Children are born with a natural tendency toward curiosity. This is the way that we as humans naturally learn about the world. We have all experienced this as children are constantly asking a plethora of questions like:
‘Why do you wear your hat like that?’
‘What are those spots on your face?’
‘What do you like to play?’
‘Why is the sky blue?’
‘Why do some dogs have long fur and some have short?’
Curiosity leads to a deeper engagement with what the child is learning.
Through asking questions and finding the answers on their own, children learn many skills. They learn observation, patience, communication, theory development, and how to use new information to revise thoughts.
They learn that it is ok to take risks, they learn that sharing insight is important, they get the courage to try and replicate their learning. Children become empowered by choice and take ownership over the things that they are learning. This makes the learning deeper! When children are invested in their questions – they understand further, see connections to other areas of life, and can apply their learning to everyday.
It is so easy to answer kids’ questions with statements like – ‘’because I do’, ‘because they are’, or ‘that’s just the way that it is.’ Those answers are easy, but, they are not helpful. By not taking a few extra moments to engage in children’s curiosities we are, without meaning to, squashing their desire to wonder. Diminishing their desire to learn about the things around them.
Try by giving a quick explanation – ‘I like to wear my hat like this because it keeps the sun out of my eyes.’ This shows children that actions are intentional and that we are in charge of comfort.
‘These spots on my face are called freckles. Everyone looks a little different but we are all special the way that we are.’ A quick explanation can lead to guiding inclusive thoughts about others.
If you don’t know an answer – tell that to the child, ‘I don’t know why the sky is blue, but I have always wondered that. When we get home let’s try to find the answer together.’
Kids ask questions to learn about the world and to learn about other people. We want our children to grow up being critical consumers of the world – understanding it and understanding their role in it.
In order to do this, we have to continue to allow our children to ask questions, and when they do – participate in the wondering with them.
Picture books are some of the bestways to teach lessons to children. Reading together is a non-emotional time in which your child is ready to hear how different situations are handled. Having a story also takes the lesson away from being directed at your child and therefore makes it much more comfortable.
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller is about a child questioning the idea of what it means to be kind. There are many great examples in the book as the child reflects on what they have learned and new ideas that they might have.
The illustrations are beautifully done – full of expression and using color to highlight feelings and meaning. The classroom, community and families in the story represent diversity so that many children reading the book have the opportunity to see themselves in it.
This book can help your child learn and act on what it means to be kind to others in their life. Our world is always in need of kindness.
If you are looking for some inspiration for books to read at home check out these pages on Instagram:
I love educating. I love helping. My passion is to teach others things they need to know in order to be successful with their goals.
And it is something that I have been doing for over a decade.
I started out my experience in education in the traditional sense. Training to work in the classroom. The plan, teach kids academics and skills that would help them move into the world. The why, because it was everything that I needed.
I grew up in a home that did not have positive adult role models. My parents were divorced and I saw my dad once or twice a year. My mom worked multiple jobs, and when she wasn’t working, she was spending her time at the bar. My dad and my mom’s boyfriends were not the type of guys we could have been protected or supported by, even if they were around. Starting when I was in second grade my sister and I were on our own to make the majority of our meals, take care of our home, get ourselves to school and basically do life.
As you can imagine, this left very little time for me to learn a lot about life that I should have been guided through. There is only so much you can learn while making another batch of mac ‘n cheese alone or dishing up some crackers and cheese for dinner each night.
I had to learn to interact with people and to understand social cues. I needed help in strategies to gain knowledge and ideas, to learn how to use my creativity, to problem solve. I had to develop and hone my skill of being a critical thinker and a hard worker who persevered through difficult things. These were not strategies that I got from my parents. These were strategies that I learned through, yes my time raising myself, but also my time in the classroom.
I was fortunate enough to have not just teachers – but educators – who were invested in me. They knew that I needed more than most, and they gave it to me.
I wanted to give back in the same way.
So I did. I took my passion and worked with low income and minority communities. Sharing life skills, not just academics, and creating more passionate, creative, resilient people to put out into the world.
Now, my goal is to work with parents too. To build these same strategies in their children. Our world needs it. It will always need it. And we have the power and the ability to do this work!
When you stop to think about it, we are all making history.
Everything that is happening in the world right now are things that people on our planet in decades to come will learn about, and hopefully learn from.
This year in education will be unlike any other year that we have had.
Families will be managing a large portion of education from their guest rooms, living rooms, and dining tables. Instead of high fives, hugs or handshakes at the end of the day, kids will be dropping emojis in chat boxes.
This is a different time.
And different times call for different actions.
As parents at home, we each need to pull on different skills, set up our routines in a new way, and wrap our brains around the new emotions and feelings of each person in our household.
This is no easy task.And like most new but great things, it will get harder before it gets easier.
Parents will be frustrated, kids will be confused, there will be tears, and probably some arguments. BUT there will also be reading, growing and problem solving, as well as laughter and smiles.
We are embarking on at-home learning for the vast majority of children. Lessons will be conducted by teachers through zoom calls, read alouds will be pre recorded and set in an online platform to watch at your leisure, and kids will submit their assignments online. All of this while you, the parent, are working your full time job in the next room.
How will you manage? What will you do? What does your role as the Parent-Teacher look like?
I have created a guide to help you answer those questions. This downloadable document is full of helpful advice for setting up your learning space, insightful instructions for planning your day, information about the learning process and printables for you and your child to help get you rolling into success this school year.
Keep an eye out – this document will be available next week!
My passion, for as long as I can remember, has been to help people do and be better. Whether that meant helping to inspire and encourage friends, teaching the younger generation, building skills and abilities in those about to graduate and go into their career or bringing new ideas to those who have been in their profession a while.
I have helped educate many different people of many different ages for over a decade now. The depth and breadth to which I have been able to practice my craft has really helped me to see what I like the most. Which in reality is – all of it.
I love educating. I love helping. My passion is to teach others things they need to know in order to be successful with their goals.
When I began Whole Human and created this community, it’s focus was on educating and empowering individuals to focus on their health in a sustainable way. To reach their goals in a way that fit for their lifestyle and created confidence and happiness.
In working with parents in this structure – I was able to remember back to how impacting whole families through my time in the classroom mattered a lot to me. It struck my heart over and over again. It made me realize the wider impact I was having. So, I am bringing that back.
I have chosen to add and focus on Family Services within the Whole Human Community, and I am so excited about it!
Please take a moment to cruise around the Whole Human website and see some things that I will be offering to parents and to their children. Click in to and follow the WholeHumanCommunity Instagram and see the new posts there! Take a moment to share my website and Instagram with any and all parents that you think would be interested or benefit from tips and tricks on raising their children to be productive members of our global community.
Thank you all for your support in the Whole Human Community so far, and thank you for your support into the future!
Sometimes reading with your child at home can seem like a daunting task. We all know how important the skill of reading is. Making sure that your child gets adequate and meaningful practice can sometimes be an overwhelming focus.
Today I want to share with you four easy steps to use while reading with your child to help make your reading time together very meaningful. These easy steps to add to your reading routine will increase your child’s understanding of the story and help them to learn and retain the moral or meaning behind it!
Previewing a Text
Background knowledge is a huge part of how we make sense of the world. When we examine a book before we read it, we are tapping into and activating what we might already know about the subject!
Look at the cover of the book together – what do we see? What clues do you have of what might happen in the book? What do you know about those things?
Let’s use the book – She persisted as an example. You might ask these questions: Who do you think will be in this book? What does ‘persisted’ mean?
In answering these questions together – you and your child will realize this is a book about girls who don’t give up. You would follow up by asking – what do you know about not giving up?
Stopping periodically while reading gives your child time to process what is happening. It is important that your child can remember the main or impactful events that are happening in the story and can identify them. When you stop you can ask your child: What is happening in the story? What is the character doing? Why is this happening?
It is also a great time to make predictions. Tap into your child’s background knowledge that you built before and guide them to making predictions of what will happen next.
With our example text, if they know or if you learned together that having persistence means going through hard things, then they will guess a hard thing for the character will be next. If your child notices the pattern of a new girl and her story featured on each page, then they will guess that the next page will be a new female character who tried very hard at something.
Retelling a story in order shows that your child understands sequencing and is comprehending the story. Ask your child what the book was about (summary of the most important ideas is a hard task) and what happened (literal comprehension of small details).
Reflecting is a very impactful part of reading. It is when we take the time to digest the moral of the story and what we can do about it. No matter what type of text we are reading, there is something to be learned from it. Ask your child – Why does this book matter for you in your life? How does this story make you feel? What does this story make you want to do?
Stopping to preview, ask, think and reflect are easy steps to add depth to your daily practice of reading with your child!
Remember when you were a kid and you always had to do your homework before you could play?
For a very long time, we were shown and told that the only way to learn was by sitting in a room with an all knowing adult at the front.
Play, it turns out, isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity. It is a vital part of the learning process.
Play gives children the ability to practice scenarios that might happen in life. It builds their background knowledge of different people, places, activities and lifestyles.
When children play they learn how to read body language and facial expressions, they learn social cues and how to understand and work with their own emotions. Children who speak different languages benefit from interactive play as it creates context for spoken language.
Fantasy play grows abstract thinking and self regulation. Constructive play fosters problem solving, deepening understanding of the topic, connecting and questioning. Games with rules enhance logic, strategy, planning as well as competition and resilience. Horseplay fosters self regulation and emotional management.
Even as adults – our play might look different than our children’s but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t help us to learn. Being a marathon runner gave me so many lessons in perseverance and hard work!
Engaged and playful learners become engaged and playful people of the world.
What is your favorite way to play with your child?
Having goals is great! It truly is one of my most favorite things about life. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a very goal oriented person. I encourage everyone I know to set goals and to go for them. But having a goal, honestly, is not enough.
You can’t just think about having a goal, pick one, then end up there. You have to be deliberate, dedicated and consistent. The easiest way to be those three things is to create a plan and then follow it.
I shared my 2020 goals with you last week. Each of those goals has a plan behind it. The plan for our financial goal includes a weekly spending budget and a monthly review of how we did and what adjustments we need to make. This monthly review is already scheduled into each month for the entire year.
For my lifting goals, I don’t just go into the gym and hope that it happens.
I am deliberate in creating my workout split.
I have invested in material and studied how to blend my lifting and running to get the biggest bang for my buck.
I have thought about my goals and tailored the workout moves for those specific goals.
I have created a calendar that will help me to implement these things in a time span that makes sense.
I have planned in accountability with my lift partners to help motivate me to get these things done each week.
I have looked ahead each week to anticipate if there is anything that could get in the way of executing my plan – if so, I adjust ahead of time.
For my running goals I have done the same.
I have invested in learning what running split will work best for me.
I have invested in time with my physical therapist to pre-hab and keep me running injury free
I have scheduled stretching and warming up into my weekly workouts and routine
I have looked at my year long running and picked races/events in a timeline that will allow me to build a proper base.
I have invested in getting my heart rate calculated so that I can use it as a training tool.
I have accountability partners for running that help motivate me to get my runs in even when the weather is crap.
I have invested in equipment that is right for me (ex. shoes, BodyGlide, comfortable run gear)
I tailor my weight lifting moves to be functional for running with help from studying and my physical therapist recommendations.
I tailor my nutrition to fuel me through my runs and help with recovery.
As I was typing out these lists of things – I was honestly surprised that the list was so long. There are SO many things that go into reaching a goal. And doing all of these things won’t even guarantee that I get there. These are just the things that I can control. Making a plan and executing it the best that I can.
Having this list of things also makes me feel so accomplished. Each time I do one of my workouts or runs or even stretch or finish all of my water for the day, I celebrate it. Every single step, small or large, toward your goals should be celebrated. It is hard work, and you did it. I think it is so important to build that positivity and ride it all the way to the end!
I’m curious – what do you do to make sure that you reach your goals? What do you feel is the #1 thing that helps you to get there?
January went by so quickly! I feel like it was a SOLID start to my goals for the year. But what are my goals this year?
Each year, Jon and I sit down and make goals in different categories. Our Finances, Body and our Soul. I want to share them with you today!
I won’t share the specifics here, because finances are private, but we created a very strict budget that will allow us to do a lot of fun things this year – and we want to really adhere to it! Our biggest goal is to stay on track with our plan which will allow us to: travel to two weddings, take a European vacation, travel for two 30th birthday weekends, drop Jon’s album with music videos and merchandise, pay off my car all while paying off some debt.
We have a ton here! I am excited for all of the goals in this area this year! I think that I have looked ahead at my running and lifting and have been able to make some goals that will push me but are also achieveable.
Run 1,600 miles this year! An average of 30 a week. Run a half marathon in the 1:3X:XX time range. Run a full marathon again!
Bench press 130lbs Squat 200lbs Do 6 reps of weighted pull ups
We also have the two weddings that we are going to one in Las Vegas in March and one in Mexico in June. For the first time in a while, Jon and I both feel like trying to do a cut beforehand. It has been a couple of years since I focused on making my abs show again, and I think that I am ready for it.
We have created a schedule and plan to stay consistent with it in order to reach these goals. I plan to run 5times a week, lift 3 times and have a dedicated stretch routine 2 times a week. Before every lift I am dedicated to (though I loathe) warming up first. I also will stick with the pre-hab run routines that I have gotten from Jay and Rachel at Therapydia. They have really helped to keep my healthy and running.
This year I want to learn Italian because – we are going to ITALY! For our anniversary in October we plan to celebrate in Italy – a dream of mine come true! I started practicing Italian using the DuoLingo app and so far I like it.
I also want to continue my goal of body confidence. Last year I focused on loving myself and being proud of myself. Part of this was buying new clothes that fit and doing a lot of positive self talk. I want to continue this. And also practice creating new outfits with my new clothes!
I also want to prioritize keeping a cleaner house. Its not like our house is dirty per se – I just feel like we are less proactive and more reactive in cleaning. So… I want to be better with it.
I’m reading 12 books again this year – last year I was super successful with this goal and actually read 18 or 19. One thing I’m doing first is reading all of the books that I own and haven’t read yet, before I let myself buy any new books. Collecting books is my favorite!
Also, thanks to my girl Carly, I’m washing my face every night before bed in 2020!
What are some of your goals for 2020? Share them so that I can cheer you on!
What a weekend! This was my first time running a one day relay, and though the relay is shorter in distance, it was no shorter in challenge, laughs, cowbells, cheers and sweat! The Whole Human Community team rocked the inaugural Oregon Classic one day relay put on by Hood to Coast!
Because it is only a one day relay the teams start very early in the morning. We lucked out and ended up with the latest possible start time of 5:45. Getting up early did not seem to faze the team at all, we were ready to go! Rachel started us off on our adventure running away into the dark.
The first leg is where we as a team, and it seems most of the other participants ran into our only confusing portion of the relay. We were unsure of the driving directions to get to the first exchange to meet Rachel. Some runners also had a difficult time following the HTC signs that marked the course as well. The search was made a little more confusing with our lack of knowledge of Hood River and the absence of morning light, but we made it with a few minutes to spare to pick up Rachel and send Pierre off on this way to his first leg (and first race ever!).
The sun began to rise and give us light through the heavy rain clouds and when it did we were all in awe of how beautiful the relay course was! Everywhere the trees were in full color change of bright yellows and deep reds, nestled in the dark evergreen of the pines and up against a blue-gray backdrop of the sky. It was incredible. There was not a time that we were disappointed in the views and were constantly wowing with each corner that we turned.
The course runs the ‘Fruit Loop’ which is a well known loop around Hood River’s wineries and farm stands. The first half of the loop is almost all uphill – reaching an elevation of 4,500 feet. Once the sixth runner (me!) crests the 4,500 foot mark and passes Cooper Spur ski area the route begins to head down back into the town of Hood River.
The weather did not turn up in support of this inaugural year of the relay! We ran through complete downpours, 30-40 mph wind gusts that literally pushed our bodies off of the road, and even snow at the height of the course elevation. But what we know about runners is that weather can’t hold us back. This stopped no one from cheering on their teammates and running their legs off!
Aside of raising all of the runner levels of badass – the rain also brought us even more beautiful views! Colorful rainbows sprouted into any break in the clouds.
The 12th and final leg of the course brings the final runner down and out of the mountains and into Hood River where they run over a couple of bridges, around some Saturday shoppers and back into the Marina.
This was my first time being the last runner in the relay and I absolutely loved being able to represent my team and run through the finish line. One of the best parts of running a relay is knowing that your team is waiting for you at the end of your leg, and knowing that my team was waiting for me to finish because it was time to CELEBRATE made my last leg even more exciting. Hearing the jubilant whoops and screams as I came through the finish and then being surrounded by my team heightened the experience even more so. You would have thought that I just set a world record with all of the excitement we were displaying.
But that is what a relay should be about. The best teammates that you can have for a relay are the kind that are going to cheer for you in the rain, that will all walk with you to the start of your leg and high five you when you are done. The ones that will scream your name as they drive by you in the van, that will stop during your run and take your jacket and gloves that you aren’t wearing anymore, and won’t complain when you are smelly from sweat. They will let you eat their shot blocks, share their water, and even lend you their GPS watch. Then when it is all done, they will help you celebrate the shit out of your accomplishments! All of these things, my team was very, very good at.
It was the icing on the cake, that while we were enjoying the finish line party, we found out that we took second place in our division (Mixed Open). There is no better way to continue a celebration than to raise it to the next level with some hardware! The finish line part was inside a tent, away from run. There were a ton of sponsors from Ketel One, to Session, music that we definitely danced to, hot food, and even football on for those who needed to keep up with their teams.
I am so incredibly proud to have been the captain of this team! With half of our team being first timer relay runners, and some of us being brand new runners all together, we really truly made the most and got the most from this one day relay. We will definitely be back!