Today I learned of two innovative organizations whose work brings students, schools and teachers closer via the internet and social networking. Today’s students are talking to each other instantly with Skype, working on projects jointly and giving new meaning to the words “international collaboration”. I’m thrilled that young children around the world can connect instantaneously and that school curriculum can be enhanced exponentially. With iEARN, over 2 million students are engaged collaboratively every day.
James Mollison took poignant photographs depicting children around the world and where they sleep. I encourage you to share these photos with your children and talk about our differences as well as similarities–our rooms/environment and the things that reflect our spirit and our lives. Even in the United States the differences in children’s lives are depicted, not only in their portraits, but in their rooms. I’m transfixed by the images of the boys from Nepal and Kenya as well as the young geisha in-training in Japan. If you’re up for it, take a portrait of your own child in their room and talk about what is similar in their lives and what is vastly different to those captured in this article. It’s a way to make this global world of ours a little smaller and every child understands the concept of where someone sleeps. For the full article click here.
Well you’d think we lived in the rainforest given the amount of rain we’ve had in DC this past week. There’s definitely not a shortage of puddles for kids to splash in. Unfortunately, we have some great cultural festivals coming up this weekend that could be rained out if it doesn’t clear up fast! The famous Adam’s Morgan Day Festival is on Sunday, September 11th. Straddling Adam’s Morgan and Columbia Heights the festival showcases cultural music, dance and food from Central and South America. (Columbia Heights Day was rained out this year due to Hurricane Irene) The street fair has been a mainstay on the DC festival circuit since 1978 and if the rain lets up at all, I highly recommend it. The festival tagline is “A Global Community of Cultures. Celebrate together, not separately!” See the Bolivian dancers, sample Latin American cuisine and look at art from around the world. Sounds like exactly what our kids need after a rainy week. The festival runs from noon – 7 pm (18th Street & Columbia Road) so get out and explore!
Yes. I believe in limited screen time but I also believe in the benefits of introducing languages and cultures to children at a young age. Of course the best vehicle for a new language in your home is a native speaker but that’s not always an option for everyone. There are however, cartoons and shows especially for children and certain shows open our eyes and particularly our ears to other languages. Scan the local offerings in your area and if there aren’t interesting or age-appropriate shows on free stations then consider subscribing to cable shows. For the price of a movie rental you can often get a month’s worth of cartoons. Mecanimals and Harry Y Su Cubeta de Dinosaurios are favorites in our household but there are so many to choose from. National Geographic also offers “Toot & Puddle” about two piglets. One travels the world and the other stays at home – showing benefits of both. For english-speakers Toot & Puddle offers a wonderful view of international travel and cultural experiences but you can also watch the show in spanish and other languages. For a link to the National Geographic Site and Toot & Puddle click here. Again, we all want to limit screen time in our household and everyone has to determine what works for them. Hearing the sound and assimilating to a new language should be part of every childhood.