While I was shovelling soil into our clam shell I was really hoping my neighbours weren't going to ask what I was doing. It would have felt silly explaining. "Well... I'm putting some dirt in here for the kids to play with??" We live in a city with close neighbours and yes they would have heard me shovelling. They also would have heard the shrieks that came only minutes later... "Worms! I've got one! There's another one here!". I didn't just put in any old soil in the clam shell, I put in soil full of worms.
Earlier in the day I was flipping through a book written by and for early childhood educators. There was a picture of children hands-on exploring a worm farm - soil full of worms. I knew in some way I could replicate this. I have also been reading another book about transforming early childhood environments. How ironic it is that I am a parent at home, reading a book by early childhood educators about creating home-like environments at child care centres. In essence this is what both of these books are about, creating environments and providing opportunities for play just as a child would have at home. But wait. These are really idealised thoughts about home environments. These environments are based on what they think homes should look like. We are educating child care providers to teach children about nature and create safe and nurturing environments but who is educating the parents? For there are many parents (me included) who are lost for ideas on exploring nature (after doing the same nature walk everyday), or who are searching for ideas on creating fun and creative home spaces.
What I like about the early childhood education books and sites I've read is that they are professional, the tone is peer to peer and not at all condescending. Also they aren't aligned to just one philosophy. Can you tell I'm totally over parenting blogs? Please - I hope I never sound condescending! Honestly though I've just been feeling like I have been reading the same old thing over and over and I really like the new angle that some of these possibly revolutionary child care providers have.
Has anyone else widened their scope of reading recently? And where do you go for a good book review? Goodreads? Let me know if I can find you there.