Fairy Circle

 

Fairies R 10We are the sunshine fairies (Twirl clockwise)

And with our sparks of light (flick fingers as sparks – right hand flicks left side/left hand flicks right side)
We shimmer and glimmer in the air (Twirl counterclockwise)

Hugging flowers with colors so bright (hug self and rub hands up and down over folded arms)

 

 

 

 

 

fairy 2

Aquella hada* (flap arms like fairy)

Que va por el sol (Hands over head as sun)
En cada ramita (Arms out as tree twigs)
Que lleva una flor. (ballet arms above head, spin in circle)
(like presenting self at court)

Viva la gala (Right arm from left side body stretched out to right side of body)
Viva el amor (Left arm from right side of body stretched out to left side of body)
Viva la gala (both arms crossed to open up at sides of body)
De aquella hada (curtsy)

This fairy (flap arms like fairy)
That goes in the sun (Hands over head as sun)
On every twig (Arms out as tree twigs)
That bears a flower. (ballet arms above head, spin in circle)
(like presenting self at court)
Long live the elegance,
(Right arm from left side body stretched out to right side of body)
Long live the love (Left arm from right side of body stretched out to left side of body)
Long live the elegance (both arms crossed to open up at sides of body)
Of this fairy (curtsy)

* caracol/snail

(“Aquel Caracol” Rhymes from Mexico – http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=3374)

Fairy Edmond 2

(From Big Voice to Tiny Voice)

I am the giant. (Stomp march – very big steps)

When I mumble and grumble,

The whole earth doth rumble.

I am the gnome. (Shovel like movement)

I dig in the ground

That gold may be found.

I am the witch, (Gallop – pretending to ride on a broom)

And I spit, and I spat

With my skinny black cat.

I am the King. (Stand with hands on hips)

I hold in my hand

The laws of the land.

I am the Knight. (Move like riding a horse)

I fight the King’s foe

With battle-axe and bow.

I am the Queen (Twirl/dance holding “gown”)

In my shining crown

And silvery gown.

I am the Lady. (Wave self with “fan” while step-ball-change from side to side)

I primp and I preen

And I follow the Queen.

I am the fairy. (Fly and flitter)

I fly in the air

And live everywhere.

I am the elf. (Hop, skip, leap)

I whisper and peep.

I hop, skip and leap.

(An English Manual for Elementary School by Dorothy Harrer)

Fairies R 7

Deep in the kingdom there spreads a great forest, (Stand like a tree)
Deep in the forest a mountain soars high; (Pointed arms above head – like mountain)
Deep in the mountain a high vaulted cavern, (Arms straight in front of body with hands above head)
Secret and solemn, where fools may not pry. (Arms made like X over body)

Deep in the cavern there stands a great granite, (Arms form circle in front of body)
Solid and silent and strong as the earth; (Stand strong with arms at sides)
Deep in the granite there glistens and gleams (Bend down and scoop up jewel)
A radiant jewel of wondrous worth.  (Hold jewel in cupped hands in front of body)

(Hidden by Paul King)

(From Standing to sitting – Use silky – as magic carpet & picnic blanket to sit on floor)

Fairies R 8
A little magic carpet came sailing through the air (Run around with silky waving)

With some little fairy folk a sitting on it there*

Each had an acorn basket with a picnic lunch inside (Skip –silk in one hand – “basket” in other)

They stopped and ate their goodies (Lay silky on floor as picnic blanket)

On a stone – I sat beside it

They had frosted, tiny cookies – as round as that (Sit on silky and pretend to eat)

Some sandwiches of bees meat

And they sat and sat and sat

Lo, when the fairies flew away

A crumb could not be found (Crawl on the ground looking for crumbs)

Then I looked and looked and hunted

Over ev’ry inch of ground

*With some little pixie people

(“The Magic Carpet” from Rhymes for Little Hands by Maud Burnham)

Fairies R 6

Once I thought I heard some fairies (Cup ears)

And I looked the garden through (Hand over eyes – looking)

I peeped in every flower cup (Bend fingers slightly, keep hands together)

And in the wee buds too (Curl fingers into palms – hands still together)

I looked beneath the toadstools (On had top of toadstool other stem)

And the tufts of stripped green grass (Fingers up like grass)

Then I just sat down quietly (fold hands in lap)

To let the fairies pass!

(“In the Garden” from Rhymes for Little Hands by Maud Burnham)

Fairies R 2

Way up in the sky the fairies* fly,(Connect hands to make a fairies fly upward)
Down, Down in the flowers the fairies rest (Fly your hands downward)

With a wing on the left, (Show only one hand open to the left)
and a wing on the right, (Show the right hand open to the right)
We’ll let the dear fairies dance through the night. (Fingers wiggle and “dance)

*Little birds

(Way up in the sky – Traditional children’s verse)
Fairy 3One, two, three, (Slowly rise to feet from sitting)
The garden is growing.
Four, five, six, (Hoeing movement)
Now it needs hoeing.
Seven, eight, nine, (Pick weeds)
Down go the weeds.
Ten, eleven, twelve, (Water Garden)
Water it needs.
Thirteen, fourteen, (Hands make rain  – full movement from ceiling to floor)
Here comes a shower.
Fifteen, sixteen, (Full movement – from floor to arms above head – flower grows)
A fairies very own flower!*

*Changed line from “A carrot and a flower!”

(http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems72.html)

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Imitation: The Sincerest Form of Flattery – Unless it Reveals Your Flaws

 

Cheerleaders

My dad only wished my skirt was this long!

I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen my dad cry. The night I made the high school cheerleading squad was one. He knew how much I’d dreamed of it, how obsessed my practice had been and how I’d babbled for years about being a cheerleader. My sophomore year, my cheerleading coach told me I had to quit debate so I could devote more time to cheer. I cried. Then I quit cheer. It was one of those decisions in life that defines you as a person. Somehow my fifteen year old self knew that my soul would be more satisfied in research and rhetoric than physical excellence and social notoriety.

Thirty (and change) years later, I would still rather feed my mind than my body. I much prefer researching educational philosophies to planting rose bushes. I’d rather read a book than bake bread. Words are my favorite art medium.

Thus the challenge. Rose would rather play on the phone or the computer than do handwork or play outside. It dawned on me that she wants to be like me. She has at least ten good years left before she decides if she wants to be a nerd like me.

All dressed up

Like mother like daughter

Her life and learning revolves around imitation. Joop van Dam in his article Understanding Imitation through a Deeper Look at Human Development wrote, “Imitation lives and moves in the child with these two legs or wings: that which opens to the world inwardly from the body and that which opens to the world in trust…Whenever children have the chance, they will eagerly watch a craftsman at work. They see the blacksmith, for instance, and drink in his gestures, and, later, they will play them out. These work gestures build the body. When a child has the opportunity to do many kinds of work in the first seven years, then she is able to build up her body in differentiated ways. Her body becomes an instrument with all kinds of tones and colors. This is a body the individuality can enter and live in for a lifetime.”

Imitation, according to Waldorf education, is the second law of childhood. It is also Biblical. The apostle Paul wrote, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”

So, I need to be and do what I want Rose to be and do. I need to remake myself.

climbing tree 2

Maybe we’ll wear more appropriate clothes

I need to get in touch with the me I was before the Debate vs. Cheerleading decision. The me that built Barbie Dream houses on the branches of trees I had climbed. The me that was excited to eat Swanson Chicken Pot Pies because I had a new tin for creating mud pies. The me that ran races with the boys – and won. The me that created swimming holes from beaver dams. The me that spent hours searching river banks for the most beautiful rocks for my collection. I need to play more.

I also need to be a me I’ve never been. I really don’t like “meaningful work.” In fact, I don’t like anything that has the word “work” attached to it. I need to work more.

To work more, I need to:

Repent. God commands us to work, “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. “(2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)

Change my mindset. Work is not a bad word – in fact God told Adam to work before sin entered the world – which means God saw work as good. We were created to work. Work glories God. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

mother daughter

Mind-blowing: Rose wants to be like me!

I must be ever mindful that what I do is being seen and imitated by a growing young mind and body. “’Imitation’ is the magic word in the child’s education until the age of nine or ten, when it is gradually replaced by other forms of learning. The child’s habit of imitating us—filled with great trust and equally great expectations—exhorts us to be worthy of that imitation. Not lectures, but meaningful actions meld a ‘brain’ which is capable of thinking meaningful thoughts. Inconsistency has the opposite effect.” (Dr. Helmut von Kügelgen, The Laws of Childhood)

Now that I have been convicted, repented, and am changing my mindset on who I need to be and what I need to do, I must do it. Here’s my game plan for this year:

  1. Have a house cleaning routine. I set this up last fall, but haven’t really worked it. I’m going to be more consistent.
  2. I’ve already began loving to cook. I love the smell of chopping fresh herbs, and garlic and onions sautéing in a skillet. I truly feel happy and fulfilled when I serve a wholesome delicious meal.
  3. This spring, I’m learning to garden. This is a huge leap of faith, as I kill even indoor plants, and gardening is a lot of work (Ugh)
  4. Do more handwork. I am currently hand-making two quilts for my new grandbabies. I actually like this job. There is something so relaxing about feeling the texture of cashmere in your lap, and the melodic rhythm of hand stitching.
  5. This summer, I am going to teach myself to knit – so I can teach Rose next school year.

I’m a little scared – scared of falling back into comfortable patterns, and scared of failure, and mostly scared of not being worthy of Rose’s imitation. But I’m also excited about this new adventure and the changes God is making in me. Don’t think I’ll give up the old, book-loving, research-obsessed, want-to-be-writer, me – I will just save the nerdy me for after Rose goes to bed.

Feel free to ask me how it is going – I need the accountability.

Spring Rhythm

We’re walking to a slightly faster beat than we did last semester. Here’s our new weekly rhythm:

Weekly

Mom Time

Breakfast

Walk Dogs

Circle Time

Daily Chores

Snack

Art

Monday: Wet-on-Wet Painting

Tuesday: Clay/Modeling

Wednesday: Drawing

Thursday: Nature Craft

Friday: Seasonal or Holiday Craft

Fairy tale Story time

Lunch

Bible Study (Drawing pictures from Psalms)

Daily Focus

Monday: Farmers Market

Tuesday: Cooking

Wednesday: Handcrafts

Thursday: Outside

Friday: Gardening

Snack

Outside Free play

Dinner

Family time

Yoga

Snack

Bath

Read Aloud

Prayer

Bed

Mom and Dad Time

Mom daughter forest

Forest Day

*Every Thursday is Forest Day – We drive to a nearby forest after breakfast and spend the day. We do circle time, crafts, story time, lunch, and Bible study outside. We also have lots of free time to explore, collect, and play.

Night Dance

Circle Time (6 Week each)

January – Mid February: Dragons

Mid February – March: Fairies

April – Mid May: Mermaids

Daily Chores

Clean one room a day, as well as general pick up. Rose helps with the cleaning.

Fairy Tales (3 weeks each)

Dragon Theme: The Dragon of Ghent, The Reluctant Dragon

Fairy Theme: The Fairies, Sleeping Beauty

Mermaid Theme: The Little Mermaid, The Golden Mermaid

*Fairy tales are modified to be age appropriate, but as close to original as possible.

Justification 4

Read Aloud Books

Dragon Theme: Chapter Book –My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett,  Picture Books – The Land of Long Ago by Elsa Beskow, The Knight and the Dragon by  Tomie dePaola

Fairy Theme: Chapter Book – The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz, Poetry/Picture Book – If You See a Fairy Ring: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Poems Illustrated by Susanna Lockheart

 Mermaid Theme: Chapter Book – Mermaid Magic by Gwyneth Rees, Picture Books: Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell, Can You Catch a mermaid? by Jane Ray
What does your Spring semester look like?

 

 

 

 

Dragon Circle

Dragons are too much fun to bypass just because we don’t celebrate Michaelmas. So we are starting the New Year with a Dragon Circle theme – and reading about Dragons, and storytelling about Dragons. I for one am looking forward to it.

dragon 6

This is the day

The Lord has made

I will rejoice

And be glad

(Psalm 118:24)

Each week add new motion

1) Stand Still – Move Arms

2) Do 1 + say as March

3) Do 1, 2 + Clap Rhythm

4) DO 1, 2, & 3 + March & Clap together

Dragon 13Fairies are flying,

Elves are skipping,

Dwarfs are dancing,

Giants are tramping,

Hunters are galloping,

Dragons are prancing,

And the children tip-toe

(Follow the Leader by Dorothy Harrer )

dragon 11

I’m tired of being a dragon, (March)

Ferocious and brimming with flame, (Stomp)

The cause of unspeakable terror (Stomp louder)

When anyone mentions my name. (Stomp louder)

I’m bored with my bad reputation (March but drag the beat)

For being a miserable brute, (March lower to ground still dragging)

And being routinely expected (March lower to ground still dragging)

To brazenly pillage and loot. (March – Hands grabbing imaginary things off floor & out in pouch)

I wish that I weren’t repulsive, (Stomp in Place)

Despicable, ruthless, and fierce, (Making Fists – show strong arms)

With talons designed to dismember (Show Claws)

And fangs finely fashioned to pierce. (Show teeth)

I’ve lost my desire for doing (Sigh)

The deeds any dragon should do, (Slump shoulders, shake head)

But since I can’t alter my nature, (Snap to attention – shrug shoulders)

I guess I’ll just terrify you. (Run Around Room Roaring & Tickling)

 (A Dragon’s Lament by Jack Prelutsky)

Dragon 10

Turn around once (whee)

And Swing your dragon tail (wiggle bottom)

Turn around twice (whee, whee)

And flap your wings like sails (flap arms)

Turn around three times (Whee, whee, whee)

Then Stomp your foot and roar (Stomp & Roar)

Jump up high, then sit on the floor. (Jump, sit)

(1,000 Fingerplays & Action Rhymes by Barbara Scott)

dragon 12

 Dragon, dire and dreadful beast

Deep in darkness dwells.

The evil deeds he does and sees

None dare ever tell

(http://thewaldorfconnection.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Waldorf-Academy-Verses-Lesson-8.docx)

Pounding on the floor with hands to rhythm as you chant – 2 or 3 times get faster each time.

dragon 2

 One little,  Two little. Three little dragons

Four little, Five little, Six little dragons

Seven little , Eight little. Nine little dragons

Ten little dragons roar

Ten little. Nine little. Eight little dragons

Seven little. Six little. Five little dragons

Four little. Three little, Two little dragons

One little dragon snores

Finger play –  counting fingers

Now in Spanish

Uno, dos, tres Drogones

Cuatro, cinco, seis Drogones

Siete. Ocho, nueve Drogones

Diez Drogones rugido

Dies, nueve, ocho Drogones

Siete, Seis, cinco Drogones

Cuatro, tres, does Drogones

Uno Dragon ronca

Count Fingers again

dragon7

 (Act out:)

All curled up in my small little shell

Rolling around in this place which I dwell

Wondering what the world will be

I’m ready to break out – I’m ready to see.

I knock and I scratch, I push and I shove

I hear the shell crack and I see blue sky above

I bust out and shake the dust off from inside

I stretch my bones tall and spread my wings wide

I leap to my feet and breath my first fire

To soar through the air is my greatest desire

(Dragons Coming Out Party by Joyce Pinero – my first attempt at writing a verse)

dragon 5

 Good job my courageous one

Now our circle’s almost done

To be brave you must see

God is always with you and me

(Give child a hug and squeeze)

dragon 14

Jesus, help my eyes to see
All the good Thou sendest me.
Jesus, help my ears to hear
Calls for help from far and near.
Jesus, help my feet to go
In the way that Thou wilt show.
Jesus, help my hands to do
All things loving, kind, and true.
Jesus, may I helpful be,
Growing every day like Thee.

(Little Folded Hands, Prayers for Children) 

Face you child, Hold their hands and say prayer together

Dragon 15

For Storytelling I’ll be telling the tale: The Dragon of Ghent

Read Aloud Book: My Father’s Dragon,

 

 

 

 

 

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Mid-Year Learning Evaluation

I’m learning along side Rose. Although I’ve been homeschooling for 24 years, this is my first year with Rose. My first year ever homeschooling an “only” child. Moving from teaching a senior in high school to kindergartener has been a challenge for me – both mentally and physically.  So, I knew I needed to evaluate our year and make changes where needed.

Observation book

This year I’ve discovered an awesome little downloadable book, which has helped me break down (with an amazingly detailed check list) where Rose is at, how she has developed over the last semester, and what we need to work and concentrate on this spring.

“Developing the Observing Eye, Teacher Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education” by Cynthia Murphy-Lang is a great read, and a handy little tool. http://www.waldorflibrary.org/books/3/view_bl/97/social-skills/190/developing-the-observing-eye-teacher-observation-and-assessment-in-early-childhood-education-ebook?tab=getmybooksTab&is_show_data=1

I actually downloaded the Common Core Check List for Kindergarten – and it reminded me why I have chosen Waldorf methodology. At this point in a child’s life, I feel developing the brain, the body, and the spirit is so more important than learning knowledge. I ditched the Common Core Check List.

What I’ve discovered:

The Good:

Observation 2

1) Increased Peacefulness

Decreasing the amount of time away from home, and decreasing the amount of people coming in and out of our home has increased the level of peacefulness.Creating, and for the most part, sticking with a weekly and daily rhythm has increased the peace.

Because of this, Rose is having less melt downs than she has in the past.

2) Increased ability to play by her self 

Rose has become more independent, and more able to entertain herself for long periods of time.

Observation 13) Increased ability to relate to peers Rose has always struggled with relationships with other kids. She has started enjoying time with others and can play for longer periods of time with them.

4) Increased physical abilities I’ve seen improvement in both her big motor and small motor skills. Rose started skipping – a great sign for brain development. She can also string small beads.

The Bad:

1) Can’t count to 10.

I count everything, but Rose just doesn’t seem to pick it up. She says numbers, she repeats when I count. She can’t seem to recite from 1 – 10 by herself – either when counting objects, or just recitation.

The Ugly:

Observation 3

1) Obsession with screen time

I’ve done a poor job of cutting screen time. We have tried to use screen time in moderation, but Rose is obsessed. Once she picks up a phone, ipad, or watches a show – she refuses to do anything else. She has more melt downs, is irritable, and unable to play by herself.

2) Challenges with transitions

Rose has a very hard time moving from one thing to the other if the first is not finished, or has not been cleaned and organized to her liking. She completely loses it. We have a visual schedule, but sometime I think it is a hindrance, because if for any reason we have to go off it – melt down. There is no flexibility. I try to give time between activities but it never seems to be enough – she gets stuck on one thing and doesn’t want to change to do something else – she even refuses to eat if she is into the activity before a meal.

Observation 43) Sensory Issues

I thought cooking our own catsup would be exciting. Rose thought otherwise. After having her peel the poached tomatoes, she was seriously traumatized by the texture and has been scared to cook with me since.

She also hates the woods. She hates the dirt and screams when she sees a bug. She cries and begs to go home.

 

 

4) Doesn’t sleep well

Rose has always had sleep issues. Lately, she just doesn’t go to sleep. She says she is scared to shut her eyes. Even though bedtime is 8:00 – she often does not fall asleep til well after midnight. I have responded by allowing her to sleep later in the morning, which throws off all our morning routine.

The Changes are coming:

1) Sleep

Be more consistent in sleep routine. Play outside at least two hours. No screen time. Wake her up in the mornings by 8:00. Check with doctor if the problem does not stop.

2) Eliminate Screen Time completely during the week.

Nothing else needs to be said.

3) Increase the amount of activities on our daily rhythm.

Add story time, circle time, and daily craft time to our daily schedule. This will help with the elimination of screen time.

4) Work on Transitions

Give more time for transition. Use songs to transition.

5) Be intentional with teaching counting

Have counting rhymes and songs in circle time. Count in

6) Modify Cooking Day

Cook things that Rose would enjoy cooking. Think about textures when planning what to cook.

7) Modify Forest Day

Have more planned activities in the forest. Think about what Rose does like – and use them to my advantage (collecting things, taking pictures).

I’ll let you know how it goes. What changes are you making in your spring semester?

 

Why Cooking is More Important than Reading– In Kindergarten

c vs r 10I collect old books. I have a parent’s guide to education, published in the 1940s. It has what needs to be learned in each grade level. Reading is not even mentioned in kindergarten, children are exposed to reading in first grade – it is in second grade that reading is an expected skill.  The fifth and sixth grade reading list and level of expectation are far higher than the current common core.  Interesting.

So why does Waldorf Kindergarten promote cooking (knitting, painting,gardening, etc) and shun the teaching of reading?

Here’s the simply explanation: Cooking builds the brain. Reading and writing uses the brain.

Here’s the long explanation, hopefully explained simply:

Reading requires a certain level of brain and body capabilities.

1) Sensory Integration

Children, especially young children, take in information through the senses.

Cooking is a sensory experience. Reading is not.

c vs r 2As Rose whipped up the eggs, she commented on the bright yellow color. She listened as I told her to add the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. After following directions she commented, “Smell it Mommy. It smells so yummy. Can I taste it?” I made her wait ‘til the batter was complete before tasting it. She felt, saw, heard, tasted and smelled. She didn’t even know that her little brain was working full time to develop and refine her cognitive, social, emotional, physical, creative, and linguistic skill set. She was having fun.

Therefore, cooking is more important than reading in Kindergarten because it incorporates all of the senses, which is how children learn best.

2) Visual Tracking

When a child first looks at symbolic lines – which represent sounds – which when put together make up words – they must track the lines and curves with their eyes. If the eye- tracking is correct the information of the lines and curves travels to the brain and the brain stores this information and labels it as the correct letter or number. They are then able to recall that shape in their brain and read or write it accurately.

Visual tracking is developed through hand-eye coordination of solid, sensory objects – such as cooking.

c vs r 7Spooning cupcake batter into a cupcake tin uses hand-eye coordination and teaches the eyes how to track and the brain how to record that tracking in long term memory.

I have vivid memories of wanting to beat my head against the wall when I was teaching my oldest daughter to read. “If C-A-T spelled cat on the last page, than C-A-T spells cat on this page.” If I only knew then what I knew now, I would have put down the book and picked up the blender.

With lots of hand-eye sensory activities, accurate tracking usually is developed around the age of seven.  If a child is taught to memorize letters and numbers before visual tracking is developed learning disabilities often occur. For example, the reversing of letters and the inability to recognize the difference between b,d,q and p is a result of learning letters before eye tracking is fully developed.

Therefore, because developing visual tracking is so important to the learning process, cooking is more beneficial to kindergarteners than is letter recognition.

3) Proprioceptive System

The proprioceptive system is a sense of one’s own body. In order for a child to sit and pay attention they must have a solid sense of their own body in space and time.  Proprioceptive information is received in the cerebellum through the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments.

The proprioceptive system requires large and small motor skills – especially those that that use fingers, hands, arms, trunk, legs and feet.

c vs rc vs r 5

Grating Carrots and using the whole body to stir the flour into the liquid cake mix develops this system.

If reading is taught before a child develops the proprioceptive system, they will have difficulty paying attention and following directions.  Reading basics will take much longer to teach.

Therefore, cooking is more important than reading in kindergarten because it helps develop the proprioceptive system.

4) Bilateral Integration

Reading takes both sides of the brain. The right side of the brain controls sight reading and memory.  The left side of the brain decodes phonics.  The ideal way to read is for the left side to read phonetically while the right side creates mental pictures, thus comprehension occurs simultaneously with the reading of the words.

Bilateral Integration is when the two sides of the brain talk to each other and work together. Because the right side of body movement controls the left side of the brain and vice versa, both sides of the body must work together to accomplish a task.

c vs r 9Sweeping carrot peelings from the floor develops bilateral integration.

If children learn to read before the age of six or seven, when the two sides of the brain starts talking to each other, they use only their right, memory, sight-reading side of the brain to read. Children often struggle with reading comprehension, and often get “stuck” in their reading level at around 4th or 5th grade when the words must be read phonetically and not through memory recall.  I have personally tutored many kids of this age who were in the stuck stage – I use very unconventional method of tutoring as I make my students play crawling games and skip around in circles (many who are almost incapable of these things when we start lessons) in order to develop bilateral integration.  It’s amazing when the physical bilateral training is added into the lessons that reading often just “clicks.”

Therefore, cooking is more important in long term reading success than is the teaching of reading for five and six year olds.

Added Bonuses of Cooking:

c vs r 111) Brain needs healthy food to develop properly  and research shows kids who cook make healthier food choices.

2) Children learn cause and effect through the whole process – start to finish. Eggs, flour, and carrots turn into cupcakes when cooked.

3) Cooking gives a child a sense of self-accomplishment. Whereas, at the age of five, reading pleases their teacher or parent – they learn to perform to please others.  Tasting something they cooked themselves gives them gratification which comes from deep inside themself.

In Kindergarten, cooking is more important than reading because it weaves together sensory, visual, cognitive development and give children confidence and a sense of pride. It creates the pathway from the senses to the brain that will enable them to learn to read. Reading is good, it should be saved and savored for a time when it can be taught with less frustration – a time when children’s brains and bodies are reading to delve into it fully.

Susan R. Johnson, a developmental behavioral pediatrician with over fifteen years of experience, wrote, and I agree, “I support kindergartens that emphasize healthy movements, promote daily living skills (Cooking),… If kindergartens support these healthy movement activities and stop trying to teach children to read and write, then I believe we will start seeing healthier 8 and 9 year olds who can pay attention, listen, focus, sit still, write, read, and learn.”

I know feelings run high on this subject – and I would sincerely appreciate all your comments and thoughts – whether you agree or disagree.


I did lots of research for this one – but if you want to know more and get deeper into why to hold back on the teaching of reading and writing I highly suggest reading articles from:

http://www.youandyourchildshealth.org/