Monday, August 20, 2007

What I'm Reading

A Self Study in Early Childhood Education

With Cooper officially in the midst of toddler hood, I've been reading a lot about early childhood education. As an educator I'm naturally drawn to this subject and excited about working on creating the best learning environment for my boy. But, with the plethora of books, magazines, and websites out there addressing this very subject, it is a bit overwhelming.

Though I know that homeschooling is not something that I have any intention of doing, for lack of a better way to describe it, part of my reading is to assist me in creating a home preschool for Coop. Here in Mt. Lebanon, as in may other communities where children and education are highly valued, the norm is to start your child in preschool at age 2 (the whole preschool push will have to be a topic on another day). Since that won't be happening for us this year, or maybe not even next year, I want to make sure that Cooper is learning, growing and exploring the world in a way that I feel good about.

Here are some of the titles I've been reading in this realm:

You Are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy, a Waldorf early childhood educator. I have had wonderful experiences visiting and studying the Waldorf school in Ann Arbor, MI. Since my introduction to this beautiful way of teaching young people I have desired to make it a part of my child's education. Though we don't have a Waldorf school near us, or the means to send Cooper to private school, I am learning ways to incorporate some of the Waldorf philosophies into Cooper's daily life.

Montessori From the Start by Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen. This book is intelligently written and a great source for understanding Maria Montessori's philosophies of education and child development. I've never studied this before and find it all incredibly interesting. I'm still working on formulating my own understanding of it all. More on this to come.

Teaching Montessori in the Home, The Pre-School Years by Elizabeth G. Hainstock. This gives some actual lessons to do with preschoolers. A very easy read, but doesn't get as much into the philosophies behind the practice.

These are some books I'm using to find songs, finger plays, and other fun activities to do with Cooper:

The Baby's Lap Book by Kay Chorao
The Baby's Good Morning Book by Kay Chorao
Hand Rhymes by Marc Brown
Finger Rhymes by Marc Brown
Sing Us a Story by Jane Marino

Needless to say, this self-study is keeping me busy.

1 comment:

sooze said...

You continue to amaze me, Kelly Snooks Dahl, and cement the notion that you are the reason I was born!

Love you more...infinity!