Yesteryear’s Neighborhood in Today’s Co-op

by Carol Cross-Phillips

Times have changed so much. Many of us remember a childhood where screen doors flung open and the children in the neighborhood raced down the street to meet up with all the other kids. There wasn’t usually a plan, a schedule, or even a set location to meet. Someone might bring a ball, someone might bring a shoebox with a newly caught praying mantis, and the fun would just begin. Parents didn’t worry. In fact, they often pushed the kids out with the all-too-familiar nudge, “Go!! Play outside!” Children romped from hillside to backyard to creek to the climbing tree. They got messy, they explored, they dug in the dirt; they made pretend perfumes and mudpies. Continue reading Yesteryear’s Neighborhood in Today’s Co-op

Co-opping Dads Find Support at Preschool

My son and I have been at Little Wonders for two years and have really enjoyed our experiences there. My son looks forward to seeing familiar faces and playing with familiar toys, but I find that I also look forward to going to class for altogether different reasons.

Going to a co-op school has many advantages, but I really find the parent education component at my son’s preschool very rewarding. Each week their teachers will discuss important aspects of child development and help relate it to your own personal issues with your children. Raising children offers many challenges and they always seem to have great tools to help you overcome those challenges. Continue reading Co-opping Dads Find Support at Preschool

Raising a Thinking Child through the Age of Magical Realism

By Shannon S. Moon

As a parent, one essential question illuminates my journey: How do I raise children who can think critically and yet maintain their sense of wonder about the world?

My oldest daughter, almost four, currently resides in what I call the Age of Magical Realism. The boundaries between what is real, what is fantasy, what is possible, what is probable—these are moldable, fluid. She is not alone. On a recent rainy day at school, cocooned inside, I looked up to see children: chasing monsters with drums and jingle bells; creating Picasso-esque dogs from paper bags; populating a “zoo” of lions, dogs, unicorns and Continue reading Raising a Thinking Child through the Age of Magical Realism

Embracing Boredom

By Mireille Mckee

“Mom… I’m bored!” How many times have we heard this battle cry? What kinds of responses does it elicit from us? Many parents feel they have to rescue children from boredom, and many more feel that by scheduling lots of activities for their children they will prevent it. But is boredom really a bad thing? Child development experts and a growing number of parents are starting to view boredom as important to a child’s emotional growth and well-being and warn against the danger of over-scheduling our young children. Continue reading Embracing Boredom

Play-based Learning: Not Just for Kids

By Mauricia Savella

A few weeks after the arrival of her second child, one of the moms in our classroom at our co-op preschool lamented that despite her best efforts, her three-year-old son wasn’t taking it all as well as she had hoped. He wasn’t just disinterested in the baby—he seemed to downright dislike him, and had on more than one occasion become physically aggressive towards her as she stood changing her newborn’s diaper or sat nursing. “Of course I get that our routine is off, and that’s hard for them at this age, but the anger I just don’t get—he’s never been an angry kid.” Continue reading Play-based Learning: Not Just for Kids

Staying Outside The Lines

By Susan Straccia Rupert

I can remember a teacher once correcting my artwork. The assignment had something to do with drawing my family. I had my stick figure mom and dad, sister and dog pictured over the pinkish cement of our driveway by the basketball hoop. I was told that cement isn’t pink—it can’t possibly be pink—and that I needed to pick another color. I was outraged. Not only was my teacher getting in my business, but the cement by our basketball hoop, for whatever reason, really and truly did have a pink tint. Continue reading Staying Outside The Lines

Why Preschool?

By Karen Trudell

Kindergarten isn’t what it used to be. Gone are the days of graham crackers and milk, naptime mats and learning to use scissors and paste. These days, kindergarten is more like first grade.

With schools taking a faster pace of instruction than they did 20 years ago, it is essential now that children enter kindergarten properly prepared. But that doesn’t mean just knowing their ABCs and 123s before fall of their first official year in school. Continue reading Why Preschool?

CONSTRUCTION ZONE: Your Child’s Growing Brain

by Nancy Rahimi

Have you ever thought, “Who is this child of mine? They seem so different today than they were just a day or two ago.” If so, you would actually be right; internally your child may be quite different then he or she was just a few hours before.

The brain is the only organ that is incomplete at birth. It continues to grow new cells for about three years after birth. Continue reading CONSTRUCTION ZONE: Your Child’s Growing Brain

Life with my Daughter

By Mollie Whiteman

Life with my daughter, Nora has always been an adventure. Her terrible twos started at 18 months, with tantrums that left her crying til she couldn’t catch her breath. But she was also intelligent and verbal, reciting numbers and the alphabet.

At three, despite a year of one-day-a-week mommy-and-me style preschool, Nora was still prone to tantrums and uncertain around other children. At times we thought she was almost afraid of them. Continue reading Life with my Daughter

Renewing Your Parenthood Vow

By Rehmat Kharal

Do you remember the day you found out you were about to become a parent? It was a pretty exciting day, right? You were so happy, all you could think about was holding your baby, you and baby going for a walk, playing at the park, her cutest clothes and hair ties or buying baby his first baseball glove. It was an amazing feeling, wasn’t it? Continue reading Renewing Your Parenthood Vow