Love is patient, Love is kind… 1st Corinthians 13:4 is a famous Bible verse telling us what love is. Lots of Bible verses, poems and songs tell us what love is. What would a child say love is? I asked how people showed love and learned that a 2 year old feels loved by lots of hugs. A 3 year old said he shows love by sharing his half-eaten treats. A 4 year old said love is when your mommy buys you a milkshake because your throat hurts. A 5 year old said she shows her daddy she loves him by drawing him pictures. A six year old said love is “letting her pick which game to play.” An 8 year old said love is sharing valentines with a girl and it not being yucky” … I asked over a dozen kids and most of their responses involved actions to and from parents. A ten year old said his favorite thing in the whole world was having pajama parties with dad and watching movies til’ midnight. He agreed time spent together was better then any gift.
Presence over presents is something to consider during gift giving times of holidays, birthdays and even on random Wednesday evenings. Every day is a different schedule for me as I run my early-education child care program, tutor elementary students, provide trainings and workshops for providers and parents … Some days I’m “just” a parent caring for my own kids, homeschooling my own kids, doing chores with and for my own kids, trying to find time to do things with my husband … while my husband balances his own schedule of editing from home, filming on the road, attending meetings for his work and for our kids special programs and teaching other kids about filming … He loves teaching others and has been teaching film to kids during Central United Methodist (in Traverse City) on Wednesday nights.
After a long day of teaching kids myself, while balancing the needs of an infant, I could just use Wednesday nights to relax, but I don’t. I choose to go with him to church, even though we only have a car ride to talk about our day. After being away from him and the boys all day (while they attend the Northern Michigan Partnership for homeschool students) I want to know what I missed during their day. We eat a quick meal with church friends then my husband goes to film with one of my boys, my other son goes to choir practice and I take the baby upstairs to BBM (Building Better Moms) – a time to chat with other mom’s and explore mom topics and engage in book discussions. Currently we’re working on a book / video titled “Presence over perfect.” As a mom, wife, sister, friend, woman… caregiver with many titles… I strive for perfection and am learning to focus on presence.
Presence for my children, for my husband, for myself, for the children I care for … I care for other many extra kiddos and try and make sure I give each individual attention during their time in my program. I try and make sure sure I individualize the program to meet each one’s interests, strengths, and needs. I try and adapt activities and lesson plans based on the individual time spent with each student and the observations I take watching them interact with materials independently and with their peers. I take notes each day for their parents to help them feel connected and present during their day, and if parents request I provide developmental assessments for children and offer recommendations and referrals for extending their services or assisting with specific needs. One program I use to guide activities and assessments is Mother Goose Time.
Each month MGT provides a theme based program for preschool children that can be simplified for younger kids and expanded on for older students. This month the theme has been rhyming, but each month comes with a bonus day of supplies for focus on special days, such as this months Valentines Day. This week we focused on Valentines, having happy and healthy hearts and having helpful hands showing others we love them though being helpful and kind. Love is patient…Love is kind. Be patient – take time to talk to your child each day … If your child attends Adventure Academy ask them about their LOVELY week with their friends and how your family can extend the theme at home. Be kind – that’s the easiest way to extend this weeks unit. Be present. Take time to play and enjoy time with your family. Need activity ideas – just ask!
Adventure Academy has resources for local activities for families. Adventure Academy is located in Kingsley, Michigan and is Mi Families youth program. Mi Families (“my families”) LLC has programs for youth, their parents and providers across Michigan. For more information on our programs visit www.MiFamilies.com. If you’d like to schedule a workshop for adults or enroll your child(ren) at Adventure Academy email Christi@MiFamilies.com. If you’d like to network with other parents and providers find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube… If you’d like to see what we’re up to next week and learn more about our assessment and evaluation process click “subscribe” above. This month we’re finishing up our winter evals and preparing for our spring session activities – and even starting to schedule summer fun! According to one 9 year old – “Love is warm, like the summer sun hugging you.” Join us for fun in the sun and LOVELY adventures year round!