Early Learning at Home

I want to start by thanking you all for the great emails and calls regarding our launch of the ELC Canvas platform. The staff team have all been working really hard to create the videos for children, ideas and provocations, and links to things we had been doing in the ELC rooms. Just like a stage production, there has been a lot of work behind the scenes to get the videos up and get people connected to Canvas. Please email me if you have not yet been able to connect. We hope this has all been useful to parents while your children have been learning from home.

This can be a very challenging time for everyone. We know that juggling your children’s different demands and needs is tough, as well as being able to continue your own work from home and making sure you have the household running smoothly! For many, home school is a new and unfamiliar challenge.

However, in this time when so many events and regular commitments have been cancelled, there has been more of an opportunity to just be. It has been wonderful to see the many creative ideas floating around in different communities and in different online spaces. One thing we have noticed is that there is more time, less rushing, a sense of calm and the increased opportunities to do things that have been put off.

It is important at this time to ‘hunt for the good’ with our children and help them practice gratitude. In the Centre, in all the rooms, a regular feature for many years has been to consciously articulate what we are grateful for. It has been shown that practising gratitude on a daily basis can help rewire the brain and create a more positive mindset. The activity can be built into your day or evening ritual, by each person in your family sharing something they are grateful for. It could be a yummy snack, a walk in the sun, a bubble bath, or everyone home sharing dinner together. Sometimes, it can help to write these things down on a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper, to remind them of how much we have to be grateful for especially in challenging times.

A friend sent me a great idea yesterday based on the book The Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen. Some local communities are starting their own bear hunt, getting families out walking. Everyone who wants to participate puts a teddy bear in their window so families can go on a bear hunt together, while of course maintaining social distancing requirements from other families. Such a simple and creative idea and so appropriate in this beautiful autumn weather.

There are so many people who have helped to keep us all afloat over the last few weeks. Thank you to the ELC staff for their hard work; to Kylie Taig, who is behind the nuts and bolts of Canvas and who managed to get us launched; and to Libby Russell and Jonathan Walter for their fabulous leadership in this challenging time.

Enjoy the Carey show bags and keep sending ideas and feedback.

Warm regards,

Wendy Seidler
Director of ELC Kew