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How we raise our children affects all of us. Today's children will form and shape our society at all levels; they will be our neighbors, our community leaders and they will make economic and legal decisions that will affect the quality of life for all of us. In recent years the schooling of young children has become very academically focused. Early literacy at all costs has become the central goal of kindergarten and even some preschool programs. Rosario Villasana-Ruiz, an early childhood education specialist, describes how children develop and learn naturally. She explains why we should school the child's imagination, involve all of the child's senses, provide models of rich descriptive language, and invest the time to be in relationship with children. She says, "We need to give ourselves permission to enjoy our children, to be with them, to talk to them and give them positive models to imitate." She discusses the negative impact of the media on young children and, since most children now spend three to twelve hours a day in some form of child care setting, how to select child care settings that will best nurture the young child. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms) Part of the Reimagine Growing Up Series.
Rosario Villasana-Ruiz is a Child Development Specialist at the Children's Council of San Francisco, and is an Instructor at City College of San Francisco in one of its State Preschool programs. She also works with the Caldwell Early Life Center at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, CA.
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