For post #4 of Book Week
, I have a special treat for you. Not only is it a book I think every parent should own, reading it will help you to foster a love of reading (and other learning) in your children.
If you’re a facebook friend or twitter follower, then you’ll remember how excited I was when I received a copy of my friend Mariah’s new book Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. As soon as it arrived, I knew this book was something special. Much more than just a collection of educational activities for kids, it’s a guide on how to use both your home and your parenting to harness your children’s curiosity and turn it into a love of learning. Mariah writes, “With a little bit of information and forethought, you can play a pivotal role in the cognitive and creative development of your child.”
Mariah has a vast amount of experience in education
and her book shows it. Consisting of 7 learning categories, it covers everything from reading, writing and math to becoming a global citizen. It’s packed with tons of stimulating activities and ideas but what I love most about it are the “developmental overview” sections that proceed each chapter.
The activities in this book are geared for children ages 4 to 8 but believe me when I tell you that you’ll want to read it even before the kids are that old. As a parent, you always want to know where your child is on the learning continuum and what you can do to best foster learning at that stage – this book helps you do just that. On page 57 I learned that C “reading” me every page of his favorite book via memorization means he’s in Reading Stage II. I also learned that this is a good time to start nurturing the recognition of letters and their sounds and that one way of doing this is to simply move my finger under words as I read them aloud.
Many of the projects are also appropriate for younger children (or can be easily adapted to be so). In honor of Book Week, we decided to try out the alphabet photography project from the Joy of Reading chapter. I had a lot of fun trying to come up with a personal object or experience for each letter and the finished project will be a great keepsake. Even better, because everything in it is so salient to him, the book has really gotten C excited about letters.
Before wrapping this up, I also wanted to mention that Mariah is particularly gifted when it comes to setting up playful learning spaces at home. Why is this important? Mariah writes, “there is nothing that fosters independence and inspires creativity within children more than a thoughtfully prepared environment”. Not only does she devote an entire chapter in the book to this topic, she also teaches a 6 week online e-course
on the subject.
So here’s the great news. Mariah has generously offered up a copy of her new book AND a spot in her Playful Learning Spaces E-Course to one lucky reader (nearly a $150 value). Plus, I’m going to be taking part in the E-Course too so I’ll see you there!
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post along with your email address. Additional entries available for tweeting or facebooking about this contest. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. This contest will end at midnight EST on Tuesday, September 6th. Good Luck and maybe I’ll see you in class!