According to urban dictionary, the statement "boys will be boys"
is a "phrase used to explain a boys natural tendency to be adventurous, hyper-active, and do risky activities which potentially result in hurting themselves (such as climbing trees or play-fighting)"
Which is so sad, I have cared for girls who love to climb trees and do risky play too. When I look at bring a new child and family into program, I could careless about the gender, race or religion of the child. I look at whether the child will fit into our program; such as, do they like similar activities.
It seems like I keep getting asked "how do you manage a group for the boys?" Or "oh my word, they're all boys." Who says the boys or girls are that drastically different, in this young of an age, that they would impact one way or another on my program, so here's my thoughts. "Boys will be boys". They will be kind, sensitive, caring, outgoing, and most importantly active. However, guess what little girls have the same traits, the gender of a child does not impact on the ability for them to behave one way or the other, it's by what they have experienced, by how they have learned to reach out in their world, or by developmental delays.
Taking that all into consideration, here's my job I'm their daycare provider. It is my job to give them opportunities to explore out to be all that they can be, to find ways to show empathy, to find ways to be active, to find ways to support their plans, to see them as active and competent learners and most importantly to find ways to simply be who they are and let them explore out from their prior knowledge. It is my responsibility to bridge the way for them to move mountains, like trying to find a missing cat, simply because they care and are worried. These boys or should I say, these children are amazing!
In the How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years, Document, under "Supporting a Continuum of Learning, Pedagogical approaches and practices that work for young children are similar to strategies that work for learners of all ages, from infancy to adulthood. A common view of children as competent and capable, a shared understanding of the foundations for learning and development, and coherence across pedagogical approaches lead to more seamless programs for children, families, and all learners along a continuum of learning and development. This vision is illustrated below."
For me it is important to support positive children roles, not stereotypical gender roles. I would love there to be a world where children simply are children and their gender did not impact on peoples beliefs if they were bad or good, ruff or gentle, caring or self absorbed.
"Another important thing that parents and teachers must be careful is that we shouldn't call them with some names just based on their genders. For example, when you call a girl just as a princess, she might feel that she has the role of the person who is kinda dependent on compliments or such things by other people around them. When you always choose boys as kings, they might also feel that they are the only people who have the power." How to Teach Children Gender Equality, website
Now, lets remember there are times when we have to follow the plan or cut and paste activity; lack of cleaning ability, limited times, the comfort of some of the adults needs to be taken into account of course or if the activity is being used to foster helping relationships. However, I am not going to stop the discovery of child led activities if there is the ability to make it happen. Children are amazing little humans with lots of great ideas. Their pure joy of what they created was apparent, as they ran to our consultant from the Region of Waterloo, Home Childcare with their salt dough ornaments to show her. They were so very proud of their hard work! They had to give them to mommy's and daddy's when they came for pick up. Now, lets look at what happened a few days before their proud moments of sharing with the adults that matter to them.
Yesterday, we started our first parent project, a salt dough ornament. Not really my favourite activity to create a processed piece. Not because I do not care about my parents, but because it is harder on the children. You see, I facilitate a child lead program, it is more about what I believe is the best way for children to build strong foundations. So here we went, we worked very hard, we mixed all the ingredients, 2 flour, 1 salt, 1 water and cinnamon. Baking took forever at 250 until hard and dry. We stayed on task, we followed the rules very well.
The next day, we went rogue on our parent friendly art project. It was transformed into a child lead expression piece. I had two choices, 1. to keep on tract of the creation of one of our parent gifts for Christmas; by saying no and stopping the children's discovery, or 2. let them learn what they are trying to explore. I chose the later, to follow my daycare children's wonder.
The final result was incredible; they created some pieces, I can transform into parent gifts. However, the children were able to have a healthy positive experience. They were able to explore the sensory sensation of painting on their hands, to use the paint on paper to smear it around, to get messy and build some strong concrete learning. However, this would not be possible, unless I was willing to give away the power, and say yes to a positive experience; instead of creating a more structured negative one.
“The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones.” ~ Rick Hanson, PhD.
So the end result was the children had paint on their bodies, all over my table, the floor and myself. Wonders, stories, laughter, pure joy and happiness followed the children experience. We ended up running late for lunch and ordered pepperoni pizza, the children did not complain about that at all.
Lastly, the children, my table, washcloth, and myself are all washable! We have an amazing gift to give our parents for Christmas that are parent friendly and child lead, this ECE is ecstatically happy.
Allowing the children to happy and positive moments are truly an important part of the children's brain and emotional development. You see, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson says "we need a ratio of about three positive emotions to one negative emotion to really flourish. At 3 to 1, we naturally become more resilient to adversity and better able to achieve things. However, most of us are just getting by at a ratio of 2 to 1. And the ratio for depressed people is at 1 to 1, or even lower."
My job is to help them flourish not demolish their little sparks!
Well the season of Christmas, Yule, or whichever you celebrate is upon us. In my home we celebrate love, giving and sharing with our families and friends. It is a time we stop, take stock of where our year has taken us, and value the gifts and lessons of this particular year.
Today in program, I read the story Finding Christmas by Robert Munch. He is one of our favourite authors. We then talked about what Christmas is... Do you know what Christmas is? According to our children at Faery Childcare, Christmas is the following:(I am paraphrasing here)
To help my parents, I am creating a list of gifts the children have said they would like. We started talking about what we could make our parents for Christmas. The children have some great ideas for what they would like to give their mom, dad and grandparents. More to follow on that as we prepare for the season of giving and sharing our love for those who are close to us.
Isaac: would like a turtle helmet for himself. For his brother he thinks he would like a Captain America helmet. His mom he thinks would like a soft pillow. His dad would like a "bad guy" helmet to play with him. He thinks his grandma and grandfather would like a sleigh ride with the family; how sweet.
Dylan: would like Thomas the Train stuff. He thinks his brother would like cars to play with. His mom would like slippers. His dad, apparently needs Thomas the Train.
James: wants Thomas the Train stuff. His sister needs ponies. His mom would like a big soft blanket. His dad would like Thomas the Train.
Max: is all about the Paw Patrols. He thinks his brother wants them to. His mom however, would like Lego police set. His dad wants fire Lego. His Oma wants Lego construction.
Basti: is completely about Thomas the Train, for himself, his brother, mommy, daddy and Oma. Everyone would like Thomas the Train.
September 24, 2018
Faery childcare has been exploring the concepts of Risky Play for a while now. We love going to the forest, exploring the world around us, climbing, running as fast as we can, sliding toys down the slide, climbing up the slide, mixing and getting messy, sadly our forest adventures have to change to meet the ministry guidelines for bodies of water.
Now, Faery Childcare is in the process of obtaining a license with the Region of Waterloo. Where, according to Roger Gilbert from the Region of Waterloo, Home Childcare, "We really do value and promote appropriate risk play. We absolutely value and promote outdoor exploration and learning honestly, in any nature based program, it is a huge strength. We certainly have advocated for the benefits of children being able to explore near standing bodies of water such as creeks and streams. What we have been told by the ministry is we can allow exploratory play at the edge of the stream/pond (e.g. children can get right up to the edge, put their hands in, etc…) but that they cannot get in."
Subsection 3.9– Bodies of Water Ontario Regulation 137/15, 30.1 (1)
"Every licensee shall ensure that in each premises where the licensee oversees the provision of home child care, no child under six years old who receives home child care at the premises is permitted to use or have access to any standing or recreational body of water on the premises. If a licensee that oversees the provision of home child care at a premises permits children who are six years old or older who receive home child care at the premises to use or have access to a standing or recreational body of water at the premises, the licensee shall, (a)ensure that, at all times when the children use or have access to the body of water, a lifeguard is present who meets the requirements of clauses 17 (6) (a) and (b) of Regulation 565 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 (Public Pools) made under the Health Protection and Promotion Act;
While, the children and I will miss the wadding in the Water. It is not worth more, then the professionalism, the accountability to the community, or commitment to my profession.
I am hopeful this still will be okay, where the children are exploring at the edge of the water. However, I know this little guy will sit down at the edge and let his legs be in the water. He simply loves the feeling.
In an article I read, they shared that “Reasonable risks are essential for children’s healthy development,” says Joe Frost, an influential safety crusader. While, I value risky play, there is a little more to it then just safety, we also need to follow the rules and guidelines that have been set out by the Ministry of Education; even if we do not 100% agree with the rules. It is about being accountable for our actions!
I read a paper called, see file above, "The Overprotected Kid A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution. By By Hanna Rosin," The article made me think back to my own childhood, walking places alone, walking and playing at the bridge and water by my home, forest discovery, and a sense of independence I do not see in some children anymore. Rosin also talked about, The article called “Children’s Risky Play From an Evolutionary Perspective: The Anti-Phobic Effects of Thrilling Experiences.” Sandseter, 2011 She shares and "identifies six kinds of risky play: (1) Exploring heights, or getting the “bird’s perspective,” as she calls it—“high enough to evoke the sensation of fear.” (2) Handling dangerous tools—using sharp scissors or knives, or heavy hammers that at first seem unmanageable but that kids learn to master. (3) Being near dangerous elements—playing near vast bodies of water, or near a fire, so kids are aware that there is danger nearby. (4) Rough-and tumble play—wrestling, play-fighting—so kids learn to negotiate aggression and cooperation. (5) Speed—cycling or skiing at a pace that feels too fast. (6) Exploring on one’s own."
So today, we went on a journey to explore the forest without the water part. They had a great time, they discovered a different aspect of the forest, they were able to run faster, they were able to "get lost" hide and seek, jumping on and off and to try and climb great heights.
We had a wonderful time!
By Lesley Cressman, RECE
Isaac is about 3.5 years old. He has been given the most amazing gift by his parents and his provider (Faery Childcare) to steer his own early writing development . I am a firm believer in following the children's lead, however, I am also a purposeful educator. Which means provocations are set in place to help expand new discovery and growth. Personally, I love letting children and their parents discover the joy of their child's development. I was so please to hear from Isaac's mom that he showed her his newly developing printing skills last night.
Mary, Isaac's mom shared, "I read an article once, I believe it was written by a kindergarten teacher, suggesting that parents focus on teaching their children social skills and manners, rather than pushing them to learn all of the things they are meant to learn in school anyway. This was very eye opening for me, and quite honestly, took a lot of pressure off! We still work on things and are continually taking opportunities for teachable moments, but we don’t stress when we see things like, one of his friends counting to 20 already when he gets stuck at 12, and we don’t sit down and do exercises, because we know that when he’s ready, it will click."
In the document, How Does Learning Happen, "Pedagogical approaches that nurture learning and development in the early years include: establishing positive, responsive adult-child relationships; providing inclusive learning environments and experiences that encourage exploration, play, and inquiry; engaging as co-learners with children, families/caregivers, and others". Being able to share in the delight of his mother last night was incredible gift for me. I am so grateful every day to work with these children each day with their amazing parents.
Titi MacLennan, DECE, Being an Educator in Kindergarten, I am often asked, “How do I prepare my child for school? Do they need to know how to write their name, know the alphabet, or count to a certain number?”
She shared, she always respond with the same answer, "If you want your child to be successful show them they are loved, that they deserve your time, attention and admiration. Above that, provide them with opportunities to be independent so that they can gain the confidence they need to explore new experiences and discover new wonders. Why, you may ask? It’s simple, this allows them to learn that failing is the first step to succeeding and not a reason to quit. If you can gift your child with these opportunities you will be providing your child the strongest foundation to conquer the demands of school. We need to remember that all children will reach expected milestones when they are good and ready to do so and not a moment sooner. By comparing them to their peers we in fact hinder their development. It will shock most parents to know that the new kindergarten curriculum is not focused on reading, writing and arithmetic. In fact language and math are grouped together and only make 1/4 of the program. The other 3/4 revolves heavily on Self-Regulation & Well-Being; Belonging & Contributing; and Problem-Solving & Innovation. Then we must remember that we have two years to help guide your child to reach their full potential in all these domains. So please believe me when we say don't fret about your child's writing and reading skills, instead, let them get ready to dress for outdoor play, open up containers and put on shoes independently and while you're at it give them opportunities to partake in risky play. These experiences will better prepare your child for school by reinforcing their confidence in themselves and building a positive self-image. The brain develops exponentially faster through these experiences rather then forcing them to read or memorizing the alphabet song." Titi MacLennan, DECE
As a purposeful educator, I work very hard at letting the children follow their interests, and letting them process in a healthy and stress free way. I spent a great deal of time researching the implacations of stress within young children and how that stress impacts on their brain development. If you are interested in learning more, I would suggest starting at The Hurried Child, David Elkind.
According to Zero to Three, in the article, Learning to Write and Draw "For very young children, there are four stages of drawing and writing that you may see as your child grows from 15 months to 3 years old. By offering repeated fun experiences with a variety of art and writing materials, you will see forward progress over time."
These beliefs were shared by one of the most forward thinking ECE's I know, Natasha, "When we follow a child's interests and scaffold their learning based on that curiosity they feel heard and valued. Children will always be more engaged when the subject or skill they are learning is one that interests them and because of this they retain more of what they are learning. As an educator taking the time to observe, reflect and know the children's interests demonstrates the care we have for the little ones in our programs. They are each individuals and it is so important for us to meet them where they are and guide them with love and support." Natasha Kocher, RECE
Articles such as, Development of emergent literacy and early reading skills in preschool children: Evidence from a longitudinal study., "Although research has identified oral language, print knowledge, and phonological sensitivity as important emergent literacy skills for the development of reading, few studies have examined the relations between these aspects of emergent literacy or between these skills during preschool and during later reading...Structural equation modeling revealed significant developmental continuity of these skills, particularly for letter knowledge and phonological sensitivity from late preschool to early grade school, both of which were the only unique predictors of decoding." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved) $11.95 for the article, but well worth the money and the read.
Doctor Cathy Barclay (1996) - 7 Stages to a child's development of writing skills, Link
Some downloadable PDF articles or online reading:
One of the ways you can see the professional accountability of a
daycare provider is if the provider has First Aid and CPR. It might
sound like common practice, for someone working with small
children, however, common sense sometimes is not common.
When I searched under the Staff training and development, of the
Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, S.O. 2014, c. 11, Sched. 1 ,
in section 58. (2) "Every licensee of a child care centre or home child
care agency shall ensure that the following persons have a
valid certification in standard first aid, including infant and child CPR, issued by a training agency recognized by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board:
1. Every supervisor of a child care centre.
2. Every employee of a child care centre who may be counted for the purposes of meeting the ratios required under section 8 or 8.1.
3. Every provider of home child care or in-home services. O. Reg. 126/16, s. 38."
While, I am not in a licensed program as of yet, still working on my paperwork, it is important to me to be a professional. On Saturday, September, 2018, a peer Candace from Trinity Childcare and myself, where lucky to spend some time with Amber from the First Aid & CPR with Amber, under the Red Cross umbrella. Amber was great, she walked us through the in class section with a warm and authentic learning style. She was able to utilize any situations we spoke on to bring the learning back to a personal story to build a long term memory.
Here is a link from You Tube on the Red Cross First Aid videos, there are about 17 different videos to watch for more information.
At the end of the day, I am happy to share I was able to earn my first aid and CPR/AED Level C. I was able to work at my own pace and complete the online part, and Amber was able to accommodate Candace and myself for our in person part, within a few weeks for completing the online section. She also told us if we needed yearly, renewals she can make that happen as well. It was a wonderful experience to take my course with Amber, and I would highly recommend her classes.
I also received my PDF of the certificate within 20 minutes, it was super fast.
Today we made bees wax wraps to replace the Saran Wrap. We are trying to be more environmentally friendly and reuse products instead of using consumables all the time.
Next we set our oven to 170, put the fabric on the cookie sheet, and let the oven melt our wax. When it was done, our educator used a fork to take the fabric off the sheet still hot, and placed it on a towel to harden. FYI, the towel had transfer of wax. We are not sure if we can get that off yet. LOL
In the end we ended up with all these from one brick of wax. We are going to take one home each for our families to try out. It was a lot of fun.
For always being there to bounce ideas off, to share our struggles, and teaming up for an amazing and quality program.
Faery Childcare believes in their families being the first teacher and want them to always use our open door policy. We LOVE meeting the needs of their families. On this day, we were happy to support this mom and child's breastfeeding relationship. It started some amazing questions in our program. Thank you Katherine for answering all the children's questions.
From the How Does Learning Happen document, "Families are composed of individuals who are competent and capable, curious, and rich in experience. Families love their children and want the best for them. Families are experts on their children. They are the first and most powerful influence on children’s learning, development, health, and well-being. Families bring diverse social, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. Families should feel that they belong, are valuable contributors to their children’s learning, and deserve to be engaged in a meaningful way."
According to the ELECT document, "Children build new understandings from existing ideas and concepts. Starting from what children know and want to know motivates engagement and excitement about overcoming challenges and solving problems. First hand, concrete experiences shape ideas that can be expressed symbolically in drawings, paintings, dramatic play, and in verbal and written forms (Greenspan & Shanker, 2004). Learning proceeds from the concrete to the abstract."
Special thanks to Katherine, Nathan, Sarah and Izzy for letting me share your families story and journey.
Faery Childcare loves to explore nature, we love to get dirty. As much as we have our physical space, that is only a small part of our environment. We journey to the forest, nature park and country as much as possible. Did you know dirt was healthy for you? Or that being outside strengthens your body growth and development.
According to an article called, The importance of outdoor play for young children’s healthy development by, Gabriel a Bento a and Gisela Dias."Changes in current societies are affecting childhood experiences. Time for outdoor play is diminishing, contributing to more sedentary lifestyles, disconnected from the natural world. Recognizing the importance of outdoor play for young children’s healthy growth, a project focused on the exploration of the outdoor environment was developed with a group of young children in an early childhood education setting in Portugal."
Further on within the article, it shared that"The importance of play for children’s healthy development is grounded in a strong body of research. As a natural and compelling activity, play promotes cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being, offering the necessary conditions for children to thrive and learn. Through play, the child can experiment, solve problems, think creatively, cooperate with others, etc., gaining a deeper knowledge about his/herself and the world. From an early age, the possibility to experience several opportunities for unstructured play, in which the child can decide what to do, with whom and how, promotes positive self-esteem, autonomy, and conﬁdence."
All of these benefits come from discovering the great outdoors. "While playing outside, children beneﬁt from being exposed to sunlight, natural elements, and open air, which contributes to bones development, stronger immune system and physical activity."
We cannot wait for the next adventure to begin...
Little Bear was saved from the kill pen at around 6 months old. He has Cryptorchidism or known as ridgling, and he requires a more intense operation. He was adopted by us when he attached himself to our horse Toby (Oil Tumbles). He is such a sweet little horse. Please help us, help him!
Go Fund Me
Please see this link for more information on our sweet Little Bear's needs.
"Cryptorchidism in Horses. Cryptorchidism is the failure of one or both testes to descend into a normal scrotal position from the abdominal cavity after birth.
Cryptorchidism may not be apparent at birth, as the testes do not drop from the abdominal space, through the inguinal canal and ring and into the scrotum – where they remain – until after birth. The time it takes before both testes have descended varies from horse to horse but both testes should be in the scrotum by two years of age. In all cases of one undescended testicle, the stallion will still be able to produce normal amounts of testosterone. Usually, the undescended testicle is much smaller than the descended one.
If one or both of the testicles remain in the abdomen, the horse is said to be a rig, or ridgling. A stallion that is a cryptorchid should not be used for breeding, as it is suspected to be a genetic problem. The left testicle is more commonly retained than the right."
I have had a few very hard interviews this month. These interviews have left me feeling quite upset and even a little raw. Here is the thing, I was so upset with what these parents have been experiencing, I had to share my views.
I am a proud to say, I am working as a Professional Development Coordinator / Website Administrator and a member of the Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge Childcare Association. KWC Home Child Care Association is a group committed to connecting parents and home child care providers in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge area.
The Debate Over Where to Put Ones Child Iare: A licensed Centre Based Program or a Family Base Home Daycare.
I love these questions, I enjoyed reading the comments as well. There is validity on both sides of the equation. Instead of quarreling and trying to devalue each other they should be working to find a common link.
Some good questions were.:
Where will my child sleep?
How long with a centre run without its license being renewed?
How can one provider carry out three children in a fire? Both of these questions are great and on both sides of the issue...
To answer these questions from my home daycare and my experience as a RECE:
1. My children sleep in their own play pen under the trickle lights. I have a rocking chair in the space, and I spent time helping the children feel comfortable to help them fall asleep.
2. I have seen or heard of a few centres in the region waiting for a licensing agent to come. The longest one I personally heard of is a year and a half out of date.
3. I keep my program small for safety reasons. Therefore, I can carry my little one as I walk with the older ones. My numbers are small enough for safety.
I am truly excited about how the plans are unfolding for my outside space. I have a patio/courtyard type space,with open grass behind my private space. To make this space safe, fenced, and naturalistic requires some creativity.I cannot wait for spring, to go for walks, head off to the park for large gross motor play, and lastly, to create this magical space for my kids to explore within.
A few pictures of my ideas :) Poor Keith will have to help make my ideas come to life.
Well, after a long family debate and the needs of a few dear friends, I am re-opening my home childcare program again.
My doors will be officially re-open on December 1st 2014! I am looking forward to a new year with these wonderful families.
Lesley is a graduate of the Early Educator Diploma course, who excelled in her learning at Conestoga College. Additional has taken Social Work and the Law, Group Dynamics, psychology, Sociology and Redefining Early Learning and Care. She has also taking Reaching In Reaching Out, RIRO 1 and 2. Working within Early Learning and Care framework, as well as, the children and families under that umbrella is a passion of Lesley's.