Parents and teachers

boy on a rope swing outdoors

Rae Pica: The 3 things that have changed

“Early childhood educators tell me lots of stories when I keynote or train,” writes US early years consultant Rae Pica. “Since I’ve been speaking and training for almost four decades, you can imagine how many stories I’ve heard. But lately I keep hearing the same three stories from teachers, repeatedly. It’s disturbing—and it needs to be addressed.”

 

If you’re in the early childhood field you can probably guess what these three issues are. Read Rae’s take here.

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little girl playing guitar on the floor

Singing new songs

“Singing and music are part of children’s development. We miss opportunities for learning if we rely on singing only a limited number of the good old favourites,” writes Marjorie Ouvry. “Have we an appropriate repertoire up our sleeves?” Here are some helpful tips and ideas.

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little girl removing or returning carry crate to its shelf

Every moment matters

Much of what occurs in a child’s day may seem trivial or monotonous from an adult’s perspective: going out, coming in; jacket on, jacket off; choosing a toy, putting it away… However, because children live intensely “in the moment”, it is precisely within the context of these seemingly ordinary routines that learning happens.

 

As early years educators we need to find ways to capture and celebrate the regular rituals in a child’s day and “turn the ordinary into the extraordinary”. To get started, try these ideas from Dr. Sandra Duncan: The power of everyday moments.

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singing

How music helps to ease stress during the day

Why do so many of us use “the Clean-Up Song” to indicate that it is time to pack up the toys? Probably because it works! Repetitive, familiar songs are one of the best ways to announce and calmly ease children through daily transition times. A child doesn’t need a lot of information to transition, and a tune—used regularly—offers them a signal without overwhelming them with words.

In her years of teaching experience, Margaret Hooton has acquired a wealth of tried-and-tested little songs for all moments of the day. Try them yourself! Listen here.

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Schemas

Rewards of repetition

Why does Thomas tie everything up in string? Why does Lynn always twirl in circles? If you are puzzled about a child’s behaviour, you might be seeing a schema in action: “Children have a natural urge to do the same thing again and again…this is a vitally important element in young children’s development and learning.” Writes Stella Louis in her new booklet Schemas for parents.

This booklet “will make parents feel empowered to enjoy their children.” says Professor Tina Bruce. Parents and practitioners “will find comfort in seeing that some of the puzzling things their children do can be explained and made educationally worthwhile.” 

Read more about Schemas.

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