Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Required Reading: Teaching Life Skills

The end of October will mark my five-year anniversary as a Stay-at-Home Mom (I doubt I will be getting a watch with the company logo or anything). It's been, and will continue to be, a bumpy ride for me, but until the boys start full-day school, raising my little goofballs will be my profession.

Darn it, I take this profession seriously. Mother of Young Children is THE most important job in the world, period (even though it doesn't sound as important as Senior Editor at Big Corporation, and the work attire isn't as nice). As in all professions, SAHMs need a little continuing education (or in my case, remedial education). I'm flying by the seat of my pants every single day, and I find it a huge help to find some good reading on whatever parenting problem is plaguing me at the moment. So I'm going to start sharing some of the brilliant, brilliant gems I find in my search for answers.

My current bugaboo--er, challenge--is teaching "life skills" (i.e., Pie insists I continue to pull his pants up and down for him when he goes potty even though he is perfectly capable of doing it himself...at least he holds his own doodle now, thank God). Here's my required reading so far:

Teach Preschool: I'm loving the "Powered by Play" category of this early-childhood teacher's extraordinary Web site. Show children what they "can" do for themselves with the help of an actual tin can. Teach them how to properly wash their hands or throw their trash in the garbage with skit-based mini-lessons. Reinforce behavior expectations by example rather than assuming a child "should know better." Teach children self-control through play rather than fear-based tactics. To tell the truth, I just want to devour this entire site.

Living Montessori Now: I just about fell over a couple weeks ago when I discovered the Montessori concept of "grace and courtesy." Holy moly, why did it take me so long to discover this? I came across this great roundup post that covers topics like establishing routines, Montessori rules that can be used at home, and how to handle daily button-pushing behaviors like interrupting. There are also plenty of links to Montessori pedagogy, which is helpful for those of us who need to understand the "why" behind the methodology. This blog is going to be a great resource for me.

Okay...I know I'm only recommending two sites, but there is a lot of good information to digest. Go ahead and grant yourself two continuing education credits when you're done!

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