While we may not all have great memories of math, we can shape our children's minds about math through simple and easy strategies and games. Dorothy talks with Alexandra Dutton and Michele Bailey, an OFS Lafayette teacher about how to create an environment where children will love math. They discuss the importance of Sets, Number Sense, and Counting.
What Every Parent Needs to Know Podcast
In August 2018, Old Firehouse School hosted the speakers from the national organization, Zero to Three. The speakers, Christy Stanton and Katrina Macasaet, discussed brain development in children 0-5 years old -- specifically executive functions, which are key skills, like problem solving, that all children need. Listen here to learn more about executive function, how it relates to your child's development, and how you can help it further develop.
When siblings fight, it can drive parents crazy! Dorothy Stewart talks with Judy Haus and Alexandra Dutton about how to help create positive relationships between siblings and specific language to use. They discuss why comparing your children is unhelpful (02:23), what to do when name calling occurs (05:30)and how to handle the classic, "That's not fair!" (10:56)
We were greatly inspired by Todd Sarner's Transformative Parenting video about sibling relationships, as well as Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish's "Siblings Without Rivalry."
Holidays are a time of joy -- and stress -- for us all! Alexandra Dutton and Judy Haus, Old Firehouse School directors, share some strategies to help all of us enjoy the holidays more by simplifying our expectations and schedules.
OFS Program Director Alexandra Dutton talks with teacher Madison Montoya about the importance of Gratitude. Gratitude is shown to help improve mental health and ward off negative emotions, while helping us to be more present and positive. Madison and Alexandra share activities and games that encourage building the gratitude muscle.
Halloween is a fun, but sometimes scary, holiday for young children. Alexandra Dutton, OFS Program Director, and Rachel Turtledove, OFS Lafayette Preschool Teacher, discuss ways to make this holiday fun, safe, and memorable for our young ones.
All living things bite! But when that means your little one is biting you, or worse, biting other children, that is not an easy pill to swallow. Dorothy speaks with the OFS directors, Amy Baker, Judy Haus, and Alexandra Dutton, about why children bite, how to stop it, and how we deal with it at our schools.
Sometimes it can seem like an uphill battle to get children to eat! Nutritionist and former OFS parent Cary Berkley talks with Dorothy about how to help your children eat better and why it can be such a challenge. Get some really good, interesting tips about making mealtimes more pleasant for everyone.
For more information on Cary's work, or to consult with her, check out her website:
Mindfulness has been a part of Old Firehouse School's work with children for many years. Alex talks with Katharine Peck (OFS Mill Valley)and Maylis Treuil (OFS Lafayette) about how and why they use mindfulness in their classroom, both for the children and for themselves. Being able to be present in the moment is a skill that you can develop at any age. They share some activities they use with children and also some other resources.
Some of the resources they mentioned are here:
Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents)
I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde
What Does It Mean to Be Present? by Rana DiOrio and Eliza Wheeler
Go Noodle (YouTube channel with some yoga and self-regulation exercises)
For young children, self regulation is a skill they are developing. They are still working on understanding how to respond to both positive and negative moments. Dorothy and Alex talk with Cheryl, an OFS Walnut Creek teacher and MFT, about how to help children develop self regulation and what our role is as parent or teacher.
Ever wonder how preschool teachers manage so many children throughout the day? Judy, OFS Walnut Creek director and Alex, OFS Lafayette director discuss some of our tried and true strategies that help make the day go better for everyone! They also share some child development knowledge that helps to understand what is happening in those little brains.
OFS Mill Valley Director Amy Baker interviews Dorothy, who discusses the importance of attachment. People have an innate need to feel love and be connected to others, and these attachments are formed in the earliest years in our lives. Dorothy talks about how our parenting is affected by how we were parented, as well as how advancements in neuroscience support attachment relationships.
Ever wonder what potty training is like when teachers do it? Listen to 4 directors chat about their experience potty training their own children as well as working with families in the midst of the process. Understanding the individual children's development and following their physical and emotional cues are the keys to success during this big transition!
Darcy Campbell, director of Cow Hollow School in San Francisco, discusses with us the value and necessity of creativity -- specifically in how children can be creative thinkers. The early years are crucial times in which to allow children to explore, think creatively and critically, and to be okay with "not-knowing." Building the children's capacity for creativity means that we are giving them skills to be problem solvers and to not shy away from challenges.
Lizz Cohen Perspective Taking
Join Dorothy and Alex as they talk to Lizz Cohen, an Old Firehouse School Mill Valley teacher, who recently presented a workshop on perspective taking with young children. How children are able to understand the world beyond their own wants is something that we can help develop with very careful and thoughtful language.