Forcing the Bloom

Happy, Healthy Mommy Blog


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Eerie Images of Kids Watching TV

Did you see these pictures on CNN?  The photos of these kids watching TV are eerie…yet revealing.  At least, it validated my concerns about screen time for young children.  Let’s get outside this summer!  Read in the grass, hike, explore, swim!  How’s your summer going so far?

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/11/living/gallery/children-watching-television/index.html

 


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Get Ready for Summer Reading: Encourage “WILD READERS”

Are your kids “wild readers”?  Are you?  I know I am!  For one, I read a book about reading.  But how do I share that love of books with my children?

I just finished Donalyn Miller’s “Reading in the Wild.”  A perfect book to get ready for summer reading!  This book is about how to cultivate lifelong reading habits.  Although Miller specifically talks about her experiences teaching 6th graders to love reading (beyond her classroom), I thought her insights applied to everyone, including me (mom).

I have to admit that I grabbed this book simply based on the title.  WILD READERS!  I want that for my kids!  Wild readers read because they love reading.  Nothing can stop them from reading.  They read whenever they get the chance.  They know what they want to read next.  They have favorite authors and series.  They are confident in their book selections.  They seek out reading communities and enjoy talking with over readers.

If you have a house full of wild readers or you want to help your kids become wild readers, this is the book for you.  There are an AMAZING number of things we do that we think encourage reading but instead squash our children’s interest in reading.  Do we give our children enough opportunities to read?  Do we allow them the opportunity for self-selection?

If you want to kick off summer reading with a BANG, I recommend checking this book out first!  Then hit the library.

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Montessori Trays: Why they work

What’s up with the trays?  The first thing you will probably notice about a Montessori-inspired home or Montessori classroom is the TRAYS.  In our home, I use whatever is available – wooden trays, wooden bowls, woven baskets, plastics serving dishes, etc – usually picked up at a consignment shop like Goodwill.

I didn’t really understand the purpose of the trays until my three-year old had friends over who pulled everything off our shelves and threw things on the floor.  We actually didn’t mind but Boaz busily put everything back into their correct places.  Order and placement is ingrained into his habits and nature.

His learning experience begins when he enters the room.  How are things organized?  How are they grouped together?  The next challenge – can he pick up the tray with the activity and carry to his table or the floor to play?  This requires balance, coordination, and focus.  When he’s done, can he put it back without dropping it before getting a new activity?  Again – focus, attention, patience.

Don’t give up before they start!  At first, they may throw things on the floor.  After awhile they understand the process.  And this process – organizing toys and activities on shelves with trays or other containers – makes clean up quicker!  It also promotes continual learning development from the minute they enter the room.  That’s why we love Montessori trays!

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Book Recommendation: “Better Than Before”

I’m enjoying Gretchen Rubin’s new book Better than Before.  I loved her first two books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home.  Through her books, I learned that I’m an “obliger” and a “finisher”.  I do very well with external expectation but not inner expectations.  Meaning, I put everyone else first before myself.  I wake up and wonder: What is expected of me today?  I’m great at being a role model and supporter but I tend to not leave time for what I want to do.  With these types of tendencies, I need external accountability.  I find this information SO POWERFUL when it comes to making or breaking habits and organizing or prioritizing my day.  Now I know why I LOVE to read but never find the time!  If you want to figure out whether you are an obliger (me), upholder, rebel or questioner (my husband) you can take a short quiz on Rubin’s website.

I highly recommend this book!  What are you reading?

 


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Montessori-inspired Baby Play Areas

I’ve been working on little play areas for our two-month old.  The set-ups are Montessori-inspired but with some consignment items.  I stick with the Montessori ideas but if I often find things at the consignment store.  At two months old, my baby likes to look at mirrors, black and white pictures, faces, and mobiles.  He’s learning that when he hits things, they move!  He coos back at me when I talk to him.  I sing songs with him and often read short books while he’s doing tummy time.  I try to have tummy time once every wake period.  He’s very happy on his tummy.  I always have an eye on him.  Here are some pictures of our play areas for our two-month old.  There’s also a video on my YouTube channel.IMG_4753 IMG_4754 IMG_4755

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