Thursday, November 5, 2015

A teacher's letter gone viral that inspired me!

I read an article this morning that is more than #inspiring to me. This article was written about a mother of one and role model to so many young children and she took the Internet by shock for some people. Her name is Wendy Bradsaw. She loves teaching and has an education worth nothing less than applauding; as it often goes unnoticed in the education field. With an undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degree in the field of eduction, she is well educated on what it takes to successfully teach adults & children. Not to mention her background working with special needs. She has a reason behind her logic and research to back up that logic.

It is not secret that the education system is pushing new reforms that place so much pressure on students to learn fast, fast, fast let alone encouraging teachers to move through information quickly. When I was growing up, I think the only real 'timed test' I took was math times tables. Anyone remember those things? #ugh I can't say I was a fan, but it's something I remember always wanting to improve at. We had science, reading, social studies, art, music... the list could go on and on of the classes I "took" growing up. I was never forced to read fast, fast, fast. I was never forced to take test after test after test. Granted, I did dread the yearly standardized testing, but that was only 2 or 3 days each year and the teachers helped prepare us for those. If we had a question while taking the test, they would explain in a way that made sense to us without telling us the answer. Now, they can't do that. They can merely tell you that word is "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" but not another thing. Now that is a far cry from a word on those tests, but shows that students may not know what that word even means, let alone how to pronounce it. Tests are written in a form difficult for many students to understand the true question. Our system is over concerned about new reforms to make things go faster for the students rather than better. In my book, Wendy Bradsaw hit the nail on the head when she said "I have become more and more disturbed by the misguided reforms taking place which are robbing my students from a developmentally appropriate education." She goes on to explain how many of the new reforms disregard research and force their employees (teachers) to practice some of what have been proven to be ineffective learning processes. 

I have began researching many of the child developments she discusses because it makes perfect sense to me, but I want to read the evidence to back it with my own eyes. Why are we pushing our kids to learn more information earlier in school? Aren't we being hypocrites by saying our kids grow up too fast, let alone push them to learn what used to be 1st grade curriculum in preschool? Now I understand some students fall behind and are slower learners. There always has been and always will be. I could write a completely new article on many of the contributors to slower learning now-a-days also. There is nothing wrong with slow learners though! That being said, it's the job, the honor, and the fun of being a teacher to work with children of all abilities. I can say that because I grew up with a mother working in a school with special needs students, students with learning disabilities and students with behavioral disabilities. There are educators to assist those teachers and children so they don't disrupt the learning of other students. And those students are some of the most rewarding to work with as I volunteered a couple of hours a day for about 2 years working with these students. 

So again, why are we trying to push, push, push our students to learn more and more information in less and less time? Is this really helping the kids? Where did the fun in school go? Why is the goal of education becoming a goal for profit instead? Where did the fun in homework go? Why does learning have to be go, go, go? 

Slow down... kids don't need to learn faster, faster, faster but instead the basic fundamentals! I'm not a mother, yet! I dream of the day I will become one, and then the first day of school, soccer games, school choir, etc. It's not even the matter of 'public' education. It is education in general. You can be the change in your kids learning approach. Read your kids a book each and every day. Read their homework before they start and try to learn with them. It's no secret math, science, art, and all the other subjects we learned growing up have changed, but it doesn't mean the fundamentals have. Make a difference in your child's education. Don't force your child to do better, better, better; to read faster, faster, faster. Instead, emphasize on reading in general. Emphasize of learning being fun, in whatever form. Wouldn't you rather have your kid pick up a book on their own and read it instead of dread reading all together because they were forced to do so in such a demanding way to begin with? Do art projects with your kids at home that relate to the work they are doing in school. It doesn't have to be expensive. See fun, inexpensive craft ideas below this article. Again, learning doesn't need to be feared, dreaded and out-right miserable for teachers, parents and students. In order for change, we need to do something. Educate yourself so you can educate your children. Have fun with your children at home so they don't feel so stressed about learning!

#letkidslearn #inspiring #dontsettle  #bethechange 

To read the full article visit or click the link. Continue reading below for fun learning games you can do with your children at home to help encourage #HappyHealthyLiving

Learning at Home

-Shapes, Colors, Family Traditions, Helping (Don't forget it's important to teach your kids to help without expecting something in return.)
Felt Christmas tree that your Toddler can decorate over and over and leave the real one alone. Love!:
Felt (Christmas) tree that your children can decorate over and over again while learning about the different shapes, colors, etc. 

-Learning their name (It doesn't have to be about memorizing)
Cut out a shape, animal, etc. that inspires your kid. Write their name on it and have labeled clothes pins available for them to make words. Try teaching them each letter as they spell their name (or other words). Switch it up: You can also cut shapes and put the word of the shape. example: cut a square and write the word 'square' on it!

-Alphabet, letters, learning their name, etc. (Helps keep the kiddos busy while you're in the kitchen cooking!)
Try allowing your kids to use magnets to duplicate the words you are teaching them. 

-Numbers (Learning numbers can be fun too, especially if you love cars!)
A Simple Car Parking Numbers Game - Craftulate at
A simple cereal box will work for this activity. You can help your kids learn their numbers while playing with their favorite #hotrod.

-Words, Spelling, Colors (Make Lego's even more fun to play with!)
Help your kids learn new words, how to spell those words and even colors. You can sort them to rhyme too! Tip: Don't forget to clean those Lego's from time to time. (6 1/2 cups warm water and 1 cap of Thieves Household Cleaner- soak for 15 minutes, rinse and lay out to dry) 

-Names (You can never have too much fun spelling your name!)
Use noodles, cereal, or beads and glue to make some fun art while #learning to spell words!

-Names, Words, Writing, Spelling (Repeating often helps children learn so make it fun!)
to help children who can't write their names independently - dotted font for gaps:
You can use a computer and printer or write it yourself, leaving spaces for your kid to fill in the blanks. It's a great way to learn words and begin writing. 

-Spelling, Name, Words (Yes, more spelling-name-word activities. They are all different, unique and fun to help your kids enjoy learning at home instead of watching the TV.)
Write words or names on a piece of paper. Draw shapes using different colors on a piece of paper. You can have your kids trace the letters to spell the correct word, cover each letter with beads, cereal, or another material you have to make that spelling lesson an art project. Another fun activity is putting sand on the paper and having them trace the letters to spell out the word! 

-Propositions (When the kids have a good start on letters, alphabet, etc. try taking the next step!)
Assignment idea for teaching prepositions. Give kids an object (Lego piece or toy) and they have to go around and take photos of them in, behind, in front of etc different objects.:
You don't have to tell your kids "hey these are propositions". That is a big word. But you can teach them what they are with their favorite action figures. They won't even know they're learning!

-Counting, Colors (Make math fun!)
Math can be intimidating for many kids. Make it fun by using pipe cleaners, beads and tape/paper. You can make it a color game too. Ask you kid to put red beads on the blue pipe cleaner. They can find the blue pipe cleaner, figure out which number it is, and put that many red beads on it. Help them out until they get the hang of it. Tip: Start without 'requiring' to use a particular color bead. Once they have that down you can have them working with colors and numbers!

I hope you enjoyed the article and a few of the great kids activities I shared that can make after-school down time, rainy days, and learning time fun, productive and educating! 

All activities above as well as additional ones can be found in detail on my Pinterest

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