LEARNING THROUGH PLAY, LLC
We all want to give our kids the world, and we all need support from time to time to keep our families happy and healthy. The Learning Through Play philosophy is built on honoring and developing the many different ways human potential can grow and shine. Key concepts informing our approach are play and connection, attachment, present parenting, growth mindset, emotional intelligence, and the “whole child” philosophy of the Montessori method of education. For more information about each of Learning Through Play’s foundational tenets, read the descriptions listed below:
Play and Connection
Play is paramount to a child’s healthy development. It is fundamental to educators and parents as a means to provide wide-ranging learning opportunities. Research shows that play is an important key in building thriving neural pathways in the brain, agile and strong bodies, and healthy social relationships. Play isn’t just fun and games. It’s also a child’s work. Playful experiences are both educational and therapeutic. When children are experiencing difficulties, play gives children a way to process emotions as it is their natural language. It fosters creativity, self-control, and self-awareness. It encourages development, confidence, wellbeing, and helps foster a secure, connected relationship between parent and child. Playing with your child allows them to more easily connect with you and parents are then able to better recognize children’s emotional needs. Parents are quite capable of becoming educational and therapeutic agents of change with their own children and we here at Learning Through play aim to help nurture this playful relationship.
Complementary to developing emotional intelligence is embracing a "growth" mindset, as opposed to a "fixed" mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe that their traits are fixed and cannot be changed. They believe that talent alone leads to success, and effort is not necessary. Studies show, however, that the brain is remarkably flexible and able to gain intelligence throughout our entire lifespan. In contrast, people with a growth mindset view challenges as opportunities to learn. They have the confidence to keep trying, despite what others may perceive as failure. People with a growth mindset consciously seek to keep learning and practicing new skills throughout their lives, are often seen as “go-getters,” and tend to be in leadership positions. At Learning Through Play, we emphasize this growth mindset so that the world may be seen as full of possibility—a place where one can thrive and succeed.
When we become parents, we tend to reflect our problems onto our kids. This can create problems that aren't even there. We get lost in the weeds of parenting and can't find a way forward. Maybe because what our parents did with us didn't work. Or because we don't have the role models or a knowledge base to find a better way. Present parenting aims to keep the past in the past. It encourages us to see each child as an individual, loving them unconditionally and giving them what they need to succeed. At the same time, it honors that parents aren't perfect. We're allowed to have problems without being held to the pain in our past. Feeling proud, successful, and connected to our children can heal the imperfections in our own childhoods. Being present also means being mindful. This can be recognizing your own triggers and the signs that you're losing control, or repairing your connection when it has become impaired by your actions.
The Montessori Method
The Montessori educational philosophy embodies both growth mindset and emotional intelligence in its teaching practices. Dr. Maria Montessori was a pioneer in Child Development. Through her years of work with children, she developed educational practices that revolutionized the way that young children are taught. Montessori believed that every child is a capable individual with their own strengths and gifts. Each child is respected and nurtured by the adults that guide them on their path to a fulfilling life. Teaching the whole child, intellectually, emotionally, and socially, allows for growth and development in every aspect of their lives. The Montessori consultants, and coaches, at Learning Through Play educate parents on hands-on learning experiences that encourage problem solving and socialization. Learning Through Play emphasizes learning experiences that promote a sense of belonging, independence, and community.
While current conventional school models see academic performance and standardized test scores as the primary indicators for future success, more recent studies have shown that emotional intelligence is, in fact, a more accurate predictor of long-term prosperity in all areas of life. Emotional intelligence (or “EQ”) revolves around the concepts of self-awareness, internal motivation, emotion regulation, empathy, and social skills. Having a healthy EQ is essential for successful relationships and a balanced, fulfilling life. Nurturing EQ helps instill perspective, thoughtfulness, and the ability to navigate life’s challenges more skillfully. Fortunately EQ, unlike IQ, is not fixed so it can be improved upon with practice. Learning Through Play seeks to give individuals the necessary tools to expand their emotional intelligence in order to attain a more fulfilling life.