Preparing Your Child For The Real World

Recently I overheard someone say they think that obedience and bullying are necessary because “kids need to be prepared for the real world”. When they were asked to elaborate, they explained that they believed that taking orders and dealing with teasing and humiliation is necessary for the adult world and the workforce.

The idea that anyone thinks childhood needs to include these factors is so alarming to me. And this isn’t the first time I’ve heard it.

Following routines and instructions are necessities of some occupations, yes. Still, there are respectful and useful ways to learn these skills and obedience needn’t be a primary goal for childhood. Children are just learning to navigate the world around them; I don’t think they need to be made to believe that they can’t think for themselves.

The fact that anyone could believe that bullying is somehow inevitable and required is concerning. Surely people don’t think that being teased or humiliated is necessary for kids to grow into competent adults?

Preparing Your Child For The Real World

If you’re bullied as an adult, you have a different skill set to cope. You have procedures to follow to report harassment if it happens in the workforce. Conflict resolution is not limited to dealing with bullying, either.

As someone who was bullied as a child and teen, I can safely say that I didn’t learn how to deal with that as a child. I would have been better off without it and it only inhibited me and my growth as a person.

What can a child learn from bullying that they cannot learn from something else that is less traumatic and detrimental to their well-being? What can they possibly take from it which is positive and necessary? Any even remotely viable ideas that I can think of like conflict resolution, resilience, morals, character, etc are obviously traits you can learn in other more helpful ways.

Why would we as parents want to make our children feel terrible or experience pain or shame just because they might have the misfortune of experiencing it in the future? Would you crack a new phone screen ‘just in case’?

Not to mention the entire notion of preparing for the ‘real world’. What is the ‘real world’ exactly? I think the definition of what the ‘real world’ is can be vastly different for many people. It depends on their goals, where they live, what their socioeconomic status is amongst other factors. So why are children expected to experience and prepare for the real world – the shape of which is yet to be determined?
Why do so many people hold these expectations of children? Why do some people believe that they are unavoidable realities of life? I think it’s time to challenge this idea that kids have to suffer and conform in order to be functional adults. What if we didn’t just accept this? What if we decided it wasn’t OK?
No one can ever be truly prepared for ‘the real world’, just as no one can be truly prepared to be a parent. We have to help our children gain the skills and sense of self that means that they’re ready for whatever the future holds for them.
Preparing Your Child For The Real World

How to really prepare your child for their future:

  • nurture their passions and talents,
  • help them learn how to deal with conflict,
  • be a safe base for them,
  • let them know that what they think matters, matters to you,
  • give them opportunities to contribute to the running of the home,
  • guide them to be involved in the community,
  • give them the space to grow their independence,
  • respect them,
  • show them unconditional love!
Ultimately, guide them to be the responsible, capable, awesome people they are and chose to do so with LOVE rather than obedience or punishment. Parenting needn’t be about obedience or preparing children for some cold, harsh world. I’m hoping to mindfully parent with connection and guidance as my primary goals. I want my children to be their fullest selves with my love as a light to lead their way. Wanna join me?

This Week of Interest Led Learning

It’s Sunday again and I want to share some snippets of our week of interest led learning. Remember to check out what Jess from Memoirs of a Childhood, Sara from Happiness is here and Kate from An Everyday Story have been up to too!

I organised an educational farm visit with our co-op which the kids loved.

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We fed baby animals grain and bottles of milk.

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We brushed and petted animals.

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Little friendships are blossoming.

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They even milked a cow!

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Baby chicks were cuddled.

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And tons of fun and play was had! They got to ask the farmer questions and go on a trailer ride.

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Back at home on Wednesday I set out our wagon with utensils for a mud kitchen concoction.

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Water and gravel, feathers and leaves, flowers and soil all mixed for fun. They spent ages outside and only returned for a bath and snack.

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To prepare for our BONES themed home ed co-op event, I set out our human body book, skeleton and a documentary about our skeletal system.

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Lucy found a baby snail which had me talking to Cam about exoskeletons.

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Our art cart is now inside and a work in progress.It’s already changing how often they draw and how often Cam writes.

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Lucy loves our binoculars and has taken to using them outside around our yard and loves ‘finding us’.

I hope your week was full of love and laughter!

Bones! Educational and Montessori Ideas.

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This week with our home ed group we explored some bones! One of the parents in the co-op is a butcher so we had awesome gross bones to explore and learn about, with intact joints and tendons!

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The kids loved it more than expected and lots was learned including breaking some smaller bones and investigating the spongy bone and marrow inside! Gloves went on and the bones were pulled and investigated. It was awesome seeing and feeling the ball and socket joints and working out where on the respective animals the bones were from.

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We set up the light table outside with our x-rays, our skeleton and human anatomy book. The life size x-rays (or from Amazon US) were a hit with all the children and some connections were made between animal and human bones.

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Recently Cam & I made a Spielgaben skeleton if you missed that post!

Skeleton DIY learning

Extra resources on bones and the skeletal system!

Happiness is here printed out a life-sized skeleton and labels for her girls to explore.

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I love how Suzie’s Home Education Ideas made a DIY spine and spinal column in her skeletal unit.

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Inspired Montessori and Arts at Dundee Montessori has a couple of incredible animal skeleton investigations on her blog. What amazing specimens and ideas!

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Don’t forget the affordable skeleton printables from Montessori Print Shop!

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An Interest Led Week

Another week has flown by and again I’m joining Jess from Memoirs of a Childhood, Sara from Happiness is here and Kate from An Everyday Story to share snippets of our interest led learning. Be sure to check out what they have been up to this week!

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We started off the week with another nature adventure with friends. The kids found creatures in the creek beds and played in the sun. It’s getting warm fast.

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Some cockatoos were eating in the shade. Lucy was interested in knowing what they were doing and why they weren’t scared of us.

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Cameron has taken an interest in skateboarding and skate parks. He watched some kids skateboarding at the beach the other weekend and it obviously stuck with him because he’s started asking questions about how they learn to do moves and how dangerous it is (my cautious son!)

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We were scheduled to host a paper mache event for the co-op but another lovely homeschooling mama took over for me while I had some downtime. Jess’ eldest daughter gave me this gift because she knew I needed a smile.

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We spent most of our week with friends as I’m still struggling with depression. Between a doctors visit and a lot of downtime we hung out with this crazy lot and had a ton of fun.

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There was lots of noise and giggles and too many characters and adventures to keep up with!

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Cam had a break to play some music. I love this picture, he’s such a sweetheart.

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My sister in law and her little family are going away for a couple of months so we spent some time with them last night. It’s funny to watch how differently my kids interact with different people. Cameron really liked playing with his baby cousin.

There is quite a bit I haven’t got photos of. Cameron is obsessed with fishing and this weekend he went fishing with Mike. They even made lures together and found a spot to fish locally.

Cameron has started to recognise some words by sight. Namely ‘toilet’ and ‘stop’ aside from names and brands.

What we’re reading this week

What Cameron got off the shelf more than once this week:

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I really recommend anything DK for reference books for children. Cameron loves this human body encyclopedia (purchase from Amazon or Book Depository – affiliate links) and it’s triggered many questions and investigations.

What Lucy loved this week:

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A favourite of Cam’s at this age too. Little Yoga (purchase from Amazon or Book Depository – affiliate links) is a great introduction to yoga for toddlers.

I will share another photo for Everyday Montessori – a quick simple way to share the easy ways we practice Montessori in our homes. Join us and share on my Facebook page, in the Lovable Learning community and/or with the hashtag #everydaymontessori on Instagram!

Ten Useful Additions to Loose Parts

10 Useful Additions to Loose Parts

Loose parts by themselves are such an incredibly open-ended and useful addition to play and creativity for children. I have previously written about the types of loose parts that you can collect for play and why.

However, with some really simple additions, you can transform loose parts into a more engaging activity or play experience.

Here are TEN ideas for simple ‘additions’ to provoke exploration, play and learning:

  1. Playdough
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    Homemade playdough or store bought play dough can transform loose parts. II love this invitation to play with grey play dough and Spielgaben blocks and construction toys from Learn with Play at Home!
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  2. Containers
    Containers like baskets, bags, bowls, boxes and even ice cube trays can be added to loose parts to really extend play.
  3. Foil
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    Aluminium foil is cheap and readily available. It really changes the look and texture of the materials. My kids love wrapping and unwrapping items with tinfoil!Colour-sorting-game-with-blocks
    The lovely One Perfect Day set up this engaging invitation with blocks and foil!
  4. Nature
    Some items from nature are loose parts themselves but bringing loose parts to nature or vice versa can completely change a child’s perspective and allow for deep play.
    Exploring-force-and-motion-with-SpielgabenI love this from Fantastic Fun and Learning!
  5. Wire
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    Simple craft wire is great for wrapping, threading and sculpting. Here we used it with Spielgaben beads and rings.
  6. Mirrors
    I have spoken about our love for mirrors and how they can change play and learning.Playing-with-shapes-on-the-mirror-box-666x1000
    The Imagination Tree shared this fun DIY mirror box for exploring symmetry with Spielgaben loose parts! I love the possibilities with this!
  7. Tape
    Adding tape allows kids to make sculptures and figures from their loose parts more permanent.IMG_0827
    Learn with Play at Home showed how Spielgaben paired with paper tape provided hours of fun and construction!stickysplgbn.jpg-682x1024
    Speaking of tape, I’m reminded of this great light and sensory activity with clear sticky contact and Spielgaben from Twodaloo!Kid-Crafts-Washi-Tape-Car-Track
    I also love this city set out with tape for play with loose parts!
  8. Paper and Pen
    I would recommend having a paper and pen handy in play areas at all times. The ability to draw and/or write down ideas can really expand play and learning experiences.
  9. Fabric
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    Fabric scraps or in particular, play silks, are a brilliant addition to any imaginative play.
  10. Animal Figures
    Adding toy animals is a sure way in our household to extend play and transform loose parts into a wonderland of imagination.

Each of these enhance the use of loose parts (like Spielgaben) and create a unique perspective. I love watching my kids make meaningful sculptures or representations of their interests and things that they’re learning about with loose parts.

How do you play with loose parts in your home? Come share it on my Facebook page and/or Lovable Learning community!

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To take advantage of this discount, simply send an email to [email protected] mentioning Racheous – Lovable Learning and Spielgaben will reply with a discount coupon.