Educating Young Students From The Inside Out

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Welcome to Warmhearted Wednesdays Link up



Since the summer began I have been browsing the internet and posting to my Pinterest page on sharing specific summer activities with your children. I was actually overwhelmed and didn't know where to begin. I have over the past two years been able to share my ideas over specific "widgets", on different blogs, that allow the reader to collaborate their creations together under specific themes each week.  What a great way to expand the love.  I choose Wednesdays as a way to tune into the middle of the week. Though these melodious inspirations from global bloggers, I am hoping to share with all the blessings I have received through linking up to their numerous sites. Many of these are listed on the right hand corner of this blog.

I wanted to start off with a great summer idea that came from one of the teachers at our school. She is a mother of three very active girls.  I just loved the way she mapped out the whole summer with different themes and activities for them to focus on. 
This idea was taken from mom with a lesson plan.
What are your ideas for the summer?  Please
share below.
Until next Wednesday.



Blessings,
Chandi

Friday, June 21, 2013

Photo: Sending Summer Love


Yesterday I was at a summer solstice celebration and my granddaughter handed me this tiny leaf. She knows how I collect heart rocks and finding beauty in nature. She thought this could be added to my collection. She is such a sweet and gentle spirit. "Here, Oma, this is for you!" Not thinking of herself, she handed right to me.


                                        

   I wanted to pass along the love to you.
 Happy solstice and for a beautiful summer yet to come.  

Love and Blessings,
Chandi

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mother we thank you!


 Summer's Glow Original Watercolor by Elaine Frenett, Ashland, Oregon
 Today we celebrated our last class for the school year. In the past two weeks we finished up our garden unit and spent some time with creating our habitats for the new caterpillars. 
Divine Mother always has her own timing while working simultaneously collaborating with nature.
We were late in the season to start this project but our caterpillars hatched just in time for our last day of school.
 It was a perfect day, to release our butterflies as our last ceremony of the year. 

We had many fun activities leading up to this moment. 
 Creating three dimensional watercolor paintings 
                                     
 Creating our butterfly habitat in the classroom. 
  
 Sharing Nature with Children:
Duplication Game
The items were shown to the children and then they explored in the forest for the same items to duplicate.
Caterpillar stories, math games, and songs


 Yoga postures and stories about Gerdy and Caty. Gerdy is a goose and Caty was a caterpillar. I created a yoga story that was told all week  in class about how the caterpillar and the goose becoming fast friends. . 
video
                             
    This was a very sweet video that our children were able to watch. They were only three years old when this was taken, so it was exciting for them see how fast they had grown in a year's time. 

But the most exciting was for the children to watch the birth and unfolding of these amazing creatures. We were all in a state of reverence as we carefully set them free today. As Divine Mother's perfect metaphor, it was time to set the butterflies free and for our children to spread their wings and fly too.    

 They were our friends just for a little while,


What glorious smiles on their faces as we shared our last precious moments of our school year together. 

Mother we thank you,
Your joy shines in everything. 
Open these channels so the world once more may sing. 



Friday, June 7, 2013

Guest Post on 'Inside Out": Author, Parent, and Healer, Nilanjana Krishnan

My Child, My First Spiritual Teacher -
 an Article by Nilanjana Krishnan



It is a popular belief that our parents are our first teachers 
and I absolutely agree with that notion. Everything was hunky 
dory as long as I was a child (because my parents had to do all
 the worrying ;-)),
 but now that I am a parent, the responsibility of being my child’s 
first teacher is not only immense but also intimidating at times. 
I realized that something needed to change to make parenting enjoyable,
effortless and effective. This called for a shift in perspective – my perspective.

For a very long time I had believed that I, the parent have all the answers that my child needs because a little one is not very likely to know all that I, the adult know. This was my first parenting fallacy! In due course of time I realized that my child has so much to offer and I had hardly ever acknowledged him for the gifts he had given me. My son has shown me what it is to live in the moment and that worrying about the past or the future is futile. He has even demonstrated that we are all one; he treats everyone equally, no matter what race or ethnicity they may belong to. 


Therefore, my new perspective is to allow my child to be my teacher. My child knows as much as or maybe even a little more than I do about life. How do you think I know this to be true for me? Well, so often we adults remind one another to look at the world through the eyes of a child; now why would we say that? I believe that deep down inside every grown-up there is a child waiting to be unleashed. This inner child wants to love unconditionally, trust every person, get curious about every little thing, express every emotion, and be so much more. So I felt that if I surrendered in faith to my child, he would show us the way – the way he would like his life to unfold; the way he would like his family interactions to be; the kind of activities he would love to engage in; the type of friends he would want to bring home; the kind of foods he would like to try, and what not.

Does this mean I let him cross the road alone or let him fix his own breakfast at the stove-top? No, I don’t mean that. I am his custodian; I am responsible for providing his basic needs for physical sustenance. As a caretaker, I also feel responsible for holding the space for letting him be what he is being moment to moment; be his witness and cheerleader as he experiments with his limitless mind and experiences being the free spirit that he is. 

Let me reiterate: I am my child’s custodian only and not his owner. Kahlil Gibran, the famous Lebanese poet and spiritual teacher has written a poetic essay on children in a collection that’s named, “The Prophet” and an excerpt from the poem is as follows:

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

This message resonates deeply with me and I remind myself ever so often to embody the wisdom from this beautiful piece by Kahlil Gibran.

So, have I figured it all out and am I now an infallible parent? All I can confidently state is that I am on a conscious parenting journey for which there is never a destination; the journey is all of it. There are several moments where I temporarily lose my connection with my inner guidance and dump my emotional baggage on my child or state something in anger or frustration. The good news here is that I get the awareness in the moment (or soon after) I display my “not so graceful” emotions, and I am quick to apologize to my son. I also add, “Please remind me to be a better mom. Whenever I get angry please remind me that I can talk to you about it. Also remind me that anger weakens and love strengthens.” This is how I make peace with myself and my son. When the roles get reversed, and my son is throwing a fit or is in a bad mood, I gently remind him to express his emotions in words; and then hold the space for him to express himself.

As you can well imagine, all of this takes a lot of discipline, practice, faith and commitment. What I have learned from a spiritual perspective is that when I set an intention for my state of being (example: being patient, being accepting, being communicative, being confident, etc.), I am able to easily embody that state for as long as I hold that intention. This has helped me a great deal with respect to parenting.

My son has started me on a spiritual journey: a journey that has made me delve within and uncover parts of me, I had never seen before. I am ever so grateful for this boundless spirit housed in a tiny body that has chosen me to be his mother in this life experience, and for handing down gifts that are priceless. I am so glad that our children refuse to be born with user manuals, for if they did, how would we experience our life lessons and what would happen to evolution? :)

About Nilanjana Krishnan: 

Nilanjana lives a life that is an expression and reflection of her life's purpose, which is being the change she wants to see in her children, through living a life in harmony with nature. As an advocate for children--who are the future and hope of our planet--she invites all individuals, families, and institutions that influence our children to join hands in becoming the change first. She extends this way of being to all facets of her life, from choosing the right foods to patronizing eco-friendly and conscious companies that are aware of their impact on our world.
Nilanjana firmly believes that the choices we make in each moment will determine the future we create and bestow on our future generations. She holds a bachelor's degree in engineering and a master's degree in business administration and has worked in engineering and information technology industries in sales and business development. She is a volunteer with the Distance Healing Network as a Reiki Level 2 healer. Nilanjana lives in Seattle, WA, with her husband Venkatesh and their two lovely boys, Harsha and Rishab

Nilanjana has now just finished her new book; "I know the way"  for families with young children, based on the 2500 year old Chinese Philosophy called the Tao Te Ching. 





Her primary inspiration for this book was Dr. Wayne Dyer (who has also written a book based on the Tao, but for an adult audience




Friday, May 10, 2013

"Infinite Mother of us all"


A Mother's Love

Though the miles come between us
As we fumble our way along
The paths- we like to think we choose
And through the years grow shorter
Filled with memories-Some we hold to dearly
And some we'd like to lose,
Still, that first of life's many loves,
That of a mother for her child
Shines brightly from within- to remind us of the 
Infinite Mother of us all
Who dwells within and silently calls to us.....
Come home to Me now!
   Original poem by: Joel Holliman

About nine years ago after the Living Wisdom Preschool began, I wanted to create an event at the school, just for the children to express their love for Divine Mother. Divine Mother is the feminine divine aspect of God. 

In working with children, our earthy mother it is simpler way for children to open up to the Divine Mother. I like to start in baby steps for each child. As they feel the love deeply for their mother, they can feel it for their immediate family, their grandparents, their friends mothers, and then reach out to other mothers across the globe. 

"The task of education is to attract children toward maturity- that is, toward including other's realities in their own."

The event at the Living Wisdom School is celebrated today by all the children. The children have the opportunity to cook, draw their mother's portrait for the hall of mothers, and by answering creative writing questions like:"What makes your mom perfect?" It is the direct experience by which our children can rise  above their likes and dislikes thus allowing them to think of others first. 



Each year I am given the precious moment of photographing this event.  I am in awe of the intimacy of photographing mothers and their children. I am humbled by this experience. Their souls just seem to melt  right together as one in front of my camera lens.

I am sure that you will agree from some of the photos below, the depth of divine love which pours through each family.











May this Mothers Day be our reminder in deep stillness of the"Infinite Mother"
 who dwells in all of us.
Happy Mothers Day!

In joy to you,
Chandi 




Thursday, May 2, 2013

Memories of our spring: a photo montage





Whenever the spring hits the Pacific Northwest, something happens to all of us. We get outside and begin to open up to the world all around us. So hence, it is with me too. I begin to expand outward and cherish natures beauty while slowly relinquishing  my commitment in sharing the Education for Life principals. Therefore, I will do my best to catch you up on some of our key activities this spring.

This has been a very busy time in our classroom with so many cherished activities that I needed to share. I can only touch on them lightly thus not to bore you with long lengthy lesson plans.

The month of March the children and all our teachers were busy with our Annual Living Wisdom Art Show. This year at the school for our main exhibit we all created a Monet's garden. The children in our class made the art sculpture with one of our fathers. This was the bridge in the garden, surrounded by a pond, a large willow tree, fish, birds, and lily pads. Each student in the school created something for the garden. It was spectacular!


The month of April the children were able to explore the human body. We spent several days on exploring the physical body. The children made their own bodies along with exploring how our hearts, lungs and brains function. 

The third week into the program we spent time exploring our spiritual body. We began a more advanced yoga program for calming our spirits. 
The third week into the program was also about keeping our bodies well and healthy.

Vibration and healing in our hands

What parts of the hand can heal our bodies?
Healing music and dance



Healing love and empathy. Here is our Pre-kindergarten baby. This is our french teacher, who now has a new baby to share with us in our classroom. 
Tibetan sound healing concert

Here we are making "\Aum" juice from all the spiritual fruits that we had all week. Yum!!





During the last week in April we celebrated " Earth day".

Next week is Mothers Day so we will have to share all our fun activities after our annual Mothers Day tea celebration.

May this spring bring you closer to the children in your life and fill our souls with many heartwarming memories.


Many Blessings,
Chandi

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Go with Love with Guest blog: Hriman McGilloway

Since the beginning of this blog I have had this lovely heartfelt photo on my blog each month for the announcement of our reading segment, "Come gather round." 

I may have failed to describe this photo. This is our dearest friend, Nayaswami Kriyananda, the direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda.

Swami Kriyananda, aged 87, the founder of the worldwide work of Ananda and one of the few remaining living disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda, has left his physical body and this earth. His passing took place in Italy on Sunday, April 21 at 8 am (Central European time).  He had been in residence at the Ananda Center near Assisi, Italy where, each year, he would often spend a few months teaching and writing. He had been scheduled to come to America for the summer months as he has done in the last many years. Kriyananda loved young children and they loved his childlike spirit. Kriyanada was able to visit our classroom this past September and shared candy with the children. 

On this website I publish many of his writings and songs that we share in our classroom everyday.  We also share the "Little Secrets", books that he published on love, friendship and the deep meanings of happiness

I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to correspond with Kriyananda over the years through email about the Living Wisdom School of Seattle. 


  Kriyananda was a reflection of the divine and inspired many souls to reach to their highest potential and had a deep impersonal relationship with so many spiritual seekers around the globe. But  it was through his writings, music and love we all felt he was our dearest divine friend. 

In conclusion, I would like to pass along a link to this months, guest blog: Nayaswami  Hriman McGilloway 
 Nayaswami Hriman had a very special relationship with Swami Kriyananda for 36 years.  He is the spiritual director at Ananda Seattle along with his wife, Nayaswami  Padma McGilloway.  I have lived at the Ananda Community for 19 years sharing these principals of the path of Kriya yoga, meditation and Self-realization.  His writings perfectly describe more eloquently the life of Nayaswami Kriyananda. 

Please visit his blog and offer your comments and inspirations. . 

            For a more intimate look at his personal view of life, discipleship and divine teacher:
We will, however, miss him, our spiritual guide, and one who embodied so joyfully the spirit and teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.  

May we all be one in that light someday. 


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Peace and Love


Happy Easter!
 May this joyful season of spring bring you a greater depth of peace and love in your hearts.

Blessings,
Chandi 




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Equinox , Snow on Spring



                     We woke up on our third day of spring to the very first snowfall of the season. So ironic. Just when we were changing our decorations around in our classroom to spring, the snow hits. 
      It only lasted a few hours but it always captivates my heart.

                     
                     
We also celebrated the Spring Equinox this past week. 

Spring crowns. 
What would our classroom be without a party and a celebration?
Sun and Moon leading the Solstice parade with the flowers behind them.



Blessings from our class to you!

Happy Spring!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spirit in Nature;The Feeling Years.






  Spirit in Nature is a Saturday and holiday program of uplifting activities for children ages 2-12.  The programs that I am creating takes advantage of the natural beauty of a variety of local parks and provides children with joyous experiences. Program activities, including yoga, crafts, and bird-watching, are designed to foster positive attitudes and mindfulness to have a lasting beneficial effect on children’s lives.  Today I had the opportunity to work with two young sisters. It was an entirely different nature outing  from yesterday but both had their strengths. As a teacher I had to be creative and mindful of the beauty and the differences.  

Today the girls were ages 6 and 8. Both of these young ladies are very intuitive, expansive and have an ability to express their feelings maturely in almost every situation today. I was captivated by how they tuned into nature so quickly without me having to talk very much. We were able to just feel, listen and explore nature together. Often times they would just walk quietly listening, or notice a still section of the stream. 

The Education for Life system is divided up into four "Stages of Maturity". Each stage of childhood is expressed naturally and we have developed strategies that help unlock children's highest potential. 

Today these young ladies were a magnet for feeling life. They had the ability with maturity to harness and channel any turbulent emotions between siblings while being in touch with their own calm,sensitive natures. I was able to relate to each child individually and they were able to joyfully relate to each other in an harmonious way.


Each had their own strengths but I also felt we all were enjoying nature simultaneously together. 



"I am calm and poised" 




We began the morning much like yesterday. We sang two opening songs, a short prayer and yoga to begin our day. This was very sweet and deeply inspiring, as they showed me their favorite asanas. Both of these girls have been in my Yoga classes at the Living Wisdom School and the Living Wisdom Day Camp. I love how they can incorporate energy, magnetism and expansion. The backward bend below has such an upward motion of expansion from the heart. 


It was magical today as the sun was blessing us in the meadow. 


  
" I am free, I am free.

 We finished our yoga and began to play the "Animal game". This was fun and spontaneous. Children love secrets at this age so acting out the animal is perfect for this age group. 



She was the baby "fry" in the stream.


We quickly headed up the path in search of the baby salmon. But today the holding tank had been closed so the girls weren't able to view the imprinting tank.  This didn't stop them, the river seemed to draw their attention right away. They got in it immediately by wading, touching, feeling and exploring. They looked at the smallest miniature fungus to the largest expansive trees over head.
  

Mosses of all types, mushrooms, sporophytes and a log that was cut on the path. How old is this tree? About 50 life cycles we counted. " Hey, that tree is older than my mom!"
"Can you feel the energy from the sun, Chandi"
One of the girls, just looked up at the sky and said to me:"Chandi, isn't that blue sky just  magnificent? She begins to take another deep breath filling her whole energy body with color.

Even the drains at the salmon tank were beautiful with many layers of different stories told. We also talked about how we could create clay presses and  multiple patterns on paper drawings with crayons.

There were so many layers of exploring in one morning. During one quiet interlude while walking on the path down to the Puget Sound we stopped and played the Sound Map Game.



When we arrived at the sound today it was a beautiful crisp winter day.

We began eating our lunch and then I led the children through an abbreviation of
"Expanding Circles", from Listening in Nature by Joseph Cornell

I led them through a brief visualization to look out right in front of them at the pebbles on the beach, now hold that image. Open your heart to all the living animals, rocks, and seaweed that lie there. Now expand your vision to the waves, expand your circle to the birds floating in the sound.  Now expand your vision across the sound to the land, beyond. Now imagine, that you can feel everything as your self. Feel like you are holding the sound and all the living things in it.
Close your eyes and feel that peace.

This is a shorten version of" Expanded Circles" but a powerful tool for raising spiritual awareness and consciousness.
The girls completed their own nature collages and then we finished with a closing circle. We individually shared our inspirations from the day and blessed the park in all four directions.




I want to leave you with a quote from John Muir taken from Sharing Nature II, by Joseph Cornell.

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energies, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

May we all feel oneness with spirit in nature. Step outside and explore its profound beauty.