"This system in which a child is constantly moving objects with his hands and actively exercising his senses, also takes into account a child's special aptitude for mathematics. When they leave the material, the children very easily reach the point where they wish to write out the operation. They can thus carryout an abstract mental operation and acquire a kind of natural and spontaneous inclination for mental calculations."
-- Maria Montessori
See Shiv's Peas & Love T-shirt and shorts. His shoes are a cross between dress sandals and sneaker sandals. His jacket is reversible with matte fabric lining in the same shade of charcoal as the trim on the rainbow side. The iridescent color is called "abalone." The outside is reflective.
This is Graham's primary colors sweater.
Enjoy a recipe for Chocolate Brain Balls. Thanks to Pain's Gray and the Charles Drew Health Center Farmer's Market, Shiv made these with clinical-grade cacao powder. Yes, this is the same guy who set his kitchen on fire not long ago. It's a no-bake recipe. No, he doesn't have a food processor, he just mashed everything by hand.
Here is the cookie tin for Junket.
Amber Waves is a cold cereal with unsweetened corn chex, oat chex, wheat chex, and rice chex. It comes from Uncle Sam's Pantry.
Honey Bundles is a cold cereal made from sunflower seeds, walnut pieces, coconut flakes, almond butter, honey, coconut flour, and coconut oil, with no grains. It comes from Delicious Dryad.
Hooper Fruits is a cold cereal made of oat rings in multiple colors created by the addition of red raspberry powder, papaya powder, yellow mango powder, kiwi powder, and blackberry powder. The only sweetener is the fruit powder. It's made by Happy Hippie.
(These links are awful.)
Local-America routinely abuses children by forcing them to sit still for hours at a time, to the point that it causes biological damage by preventing healthy development of nerve and muscle systems as well as academic problems. Conversely, children who walk or bike to school -- which is much more popular in Terramagne-America than here -- have much better concentration than those who don't. The connection is obvious: if you want children to sit still and pay attention, first wear them out with vigorous physical activity. Give them a play period, take them for a walk, etc. Then sit down to relax or work.
Knife history really does go back for millions of years. The amazing thing, to me, is that some species only ever had one gizmologist, hence the sophisticated Homo ergaster hand axe that persisted for ages because nobody else understood flint knapping so they couldn't improve it or even make other tools. Contrast that with snow monkeys who have invented everything from sand-free sweet potatoes to riding deer.
Montessori principles can be used at home. Read about how to set up a Montessori homeschool classroom. The Finns use many of these parameters, although I imagine they're throwing in every other useful pedagogical technique they've ever found.
A circle of safety appears in knife skills and other activities. Most T-American folks are familiar with this technique. Here you can see that it's useful for emotional as well as physical safety -- it's a great skill for dealing with touch aversion or flashbacks.
A choking tube tester is used to determine the safety of toys and other items. As shown in this video, anything that fits entirely inside the tube is unsafe for children under 3, or more realistically, small children who still put things in their mouth. (That's an important distinction because some toddlers like Jaxon have minimal oral interest, while some older people like Shiv are still mouthy.) Anything that protrudes outside the tube is safe with regard to size, providing it can't easily get broken into smaller pieces.
Lego makes Duplo blocks with numerals and pips.
Legos are great for teaching math. Explore some counting and measuring activities. In this activity, plain Legos illustrate fractions. These homemade blocks have numerals, pips, and words on different sides. This large set has numerals and pips for measuring.
A math scale makes it easy to measure masses against each other.
Making choices is an essential skill for children to develop. Parents can help children make good choices. Children with special needs may need alternative methods. As the grow, children move through a progression of choices as they learn how to handle bigger ones. This is crucial for healthy development. L-America has restricted choices so much that now many people reach 18, get control of a car and a crotch, and have no idea how to handle either responsibly. The results are often disastrous.
(These links are harsh.)
A similar issue arises in L-American prisons, where society attempts to punish people for making bad choices by taking away most or all choices. The result, obviously, is that those inmates learn nothing about how to make better choices, and in fact prison makes people worse instead of better. L-Norway has a better idea: offering prisoners choices and responsibilities has lowered recidivism dramatically. Rehabilitation helps inmates learn to make better decisions. Among the safest and most useful are dietary choices. Dr. Bloch's Get Your Sh!t Together Diet relies on offers a range of healthy choices and letting inmates pick what they want. It works well enough that Shiv has largely stuck with it after release.
Grilled cheese sandwiches can be basic or gourmet. Many different cheeses work in this context. Comté is a splendid cheese made from pastured cow milk. Cojack is a mottled combination of colby and Monterey Jack cheeses. American cheese is a mild, processed cheese that melts especially well. Kraft Singles are slices of cheese wrapped in plastic, subsequently copied by various other companies and products.
Sourdough produces bread with many benefits. You can raise your own sourdough starter on the countertop or in the fridge. It has many uses. See Graham's sourdough crock.
Kimchee is a fermented mix of cabbage and other vegetables. It offers various health benefits. To make your own kimchee, you'll need fermentation weights such as weightstones. Graham's kimchee crock has a set of weights to distinguish sweet, sour, or spicy recipes.
Sauerkraut is a ferment of shredded cabbage. Read about its benefits. You can make your own sauerkraut. Here is Graham's sauerkraut crock.
Kombucha is a fermented tea that people drink for various reasons. Learn how to make kombucha. Graham's
kombucha crock has a tap in the bottom.
Children learn by doing. If you incorporate math and science into everyday activities and sensory play, then children learn those things easily.
Touch-dominant people also learn by doing, regardless of age. When you tell them "don't touch," you're really saying "don't learn." Know how to recognize and support this learning mode.
Montessori math begins with a careful introduction and progression of learning as children grow. Here are some milestones of preschool and kindergarten. Math manipulatives include a wide range of materials for hands-on learning.
The trinomial cube is presented by disassembling and then reassembling it. Given its use of colors and shapes, however, the same material can be used for various other activities.
The decanomial bead set features a wooden storage box and beads strung on wires. Each number is associated with a specific color of bead, so for instance, the ones are always red and the tens are always gold. This is a splendid tool for counting activities of many kinds, and the beautiful beads attract children with their visual and tactile appeal.
The colored bead stair is a set of bead bars from one to nine. The presentation involves lining them up and naming them. Here is a counting exercise using this material. A wooden tray helps to organize the colored bead stair. See how they work together.
The golden beads for tens are used in various games.
Put the colored beads and golden beads together, and you can use the teen board to teach the teen numbers.
The snake game teaches addition. Watch how it plays out.
Colored bead chains and squares introduce ideas such as square numbers and skip counting.
The golden bead material teaches the base ten decimal system. It includes single beads, ten-bead bars, hundred bead squares, thousand bead cubes, and other tools. The hundred bead chains and thousand bead chains go well with this set.
Toys vary by age and developmental level of intended audience. This is almost always expressed in a year number, which is easy to determine; but it is much more useful to use developmental milestones, which require observation. If you only rely on year number, you may give toys to children who have not yet progressed far enough to use them safely or you may give children toys which are too easy and boring. Safety guidelines are a good place to start, especially for very immature children. However, older children need to explore things that begin to introduce elements of risk. Otherwise, they can't learn gentleness, precision, forethought, and other skills necessary for handling dangerous tasks as adults. First make sure they have learned the prerequisite skills (i.e. pouring cold water accurately) before presenting a more challenging task (i.e. pouring hot chocolate). Here are some slightly to moderately dangerous activities that are beneficial for kids of varying ages.
(These links are harsh.)
Educational neglect involves not just keeping a child out of school but also failing to provide lessons they can actually learn. Although it's technically illegal in some L-American states, the latter version happens routinely; many children are caged in schools that present stock materials which are unsuited to many students, who are then blamed for "not trying." This brings us to educational abuse, which includes such issues as teachers who bully, unfair judgment, and cruel punishments.
(Some of these links are appalling.)
Finger-counting is an instinctive rediscovery of how humans invented math. While many people condemn it, finger-counting has considerable advantages. The plain fact is, if you force a child to use a method that doesn't work for them, and you punish them for using a method that makes sense to them, at best you will wind up with a people-pleaser who can't count and at worst you'll get a baby supervillain. It gets worse when adults slap a child's hands or face for not performing as demanded. HItting kids has a tendency to increase violence.
Shiv is too upset to hide his feelings, which spill out through his actions. Rocking falls under the body language of discomfort. Hugging knees can appear in body language of discomfort, fear, or other distress.
Emotional overload can come from emotional flashbacks or other causes. Little things add up to big stress. You can see how Shiv weathers the first few wobbles but eventually collapses under the strain. Know how to help children feel safe during overload, and how to handle your own overload. This is relatively new to Shiv -- previously people refused to let him take a break and then punished him for melting down, much like what happens in most L-American schools.
Feelings aren't good or bad, they just are. All feelings are valid. Even negative emotions have some positive benefits. Children who are punished for their feelings learn to manipulate -- or in Shiv's case, to stab people who won't take a verbal "no" for an answer. There are better ways for adults to support healthy emotional development. Here is an activity about feelings. Note that it only works if adults allow it to work; you can lie that all feelings are okay, but unless you act that way, people will not be fooled by the lie. Just making space for Shiv to feel what he feels is helpful after spending most of his life trying to suppress his emotions and getting punished for failing.
Jealousy crops up when resources are scarce or someone has been denied their needs in the past, often causing problems. However, it offers insights too. You can't solve it unless you understand the causes behind it. Know how to respond when children feel jealous of each other and how to stop being jealous yourself. Here are some ways to deal with jealousy in children.
Emotional regulation is an essential life skill, but it takes a lifetime to develop. If adults don't teach self-control and emotional regulation, then it's difficult or impossible for children to learn them. Abuse causes developmental delays that often leave people "stuck" at the mental age when the trauma happened. This explains why Shiv so often behaves like a much younger teen, or even a toddler, despite being chronologically 20 years old. It happens most often in the context of things that remind him of earlier times. There are constructive ways to control difficult emotions.
The worst schools in L-Nebraska include Elliott Elementary School in Lincoln, Madison Elementary School in Madison, Culler Middle School in Lincoln, Elba Secondary School (grades 7-12) in Elba, Lincoln High School in Lincoln, and Central High School in Omaha. Not all of the schools that Shiv attended were the worst in the state, and he did not attend all the ones that were, but there is a lot of overlap between the two categories. Also, just this handful of examples is enough to show how much he got shuffled around to different places because nobody wanted him. That has ruinous effects on education, even for good students.
Mantras are repetitive phrases for meditation that offer various benefits. Here are some examples of mantras. You can also make your own. There are different ways to use mantras in meditation.
Words for peace include paco (Esperanto), pax (Latin), and various others. Pick several you like, string them together, and you have a mantra.
See the abacus with chalkboard and art tray.
A relationship bank account frames the exchange of energy between people. Shiv understands neither relationships nor bank accounts, having little experience of either, but he does grasp the idea of trading favors.
Happy Hearts Television is a nonprofit company started by a therapist on community content, which grew into a whole media group of its own. They get substantial donations from mental and physical health care providers who want to have completely safe, soothing stuff to play in their offices or waiting rooms.
Tranquil Toons is all animated, and the closest it gets to violence is an occasional pie in the face. Many of the programs don't even have a voice track, just music and/or sound effects. The channel is famous for commissioning new cartoons to go with instrumental scores, similar to Fantasia.
Jazz includes many subgenres, of which cool jazz is a soothing one. Listen to an example by Miles Davis.