Mommy Blogs and Child Care

I write a blog*. I guess you can call it a “mommy blog.”  It’s documentation on my day to day life, parenting my baby girl and everything else involved with being a Mama. I've been inspired over the years by many beautiful blogs. Most of them also revolve around family and parenting practices. One very important aspect of caring for other people’s children is understanding different ways of parenting. I remember when I was working with families of two year olds, how hard it was for me to understand the sleeping arrangements of some of the families I cared for. They would tell me their child slept with them at night and I would have a difficult time not judging them and drawing conclusions based on these arrangements. Well, now here I am with my own child and guess what we are doing, co-sleeping. I don’t think caregivers necessarily have to agree with what the families in their care are doing parenting-wise. But, it would beneficial to understand better how different families do things. 

Some of my favorite blogs give me a glimpse of how other families behave, parent and learn together.  When I taught, I found these blogs very helpful in helping me to understand certain families in my care as well. A lot of these blogs also have great ideas for activities for children. These activities can easily be done in a home or center-based child care environment. I’ve listed a few of my favorite mommy/family blogs. Do check them out. They are inspiring, interesting and maybe even a bit helpful for understanding different types of families and why they do the things they do. 

www.gsheller.com - Ginny, mother of six, talks about homeschooling, adoption (she has a son from Liberia and her adoption stories are both heartbreaking and inspiring), gardening and homesteading. She includes a bit about her catholic faith and how it is a part of her daily life and schooling her children. 

www.soulemama.com - Amanda, lives on a farm in Maine with her husband and family of five children. Her blog is an incredibly inspiring place, where you will find stories of weaving with wool sheared from her own sheep, gardening, homeschooling (she actually spends a fraction of the time discussing her homeschooling but sometimes refers to it as unschooling). She talks of the importance of living simply, routines and rhythms of family, and the seasons. If you are interested in Waldorf education or Charlotte Mason teachings, this blog has a lot of those elements. A side note- Amanda Soule is editor to Taproot magazine and she has several family/craft books published mainstream. 

www.cheandfidel.blogspot.com - This is a rather new site I have been following. Jodi is mum to two little ones and resides in Australia. She has this fantastic series on her blog right now called the School Series which discusses feelings associated with her firstborn going to school for the first time. It’s lovely and inspiring and I think as a teacher/ caregiver it could be useful when talking to parents whose preschoolers are getting ready for kindergarten. She also does a series of photography posts which link to many more amazing and talented family/lifestyle blogs. 

www.bleubirdvintage.typepad.com - James is a mama to 4 children whom she homeschools in Texas. Her blog is hip, cool and fun.  It’s another terrific blog to see how homeschooled families work as well as how a divorced family works with homeschooling. (Her two older children have visitation with Dad in another state). 

www.sewliberated.typepad.com - Meg is mother to two boys. She is an author of several crafting books and was previously a trained Montessori teacher. Her blog is filled with great craft ideas as well as stories about how she cares for her young children with a heavy Montessorian influence. If you are interested in the Montessori methods, this blog shows a family using the techniques and materials beautifully. 

www.rhythmofthehome.com - This is a lovely online magazine created by several blogging mothers about crafts, food, life and family. Each of these mothers comes from a different perspective. Most of them homeschool their children but in different ways. Waldorf, Montessori,  Reggio and nature-based ideas are prevalent throughout this website. 

* You are all welcome to visit my blog as well at www.summerplayshouse.com 
Enjoy these lovely blogs and hopefully you will find something to inspire you in the very important task of caring for children. 

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*Picture courtesy of My Cute Graphics: http://www.mycutegraphics.com/graphics/mommy/brunette-pregnant-mom-with-kids.html

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Summer Langille, M.A, Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 Years

Summer has been working with children for almost 15 years. The oldest of four she’s always seen herself as a caregiver. She started off caring for children as a nanny for many years. She received her undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies from San Francisco State University and has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education specializing in birth to age eight from Long Beach State. She’s worked with infants all the way up to elementary aged children in center-based care, private school care, home-based care, back-up care and afterschool care. She was a lead teacher for an infant program and more recently a two year old/preschool program. She even had a brief stint as a brownie girl scout troop leader. She’s passionate about quality care for children and thinks the environment plays a large role in how a child learns effectively. She loves art, blocks, music, fairy gardens and picture books and wants all caregivers of children to know how important their job is to the children they care for. Summer is currently home with her baby, navigating this new role as Mama. She blogs about her family at www.summerplayshouse.com.