Interview on an RIE Approach with Janet Lansbury

To learn how to practice gentle guidance principles with my daughter, I discovered all about Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) and the philosophies of Janet Lansbury. RIE is basically about trusting and respecting babies and infants as whole human beings and there are so many ways of doing so.

I’m happy to interview Janet, an RIE instructor for parents who shares all her experience in her blog. Janet’s posts, links, and community are a great source for parents to build and maintain a good connection and use positive discipline with our children.

So, let’s get to it!

Janet, can you describe a bit of RIE, and what your work with RIE is about?

Janet: RIE is a non-profit organization founded by infant specialist Magda Gerber in 1978 that is dedicated to infants, toddlers, and their caregivers. We provide education and support for parents and child care professionals.

The RIE approach is seeing infants and children as whole people – unique individuals – who are capable as well. In the RIE philosophy, infants are, where and when possible, treated with similar levels of respect as adults would be treated with. We adhere to the view that babies and infants have the capability to participate actively in a relationship with adults who are caring for them.

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Twestival – What You Need To Know

Now, what exactly is a Twestival? How does it differ from Tweet-ups or similar events?

A Twestival (or TwitterFestival – Twitter & festival makes Twestival) has some similarities to any Tweet-ups in a way that Twitter people will connect offline for social catch-up or networking purposes.

There are 3 main elements that make Twestival so special:
1) The scope of Twestival is much larger than other events and there are many volunteers involved.
2) Twestival is open to all sorts of people within the Twitter communities, So although most participants tend to be early adopters still, there are many different and diverse new people and industries present.
3) The third and most important element of Twestival is that it supports a social cause by raising funds collectively and bringing awareness.

So when and how got Twestival started?
Well, about a decade ago, to be precise (in September 2008), a small group of Twitterers (or Twitter fans) from London, UK, set up an event that allowed local Twitter community members to meet in an offline setting and to meet the individuals and the faces behind the platform’s avatars. Now, this website is mostly about education, but we all know in what way modern technology and communication is essential for up-to-date education. So there’s the link between Twitter and education.

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Does School Size Matter?

People often ask me, “Does school size matter?” In a nutshell…yes, school size matters.

Historically large schools (especially for middle and high school) have been the norm for many reasons. A school building, in and of itself, is expensive to operate and maintain. So the fewer buildings that a district has to pay for, the less capital outlay it is for the district. Secondly, the more students in one building, the more funding for that school. The more students in the school, the more likely it is that the school can offer a robust number of programs. In other words, the more students, it’s more likely that you’ll have a better football team, basketball team, and even a math team.

Despite some of the positives of a large school, sometimes in a large school setting, it’s too easy for a student to get lost. Particularly, students who don’t fit the norm and are not well assimilated into school, for whatever reason. My high school graduating class was roughly 170 students. A high school that wasn’t too far away had 1,000 students per graduating class. Take a minute to think about that from a student to teacher/adult ratio. Of course, large schools have more staff members, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that fewer students fall through the cracks.

So why do I think that school size matters?

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Preventing Bad Posture in Children with Better Classroom Furniture

While classrooms have evolved quite a bit over the past few decades, in many cases, classroom furniture has not. It’s a typical scene from a school classroom: children sit for hours at a time in hard-backed chairs from decades past, arching their backs at unnatural angles, writing in workbooks or reading at outdated school desks, which lack all the comforts of modern ones.

It’s also a scene that some parents have become concerned about, due to the toll this sort of posture exerts on children’s spines and backs throughout their childhood and in later years. Tips on ‘sitting properly’ from an ergonomics perspective tell us that how most children sit in classrooms isn’t correct:

• The lower leg should be vertical to the floor, the thigh horizontal.
• The lower arms should be resting on the desktop in a relaxed position.
• Desks and scholastic furniture should be height adjustable.

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Should My Child Skip a Grade?

One of my nephews, whom I will refer to as Thor (because he loves the movie character), was born at the end of September. His older sister, whom I will refer to as Rachel Alexandra (because she loves horses), was also born at the end of September.

Neither of them made the September 1 cut off for Kindergarten in their public school district. Both tested for Kindergarten readiness in the month of May after they turned four, and both were accepted to start a year ahead of schedule. My sister and brother-in-law decided to start Rachel Alexandra early and to start Thor on schedule.

 

Fast forward two years. Rachel Alexandra is not only able to keep up with her grade level peers (who are all a year older) but also has been and continues to participate in the accelerated academics program. Thor is well above his grade level peers both academically and in physical stature and participates in the accelerated academics program.

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How To Tackle Your Kid’s School Supply List

It happens every year. The school supply list is mailed to your home in the summer and this year it seems it will even bigger than the last one, even if your child is only in elementary school. I know it’s pretty early in the year to bring this up, but better a bit too early than too late.

For some families, the back to school supply list can take an unwelcome bite out of that month’s income, but there are ways to be a smarter school shopper and lessen the financial impact of that huge school supply list.

Check What Your Kids Still Have

Just because a book bag is right there at the top of your child’s school supply list does not mean that you have to buy them a brand new one every September.  Instead of giving in to your kids’ whims and buying that flimsy Justin Bieber or Transformers book bag that will be in vogue for approximately fifteen minutes, invest in a good quality, sturdy and durable book bag that will last longer than just a single school year.

Lands End and Jansport both make great quality book bags that are designed to last and remain to look good for the length of their useful life. They are stylish but not flashy and they will last through several school years, not just one.

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5 steps to make my child stop interrupting my conversations

I’m now into educating my youngest one to let me talk to people in peace. She always interrupts me and it’s annoying, as you might understand.

One of my fears of dating somebody new is that when they’ll be around me and my little one, they might be horrified at how I let her boss me around, interrupt me and make me do things at any time. My girl is not that bad, maybe, but I’m afraid of this.

Children are usually jealous of their mother giving attention to other people, especially when they see some flirtation going on, but I’m afraid that single children from single moms suffer more of this. It’s really a LOT of attachment between us, being just us most of the time, so it can be quite intense.

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5 reasons of why being a single mom rocks

I’ve been a single mother since the moment I found out I was pregnant. By the time I was feeling sick and all that, I was as single as one can be. Four years later I keep single and despite our society assumption that happiness is part of having found a soul mate (check any Hollywood movie, sitcom or any feedback given by media in general) I’m very happy indeed. I quit high school too soon, but later I passed the GED test (I took an online course, Best Ged Classes online prep) so I DO have a secondary education degree, and to be honest, it HELPS.

It might look to you that there must be something wrong here otherwise why would I want to make a point about it, right? Well, I want to make a point about it to go against our typical media feedback. There should me more stories about people being happy just as they are, with no need of a soul mate.

Being single doesn’t necessarily mean not ever having anybody. By single, I understand that someone (like me) dates occasionally or even long-term but doesn´t commit to living together. This non-commitment isn´t something everlasting, who can know this? It’s just what it is and what makes somebody keep the single title for the time being.

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More job searchers just quit looking. Some head back to school, others just sit paralyzed in ‘living hell’

When Steven Weinberg was laid off in September last year, he decided not to fritter away his savings on a job search he assumed would be fruitless.

Instead, he decided to go to law school — a career move he made in large part because so few employers are hiring.

“I realized there are no jobs out there, and I needed to go back to school,” says Weinberg, 32, of Chicago, who was laid off from a firm that helped Japanese companies do business in the USA. “A big part of the reason for this is how hard the job market is.”

A growing number of white-collar workers and other job seekers are so discouraged that they’re giving up. Instead of looking for work, they’re living off severance or buyout packages, moving back in with Mom and Dad or relying on a spouse’s income to get by. They’re gray-haired managers who are going back to school and working mothers who are becoming stay-at-home moms after being laid off.

Some disheartened job seekers are making money on e-Bay, selling their poetry or doing odd jobs for neighbors instead of sending out more resumes.

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Monetary Donations For Public Schools

One school district where I worked had 12 schools K-12. Between those 12 schools, especially among the 9 elementary schools, there was a sizable socio-economic divide. A few of the schools were Title I (a federal program that entitled lower-income populations to additional funding), while other schools in the district were incredibly affluent. In fact, a few professional athletes’ kids attended those upper echelon schools within the district.

I happened to be the principal at one of the Title I schools, so our parent club, while incredibly supportive, was not able to provide any monetary support. You might be wondering, “Why would a parent club provide monetary support?” Well, in this day and age, with the budget crises at the state and federal levels of government, funding is cut nearly every year.

As districts tighten their belts and trim any remaining fat in their budgets, district officials have to make very difficult decisions about what to cut. Cuts are never popular, but without funding, there aren’t any alternatives. Fortunately for this district, they had a well-established education foundation. Through the efforts of the ed foundation, the district benefited nearly $750,000/year. Although those funds are not guaranteed each year since it depends on what funds are raised, it is a big contribution to a district’s annual operating budget.

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