Encyclopedic Knowledge cards for babies – revisited

With three kids in a tow finding time to update the educational materials that we use became quite a challenge. Yet I was asked a question recently about Encyclopedic Knowledge cards for babies, as as I was answering it, it grew into its own little post, rather then a few comment-words.

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Can chess be a good Educational Game for Toddlers?

Did you decide to teach your three year old to play chess? This is very good news, and here’s why. After all, chess is not just a game that delivers a lot of fun for children, but it is also a fun, effective and efficient means of mental development. The process of learning chess helps children focus on simple things, teaches them to remember, compare, generalize, predict the results of their work; it also contributes to the improvement of such valuable qualities as diligence, attentiveness, independence, patience, ingenuity, etc.

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Geography materials: World biomes pinmap

P1180986world-biomesAbsolutely fantastic resource: files to create your own pin-map with different biomes, and cards with excellent pictures and descriptions of them. Thanks to Liesl Den for sharing this! I am busy printing and cutting. I think I'll group it with our “Top 10 Largest Deserts” and “World Biomes” (by Perla Adams) presentations.

World Biomes Pin Map.

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Drowning people don't call for help!

Pamela Druckerman and her familySomehow the image of a distressed novice swimmer, thrashing in the water and calling for help is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of drowning. Wrong. While such behavior is often shown in the movies and could still occur, this is not drowning yet. Apparently, drowning person is not capable of screaming, thrashing and calling for help in any ways at all! Most of the thousands of kids that drown every year, will quietly do so within a few feet of their unsuspecting parents… terrifying, isn't it? Well, I found this article a true revelation:

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Why are French parents superior to the American ones

Pamela Druckerman and her familyFascinating article, definitely food for thought: “Why French Parents are Superior”. The American author, living in France, is analyzing her own parentings styles, comparing her experiences of child rearing with that of French mothers surrounding her and pinpointing to the downsides of American approach. Here is a summary of her new book:

Pamela Druckerman's new book “Bringing Up Bebe,” catalogs her observations about why French children seem so much better behaved than their American counterparts. Pamela Druckerman's new book “Bringing Up Bebe,” catalogs her observations about why French children seem so much better behaved than their American counterparts.

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Sleep Trainer shares her view on Cry It Out Loud method as a professional and as a mother

SleepingThanks to SleepbyConnection for sharing this wonderful personal insight in our Sleep Training discussion (see “Crying it out” may damage baby's brain and Cute parenting technique or child abuse?)
As a retired sleep trainer and now a sleep deprived mother, my knowledge of the brain, years of sleep training, years of working with all kinds of children, and now a new mother, I know deep in my heart that developing the limbic brain is very important. We as adults impose our own needs onto our children without much awareness of the long term effects.

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Problems with the teacher?

Teacher And StudentsLuckily, our venture into the public school has been very rewarding so far: my older one has got a really wonderful teacher: kind, knowledgeable, understanding, creative, positive yet firm. We've encountered our first set of issues – Montessori-style script writing is not appreciated in our local public elementary schools, but after some pondering we decided it is not a battle worth fighting – as long as the teacher is courteous in her ways of insisting in writing in print, we can do it.

Yet lots of our friends weren't so lucky with their teachers this year. I really like the advice by Melissa Taylor in Scholastic Parent & Child magazine, and since I couldn't find these tips anywhere online to link to it, I just typed it here for anybody who needs help communicating with the teacher:

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European Bingo Game link

European BingoThe link for an European Bingo Game… is here! See more information about it in European Bingo Game – Free Board Game!, but you can download the game itself using the links below.

The file with the game turned out too large, so I split it out into two:
European Bingo 1: Italy, Spain, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic
European Bingo 2: UK, France, Northern European Countries, Southern European Countries, Natural Wonders

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European Bingo – free board game!

European BingoWhile our little stuffed mouse Maisy is happily enjoying Barcelona (see more about this here: Maisy The Mouse Goes Traveling), I finally had a chance to upload our most helpful tool for learning about Europe: the European Bingo Game, that I designed back at the time when I was participating in a Montessori Continent Swap.

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