The past year I’ve been studying a lot and advocating for bridging the divide between care and education. I think they can and should exist in one place. You can’t have care without education and you cant have education without care. As I make my way through the chapters of an amazing book ( Illuminating Care) I am challenged to reflect on my own practice and how I do things every day.
ln one of the chapters in this book they ask us to look at our routines for meal time. As I read and reflected on my own practices I was really convicted. One of the things over the years I have done is strongly encourage my children to drink their milk. I don’t know where that routine came from unless it’s from my childhood and my parents did not want us to waste ?
Whatever the reason I found myself many times in a power struggle with children over milk. There’s so many more important things to do during our day than to start it fussing over milk. 🥴
So I talked to our little preschool family and told them I changed my mind about how I look at that. If they did not want to drink their milk they did not have to. “Just pour it down the sink.” It wasn’t really that hard and surprisingly it doesn’t bother me at all. I’m a strong believer that when you know better you do better.
This book also asks us to reflect on the practice of nose wiping. Many times as adults we run up to a child with a Kleenex in hand and then to wipe their nose before they even know what’s happening . Can you imagine if you were an adult and another adult ran up and grabbed your nose without you expecting it ? It would be better to say, I see that your nose is running would you like to wipe it or do you need my help? I think I’ve done this for the most part of the years but it’s example of learning how to help children understand their bodies and boundaries.
A large part of care that meets education is not taking over doing things that children are capable of doing. They can’t learn if we always treat them as incapable. Also, realizing that in all of the routines teaching happens- if we slow down and engage and allow it to happen.
I hope you don’t mind if I take you along this journey with me. It has been so enlightening. I’m sure there are more changes coming