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Separation Anxiety in kindergartners.

Reconnecting with Foylee,and got talking about what is seperation anxiety…as a mother of three she has lots to say from Morocco, ‘I’ve made this transition with three children, and, amazingly, it hasn’t gotten any easier. I felt just as guilty leaving Kip, who entered preschool this week, as I did leaving Otto, now in kindergarten, and Zane, a big-time fourth-grader. Yet, until this year, it never occurred to me to stop by the annual separation workshop offered by their school, the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School. I could just hear my mother’s exasperated voice: “Oh, come on, Hope, you parents today can’t do anything by yourselves. What ever happened to ‘just shut up and do it’? You think parents 40 years ago had workshops on stuff like this?”

Guess what did she learn at the workshop?

Never sneak out of the room. Your child won’t be happy when he figures out you’re gone. (I learned that teachers hate this tactic.)

Never make promises or bargains you can’t keep. Don’t say you’ll be waiting outside if you won’t.

Keep things stable. Don’t introduce any other new thing into the routine.

Expect regression. Your child might be great the first week and drag her heels the second, or she might be completely potty trained but start having accidents. Having experienced this as a teacher i second Foylee here,regression can be mapped in the in-between weeks and also be maybe due to much of preparing at the home front,which parents must be doing purely out of good intentions!

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Talking about Good touch and Bad touch.

A topic that worries parents and teachers alike.Children as young as three years old can understand the basic concepts of good touches, bad touches and confusing touches. These young children can also understand the definition of sexual abuse and are not afraid of the words that send a chill up the spines of adults. Use the words “sexual abuse” when talking with your child because if a child is victimized, they need to be able to tell you that they were “sexually abused!”. As a teacher i feel very strongly that we must treat our young ones as young adults and not cute-fy things unnecessarily.

Inappropriate Touching:

 Surveys show that as many as 1 in 4 children have suffered some sort of sexual abuse by the time they reach 18. Statistics show that child sexual abuse crosses boundaries of race, class, culture, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, affecting all types of communities. What can you do as a parent to help protect your child?

Children today are around more adults on a daily basis than ever before. From childcare to sports practices to dance classes, not to mention camps and after-school programs, children are meeting and interacting with many adults regularly.

That’s why it is so important for parents to talk with their children — as early as age 3 — about inappropriate touching. And children even younger can begin to learn about their bodies.

What is “inappropriate touching”?:

The clinical definition of child sexual abuse is inappropriately exposing or subjecting a child to sexual contact, activity or behavior. An easier way to think of it – and to teach children about it – is by contrasting “good touches” and “bad touches.”

  • A good touch can be explained as a way for people to show they care for each other and help each other. Examples you can give include hugging, holding hands, or a parent changing a baby’s diaper.
  • A bad touch can be explained as the kind you don’t like and would want to stop right away, such as hitting, kicking or touching private parts.

Before you talk with your child, it’s important that you understand just what “inappropriate touching” means and are comfortable speaking about it. Quite often, the subject of sexual abuse can make parents immediately think, “It’s too awful to think about,” or “That would never happen in our neighborhood/family/school.”

The truth is, sexual abuse cuts across all cultural, racial and economic lines and in most cases the molester is someone the child knows. EVERY parent and teacher should be having this discussion with his or her children. Children are not usually threatened by this information; they embrace it!

  1. Teach the “Safe Body Rule.” Rather than expect your children to judge a touch only by how it makes them feel (“good” or “bad”), give them a solid rule that they can follow. Using the “Safe Body Rule”, teach them it is NOT okay for anyone to touch their private parts, or what is covered by their swimsuits. It is easier for a child to follow a rule and they will more immediately recognize a “bad touch” if they have this guideline in mind.
  2. Use proper body names. Sexual predators often take advantage of the fact that we don’t speak freely with our children about sex and our bodies. By talking about genitals and age-appropriate sexual matters to children in a respectful manner, we stop teaching by exclusion that all these things are secret and not to be talked about. One of the most important goals of having this conversation with your child is to let them know that they SHOULD speak up if something happens and should not be embarrassed or scared to talk about their own bodies or of your reaction
  3. Prepare them to react to a “secret.” Explain that if an adult does something your child thinks is wrong and then tells them to keep it a secret, they should tell you immediately. Giving children specific examples like this will help them feel more empowered to act if necessary. Role-play can be a valuable tool in this step as well.

This video has certainly helped broach this subject with ease,and having played it usually at an interval of two-three weeks in classroom.A discussion on good and bad touch ensues as a by product,and cementing of basic knowledge amongst children

 

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Delayed Speech Milestones by Ms Arshay Nida, guest writer.

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Arshay,has lived most of her childhood in Abu Dhabi,adjusting to a new educational setup,meeting people from across the world.Even as a child,she was deeply intrigued by her teachers,who in every class managed to sow a seed of curiosity in her young mind.She knew that the joy of teaching is unparalleled and with a lot of encouragement from her parents she started exploring the Montessori Method from Amity University and subsequently took up a bachelors in education from IP University.

Love and Pedagogy invited her over for a guest post and this is what she had to say :-

I am usually disturbed when people especially parents fail to identify a speech delay,alternatively known as a delayed milestone. Let us first understand How do speech and language develop-

The first 3 years of life, when the brain is developing and maturing, is the most intensive period for acquiring speech and language skills. These skills develop best in a world that is rich with sounds, sights, and consistent exposure to the speech and language of others.

There appear to be critical periods for speech and language development in infants and young children when the brain is best able to absorb language. If these critical periods are allowed to pass without exposure to language, it will be more difficult to learn.

What are the milestones for speech and language development?

The first signs of communication occur when an infant learns that a cry will bring food, comfort, and companionship. Newborns also begin to recognize important sounds in their environment, such as the voice of their mother or primary caretaker. As they grow, babies begin to sort out the speech sounds that compose the words of their language. By 6 months of age, most babies recognize the basic sounds of their native language. Here I would also like to mention Dr Montessori’s idea of ‘sensitive period towards language acquisition as well as the Absorbent Mind’ the two powerful tools of mother nature.

Children vary in their development of speech and language skills. However, they follow a natural progression or timetable for mastering the skills of language. A checklist of milestones for the normal development of speech and language skills in children from birth to 5 years of age is included below. These milestones help doctors and other health professionals determine if a child is on track or if he or she may need extra help. Sometimes a delay may be caused by hearing loss, while other times it may be due to a speech or language disorder.

What are voice, speech, and language?

Voice, speech, and language are the tools we use to communicate with each other.

Voice is the sound we make as air from our lungs is pushed between vocal folds in our larynx, causing them to vibrate.

Speech is talking, which is one way to express language. It involves the precisely coordinated muscle actions of the tongue, lips, jaw, and vocal tract to produce the recognizable sounds that make up language.

Language is a set of shared rules that allow people to express their ideas in a meaningful way. Language may be expressed verbally or by writing, signing, or making other gestures, such as mouth movements.

What should I do if my child’s speech or language appears to be delayed?

Talk to your child’s doctor or teacher if you have any concerns. Your doctor or teacher may refer you to a speech-language pathologist or maybe a speech therapist.Someone who is a health professional trained to evaluate and treat people with speech or language disorders. The speech-language therapist will talk to you about your child’s communication and general development. He or she will also use special spoken tests to evaluate your child. A hearing test is often included in the evaluation because a hearing problem can affect speech and language development. Depending on the result of the evaluation, the speech-language therapist may suggest activities you can do at home to stimulate your child’s development. They might also recommend group or individual therapy or suggest further evaluation by an audiologist (a health care professional trained to identify and measure hearing loss), or a developmental psychologist (a health care professional with special expertise in the psychological development of infants and children).I sincerely hope that we as students and teachers can identify speech delays and work on them,without wasting much time.

Thank you love and pedagogy for this opportunity!

 

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Mama is asking you, what did you do at school today?

What did you do at school today?  ‘i played’

No no, what did you do today?  ‘i don’t remember!

What did you eat today?  ‘i don’t know!’

Were you a good girl?  ‘ huh huh”!

Did you learn anything new? ‘ No…’

The above sounds familiar to me,does it to you? Do you roll your eyes much like i do,or giggle when you see a parent struggle to illicit answers to their questions!

Many parents are curious to know why, despite a rich environment and best facilities, many of the children return home and cannot recount what it is they have done in a day!  It is important to realize that for the very young child, it is difficult to both remember and recount their day.  However, the inability to answer “what did you do today?” also illustrates the power of the Absorbent mind, a power bestowed upon the child by nature Although any one child may have a day as described in his daily routine or by the adult in the class…the simplicity of the day belies the richness of what the child has absorbed from the environment.  Though he/she may have been working on one piece of material, all around him/her children were working or quietly conversing, the directress was giving a lesson, a small group was happening in the corner, and outside sun played hide and seek  The child between birth and six does not process these events serially as we do.  Rather, the entirety of their environment is captured by the absorbent mind- almost as a photograph.  Thus the child working on one piece of work,an activity though his conscious mind may be incredible focused on that work, is actually absorbing a wealth of experiences that we cannot even describe- and neither can the small child.

Montessori trained teachers are traditionally referred to as “directors” or “directresses” since “teacher” implies that the adult is bestowing knowledge on the child.  In the Montessori environment, the trained adult is there to assist the child in the natural unfolding and development of his self.  We therefore use the term “directress”. or just the term ‘adult’ in a case specific setting.

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‘Education tends toward three goals: self-confidence, self-esteem and independence. The Montessori environment is designed to allow the child to move toward that goal. Much of the work is individual and each material there is only one copy. The child chooses, as far as possible, unrestricted activity. Coaching may be necessary, however. A child can manipulate a material when it has been presented by a teacher. A presentation will be performed several times if the child expresses the need. The teacher will invite the child to attend a presentation and handling equipment. The child can also take your time, think, observe. This also falls under autonomy’

-L’École Montessori de Paris- Casa dei Bambini,Paris.

A school that touched my heart,for being so simple and welcoming,yet respecting the quietude of the four year old worker,for not allowing us as visitors to click the kids unnecessarily,thereby disturbing their concentration at work.We were also asked strictly to keep our mobile phones away and rather enjoy the experience of walking around the corridors that will shape many a human beings,that will be sent in to the society.

For one,i urged myself to interact one on one with the teacher-as a fellow human,understand her-a crusader much like me-for once i urged my memory to work better and look at activities i could,make handwritten notes for my smart gadget-the smart phone was asked to be put away in a locker at the head’s office.I for once loved being without the phone,loved not being told by mind to click incessant pictures-i for once reflected on my learning,while enjoying the beautiful school that is

-L’École Montessori de Paris.

A picture that a fellow researcher managed –

paris

 

Head over to :- http://ecolemontessoriparis.fr/  and translate if french is not your cup of tea!