Sunday, December 14, 2014

A New Perspective on the "Naughty Child" - An Eternal View

Day to day it is almost impossible to keep an eternal perspective. This child drives me crazy! ...always on the move and always talking...pushing...pulling...yelling...and ALWAYS defying me and everything else!  What about the famous attempt to defy gravity?  Well, that sure did not go so well.  A child's defiance of authority at the pre-school age never ends well either.  So how do we deal with the day to day? We pray, We study out ultimate authority (Word of God). We creatively teach with love and enthusiasm. We refocus often (as my letter below does).  And we remind ourselves daily - this work has eternal value. 


Henry is twins in one body: from the energy level of the energizer bunny on steroids to a quiet introspective philosopher.  He always was and will be the leader. He has the kind of charisma that attracts attention and keeps it. If you try to take it away he will gain it back. 
His cognitive skills and imagination are not easily distinguishable. He can tell you a real story one minute and the next he has fabricated a story fit for theater. His use of adverbs and adjectives surpasses most adults.  He lights up a room when he enters it and all you want to do is be with him.
Henry loves life and he moves through like a race driver and then he “crashes”. He gets over stimulated, you never really know when that will happen, and he ignites. It might be the little flame of a sassy look or it can be a full blown melt-down. You are never quite prepared.
BUT...BUT…this is exactly why the parents and I become partners for those 4 years he was at Green Acre Family Childcare.  Daily we shared his stories – the good and the not so good.  They talked to doctors, read books and sought help from peers and elders. I talked to professionals, red books and sought help from peers and church elders.  Together we shared books, notes and even watched the DVD series “Conscious Discipline” by Becky Baily TOGETHER.  Some days “I quit” and I bet they did too.  They always picked me up with the same encouragement I gave back to them.
Some days are difficult with Henry.  He can hit a kid over the head with a bat while repeating his difficult and long bible verse.  Then he will hug him and ask him to be his “best friend”!
Our conclusion at the end of Henry’s stint at Green Acre Family Childcare?  He is worth every bit of investment (yes, the tears too) we make in him. Some day when I’m retired I will see his name cross my desk … Reverend  Henry Thumann … CEO Henry Thumann …. Dr. Henry Thumann  ….  In the meantime, S.T.A.R. … stop, take a deep breath, and relax … Henry just walked through the door J

My favorite story of Henry:
The time he plastered his whole body with the shaving cream in the sensory table and called himself  “Captain Cream.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2014



1-It takes all sorts of passion – You have to know the value of teaching future citizens and leaders. You have to love kids, love unconditionally and with understanding.  It’s passion for the Lord, and love for the home and the child.
2-Training – You can never learn too much:  from entry level courses to your masters, continuing education, and “the school of hard knocks”. It all is valuable.
3-Involvement in Early Childhood Education:  associations, advocacy issues, food program and the on the web. We need to be agents of change and improvement in the field.
4-Resource Gurus - Know how to get what you need to do your best: parent information, wellness, quality standards, etc.  Learn the buz words: accreditation, young star, CEUs, conference, etc.
5-Application – We need to be able to apply our passion, education and experiences to our daily lives and work with children. 
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Professional Goal

My goal is simple. I want to teach and mentor Child Care Providers. As I was researching how that might look I choose to get a T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship and take a class or two. I had the privilege of meeting with a T.E.A.C.H. Counselor at the WECA Conference last October. She thought that the Credit for Prior Learning Class would help me. She told me that sometimes we need to organize our past to have a better grip on what we should pursue in the future.  I pondered that for a long time.  Regardless of how my future work schedule looks I think that I will always want to learn so that I can be a part of the future of ECE.

Teaching “Guard Your Heart” Bible Study at my church has given me some new confidence also. My Pastor told me that the way to know if you have the gift of teaching is to teach and see if anyone comes. I started with eight student and went to sixteen :) 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My Educational Philosophy Statment

Educational Philosophy Statement  

Early Childhood really has only one true purpose: to prepare children for life especially to know and serve God. This takes one step at a time, precept upon precept. The WMELS standard and the Bible help us to “train up a child”. I have heard it said by a number of kindergarten teachers, “Just teach them social skills and we can teach the academics!” I agree.

How can a child learn if he does not have the skills to get along with other children or follow instructions? Early Childhood Education should teach listening skills, following directions, helping others and taking turns. The academics will then come much easier. (Disclaimer – still be ready to teach academics where there is interest and ability.)

My role is as “Family Partner” teaching and modeling these skills through parent training, mini-preschool, structured and unstructured play and lots of outdoor exploration. All children learn differently. Our job is to give children opportunities to learn by seeing, hearing, smelling and touching. 

Being a “Family Partner” is challenging. Parents have different forms of communication. They have a preferred form and the “I will never answer” form.  First of all I find their preference and remember it. Not only does that improve communication but it reveals a caring start to the relationship.

Every parent and child come with family experiences, school, church (or no church) experiences, and with different temperaments. Parents are striving to do their best but often with limited or incorrect assumptions on parenting. I strive to research current trends while reviewing some of the “tried and true old school” parenting that also works so as to be ready to help them when they ask.

My goal is to teach parents to also become good students learning from scripture, available training and articles, and other parents, always remembering God gave then the child they are best suited to raise and that NOT everything they hear, read or look up on the internet is true!