Members of the Old Schoolhouse Review crew were presented with the opportunity to review two products from Gryphon House. I received The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live. Authored by Kathy H. Lee, homeschooling mother to seven and early childhood major, and Lesli Richards, homeschooling mother to five children, including special needs, this is a book to encourage you to see the world through your young child’s eyes, recognize the patterns and methods to their growth, and do all you an to encourage it to happen naturally in your own home.
I’ve reviewed a lot of products this year. Some I’ve liked, some I haven’t. But this one… I LOVE. I know. Love is for people. Animals. But this book… it’s totally me – with way more energy, creativity and time, I’d write this book. But since I lack all of the above, as well as the organization, motivation, and frankly, knowledge, I’ll just sit and learn from authors Kathy Lee and Lesli Richards. They share ideas, offer encouragement, suggestions, and more on making your home a place for learning to take place – naturally. With less seatwork and more hands on play, kids thrive and learn and make messes that you are glad to clean up. When your child has spent hours playing and learning, the messes matter less, I’ve found.
I live in a world where “supper chef’s assistant” is not only tolerated but encouraged. It’s a little harder, sometimes, but it teaches them so much. This book takes that idea and runs with it. The ideas are easy to follow, most of the ingredients for play are already in my kitchen, and they don’t require me to hover… they just let the kids explore with a little bit of encouragement. Skip the TV, there’s sand in the “sensory tote” to be played with. Forget the computer, we have bugs to catch, playdough to make and create with, life to live both inside and outside the confines of the house.
Inspired to try to do more with my kids, we, of course, went to the place I’m most comfortable – the kitchen. We picked a cooler day, fired up the oven, and made some pretzels. Now that I’ve properly clarified to my children that pretzels do not come only as crunchy objects in a store bought plastic bag, and I’ve indulged in my most recent pregnancy craving, the world is a better place. (Pierce agreed. He woke up from his nap in time to be handed a hot-from the oven pretzel. Life doesn’t get much better than that!)
Someone else suggested this ought to be part of the take-home package from the hospital. While I’m not sure the hospital would agree to the budget changes, it would make a great gift for any mother of young children. It’s pretty awesome.
The Homegrown Preschooler has 224 pages and is available here for $29.95. To read other Review Crew member’s opinions and experiences with The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live, as well as the other book reviewed, Global Art: Activities, Projects, and Inventions from Around the World, visit the Review Crew Blog.