What about you ask? Parenting.
Since I'm pretty sure I have no clue what I'm doing I figured reading about other peoples mistakes might help. Plus I love advice from those I can pick an choose ignore what I dislike (ie: in a book).All this reading has basically reaffirmed that I have OCD because now I feel the need to read about EVERYTHING 'parenting' and 'educating little ones".
I'll back up, So far I've read books on "The Natural Approach, Playful Parenting, The Waldorf Approach as well as my two new favorites, Super Baby and "You are your child's First Teacher".
Super baby was such a good read that after turning in my copy to the library I went on Amazon and ordered myself one. The same with You are your Childs First Teacher"
Of course I'm not hear to brag about the fact that I can 'read'. I wanted to tell you that when all of this started (my desire to educated myself on parenting techniques) I never imagined it would end with me telling you that I'm not only considering home schooling but I'm also going back to school?
I know and I hear you. All of you.
"There is no way we can control our children's lives forever"
"The have to know about bullies to cope with the real world"
There are plenty of bullies in sports teams and extra curricular activities, as long as you socialize it's not an issue, we aren't hobbits. All the time.
"You can't protect them from life"
Sometimes if I concentrate really hard I can even make all that criticism sound like the ocean… And honestly you can't be that surprised, I'm a stay a home mom that choose to have a home birth.
I'm 'in to' doing things myself.
That being said, home schooling is literally YEARS away so we have plenty of time to make our minds up one way or the other. In the meantime I've decided to go back to school for my EEC Certification as well as take a few Waldorf style EEC pre-k classes.
But before I start name dropping I think it's important to tell you the things I like about the EEC Waldorf approach:
- The focus on an arts education (which was and still is my major).
- They incorporating color theory as well as various fine art techniques throughout each grade; using materials to help educate and inspire.
- The focus of holistic education including nature walks as lesson plans, they consistently interrelating arts, humanities, & applied hands on science.
Basically what we've decided in the short time we've been parents is we want to allow her to become who she is destined to become. Frankly speaking, right now we cannot see that happening through the current public education system. A system that is not only failing but is built to educate in one way, dictated by those in power with an agenda that not only 'edits' our history but is guided by political gain. Plus there's the whole "no child left behind' bullshit. It's not that I don't trust teachers, its just typically I don't trust anyone that's not me. But that's a discussion for a later date.While I'm not sure which way we will go or what will happen a year from now (I'm still trying to find a crystal ball and I've rubbed ever damn lamp I can find looking for a Genie). I do know there are thoughts, principals and ideas I'm inspired by.
- Limited Electronic Exposure - The basics of the Waldorf Approach is focused on play. In short it's easy for elementary children to lose their connection with their imagination and nature if they are always plugged into something. YES we will use computers and the musical glow bug isn't going anywhere. Simply put, we "plan" on severely limiting how much and when we allow items that 'turn on'. We are also activity focused on simple toys that leave room for imagination.
- The Use of Natural Materials - Prior to becoming a mom I was already an anti-plastic militant. But Legos pretty much rock so they are not going anywhere. But there IS something special about the feel of toys made by hand from natural materials. I really like the Melissa & Doug puzzles I've picked up while thrifting as well as the adorable play kitchen accessories Plan Toy's has come out with and honestly for $15 you can't beat it.
Other ideas are, Including her in our Daily Tasks - As she grows we plan to make sure she is involved in our daily routines. No matter what the task is, baking, cleaning or even hanging laundry. Giving her tools and task will allow her to build useful skills as well as build confidnes. Since our little one is just now approaching 6 months the term 'tools' is uses loosely, A tool would be a spoon to play with while I bake or letting her smell the spices as I add them. Or giving her a banana to play with while we eat. It just means keeping her involved not sitting in the living room being entertained by the boob tube (ie: tv).
I'm sure we will be far from The Little house on the Prairie but that doesn't mean I havent' thought about making some of her toys. Wait. That's a lie. We are TOTALLY going to make some of her toys, Mr. A is already planing on cutting a sapling to make stacking 'blocks'.
What parenting approaches are you inspired by?
I'm sure by now some of you old pros are laughing at me so tell me wise ones what did you do right or wrong? You know I love advice, no promises that I'll take it. XO.