Friday, August 19, 2011

Knucklehead!! - 8/12/11

No preschool Friday. Just a quick note to tell you about our adventure Friday night. Jem and Scout had their Superhero show.
Superheroes League of Justice

Afterwards there was a planned birthday party at the theater. Jem was running around as usual an in the process ran into someone who was coming through a doorway. He went flying backwards and hit the back of his head on the ground. Apparently it knocked him out for a minute. He said, "I was asleep and I woke up and I didn't know why I was there or what happened. I couldn't remember why I was there or why I was going through those doors." He was pale and dizzy and wanted to go home after that, so within about 20 minutes we had packed everything up and left. After a little bit of internet searching I called my insurance 24 hour nurse line and then a trusted friend (Thanks Wendy!) and both agreed that he should go to the ER to be checked out just in case. I REALLY didn't want to do that, mainly because I was worried about his anxiety about medical stuff. His last hospital visit was at his diagnosis, and I didn't want it to put him back in a bad place, but I also just kept thinking about Liam Neeson's wife, Natasha Richardson and how she died after hitting her head and feeling fine right after:

On 16 March 2009, Richardson sustained a head injury when she fell while taking a beginner skiing lesson at the Mont Tremblant Resort in Quebec, about 130 kilometres (81 mi) from Montreal. The injury was followed by a lucid interval, when Richardson seemed to be fine and was able to talk and act normally. Paramedics and an ambulance which initially responded to the accident were told they were not needed and left.[19] Refusing medical attention twice, she returned to her hotel room and about three hours later was taken to a local hospital in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts after complaining of a headache.[20][21] She was transferred from there by ambulance to Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur, Montreal, in critical condition and was admitted about seven hours after the fall.[22][23] The following day she was flown to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, where she died on 18 March.[1] An autopsy conducted by the New York City Medical Examiners Office on 19 March revealed the cause of death was an "epidural hematoma due to blunt impact to the head", and her death was ruled an accident.[20]
 I had to take him. But thankfully it was late, and he was tired, and they didn't do anything invasive, and he basically slept through the whole thing. I woke him up when we first got there because obviously he had to walk in (he's way too heavy for me to carry anymore) and I didn't want him to be asleep and then wake up in the hospital. I explained to him what the sitch was and he was a little upset and scared but I calmed him down. He was mainly worried about an IV which I didn't think he would need but he was reassured that we had our trusty EMLA with us (not sure if they would have let us use it or not!). Anyway, we were there from about midnight to about 5 AM. He had to get a CT scan which he completely slept right through. Results were normal. We were sent home and all was fine from there on out. That was our big adventure!

Z is for Zebra Part 2 - 8/11/11

I forgot how much I LOVE Bev Bos!

It has been a long time since I have had to do any continuing education in regard to early learning. My focus has been on homeschooling and elementary education for many years now. But in thinking about preschool and looking for fresh ideas, I remembered Bev Bos. She was a huge positive influence once once I got really serious about really trying to be the best teacher I could be. Here is one of here recent posts and book recommendations. I found the book the other night at the book store when I was out with my 3 best friends. Of course it made us all tear up. Need to get it for my kids to keep and give it to them at the right time. LOVED it. Anyway, if you aren't familiar with her, you need to be. Her books Don't Move the Muffin Tins, Before the Basics, and Together We're Better are essential reading for any preschool teacher and are full of great ideas for art, play and learning.

Now, after that love-fest, I also thing I have grown a little since Bev Bos. I don't necessarily whole-heartedly agree with a completely play-based approach to preschool like I once did. I was there once. And maybe she's right. Maybe I am wrong. I will concede that. I am just going to go on my own experience. On what I have seen. I was a full-on supporter of non-academic play-based, explorative, child-led learning for early childhood education through age 5. I was thrilled to have found that for Bella when she was 3. I LOVED her preschool. I even worked there for awhile. I learned so much there. I wished I could stay there and she could too. But she grew up. And had to start Kindergarten. And she struggled. She didn't know her letters, or letter sounds. She didn't have good handwriting because she hadn't really been working on any writing at all. By the time I started homeschooling her in 3rd grade, she was at a 1st grade level in math. I honestly believe she suffered for not having any exposure to early academics. She is a smart kid. She did learn a lot about the social game during those 2 years of preschool. She had a LOT of fun. She got to be a little kid for 2 more years. And I treasure that time for her. I'm so happy that she got to have it. But I regret that she had to start out Kindergarten "behind" the other kids. I think there could have been a happy medium somehow.

I know from my own experience teaching that kids from 2-5 are sponges! They LOVE learning new things. They want to know more and more and more. They can handle learning things we don't expect they can handle. They will let you know when they have had enough, when they are bored, and when they are ready to keep going. They need a very rich environment, they DO need to feel free to play and explore, and make mistakes, but they also need to be challenged and to learn new things, and to be prepared for learning. And starting them early gives them that much of a head start. It has to be a gentle balance. You don't want to burn them out on "school" type subjects or "busy work" but you don't want to completely keep them from doing any of it either.  Lot's to think about!

Today's learning included:
Sorting Numbers ("Mommies and Babies")

Practicing some tricky letters.

Counting cubes, naming colors, and making a "Z."

Easel Painting!!

Writing on the chalkboard. Erasing was almost as much fun!
Jem made a cartoon. Most interesting thing about this was Scout was able to read this like a book without needing to sound it out or anything. I guess kids can speak (an read) each other's language!

Making a Duplo "Zoo"

 Art Projects

By the way, Bev Bos would HATE this art project!  :)   In Don't Move the Muffin Tins, "Rule Four: Avoid models.  Never make a model to show to a child. . . It's insulting."   But my kids love using the "How to draw" type books. I think it can be done in a non-threatening and accepting way. "Yours looks different than hers, but that's ok" kind of thing. "How did you do that?" "It's interesting how you did that." "Oh, look what you did there!"  That sort of thing.  Anyway, they had fun. Sorry Bev. Love you anyway!