Welcome to this year’s A to Z Challenge! This year I’m talking Child Care. I’ll be blogging topics related to my many years in the family home daycare profession. I hope you can find a tidbit of information that is useful in caring for children whether you’re a parent, grand or another important person in a child’s life. And to end each post, I’ll share a bit of my creative side/relaxation time. Taking time for yourself is good for your health–both yours and your family’s 😉
The entire length of my childcare career, I’ve encouraged writing in journals. It’s an activity that would be perfect to begin at home during this current time with so many children using distance learning. And it’s something that can be fun for them while they’re actually learning as well.
To start all we use is a spiral bound notebook and writing tools. The tools can be changed up. We’ve used crayons, pens, pencils, markers just to name some basics. Adding alphabet post-its, stickers, stencils and photos can also be considered tools. In early childhood, you offer these ‘tools’ and let them be free to journal whatever ideas come to mind. One thing I’ve tended to do during these journal times to keep more of an individual result is to do the writing in pairs at a table, separate from the rest of the crowd to keep influences at a minimum. I like to see how each individual can relate to his or her writing moment without copying an idea they’ve heard from others. It just makes for unique journaling that you know is All Theirs.
When they tell me the writing is done, I put a date at the top corner and ask them to tell me about their writing. I keep a separate notebook to write down the answer. When they’re done dictating to me, I write what they’ve said on the back of their page so as to not take away from their work. So important to respect that. It’s not about my writing.
If they have limited language skills, I just go with the flow and mention their mood or something I noticed during their writing time.. As long as I can promote their picking up the writing tool and putting something on paper, we’ve succeeded. For some it may only be a line. But with practice, I promise you they will learn to enjoy this writing time and look forward to being called for their turn. For those Really struggling, I tell them that to ‘go outdoors’ we first have to do our work. This homework is eventually a great gauge into how much they know. Whether they recognize colors, letters, numbers, concepts of drawing faces and body parts, creating words by either copying print or on their own–the steps of development become clear after a time. This one-page-a-day (or even once a week) can give you a clear view of their ages and stages in writing growth.
Side note: As they get older, you can introduce writing prompts. I highly recommend visiting the AtoZ of Antoinette this April. When you need ideas for you school-agers, she’s the person to see. I’m thrilled to see this topic covered this year!
In early childhood, it’s all about strenghthening the fingers and hand muscles, connecting the fact that their thoughts are important, and realizing they can connect those thought to paper. This lightbulb moment is such an awesome thing to witness! Gets ya right in the feels. ❤
The Fat Cat was not turning out right. Reason? I didn’t count my stitches. I am a seasoned crocheter and I know better. So what to do? Rip it out and start over. In my defense, I did use stitch markers and went back to a point early on to count there as well. But nope. I had already went beyond the point of fixing even then. Ug! Maybe there’s gonna be a Fat Cat in May?? I’ll try it one more time. The adult bib pattern is going to make a reversible version for the mother-in-law. She has been waiting patiently while I’ve been trying to keep up with the Etsy sewing. I think I’m finally at a point to do some of the extra sewing that has been waiting in the wings. Not complaining at all! If it weren’t for Etsy, I’d be filing for unemployment. Thanks to all—-both those supporting me online and in person!! I’d much rather be earning an income than taking a handout. Especially with so many in need.