Mind in the Making

I’ve been reading a great early childhood book recently titled “Mind in the Making” by Ellen Gailinsky.  It’s about the “7 essential life skills every child needs.”  It’s so refreshing to be reading a book that focuses on skills like self-regulation and communication rather than reading and math.  I have heard over and over from Kindergarten teachers across the country that the most important Kindergarten readiness skill is being able to conduct yourself appropriately in a classroom setting.  If you can’t handle being last in line, or can’t remember where your lunch box goes when you’re done eating, or call your friends “stupid” when they don’t get the right answer, your problems are going to be much greater than just not being able to write a great number 3.  If you love books, and you can suggest a solution when your friend wants the same marker you do, and know when to say “That makes me angry,” than Kindergarten teachers don’t care if you don’t know more than three letters, because they can teach you the rest easily when you are a fully functioning member of the classroom.  This book cites a LOT of research to support the author’s claims that the 7 skills she lists are indeed essential for children to succeed in school and in life.  Here are two of my favorite quotes from the book thus far:

-“If you stop learning, you stop living.”  -Gailinsky’s mother

-“Many of the most groundbreaking contributions to human culture communicate in nonverbal form.”  -Gailinsky (this is why we should support more of those Thousand Languages of Children)

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