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education, productivity

How the Rain Motivated Me To Start Writing Curriculum

I have been holed up in my local library writing curriculum all week. It is perfect weather for this: the rain has been unrelenting for days, and there is hardly any sunlight filtering through the windows, and I have turned into a solid, unmoving rock. A childhood spent in England has definitely not made me …

art and design, education, family, inspiration, kids, learning, obstacles, operate by interruption, parenting, small business, summer camp, teaching, working from home

The Anticamp

You know, and I know, and those other people over there know, that I have spoken and written at length about the ups and downs of running a tiny one woman business. Well talk about ups and downs – last week certainly had it’s share of both!

To start off with, I ran the smallest, most minuscule, pea sized camp that I have ever agreed to run.
I generally have between six and ten kids in a camp. However, enrollment was really low for my first week of camp this year- only four children were signed up. So I called a meeting (with myself), decided that four was the absolute minimum amount that I could run a camp with, and happily continued with my planning.

The downs…

On Monday morning, a parent called to cancel – her child was not art-inclined, it seems. Oh dear – suddenly, I was running something that was very un-camplike. It was the Anticamp.

Three kids.
Any teacher, or parent worth their salt knows that three is definitely not the magic number. Two kids is fun, camaraderie, and hours of secret swapping. Four kids is a close-knit unit, an exercise in team building.  Three kids is backstabbing, bloodshed and tears. The problem with three, is that no matter what, one child is always left out. I could see hours of conflict resolution unfolding before me….

…then, to my horror, I discovered that my four year old was running a fever, ack! It will suffice to say, I choked back a tear or two.

Luckily, I have a very supportive husband.

Now for the ups…

I was actually pleasantly surprised. Yes, it was hard work at times keeping the three kids motivated, and cooperative, but we actually got some great work done, and had a lot of fun along the way. We got to do things that we would not have done with a bigger group. We spent longer on projects, and improvised more with our work. Every afternoon we drove to a local playground, and at the end of each day we had a water fight. The kids actually got on pretty well.

What did I learn?

Well, I learnt a lot about all the different ways in which insects can kill, maim, and be killed.  I learnt more about Pokemon than I wish to know. I learnt that elementary school kids cheat when playing board games with adults, they call it “leveling the playing field” – hmph. I learnt that a good game of Piggy in the Middle is the best bonding exercise for three kids, and finally, I learnt to always expect for the best.

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Preschool Genius;
2013, art and design, education, family, montessori, multitasking, parenting, small business, work ethic, working from home

Preschool Genius

“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” – Maria Montessori Over the past few weeks I have been running summer camps for 1st and 2nd graders; I love working with these children, and they constantly surprise and …

art and design, book art, crafter, creativity, education, family, illustration and books, inspiration, kids, letting go, parenting, planning, small business, spontaneity, Uncategorized

Montessori, and the Art of Loosening Up

I’ll be honest with you, I was a tiny bit scared yesterday. On my way to the Boyd Montessori I kept up a stream of thoughts that went a little bit like this – “Yes, I’m a teacher by profession, but Montessori? That’s a whole new ball game. I wonder what the class will be …