Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tell Me:

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you

Today at the Maranda Party in the Park event in
Battle Creek Darcy and I sang and danced and acted like 3 year olds. What fun!
Some big kids came over and we handed them a handle of the parachute and said
play with us. Their mom and Grandma joined us. Oh, the laughing!

Later I asked a cheery girl standing next to her dad "How old are you?" With great confidence and poise she said "Eight". Her dad dropped his jaw and said "You're not eight! You're FIVE!" I said "You're five with a great BIG IMAGINATION! And that's GREAT. I know that Albert Einstein said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge." He's right. If you have a 4-5 year old with a big imagination run with it. Run right to Kindermusik because we'll support it all the way!

So, tell me, please. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? I will tell you my the next 3 days ....I've got some imagining to do.


"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?" quote by Leroy Paige

Monday, June 25, 2007

How ARE you doing?

A few years ago (6, I think!) I went to a conference and heard Dr. Sears present a session on parenting. What an honor to hear and see one of my favorite parenting book authors!

What I took from that session was a message with a goal I had to take seriously.

At the birth of each of my children I was ready to lay down my life for them. I (like nearly every mom I know) was so surprised at how much love I could have for my child. That hasn't changed even as they are teens now. And though I feel that love deeply, I've also had to learn the hard way that I need to include loving myself in the list of what it takes to love a child.

The analogy of the flight attendents' preflight message of putting on your own oxygen mask first before helping others hits it right on the head. How can you help others after you've collapsed...physically or emotionally? My good friend, Jody, has a Tshirt that says "Ain't Mom happy, ain't nobody happy."

What's your favorite way of taking care of yourself? Phone a friend? Extra long bath? A walk by yourself? Time to write in your diary?

Mothering is 24/7 so you'll need help with finding the time. Ask for it before you run out of oxygen.

So here is Dr. Sears' contract. Print it, fill it out and sign. Post either on or near your mirror. Read it every day. Often. Take it seriously.

__________needs a happy mother.
Baby's name

I promise to take care of myself.

Sign here

Take care,
P.S. Babies need a happy Father too.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Holland's Party in the Park July 12 noon to 2pm

"Party In The Park"July 12, 2007, Noon - 2:00 p.m. Here we are last Thursday at the Party in the Park in Grand Rapis....Yes there were tons of people!

Here's Ms. Darcy holding on to the parachute along with Ms. Ginelle from Coppersville. We are forming a partnership with Kindermusik educators from the West Michigan area. Also in the photo are Ms. Brooke from Allegan (working hard in spite of being very pregnant!) and Ms. Margot, Ms. Carol, and Ms. Lyn all from the Grand Rapids area. Our patnership is called Lighthouse Partnership of Kindermusik Educators. Together we'll be at all the "Party in the Parks"! Come and see us!

Monday, June 11, 2007

These days I'm all about saving money!

Pinching pennies left and right, I've got bank balances in my head all day. I'm working at the Farmers Market so I can keep teaching Kindermusik.....(reminds me of farmers).

Here's about saving $ that's way bigger than the figures I keep in my head:

"A voluntary, high-quality, universal prekindergarten education program is
estimated to increase the compensation of workers by $432 billion and reduce the costs to individuals of crime and child abuse by $156 billion."

So says this study. And that's what adds to the passion of why I keep teaching Kindermusik. Not actually for the money I save myself and the world....but for the spirits of the children that we keep from being spent....

I wish there was some understanding and widespread acceptance of Kindermusik as a high quality pre-school program. Parents FIRST think of all the "PRESCHOOLS" in the area as THE choices in preschool programming. That's the big "competition" for my little Kindermusik studio. (I do have a few homeschool parents who call Kindermusik their "preschool"...but interestingly it's because in the social circles of preschool aged children even the kids themselves nag their parents to enroll them in "preschool".)

As a parent and as a "child advocate" I say the most quality one can give one's own children in the preschool arena is themselves as teacher/parent!

Second: Kindermusik.

"Clink, Clink". That's the sound of my .02!

Parents: go hug your children...give them yourself.



PS Double your investment: Kindermusik Family Time summer session starts Aug. 2 every Thursday at 9:30 for 5 weeks.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hoppin' and Happenin' at the Farmers' Market!

A fun time today at the Farmer's Market!

Lots of children and lots of songs to sing.

I saw some friends, some new friends and some I haven't seen in a long time....Thanks for coming and having fun with me!
(and kids, thank your moms and grandmas for taking you!)

We sang songs like: Have you seen the strawberry man, the strawberry man, the strawberry man....(tune of Muffing Man) Don't forget the herb lady...Have you seen the herb lady, the herb lady, the herb lady....I'm there on Saturdays at the Boeve's stand selling herbs!
We did "Let's walk to the Farmers' Market and listen to our feet. Clip clop tip tap...walking down the street!"

And: "Can you plant the cabbage seeds, just like this, just like this".
(The Boeve's are selling cabbage plants so you don't have to wait quite so long for your cabbages to grow!)
The friend next to me in this photo has my cabbage. We're singing "Sarasponda Sarasponda" while we pass the cabbage. In September the market cabbages will be ready.

"Spirit of the Sun!" and what a beautiful sunny day we had. I loved drawing puddles with the sidewalk chalk. Malia jumped in and made a big splash!!!

See you again the Farmers' Market.....

Love to you,

Reading, wRiting, 'Rithmetic, Rmusic...(or is it Rhythm?)

Ben in the kitchen

Many of you know I homeschool my children. We find our lessons right smack in our daily life. Music has been the scaffolding by which we have costructed our passion for learning and on which we hang what we want to know (I look at it as installing memory hooks).

Our curriculum is very laid back EXCEPT the music element. Kitchen math, read alouds, get out and go see stuff, .....But the Kindermusik, private music lessons and the regime of practicing and the scheduling of live music concerts (see the May 30 entry of this blog for the summer children's music schedule) and contra dancing....There's the priority.

It's paying off! My oldest just finished his freshman year at MTU and received a certificate of merit in calculus!!!!

I've had quite a few homeschooling groups ask for Kindermusik for the Young Child. This is a perfect stepping stone to private piano, violin, etc lessons. Right now there's no class on the schedule specifically for homeschoolers (who generally like things during the day) BUT if you are interested you'd better ask...If there's a group of at least 5 we will build you a class. YOU WON'T REGRET IT!!!

Here's a fantastic link to illustrate music and fractions. This puts a visual on it. (And it looks like Legos....which is another good way to work on fractions...) It's really fun! Play with it and then go to the homemade instrument section of the site and click on each numbered tube to compose your own piece.

How can it count as math when music is so fun??? Someone needs an attitude adjustment!
Thanks to Debbie Long

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Heavy TV viewing under 2 is found
Ignoring risks, parents cite 'educational' value
By Barbara F. Meltz, Globe Staff May 27, 2007

About 40 percent of 3-month-olds watch television or videos for an average of 45 minutes a day, or more than five hours a week, according to the first-ever study of the viewing habits of children under the age of 2.

The study, by pediatric researchers at the University of Washington, also found that by age 2, 90 percent of children are watching television for an average of more than 90 minutes a day.
Such early exposure to screens can have a negative impact on an infant’s rapidly developing brain and put children at a higher risk for attention problems, diminished reading comprehension, and obesity, researchers said.

Researchers said they were surprised not only by the number of hours young children are spending in front of the television but also by the primary reason: Most parents are using television as an educational tool, not for the more conventional explanation of babysitting. Despite nearly a decade of warnings by pediatricians to the contrary, parents believe that the content of programs aimed at babies is good for brain development.

‘‘I wouldn’t be so upset about this if I thought parents were doing it because they needed a break to take a shower or make dinner,’’ said Dimitri Christakas, the University of Washington pediatrician who co-authored the study. ‘‘What I’m troubled by is the notion that parents think it’s good for their kids. That’s more likely to lead to excessive viewing rather than occasional viewing.’’

Please read the full article and take it to heart. I'm sad when I hear about babies who watch the Baby Einstein videos. Yes the parents believe they are doing a good thing...We

DO want the BEST for our babies. Educational videos and TV programs do not have the contingent response that a real live person gives when interacting with a baby. That is where learning happens. Further the time invested is time the brain is not doing what it is programed to do.

Please follow the AAP advice on this: NO SCREEN TIME for children under 2.