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Thinking Together with Children: A Tapestry of Lifelong Learning

Thinking Together with Children: A Tapestry of Lifelong Learning

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Thinking Together with Children: A Tapestry of Lifelong Learning

217 pagine
2 ore
Dec 14, 2010


Your child is asking Why? and seeking meaning. Listening and responding encourages refl ective thought.

Now that our children are spending more and more time in virtual reality, making connections with their minds is becoming even more important. Thinking requires an individual to formulate an idea into a conceptual thought that can be recalled and analyzed. A parent can help their child think clearly by actively participating in their learning. Listening to your child means your child will listen as well. The child is seeking meaning.

Dec 14, 2010

Informazioni sull'autore

Jeanette Kroese Thomson, parent, grandparent, author, lecturer, teacher holds a Master’s Degree in Education from McGill University and B.Sc. Degree in Human Resources and Family Sciences from the University of Nebraska. She introduced Parents as Educators series with the McGill Centre of Continuing Education. She conducts workshops on family literacy. She believes that parents are the primary educators of their children, and that the family must be supported to nurture, protect and educate. Her books include, Learning Together With Children and a children’s book, Hurry Up Joey, It’s Time To Go!. She is also the creator of a “family” of marsupial characters “The Marsupians” and their Tales of Origin. She and her husband, Gary A. Thomson have led study tours inquiring into the origins of prehistoric peoples in Europe and North America. They reside on Ile Verte, Laval, a suburb of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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Anteprima del libro

Thinking Together with Children - Jeanette Kroese Thomson



Thinking Together With Children A Tapestry of Lifelong Learning



- 1 -

The Birth Of Life And The Small Child

- 2 -

Thinking From A Small Child

- 3 -

Imagination, Dreams, Stories, Myths and Reality

- 4 -

Wayland Smithy & Epona The Horsewoman

- 5 -

The Child Takes Control I can read that!

- 6 -

Time For Reflection: The Unhurried Child

- 7 -

Concepts That Change I Didn’t Know That!

- 8 -

Dogmatic Thought: The Mind Caught In A Web

- 9 -

The Marsupians: A Living and Expanding Concept

- 10 -

The Mind Revealed Through Laughter, Art, Music, Nature, and Color

- 11 -

Metaphor and not Prose

- 12 -

Wellness: A Concept Towards Well-Being

- 13 -

Human Ecology: A Study of Basic Human Needs: Food, Clothing, Shelter, & Family

- 14 -

Reverence For Mother Earth: An Ancient Universal Concept

Hymn of the Universe: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

- 15 -

Here and Now



Dedicated to my husband,

Gary A. Thomson,

a loving, lifelong companion, friend, and mentor.

Thinking Together With Children

A Tapestry of Lifelong Learning


Thinking Together With Children introduces an objective way for continual dialogue with your child. This process allows in-depth discussions that stimulate a more equal exchange in the relationship changes between parent and child. Thinking requires an individual to formulate an idea into a conceptual thought that can be recalled and analyzed. It moves into the mind as a memory. Now that our children are spending more and more time in virtual reality, making connections with their minds is becoming even more important. The Internet offers instant access to information and facts. However, to acquire knowledge remains a process of the mind that connects with experience as well as objective rational thought. The current technological assumption that the tap of a computer key will give instant information is not necessarily knowledge. This simplistic, but convenient approach to learning may lead our children down a virtual-reality road with little meaning. This instant access gives back an instant mechanical response. There is no time set aside for contemplation and reflective thought.

Universities are having a problem today with first year students not equipped to do university work. The dependence on quick access to Internet support leaves students unprepared to think independently for themselves. A Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) newscast cited a university professor’s frustration with students quoting sources without understanding the why? to support their material. A survey by Ontario university professors and librarians of first year students says that over half of the first year students entering university are ill prepared for university work.[1]

The format of this book will include my own life experiences that weave a tapestry of self-awareness. Stories are from my six grandchildren at various stages that illustrate particular examples of how children learn concepts in family life. The illustrations are not necessarily in chronological order with the age of the child or young person. This book takes an ethnographic approach[2] using as a model, Jean Piaget, who used his own children in their family setting to study intellectual and language development from childhood. His main goal was to understand how knowledge grows from childhood to adulthood.[3]

Calla, Griffin and Maya live with their parents, Jill Thomson and Bruce Wright, who are professional artists in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Calla, seventeen, is preparing a career in theater. She has produced, directed, and acted in several Shakespeare plays. As well, she has written two plays that have been performed. Griffin, fourteen, who has studied geography and North American history at length, loves hockey and playing his guitar. Both Calla and Griffin have visited the Drumheller Museum in Alberta that displays the vast collection of dinosaurs found in Alberta. They have an interest in the geology of the earth and especially how it applies to Alberta. Maya, six, is finding her own creative path with make-believe stories and songs as well as learning the Shakespeare plays with her older siblings. She loves to sing and dance many of the traditional musicals such as Fiddler On The Roof, The Sound Of Music and The Music Man.

Sionna, seven, is the daughter of Shannon and Charles Ellison who live in Montreal. She enjoys sharing music with her parents who are both music professors at Concordia University. She loves singing and recording her own music and stories. Her playmates include French Canadian children who are giving her an opportunity to become bilingual without difficulty.

Jess and Amelia live in Rochester, New York, with their parents, Dawn and John Nugent who are both professional musicians. They produce the Rochester International Jazz Festival each June. Jess, eight, a third grader, loves to read and enjoys computer games. His Boy Scout experiences are leading him into the world of nature and survival skills. Amelia, four, loves to go to the Strong Museum, where she interacts with all the learning exhibitions for children. Both of these children have had wide traveling experiences with their parents to various places in North America and Europe. Jess is on the cover holding a starfish on display in a special tank at the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland. His mother, Dawn is looking on behind him.

This book focuses on helping parents and others provide ways to open the path to independent thinking for the young learner. An earlier book, Learning Together With Children, was designed to consider the four main areas of language development: listening, speaking, reading and writing. These four skills interact between internalizing meaning and then responding: listening and reading are seeking meaning; speaking and writing are responding after a thinking and reflective awareness. The small child can begin this process with parental guidance. Thinking Together With Children is a continuation of the earlier book that moves from learning language to developing concepts that broaden with more knowledge. This building block approach to learning can become an inclusive family lifestyle. It is a process that allows communication between minds to discuss, reflect and even dispute ideas as a means to understanding various points of view and differences of opinions. It is an unhurried approach that allows time for an idea or concept to be considered, to sink in, and to grow. This book will demonstrate different ways this can occur within everyday living. It will look beyond to even adult relationships between generations. It is a progression that carries throughout a lifetime for an individual. This process allows for reflection and a deeper understanding. Even more, it provides a way for adults to exchange what they know with the young person. Then in turn, the young person is learning how to freely interact and pass on his or her insights back to the adult. This process is very powerful in developing confidence as well as excitement about learning. At the same time, setting up this open communication provides an avenue for productive dialogue.

The author addresses the growth of the parent by using personal examples of how an experience or learning process can affect an individual for a lifetime. The learning process continues as life evolves and changes. The child’s well-being moves in harmony with the parent’s well-being. The basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and a loving family start with the infant and continue for a lifetime. Parents are the primary providers and they can also choose to be the primary educators of their children when they participate in the learning process with their child. The child requires consistent parents who provide a stable environment for experimenting, analyzing, questioning, probing, investigating and researching to learn together. The ongoing conversation of parents and children channels the opportunity for thinking and language to develop. This active family participating exchange is developing lifelong skills that can benefit how to approach social relationship as well as formal learning in school and beyond. This book means to help parents to think objectively about parenting. No one can give easy answers to another person’s life. Sometimes just stepping back for a moment from the intensity of the demands of parenting brings a new perspective. The aim of this book is to help you do just that.


Thinking Together With Children is a book about how concepts begin and grow. Parents can influence how children can develop this skill. Adults in turn will learn with their children and grow themselves. A concept is an idea or thought that starts with a seed and matures to a tree with branches. Looking at the world with objective eyes need not be fearful. The concept of creation, for example, can include a religious path or a scientific path. There need not be a conflict. Opening a child’s experience to the evolution of nature and adaptation of environment need not interfere with the wonder and symmetry of a religious thought. It is important that children be allowed to investigate and observe the world around them and enter into more complex awareness without fear within the circle of those who care for and love them. That is the beauty of community, both secular and religious. Children will thrive and grow when they are led into a concept and then make connections to others that broaden ideas to knowing more.

Language is learned as part of the meaning of a whole concept, not barking at words or grammatical rules. Education happens in solving the problems of life, not by indoctrination. Parents and children are living life together. This intimate exchange takes on many forms as individual lives change. The parent is the constant for the child. Teachers and others will come and go, but the continuum between the child and parent lays a foundation from which the child can depend on for stability and growth.

Thinking Together With Children moves on to discuss how humanity and nature are together. Human beings are part of nature. One cannot impose an ideology or educational structure on nature. At its widest dimension, humanity’s perception of ecology and nature see life unfolding and reincarnating itself in new forms. Not a drop of water is lost in the cycle of nature. Humanity and all living things are part of this process.

Interspersed throughout this book are the author’s sonnets and poems usually written from life experiences. A concept can evolve spontaneously and ask to be put down metaphorically. The concept takes on an artistic flavor that affects what is learned. It is a process that continually changes as life experiences change. Poems and sonnets allow a way to capture a moment.

Our changing times can reflect an adaptive mode. As human beings we are not in a state of comfortable affability. Social, political, environmental, and economic stability is elusive. The future holds uncertain outcomes for everyone including our children and grandchildren. As global events ebb and flow, no one can escape economic and social changes that occur beyond our control. Dialogue between moms and dads that include children can create discussion and confront issues that can encourage contemplation and reflection.

A young Spanish woman who is currently living in Nepal tells about the cultural shock of the insecurities of daily life with no assurance of electricity, or community services. A food menu that never changes seems strange to her. She is realizing the importance of conversations with neighbors. Not knowing the language cuts down avenues of communication. Living in this culture so different from her own sets the learning curve very high.

In the meantime, she is evaluating ways to help improve life for the community where she is living. Setting up an ecological kitchen in a school where young people can learn how to raise vegetables and cook food together becomes a challenge. She is opening up a credit line for anyone wanting to

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