Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another beautiful week of Sunshine

Wow, the weather this Monday and Tuesday was surely in our favour! The children were troopers this week as they explored the concept of opposites, such as hot and cold, and completed the activity of creating their very own ice candles. They were very quick to describe other opposites and we were surprised to hear their description of so many 'feeling' words in this description. What an emotionally-aware bunch we have on our hands.

Both Jamie and I were very happy this week to see the children enter into a new transition level into the program; it seems as if they are really grasping and enjoying the quiet time in our days, are learning to sing most of our regular songs, and are learning to walk for longer periods unassisted then in previous weeks. We took this opportunity to acknowledge each child and tell them how proud we are of their latest feats.

We would also like to take a moment to thank all our volunteers who've been so fabulous to us in recent times; from sharing vehicles, to baking muffins, to cooking and preparing lunch...we are blessed by this help! We'd also like to announce that we have another volunteer coming on board on Monday's to assist in cooking for the Forest Preschool, which assists us greatly in focusing our efforts on programming and getting more children for the Preschool. Yeah to fabulous help!

Lastly, now that the program is in full swing and we're getting busier and busier, I'd like to remind parents that we'd like to be more consistent with payment schedules and the receiving of cheques. If you could please write them out the Carp Ridge Learning Centre, and hand them to Marlene directly on the first of each month for the month ahead we would greatly appreciate this effort for our own organizational efforts. Please see me if you have any further questions.

To conclude, Freya Struthers (LC Director) will be in India on vacation for three weeks beginning this Saturday. I will be on site from Monday to Friday for any questions and we wish her a very joyful and peaceful holiday!

Until next week, Marlene

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Alternative Discipline

I thought this would be a helpful resource; these are all positive forms of discipline that we use at the Forest Preschool.

Alternative Discipline:
[From Mothering Magazine Website]

  • Use positive reinforcement.
  • Create a positive environment.
  • Say yes as much as possible.
  • Save no for the important things.
  • Use natural consequences.
  • Use logical consequences.
  • Use restitution.
  • Leave it up to your child.
  • Compromise.
  • State your expectations, and get out of the way.
  • Give specific instructions.
  • Give a reason.
  • Offer help.
  • Give a choice.
  • Redirect your child.
  • Remove your child.
  • Make positive statements.
  • Give in occasionally.
  • Give your child time to agree.
  • Simply insist.
  • Make rules.
  • Ignore some behavior.
  • Avoid nagging and threats.
  • Distract your child.
  • Use humor.
  • Make it a game.
  • Be willing to admit your mistakes.
  • Stop and think before you act.
  • Don't make a big fuss over little things.
  • Stick to routines.
  • Don't hurry your children too much.
  • Get to the root of the problem.
  • Correct one behavior at a time.
  • Give yourselves time.
  • Use the golden rule.
  • Model appropriate behavior.
  • Think of your child as an equal.
  • Always keep your love for your child in mind.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

Well, Christmas is over and we've finally taken down the decorations on our outdoor Christmas tree. The children had so much fun looking for the tree, decorating it, singing carols, and then rediscovering that it was still up after the holidays. Alas, Jamie has cleaned and next week the children will probably come up with some imaginative story about how the animals loved the decorations so much that they decided to take them away!

The past couple of months have been filled with beautiful and busy beginnings; from forming relationships with our new children and families, to learning how long it takes to put on seven childrens' outdoor gear. With logistical lessons in tow, we've finally come to a place where blogging is a realistic and worthy weekly goal. On this blog you will find some insights into what your children do from day to day, as well as memos that need to get out to parents such as supplies they may need or volunteers being requested.

To summarize the past two months, we have turned a fallen log into a pirate ship, created our very own nature playground by turning a hill into a half-dozen or more slides, made jewelry out of crystals after finding a quartz crystal on our hike, finger painted in the yurt, sang songs, climbed snow mounds that magically turned into mountains, and so much more! The children have been so inspiring, so alive, so enthusiastic...it has truly been the best affirmation that we're on the right path.

Within the next two months we will see our bus or van option come to life from downtown Ottawa, we will continue recruiting more children into our full time preschool through a new marketing strategy, and we will start our Families in Nature Program on the first Sunday of February between 10-12. We look forward to posting on the blog and encourage feedback in every way possible.

To a magical-outdoor 2009!