"Will I ever read again??" I wailed to my friend when I first got pregnant. Her response told me all I needed to know, "Apparently, you don't know how boring breast feeding can be." Sure enough - as soon as the littles latched at the teet, a new world of reading opened up to me and I realized I could actually read more and more varied books than I might have tackled before motherhood!
Here are a few of the things I've been reading lately! I invite you to join me in embracing reading as a part of maintining your own creative and intellectual person. In particular, I hope you will join our book club to help us tackle some of the big issues we face when raising preschoolers (see below). But.... first up - escape to Provence!
A Good Year by Peter Mayle
Didja ever want to inherit a chateau and vineyard in Provence so that you could escape the grind? Exactly. Enter this delightful read this Spring that a dear friend lent to me in the dark days of winter! However, if you're too busy reading "Passing" (see below) - feel free to check out the movie with Russell Crowe instead.
Passing by Nella Larsen
Just cannot believe I hadn't read this one before! An incredible examination of race, friendship and the identity stories we tell ourselves and others. So very timely. Take a flip through above to see if this read is for you!
Book Club Read!
This Spring we begin something a little different - a book club! This club will help us to tackle some of the big issues we face in our lives with our little ones. This season, we have chosen Erika Christakis' book "The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups."
One of the big preschool problems Christakis tackles straight out of the gate is that adults struggle to understand that "schooling and learning are often two different things." From her perspective, preschoolers are incredibly powerful individuals capable of learning anywhere! Woah! Of course we know this to be true, but on occasion we need these ideas spelled out for us don't we?
So! Let's dive right in with a review of Chapter 1 shall we?
Chapter 1 "Little Learners":
In this chapter, Christakis reminds us that an enormous shift has taken place since the 70s when most women had not yet entered the workforce and most moms remained at home to care for their little ones. As a result, most of the preschool environments children experienced came in the form of a playgroup setting a few hours a week where children were encouraged to socialize with one another and maybe to experience toys and craft materials they did not have at home.
Jump to the world of the past few decades and we see an incredible change in what preschool looks like for little ones. School readiness skills are often top of mind for parents when they go about selecting a full day preschool for their children. But what does this mean? How are these skills chosen? As Christakis asks,
Why should we settle for unimaginative goals (as we find in so many early education settings) like being able to identify triangles and squares, or recalling the names of colors and seasons?
Indeed, if preschool is getting better at preparing little ones for academic learning, why are so many preschool instructors reporting that children are lacking the excitement and curiousity we generally associate with being a young child?
Let's tackle these questions and more over at the Artsy Startsy Facebook Page and Gentle Preschooling Group! Follow and join today!