The Learning Chair

I was asked about time-outs today by a mom in my music class. Then I came home to this post on The Stir called “Time-Outs for Toddlers: Are You Doing It Wrong?”  So, it’s a perfect topic for today. The best part about the time-out concept is that it Stops The Child’s World. It works as a pattern interrupt, can calm emotions, and helps

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Play the Violin: Tantrum Strategies

My son –  all 6 lbs of him at birth – didn’t look like he’d ever have a tantrum. And we were pretty lucky. They were few. But those were enough to send me scrambling for ways to get back in my groove. What can cause a tantrum? Not Being Understood Not Getting What they Want Tired, Hungry, Uncomfortable Not really knowing Who is

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SingAlong Storybooks

Singalong Storybooks are the brainchild of Music Together, the international, research-based, early childhood music program. What a GREAT idea! They have taken several songs from their music collection and created a storybook around a song. In this video, Susan Darrow, Director of Educational Services for Music Together, clearly explains a variety of ways to interact with your child musically at home using these Singalong

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Your Own Special Whistle

In a recent post, “Close the Distance,” I talk about the importance of literally closing the distance when communicating with one another. Beth Gillogly is a parent as well as Director of Sierra Foothills Music Together, an early childhood music program. She wrote the following comment: “I find that when I stop and connect with my daughter, eye to eye, the results are much

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Boredom is a Gift

Not to be feared, those three special words: “I am Bored!” I love it when Zed says this. I know that just around the corner is something amazing – a new Lego creation, an invention, a game out of sticks and pine cones, or . . . ? So when I hear this childhood rant that paralyzes some parents, a little thrill runs through

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What is so right about Finland’s state schools?

Kids in Finland attend the least number of school hours in the developed world and get the best results. Why? Here are some key points in this video that give us an idea: Students start school at the age of 7. The idea is that at that age they will be itching to learn. Finland has a culture of valuing education. The first order

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Close the Distance

“Time’s up. Turn off your iPad,” I yell from the kitchen to another part of the house. “What, Mom?” my son yells back. “No more Minecraft!” I yell a little louder. “WHAT?” I am agitated now. He must be ignoring me. At full-throttle volume: “TURN IT OFF!” Has this ever happened to you? Daily, maybe? One of the biggest changes we made as a

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Great Resource: 3R’s Learning Center

The 3R’s of Positive Behavior is an excellent manual for educators. There are a lot of GREAT classroom techniques that can transfer to parenting as well. The 3Rs are Respect, Responsibility, and Reliability. If you like the idea of Thematic Parenting, this is a “Go-To” resource. This manual is written by my father, Gailen Keeling. I grew up with first-hand experience of many of

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Family Meetings: Do You?

It’s Sunday. Sunny and mild March foothills weather. Sunday is traditionally family day at our house. Today we are all here but doing our own thing. Mu husband is fixing a squeak on his mountain bike (specifically, rear-disc brakes, he just informed me.) My son is building his Lego MindStorms ping pong catapult for Science class. Before I sat down to write this post I

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Positive Discipline Book Review

When I took a Positive Discipline parenting class, we were all given this book. What is Positive Discipline? Can you have both those words together in one experience? To begin, Jane Nelson names three adult-child interactions – strictness, permissiveness, and positive discipline – and then provides helpful concepts for understanding their differences. She writes about how punishment DOES work – it stops the immediate

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