SAHP's vs DCP's

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Registered: 03-31-2003
SAHP's vs DCP's
233
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 12:26pm
This is a quote from one of Cindylu's posts below:

'IF (big if here) that mom has the experience to decide what educational experiences are right for her kids and if she has knowledge of the types of educational experiences available. One thing using our dcp has taught me is how little I knew about child development when I had my kids. Like many new moms, I thought I knew my kids BEST. Turns out, I knew what I knew and didn't know what I didn't know. Our dcp has come up with educationally enriching activies time and time again that I never would have thought of. We, as parents, are limited to our knowledge base. Our dcp's knowledge base is much broader due to an education in ECE, training and years of experience.'

Can I just say that this is a prime example of what happens when too much institutional care takes place. Now we have moms thinking that they can't do as great a job as DCP's. No wonder we have so many working moms. The truth of the matter is that DCP's have to be trained to *recreate* the learning opportunities that happen naturally at home. They have to learn how to *lead* a group instead of following individual child's interests. They have to mimic the *real learning* that goes on in a loving home because they are an artificial environment.

If your thinking is too institutional for any of this, just let me know and I'll elaborate. In a real home sorting socks lays the foundation for mathematical thinking. Parents don't have to make cardboard cut outs of socks and play matching games with groups of kids in order for them to 'get' the concept. Instead, children become a part of daily life and learn these things in a more natural context. Making cookies, playing board games, playing in the water while doing dishes, collecting rocks, all of those things are 'educationally enriching' to your children - without being artifically implemented. When a 3 year old asks why the grass is green you can take her to the library and find books about it, you can experiment with her, you can see where it leads. My dd knew more about photosynthesis at 4 then I did at 12 and it isn't because some daycare centre planned a unit on plants. It's because she asked and I was able to help her explore the answers. You just have to look at the way that DC's mimic what happens naturally in the home and you see how much goes on in the home without trying. Do I have to sit down and do circle time with my toddler in order for him to learn colours? No way. Because I'm an interested and caring parent those things come up in everyday life (like as in, 'please get me the blue bowl') and my ds has learned his colours without the artificial implementation of flashcards, circle time, or pressure.

My main goal in the preschool education of my children is to raise people who love learning, love reading, ask questions and know how to find the answers. I want those questions to go on and on and I want them to be motivated to research the answers. I don't need to sit them down in a circle in order to provide educational enrichment, all I have to do is stay close to them and help them to answer their own questions.

DCP's are trained so that they can create artificial learning experiences in group, institutional environments. SAHP's don't need that training. If any SAHP wants to find out a little more about child development or learning styles they can easily go to their local library (or search the net) and read up on it. You don't need 20 years experience to help your child be an enthusiastic learner and seeker. All you have to do is help them along their path.

Anyone truly interested in how natural learning is (when a child isn't forced into unnatural situations) please read 'How Children Fail' or 'How Children Learn' by John Holt.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 12:32pm
Obviously you do not have a child with a learning disability. Learning does not come naturally for some children. Because my child is LD, I have to create some artificial learning opportunties for him. I try to use things that occur in everyday life, but I have found that for my ds, reinforcement through some structured "artificial" activities works best.

Susan

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Registered: 09-04-1997
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 1:02pm
I think you have a skewed view of both what goes on in the average home and what goes on in the average daycare/preschool. I know there are a lot of great Moms out there who do recognize natural learning opportunities and take advantage and build on them; there are a lot of others who don't really know what's age appropriate and what real learning is. These parents don't realize that sorting socks is a great way of reinforcing concepts like size/color/alike/different, so they do their chores while their children nap and then either plonk their kids in front of the TV (maybe even educational TV) or push flashcards in teir little faces to enhance their "learning." Likewise, there are a lot of great preschools and a lot of daycare providers who appreciate the value of child-led learning and there are a lot of them that provide "canned" lessons to placate ambitious parents. Anyone with an appreciation for the way a child's mind unfolds and an apprecation for the unbounded curiousity of preschoolers can provide good learning opportunities, but it doesn't always happen.

I'm not a big fan of the Holts -- I have learned a lot from them, but find their work increasingly dogmatic and dated as time goes on.

Avatar for virgogirl914
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 1:04pm
To borrow a phrase from cacd99, "Obviously you. . ." aren't familiar with the philosophy of active learning found in Developmentally Appropriate early childhood programs.

In programs which employ Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP), the flashcards and pressure you assume are present in all ECE settings aren't used and while group time is available for preschoolers, it isn't 'required' for teaching. Group time in a DAP setting is merely that a time when the group may come together for the sharing of stories or other group activities. In truly DAP settings, other activities would be available for those children not interested in the group activity.

You should also note that not all ECE settings are center based. The benefit of family child care programs is that they do provide children the home atmosphere that you seem to think is non-existant in 'DC'.

Avatar for natsmom98
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 1:06pm
What about a happy medium? My children are in DC 3-4 days a week, for 7 1/2 hours a day, and I find that provides plenty of opportunity for both types of learning (the structured daycare learning as well as lots of learning led by me and their dad). Your characterization of daycare learning as "unnatural" is fairly offensive.
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 1:14pm
Are you suggesting with this post that all mothers are good teachers & that all children learn the same way?
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 1:15pm
there are several features you're missing here, but the most important ime is that of the influence of the "other." i don't attribute all of my children's dcps' abilities to their "training in the creation of artificial enviromnents"; indeed, i consider a major part of it their experience caring for children--their own and other dc charges. i don't think that becoming a dcp makes anyone *less* competent than they would be as a parent (thus they pretty much start out on par with any parent, minus the in-depth knowledge of each child that only a parent starts out with or has), and i think that years of working with children has a cumulative effect on most people's insight. and even aside from training and experience, happy accidents can occur when children spend time with new people. a wet-behind-the-ears college student started working in ds's room last spring and one of the first things she did was make "cootie catchers" for the 3, 4, and 5yos there. i snorted when i saw ds's, not only with the names of the colors written out but also with numbers up into the twenties and complicated finishes. but i'll be gull-durned if a 4yo who for two years got bungled up between 10 and 19 didn't learn to count to 26 (and beyond), who hadn't sight read anything but his and his sister's name didn't learn to read the names of four colors and key words in eight phrases in one day from that fool thing. he didn't need to learn any of that, but adding that one person to his life added an opportunity that i wouldn't have thought to (or i would have at least dumbed-down), and i just don't see any harm in that.

i don't think that i (or dh) don't measure up to dcps, or that our children wouldn't learn as well from us as from them. but i also know that dcps have opened doors to my children that wouldn't have occurred to us, at least before we would have thought to, by both design and accident. if we didn't use dcps, we would put a great deal of effort into putting our children in situations where other people could enhance their lives in the ways that their dcps do. i don't think that the children of sahps are necessarily or even likely isolated--i think that most are touched and taught by nonparents who aren't dcps, and that most parents get help from the insight of people who aren't dcps--so i don't understand perspectives like yours that don't seem to understand that the role that dcps fill is one that is filled in the lives of all well-rounded children.

edited to add that others addressed your static and unrealistic view of what dc environments are like, and the fact that you even use the "vs." terminology illustrates the gist of the difference in our worldviews on this subject.


Edited 6/23/2003 1:17:53 PM ET by mogm

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 2:21pm
Thank you!! You've made all those parents who NEED, NEEDED or just plain WANT to work feel even better about DCP's! In my interpretation of your post you are saying that they take great care in making sure that they provide positive, education experiences.."artificial" or not (I don't agree with the term artifical...learning is learning).


Edited 6/23/2003 2:34:08 PM ET by schphoner
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Registered: 06-12-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 3:25pm
Working woman here who agrees with your whole post and thanks for stepping forth to put the words out there.
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 4:01pm
The dcps are not in the artificial environment.

The mothers spending most of their time catering to a child or two, with only a few hours a week of really critical work to do in support of such children, are in the artificial environment. Some people helping other people to look after kids, in order that some people may procure the necessities of survival for all, are in the most natural environment you can imagine. The woman who has diversified her dependancy, ie is not dependant upon ONE MALE for all the suruvival requirements of her family, is doing the most natural thing possible. Whether shes aquires her diversity by being a dcp or anything at all else that translates into money for her family.

In the natural environment, that of mamals, btw, new mothers routinely harm, or even kill, their first born or two, as the go through all that natural learning. Humans tend to mimize the occurrence of that, because human Moms are supposed to have the brainpower to realize they arent' experts in that with which they have no experience, and they are naturally predisposed to view those with experience as, well, more capable. Which makes the the mothers spending most of their time catering to a child or two, with only a few hours a week of really critical work to do in support of such children, and which mother is under the impression that by virtue of giving birth, she is now more capable than others with way more child rearing experience (ie mistakes her feelings of love of actual practical competence and knowledge) is in an EXTREMEYLY artificial and unnatural environment.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 4:25pm
But here's your problem. You're lumping ALL child care into the same category and we are NOT all the same.

My kids help me sort socks, they collect rocks if they want to. We look for rainbows after a thundershower...if we see a beautiful butterfly in the yard, we spend a few minutes looking it over oohhing and ahhing and then we get the nature book out to see what kind of butterfly it is.

Learning opportunities happen naturally here just like they would at home because this IS a home and a loving environment. NOT an institution.

Sue

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