Never under estimate the power of 'real life work' you do in your centre or home. For generations children grew up at home following their parents, usually mother, around the house doing house work. Often too there were grandparents, aunties and uncles nearby. The saying 'It takes a village to raise a child' doesn’t come out of nowhere.
Never feel guilty for pottering around your space engaging in LIFE.
Have you ever caught your mind thinking "oh I should be doing, oh I should be teaching”? Put your mind at ease, you are teaching! You are teaching the curriculum of life! There is no reason to feel guilty for pottering around engaging in life.
You are being observed. You are being 'downloaded', at four billion bits per second. It is the spirit by which you are doing anything, the joy or the stress, that the children feel which is important. Imagine what children are learning when they see and join adults caring for and loving their patch, doing their ‘house and garden chores’.
Find joy in the ordinary.
Children in full time care need to be experiencing real life, not artificial activities that are disconnected to life. They need to be able to absorb life unfolding around them as they freely potter and tinker in their play. They need to be able to experience the ordinary with joy, as it is then it becomes extra-ordinary
If they choose to help with fixing the sump, or collecting more fire wood, checking the post, putting out the wheelie bin, picking herbs, setting the tables, let them help. These are the rich moments when children are experiencing about real practical life.
How powerful it is for our children to see us get the tools and fix a broken wheel from a toy or mend a soft animal or doll. Skills, ingenuity, creative 'I can fix it' attitudes are all absorbed.
Education and learning is inextricably interwoven into LIFE.
Daily life that is. Setting up, tidying up, preparing. If we keep our place warm and homely and beautiful the children will embrace the opportunity to keep their place beautiful and tidy. If we do all these ‘house and garden chores’ with an attitude of joy and pleasure, then the children are itching to help.
This then will be reflected in their play. When we observe their rich imaginative play we see the results of life in its fullness unfolding through natural play. When the children set their picnics and pick a bunch of lavender to have for their babies and when they 'roll' up their blankets in baskets for their trip into the garden we can see life that has been absorbed and now outplayed.
Some children come to play and some children come to be loved.
Some children have a rich full life but some may be living most of their life with you, so it is our job to enrich their lives with life!