October 2021: Welcoming Fall
I'm happy to share that we have had four more or less uneventful weeks at CMC. The stability October has brought has given many in our community the opportunity to come together and find their grooves - physically, emotionally, cognitively, and socially. We've witnessed a lot of growth while sharing a lot of laughs this month; I'm hopeful the photos and videos below will offer you all a window into our fun month together.
A big thank you to all that have so far made it to a Family Guide Conference! The process is very supportive of our all our efforts on behalf of our children. If you have attended a conference already, please be sure to add one hour to your family's Community Hours Log page (ask Anna at our front desk if you are not yet familiar). If your family has not yet scheduled a conference, please email me (Taylor) so that we can find the best time to meet over the next couple of weeks. We'd be happy to offer one Community Hour to any family that attends a conference on or before November 20th.
This giggly little trio really does a great job of capturing our mood this month:
Our time outdoors, in general, has been a highlight so far this fall. Mild and breezy weather has provided opportunities for exploration and skill building.
A picnic lunch on Break Session Care days (weather permitting) has become a popular tradition over this last year!
Wally used our green balance bike to do his best impression of his favorite thing to watch right now: bike tricks!
Catching raindrops on our tongues, pumping up bike tires and balls, making art using mud and other available materials, and literal wild goose chases have also all been big hits this past month!
In Children's House East, birthday planning, celebration, and discussion continue to offer a happy break from our consistent daily routine.
Carver and Wally wrap up representing her five years on earth so far with a mix of pictures, candles, numbers, and counters arranged to highlight odd and even numbers.
Our highly tactile and consistent language materials have also supported many children in early writing efforts this past month. The words above were written using our Large Movable Alphabet and are (from left to right and top to bottom): bead cube, cone, tape, bead chain; she put the lime in the coconut she drank 'em both up; zombie, ghost, skeleton, head; unit bead, ten bar, th[ousand cube]; ink pad, color tablet, and pencil. Like all our creative efforts in Children's House East, we are focused primarily on the process (as opposed to the products). Children may not always be able to read their work after writing, especially many days after completion and/or when not paired with their favorite objects from our environment.
Lyanna joined our flower arranging crew in a big way this month; she shared that she arranged the trio above to represent the wide range of vase and flower sizes available in Children's House East (in so many words).
SJ works with two advanced puzzles, one designed to introduce young children to the principals of physics and the other to political geography!
The ideas of "big numbers" and "big kid math" have also been big motivators for many children in our community this month. For Roshi, in particular, the idea of getting photographed with big numbers has been a big hit. From left to right, top to bottom: Lou counts the hundred chain; Roshi shows off his completed Spindle Box (the 'x' was on the mat to help Roshi remember the process of binding the spindles with rubber bands); Roshi stays in shot after watching some more advanced children count all the books in the painting above our couch with me (there were 272 in all); Roshi gives our Numbers and Counters a try (after watching several older girls repeat the work over the last many weeks).
Again from left to right, top to bottom: Lyanna grades some shades of medium green from darkest to lightest; SJ reads some animal fact cards to Dávid; Wally manipulates the contents of Constructive Triangles Box Two (take note of the obtuse and acute angle scalene triangles in the foreground, they'll reappear as pita chips in a video below); Yaz punches yellow construction paper stars; a productive moment on the carpet with Golden Bead Subtraction, Small Movable Alphabet, Color Tablets, and Spindle Box; the peace of the nap room one day around 2:00 PM; Rita and Yung work with our Classified Pictures Flower Set; Roshi's two-day Geometry Cabinet matching work; and the group prepares for a "book vote" before nap one day.
Rita takes a small group on a pilgrimage to our front desk to gift her flower arrangement to Ms. Anna.
With quite a bit more background noise and fervor, Roshi tries his hands and ears at matching our Sound Shakers for the first time.
We have really hit our stride at lunch this month! Consistent boundaries and expectations in our daily routine have made room to focus more on building conversation and social skills! See Yaz and Roshi enjoying lunch at their newly dubbed "big kid stylin' table." See Rita and Dávid holding up their name tags to indicate to Yung that they are ready for her to check their places are clean before being dismissed to poems and songs. Then see Dávid revel in cracking up his friends and Wally put together two very roughly triangular pita chips to construct a trapezoid!
Wally and Carsten sort our hallway bristle blocks by color and again by most contrasting color in an effort to better illuminate the differences between their various space ships.
A big thank you to Rita, Lyanna, Kiki, and Wally's families for coming out last Saturday to support CMC at the second annual Karl Road Christian Church Trunk or Treat! We had a mostly fabulous, somewhat scary and unhealthy time. WARNING: two pretty gruesome "zombie clown" costumes are coming up below (to help Wally process all the gore of the holiday this year, I chose to help him dive into the constructive process, for better and worse).