parenting

  • A Parent’s Guide to Growth Mindset

    The concept of mindset, coined by Dr Carol Dweck, Stanford psychologist, is the idea that parents need to understand. Dweck notes that there are two different types of mindsets. 

    A fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

    Fixed Mindset

    A fixed mindset is when a person believes that their skills, abilities and knowledge are unchangeable. They often feel they are either “good at” something or “not good” at something–with no room for improvement. People with a fixed mindset don’t believe they have the ability to change their intelligence. The phrase “I’m just not good at math” is something teachers hear often–this is an example of a fixed mindset.

    Growth Mindset

    On the other hand, a growth mindset is when a person believes that they can change their intelligence, skills and abilities through hard work. People with a growth mindset will often attribute their achievements to effort not an innate quality. 

    Want to raise a kid who loves to learn? Check out these books.

    Why it’s Important for Learning

    A child’s mindset has a huge impact on their ability to be successful–not only in academics but also throughout life. 

    A growth mindset will allow children to feel confident in themselves and be less fazed by mistakes and failures. 

    Here are 5 things parents can do to encourage a growth mindset.

    1. Allow for Productive Struggle

    Create simple opportunities where children have to engage in productive struggle. This will mean you have to build in time for reasoning, puzzling and thinking. Let children attempt to do something on their own even if you think it’s too hard for them. When you see them struggle, give encouragement vs “taking away the struggle” by doing it for them. We want to teach them that the struggle to understand is part of the learning process. Teach them that the initial “I don’t know how” can be replaced with “How can I figure this out”

    1. Encourage Persistence 

    Not everything your child does is going to come easy. Make sure you acknowledge that and praise their effort. Remind them that it’s okay to be frustrated. It’s even okay to take a break and work on something else. Have them think about the process they are using to solve the problem, ask them questions and help steer them in the right direction without letting them give up.

    1. “I can’t do this” is not allowed. 

    This phrase holds children back from learning new concepts and material. It might be because they truly don’t understand, or because they are tired or frustrated. But using that phrase should be a no go in your house. Ask them why they think they can’t. Have them talk through the process and answer your questions vs you just explaining your personal reasoning.

    1. Talk About the Brain as a Muscle

    When children understand that their brain can actually grow, stretch and get “stronger” they are more likely to take on challenges that allow for that growth. Explain to them that the brain needs to work out, just like any other muscle, in order to grow.

    1. A Positive Brain is a Smarter Brain

    Children who have a positive outlook are more motivated and productive–they also are much more likely to achieve their goals. Brain chemistry can be altered by movement–so make sure your children engage in physical activity throughout the day. We can also create a positive outlook by encouraging our children to be conscious of their thoughts and feelings towards learning. This will allow them to shift negative thoughts if necessary.

    Growth Mindset and Math

    There is a widespread belief that some people are just not math people. This is absolutely not the case. In fact, that reasoning is a perfect example of a fixed mindset. 

    We know that more kids have a fixed mindset about math, more than any other subject. It’s important we remove the pressure of math, make sure children understand that the brain actually grows when mistakes are made.

    You can read more about specific ways to counter fixed math mindset here.

    A Counterintuitive but Critical Part of the Learning Process

    Here are three crucial ways parents can help children in the learning process.

    1. Embrace mistakes. 

    Mistakes are how we learn. Talk about learning from your own mistakes and encourage your child to talk about what they have learned from their past mistakes.

    1. Encourage healthy risk taking. 

    If children aren’t encouraged to take healthy risks when they are younger, they won’t learn how to properly assess and handle risks later in life–when the stakes are higher.

    1. Celebrate failure.

    Failure is only feedback. No one who has ever done great things, has done so without failure. Shifting our mindset to appreciate failure as a part of the process is a game changer for many children. Failure is just a problem to be solved. 

    Understanding Praise

    Naturally parents want to praise their children. But it’s important to understand that the way you praise your child, has a significant impact on their growth and development. Specifically as it relates to their ability to develop a growth mindset and intrinsic motivation.

    The most important thing to understand is that we should focus on praising effort vs. outcome. Here is a list of specific phrases to incorporate into the feedback and praise you give to your child.

    Watch Carol Dweck speak about the concept of growth mindset: Developing a Growth Mindset

    Interested in getting your little one to play independently?

    Check out my Purposeful Playspace e-course to learn how to create a space for your children that invites them to playin ways that are more engaging, purposeful and independent.

    Want more information about how play impacts your child’s development?

    Check out my e-book: Simply Play: Everything You Need To Know About The Most Important Part of Childhood

    Love this post? Check out some of the articles below.

    Are Pikler triangles worth it? abso-freakin-lutely

    Are Pikler triangles worth it? abso-freakin-lutely So what is this magic triangle that seems to be in every playroom on Instagram?  It’s a Pikler triangle and there are some great reasons why so many moms are falling in love with them.   You may be wondering if Pikler triangles are worth it? And I say abso-freakin-lutely. …

    Episode 5: The Psychological Importance of Play + How to Recover from Helicopter Parenting

    On this episode of Play. Learn. Thrive., clinical psychologist Sarah Mundy shares with Alanna insights about the importance of play in the development of confident, self-motivated, independent kids. In addition to being a core element of emotional and intellectual growth, play has been recognized internationally as a fundamental right of children. Sarah highlights clinical experience…

    Risky Play: What Parents NEED to Know

    Risky Play Children have an innate need for risk-taking. In addition, children who are encouraged to take risks at a younger age are able to better manage risk once they have gained more independence. A lack of ample opportunity to take risks may increase fear and inappropriate aggression, as well as limit the ability to…

    How to effectively teach a child to entertain themselves

    How to teach play skills & What to do when a child can’t entertain themselves One of the reasons children struggle to entertain themselves is because they don’t have the play skills they need. Play is not just a way for your child to have fun, but it is how children integrate ideas and concepts…

    Episode 4: Responsive Parenting + Play to Address Child Behavior

    On this episode of Play Learn Thrive, Alanna speaks with Sheena Hill, psychotherapist and sleep coach. During their discussion, they touch on how to engage in responsive parenting over behavioral modification, and how to better connect with your young children when they’re struggling with right choices. Main Takeaways: Any time your children are under stress,…

    Read More

  • How to keep kids busy at home & Your Sanity Intact

     

    Scenario: You’re standing in the kitchen trying to get dinner ready, sorting through all of your end of day thoughts and you hear a whine from behind… “MOOOOOM I”M BOOOORED!” 

    You slowly turn around gritting your teeth while locking eye contact and force a smile.. “Why don’t you go play with your toys? I am trying to cook dinner.” 

    “But, MOOOOM I don’t like any of those toys they are all bORing!” 

    You sigh and wonder where you went wrong and WHY your child will not play by themselves!?

    With everything kids have access to in today’s technologically driven world, how could they possibly be bored? How could a child with every hot new toy under the sun have trouble playing?

    WHY do they always need you to play with them? Can’t you just cook dinner for once!!

    Sound familiar? Don’t worry you’re not alone. It’s a universal headache for parents nowadays. It seems like we are all struggling to figure out how to keep our kids busy! !???

    Parents are dealing with this more and more frequently. And report it starting earlier and earlier in childhood.

    Just a few days ago a mom posted in one of the Facebook groups I am in that her 18 month old was bored and she didn’t know what to do to keep him busy.

    A 1.5-year-old should not be bored, they should be thriving, exploring, and into everything!

    Earlier today I came across another mom of a 6-month-old asking for ideas to keep him entertained–expressing that she had “done” everything she could think to do for him.

    All I wanted to do was yell “He is 6 months old, SIX MONTHS OLD! Stop throwing Vtech toy after Vetch toy at him and let him learn to entertain himself.”

    And that right there, friends, is the problem. No, not me and my boisterous self, but the fact that we as parents feel that we have to entertain our children non-stop.

    So let’s talk about this whole idea of keeping kids busy. In theory, this is well-intentioned, but in practice, it is deeply, deeply flawed.

    So flawed that we are setting our children up for a hard life lesson later down the line.

    Let me free you from the chains of guilt, and just lay it all out there. Are you ready to break free? Here ya go…. Children do NOT need to be, nor should they be, hovered over or have every minute of the day perfectly choreographed for them.

    You are NOT responsible for keeping your child entertained.. So go ahead let them be bored! Let them figure out how to keep themselves busy and stop the Mom guilt. It’s OKAY NOT to play with your children.

    Why Boredom is good for your child and their brain

    Unfortunately, hyper focus on our children has left our kids incapable of dealing with any lull in stimulation and hindered their ability to play independently. Which, in short… SUCKS!

    Now, I am not saying don’t ever play with your kids, but you should not be their main source of entertainment. When you direct them to go play independently it shouldn’t be a battle.

     It should be something they look forward to. It should be their time to take an exciting trip to Neverland and beyond.

    All too often, we forget that it is not our job as parents to “keep our kids busy” or “keep them entertained.” In fact, when we put too much effort in being the “plaything” or source of engagement it directly impacts their ability to do things for themselves. Which, will get old… if it hasn’t already. Trust me!

    So, what is our job as parents then?  It is to provide a safe space with access to open-ended toys, art supplies and books and leave them alone. Seriously… just leave them be and let them play! They will learn to keep busy and entertain themselves.

    You might be thinking “Okay, Alanna you’ve got my attention so how do I do this thing? How do I get my child to stop complaining about being bored, and keep them busy and out of my hair?”

    Well, girl, I’ll tell you… It’s time to give your child one more gift, a priceless gift, the gift of boredom.

    The benefits of boredom 

    It’s hard to visualize being bored as a good thing, even as an adult. I get that. We are taught that being bored SUCKS and that we must always stay busy and use mediums such as TV, Phones, and Tablets to “keep busy”. 

    So, how can I expect a child with limited reasoning skills to function and pull themselves out of their so-called boredom? Well… we don’t teach them what boredom is.

    sed to describe a feeling. A feeling of emptiness, listlessness, and general unease. Something is just amiss and you can’t place your finger on it. This isn’t a bad thing…

    Being Bored has many benefits to childhood development

    • Being Bored helps a child Develop problem-solving skills
      When a child starts to feel listless and just doesn’t know what to do they are forced to figure out a way to remedy the problem.
    • Boredom encourages imagination and creativity
      When there is “nothing to do” your child ends up making something up! What better way to dive into imagination and exploration than being bored? It’s the key to unlocking hidden worlds and magical memories.
    • Boredom improves overall mental health
      With today’s ideology that you have to be go-go-go to be content actually stepping back and having time to reflect makes one more self-aware. Cabin fever is a real thing because people don’t know how to be with themselves. Take this pandemic for example. We were all stuck at home going crazy with boredom because we can’t handle being with ourselves. Letting a child sit in their own boredom is sitting them up to be independent, healthy adults who aren’t peeved by their own company. 
    • Boredom teaches a child to Embrace failure
      How many times have you started a project only to realize it wasn’t for you? You quickly found out that something was amiss, you felt anxious and just out of sorts.. you got bored and ditched it, in essence, you failed to complete what you set out to do. How do you react? This all depends on your viewpoint of failure… Do you try again? Do not give up? This is what your child learns at an early age. How to handle their own failure and feelings in a positive manner. 

    I could go on and on all day, but I think you get the point. Boredom isn’t so bad after all for a child or an adult for that matter.

    Boredom is what gives children the time to figure out what makes them happy, and allows them to develop skills like creativity, imagination, self-reflection, patience, and independence.

    Can you give a child too much attention?

    “Yes, no.. no yes.. Ugh IDK!” if this is how you answered the above question then you’re not alone. As much as I would like to have a concrete answer for you I don’t know either. Why? Because every child is different. 

    I will tell you this from my decade long experience as a school teacher and as an established mother of 4 children who are not encouraged to play independently. The struggle in school, at home and later in life. You have to find the right balance in your home, for your child. 

    Should parents play with their child? Shifting Our Mindset: Do Less to Do More

    To keep your child busy, without you being the #1 source of engagement or entertainment you have to start by shifting your mindset.

    Do less to do more.

    Children of all ages are capable of much more than we believe them to be.

    You are in no way obligated to play with your children. You do not have to plan activity after endless activity to keep them busy. You

    Don’t think about how to “keep them busy” instead find ways to encourage them to be independent by providing open-ended toys that allow for more active play.

    What Are Open-Ended Toys?

    If you’ve never heard the term open-ended toy before you may be sitting over there scratching your head. I know I was when I was first introduced to the concept. A toy is a toy that is a toy, right? 

    Eh, not exactly. Take a video game for example it can only ever be a video game… it can’t be a castle. A light up cell phone only functions with the purpose of being a cell phone. BUT a block or blocks can be many many things! Your child can pretend one is a cell phone, they can build a castle to keep the dragon out, they can create a city, and so much more. 

    That my friends is an open-ended toy. Toys that can be played with in several different ways that don’t restrict imagination and can be any number of things from one day to the next. 

    How to encourage your child to play independently

    Minimize the amount of stuff you have out for your kids. If you are overwhelmed by the amount of toys out, imagine how they feel. 

    I want you to really think about this for a second.

    How do you feel when you walk into a room and there is just stuff EVERYWHERE. Like you’re lost? You don’t know where to start or what to do first? Like you could just shut down? 

    What do you end up doing when you feel this way? Some of us shut down or put it off until later, others dive in anxiety first and tackle it anyways and some people it just doesn’t bother at all.

    If you’re one of those people the envy is real. I, like most people, have a very hard time functioning in chaos.

    WE ARE ADULTS… and we have a hard time. 

    Think of a child who is just looking around wide-eyed, back and forth like what do I even do???

    If you feel like this or think your child might feel like this then it’s time to make a change.

    How to choose toys that promote independent play & keep them busy

    As a general rule, stay away from standard plastic and toys that light up, make noise, or talk. These types of toys can actually hinder play for children because they take away the need for imagination and creativity.

    Remember that the more a toy does, the less your kid has to do.

    Play is the work of the child so keep in mind the 90/10 rule when evaluating toys. That means a toy should do no more than 10 percent of the work.

    You want your child to do the thinking, visualizing, and creating.

    If you want some specific toy recommendations you can check out this post.

    Do educational toys work? Unfortunately, No.

    Educational Toys Don’t Encourage Learning

    Many of the most common toys today actually take these opportunities away from kids. And while they are often labeled as educational, they don’t actually teach your child anything but how to be entertained by something else–leaving them wanting more and more.

    How many times has your child loved a bright shiny new toy, only to be over it after an an hour or two? Maybe it lasted few days or weeks but it gets quickly tossed aside and forgotten. This is because the toy has done all it can for them, and they are looking for their next fix of stimulation.

    If they aren’t given enough time to rely on themselves for stimulation, you end up with kids who constantly need someone (you) or something (a new toy, activity, device) to keep them busy. It’s a pretty vicious cycle with pretty deep consequences.

    The Solution to “Keeping Kids Busy”

    So the solution is pretty simple. Stop spending all your time trying to keep them busy and they will stop needing you to keep them busy. Trust in their ability to deal with their own discomfort (and don’t let their discomfort be yours).

    One of the best things you can do for your child is to let them figure things out for themselves.

    Interested in getting your little one to play independently?

    Check out my Purposeful Playspace e-course to learn how to create a space for your children that invites them to playin ways that are more engaging, purposeful and independent.

    Want more information about how play impacts your child’s development?

    Check out my e-book: Simply Play: Everything You Need To Know About The Most Important Part of Childhood

    Love this post? Check out some of the articles below.

    Are Pikler triangles worth it? abso-freakin-lutely

    Are Pikler triangles worth it? abso-freakin-lutely So what is this magic triangle that seems to be in every playroom on Instagram?  It’s a Pikler triangle and there are some great reasons why so many moms are falling in love with them.   You may be wondering if Pikler triangles are worth it? And I say abso-freakin-lutely. …

    Episode 5: The Psychological Importance of Play + How to Recover from Helicopter Parenting

    On this episode of Play. Learn. Thrive., clinical psychologist Sarah Mundy shares with Alanna insights about the importance of play in the development of confident, self-motivated, independent kids. In addition to being a core element of emotional and intellectual growth, play has been recognized internationally as a fundamental right of children. Sarah highlights clinical experience…

    Risky Play: What Parents NEED to Know

    Risky Play Children have an innate need for risk-taking. In addition, children who are encouraged to take risks at a younger age are able to better manage risk once they have gained more independence. A lack of ample opportunity to take risks may increase fear and inappropriate aggression, as well as limit the ability to…

    How to effectively teach a child to entertain themselves

    How to teach play skills & What to do when a child can’t entertain themselves One of the reasons children struggle to entertain themselves is because they don’t have the play skills they need. Play is not just a way for your child to have fun, but it is how children integrate ideas and concepts…

    Episode 4: Responsive Parenting + Play to Address Child Behavior

    On this episode of Play Learn Thrive, Alanna speaks with Sheena Hill, psychotherapist and sleep coach. During their discussion, they touch on how to engage in responsive parenting over behavioral modification, and how to better connect with your young children when they’re struggling with right choices. Main Takeaways: Any time your children are under stress,…

    Read More

  • Free Learning from Home Schedule (Printable)

    Learning at Home Schedule

    Looking for a learning from home schedule? Having a daily schedule for your family is important as it sets up a predictable routine for your kids. Kids thrive on structure but that doesn’t mean that you need to have an hour by hour schedule with explicit activities booked for every minute of the day. In fact, it’s often less stressful for everyone to allows for some flexibility. Having a daily rhythm allows you to set the tone for the day, but not feel trapped or frustrated when something doesn’t go exactly as planned.

    Block Schedule to Create a Daily Rhythm

    A block schedule allows you to think about your day in manageable chunks of time–approximately 2-3 hours at a time. Long enough for you to accomplish tasks or for your kids to really engage in something, but short enough to provide enough changes that they don’t feel stuck.

    Above is the sample block schedule that works pretty well for my family. We do shift things around when needed, and every day isn’t the same but I find having a simple block schedule allows us to create a daily rhythm for our family.

    Click here for the printable block schedule to help you create a daily rhythm for your family.
    If you’re looking for more information about the importance of play and tips or reorganize your playroom check out my e-book:
    Simply Play: Everything You Need To Know About The Most Important Part of Childhood which you can buy here for only $4.99.
    If you like this post and want to read more like it then check out these articles:How to Rock Distance Learning During School ClosuresHow to Continue Your Child’s Education During School Closures

    5 Tips for When School is Closed

    Free Self-Directed Learning Calendar (Printable)

    100 Positive Things Parents Are Experiencing Right Now

    Understanding Schema Play

    The Power of Play

    The Ever Growing Importance of Outdoor Play.

    Toy for Toddlers: Encouraging Active Play

    100 Simple Things to do Outside with Your Kids

    Read More

  • How to Rock Distance Learning During School Closures

    We’re all overwhelmed right now and can use some tips for distance learning. As teachers, we’ve been thrown a curveball. You are no longer a teacher within a building with resources and live people, you’re an online teacher. Some of your learners may not even have internet or digital access to “see” you. As parents, we’ve been told that our children are now essentially being homeschooled. Sure, there will be resources (through remote/distance/or e-learning) from teachers, but it’s not the same as having your student at school.

    I am feeling the pull in both directions right now, as a middle school teacher and a mom to a third-grader. As scary as this is, I know we can rock distance learning during school closures with these tips!

    Tips for Distance Learning

    Be flexible.

    Whether you are a parent or a teacher, this is your time to let things go. You don’t have to cover everything in a curriculum guide or every enrichment suggestion a teacher sends you.

    Parents

    • Take advantage of beautiful weather and take a walk (with appropriate social distance) around the neighborhood.
    • Let your child’s curiosity guide what they learn. Try having your child explore their own passion project at home!
    • Allow a later start and flexible scheduling if your child’s class is not meeting “live”. Some school start times are SO EARLY. This is a chance to have your child work when they learn best.

    Teachers

    • Don’t feel like you have to cover everything in your curriculum. It’s not feasible, and it’s not necessary. Focus on your end goals. What do you want your students to know and be able to do? How can you get there digitally?
    • Know that this is new for everyone. Chances are, you’ve never taught online. Your scholars haven’t been online learners.
    • If you are live teaching, give your students a bit of time at the beginning of class to share. Your learners may be struggling with social distancing right now. Some of their parents may have lost their jobs. Let them share what’s on their mind.

    Pay attention to social-emotional needs.

    At home, I am encouraging my daughter to talk about what she’s feeling every day. I do the same with my students. Pre-social distancing, I had a Google form where the kids could “check-in”. I adapted this from several other teachers online to make it my own for my students.

    This works just as well when the students are participating in distance learning.

    Here are some questions you’ll want to ask your students on the Google Form:

    How are you feeling today?

    I give multiple-choice options to answer this question. That way, in my spreadsheet, I can quickly scan the students that need a check-in or conversation.

    • 1. I am great.
    • 2. I am OK.
    • 3. I am “meh”.
    • 4. I am struggling.
    • 5. I am having a tough time and wouldn’t mind a check-in.
    • 6. I am not doing great.
    • For younger learners, you may want to use emoji options to have them express how they are feeling.

    How did you sleep last night?

    On a scale of 1-5 (little to no sleep to a perfect night of sleep), ask your students how they are sleeping. If you notice trends, you may want to have conversations with students, parents, or your counselor to make sure your students are getting enough rest to keep them healthy.

    How was your breakfast or lunch?

    I give a scale of 1-5 (skipped breakfast/lunch to the best breakfast/lunch ever). If you see that your students are frequently not getting to eat, you can reach out to your school counselor or administrator to help parents get resources if needed.

    Anything else I need to know?

    Give your students a chance to share things that are going on in their life. This is an overwhelming time for everyone. Leave this question optional since many students will be managing just fine!

    Other questions

    Daily check-in forms are also places to ask quick check for understanding questions or just for fun questions (What Netflix show are you watching? What do you miss the most about school? Who is your favorite Disney character?). You may ask your students to provide questions as well!

    Don’t make it all about the tech.

    I write a blog called Creative Tech Teacher, but I don’t think distance learning needs to be centered around technology. If your students have the tools to connect with you digitally, go for it! However, focus on learning, not the tools.

    For example, I am having my students write a historical account of their time away from school. They’ll do daily journaling using Google Slides with a template I share. However, if they want to write a paper journal or scrapbook, I will let them! It’s not about the tech; it’s about the learning.

    If your students do have access to the internet and devices, here are some awesome tools you may want to use for remote or distance learning!

    Embrace play!

    Don’t forget to give your students (and your own kids) time to play and explore during this time. Whether it’s playing outside (no play dates for now) or free play activities engaging their imaginations indoors, let your learners have time to play and share about their experiences!

    Ask for help.

    One of the few benefits of being away from my classroom is the way I’ve seen the community (and really the world) come together. Teachers are sharing their resources, parents are praising teachers and asking for help, and we’re all in this together! Some of my colleagues started a GlideApp (it is a website but looks like an app) where everyone is sharing and curating resources to help teachers during this time. Search for resources or add your ideas. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I promise that if you send me an email (see my website in the bio), I will do my best to help you during this time!

    We’re all in this together. Whether you are a parent or a teacher, follow these tips to learn how to rock distance learning during school closures. Ask for help, be flexible, and try new things!

    Biography: Jen is a middle school public school teacher and PhD student in Omaha, Nebraska. She writes about education at Creative Tech Teacher.

    Interested in getting your little one to play independently?

    Check out my Purposeful Playspace e-course to learn how to create a space for your children that invites them to playin ways that are more engaging, purposeful and independent.

    Want more information about how play impacts your child’s development?

    Check out my e-book: Simply Play: Everything You Need To Know About The Most Important Part of Childhood

    Love this post? Check out some of the articles below.

    Are Pikler triangles worth it? abso-freakin-lutely

    Are Pikler triangles worth it? abso-freakin-lutely So what is this magic triangle that seems to be in every playroom on Instagram?  It’s a Pikler triangle and there are some great reasons why so many moms are falling in love with them.   You may be wondering if Pikler triangles are worth it? And I say abso-freakin-lutely. …

    Episode 5: The Psychological Importance of Play + How to Recover from Helicopter Parenting

    On this episode of Play. Learn. Thrive., clinical psychologist Sarah Mundy shares with Alanna insights about the importance of play in the development of confident, self-motivated, independent kids. In addition to being a core element of emotional and intellectual growth, play has been recognized internationally as a fundamental right of children. Sarah highlights clinical experience…

    Risky Play: What Parents NEED to Know

    Risky Play Children have an innate need for risk-taking. In addition, children who are encouraged to take risks at a younger age are able to better manage risk once they have gained more independence. A lack of ample opportunity to take risks may increase fear and inappropriate aggression, as well as limit the ability to…

    How to effectively teach a child to entertain themselves

    How to teach play skills & What to do when a child can’t entertain themselves One of the reasons children struggle to entertain themselves is because they don’t have the play skills they need. Play is not just a way for your child to have fun, but it is how children integrate ideas and concepts…

    Episode 4: Responsive Parenting + Play to Address Child Behavior

    On this episode of Play Learn Thrive, Alanna speaks with Sheena Hill, psychotherapist and sleep coach. During their discussion, they touch on how to engage in responsive parenting over behavioral modification, and how to better connect with your young children when they’re struggling with right choices. Main Takeaways: Any time your children are under stress,…

    Read More

  • Free Self-Directed Learning Planner (Printable)

    What is self-directed learning?

    Self-directed learning is the process by which the student takes the initiative about what, how and when to learn. This includes:

    • Figuring out your own learning strengths and weaknesses
    • Setting goals
    • Deciding on and planning activities that support your learning
    • Searching for resources to support you in your journey

    The whole idea of this approach is that it puts the child in charge of their own learning. It gives them a chance pursue interests, books, and hands on experiences that they might not have had access to previously or in a traditional school setting. For more information about this incredible approach to learning read this by Dr. Peter Gray.

    How to Get Started

    The first thing your child needs to do is determine their strengths and weaknesses. It’s also helpful for them to understand their learning style, and dig deeper into what types of content they actually enjoy learning.

    Once they figure out what they enjoy learning it will be easier for them to lean into that as a jumping off point.

    Use this self-directed learning planner to help you visualize your weeks. Make sure to build in time to rest, relax, and get outside.

    Click here for the printable self-directed learning planner.

    If you’re looking for more information about the importance of play and tips to reorganize your playroom check out my e-book: Simply Play: Everything You Need To Know About The Most Important Part of Childhood which you can buy here for only $4.99.

    If you like this post and want to read more like it then check out these articles:Understanding Schema Play

    The Power of Play

    The Ever Growing Importance of Outdoor Play.

    Toy for Toddlers: Encouraging Active Play

    100 Simple Things to do Outside with Your Kids

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