2.10.2011

Week 1 : Playful Learning eCourse


One of the reasons that I love reading my favorite blogs, is that I get to learn about things like Playful Learning. And then I get to be envious that things like Playful Learning and Tracy Stewart's Moomah are on the East Coast and I am on the West Coast and how could we not have something like this in the Bay Area?

So when I learned about Mariah Bruehl's eCourse - I signed up, immediately. I didn't think about all the other things I had to do or what it would mean for my schedule since I went back to work part-time a few weeks ago. I didn't think about either of those things because creating beautiful and functional spaces is what I love to do, and now with an overly curious 2 year old around our house I figured it might help me either to create a family living space that works for all of us or help me to get better at simply living with the chaos.

Here is how it will work: Every Wednesday for the next few weeks, an email will arrive with a link to a video, research and updated Pinterest and Flickr images, that will allow us as a group to tackle the more complicated spaces and rejoice in the simple changes that we make. So far, I am impressed with the approach that Mariah takes, advocating re:using and re:purposing things we already have around the house and choosing less over more. I am pleased and excited that she blends information from Montessori and Reggio Emilia education philosophies (will see if she incorporates Waldorf at all) because all three make a point at addressing how children learn and what role the built environment plays on that process.

This first week is about looking at our homes and finding the spaces and nooks that are either abandoned and in need of some TLC or simply need a new function. She asked us to think about children, or more accurately, what we think about children: how they learn, what they do, why the behave the way they behave. She asked me to re:think children, and although I thought I did that already, there was something about her asking that made me realize how often I act or address our toddler with an adult mindset, instead of understanding the developmental stage in which he is. And where is he? Well, he is about to turn 2 which means that taking the train set apart and dumping water in his spaghetti and covering Thomas with yogurt and wanting to go left instead of right and pulling every thing out of the pots and pans drawer is just exactly what he is supposed to be doing, even if it means more mess for me to clean up. So, how can I set up our home to let him make a mess and be curious and learn things on his own without creating a whole heap of extra work for myself? Guess that is the question I am going to try to answer.

For now, I have got some photos to take and some things to think about, but other than that, I am totally excited to be part of this.

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