Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Instruction Manual to Kids

So everyone says that there is no instruction manual for raising kids. Well, that's true. However, if you are or will be a stay-at-home parent, there's something pretty close. This semester in school, I decided to take an Early Childhood Education class. (Mainly because I registered so late the other classes were full!) Now, I've made no attempt to hide my belief that if at all possible, one parent- and yes, I do actually mean the mother (unless there's extenuating circumstances)- should stay home with the kids. I didn't really have a lot of high hopes for this class. People can be wrong, though, and I was wrong.

This class has covered topics on child development and psychology, which really helps parents understand the milestones their kids should be making. Also, it shows parents the different ways their kids could learn, very important for parents who are considering home-schooling. The most interesting part so far has been the required observations. I have had to go into preschool and day-care programs, and will also be attending two primary school classes. Although I went into these with very low expectations, again, I was wrong. I witnessed the teachers really interacting with all of the children, individually and in groups. The best thing was their language with the kids- completely appropriate to their ages and full of patience.
They all used phrases that were easy for the kids to understand and obey- and increased the social and emotional attachment the kids had to the teachers. I think this would be a great lesson for any parent.

Another one of the great aspects in observing was seeing how the classrooms are set up. I have talked about my ventures into Montessori schooling, and was pleasantly surprised to see that this has indeed invaded most classrooms (at least for the preschool set- we all know what those primary school classes post-K look like!) There was an opportunity to see how the activity centers were placed, and all of the different learning toys. I do think this will influence how I will be organizing our "school" room at home this year.

Now, obviously, the on-the-job experience that parents receive is well above the education in any class. Still, I can't help but wish that I had taken this class before I had my sons, and I would recommend any soon-to-be or new parent take the opportunity if it is possible.

Be sure to come back next week for some ideas on how to set up your learning area/ room!

I am happy to share this at Works For Me Wednesday.

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