are created equal with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Toddler Tips – Toddler teachers realize you’ve been in a grown-up world for a while, but they wish you would let your little one participate a little more. Specifically, get a drink (use a step stool), make the salad (tear the lettuce), don’t shoo them out, and go really slow when you’re showing them how to do it. Mostly what they do is okay. Torn lettuce still tastes the same, and spilled drinks are easy to clean up if a towel is available for little hands. They need to practice, and they need the self confidence that you know they can do it.