Love in Hindsight II

In the first post of this series, I reflected on my teaching career.

Teaching has been a big part of my life, spanning nearly two decades. What I didn’t know back then was how much I was learning about myself as a person and a future parent as I learnt to teach.

Over the years I have met as many different kinds of parents as I have students. Parent teacher interviews always afforded an insight into the children’s personalities, home life and behaviour. It also led to a deeper understanding, at times, leaving me with the saying, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,’ swirling inside my brain.

These parents came from all walks of life. There were those that had little but provided an abundance of love and support. The type of parents who expected the best from, and for, their child were in abundance. The couldn’t-care-less approach was adopted by the minority.

I saw parents arrive holding their little one’s hand and helping them prepare for the day. They fostered their independence but assisted them if need be. I vowed to be that type of parent.

I saw parents arrive early and stand chatting until the bell went-always there to greet their child with a warm hug and a kiss at the end of their day. I vowed to be that type of parent.

I saw parents only to willing to help out at school. They were never too busy to lend a hand, listen to reading or applaud their child when they received an award at assembly or sports day. I vowed to be that type of parent.

I saw parents rush their kids to the car, in a hurry to get to that appointment or sports practice. ‘Get in the car, now,’ they’d say through gritted teeth. I vowed not to be that type of parent.

I saw grandparents bring their children’s children to school every day of the week. Some of their circumstances necessitated this, of that I was sure. I vowed not to be that type of parent as long as I could help it.

I saw parents ‘drag their kids up’ rather than raise them, some showing their children that they were a burden rather than a privilege. I vowed not to be that type of parent.

I knew what kind of parent I wanted to be.

Like most non-parents I stood in judgment of all other parents, keeping my thoughts to myself. Somehow I was of the conclusion that my teaching degree gave me an understanding of children that non-teaching parents didn’t have.

So here I sit, with two gorgeous boys who are now 6 and 3.

All I can say now is….

as they continue to grow, the more I need to know.

And I still have visions of the type of parent I want to become.

To be continued.

Image from: here.

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Top 10 Tips to Help Children Love Reading

reading

My children love books and they love reading.

This Top 10 list looks at what parents can do to foster a love of reading from birth. The right start can make all the difference.

  1. Start reading with babies right from birth. Get comfortable and read aloud every day for 10-15 minutes. This will help develop a routine for reading enjoyment.
  2. Read several different books at times throughout the day or the same book multiple times. Hearing a thousand stories will help a child begin to learn to read.
  3. Use your eyes, voice and body to bring a story to life. Using a flat, monotone voice will not convey your excitement.
  4. Read the same stories time and time again. Use the same pattern or rhythm each time. In time, children will be able to retell the story to you.
  5. Interaction with the story is key. Look at and talk about pictures, connect the story to a rhyme or song and answer any questions children ask. A book does not need to be read cover to cover without stopping to enjoy the pages within.
  6. Point to words, pick out letters, think of rhyming words when reading. Whatever you do should be fun and not remotely resemble teaching.
  7. Use the three R’s when choosing books for young children. Rhythm, rhyme and repetition are an awesome combination.
  8.  Read aloud to kids even when they can read themselves. Tell stories, make up stories together or sing nonsense rhymes-all of which are language-rich activities.
  9. Be a good reading role model. Read books, newspapers or magazines for enjoyment.
  10. Read, read, read, read and read.

I love reading. My kids love reading too. Whether that is inherent or not, I have no way of knowing. I do know that I have read with my children right from birth. Over the past 6 years I have read thousands of books to Almost 6 and Just 3.

I am a mum who loves to read. My teaching career has spanned nearly two decades during which time I have had the privilege of reading thousands of stories. I majored in children’s literature and I write picture books for fun in my spare time. This top 10 is by no means exhaustive. There is so much you can do with your children and a good book. If you have a book but no child, borrow one from a friend or relative. Reading with a child is magic and they’re the most captive audience you’ll ever have.

♥ Kelly

Image from: here.

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

Only space for a little love today.

Today I had only a little space reserved for love.

The parking lot in my heart was full.

My head was at work today while my heart was full of love for my boys. That only left a little for all the mini peeps. My heart kept leaping back to the fact that my preschooler will officially be in Preschool next year.love in your heart

You see today I stepped out of my Loading Zone where I happily go about delivering packages of learning. When I relief teach (sub) I normally teach primary school aged kids (5-13  here is Australia). Today, for the first time in 19 years I taught Kindergarten kids.

Wow! What a jaw-dropping, eye-opening experience. It was not dissimilar to having 30 clones of my little guy. The only differences were some were wearing frilly stuff and I didn’t have to wipe one single bum.

Today I got paid what most would consider a tidy sum to push swings, paint, sing songs, amuse, read, do puzzles and play. Hey, isn’t that what I do at home every other day for a big fat zero? So why did today go so slow and all the days at home whiz by like a police car chase scene? Today was a No Standing Zone exactly the same as any other.

I have no clue. I’m still trying to work out if it’s the best or worst part that I get to do it all again tomorrow and Thursday.

So this post resembles a beat-up old Vee-Dub or the Mini that may not be able to fit everything in that I’d like to.

I hope the brakes are fixed by tomorrow night though because it’d be nice to be able to stop.

Please note the RESERVED signs where only my boys are allowed to park.

Image from: here.