“Leaps and bounds” both mean jumping, so the title is a redundant phrase, but it’s a term often used to state fast progress – and Mi Families (“my families”) LLC continues to quickly grow programs and members. Our youngest members are enrolled in our Adventure Academy, child care and tutoring program, and are growing the fastest! Tots to teens have been learning and working hard together all winter and growth in each child is evident.
Usually we wait to assess growth in our spring session, but because of recent parent requests and some student birthdays we’ve been taking a look at the progress many have achieved this school year. One noticeable growth is that my own baby has been sitting up and joining in our activities. Although our activities are geared for preschool to preteen levels babies are invited to participate as they are able. Because our program is stage before age based there are no expectations, only inclusion and encouraging progression along the way.
Older students build confidence helping younger peers learn through theme based units. We use various curriculums to enhance our units, one being Mother Goose Time. MGT is a preschool based package that can be simplified for younger children, while expanded on for older students. This month we worked through a rhyming theme and while younger children heard rhymes, finger plays and songs – middle kids did activities to build rhyming word families – and older students wrote their own poetry.
Writing love poems for valentines day was filled with giggles. Since this month Valentines was celebrated we also had a focus on love, and how we show others we care about them, and how we need to care and love ourselves! Caring and loving ourselves has been an interesting topic as some parents and providers felt too much focus on self development and praise leads to individual narcissism. Many of those adults admitted they do not find enough “me time” to focus on their own self growth.
The debate of confidence vs narcissism and discipline vs guidance is a topic we’ll dive into another time, but the current conversation remains with self development as social emotional growth is an area skipped over too often on developmental domains. When we look at a child’s development we often assess how big they are as babies, then what they can do with their large motor skills as they learn to roll, sit, crawl, stand, walk… Then programs look at a tots speech and language progress, and preschool cognitive abilities…
Mi Families and Adventure Academy has assessment programs to consider all domains across all stages of human development and offers resources and referrals for forward progress. Assessments are facilitated with parent/guardian request and are completed over time – as one session assessments do not provide accurate answers to the complexities of ones development. Assessments are facilitated by gathering past information and through months of observations.
Observations are done through play based activities and include noticing developmental paths across diverse domains. Observations also includes noticing individual temperament traits, individual intelligences and learning modes… Observation events are planned ahead with a schedule to determine what specific information would be helpful to note and how best to identify individual goals. This week students and parents discussed their own goals for growth in diverse areas.
Some would like to see progress in health or physically related areas. Some would like to feel growth in large motor development, others in small motor skills. Some are more focused on communication or cognitive areas of learning. Others are noting the importance of regulating social and emotional understanding. Using the understanding of creative representation (art, music, make believe, play…) we focus on strengths and interests and discover growth across all domains.
Just as a baby morphs into an adult, this spring we will note how other creatures morph and change. This week we had a small taste of spring as we enjoyed temps in the 60’s and snow at the same time. Some bugs were even awaken thinking of a thaw, but as I type this there is a snow storm outside and winter is still here. The fake spring got us excited for the next season though so next week we’ll start learning about spring and explore our own pond as winter changes to spring and our students change and grow with the season.
Using key experiences we’ll learn about the changes to ourselves, other creatures and the world around us. Subscribe above so you can be updated on the growth of our students and programs. Follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc so you can network with our members. Email Christi@MiFamilies.com if you’d like to meet up with our members for provider trainings, parent workshops, family events … or to enroll your child in our learning adventures. Adventure Academy is located in Kingsley, Michigan, but other services are available state wide!
If your ready to skip spring and plan ahead for summer – consider enrolling your child(ren) in our summer program!!!! Spaces are limited and will fill up fast : http://www.mifamilies.com/adventure-academy/summer-school