In this episode, I start off by talking about the motivation behind my series of books and how this series of podcasts came about. Both the books and the podcast have one function… to help parent, teachers and children with their social and emotional learning in this unusual era in education caused by the pandemic. I am not a know-it-all, but after years of teaching children in the age range of 4 to 7 years old, I can be very contributing. I know how children respond to and respect an open and honest conversation about feelings and life’s situations, and those are the topics covered in my series of books. We deal with titles and topics like Anger, Competition, The Death of a Pet. It’s generally all done in the relatable dialogue between a grandmother (Min Min, that’s me) and her 5-year-old granddaughter (my real-life granddaughter, Olivia). In the books, we even explore concepts like Agree to Disagree or that Time Out is Time In. Throughout, the key remains that parents need the language and the tools to have these important discussions, especially if parents have taken on a larger role in education due to remote learning and hybrid education. Children are NOT getting their normal social interaction and these books touch upon many of the feelings and social situations that need to be discussed.
In this podcast, I also pick up on a subject from my last podcast and that is the topic of the “mis-take”. In my prior podcast, I spoke at length about how mistakes are to be celebrated as learning lessons, but I did want to add something to that thought, and that is that IF a mistake is not seen as a learning lesson, it is not to be celebrated. In my classroom and in my own child rearing, one thing that was always unacceptable was when a child shrugs their shoulders about something. That is always unacceptable because a shoulder shrug not only says “I don’t know”, but it also says, “I don’t care,” and without a child taking responsibility, there is no learning.
We then talk at length about STRATEGIES which are tools to help a child learn, and they are necessary in order to give the child the ability to reflect upon their own learning which ultimately allows them to be independent in their own learning and to create a SELF-EXTENDING SYSTEM… for the child, that means that as they are learning, they can reflect upon what they are learning and what they don’t know. More detail on this concept is in this podcast, episode 7.
The podcast concludes with a recap and reminder that parents have a lot of challenges right now and that Dr. Shaw and her learning materials are intended to do one thing… to help.