Things have changed in the past nine months. Like a lot. I resigned from my stable job and left some amazing coworkers, we moved away from the home we lived in for more than 20 years and raised four kids in, I started this home preschool thing, and I have no secure income. Scary? Yeah, for a nervous Nelly planner like me, very scary.
What didn't change? I'm still a firm believer that one should never stop learning. And, believe me, these past 12 months have been a huge learning curve for me. As a 17 year veteran teacher, I thought I was a pretty good teacher. Well, it was kind of like when you say you're a good driver and then you get a ticket for not coming to a complete stop. (The universe *might* be talking to you.) Universe talking to me - telling me I still have a lot to learn:
It's only been four weeks with children, but I've observed so much about them and myself. Here are three observations. You're welcome because honestly I could write novels about this good stuff. Husband:
1. It's hard not to say, "Be careful!" But, you get used to it. I've really been trying not to say "be careful" (after raising our four of our own children) for a while. About a year ago I read some great articles about risk taking and how important it is and how to encourage it in young children. I have a little guy who loves to climb. He's two, so his balance is sometimes:
I've amazed myself in finding other things to say to him so that he is aware. My favorite is, "That's high!" So, now every time he climbs he says, "High!" while checking his balance. It's pretty freaking adorable.
In case you need some observations to use instead of "BE CAREFUL!":
Hmm. I wonder how you'll get down.
Wow, look at you climbing! What's your plan?
And, for other risky behavior: Do you see your friends around? Did you notice there's water? It might be slippery.
You could poke yourself while running with a stick and that might hurt.
SIDE NOTE: I can't stop telling my own 19 year old, 18 year old, 17 year old, and 13 year old to be careful.
2. I attended a workshop more than a year ago about outdoor learning environments. I wasn't at all skeptical (because although I constantly tell my four kids BE CAREFUL, we did raise them largely outside), but I did wonder - what do you do outside all day? Here's some things they've done outside so far: had a tea party, built a sand castle out of tires, built a PVC pipe car wash...in a tree (yeah, I know) and then used it to shoot hoops, filled a bucket with a little water to wash their sandy cars, scrubbed pumpkins, chalked and vigorously cleaned the chalkboard, climbed and sometimes jumped, built numerous ramps with the balance board, hunted for bugs with magnifying glasses, read fall and other books, gathered leaves that had changed colors, made *music* (the neighbors might question that one) on the music wall, observed the weather, played endlessly in the outdoor sensory bin, and that's just all I can remember. I have yet to hear "There's nothing to do, or "I'm bored." So, I'll take it as a win.
3. If you are 2 or 3, a large box outside is a present you never knew you wanted and probably never asked for. Yes, I said a box. With nothing in it. So, I knew this, but it was really refreshing this week to see that kids still know that an empty box is the best. thing. ever.
I know I said three, but am I loving yoga pants? Yes, I am.