Educating Young Students From The Inside Out

Educating Preschool students from the "Inside Out"
Showing posts with label Happiness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Happiness. Show all posts

Monday, June 11, 2012

Flowers so soft and fragile

 This is a very busy week at the Living Wisdom School. We are all finishing up our yearly projects and assignments.
School ends on Wednesday, June 13th. 
This artist told me the smiles in her flowers were their spirits smiling back at her.

My  Preschool class wanted to spend the last couple of days painting. Today the weather was so glorious.  I couldn't resist and set up our art gallery in the Living Wisdom organic garden. We began with a "fairy tale story" then created lovely garden pictures. 

These are our budding Monet apprentices. 

Don't you agree?

We have practiced all year by using contrasting colors in our paintings.

Monet's waterlilies

These were her garden"Iris's"

Monday, May 28, 2012

Divine Mother's Everywhere

 At the Living Wisdom School, the Month of May is a tribute to our Mothers.
About 8 years ago I began the tradition in our school of honoring our mothers, as a way of providing a platform for the children to express their love on Mother’s Day. 


Each year the children meticulously draw their moms’ portraits for our

 “Hall of Mothers". 

They also participated in a classroom interview, answering questions such as, “How did God make mothers?”; “If you could change anything about your mom, what would it be?”; and, “What are moms made of?” The questions always draw delightful smiles and insights into the child’s inner life.

Quiet moment reading the interview questions.

 The children in my classroom spend the week preparing the menu for the Mother’s Day Tea, practicing the songs that we will sing during our all-school performance, making delightful gifts, and practicing the art of manners and serving their mothers first at the tea table.

Serving our Mother's
Preparing our salad for the Mother's Day Tea

All the children singing at the Mother's Day Tea

 For the first time this year, we set up a photo booth so that moms could have their photos taken with their children. 

I am hoping that the joy and vibration from our simple event touched all of our divine mothers everywhere. 

Aum, Namaste.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Come Gather Round

Today's story is one that we read during our recent "Frog" theme.

This is a short fable written by Parmahansa Yogananda.
 It is a delightful tale about will power, perseverance and never giving up. 

We acted this story out during class. This is the two frogs in a pale of milk
Pond and Frog Yoga tales

Someone just posted this delightful video on Facebook that I wanted to share with you.  My children in our classroom love telling this story several times in a day.

 This is fun!

Until next time. 
Curl up with a your child and read a good spiritual story with purpose.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Heart and hands connected.

Handiwork and sewing have been important activities in my kindergarten and
preschool classroom this month.

About a year ago, I read an inspiring blog piece on handiwork for the young
child.  I want to connect you with her post from January 2011
 It is from : Fairy Dusting and Sally Haughey.

This was the first stage of our pillows

This pillow is almost completed pillow.
Here is the Kindergarten project we worked on together for our last full
moon day celebration.  These are moon pillows.  Each child individually wet
felted their own moon by using roving wool.  We then attached it very
carefully with felting needles to a piece of prepared felt.  The children
then sewed the two felt pieces together and we filled each one with rice.

When the moon pillows are warmed for 15 seconds in a microwave, the children can use
them in their coat pockets on cold winter day or at night tucked
under their blankets for a gentle night's sleep.

In the preschool classroom we completed our Valentine's hearts. During the process of completing both of these projects, I had the opportunity to
connect individually with each child.  Handiwork for the child can deepen the child's level of concentration and focus; it also challenges their willpower to complete something 

they are truly proud of. 

 Try some sewing projects with your child . These were delightful.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Away in a Manger

“Children and Festivals around the World”

Our focus in the curriculum for December is the cultures, children and festivals taken from around the world. 
In chatting with my group it has been sometime since I have actually told the story about the baby Jesus and why we celebrate Christmas. In a private school we are able to tell these spiritual stories. One of the little girls in my class loves to sing: "Away in the Manager" so that is where I started last week
 Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene in 1223 intending thereby to cultivate the worship of Jesus Christ. 

Many Christian traditions celebrate this every Christmas. 

Away in a manger
No crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down his sweet head

The stars in the sky
Looked down where he lay
The little Lord Jesus a sleep on the hay...

Making our manger scene

Today we were acting out the play together. It was a very sweet time. 
We had two Mary's today.

The baby wrapped in swaddling clothes.

They made the basket cradle for the baby. The sheep are looking on. 

The morning continued with acting out the story with figurines and natural lavender play-dough. 
Creating this creche scene together brought out such sweetness in the children.  Using natural materials also brings forth the calming spirit in the young child.

Joy to the world the Lord has come
This was a show and tell nativity scene from one of our classmates. 

Let heaven and nature sing, let heaven and nature sing, let heavn and heaven, and nature sing. 


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Even-minded and ever-cheerful through thy inner light reflected

Even-minded and ever-cheerful through thy inner light reflected!

One of the spiritual qualities that I like to teach children is how to stay even-minded and cheerful through the ups and downs of life.  For some children, this takes deep practice over the course of many years.  For others, it may take only a few weeks.  Either way, it is worth the trouble to guide our children.

 Many years ago, I had a young child in my classroom that often hid under the table, kicked and shoved the tables and chairs that we used to sit on in the classroom.  This little boy was dear to my heart, but since safety was of utmost importance to me, this was not acceptable. I had to really search within myself to figure out what my next step would be.  I needed to suggest to this child that his behavior was unacceptable—not just unpleasant to others, but unsafe as well.  I knew how smart and intuitive this boy was.  I knew that I needed to be decisive and loving at the same time.

I quickly grabbed a mirror and set it under the table.  Oh, my, did he dislike seeing himself reflected back through the mirror!   When he first saw the mirror, he would not look. Then, slowly, he looked at himself and came out of from under the table. As his temper subsided, we were able to talk about what had happened.

Over the years since then, I have used technique this over and over in my beginning classes with children. I often carry a small mirror in my hand to use when children are present. The mirror can reflect to them their deepest thoughts and fears—as well as provide a reminder of joy in many situations.
These pictures were just taken in my class room .

Two children were playing quietly, connecting and building a castle together.  A third child, who was not expressing anything at the time, came over and knocked down their castle to get their attention.  The third child ran off, while the other two were mesmerized, hurt and confused.  It was a perfect teaching moment.  I grabbed the mirrors, bear puppets, and happy faces that I keep handy. We all sat down together and played a game with the puppets, the faces, and the mirrors.  The children acted out something similar to what had just happened.  Using the puppets, the children created a story about two bears eating their berries, and pushing a third bear out of the way.

  This was a perfect teaching moment as I was reflecting to them the actual events that just occurred. We all began talking about how we felt during our morning in class. How did we enter the class today? Who did we play with? Did we use our words carefully and ask others to play? Were we cheerful? Were we upset in our class when others destroyed our game or did we just rebuild it again?
In my classroom at the Living Wisdom School puppets, mirrors, and happy faces are often used to introduce a story, or clarify a rule in the classroom.  This is age appropriate and a clear way of communicating that children can easily understand.  Acting out different situations is a kind of play that helps to ease tension and increase awareness in Kindergarten and Preschool children.

 This evening, I wanted to dive a little deeper in the spiritual qualities of even-mindedness and cheerfulness for this blog entry.  I turned to a book written by one of my favorite authors, J.Donald Walters.

  In Affirmationsfor Self-Healing, I magically without my former knowledge all these years found this affirmation:

I remain untouched by gain or loss. In the calm mirror of my understanding I behold Thy light reflected.

We can guide our children to the inner truth and light that is reflected within them

There they will find true peace and happiness while enabling them to always be even-minded and cheerful. 

Many Blessings, until next week. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Sequel: All the World is my Friend"

Three dimensional shaving cream world painting.

All the world is my friend when I learn how to share my love,
When I stretch out my hands and smile,
Then I live from above.

 These words are from a song;  All the World is my Friend, by: J. Donald Walters, which I shared with you in my blog on September 14th.

 Friendship is such a powerful way to bring a classroom or a school together. We want our children to love and nurture their friendships in the classroom. How often though, do the activities, songs, games and dances infuse this consciousness into their awareness? Practicing friendship is what makes our school so unique and inspiring. We just don't talk about friendship; the children actually live it daily. 

The other day, one of our school’s first grade students came into our preschool classroom, excited about the classroom project that his class was creating. He wanted to share it with the whole school. He wasn't embarrassed, or afraid of being made fun of.   He just wanted to offer the children in our Preschool classroom tours of their "recyclable" clubhouse his classroom was making in our back acreage at the Living Wisdom School. He wasn’t bullied or laughed at for coming into our classroom. He was encouraged by all the students to share his class’s new creation.

The song’s words are stated: then I live from above. “Living from above” is expressed by sharing friendship in accord with the higher truths of our spiritual nature.

At the Living Wisdom school the children are given examples daily about what it is to be a friend. We offer mentorship programs and the teachers offer opportunities that bring out the best in each child. 

My preschool classroom activities also embraced the theme "friendship".  We were making “All the World is my Friend” necklaces.  The children made the clay beads, painted them as worlds, and strung them onto necklaces. Each child was given pictures of their classmates and their teacher to bring home. This project allowed the children and their parents to learn the names of each student. This creates a deep bonding experience for each family.  

Volcano painted by a four year old
Forest made and painted by a three year old.
The children also designed mountains, deserts, and forests made out of natural earth clay. They were dried and then painted.

"Hey, look that's me!"

This little girl is showing her friend how to art cast her earth. These were later painted and used for healing prayers for the earth.
"Please don't worry this will not fall on you. Watch your head! .

The children at Living Wisdom love to go to school, where their inner joy is awakened from their divine  friendships. They soon find that awakening inner joy is where true happiness lies.