Whether you are a caregiver, stay at home parent, homeschooler, small day care provider, working parent or grandparent, my vision is to help you spend more intentional, quality time with the little readers, observers, artists and musicians in your life. I have a great love of the liberal arts and books which led me to pursue degrees in languages, literature, education and library science. In my past life, I worked as both a teacher and health sciences librarian.
When I decided to stay home to raise my children, I discovered that I had a unique opportunity to pursue my love of the liberal arts again as well as a chance to spend more time exploring the outdoors with my little ones! I hope that you will join us on this journey as we R.O.A.M. around exploring children's literature, natural phenomena, fine arts, and music!
About the R.O.A.M. Program
We employ a unique learning approach called R.O.A.M. to help you spend more quality time with the little Readers, Observers, Artists and Musicians in your care.
So what does the R.O.A.M. program stand for?
Why have we relegated the arts to our childrens’ craft tables? A little bit of glue and some scissors do not make for true artistic inspiration. Our children have an intuitive need to ROAM in nature and to explore all the different kinds of arts including children's literature, visual art and music. Artsy Startsy believes emphatically that parents and caregivers need to nurture this desire both for the little ones in their care and for themselves!
R is for Reader: Develop a life-long love of reading
Key Benefits for Your Little Reader
By making reading a priority in your own life, you give children a powerful gift allowing your child to expand his imagination and to develop a passion, not unlike your own, for accessing the world via the written word. Reading with your child has a significant academic impact including improved verbal articulation, emotional expression, and critical thinking skills. In fact, when you spend quality time reading with children, you help to highlight reading as a socially binding experience that builds a familial bond and that provides a means for a child to connect with her local and global community via her storytelling skills. By highlighting the social commentaries that make both old and new childrens’ classics enduringly relevant and entertaining we encourage social awareness. Children become more thoughtful about themselves as individuals, learn empathy for others, and grow an awareness of the ways in which people manage their thoughts, behaviours, and emotions as they interact with one another in various social contexts.
Key Benefits for You
Rereading old favourites from our childhood renews a caregivers’ sense of youthful innocence and imagination. This nostalgic vibrancy is accompanied by a sense of insight that only adult experiences allow us to access. The resulting genuine delight at unearthing new treasures hiding within the pages of familiar tales will be shared with the child as he experiences his first reading of the story.
O is for Observer: Cultivate a connection with the world
Key Benefits for Your Little Observer
Being in nature allows children to take advantage of their preexisting tendency to explore the world with their senses by feeling textures, listening to sounds, viewing changes and comparing natural phenomena. By collecting, examining, recording and questioning the world around them, children develop scientific and critical thinking skills necessary for success in the academic sciences. When spending time outdoors, children gain a deep respect for the environment since they learn to view themselves as part of a larger whole. Nature is an environment where childhood traits of curiosity and exploration can be encouraged. Where curious exploration in the home can lead to items being broken, unsafe exposure and general mess, outdoor exploration can be joyfully supported in safe outdoor environments. Gentle treatment of wildlife can also be fostered so that the child is responsible and respectful of co-existing creatures.
Key Benefits for You
Since children are predisposed to understand themselves as active participants in natural processes and are curious about the simplest scientific phenomena, they become our guides to reexamining the extraordinary happenings in our own ordinary backyards.
A is for Artist: Elevate art from crafts to masterpieces
Key Benefits for Your Little Artist
Viewing and interpreting the works of diverse artists from a variety of cultures and times in history offers food for a child’s imagination and a new lens from which to view the world. By connecting with these works, children get to develop their own individual sense of artistic style in relation to the broader artistic community. It is clear that artistic self expression in the visual arts develops a child’s sense of creative pride and, in some cases, an outlet for the broad range of ideas, imaginings and emotions they may not as yet be able to communicate verbally. By encouraging a child to take time to work on an artistic piece or project over time or within a specified time frame promotes an expansion of a child’s level of patience as well as perseverance towards a specific goal. Moreover, the very act of working with different media and techniques, allows children to advance their fine motor skills.
Key Benefits for You
The electronic realm makes available to us many opportunities to view the greatest works of art in the world. Introducing children to these artists is extremely gratifying and has the effect of renewing a caregivers’ own sense of cultural connection and intellectual development. By taking part in artistic creation alongside or with the child, adults find themselves tapping into creative expression that may have been dormant for some time.
M is for Musician: Soothe the mind and enliven the spirit
Key Benefits for Your Little Musician
Listening to the greatest composers of our time exposes children to the classical origins of music that have influenced musical trends over the course of history. A strong grounding in classical music gives a child a foundation from which to grow a long term love affair with music of all kinds. By listening to classical music with children we can promote both the general skill of listening and focusing using the ears instead of the eyes and also the specific auditory skills required to recognize musical nuances such as rhythm, tone, tempo and volume. In fact, the recognition, enjoyment and playing of different kinds of instruments encourages a child’s musical diversity ranging from vocal to string to air to percussion. With this program, children can learn to use ordinary objects around the house to express themselves creatively though sound. Movement to music allows a child to interpret music creatively and express that interpretation with their bodies. The gross motor skills that this develops are beautifully connected to the classical piece and allow a productive outlet for pent up energies a child may need to express.
Key Benefits for You
Classical music has long served to calm and bring moments of peace into the lives of adults - as well as to the children in their care - who may be experiencing emotions of frustration, anger, or sadness occasionally throughout the busy day.