Animated Story Book

laptop movie good dinosaur vocabulary screen time leilazamoramoreno

When we watch a movie, we treat it like an animated story book. As each scene passes by, I describe to him what’s happening and place things into context/perspective. This gives us an opportunity to expand his vocabulary as we can show him things he hasn’t seen before, and when we do eventually get to see them, we can reference it back to the movie, so that a link gets created to physical reality (or show him it doesn’t work that way in reality!).

Through speaking and interacting with the movie, we assist each other in remaining grounded in our bodies and remain aware of our environment, instead of slowly slipping into a ‘zoning out’ mode.

#movies #storybook #vocabulary #speaking #learning #screentime #unschooling #toddler #parenting

Tuning in to your Child’s Interests

toddler words chalk reading parenting leilazamoramoreno

Cesar’s appetite for learning words comes and goes. The last few days he’s been really into acquiring new words wanting to go through one book after the other. Here, we had gone through all the books we had – but Cesar wanted ‘MORE!’. So we took some chalk and started writing words, and point to the objects, animals or people the word referred to in the room. This kept is busy for more than an hour. Whenever we tune in to Cesar’s interests, which depend on his development and movement of his natural learning ability, it’s easy to keep ourselves moving and doing. He really appreciates it, when you take that moment to tune into his interest and see what MORE you can do with him or show him, to make the best and most of it. The look in his eyes that moment he grasps what you are showing him, the moment he sees the possibilities open up, the implications! Oh man, it’s PRICELESS!!!

#NLA #naturallearningability #words #interest #enthusiasm #wonder #gaze #passion #parenting #absorb #amazement


Natural Potty Training

toddler potty training parenting leilazamoramoreno

For the past couple of days, Cesar has been peeing and pooing in his potty or peeing and pooing outside in the grass. We let him be without diaper and he would pee and poo as it would come up, at which point we would point out that he is ‘peeing’ and ‘pooing’ to start establishing the vocabulary around ‘potty training’. Initially I had reactions to him peeing and pooing all over the place – though also seeing that he really liked not having to wear a diaper. I saw myself showing him to pee and poo outside or in the potty with some slight reactions – but could see that regardless of this slightest reaction, his facial expression showed that this was affecting him in those moments and would start being ‘confused’ about peeing and pooing and not knowing how to direct himself. The reactions had to do with morality beliefs around being ‘bad’ for peeing/pooing all over the place. Comparing him to other children / stories that I had heard. Not having the patience for him to establish his understanding / not wanting to be seen as a ‘bad parent’ that he is peeing all over the place etc. So I decided to let him pee and poo as he was, to keep working on the vocabulary and to only direct him towards the potty, toilet (which he doesn’t find comfortable yet with a toddler seat on top) when I would inside myself be absolutely clear and stable. Then the one day as I saw he was about to pee on the floor, it just came natural to explain to him to pee and poo in the potty or outside. There was no emotional attachment and the words flowed naturally. He immediately moved to the potty to pee and he hasn’t been peeing or pooing all over the place since. He goes to the potty / outside when he is able to – or comes to us saying what he needs to do.
The main point that stood out for me is to not underestimate a child’s understanding and willingness to cooperate – regardless of how small their vocabulary may be. That our emotions and reactions stand in the way of effective communication and the absolute necessity to first always reflect back to ourselves and clear out ANY movement before even looking at the role another plays in any situation.

#parenting #toddler #trust #pottytraining

Learning From Pictures vs Learning from Reality

toddler reading book spot leilazamoramoreno

We were going through one of Cesar’s books, pointing and identifying all the things he can recognise in the drawings. When we got to this page, Cesar was pointing at the dog’s back, and with his facial expressions ask what this ‘thing on his back is about’.
I explained to him that it’s a backpack and dug through our cupboards to find us a backpack each. Whenever we teach or show him new words, we aim to provide a physical reference of what something is (and if we can, a few different ones – showing that say a backpack not only takes ‘one form’ but exists as a variety). This is because we want to teach him what something ‘is’ rather than ‘what it looks like’. Learning through pictures would be like saying that ‘your Facebook profile picture’, is ‘who you are’ — while we all know that there is much more to any person than what their appearance is like. Teaching through pictures creates the assumption that you know and understand something simply because you have a visual reference. In the long run we start to trust our imagination as being real and valid (being made up of pictures) while physical reality can have a whole different story to tell. Just as we can’t fathom to know a person by a picture, so it is with all things in our reality. When we work with books, we always specify we are looking at a drawing or picture of something and not ‘the real deal’.

#words #learning #vocabulary #reality #pictures #education #parenting

Is anything ever really Gone?

chalk drawing toddler leilazamoramoreno

Here Cesar is wiping some chalk drawings away of circles, squares and crescent moons. While he is wiping he goes ‘wipe, wipe, wipe’ – and once it’s all wiped out, he goes ‘Gone!!!’
What was funny in this moment is that the chalk wasn’t really gone. And I noticed how when we play hide and seek with objects or when things are ‘out of sight’ that I have been telling them that they are ‘gone’. I realised I had been teaching him that when you can no longer see things that they are ‘gone’ – while in fact, they always remain present. He can wipe away the chalk drawing, but the chalk remains – it’s now just spread all over the tile and on his wipe. So I started explaining how things are not really gone just because we don’t see them anymore. I showed him how the chalk was still here but changed form. That when we throw things away and can’t see them anymore, that they are still existent and present, we just don’t see them anymore at that very moment.
I remember when I was small and accidentally set a paper tissue on fire, that I threw it in the garbage bin assuming that it now would be ‘gone’ and no longer ‘exist’. As if the bin was some sort of black hole that would send any object into non-existence. Luckily my mom noticed me rushing to the bin and walking away relieved, seeing that something was up and killed the flame before it set the whole bin on fire lol. It’s interesting to see how the use of such as small word incorrectly, creates all kinds of misconceptions.

#words #vocabulary #namethegame #meaning #buildingblocks #parenting #education


toddler smell scent herbs leilazamoramoreno

Here Cesar is sniffing up some pennyroyal scent. He has been showing more interest in plants lately so we have been working on building up his plant vocabulary. He’ll walk to one plant and ask: “This?” then I’ll say the name a few times, sometimes he will repeat it other times he just walks straight to the next one again asking “This?”. He can go on like this for quite some time, being really thirsty for some knowledge. This also pushes me to ask / find out about plant names and expand my own plant vocabulary along with Cesar’s. With the hot weather and his water spray “gun”, he also likes going around the garden and house multiple times spraying some water for all the plants. He is very diligent and specific and always lets me know if I missed one. Since I made some lavender sachets the other day which he really liked sniffing, he has now also made it a point to smell all the plants and to get to know the plants by their smell. Plants and gardening only became a part of my life since I came to the farm – and now I can’t imagine a life without it!

#toddler #baby #nature #plants #botany #gardening #herbs #explore #learn #vocabulary @destenifarm #desteni #eqafe