Suggested Reading for 2/1/13

suggestedreadingEarlier today I did my first student-teacher supervising on behalf of MontCo. Had a lot of fun, and realized how very, very much I miss being in a classroom full of two-year-olds. It was a great classroom and a great group of kids, and I was like, “Oh, can I just hang out with these guys all day?” Alas, no, not today. But perhaps soon.

Anyway, some stuff worth your reading time this week, in no particular order:

A great little piece about all the wonderful qualities you help children develop when you don’t lift them to the top of the climber.

Know how arts education is being systematically gutted in schools in order to focus on more “important” subjects? Read Lisa Phillips’ Top 10 Skills Children Learn from the Arts, and tell me they’re not the important ones…

Some clever ways to jazz up puzzles your kids may have lost interest in. A little too competition-focused for my taste, but very creative.

Teacher Tom offers a bold re-examination of his school’s policies on gun- and violent-play. For anyone who’s puzzled over this complicated issue, Teacher Tom offers, well, not answers, but good questions and respectful treatment of children.

Some great stuff this week from How We Montessori. Need an activity for young children? Don’t think too hard. Everyday activities like making snack are plenty engaging. And here’s a great piece about adapting the “mystery bag” activity for younger children. A terrific example of how, with a little creative thinking, activities can be adapted for all sorts of different children.

A great collection of rainy-day activities from Mummy Musings and Mayhem, and a list of minimal-prep indoor activities from Creative with Kids. Every parent and teacher should have lists like these taped up all over the place.

Two related pieces from the Huffington Post: What Not to Say to a Stay-at-Home Mom, and What Not to Say to a Working Mom. The not-so-secret thesis of both is, “Be considerate to parents, please.”

Dr. Laura Markham makes a compelling argument against solving your child’s problems. Beyond being good practice, it also makes your life easier. “Ever notice how kids don’t really want to hear your solutions to their problems?” she asks. Yes. Yes, you have noticed that, haven’t you?

“Parents often ask me, ‘Why won’t my kids listen?’ What they really mean is, ‘Why won’t they follow my directions?'” writes Janet Lansbury, with typical insight. So why WON’T they follow your directions? She offers some possible explanations.

That’s it for this week. Post anything good you’ve read in the comments!


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