Learning is taking place at all times in all circumstances for every person. There are as many ways to learn something as there are people. Teach less and share more. Children learn best by doing. Love each child with your eyes, your smile, and your words!  



“Every subject known to humans has it’s roots in the natural world. Nature is core knowledge!” John Muir

“It’s absurd and anti-life to be part of a system that compels you to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age and social class. That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the synergy of variety; indeed it cuts you off from your own past and future, sealing you in a continuous present much the same way television does…

Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your road map through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die.”
~ John Taylor Gatto ~

As a recent grandmother, I have been studying and contemplating the development of the young child very seriously again . . .and the importance of addressing their sensitive periods of development . . . . . . . . . . . . .and how important observation is to the parent and teacher.

The child’s environment . . . the “learning” environment, the home environment, the town or city . . . everywhere the child is present is the child’d learning environment. The environment plays a most important role in a child’s development and health and ours as well.. .

Recently one of my grandsons, who is three 1/2, went on a little vacation with his parents on the water and they went crabbing. There are different ways to catch a crab. You can set a crab trap, or do it the old way, with a chicken neck tied to a line. It’s is a great touch sensory lesson. You hold the line until you feel the crab tugging and then you very slowly pull him in! Then you count your catch! And then read your book from the library on crabs when you get home! What a great day in the sunshine and fresh air!


We need to FEED OUR ROOTS! It all boils down to a system and what their priorities. Education money goes to the top – to alma maters and football teams and charge students a life savings. Domestic violence, poverty, racism and a rape culture still exists under the guise of suits and ties. The good ole boys of S.C. have oppressed, beaten and used women, children, and even babies in the name of God for as long as I can remember. The early childhood and elementary programs are antiquated and unhealthy.

While education remains at the bottom the bottom feeders have a feast. There used to be a saying . . “Children should be seen and not heard.” Some thought the young child had limits and couldn’t learn much. Maybe that old thinking combined with laziness, selfishness, and greed on the part of inexperienced adults and politicians running the system is the reason for such deprived environments for young children, an irrelevant curriculum very poorly designed, and a lack of classroom supplies and support for teachers.

It is important that we get the overwhelming multitude of toxins and pollution and waste out of our air, water, soil, and food . . . homes, schools, and work environments. The way to start is by not purchasing any. It’s not necessary. It’s cheaper and healthier to walk a natural path and not fill it with poisons and the toxins they sell. The disease of consumption and greed thrive and drive the market and the world climate. Children can be permanently damaged by these poisons . . . and by their educational experiences too. We must clean up schools and the environment and help cure cancers and other ailments as well by doing it. It’s not easy to change, but it’s worth it to all of life and our survival.

Babies and young children absorb what is around them. This can even happen to adults! They learn almost instantly from seeing, watching, hearing, tasting, smelling, or touching. Babies are active eating to grow strong enough to sit up, crawl, walk and talk.

Our very young children are starving for relevant and creative activity but the environments, support, and training for teachers falls far short. Many parents are starving to survive. Children are neglected and hungry. If both parents are lucky enough to have jobs, they still don’t make enough to live and support their family today. We now have infant care added to the load because moms can no longer afford to care for their babies. Not only is our bond to nature being broken, but our bonds to our children and each other are seem to be crumbling as well.

Some good innovative changes are happening in a few schools today, but we need much more. There are very troublesome things happening. The educational environment, programs, materials, and many facilities need a frugal healthy overhaul. Teachers of preschool children should be paid much more, and get better training, and the environment needs to be greatly improved! It’s kind of like like dribble down economics, Those at the top have it, those at the bottom don’t. The colleges get the money and support. And babies and elementary children are neglected. How long is S.C. going to remain at the bottom in education? We need big changes.

Change is the one constant and I see it coming. We are connected now and more aware and want an environment that is clean . . . education that is inspiring, and a life that is healthy and safe from violence. We are aware, active, and we care! Help make these changes happen.

Clean air, food and water are critical to the health of all of us and especially to the growth and health of young children. Teaching nutrition through “Organic gardening” works! The farm to school programs and gardens in schools programs are great and growing and provide them with healthy meals. Transitions can be hard but we make them as we Grow … as we become Healthier, Wealthier and Wiser!

I pray for everyone, healthier children and healthier safer environments and I pray for teachers to get the support they have never had. Susan Dean

“We discovered that education is not something that the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. ” ~ Maria Montessori

Click the links below for other pages and lesson plans:

The Indoor Classroom




The Science of Cooking

NSTA Science Fair Project Ideas






Why Many kids Can’t Sit Still in School Today


The Art of Learning

“I had incredible teachers. And as I look at my life today, the things I value most about myself — my imagination, my love of acting, my passion for writing, my love of learning, my curiosity — all of these things came from how I was parented and taught

And none of these qualities that I’ve just mentioned — none of these qualities that I prize so deeply, that have brought me so much joy, that have brought me so much professional success — none of these qualities that make me who I am … can be tested.

I said before that I had incredible teachers. And that’s true. But it’s more than that. My teachers were EMPOWERED to teach me. Their time wasn’t taken up with a bunch of test prep — this silly drill and kill nonsense that any serious person knows doesn’t promote real learning. No, my teachers were free to approach me and every other kid in that classroom like an individual puzzle. They took so much care in figuring out who we were and how to best make the lessons resonate with each of us. They were empowered to unlock our potential. They were allowed to be teachers.

Now don’t get me wrong. I did have a brush with standardized tests at one point. I remember because my mom went to the principal’s office and said, ‘My kid ain’t taking that. It’s stupid, it won’t tell you anything and it’ll just make him nervous.’ That was in the ’70s when you could talk like that.

I shudder to think that these tests are being used today to control where funding goes.

I don’t know where I would be today if my teachers’ job security was based on how I performed on some standardized test. If their very survival as teachers was not based on whether I actually fell in love with the process of learning but rather if I could fill in the right bubble on a test. If they had to spend most of their time desperately drilling us and less time encouraging creativity and original ideas; less time knowing who we were, seeing our strengths and helping us realize our talents.

I honestly don’t know where I’d be today if that was the type of education I had. I sure as hell wouldn’t be here. I do know that.

This has been a horrible decade for teachers. I can’t imagine how demoralized you must feel. But I came here today to deliver an important message to you: As I get older, I appreciate more and more the teachers that I had growing up. And I’m not alone. There are millions of people just like me.

So the next time you’re feeling down, or exhausted, or unappreciated, or at the end of your rope; the next time you turn on the TV and see yourself called “overpaid;” the next time you encounter some simple-minded, punitive policy that’s been driven into your life by some corporate reformer who has literally never taught anyone anything. … Please know that there are millions of us behind you. You have an army of regular people standing right behind you, and our appreciation for what you do is so deeply felt. We love you, we thank you and we will always have your back. Matt Damon, Save Our Schools March 7/30/2011