About School in the Kitchen
Who Am I?
The short answer — I’m Rachel.
The long answer — I’m Rachel, a curly-headed, practically albino mom of two. In my past life (prior to the kidlets), I taught 9th grade English in inner-city Houston, TX. I had students with babies, students with felony records, and students with gang tattoos. . . and I absolutely LOVED my job and “my” kids.
Normally, you will find me at my main blog, Following In My Shoes, where I blog about trying to live healthy, my favorite recipes, and the trials and tribulations (and joys) that come from parenting my Little Lady and Mr. Boy.
What is “School in the Kitchen?”
School in the Kitchen, our “preschool,” started when I noticed that my Little Lady, after she turned two, was in desperate need of structured, focused play and developmentally appropriate activities. A few months earlier, I couldn’t get her to sit still and hold a crayon (let alone refrain from eating it), but all of the sudden, she was asking, daily, if she could color, “write” her name, read books, etc. My Little Lady was thriving on intentional activities with Mommy, leaving her calmer, happier, and less prone to temperamental outbursts.
(actually, that last little statement about temperamental outbursts applies to both of us!)
In my former days as a high school English teacher, I knew that my students needed daily, structured, and intentional activities to support their learning. If I gave them free reign or even free time during class, they would quickly become loud, out of hand, and, simply put, did not use their talents and skills for learning. But, if they were presented with literature and student-centered activities that forced them to use their brains and their academic vocabulary, they became model students.
Sheesh — who knew the same is true at the toddler/pre-school level? I certainly didn’t! I’ve had no training in Early Childhood Education, but the same skills and knowledge I used as a high school definitely applies to helping my daughter learn her colors, letters, how to write her name, and, well, the list goes on!
So, why did you start another blog?
I loved lesson planning when I was teaching (I can’t help it — I really am an organizing nerd at heart), and decided to start this blog as a way to help me plan lessons for the skills and knowledge I want the Little Lady to learn. In addition, pictures of the activities and the results of each lesson will be documented here. . . .I know I’ll need this if I want to repeat these lessons 2-3 years from now when the Little Lady’s brother is ready for his own schooling!
Since I don’t have a wealth of preschool activities and educational tools in storage (but, I do have fabulous lesson plans for To Kill a Mockingbird, Mythology, and Romeo and Juliet . . . if you’re interested (lol)), I will be relying heavily on websites and blogs for inspiration. If you know of a site that I need to view, PLEASE pass it on! I promise I’ll love you forever and like you for always if you do.