Early Years Learning Goals – Too much too soon?

I didn’t make the Open Eye Conference back in February, (a shame to have missed the opportunity to talk to other parents who feel the same about education as I do) but thankfully Open Eye have documented all the information presented, including the speeches. Hail the Internet.

Open Eye says they are: ” not a small alternative fringe group – it has broad representation and support across the political spectrum and the maintained, private and voluntary sectors. It belongs to everyone who wants to see change in the direction of English early years policy”

Last night I homed in on the text of Dr. Penelope Leach’s talk: “Too much too soon? the EYFS legislation and Young Children’s Well-Being”. Dr. Leach also appears in the Open Eye video called “Too much too soon” . Here’s the link so you can access her talk yourself. Readers – let me know what your views are about this talk via the ‘comments’ link at the top of the page…

If I may say, Dr. Leach you really perked me up last night with a lot of common sense and I wish I’d been there to see your slides. My friends know I’m not prone to huge outbursts of sentiment but I found the video (the one called “Too Much Too Soon”)  so devastating in it’s message I can’t watch it without welling up.

 Reading your talk last night redressed the happy/sad balance somehow – not least because you provided analysis,  hope and confirmation that so many things we have been doing as a parent were instinctively sensible and positive all along – so thank you very much. It’s really great to see how committed people are to change and make things better. So – more power to your elbow, as it were.

Also, Dr. Leach I particularly liked the parts in your talk about the rhubarb patch. At the risk of going off on a tangent – I’ve become obsessed with fruit and vegetables (not the worst thing in the world to be obsessed by, perhaps?) and since my child was born we’ve converted a derelict allotment to fruitful abundance. It keeps me (relatively) sane – and family appreciate that too, no doubt. Although I confess we can’t harvest rhubarb until next year as the plants are still too small.

On a learning level – I’m very proud to say our daughter enjoys food immensely and has a pretty good handle on where it comes from too. So that stands us all in good stead as far as Climate Change, Peak Oil and Food Shortage issues are concerned doesn’t it? (All of which themes are worth bearing in mind as (Early Learning and Parenting?)  issues – and I know there’s a lot more to say about that)…

I’m pointing parents towards my organic gardening and food politics blog Questioner’s Garden Time here, as there are probably lots more people out there who want to get growing (organically). And I’m always up for a plug for Garden Organic who’ve been constant companions with patient help, advice and training on the garden front since I started parking babes in her pram underneath the apple trees on our derelict plot three and half years ago. Incidentally, I understand you can ‘teach’ almost anything with a garden. I’ll come back to that one…

For anyone who is put off by their lack of knowledge about fruit and vegetable growing, don’t be. We were on a fast learning curve ourselves and there’s so much support out there in the ‘growing’ community. As we know, we’re all learning – all the time. So let’s hope we can all look forward to the fruits of our educational and campaigning labour…

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