a little light reading

Photo on 28-05-19 at 1.08 PMKia Ora e hoa ma,

This picture shows me holding a few of the books I’m kinda simultaneously reading.  How’s the attentional bandwith, you may ask?  Yeah, well you oughta see my piles of papers … and the electronic files all over my desktop (the ones awaiting printing!).  Does your brain ever feel itchy with the awareness of it all?  At least I have the blessed luxury of this website as a place to clean up the jumble of my tabs!  Let’s do that now, eh?

First, a comprehensive report from our cousins across the Tasman, about the first 1000 days and the opportunities for investment, support.  Brought to my attention by the good peeps at ARACY: the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth.  Kia Ora!

Next, a few links about early childhood education.  This is a report emphasising the importance of ECE from a financial perspective, here are a few goodies from the awesome Evolutionary Parenting website (ECE as allocare … when it’s done well, I say “hell, yeah!”), and here is a piece about play based learning in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Now … this is a small but important piece about the problems with using food as a play material in ECE settings.  I’ve had this debate – I distinctly remember a training in San Diego, CA, in about 1999, where I explained that kiwi early childhood teachers hadn’t been using food in play since I could remember.  And friends, I trained in the early 90′s, not yesterday.  BUT… full disclosure: I have never been able to reconcile my effortless acceptance of removing rice/pasta etc from collage areas AND my deep, abiding love of play dough.  I am a work in progress.   Speaking of food: random link here from Harvard Medical School: new findings in praise of broccoli.  Yum!

Now, some links about play … here is an article from the New York Times about the adventure playgrounds that seem to be coming back into vogue (right on!) … reminds me of the one I long to visit in Tokyo, featured in the book Savage Park (which I devoured).  Whilst on the topic of adventurous play, the NY Times article references some research done here in NZ, and you can read about it HERE.

Oh, while we are thinking about international research … this piece from the awesome Conversation website is about talking to babies all over the world, and included the shocking stat that 95% of the world’s developmental science research is done on only 5% of the world’s populations.  Holy ding dong!

Now, from Psychology Today … it’s about letting toddlers help.  While we are talking about toddlers, I humbly share a piece I wrote a few years back for my pals at OHbaby! mag.  I adore toddlers and will defend them, always.

Hey … I talked about the Evolutionary Parenting website back there?  Here is a link so you can listen to her founder, Tracy Cassels, interviewed by Australian breastfeeding advocate, Pinky McKay.  I seriously rate Pinky, I just wish she didn’t encourage mums to include their phones and tv remotes in their breastfeeding support package, alongside their water bottles and (awesomely named) boobie bikkies. What’s my beef?  I insist that we must all Beware the still face of parental phone use! 

For now, I am going to hurl a slew of tech related links at you, then do some non-computer stuff my damn self!  My shoulders insist!  

Right ho, so this is a piece I wrote for the fine folk at Tots to Teens, here is a piece from the Guardian about how people’s lives have changed since they got phones for their kids (the good, the bad …) and here are a bunch of links to reports from the 5rights peeps in the UK.  I was wowed by their “Disrupted Childhood” report, about persuasive tech.  And now (irony!) I want to stay online and read all the others!

THIS is a good read, from Forbes, about the push toward ‘personalized learning’ (ie, tech in classrooms) and here is something about tech in the home from a dad’s point of view, from the San Francisco Chronicle . While we’re thinking of dads, here are some interesting findings about paternity leave in Spain.

What else?  A cry for more time being barefoot, some interesting findings from Australia about elitism, sexism, and the size of your school’s sport’s fields, and just because it’s been ages since I linked to the Talaris Institute and they’re awesome … check out these language links.  Speaking of language(!!), with thanks to the Distinguished Professor who shared this blog (Discussion is the Food of Chiefs), enjoy.

Getting harder to type now, cos my fingers are crossed … why?  Because I’m sincerely hoping the Wellbeing Budget will bear awesome fruit.  Now gird your loins as you read this li’l something from the Spinoff about the problems with Plunket’s founder.  Now, I adore Plunket as a supporter of families in NZ, but I don’t think it hurts to acknowledge that historical figures are flawed, and for contemporary biographies to describe more than one side of a person.

I don’t wish to end this post on such a downer note, so instead, here is an inspiring snack (I’m obsessed with that stuff!), an item I covet shamelessly, and finally …  a lovely guided meditation.

Blessed be the geeks!

screen free week aftermath

Kia Ora lovelies,

I would have begun this post sharing the tales of joy that emerged from our week offscreen & offline (ie, LIVING LIFE!) but instead I must grouse about having spent the entire morning troubleshooting the problems with my referencing software.  Little Girl only has a half day of school today (therefore I can only count on a half day of productivity today!) and I have done NONE of the work I intended doing.  And she’ll be here in less than an hour!

SO FRUSTRATED.  But trying hard not to stress out.  Breathing in, out, in out.

The disconcerting bit is how the problem appears to be resolved, but I am not confident that any of my fixes worked the magic.  It seemed to inexplicably right itself, just as I commenced crying/yelling!

I cannot help but think that the screens are retaliating to my joyful rejection of them during Screen Free Week?  No, not possible!  Does AI exist in word processing/referencing software?  Surely not!  And if so, did the sight of my sobbing form elicit some kind of compassionate reaction?  I don’t know what to think!!

Anyway, friends, let’s share some links.

Here is a little something about how too many structured events can limit kids’ executive functioning.  Let ‘em play!

This is a link to join a free online summit about mindfulness & compassion at work, and this is another online conference, about parenting a spirited/high needs child, and featuring the magnificent Dan Siegel.  Things we love about tech … right there.

The Center for Humane Tech has released some important info, this week, about the shared definition of “human downgrading“.  Love.  Not a moment too soon, my friends, as there are definitely downsides to our love affair with devices, and the hardware designers don’t seem to really want to support our paths to healing.  SHAME on you, Apple!

At least there’s Moment.  

Also, speaking of healing, I LOVE this approach from British doctors, prescribing real life stuff that’s good for the soul (I know I love my dance class and need it like medicine!).  Thanks, Smithsonian Mag, for sharing.  Unrelated goodness: using humour to share an important message about world overpopulation … endangered species condoms.

Here is an important article from “the conversation” about the loss of personalised school cleaning services, and the losses for children.  I’ve witnessed this outsourcing and I say “Boo!” (as in: thumbs down, not trying to be scary!)

To close: I humbly share something I wrote a while back, and may I urge you anew to eat your greens.