Every child is intelligent, resourceful, competent, and driven toward relationship with other people and the world. But not every child grows up believing this about himself. Not every child is invited to show these things to the world. These days, academic proficiency takes center stage in school, even preschool sometimes, and your child’s intellect—the way he thinks about the world and himself—and growth of personal resources that help a child know how to learn get second billing if they are considered at all. Children can come away from their experiences at school feeling as if they are losing their imagination.
This book is for parents and grandparents of young children educating at home, whether instead of school or in addition to school. And it is for teachers of young children who want another way of thinking about early childhood education and how they can collaborate with parents or who already have another way of thinking but want more resources. It is for anyone who has a role in growing a curious, resourceful, thoughtful human being. It includes a wealth of practical ideas as well as insight into children’s thinking, process, and learning.
Review of “Mommy, They’re Taking Away My Imagination!”
from Margie Carter, early childhood author, consultant, co-convener of the Reimagining Our Work (ROW) Initiative
“Based on the author’s decades of working with young children as a teacher-researcher, “Mommy, They’re Taking Away my Imagination”: Educating your Young Child at Home brings the principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education home to parents and children 0 to 6 years old.
Long before Corona or Covid were household words, Pam-Oken Wright was showing us how education looks different from schooling—as a parent fostering her child’s inquisitive mind, and simultaneously in her work as a teacher for nearly 40 years, exploring the kind of attention, materials, conversations and questions that support, rather than suppress, the curious minds and active bodies of four to six year olds.
Enter a devasting global pandemic, with schools closed or going online, and parents panicked they don’t have the time or know-how to supervise the education of their children. This book to the rescue! In a practical sense, it is filled with examples of materials, experiences, and discussions that re-engage children and parents alike. Equally valuable, Pam teases out the difference between schooling and education, a call to action for an important reckoning we can no longer avoid given the perfect storm ahead.
“What is learning?” Pam asks, and answers with captivating examples that include stories, children’s conversations, drawings, inventions, and plain-speak theories on how knowledge and a learner’s self-identity is constructed.
This book offers down to earth insights into an engaging educational approach that starts by seeing the world through the child’s eyes, invites exploration, serious thinking and questions, imagination and invention. If your kid is fortunate enough to be in a school like this, Pam offers specific ways in which home and school can become an extension of each other.
But if your situation is more typical, if your child or teaching job actually denies children an education in favor of schooling, this book is your toolbox for reimagining a way forward in an era of certain uncertainty.