preschool

Shopping with Kids: Supporting a Growth Mindset Among the Shiny Objects

Knowing her grandparents will soon be asking for gift ideas for our daughter, my husband and I decided to take our five year old window shopping today. As usual and as I’ve written about before, we began with the caveat that although we wouldn’t buy anything, we’d take pictures of what she likes so that …

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Preparing for the Inevitable: The Importance of Trusting Play

“Mommy, let’s pretend this isn’t a train tunnel.” “Okay, what is it?” “It’s a tomb.” Well, hello, conversation stopper. She paused for effect, which is a good thing, because I certainly didn’t expect that. After a moment to process and very consciously trust that children’s play serves an important purpose for them, I mentally cringed …

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Telling Our Kids What TO Do: Three Ways to Build a Child’s Self-Confidence

At one of the schools I have the pleasure of visiting regularly, this week’s craft table featured what the teacher appropriately called the “paper guillotine,” along with some glue and paper. At one point, an unsuspecting adult walked over and saw the setup. She inquired, only half-jokingly, “Oh, is this the table where you slice …

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Observing the Experts (Who Are Rarely Adults, With This Exception)

  For the past week, I’ve attended a multi-age outdoor school led by Teacher Tom, who’s hailed by parenting experts as one of the “world’s leading practitioners of ‘democratic play-based’ education.”* If you haven’t followed his blog or bought his book, you should, and if you can attend his class, even better. Although I exceed the age limit …

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“I’m Not Your Mom” and Other Tips for Raising Self-Sufficient Humans

After finishing a two-week, multi-age summer class with Teacher Tom, who’s an internationally respected teacher and writer, I asked my child what she thought he was really good at. She pondered my question for a moment and thoughtfully replied, “He’s really good at sitting.” Well, shoot. At the risk of bragging, I’m a fine sitter, myself. Now that I know …

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