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As a lifelong learner, I always take an opportunity to attend a seminar or to get another degree. There is a website, which provides endless learning opportunities for stay at home moms, for those that commute to work and like to listen to audio books, while they are doing so, for homeschooled children and for anyone, interested in learning new things: thegreatcourses.com

The site features an extensive collection of more than 300 Great Courses in diverse subjects and fields , ranging from  history, to  science, to  philosophy, to mathematics, to literature, to economics, to the arts. The Great Courses consists of series of video and audio courses led by the world’s best professors from the Ivy League schools.  If you have a moment to learn something new, I highly recommend you try The Great Courses. Their courses also make a great gift.

image:  Simon Howden

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I jut finished reading Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child by Maja Pitamic.

I believe every parent of a preschooler should have this book. It presents simple activities that you can do with your preschooler to help encourage his/her cognitive development. If you consider yourself not too creative and imaginative, the book will give you tons of ideas of learning by playing interesting games with your child. If you are already full of ideas for fun and productive play, the book will give you more.  The instructions are brief, clear, and well illustrated. The activities are fun, and generally don’t require a lot of prep on the parents’ part. The recommended materials are easily found in most homes.

There are five chapters with activities you can do at home or in a classroom setting: Life skills, Developing the Senses, Language Development, Numeric Skills and Science Skills. Each activity has a picture next to its description, a numbered list of directions, a list of  what you will need as well as other, similar,  activities to try. In the back of the book you can find worksheets to accompany some of the activities shown in the book: everything is simple, concise and well-organized. I highly recommend this book.

 


I just finished reading this incredible book. Full of well-researched practical information and tips, the book explains what goes on in your kid’s brain. It talks about how children learn, how we can help them and which activities and circumstances can hinder their brain development. It explains how to maximize our children’s intellectual capacities, and help them reach their full potential. It also explains what not to do and where pushing the kid to succeed would be futile, because they may not be ready for the push at that particular stage of development.

I particularly enjoyed reading the confirmation of my parenting theory. I believe that teaching children comes down to simple things like talking and reading to them, playing outside and allowing them to freely explore their environment. Buying them piles of toys and putting them in front of a TV set doesn’t do much to your child’s brain development, which this book confirms with scientific research and practical observations. Read it to better understand how kids learn and to help them learn better.

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