In this latest podcast episode, I continue the conversation started in my previous podcast about STRATEGIES. Strategies are the tools that children and parents alike can use as tools to help tackle any task, and of course when I discuss strategies, they are educational strategies.
One tool that adults can use when working with children is SCAFFOLDING. Scaffolding is when the parent or educator shares the task with the child. For example, the first children’s book that I wrote was the one called “Good Manners,” and that book was born out of a real conversation with Olivia, my granddaughter. She asked me why we needed to have good manners. Instead of giving her the answers directly, and instead of giving her an answer like “because I said so” or “because it’s nice,” I involved her in the answer. I told her a story about what happened when my paralyzed son, Joshua, was young. At that time, I told Joshua that given his situation, in his lifetime he would often be aided by others, and those who assist you will do it more happily if you acknowledge and thank them for helping. Then I asked Olivia how she feels when people say please and thank you to her, and she said that it makes her feel good. We “scaffolded” the learning about good manners by involving her in the process and the discussion, and that is often a very effective tool for teaching.
We also talked about parents and being overburdened right now due to disruptions in education, and I shared a story about my own frontloading as a parent. As a busy working mom, I was so conscious of time management that I often had my kids sleep in the clothes that they were going to wear during the coming day. That way the box was already checked the night before regarding getting dressed for the day. As a habitual front-loader, I understand the stresses of busy parents and I had a number of my own strategies to getting through each day.
The paperbacks and e-books in my series of socio-emotional picture books were all created to help busy parents have the tools and the language to support social and emotional learning at home or in schools… it’s my way of continuing to be of service in the field of education.