We have begun our new themes for the spring. Farms, Musical Families, Toy Shops, Transportation, World Music and exploration of our instruments have filled each class. We have had some great, energetic classes with children (and parents) moving, grooving and learning. I often hear from parents, especially those new to the program, or when children change age levels, that they have their doubts as to whether their children are benefitting from being in class. The two biggest issues I hear are diametrically opposed – “MY child is TOO active and isn’t paying attention” or “MY child isn’t ACTIVE enough and is just observing and not DOING”. After being a Kindermusik parent for five years and having taught for nearly eight, I want all parents to rest assured that their children are learning – NO MATTER THE RESPONSE!
ON THE MOVER!
I read this paragraph on a blog this morning:
MINDFULNESS. When a young child (or for that matter, anyone of any age), is fully engaged in physical activity the body and brain are harmonized. Endorphins start the party and before you know it, you’ve lost all track of what’s past or what’s next, content to be in the moment and with the movement. For little ones, I like to think of movement as their form of meditation. I call it “kiditation” — that sense of “possibleness” young minds and fertile imaginations need to grasp, interpret and absorb all the new sights, sounds, sensations, experiences, and ideas they encounter each day.
I encourage you to click the blog link above and read all of her thoughts on moving to learn.
ON THE OBSERVER:
I am an observer. Yep, believe it or not, I like to know exactly what I am getting into before I experience it. It took me a couple of years of thinking about it before I got my Kindermusik license. I have to go mark out every 5K route before I sign up for a race. I do not like riding amusement park rides. I love to go to amusement parks and I get much joy out of watching my family and friends ride and have a great time. But, my enjoyment of the day comes from my observations in sight, sound, smell, and feeling, not the experience itself. I know I say it a lot but it is very true, if the child is in the room, she is receiving the information and learning. We often hear back from parents of observers that the child begins to sing the songs at home, transfer pretend play and knowledge to experiences outside of the classroom. I know of a few instances of children who are now strong leaders and encouragers in elementary and middle school after being observers throughout their Kindermusik experience.
The biggest issue with MOVERS and OBSERVERS and everyone in between is often, not what the children are doing, but the inner voices that parents are hearing. The fear of being judged by the teacher, the other parents, their spouses etc. From a parent perspective, I can tell you that I was always so concerned about what my own child was doing, and enjoying the time I could spend in class with her, that I was often unaware of what other children were doing. As a teacher, I love to watch children learn and process information in their own way. The only time I have concerns is when a child might be in danger of injuring himself or someone else. One large component of class, and the reason we have minimum enrollments and maximum enrollments, is social development. We appreciate parents helping to instruct in sharing, keeping personal space etc. and will intervene when a child’s freedom in endangering herself or others.
So, if you aren’t in class yet, and have hesitated to enroll because you are unsure of how your child will act or react, call me. We still have room and accept enrollments on an ongoing basis. It is never too late to sign up for class. If you are in class, take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the time you have with your child in class. Honor their moving and their shaking, cuddle and encourage their quiet observation. You are a great parent and your doing it right. Quiet the voices in your head, and let go of judgment (of yourself and perhaps others) and Let’s Make Music!