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And they're off...

I know Graduation officially happened in June but Friday marked a special day. It was the last day for several of our children that will be heading to kindergarten on Monday. These children have been an important part of the community of Mountain Village School for many years. They have helped to shape and mold our school into what it is today. Their interests, ideas, movements, interactions, conversations, and presence has had a big impact on what we have done with our time, where we have gone, what we have chosen to build and create. I want to thank all of those children for being a part of our school and our community.



















Character Education

Forgive me, you'll probably be hearing about Jeanine Fitzgerald on and off for the rest of the year! There were just so many little nuggets of wisdom from her training that I want to share. In addition to components of happiness, temperament, and DISC, she also talked about character education. Now, to me, "character education" sounds a bit antiquated as a term, like it belongs in an early 20th century schoolhouse. But with Fitzgerald's definition, it actually goes along well with other non-cognitive or "soft" skills, such as resilience, persistence, and self-regulation, which are so important to foster in the early education.

Aspects of character are defined by Fitzgerald as qualities that are able to multiply and increase the more they are given away. Examples include respect, trust, humor, and gratitude. The best news for parents, teachers, and other caregivers is the emphasis here on what is "given away." If we want children to respect others…

It takes a village...

NPR produced a series called "How to Raise a Human" and it was fantastic. I really loved hearing the short stories on the way to school in the morning. I appreciate the focus on early childhood and the different perspectives that they bring to raising children. My most favorite is this one from May, Secrets of Maya Supermom: What Parenting Books Don't Tell You. If you have time to listen to it, you should. 
The key differences between the Mayan culture and popular Western cultural parenting practices is that parenting isn't about control for the Mayan people. The goal is to be collaborative with your children, to involve them, hear them, and make decisions that affect them with them. The parent is still in charge but the behaviors of a parent are not to boss the children, which is a common behavior we often see in our own society. 
Another key difference between our cultures is that the mother is not expected to do everything. There is a cultural recognition of support…