Creating a love of reading is the most direct way we can encourage our children to become lifelong learners. Books inspire new ideas, create healthy imaginations, develop new connections and can even encourage emotional development. Books entertain, enlighten and enrich our lives
To celebrate books the Love Learning Project will host a series on literacy. I will share research on why literacy is important, how to build a small library of quality books in your own home, and tips on how to read to your child. I have a master’s in literacy education so I have a lot to share on the topic and will be linking my favorite books for children. For this series I will post on Saturday mornings as usual and will have a bonus post sometime during the week. You can sign up in the right sidebar to receive email notification when a new post is made or check back soon. Thank you for following along and feel free to share your favorite children’s books in the comment section. Read more
This week was bursting at the seams with activities and late night events. On Monday, I had a haircut until 7:30pm, Tuesday was a school carnival that ended my work day at 10:45pm, conferences late on Thursday and Friday. Every day of the week continued with long stretches of work and my husband was headed out of town for an annual fishing trip that weekend. It was only Wednesday and I was already exhausted. Read more
As an elementary educator, I get hugs. Lots and lots of hugs, all kinds of hugs… booger hugs, sticky hand hugs, bear hugs, jumping hugs, tearful hugs, joyous hugs and drool hugs. When I first started teaching hugs made me uncomfortable. Was it weird to hug a child that wasn’t mine? Why are our kindergartners so grabby? Should I hug them back? Why so many hugs? Despite my lack of ease with the hugging it did not cease, my students would still offer all the hugs, all the time. Read more
Little yellow papers were piled on my desk. They were essays written by students applying to lead their class in student council. The essays were sweet and hopeful. In their essays students shared all about themselves One wrote about earning their black belt in karate, another about helping their sister at home, and one strategic applicant told all about how much she loved Minnesota (a girl after my own heart). Their next step was interviewing with me. The interviews were short, I only had two questions prepared; what are you good at and what is one thing you would like to change about our school? Read more
As caregivers, we are always waiting for firsts, the first time our child sits up, first tooth, first step, first word and more. There are many milestones to celebrate in a child’s life. Witnessing a first is magical, the room grows a little bigger and brighter somehow after these moments. We celebrate them by letting family and friends know our child’s accomplishment. Read more
“This is the wheel. It spins the clay so mommy can pull the clay up to make a mug,” Lavin looks up at me from a blanket on the floor, my hands are caked in mud as I pull up the clay. Earlier he was strapped to me in a baby carrier as I chattered, “I cut the clay and make even squares. I weigh them to check if they are equal.” He is laughing and reaching out, thrilled to be a part of the action. “Now we are wedging the clay, this gets it ready to throw on the wheel.” Lavin squeals in delight. I form a ball as he grabs at it, delighted to be a part of my hobby. He squishes his tiny fingerprints into the fresh clay.
This blog sprouted out of my love for learning and children. I am a mother and an elementary principal so I have spent a significant amount of time researching how to create the best environment for our children to learn and grow. I would like to raise my child, and all the children in my life, to become people who love learning, have a healthy respect for themselves and others, and do not feel discouraged by challenge. As an elementary school principal I have deep understanding about the role family and community play in developing our next generation. I will share my insights and ideas with caregivers of children so we have an opening for these important conversations.
The choices I make for the children in my life are grounded in my belief that a simple life develops a richer mind, our children need to be strongly attached to their caregivers, and experiences create the richest understandings. I choose toys, activities, and my words with children based on these values and ideals.
I hope you join this community and the discussions around parenting, teaching, and loving our little ones. We are all teachers and it is our responsibility to create people that love a challenge and commit to a life of loving and learning.
When my son was one month old I realized I had not introduced him to any toys. We had spent the first few weeks of his life with simple skin to skin, talking to him and with lots of snuggling. It wasn’t until another mom mentioned how much her child enjoyed their activity center that I felt my first pang of mother wrong doing. I had only placed our baby on a blanket and talked to him with his stuffed lion, that is the only toy I can recall playing with during the first month. When I was home that evening I introduced him to his activity center. His activity center was a bright blanket with arches around it and a shining star in the middle that flashed to the tune of the music it played. Read more