Be Gone, Dreadful Cold!

If you’ve been paying attention to my past posts, you know I have been looking forward to the Hundred Ways of Thinking Conference in Vancouver, B.C. that happens Thursday, Friday and Saturday. https://authorcynthiamackey.com/2020/02/17/counting-down-to-hundred-ways-of-thinking/

And of course, as timing would have it, I’ve come down with a nasty cold just days before the event. Sigh.

Green Tea with honey to soothe the throat

So now to make the cold go away as fast as possible…

I have done the following:

  • – 3 vitamin C boost drinks with 1,000 mg of vitamin C in each one
  • -warm salt water gargle twice
  • -breathing steam in the mornings
  • -eating oranges
  • -spoonfuls herbal cough syrup ( I had run out so I bought some today)
  • -drinking tons of tea

And I’m out of days to get better as tomorrow I get to take the ferry! Living on an island means lots of ferry travel. Here’s hoping for a restful sleep tonight.

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers.

Thanks for stopping by to read my blog. You are welcome here any time.

Have a wonderful day!

Counting Down to Hundred Ways of Thinking!

Okay, how many more sleeps until the Hundred Ways of Thinking Conference? I am so excited! Woot! Woot! And spring is almost here…

Spring is coming to Victoria!

Join Suzanne Axelsson from Sweden at our 2020 Conference for two days of playing, learning and reflecting! 

As luck would have it, I seem to be developing some mild flu symptoms just days before this wonderful conference. Ugh! Though I feel lucky for the family day weekend and the extra day to rest. I am filling up my body with vitamin C and hoping for the best! I did get the flu shot so fingers crossed.

Here’s the weather forecast for Vancouver. I know there’s been some snow so I am grateful for the slightly warmer temperatures. Looks like we will see Vancouver in it’s typical rainy fashion on Friday and Saturday.

Looks like we won’t see much sun over the weekend.

These conference organizers are amazing! Just look at what they sent out to everyone. They are so thoughtful. Which Vancouver restaurants should we try?

From the Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House organizers!

Four more sleeps and I get to go and visit my hometown! Yay! Though sadly, I won’t make it to North Vancouver, which is my absolute favourite place to visit. Not enough time. Sigh.

Stay tuned for more conference updates on the way!

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You are welcome back any time!

Daily Gratitude Practice

About six months ago, I switched from my regular position as Early Childhood Educator and Manager of a preschool to casual Early Childhood Educator at several different child care programs. I made the switch because of burnout and because there is a huge demand here in Victoria for qualified ECE subs so I knew I would never be short of work.

When I worked every day in my program, I wasn’t feeling appreciated. I am sure that my work was appreciated but I just didn’t get that feeling each day. Maybe because I was overwhelmed and burned out, I couldn’t see the appreciation anymore.

Here’s a rare photo of me. I prefer being on the other side of the camera!

So how are things now? Six months later, I often am greeted with a “we’re so glad you’re here today!” or even a hug from the staff, who know that if I’m not there, their day could be a lot more difficult. Parents whose children I have only worked with for a couple of weeks have given me gifts. I feel I am making a difference and that’s important to me.

Aside from casual, I also have added a daily gratitude practice to my life. Every single night, without fail, I sit down and write five things for which I am grateful. Often they are really little things. But they matter.

Here’s a sample list from my journal a couple of weeks ago:

  • beach walk with preschoolers
  • “I love you, Teacher Cindy.” said one of the preschoolers
  • bakery treats
  • sketching time
  • fireside chat with the family

If you are reading this post and hoping to change your life for the better and if you don’t already have a daily gratitude practice…. start! I highly recommend it! It takes me only little time each night because throughout the day I pay attention to all the things that make me feel grateful. Most nights in five minutes or less, I’ve got my list done. And I find that even when I have more difficult days, I am much more easily able to stay positive.

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers.

Thanks so much for reading my blog! Hope you’ll visit again. Have a wonderful week!

Sidney, B.C. Two Hundred Boxes!

About 5 years ago, when I first began working at Sidney Preschool, I introduced a new and special day to our program. I called it our Cardboard Box Extravaganza! We had our parents collect and bring in boxes and the children were give some simple materials to work with as well as an opportunity to use their creativity to go wherever their imaginations may take them with the collection of boxes. This was a huge hit! And each year proved to be a little different as new children and parents brought their own unique ideas to the event.

Small boxes can be great for creative minds as well.

And that is why it does my heart such good to see this event taking place in Sidney. Two Hundred Boxes is an event for the whole family and takes place February 16th from 10 am to 4 pm at the ArtSea Gallery in Tulista Park. I have no idea how this event came to be but what a wonderful opportunity for family and community engagement. Castles, towers, tunnels, neighbourhoods, forts, planes or trains could all be part of your experience as you work with the boxes. This event is totally free of charge. Kudos to the Community Arts Council for organizing!

And because I am a huge supporter of children’s literature, let me add a couple of great picture books that encourage creativity with cardboard boxes. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis and What To Do With a Box by Jane Yolen. Do you know some other great books on the same subject? Have you and your children created something amazing and wonderful with a cardboard box? Share in the comments.

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers.

Thank you for stopping by my blog! You are welcome any time.

A Hundred Ways of Thinking: Weaving Dialogue and Technology Into Learning Spaces

I am so incredibly pumped for this conference! Thankfully, I was able to get a reduced rate on the ticket AND bursary money for hotel and transportation so … yes! I get the opportunity to be there.

And Suzanne Axelsson will travel here from Stockholm University so it literally could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. She focuses on the relevance of the Reggio Emilia Approach in education today. Suzanne is the individual behind Interaction Imagination. She has a blog about working with young children and the Reggio Emilia Approach.

STEM materials for tinkering

Friday will be about pedagogical documentation and the pedagogy of listening and Saturday will be about the role of technology in pedagogical spaces. The pedagogy of listening requires mindfulness and listening beyond simply hearing the sounds but with the intent to truly understand. And if that makes me sound like an early childhood education nerd… well, I guess that could be true.

And, I should have some time for a bit of fun too, since we end each day at 3 pm. Maybe I will get the chance to try out a cool Vancouver restaurant or two. My posts will probably be filled with conference updates, so be prepared. How many more sleeps until February 20th?

Your Child's Musical Literacy

Hey! I’m here to let you know that I’ll be at the Sidney Preschool giving a talk for parents about supporting your child’s musical literacy. This is geared for parents of young children and we’ll cover…

  • Why musical literacy is important
  • Research on music as it relates to brain development
  • Ways to support your child’s musical development
  • Starting your child in music lessons

Plus… you’ll actually experience the joy of musical learning in a group as we do a demonstration mini lesson. No musical skills required!

Join me on February 11th from 8-9 pm at Sidney Preschool on 2410 Malaview Avenue. Non-members of Sidney Preschool are welcome. Admission by donation. RVSP sidneypreschoolteacher@gmail.com

Book Cover News!

After a long delay, I finally have news on the next book cover. I had asked people to let me know which image they prefer for the back cover. I got some feedback through my blog, instagram, facebook and in person. https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/authorcynthiamackey.com/1905

Monsters
Bicycle
Kelsey and Thomas

And a decision has been made! The front cover is still top secret but the back cover will be….

Kelsey and Thomas!

In more cover news, the cover file is now officially complete. And our new release date is set for March 2020!

Synopsis:

In this night time adventure, big sister Kelsey is always her brother’s hero. She bravely helps with lost teddy bears, scraped knees, and favourite picnic foods. But when Thomas can’t sleep because of the lullaby monsters, Kelsey isn’t sure she can help, especially since monsters are the one thing she fears. When Thomas’ precious lullaby box is stolen, Kelsey must face her monstrous fear and in doing so, she discovers that the lullaby monsters are a lot like Thomas.

Stories from my Childhood

Hi There! I thought it might be fun to share some stories from my childhood. Some of these are my own memories and some were shared with me by parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles. I’ll admit my memories may be off a little, but what the heck. We all love a good story.

MONEY

At the age of four, I walked to and from kindergarten with friends. Not every day, but some of the time. No parents accompanied us. We were independent and free as can be.

One time on the way home, some older kids told us they had lots of money and asked if we’d like some. Of course our answer was…“YES!”

They led us down what I remember as a really long flat driveway. It went way back from the road and there was a small rancher style house at the end. We followed them up to the front door and they asked us to wait outside.

“If you want the money, all you have to do is close your eyes and hold out your hands, palms up,” they told us. They went inside the house ‘to get the money.’

So there we were, the most little, gullible kids you can imagine with eyes closed and hands held out waiting expectantly to be given a fortune. What I imagined I would buy with the money, I cannot tell you but I’m sure I believed it was the key to living my best life ever.

And then SLAP! All they did was come out and hit our outstretched hands. I honestly cannot remember if I cried or just stared at them dumfounded but I do know they laughed and laughed and I’m sure our expressions were hilarious to them.

I was completely shocked that kids would tell me something untrue. No one had ever lied to me before. Ever since then, I find I just cannot lie. It’s just impossible for me, maybe because I know how incredibly disappointing it is to believe in something so whole-heartedly only to find out it isn’t true.

Do you have any memories from your early childhood years?

Wednesday Writing Update

Hello Friends in the Blogosphere!

Here’s my weekly writing update; keeping myself honest about the progress I’m making with writing for children.IMG_2680

This week I watched a free webinar by children’s book author, Arree Chung.  It was so good in that he reminded me that the only way to become a published author is to do the work.  So I got down to work.  I revised a couple of manuscripts and for the first time ever, I requested a critique in the facebook group Kidlit 411, Manuscript Swap.  Wow! what a community!  I couldn’t believe the quick response I got from people willing to read and give feedback.  It is amazing.  And with that feedback, I can learn and grow as a writer. If you are a children’s writer and you’re on facebook,  I highly recommend joining the groups Kid Lit 411 and Kid Lit 411 Manuscript Swap!  They are super helpful in developing your craft.

Visit me on my Facebook Page; likes are always appreciated.  Plus I’m doing a giveaway you might be interested in 😉 Have a wonderful week!