Kid Lit Love Series Resumes!

Hello Picture Book Lovers!

I am pleased to announce that my Kid Lit Love Series will resume very soon with a focus on new picture book releases in 2020 both fiction and non-fiction.

The entire Kid Lit Community is so amazing and I’ve been fortunate to connect with a number of authors who are releasing picture books this year. Kid Lit Love posts will be on Mondays. I am excited to say I have a bunch of wonderful books to share. So if you are looking for something new this year to read with the children in your life, come and visit my blog on a Monday and you just might find a new picture book that is exactly what you’re looking for.

Here are just a few of my favourite picture books!

Some of the books are fun, some are whimsical, some share important historical information, some deal with social and emotional issues, some feature diversity, some have themes related to caring for our world or each other. And with each book, you will learn a little about the making of it and how it came to be.

Curious? Follow my blog or like my facebook page where I share the posts. And if you love a book, I encourage you to leave a review, add it to your ‘to-read’ list on Goodreads, recommend it to a friend, request it at your library, or share it on your social media.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog! I hope you’ll leave a comment and visit again. Have a wonderful day!

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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.

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

Have a wonderful day!

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.

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

Play, Outdoor Learning, and Raising Physically and Mentally Healthy Children

This video is a wonderful collection of comments on children’s play by some incredibly articulate human beings. If you want to understand why play is so valuable, you must watch this. Adults need to trust children to manage their own play and learning, not try to control it!

If you have children in your life, if you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, librarian or school administrator, I encourage you to take 20 minutes of your time and watch this video. Topics such as risk, outdoor play, natural environments, kindergarten readiness and self-chosen activities are covered.

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Thank you for reading/viewing. Have a great day!

Royal Conservatory of Music: Benefits of Music Education

Royal Conservatory of Music research showed that the brains of musically trained individuals had more grey matter, had stronger neural connections, higher IQ, better memory, better attention, and better motor coordination.

Benefits of music education included

  • improved language abilities
  • increased emotional resilience
  • increased empathy
  • increased attention span and focus
  • increased self-confidence

These are some great reasons to advocate for music instruction in public schools. Keep the music programs going! There’s plenty of research to show this is a good idea.

Royal Conservatory of Music Paper on the Benefits of Music Education https://rcmusic-kentico-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/rcm/media/main/documents/about%20us/rcm_musiceducation

Let's Build Each Other Up!

Hey parents! Have you ever been out in public and experienced the judgement of complete strangers in relation to something you are doing or have done in your role as a parent? I’ve been there many times.

“Your baby has too many layers on.”

“Why isn’t your child wearing a hat for sun protection?”

“Do you always give in when he cries?”

This comes under that category of “if you can’t think of something kind to say, don’t say anything at all.” Remaining quiet would be better than expressing your judgement of a situation in which you likely have limited understanding.

Instead, let’s express some appreciation for the parents we know. How about, “She’s/he’s lucky to have such an attentive, loving parent.” or “I can tell how much you love your child.”

Why is it so much easier to judge than to express appreciation for people? Look for what you appreciate and let a dedicated mom or dad know. Parents work so hard; tell them know you really see them. Let’s build each other up!

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