EC Blog Book Study Begins- Join In!

Published on: August 31, 2015

Filled Under: Beyond The Pages, Books, Guest Speakers, Resources

Views: 39024

It’s finally here – the day that our blog book study begins. It is my genuine hope that this study intrigues individuals, serves as inexpensive professional development, provides access to resources otherwise not attainable, and encourages meaningful conversations throughout this country and perhaps even the world.

This is our newest feature on the blog: Beyond The Pages. Beyond the Pages is an online blog book study. This feature acknowledges the importance of reading books while taking you beyond the pages and creating group dialogue. Stacie Goffin has charged those in early childhood education to “continue the conversation” and we believe that this is one method to do that.

Our first book study is centered around Rae Pica‘s book What If Everybody Understood Child Development? We highlighted her book on the blog last May. You can learn even more about this book in Rae’s candid interview. Find her online at Rae Pica’s Bam-Radio Facebook page and on Twitter @BodyMindChild #AskingWhatIf.

What If Book Study Marketing Pic

We’re pleased to announce that we have an amazing lineup of early childhood experts to assist in leading the conversation around this book! There are many ways for you to participate in this study. If you are just joining us, you will find all the book study details HERE.

Today we are discussing Chapters 1 (All Children Are Not The Same), 2 (The Earlier The Better?), and 7 (Doing Away with Baby Stuff). Angèle Sancho Passe is our guest this week to provide insight and lead our discussion. Visit Angèle’s website to learn more about her books and work in early childhood.Angele Passe

Angèle says, “It’s a privilege to continue the conversation boldly started by Rae Pica! In What if Everybody Understood Child Development?, she tells us that the proverbial pendulum has swung in the wrong direction and too far. Her examples of zero tolerance, no recess, play as a waste of time, and general misunderstanding of academics for young children make us cringe.

Yet we could argue that as the insiders in early childhood education we may have brought this nonsense on ourselves. In our zeal to promote developmentally appropriate practice, we may have neglected to explain –and continuously demonstrate -what we truly meant. Early childhood education happens through play, yes, but it is not laissez-faire, anything goes, developmental whatever! This unclear whatever is the fear driving the downward push we so deplore. If many children are not reading in fourth grade, it must be that early education is not rigorous and early enough or so goes the reasoning. Then rigor becomes inflexible rules and inappropriate practices.

People who know a lot about child development have talked among themselves a lot about DAP (what’s that?), but perhaps not enough to principals, parents, politicians, journalists, or business people. We have not given clear examples. We have not shown what productive, creative play is, and what children learn through play.  We also have not provided enough reassuring proof of our good work teaching young children.

Not all children are the same, indeed. But, all children do follow a similar developmental spiral. They can be ready for kindergarten and learn to read by third grade with rigorous, but not rigid, scaffolding from skilled adults. So thanks Rae, for opening this important discussion.

To add to your vision, I’d like to propose a new resource. It’s a video recently released by the Minnesota Department of Education. In just 8 minutes, it describes and demonstrates how to do developmentally appropriate early education with intention and wisdom. The Shift: The Development and Learning of the Kindergarten Age Children, available at”


Go ahead and share/retweet this post! Let us know that you’re participating in this study (where you’re from and how you’re connected to early childhood). We’d love to hear from you about your thoughts regarding Chapters 1, 2, and 7 and/or about Angele’s commentary. Your voice matters – participate in the dialogue and share your ideas here! (Comment below) If you’ve chosen to blog about what you’ve read on your own site, link back and share your post with us here. Perhaps you have a burning question about something that you read in one of these chapters… we have a feature for that – Ask The Author! That’s right, Rae Pica will be available throughout this live study to answer your questions. #AskAuthor

*If you’re a MN participant and are seeking training hours for your active participation in this book study, please visit THIS LINK for the details and requirements.

What to read next: Chapter 3- The Power of Joy and Chapter 5- When Did a Hug Become a Bad Thing? (9/7/15). 

101 Responses to EC Blog Book Study Begins- Join In!

  1. Yi Ling (Ivy) Flanders says:

    I like the idea of help parents understand that all children can’t be expected to be the same. Sometimes, it’s even harder to educate the parents. We need to show them the resources and numbers from the professional and explain everything to them to gain their trust, and it surely takes the time to do all the process. Also, we do adjust our curriculum and use teaching practices base on the research and children’s different levels and needs.

  2. Derrylin Young says:

    After reading the chapters 1, 2 & 7, Each of the chapters showed how we are pushing our young children to move at a pace not developmental appropriate. We are not really looking and Listening to our children to see where they truly are developmentally. We put pressure on them to perform the way we want them to perform when they should be enjoying Learning. Also, some of us are not aware of the detriment that bad sleeping habits can have on a child. These things need to change so that our children can be successful.

  3. Brandon Young says:

    After reading the 3 chapters of the “what if everybody understood child development book there where a few realizations that I came away with.
    For instance, in chapter 1 regarding all children are not the same I obviously understood that all children don’t learn the same way, but it seems the author believes that the learning standard that most child care schools use today cant possibly be standardized. I always assumed that curriculum experts figured out a universal general process in which at least most kids would comprehend. Yet after reading this and thinking about it, it does seem impossible to generalize such a thing if all children are indeed different. Ultimately the chapter challenges you to re-evaluate early childhood teaching standards.

  4. Steph Kallinen says:

    Yup, I found myself nodding in agreement many times in these first 3 chapters. I am a child care provider and the push that kindergarten is the new 1st grade, preschool the new kindergarten and day care the new preschool has been driving me nuts for years! There are a couple reasons for this: 1) Let them play and be little!! They have years of school ahead of them. 2) I am one provider with sometimes 10 kids. The point of day care is to CARE for the kids- feed them, love them, keep them safe. It was mentioned in the chapters that the people making the laws have never worked in our situations and have no idea what goes on in a day care or classroom setting. I couldn’t agree more with that. I have no time to be “teaching” after all the diaper changes, feeding and cleaning up and etc. Do I play educational games and do the kids learn from me? You bet! But it is very informal and play based! I also stress kindness and conflict resolution in my day care setting. If we focused more on this in the younger years instead of pushing the reading, writing, formal education them maybe the society we live in wouldn’t be so messed up!

    • Karlee O says:

      I’m also in childcare and feel the pressure to make child care the new preschool. Babies don’t need and should be expected to sit still for a specific “story time.” That isn’t to say that they shouldn’t be read to or that they don’t benefit from being read to, because they absolutely do benefit in so many ways from being read to. They shouldn’t however, be expected to sit for a story to prepare them for circle time in toddlerhood. I am a toddler teacher and I was expected to have a circle time with toddlers to prepare them for the multiple circle times they have in preschool to prepare them for sitting still all day in kindergarten. None of these expected benchmarks are realistic but they’re expected by many parents because that’s what they’re being fed by media and policymakers. It’s hard to get parents to understand what SHOULD be expected of these children after all that they’ve been fed.

  5. Kathryn Lundin says:

    Chapter 1, 2 & 7
    I feel that the concept of earlier is better has been a huge obstacle in how we decided when and what to teach as educators. I see children in my preschool classroom that are stressed out because they can’t read, bringing them to the point of tears. This is because we are not letting them accomplish what is “normal” for a 4 or 5 year old child. I feel that No Child Left Behind did more harm that good. It places unrealistic expectations on the children and on the educators. We are also not acknowledging the fact that we are pushing children so hard it is causing a loss or lack of sleep, which in turn leads to problematic behaviors in the classroom and more stress on teachers and students.

  6. Samantha says:

    I have always agreed that children learn different. Some may need music or complete quietness. Allowing the children to have this or more time to learn is something I would love to see. My son was put into Pre-K for 2 days-4 hours a week. They would jump me all the time about him not knowing how to spell his name, he was 3 when started and turned 4 a month before school was out. I did not force my son to do the school work that was sent home. We spelled his name in Legos or cheerios. I dislike the idea of forcing my son to school already. With his behaviors at home, I was instructed to try sending him to school. I’m thankful that they get to play some of the time, but I won’t force him to learn everything RIGHT NOW. He tires out fast and loves to sleep. Him sleeping 12-14 hours a night is normal and then still napping during the day. I love how in the book it states childhood is not a dress rehearsal for adulthood. I love that in my daycare we take a curriculum and turn it into play time more often. I am big on my child and my daycare children resting. Naptime is not a strict must wake up by this time. They can rest until awake. My own child needs his sleep or we have behaviors a lot more through out the day. I believe we need to be teaching our kids how to play with friends or how to laugh.

    I was worried about this book being above my level of changing my lifestyle. But I love that I can relate and believe so far 100%!

  7. Mande Hatten says:

    I really enjoyed reading Chapters 1, 2, and 7. I could feel myself getting fired up as an EC Educator and the chapters left me feeling supported in what I know as DAP. I have had many discussions with my staff about teaching young children and what is developmentally appropriate. Several have actually commented that they feel their parents will be disappointed if they do not send home the cookie cutter crafts and worksheets. It is a difficult tight rope walk between doing what is right and doing what we have been told by politicians, school districts etc.
    I also agree that Earlier is Not Better. I have 20+ years of EC experience and truly, the “playing field of academics” does level out by 3rd grade. In our center we look a the process a child goes though and encourage that process, not all are the same.

    • Melissa D says:

      While completing these first three chapters, I found myself agreeing with what I was reading and getting excited about what it is that I have devoted my career to. These chapters really drove home the importance of ensuring that children are not being held to unrealistic expectations and that we as ECE professionals are providing stimulating and developmentally appropriate environments. One of the ideas that really reinforced this is that childhood is not a dress rehearsal for adulthood. We are responsible for the well being of the children trusted to our care…we need to provide them with developmentally appropriate experiences. I recently had a discussion with one of our Pre-K teachers about reducing nap times to “prepare” the kids for kindergarten. While I understood the intention behind the practice of not offering traditional nap time consistently…the kids aren’t in kindergarten yet and many of them still need to have the 2+ hour nap to have successful afternoons!

  8. Melissa D says:

    While completing these first three chapters, I found myself agreeing with what I was reading and getting excited about what it is that I have devoted my career to. These chapters really drove home the importance of ensuring that children are not being held to unrealistic expectations and that we as ECE professionals are providing stimulating and developmentally appropriate environments. One of the ideas that really reinforced this is that childhood is not a dress rehearsal for adulthood. We are responsible for the well being of the children trusted to our care…we need to provide them with developmentally appropriate experiences. I recently had a discussion with one of our Pre-K teachers about reducing nap times to “prepare” the kids for kindergarten. While I understood the intention behind the practice of not offering traditional nap time consistently…the kids aren’t in kindergarten yet and many of them still need to have the 2+ hour nap to have successful afternoons!

  9. Shari Ernst says:

    I am a daycare provider in Minnesota and I couldn’t put this book down. I could relate to so much of what I was reading. I agree that children are pushed earlier and earlier to learn things that I personally felt the kids were not ready to learn. So when Rae said ” a child’s development absolutly cannot be accelerated or hurried in any way” I was like YES I agree. I just wonder why so many other school educators etc don’t see that. I feel schools feel that earlier is better and pushing kids to read before or in Kindergarten. What happened to easing the kids into school instead of just pushing them so hard to read earlier and earlier? I can see how this is setting our kids up to fail. I can also see where these kids are getting depressed. Kids are pushed and pushed all day to learn. They no longer get to learn through play. 🙁 I also love the fact that the hours of sleep was brought up in chapter 7. Ugggg how I have argued with parents about sleep. The feedback I get is “my Dr. wasn’t concerned about the number of hours of sleep” How can us providers and educators fight that comment?

  10. Karlee O says:

    I feel that these chapters highlight what any early childhood educator knows: that expectations for children today are so contrary to how children function and excel and we are setting children up to fail. I think that the worst part of this thinking is that it’s started a vicious cycle. Policymakers who don’t understand children set up expectations for children that are inefficient and impractical, then when schools are forced to implement them parents come to expect these things from their children. When parents have these expectations the educators who don’t need to follow the poor policies, such as privately funded schools, daycares or preschools, are being asked by parents to uphold these same standards or rick losing those children to programs who do. The effects of these poor policies trickles down to the youngest of children and expands outwards to all children.
    I’ve experienced this personally as a childcare provider. I’m the lead toddler teacher and my former director expected me to hold a circle time with my 1 1/2 to almost 3 year olds that covered letters, numbers, colors, shapes, a story and a song daily. I realized this was ineffective and I spent my time telling children who were not built to sit still to do exactly that, thus making the already too long circle time longer and longer. I started to whittle down my circle time and argued with my director about my goals and the effectiveness of the circle time that she wanted me to have. Now under a new director my circle time to one story and an active song. I’ve found the children are still learning the concepts that were expected at an appropriate rate through play.

  11. Jamie Boorse says:

    I am now intrigued to read the rest and see what she has to say! I agree with most everything. I too feel that children are being brought up in schools that expect too much right away. I have a 10 year old and a 2 year old so it will be interesting to see the differences in schooling as they grow. My oldest went to half day kindergarten but they then changed it to all day the next year. I too feel that kids are not given enough time to be “kids”. Now that I have a childcare I can see that all these children are all going develop at different levels. I can’t imagine trying to have them learn everything at the same speed.

  12. Jill Baer says:

    Chapter 1, 2 and 7.
    The line that hit home the most was about why we are working so hard to prepare kids for school versus preparing school for kids. Not only are we pressuring kids to learn more and faster, in doing so they are losing time for recess, play and gym. The competitive nature is relentless yet one of the first things parents look at when moving is school test scores or what their daycare does for 1 year old learning objectives.

    Kids are getting frustrated because they are pushed to learn so much so fast and at times, they develop feelings of inadequacy. Other times kids are on the other end and not challenged. My own two children have very different strengths and weaknesses. The learn in different ways. After a long day of school, we play, we talk, we get outside. If we push so hard we will end up reinforcing the competition and will end up with kids who do not know how to socialize, play, relax and enjoy learning new things.

  13. Amy Carter says:

    I do childcare and I am also a mother of 3 children ages 4-8. I am a big proponent for child’s free play and also sleep. In my opinion it’s what comes the most natural to them and these chapters help explained that it is because that’s what is developmentally apparoprete for them. Sleep is so crucial and an absolute necessity for everyone but especially children. I see so many behavior issues pop up when they are lacking sleep. Ironically one of my family’s recently asked to cut out naps for their 3 year old. I obliged because I like to be flexible. However a once very well behaved child has now become very whinny throughout the day. I loved reading this book so far and will be using it as a resource for myself and parents of children I provide care for.

  14. Tasha Martin says:

    Reflection chapters 1,2, &, 7

    i’m not really sure how I feel on this subject. As a childcare provider I believe children need structure and I think that a bit of structure helps them focus and are able to learn more effective. I think that there is a fine line of the structure that younger children need. As a parent I loved 4 k I think it helped my four year old build self confidence and independence. She was very attached to me and it really helped her get out on her own a bit. I have a three year old that I am currently trying to enroll in headstart because the state I moved to doesn’t have 4k. There is a things as to much structure but I think getting our younger children a little more prepared for the harsh reality of school is a great idea.

  15. Arissa Kordell says:

    As a childcare provider I see so many parents who just want their kids to learn and they request for them to be pushed. “Why can’t my daughter (3 years old) write her name” “Why have you not taught my son (4 years old) how to tell the color yellow from red” “Do you think my son (2 years old) needs therapy, he doesn’t talk”. These are just a few questions I have been asked in the last few weeks while doing daycare. Then you have the parents that want you to be teaching their infant. I recently had an interview with a parent and she asked what learning activities I do with infants. I responded that I let babies be babies. We push children to learn, walk, and talk way before they are ready like it’s a competition. All children develop at a different rate and we need to remember that as educators. Not one child is the same as another and they all fall on the developmental scale in a different spot. I try to allow my kids and daycare kids to learn through play.

  16. Barb Kegler says:

    Chapters 1,2 and 7.
    I am a childcare provider and I couldn’t agree more with what has been stated in these first 3 chapters. Children are not being aloud to be children. We are pushing them to be little adults, forcing them to grow up so fast. We have forgotten the important things children learn through play. The fact that a child’s development cannot be accelerated or hurried in anyway, is hard for some parents to understand. We have this need to compare our children.
    The section about challenging behaviors being a result of tired kids is something I have always tried to emphasize in my own daycare. We all function better when we are well rested, trying to make it through a 10 hour day at daycare is not easy without some quiet time.
    I’m looking forward to the next 3 chapters.

  17. Joni Helmeke says:

    I have just started this book but am enjoying it so much already. So much of it rings true for me! In chapter 1 it addressed how children differ in their needs and abilities “even twins” it stated. As a mother of twin toddler girls, and as an early childhood profession of 15 years, I can attest to this statement. I found it interesting in chapter 2 that it stated that children who are pushed to read at 5 have a harder time reading than those taught at age 7. I wonder if they are referring to comprehension rather that being able to just reading, which is different. I also agree with the list of sleep deprivation symptoms in chapter 7. Again, as a mother of twins these ring true for me! It also certainly makes sense for young children. In my work with children, I have seen this at play as well. The need for sleep, and the push to stay busy and productive instead, is a societal problem.

  18. Kora says:

    I thought that the first three chapters of this book were an eye opener. I know that education is even different from when I was in school 10 years ago, but these chapters really puts it into perspective. I think that parents should read this book based on what we have read so far. I find myself as a parent striving for my kids to be “above average.” But these first three chapter are about not pushing kids to grow u to fast when they are not ready. Which is what society today is doing.

  19. Laura says:

    As a child care professional this book is ringing so many bells in my mind and totally making me thing and seem how true things are. I have been in the childcare profession off and on for the last 10 years and I have a 2 year old son with a child in my care that is older by 2 months… The different learning pace of these two children is remarkably different and totally opposite as one would think as to which child talks and is more in book terms advanced. The fact of letting children learn at play verse lots and lots of curriculum based teaching is 100% correct and children learn so much more when they are having fun playing they are more amp to take it in the information.

  20. Bobbie S says:

    I am a new daycare provider I will be starting on my 3rd year in July, and I am located in MN.
    I agree with everything these chapters have to say. My own person experience I have a daughter on an IEP because she is behind her class. However she has now at 9 finally come into her learning groove I call it. I tell kids we are all different and that is the best thing in the world, because if we were all the same we would be so bored. I have stood my ground when a parent asks me why her 3yr old isn’t learning to write her abc’s. I say well we sing them, and for a week I will when I am helping older school age with homework I will let 3 yr have a worksheet ( I don’t care for them) and give simple directions and let her have fun. When I had the parent the worksheet she looks disappointed, I then say but look what she learned, and I will go into she learned how to hold the pencil, color, little Sally learned that when the color is moved around on the paper it makes lines. The disappointment eases off the parnents face a little but I think alot of parents want school to be easy for their children and expect genius children. I always think its best to learn the different ways they learn and get creative make it fun ( poo on worksheets , lets make an cat out of the letter c). I am big on play learning to, social skills are so needed, I do have a rule we must whisper at breakfast and lunch (due to sometimes I have child sleeping), not giving children time to talk or socialize even at breakfast and lunch will cause behaviors.
    One last thing before I am done and on to the next chapters this book is an amazing read. Nap time I don’t care who you are even as adults we sometimes need a nap. So I tell parents hey little john fell asleep 30min ago and he played really hard today, during rest time he did lay down for such amout of time but decided to do puzzels or read a book ( look at pictures).

  21. Brianna says:

    I agree so much with what was said in these first few chapters. From children being pushed earlier and earlier to “perform” at academic levels at the mere age of 4 it’s ridiculous! I’ve worked a few different roles in education and have seen first hand kids that were considered behind already in kindergarten just because they struggled in sitting still in small groups that lasted for more than twenty minutes or because they had trouble transitioning from one class to another because they were so caught up in their art project they were creating. These kids were labeled as difficult or “troublesome” all because they really need more time to be a kid and learn through play instead of assessments. Now I agree children can learn with good standards and measurement of developmental stages but let’s support these children with more time to play and create and be an imaginative child. Let them learn at their pace and not shame them if they aren’t meeting the same goals exactly at the same time other classmates might be. Let’s use new and creative ways to enrich their development and stop being so focused on test scores or academic standards. Kindergarten is an introduction to a school routine and setting as well as new rules to learn. Let’s not make kindergarten first grade with tests and no rest times and reduced free play time. Let their first “school year” be a taste of school not the expectation of rigorous academics with little to no play or self expression, discovery or creativity. Let’s protect these early years and foster the perspective of ” like a child to our chikdren and students.

  22. Sue says:

    I love this book! Chapters 1,2, and 7..Child development cannot be accelerated is so true.
    I know all children are not the same, let them play and naps are good!!

  23. Terri Vanhoudt says:

    I am a home daycare provider. I am starting my 19th year in the business. There are many times that I have felt like I am not doing a good enough job. Why is that? Because I am not sitting down with a “curriculum ” and teaching my children adc”s and 123’s. I have seen many times when parents and providers push kids to be stuctured. I am a believer in holding your child back until they are 6 for kindergarten. Give them all the time to be kids they can. Playing in the mud, collecting rocks, water play each have learning opportunities.

  24. Jessica Kabogoza says:

    As a daycare provider, it was very encouraging to read the information in these chapters, the guest authors thoughts, and to view the youtube video. When I started daycare in my home a little less than a year ago, I REALLY felt that if I didn’t have some top notch curriculum and every minute scheduled out then I was not a good provider. In turn, when I feel stressed and discouraged, it can reflect on my job performance and the emotional setting of the daycare. It is wonderful to see the point of view that positive, purposeful play, an encouraging social environment, and age appropriate stimulation are so vital, if not more vital than rigid learning of academics. It makes me excited to explore incorporate play based learning into a thoughtful day-to-day schedule.

  25. Anna Patnode says:

    Week 1 – 7/18/18
    Reading chapters 1, 2, and 7
    My name is Anna Patnode. I live in Princeton, MN and own my own in home preschool. After completing the readings for “week 1” (chapters 1, 2, and 7) I am so excited to have some research based reasoning to back some of the concepts I try and explain to parents on a very regular basis. Combating the “earlier is better” and general concerns from parents about their child being “behind” can feel so exhausting but reassuring parents that everyone develops at their own pace, sharing small victories and encouraging them to continue on (without being forceful) is one of my favorite parts of being part of so many young peoples early education years. I am already looking to how I can revamp some of my program objectives/descriptions to incorporate some of the research based statements included in chapter 1, 2, and 7.

    “A child’s development absolutely cannot be accelerated or hurried in any way.” This statement is one I completely agree with and yet profound in the wording. I try and make clear to parents as our year brings that each child will grow at their own pace and regularly share with parents where I see individual growth across all areas (social, academic, physical, emotional). This is one statement I hope to share with parents to help encourage them to find small victories not general meeting of requirements.

    “Demanding that children perform skills for which they’re not yet ready creates fear and frustration in them.” Many parents are concerned with their child’s social/emotional health in a general way but may haven’t made the connection of how our demands for children’s academic success can cause stress and anxiety that can eventually lead to a whole other areas of social/emotional issues. I have recently been studying the value of allowing children to have control over their lives (not laissez faire parenting but consultant verses controller) and all the many benefits and growing opportunities can come from allowing them room to develop.

    Concepts in chapter 7 regarding sleep and allowing children to get enough and how crucial that can be couldn’t be more obvious. In our parenting (my husband and I) we have always required our children early bed times (as some would say) and they have always gotten around 12 hours of sleep. This has benefitted our children and our large family greatly as we are all much happier with this schedule. As my children are getting older (oldest is 9) we are realizing some of our children require less sleep (like myself) but still benefit from the boundary of bedtime and more hours of sleep. It is obvious to most that with lack of sleep handling our own emotions (especially for children) is incredibly difficult but I enjoyed on page 34 where Dr. Kurcinka points out how losing the ability to manage our own emotions means we can’t read others emotions and how that leads to conflict. Somehow this simple concept, so basic and common, is very profound.

  26. Nallely says:

    In these last chapters, although it is true that not all children have the same learning development, and not only this but also have different attitudes and aptitudes for what makes them unique and incomparable. Each child is like a different world, each one learns differently, maybe it is a point where some parents do not understand and they often make the mistake of comparing them with other children or in the worst case with their own siblings, but they can not understand the harm they do to them when doing this. Children learn by playing, experimenting and exploring each day and that is where parents and teachers are where they must intervene to guide them and let them learn in a fun way, we have to understand that as a child’s development can not be accelerated, I hope that parents can understand this and learn from each child’s detail and with this the children will have greater emotional support. In chapter 7, I agree with the experts when mentioning the consequences that can affect the children when not sleeping the necessary hours for their age, it is important that the children have a constant schedule to go to sleep since with these habits they They will have better performance, skills and greater achievements, but for this you need the support of the family so that they can create these tasks together.

  27. Liz Blaschko says:

    In each of the chapters I found the last pages to be a reminder of the important role we play in young children’s lives. Supporting children and helping them at the level their at is so vital to all. The children have their needs met and adults have less frustration, confusion etc. if they understand where each child is developmentally.

  28. DeAnna Stowe says:

    Being in this field for six plus months and not knowing much information on early child education, this book truly opened my eyes. All Children are not the same! However, all children are classified as the same and are expected to learn on these levels. This creates anxiety. Many children may say, “Mom, I don’t wanna go to school, schools too hard”. This is the most important time of their lives; why are we making it so undesirable? As a parent, I believed it was important to get my child educated and prepped for kindergarten. After reading this book my thoughts are very different now. I think its so important to educate parents on this; I too was one of those parents who thought I was doing good but in reality I was creating havoc in my child’s little head. Sleep also plays a very important role in human life especially for our little ones. I couldn’t agree more that an accurate amount of sleep decreases behaviors and makes learning more enjoyable. Parents should be made aware of this and teachers should be able to plan nap time in their schedules. As a parent you should also be aware that the use of electronic devices an hour before bed can cause your child to have trouble falling asleep for a half hour to an hour. Most importantly, I feel that we need more people like “Rae Pica” planning our schools curriculum.

  29. Laura Borchardt says:

    In Chapters 1, 2, and 7 I found a similar theme of society pushing children and parents to start developmentally inappropriate practices way too early. The first chapter addressed policy makers who do not work with children creating the standards for children pre kindergarten. The second chapter talks about preschoolers being encouraged to sign up for many sports activities that may not be physically appropriate for them. The final chapter is in regards to taking away activities that are viewed as “baby stuff” such as naps and recess for children in early childhood and even school aged children. it has not been proven that any of these steps make children learn more and in fact may be very detrimental to their development. Children learn at different rates and they can not be pushed to learn more than they can handle or are not physically capable of yet.

  30. Laura Hernandez says:

    I have learned so much from reading this book. Very interesting book. No child is the same and no child learns the same either. I think it is very important to educate parents on this. It is very important to get the kids ready for kindergarten.

  31. Laura Hernandez says:

    I have learned so much from reading this book. Very interesting book. No child is the same and no child learns the same either. I think it is very important to educate parents on this. It is very important to get the kids ready for kindergarten.

  32. Patrice milless says:

    I enjoyed reading that early isn’t always better. The race for success is not rewarding to parents nor does it benefit our children’s growth and development. Chaper 7 resonated the most with me as both a provider and mom. Ensuring that a child’s needs are met before we begin labeling and placing them in their “box” are most important. The difference in a child who has gotten rest, downtime, time to reflect and explore, and learn by doing is so obvious than that of a child who has been rushed from activity to activity for the sake of doing rather than soaking in all in. A well rounded child is much happier than the overscheduled over tired over stimulated child. The turtle wins this race for success.

  33. Brittany says:

    I think that the phrase ” let our kids be kids” can just serve as a great reminder that our kids only live once and that letting them play and explore on their own can teach them a lot about their world. My preschoolers today had a great time playing in the woods. Now instead of having a preplanned lesson for them, I let them lead the time. Learning was happening. That does not mean I do not play or talk to them while they play but I come along side where they are at.

    I agree that is takes a lot of time and patience to educate parents and others about how important play is to kids and how rushing a child who is not ready for that skill is not going to help the child in the long run.

  34. Sherie Melchert says:

    I agree that children do not all learn at the same pace and should not be expected to. It is very important for children to have play time and just be kids. It also makes sense that a lack of sleep in a child can cause behavior problems and therefore should be taking naps in preschool and Kindergarten.

  35. Jill N. Walker says:

    I am a Toddler Teacher in a childcare center at a college. I have two boys ages 13 and 10. I find myself feeling the push from my director to make my program more like our preschool programs. I want the children in my care to engage more with nature and learn as we explore. The parents enjoy my style of teaching and I share my values with the parents regarding learning. I believe quality care is important!

  36. Karen says:

    I agree that the demands and expectations on kids today is crazy. Kids now are having homework as early as Kindergarten. I don’t think I had homework until I started Junior High. I also think there should be half day kindergarten instead of all day. Kids should be allowed to be kids.

  37. Morgan Hinzmann says:

    Reading these chapter i kept thinking of the quote “Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid.” The American Education System tells children that they have to meet their requirements or they have failed and to this day my school experiences still effect me. I graduated high school in 2011 and the demands were high then and sure they have just gotten higher.

  38. Shannon Alexander says:

    I’m so thankful the training for my in home childcare business has brought me to the book “What If Everybody Understood Child Development?” During my reading my first thoughts were back to when I worked in a school and during my prep I popped into a Kindergarten classroom because I was hearing so much laughter and joy (which I didn’t hear much of in my fourth grade classroom). The teacher had intentionally added choice time where her students could pick an activity. Some students chose dramatic play with babies, others were playing in the dollhouse, some were coloring or playing with play doh, while others were on the ground resting or playing quietly with blocks. It was so amazing to me to see these little kiddos being kids, while practicing and building on their social-emotional skills. I’m sure the teacher was intentional about the learning they were doing but the kids had no idea. They were being kids. During all of my interviews for my in home childcare the word “curriculum” always came up. I have kids ranging from a year to four years old. When I first opened I was so worried about what curriculum to have to make sure I could answer this question to the liking of parents. But I soon realized that they weren’t looking for “curriculum” they were looking for a safe learning environment for their child. I also found that as time went on I can teach so much during child-led “playing.” We can count, work on colors, measure, practice language skills, having kids practicing using their imaginations, work on social skills and sharing. The list goes on and on and on. The video link for “The Shift: The Development + Learning of Kindergarten Age Children,” helped solidify the idea of child-let play with intentional “teaching objectives” built in based on the child’s developmental level. I can’t wait to read more and reflect on my own teaching practices for my in home childcare.

  39. T.Enter says:

    OMG, I have just finished the first 3 chapters of the Book study (1,2 &7). I wanted to keep read! I can not agree any more with what is being said. I have to explain myself to parents when they ask what all I do for “curriculum”. I shouldn’t have to explain that I let children play, and while they play is when I interact and explain things, ask question or just roll play with them. Its hard to see what is happening to the children not being children anymore.

  40. Theresa says:

    I agree that with Chapter1: All Children are Not the Same. Yes, standards need to be realistic and obtainable, otherwise we are setting our children up for failure. I personally, have made arrangements for activities to be set at at least two levels so those who are more advanced are not bored and those who are at the “beginning” level are not overwhelm. I even tweak it to cater to certain children if need be.

    Chapter 2: The Earlier the Better? It is true that demanding children who are expected to perform skills that they are not yet ready for does create fear and frustration. I currently have a child who is fearful that he thinks we expect him to write well now that he moved up from preschool to pre-k. We reassure him that we do not expect him to write well nor if he is not ready to do anything he is not comfortable with.

    Chapter 7: Doing Away with the “Baby Stuff” has a good point that children need sleep, but 12 hours? Where is the information coming from? What reliable source, a doctor or studies? I know a lot of kids these days are not going to bed until 9, which I think is definitely way too late because essentially they do not fall asleep until closer to 10. I remember going to bed by 7 on the weekdays and 8 on weekends. I also remember it took me sometimes up to an hour to fall asleep. The more I tried to fall asleep, the harder it was to. I agree that stuffed animals helps children fall asleep.

  41. S. Hanson says:

    I feel frustrated after reading these chapters. There is such a push to start “teaching” children earlier and earlier and focusing on kindergarten readiness. They aren’t developmentally ready to start reading or learning concepts they will learn in elementary school yet there’s an expectation to incorporate these things in the 2, 3, and 4 year old classrooms. Even the assessments include things like identifies letters, writes name, etc. I have student teachers come to the classroom who are floored when I tell them that putting blocks and animals together and inviting children to build a zoo ( or whatever else their imagination comes up with) constitutes a perfectly acceptable preschool activity.

  42. GAnderson says:

    while reading Chapters 1,2 and 7 I found myself nodding in agreement and saying out loud “yes” ..
    I would be thinking as I read , how do I continue to educate parents in our program on ‘why’ we do things we do ..Child Development cannot be rushed-we in the Early Childhood field know how we can offer opportunities for a child to develop and enhance their skills . While reading these chapters we get affirmation for what we are doing..We need authors like Rae Pica to be in the position of policy maker/law maker… Reading these chapters reminds me of the Phrase ‘preaching to the choir…. while we really need to reach the audience of who is writing laws and standards for Early Childhood .

  43. Faye says:

    Chapters 1,2,7
    Definitely a good reminder to not rush or push kids to fast. They will learn at their own pace and time. Also a good reminder to watch and listen to where the child is at developmentally and help meet them at their level. It would help to have a nap/rest time for preschool/kindergarten so they don’t get too overtired. Let kids be kids and enjoy being a kid.

  44. Enjoyed the book very much. Agree that children do not learn at the same pace and parents really need to understand this. the more they push onto that child the more that child will regress. Let kids be kids! Children do need plenty of sleep but not sure about 12 hours.

  45. Lynda Smith says:

    Children need to be children, but also need to be taught the basics. Some may need more encouragement than others. With educational toys, games and interaction with other children they will learn the various kills.

  46. Barb Luxford says:

    Hello, I am an Early Childhood Educator from the state of Minnesota and have really enjoyed these first few chapters. I found it interesting that it did not matter if children read early or not, by a certain time they all read and the early readers were not any more advanced in literary skills then those that took a longer time to read. This study is HUGE! There is a push to get children to read by a certain age because of this idea that we will advance their literary knowledge and skills and this is so untrue. Let us allow children to move at their own pace and a better focus would be to help guide children to initiate their own learning, create a sense of love and curiosity in learning new things and a foundation that learning is exciting and not just another chore to get through.

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