The 2006 New College Lectures – Children in the Spotlight: Issues in Early Childhood and Parenting – are now available.


Hamelife has a beautiful wee post here on giving our kids enough time to nut things out, process information and respond.

Here’s a preview:

… sometimes parents just need to give their child enough time to let the cogs turn, to allow a moment to process the information. Those few more seconds might take some patience on our behalf, but they could be absolutely priceless when it comes to our child’s personal development. Their little minds going over the words, processing what they mean, deciding what to do. I wonder if when parents hurry their children up, push them out the door, they deny them the opportunity to do that … Parents seem to be under increasing pressure these days, run off their feet. In the choice between the quick hit or the slow release it might feel like we have no time to go for the lengthier option. But in the long run, when they look back, parents might be glad that they extended just a little bit more time to their children, time to allow the cogs to turn.

There’s also a good podcast here on Family Values in The Simpsons and one here on Steiner Schools and a discussion on whether public schools are as good as private schools.

There’s a great little 6 minute reflection here on siblings by Dorothy Rowe, author of My Dearest Enemy, My Dangerous Friend: Making and Breaking Sibling Bonds.

Here’s a few more podcasts that I’ve checked out today that I thought were worth sharing here:

With the rise of the internet many parents are feelings that their kids know more about what goes on in the world wide web than they do. And with community like websites, danger for them is no longer just in the neighbourhood. In this podcast, Paul Wallbank of PC Rescue maps out some of the dangers of cyberspace.

In this podcast on living with drug and alcohol abuse in families, Shirley Smith, author of Set Yourself Free, talks about how we can help people with addictions or overcome our own. All of us know someone with a problem with addiction and it can create chaos in a lot of lives.

The first 9 minutes of this podcast includes a discussion on Boys, Men, and Fathers.

This podcast includes a discussion on reading to your children, this one and this one are discussions on co-parenting and reading to kids, while this one is on Single-sex schools.

This podcast includes an argument for co-ed schools, and this one’s on Political wives, Intensive parenting, and Maths for pre-schoolers.

There’s a discussion here on Kids and Money too, and one here on ‘From Babies to Blokes: The Making of Men’.

So that ought to keep us all busy for a wee while. I usually download podcasts to my MP3 player and listen to them at night while I fall asleep.

Just been listening to this podcast on Universal preschool, Maths for preschoolers and Reading to your children

On Universal preschool (00:00), the argument is that Preschool is the cornerstone of education – everything else is built upon it. That’’s what David Kirp has been telling Australia’s biggest and most profitable childcare company, ABC Learning. Universal preschool is something both major parties have talked about in Australia, but free preschool for all 3 and 4 year olds seems a very long way off – though South Australia is probably furthest along the track

On Maths (00:14) for preschoolers, it’’s usually assumed that kids don’’t start learning too much in the way of mathematics until they start school. Sure they read the odd counting book, or know how many feet they have, but despite the lack of formal learning, pre-school kids actually know a lot more about maths than you might think. Brian Doig has been looking at what sort of mathematical knowledge pre-schoolers have and how everyday tasks are a major part of developing that knowledge.

On Reading to your children (00:22), whilst studying children’’s language development, Susan Colmar found that there are a few key things parents should and should not do when they read to kids. One of her project’s focused on 15 mainly 3-5 year old pre-schoolers with language delay. After their parents made a few tweaks to how and how often they read to their children, there was a significant increase in their language skills.

We’re not up to even thinking about pre-school stuff yet, but I’d be keen to hear what your thoughts are on what is being said in this podcast.