Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Kindness Curriculum Theme 8

Doing this Kindness Curriculum from the Center for Healthy Minds has been a good experience for our family. We aren't using it in the way it was written, as a scripted program to do in a traditional preschool, where you come in as a special guest three mornings a week with a few short activities. We are using it to influence the stories and activities we do as a family.

It has REALLY helped Zac understand the importance of mindfulness. He brings me his Peace Wands every time he gets upset with me, and hands me the heart and asks, "How are you feeling?" He asks for a bedtime meditation every night. So I would say it has made a huge impact on us.

Because of this curriculum we discovered books and music that we wouldn't have otherwise, especially the CD Calm Down Boogie from Betsy Rose which we absolutely love! "Love Makes a Family" always makes me teary-eyed!

Week Eight has "GRATITUDE AND CARING FOR OUR WORLD AND WRAP-UP" as its theme. Of course, this doesn't apply to us as much. We are a Waldorf family so we haven't been doing the alphabet wall pages (A for Acts of Kindness, etc). I struggled a bit with how I wanted Week Eight to go, since it isn't a classroom and since this theme doesn't really end... it keeps going onward throughout your life. So we did Lesson 22 but did not do the others.

Lesson 22: Gratitude and caring for our world

This lesson, and the end of the curriculum for us, happened to fall on June 20, which was Solstice. Our favorite book for this is The Summerfolk by Doris Burn. So of course we had to read it, and we spent lots of time outside and enjoyed a picnic lunch under a big shady tree.

I had planned more Nature stuff: After-dinner campfire in the old copper firepit. Staying up until it was totally dark, even though it would be well past his usual bedtime! Watching the fireflies come out. Looking up at the stars.

It would have been perfect.

But we had sudden thunderstorms this evening, plus Zac wasn't feeling well. So we will move the campfire activity to another day when it is not raining.

The overall theme of this final day in the curriculum is taking care of the Earth. There are lots of books that you can read to kickoff a discussion of this. You can read about a person who worked hard to make this happen (like The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever) or you simply can read about a part of the natural world and how beautiful it is (like Redwoods or Coral Reefs) and then talk about how much we need to love and protect the nature spaces around us. Since Zac is getting interested in habitats, that is the direction we went in.

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