ADHD pills are increasingly being prescribed in schools all across the country, with the biggest percentage being preschool children. This is disturbing. All so that kids can sit and focus in a class for a number of hours longer than is normal for a child to sit. I understand how these pills may help many children suffering from such disorders, but there is increasing evidence and research such as the article below that most kids being prescribed these drugs do not even have a disorder, and are used primarily for kids to focus. With the increasing elimination of extra curricula's in schools, longer school hours, and elimination of recess and Gym, how can children possibly focus when they are receiving no outlets to expend their energy?
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Definition: A forest kindergarten is a type of preschool education for children between the ages of three and six that is held almost exclusively outdoors. Whatever the weather, children are encouraged to play, explore and learn in a forest or natural environment. The adult supervision is meant to assist rather than lead. It is also known as Waldkindergarten (in German), outdoor nursery, nature kindergarten, or nature preschool.
Ummm, I am the only one in complete shock and awe of this type of education system? I couldn't even believe it when I first read about it in Boys Adrift and then again in Last Child in the Forest. I know some may think this a bit overboard or extreme but I just love this concept of kids learning and being outdoors all day. Read more about it below:
I researched and found there are a few in Luxembourg, if I am lucky enough to find one in my area I would definitely try to get my kids in a program like this.
The process of digging the hole, planting the plant, watering and then cleaning up the debris is really what I wanted her to be familiar with. And she would often look up at me and with a sigh say, "Mama, this is hard I am getting tired." Which is the exact feeling I wanted her to acknowledge in this process. That growing is hard work, and not just growing, but maintaining, looking after, watering and overall caring for nature and the environment are all important lessons for children. It is becoming increasingly hard in this world to provide kids with real experience working with nature. They don't understand where their food comes from, or the process that is involved. I am no expert either, but these small steps will build the foundation for appreciating living and growing things for all of us. Ameera has begun to develop a sense of ownership in her garden now that she has been working on it for sometime, and now requests on her own to go out and plant or do other garden activities, which for me is the icing on the cake. At first she would get distracted easily, and was reluctant to get her hands dirty, but after a while, her attention grew more and more, and I bought her some gardening gloves and tools to work so she feel better about getting dirty. She now has no problem working with her bare hands in the garden. For other interesting, creative and fun activities to do with your kids outside you can check out this website: http://pinterest.com/cathyjames/kids-gardens/. I really loved the ideas here and thought they were very original.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The kids play in the garden in rain or shine so rain boots and jackets are always made to good use. Backyards and gardens however small can be full of wonder and adventure for small children and are great for imaginative and creative play. Not to mention the wonderful conversations that arise from being outside. We have talked about weather, seasons, plants, insects, animals, gardening and about thankfulness and compassion for Allah's creation and how He alone creates everything in this world. For myself, I have found it to be very therapeutic and calming to be working on the garden, but I do not always go outside with them. I often leave them to play alone and find that they do much more interesting things when I am not present.