Monday, January 17, 2011

The Family

Most children love to talk about themselves.  I'd venture to state that this is true for the majority of grown-ups as well.

In kindergarten children have the opportunity to engage in lots of conversation about their feelings and interests.  They are learning the rules of successful social interactions such as Be nice to each other and Share.

For young children who are still learning to take on the perspective of another, knowing and following these rules are often mutually exclusive. Still, learning more about the self is a highly motivating endeavor.

And part of learning about yourself is exploring your place in a family.  We are helping our students do that as well as exposing them to the fact that families come in many different varieties.  Children's book author and illustrator Todd Parr's books are fantastic for introducing this topic and keeping it moving.

In addition to The Family Book he has written The Daddy Book, The Mommy Book, The Grandpa Book and The Grandma Book.  There is even a book focusing on adoption entitled We Belong Together.

As we journey with our students we remain sensitive to the diversity of each family. This may include children who live with both a mom and dad, children whose parents are divorced and share custody of the child, children who live with a single parent and rarely, if ever, have contact with his or her mom or dad, children who are being raised by a grandparent and children who have two moms or dads.

Introducing the topic of having two moms or dads, not because of divorce but because mom or dad  loves someone of the same sex can be a touchy subject in schools.  There are children's books that approach the topic beautifully.  One book is And Tango Makes Three (also referred to sometimes as "that gay penguin book").  

The important thing to remember is that the discussion in schools is about The Family.  In 2011 the family is no longer the Ozzie and Harriet version it was in the 50s.  Maybe it wasn't even that in the 50s.  The times they are a-changin' and it is time to embrace diversity and promote acceptance and love.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Super Gary!

Most of my energy these days has been directed toward completing my doctoral comps (just about finished). If ever there was a time to realize I am not super, this is it.

However, it is gratifying to know that my students still see me that way.

Below is a short book by Skye entitled Super Gary.

Super Gary!

Super Gary is strong.

Super Gary is smart.

Super Gary is nice.

Thanks Super Skye!


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