Friday, April 19, 2013

Slow and Stready Get Me Ready vs Flowering Baby Curriculum

Every once in a while I see people ask about the differences and similarities between Slow and Steady Get Me Ready and the five levels of Flowering Baby Curriculum. Recently I saw (& answered) another thread on a forum asking this question. 

I own both.
I use both.

So I'll post a quick comparison here on my blog as well.

While the programs compliment each other there are definitely differences. Slow and Steady Get Me Ready offers one developmental activity a week. Typically these focus on gross motor skills. Many focus on fine motor skills. A few on linguistic or reasoning. You repeat the same activity for an entire week, sometimes with variations that help build the particular skill.

Flowering Baby works on many more skills than S&S. In addition to fine and gross motor skills it suggests nature/science activities, music and musical literacy, math (counting, patterns, writing numbers, etc), logic/reasoning, cultural awareness and holidays, linguistic development (including saying, reading, writing alphabet, learning letter sounds, matching sounds to objects, introducing foreign language), literacy re books (wide variety of books are read), health, and safety among others.

Additionally, Flowering Baby offers a daily list of activities. Each day's list covers more than one skill set. It gives you more variety to choose from during the day. You can choose to do it all, or just a few of the activities. The upper levels (4&5) each have two monthly themes you add to your daily schedule. Basically, I've found Flowering Baby an excellent way to get ideas for one on one or partly directed purposeful play. It is a wonderful program for children who prefer active learning over preschool workbooks. S&S is great for keeping up with milestones.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Baby Babbles: The Wonders of The Great Outdoors

Have you ever read the works of Charlotte Mason? Whether you agree or disagree with her philosophy of education she had keen insight into happy babies: let them spend the day outdoors.

I've seen it time and time again with now 4-yr-old T, and am again seeing it with 2 month old F: fussy day, go outside, instantly transformed into a happy day. Spend the day outdoors and it's smooth sailing (mostly). There's good reason children often say their favorite "subject" in school is recess. Beyond getting to play there's something magical outside. As T stated yesterday "Mama, when I am outside I feel at peace and happy. Why is that?"

F was having a terribly fussy day. Usually it's not that bad. But she just couldn't seem to settle for naps. The pollen count was high. I hated to go outside because I knew I'd feel sick after. Decided to try it anyway. It was worth it. The fussing disappeared. She lay on her blanket at peace, napping the afternoon away while T ran all around the yard.

When she woke she was all smiles!