What this Blog is all about
I invite you to join me on this journey as I examine the many facets of raising a child both for parents and childcare professionals.
Some of the topics I will be exploring in this blog are:
• Redirecting—a very effective tool which I remember my mother using on me. It is a great way to avoid a power struggle while maintaining the upper hand in being able to direct a child they way you need him or her to go.
• Play—the almighty Castle in the City of Children’s Activity. Play is the essence of learning, and of extending behavior outward—from cognition (imagination) to action (behavior).
• Fully human but small in every way. I remember having that realization way back in college while working at the daycare there. In class, we had read the developmental theorists, some of whom had claimed children were not “fully human” until they reach adulthood!? After working with infants and recognizing their complete emotional expressions and ability to communicate intelligently, I realized that this was not true. Children are fully developed human beings, just small in every way.
• The ironical juxtaposition of values reflected in the childcare industry.
I have been fortunate, alongside with my wife Jody, to raise our daughter Natalie, who is now 20 years old and is doing great! In fact, she recently spent 3 months abroad studying literature in Dublin, Ireland, and now will be graduating college this summer before she turns 21 (yeah, I’m a proud Dad!).
Children are my passion, and I consider myself an advocate for them. I majored in Child Development in college (way back when!), and I seek to bring the attention to them that they deserve. As a matter of fact, at my first preschool teaching job back in the late 1980’s, we joked (sadly!) about the disparity and inequality of the early childhood education profession. We even said, “Let the Governor come and spend an hour with 12 of them in a room—and be responsible for them! And then we’ll see if he doesn’t change his mind about the grand importance of the childcare profession.”
Here we are 30 years later, still sounding the drum…but now we are beating on it (at least I am!). And I think it is a fairly simple case to make that this is critically important subject for our present times.
Who I am, and why I care about children
My name is Tom Racanelli, and I have worked with children since I first discovered my passion during college when my mother commented to me that I had a “gift” in relating to children. I finished college at Humboldt State University with a bachelor’s degree in Child Development , and have been working with preschool children ever since.
In “Mikey Goes to School”, the day in the life of a preschooler is followed, from driving to school with Mommy, having snack and taking a nap, and playing side-by-side with friends.
In this first book of “The Mikey and Mommy Series”, I hope to engage young children with subject matter they can relate to and foster in them a healthy thirst for learning with developmentally appropriate material.