What can a Rose Garden parent do to support your child?
Once you have chosen the Rose Garden Early Childhood Center as the place for your child to learn and grow, a big decision has been made. The next question is: how can I support my child’s learning and development at the Rose Garden? You have probably heard it said in regards to child rearing that “it takes a village”, but I think there is more to this adage. That is, “it takes a village that is in agreement about how to support child development”.
The Rose Garden is a representative LifeWays site, so we are guided by the LifeWays principles in our practices. These are the LifeWays principles:
1. Young children thrive in the presence of parents and other devoted caregivers who enjoy life and caring for children. They learn primarily through imitation/empathy and therefore need to be cared for by people with integrity and warmth who are worthy of being imitated. This is the foundation for learning and healthy development.
2. Having consistent caregivers, especially from birth to three years old and, preferably, up to primary school age, is essential for establishing a sense of trust and well-being.
3. Children need relationship with people of all ages. Infants and toddlers thrive in family-style blended-age care, while older children see nurturing modeled by the adults and experience their own place in the continuum of growing up. Children of all ages can both give and receive special blessing when in the company of elders and youth who enjoy children.
4. Each person is uniquely valuable, gifted with purpose and worthy of respect throughout all phases of his or her life’s journey.
5. Human relationship and activity are the essential tools for teaching the young child all foundational skills for life. Infants and toddlers develop most healthily when allowed to have freedom of movement in a safe environment. For three- to six-year-olds, creative play, not technology or early academics, forms the best foundation for school work and for life-long learning.
6. In infancy and early childhood, daily life experience is the “curriculum.” The child’s relationships to the caregivers and to the environment are the two most important aspects through which the child can experience healthy life rhythms/routines. These include the “nurturing arts” of rest and play, regular meal times, exploring nature, practical/domestic activities, social creativity, music and simple artistic activities.
7. Young children thrive in a home or home-like environment that offers beauty, comfort and security, and connection to the living world of nature. Healthy sense development is fostered when most of their clothing and playthings are of non-synthetic materials and their toys allow for open-ended, imaginative play.
8. Childhood is a valid and authentic time unto itself and not just a preparation for schooling. Skipping or hurrying developmental phases can undermine a child’s healthy and balanced development.
9. Parents of young children need and deserve support in their path of parenting—from professionals, family, and one another. They thrive in a setting where they are loved, respected and helped to feel love and understanding for their children.
10. Caregivers also have an intrinsic purpose and need to be recognized and appropriately compensated for the value of their work. They need an environment where they can create an atmosphere of “home,” build true relationship to the children, and feel autonomous and appreciated.
Knowing our guiding principles, you might ask what you can do to assist your child in being prepared and ready to reap the benefits of our program. Although child rearing practices have changed, children have not. What we once intuitively knew and passed along from generation to generation, has been questioned by our culture and then studied and subsequently scientifically proven to be true. These suggestions appear simple yet their impact on a child’s well- being is profound.
These are what you can provide to support your child at the Rose Garden:
Sufficient sleep: According to sleep experts, toddlers need eleven to fourteen hours of sleep a night and preschoolers need ten to thirteen hours of sleep a night.
Nutrition: Children need to eat every few hours in order to maintain their active lifestyles. At the Rose Garden, they eat a morning snack around 9:30 or 10:00 a.m., lunch around noon and then an afternoon snack after lunch around 3:30 p.m.. It’s best if they have something in their stomachs when they arrive in the morning.
Rhythms: Children live in the moment and do not know what day or time it is, so they rely on the adults to show them the way in regards to bedtime, mealtime and clothing choices. If mornings at home are predictable, children will gain security in the rhythms of the day and learn them quickly. Then when they arrive at the Rose Garden, they will begin the day with a strong, secure foundation.
Proper clothing: Children not only do not know the weather forecast, but they are not adept at reading their own thermostats. Asking a child if she is cold, is likely to produce an affirmative answer so she does not have to stop playing to put on a jacket (that is even a child whose lips are blue from the cold), so it is up to the adults to determine weather-appropriate clothing to protect your child from the elements.
Many thanks for your support!