Little Bears is my career, my passion… it drives me every day to do better, to see more clearly.. to make mistakes and to carry forward.
There are simply not enough hours in one single day! Every moment I spend on our beautiful property gets my mind wandering, wheeling… spiraling in ten different directions….For those who know me well; I am always multi-tasking, with 10 projects on the go at once! “What should I work on next?”… What should we build?… who can I photograph?
I set goals for myself all the time. Five years ago, I told Derek that we needed to add an Infant/Toddler program to our property. The demand was overwhelming! He laughed…. there was NO way we could ever do that! But… it happened, eventually, we saved, we dreamed, we built and they came… …..the toddlers that is!
I have many goals for myself and for the programs at Lexie’s Little Bears. VIHA sets a standard for minimal expectations; we go above and beyond those expectations in every way possible! Here are some of my thoughts:
I want for the children at Little Bears to form strong affective bonds and relationships with their surroundings, including both living and non-living species.(The Topophilia Hypothesis: is also more specific with regard to the development of human-nature bonding, suggesting that this process must begin early in childhood, grounded in abundant time outdoors and adult mentoring.)
I want the children to be inspired and be encouraged to move freely in nature; touching, breathing and learning from the outdoor world!
I am a dreamer! Maybe it’s in my blood as a Gemini, but I see the bigger picture always! How to get there, is Derek’s job!… he can see walls built, and windows placed, when I have trouble seeing anything but dirt…. but together we make it happen!
I am inspired by artists like Martin Hill and Andy Goldsworthy while creating provocations for children. (Setting up the environment beautifully with natural materials to provoke language, interest and dialogue.)
Having centres that are hand built, with the appropriate age groups in mind, helps to create a safer, and more child-centred program which supports each child’s basic rights.
Once I started making the little felt gnomies (gnome-like wood peg dolls), I was hooked! I have made hundreds of them, and the children adore playing with them. From there, I have learned to use the hand sanders for sanding wooden blocks, I have made Gnome castles, chairs, tables, shelving… all the furniture in the Bear Den and Cub House (thus far) and we are now working on the Bear House.
I am interested in the bonds children form with human and non-human species… like mushrooms, dirt and deer! Allowing children the freedom of the outdoors, to bond with nature and their surroundings. I have started a blog where I delve a little deeper into these topics. You can read more at www.lexieslittlebearschildcare.com : Nature Pedagogy: Through the lens of an educator.
My work will never, ever be complete. Lexie’s Little Bears is here to stay, and I have a lot more to do! I want to thank you so very much for taking the time out of your busy day to read my little story! I hope to share my narrations with you and your children and work with all the educators to continue the standard of care you as parents have grown to expect from me.
Your children continue to inspire and bewilder me… life is definitely about the journey and not the destination… In light…