There are lots of resources for helping children through transitions, which is great because times of change are often times of chaos for little ones. Learning to handle times of change is an important piece of the developmental puzzle. During a recent meeting parents debated if children should be taught or tossed into change. In a world where only the strong are thought to survive – do we enable our children and teach them to be dependent on formal lessons to overcome new obstacles? Many argue it’s best to throw them into obstacles, but I believe there are so many obstacles that we should help them with the ones we can, teaching them skills to face greater challenges as they grow.
The argument that you were left in the woods and found your own way doesn’t mean your child needs to face that survival skill. Instead of saying I’m tough because of my upbringing consider how much stronger you would have been with more support systems in place, with support systems ready for you at each new obstacle. This isn’t a question to point blame or say “if only” it’s to help you consider what supports, skills and tools you’d like your child to have with them during a challenge. Challenges can be peer pressure, dealing with family dynamics, changing schools … even changing subjects. For children who struggle with certain subjects anxiety can build on the way to the classroom. Instead of saying “too bad or toughin’ up…” question why they are struggling. Use the subjects they are interested in to build confidence in new areas.
Each new month brings a new theme to study at Adventure Academy. We use many different curriculums to support the theme and cover all subject areas using the children’s interests. As a new month begins I transition students from the last theme using the topics they enjoyed in the previous month. Last month was “In the orchard” and the children loved using the fall theme to visit farms and orchards. We enjoyed local field trips to support unit activities provided by Mother Goose Time. Living in a rural area made the activities pertinent - even if we don’t grow banana’s in Northern Michigan kids understand produce and harvesting lessons. Many of the kids I work with don’t understand lessons about other weather systems, culture or worldly events however. This was one reason I was excited that the next theme Mother Goose Time developed was “On the Go.”
Some kids stress about learning math, some struggle with learning about other places and diversity. Some kids have a drive to explore and discover new places, while others feel safer in what they know and understand. As with all transitions I encourage adults to share their knowledge about new places before leaving a child in one. Bring culture and diversity into their comfort zone so they can learn acceptance and respect for all without others biassed opinions. I grew up in the Detroit area and lived near Los Angeles and miss the culture and diversity of big cities. I love our calm rural home, but make sure we expose our children to a greater world then this small town, and love watching them interact with the world around them. They love to tell others of their adventures beyond these orchards.
“Down the road” is this weeks subject and our boys have been sharing their travel experiences with friends that join us for child care and tutoring. From building a road, to playing construction games, mapping journals, building bridges, and being mechanics we’ve been busy. Not only are we busy using our brains and learning traditional subjects matters, but we are busy using our bodies and gaining small and large motor skills. Many of this weeks games have a physical component and like always the kids around here play them as designed then add their own rules or create similar games. This theme will last a long time as we learn about the world while traveling through it, creating crafts… as we sing and dance to the provided music, play red light / green light a million times and ride vehicles indoor and outside.
As we transition into our new theme we are enjoying the transition of the season as well, and although we often have snow this time of year it has been sunny and warm and we’ll be spending much of it outside: playing with cars in the sandbox, boats in the water table, flying toy planes through the air, and taking fall hikes on our rope train around the yard. The acres outside and activities indoors are ready for learning adventures and we have expanded hours for more friends to join us. If you know anyone seeking child care or tutoring services near Kingsley please have them email Christi@MiFamilies.com. Mi Families (“my families”) offers many programs for children, their families and those who work with their families. You can learn more about us by checking out our WEBSITE, subscribing above to our articles …finding us YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter etc… Feel free to network with other families on our Facebook page and feel free to network & learn more about my background on LinkedIn.
*Pics posted display activities from this weeks “On the Go” theme from Mother Goose Time. CLICK HERE to order this theme