6160 – We made it!!!

Well everyone, we made through another class.  I am so grateful for all of the kind remarks left on my discussion post and blog.  It really means a lot to have your words and support.  I can’t thank just two of my classmates, I want to thank each of you.  We all have something different to offer and such awesome perspectives.  I hope to see you again in future classes!    🙂

I added a few fun quotes that caught my eye.  We must also remember to be the kind face with a smile.  It may be the only smile some people see all day long.  Smile, even if they don’t smile back.

2014-06-30_0002Inspirational-Quotes-For-Kids-MotivationthA8VIX1AP

 

I love all of these quotes because they apply not only to young children, but to older ones as well.  And by older ones, I mean really older ones!  Like ones able to drive a car!

Parenting Quotes-740500.jpg

6161 – My supports

My supports are somewhat typical.  My family, my few close friends, and my computer.   I am obsessed with my family.  Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, siblings, brother-in-laws, husband, children, and of course, the dog. labdog

(not my dog, but he looks just like that)  I feel very fortunate that I come from a large, close family that enjoys being with each other.  I have a niece that is about to turn 3 and she is my world (my children aren’t even jealous anymore).  She is my mini me in so many ways.  My sister will glance at her and do a double take sometimes because of our resemblance.   I count on my family members as my support in so many ways, I hope they feel the same about me.

I have had the same best friend for 22 years and have added a few along the way.  Most people stay my “neighbor” or someone I work with, they don’t always transition into being called a friend.  The friends I do have are amazing and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.  When I think of a friend as a support, I think of trust.  I need to be able to trust them.  I don’t need a whole lot else from them, just trust that they care for me.

The last support I consider is my computer and use of the internet.  Without them, I would be lost.  I communicate with my family and friends, complete my school work, and even earn an income online.  If the power or internet goes out, I panic.   Not cool, I know.  And I really won’t even apologize.  I am thankful every day for my ability to stay in touch with my family and earn money online.

internet

I see all 3 of these supports as needs, not wants.  They help keep me in line and stay focused on my goals.  When we move back to the States, I want to live in a certain area.  To do so, we need a pretty sizeable income.  I am currently working online and finishing my degree to get me where I want to be.  I want that certain area because my family and friends live in that area.

I don’t even want to think about what my life would be like without my family and friends.  Not worth living?  Isn’t it those around use that help make our lives better? As humans, we need the support of the people in our lives. They make us human….and sometimes even get on our nerves.  Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

6160 – What is the “whole child” and why does it matter?

When I hear the phrase, “the whole child” or think of the child holistically, I believe it entails the enter child.  Not what they are good at, bad at, academics, sports, hobbies, but literally what makes that child who they are down to the last freckle.   I am not a fan of testing, but I do think assessments are important.  I think assessments can be done in a way the child isn’t even aware, especially in the younger years.  Once the assessment is over, the results should be shared so the child/adult knows what to work on and what has been mastered.  If a teacher wants to assess a child’s math for that quarter, the teacher can review daily work and any “math lab work’ for that I mean any time the child spends in a math center using manipulatives, etc.  Watching a child do their work in a more “natural” environment would yield much more accurate results.

I found an interesting article regarding testing and assessments.  In Singapore, they are more on track with assessments and even share a more “whole child or holistic” approach in that they are interested in student development and not just academics.   For older grades, they focus on a wide range of assessments.  They use open-ended questions in an essay tests and also use curriculum based projects. I was surprised to hear how diverse the assessment procedure is in Singapore.

Children are more than just test scores and a percentage.  Policy makers would be wise to rethink how they assess children.  Assessing the “whole child” would give us a much better picture on how the child is doing academically.  Children in most countries deserve better.

MyWorldNew

Stewart, V. (n.d.) Assessing 21st-Century Skills and Competencies Around the World. Retrieved from: http://asiasociety.org/global-cities-education-network/assessing-21st-century-skills-and-competencies-around-world

6160 – Consequences of Stress on Children’s Development

When I read the blog assignment for this week, I didn’t have to think very hard about what I would write about.  The summer after seventh grade, my family left Saudi Arabia for a fabulous European vaction.  I remember flying first class and thinking we were so fancy!  Little did I know that within a weeks time, my family life would be turned upside down.

I can clearly remember when the my dad received the phone call letting him know there was trouble back home.  I can remember his concern and knew he was worried.  it wasn’t long before we traveled back to Saudi Arabia.  Our sleepy little post was soon overrun by American military members.  I can remember my mom packing our valuables (we only shipped over certain household goods, most of our furniture was in storage in the US.  I questioned why I couldn’t bring some of my (useless) stuff and she said we needed to save space for things that couldn’t be replaced.  It wasn’t until many years later I understood her desperation in those moments.  I knew my mom, myself, and my sisters would be traveling back to the US, but my dad was staying in Saudi Arabia.

Our actual flight out of Saudi Arabia was a memorable one to say the least.  We flew out on a C-17 (no windows) and it was a very turbulent ride.   We were escorted by fighter jets because they (whoever they might have been) were concerned for our safety.  For the following year we lived near my grandfather and aunt while my dad stayed behind.  We enrolled in school and lived in a hotel (the room service was great) until my mom was abled to rent an apartment.  The time we spent away from my father was difficult.  I can remember CNN playing all the time.  When the time was over, my father returned home and we moved to the next Army post.

What made our time waiting for my dad difficult was that we were living in a very civilian area with almost no support.  Ironically my sister’s teacher had a son in the military and was serving near my father.  My mom and the teacher become fast friends because of their connection.  As a child, I had no peers that understood my stress and concern.   We were surrounded by family, so that did make things better.

My parents never bounced back from the strain of that year.  They ended up divorcing a few years later.  I was entering my senior year of high school when they announced their separation.  I still view my early childhood as fantastic, filled with play and joy.

In the world today, there are children all over the Middle East that are experiencing war.  I was able to leave and remain safe.  We were never without clothes, food, water, shelter, or even luxury items.  We had plenty despite the scary situation we were in.

In one of the recent articles I read, it said that women and children die almost every single day in roadside bombing (anywhere in Afghanistan).  The children there have lived with war and violence their entire life, this is what they know as their “normal”.  Another issue that is happening is the amount of orphans in areas with continuous war.

As I researched what is happening to the children in the area, I found a site the many pictures of children.  Please take a moment and visit the site.  Be prepared for some tense pictures.  This is their life.  This is how they life.  They have no escape from war.  I don’t know that enough is being done to help these children.  My husband has spent so much time over there, but there is very little they can do with the children personally.  They want to make the children’s world safer and let them enjoy being children, but it won’t happen overnight….or probably in their lifetime.

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2013/08/afghanistans-children-of-war/100565/

 

6161 – My Connections to Play

6161A6161H6161G

I love all of these quotes.  I wish they could be plastered all of the walls of homes and school to remind adults that children need to be children.  They are not mini adults waiting to grow taller.  Let them play, for they will learn.

6161b6161e6161

The toys of my childhood sure do show my age!  I had a great time looking at the toys online, but when I think of my childhood I also think of my books (I still have my Little House on the Prairie set), my Barbies, and of course, the great outdoors.  My parents allowed us to have ample time outside playing.  We had bikes, water toys, swing, word, playgrounds, and free run of the neighborhood.  We lived on a military base most of my childhood never seemed to worry about our safety.   Or at least I never remember the worry.  My parents let us (me and my sisters) have the large storage closet for a grand Barbie playroom.  There were three girls, so we had tons of Barbies.  I feel like my mother under the power of play all those years ago and she has created a loving space for her grandchildren to enjoy when they visit her.

I had a wonderful childhood and I believe my mother’s understanding of play was part of that.  I worry if I have given my children enough play time in their younger lives.  Now that I am the adult, I certainly hope I do enough to encourage play with my children.  I homeschooled my girls for many years, so their upbringing was a little different because they weren’t locked into a school schedule.  They would work, play, work, play.  Maybe I did do an okay job!

My hope is that more parents will learn about the importance of play and not stress academics at such an early age.  I feel like they want to impress people with how smart their child is, but unfortunately they are missing such an important part of raising a child.  I don’t say that out of judgment, but out of concern for the children of this generation that is pushed harder and harder every single day. A child’s encouraged creativity as they play is what will allow them to learn more about themselves and the world.

 

6161 – Relationship Reflection…My People

My relationships are important to me because they help define who I am.  I am very lucky to have the best sisters, awesome parents, fantastic nieces and nephews, and a handful of close friends.  My people uplift me and support me, but still tell me if I am needing to fix something.  I appreciate honesty and I give it in return.  Having trust and honesty are the key elements in a relationship.  I feel like I constantly worry if someone is being honest with me, but with my people, I never have to worry.  Respect is something else that is a must in any relationship.

I have two sisters, Nicole and Lindsey.  One sister has a daughter that recovering from being very sick and the other sister is going through a divorce.  And I live a million miles away.  We stay in touch by messaging each other and video chatting.  I need to be able to see them on a screen and know they are okay.  We maintain connection through the little things.  My little niece is the apple of my eye and my sister is always sending goofy pictures of her. I send them silly pictures of my kids and the dog.  It really can be the little things matter the most and make you feel connected to those you love.

What I find to be a challenge is making time for the ones you love.  When you give people in your world your time, you give them something you can never get back.  Time is our most valuable possession.  I have learned that sometimes you have to stop, take a moment and focus on those that matter.  Everything else has to wait.

The special characteristics of my people include allowing me to have my space when needed.  I think in order to be close, you do need space at times.  They know I will drop everything for them, but I don’t need to be looked over every day of the week.

Professionally speaking, I know trust and space are important.  I know that I have to let people in my circle of professional peers, but I don’t need to hound or be hounded.  I feel like it allows for me to do my work and make progress without being micromanaged.  It also makes me push forward and constantly think.  This field changes all the time and we need to be ready. That is something we can count on.  The respect is important to me and I try to offer respect to those who have come before me.  They have earned it.

 

6160-Clean Water Crisis in India

For this assignment I picked India and clean water to research.  I knew right away that I wanted to do clean water when I saw the list, I had no interest in exploring any other topic to be honest.  I did struggle with a country, but once I started looking up clean water issues, India seemed to stand out.  The first site I went to went to was: cleanwater.org.  from there I learned the startling statistic that around 500 child children die every single day from diarrhea in India.  Honestly, that statistic seems low when you learn that roughly half of India’s population practice open defecation (almost 600 million out of 1.2 billion people).  Of that, 77 million people lack clean water and 769 million lack proper sanitation.  Those numbers are scary.

I chose this topic because I am a little obsessed with the idea of clean water.  When we lived in El Paso (edge of Texas in the desert), I hated not being near water of any kind.  Lakes, ponds, rivers, the ocean, etc.  We lost water several times due to various issues and I learned to be prepared.  I had fresh water for drinking and recycled juice bottles filled with water for flushing toilets.  I had the luxury of being prepared and even when we lost water it was for a day or two (maybe 4 at the most) and we never truly went without.  We had friends and relatives homes we could go to for showers and laundry. Even now, almost five years later I tend to keep more water on hand than most people.

As a parent and someone who has worked with children for as long as I have, the idea of not being able to provide accessible clean drinking water and proper sanitation to children absolutely frightens me.  If I needed to support a cause with the help of children (after school program, etc.),this would be one I would want to help.  Children everywhere should have access to clean water, but I’m not really sure what I can do.  I don’t really like the idea of donating money, I want to find more of a hands on solution.

One thing I found was drinking coconut water (straight from the coconut) and the use of electrolytes.  Both help to avoid dehydration and just may help save lives when water is scarce.  Collecting rain water is possible, but people need to learn how to safely do that so it can be used for agricultural reasons and drinking water.  I think the health aspect and the rain water catchment would both make great topics to discuss with children.  You can talk to children about how to dig a well, filter water, what our body needs, the importance of sanitation, the list is endless if studying India and their water crisis.

 

.

.