02 September, 2011

Loving The Incredible Years

The Incredible Years is a Ministry of Education parenting course that we're doing at the moment.

Mr Samoa's work, Creative Learning Scheme, picked up the contract to run it in a couple of locations across Auckland.

(Creative Learning Scheme is a network of centres/schools started for children who don't fit into mainstream schooling. It was orginally birthed out of our church! and is now the biggest alternative education provider in NZ.)

I was given the info for this course when we saw the psychologist for Turbo a couple of years back. He suggested this course and it was about $130 for the 14 weeks.

Somehow now it's FREE. Yip, F.R.E.E. And included in the cost of, um, NOTHING!! is childcare and dinner for you and your kids.
O, and a fat paperback book and resource folder!!

Total no-brainer. We said yes! Sure it's a mission to get across town for the 5.30pm start but it's been worth it.

And the class are a lovely mix of people from all different backgrounds and ages. Been so awesome to hear other parents' opinions and struggles - so similar to ours!

Let me give you a tidbit of info we have delved into over the past three sessions. It's called child-directed play

Ask yourself this:
How many time do YOU suggest the activity for your kids to play?
E.g. why don't we paint?

How many time do YOU direct the play?
E.g. let's build the hospital over here

How many times do you try and do other things while playing with them?
E.g. "That looks good, darling", you say while glancing up from the washing you're folding.

Child-directed play is about giving your child just ten minutes of total focused attention a day. They choose the activity, call the shots, decide where you fit.  You don't question their every move or force them to achieve something.
You teach by leading questions and descriptive commenting and most of all, have FUN!

As a mostly SAHM, I thought I was an expert at playing with my kids. Turns out they didn't often have my full attention and most of the time I was directing the play!

Turbo LOVES it when I use child-directed play. And I've seen his imagination in full force - lovely to watch. I'm so thankful we've been able to go.

Linking up with....


Sarah of 'Catching the Magic' said...

Such a fabulous post to love this week with great advice. Sounds like a brilliant course!

meg said...

Nice reminder Penny. I'm quite good at letting the kids play with each other but I don't really play with them much these days... maybe I'll give it a go tomorrow :o)

Lisa said...

I wanna do the incredibke years course, I was told there is no more till next year :( I put my name down for next hyear though!

Thanks for sharing, I will try the child directed play for sure

Lyn said...

Hi Penny

I am loving doing this course with you - and laughing at the fact you figured out who I was before I figured out who YOU were...lol.

Have to say I'm NOT loving doing this course while 36 weeks pregnant as my enthusiasm for child-directed play is at an all-time low right now?! (sleep on the other hand...) But agree the course content is great. Travelling an hour to get there is also a challenge for us right now, but trying to push through and attend as many sessions as we can before/between giving birth!! I had heard such good things about it we wanted to try and do it regardless of the timing not being great. See you next week hopefully!

PaisleyJade said...

Wow - sounds great!

Meghan at MNM's said...

Thanks for sharing these great ideas from the course with us...some really great advice to take on board re child directed play and fully 'being' with them in their play :-)