These first few weeks have flown by, and the children in the Preschool 2 class have noticed, and begun to show an interest in the cycle of the year. They’re noting that birthdays are coming up, the seasons are starting to change, and that there are holidays coming. While they have a daily meeting where they share a calendar, it was difficult for them to envision all of these changes and important dates on a ‘flat’ calendar. Along with their teachers, they have created a 3D calendar using a lazy susan and photos. This calendar has become a way for them to see what’s next, and a way for them to mark time in a meaningful way.
How wonderful that this interest has coincided with Rosh Hashanah! Rosh Hashanah is often referred to as the birthday of the world, and the beginning of a 10 day period of reflection for Jewish people that ends on Yom Kippur, the day of repentance.
As we prepare for the holidays, we use this opportunity to talk about the symbols of Roshahah with the children. The links will take you to some of the songs that we have been singing together:
Yom Kippur is a more somber day. Called the Day of Atonement, it is a chance for Jews to repent and ask for forgiveness from God and from others that they may have wronged. With the children, it’s an opportunity to talk about saying “I’m sorry” when they’ve done something that may have hurt another person, or made them feel angry and sad. We talk about how we can make things better in these situations beyond just saying sorry.
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time that we teach the children (and to be honest, we all need a reminder about this) that it’s okay to make mistakes and that everyone does, but we can always ask for forgiveness and make things right.
Have a wonderful and sweet new year!
Over the summer our Early Learning Center Leadership team decided that the Jewish values that we had chosen in 2011 when we started our Reggio journey, didn’t necessarily define who we are now, in the 2018-19 school year. After meeting with Rabbi Jeremy Weisblatt, we came up with eleven items, three phrases and eight Hebrew words, that we thought would best define our school.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll share with you how we see these values playing out in our school. We also invite you to share with us examples of these that you see happening in our classrooms and with the children
I apologize for the gap in posting time, the past few months have been quite a journey for our community. We went from Rosh Hashana, to Simchat Torah, celebrating with one another, but missing almost a month of school. As soon as we got back into the groove, the Tree of Life shooting happened and we were turned upside down as we tried to deal with a lot of questions, emotions and feelings. And then suddenly it was November and we had a Thanksgiving program to put together and another week out of classes. Don’t blink, because by the time you finish reading this, it’s probably going to be December and the winter holidays will be upon us.
One topic that always seems to come up around this time of year is gratitude and how can we help our children be grateful and thankful. This is especially timely since many of us celebrate gift giving holidays in the winter time, and children (and adults too) can get caught up in the ‘more stuff’ mindset. How can you help your child during these times and throughout the year?
Here are some resources so that you can read more about gratitude and young children:
10 Ways to Raise a Grateful Kid
8 Ways to Teach Kids Gratitude
Here are some groups and organizations that you can help out with donations:
Foster Love (I only linked their donation page, but they have a bag drive going on through December 15)
Play it Forward Pittsburgh (They are collecting donations now and through December 12. They encourage entire families, including children, to volunteer!)
North Hills Community Outreach (They have a variety of programs and volunteer opportunities)