I have been an artist all my life, my parents were artists before me. My father was an original "Mad Man" and my mother was a talented illustrator. At 40, I decided that I wanted to be a teacher, I chose to be dual certified in special ed and regular ed. N-6. I had been working in a school for young children with challenges of all sorts and I admired the flexible and intelligent way the teachers approached each child. They designed a curriculum then invented ways to teach it. They invented materials and systems everyday.
During my student teaching I was pregnant with my second son, so when I graduated I decided to stay at home with my new born and create a small daycare group. It was a huge success and I enjoyed my little all day school very much. Both my sons got a set of part time siblings and I got to try out everything I'd just learned about early childhood education. I am an autodidact so this was perfect for me, a chance to learn everyday.
One of my daycare parents had an older child in an N-9 independent school nearby and by now my son was in a nice little daycare. We had noticed he thought he was the center of the universe, and public school kindergarten lay ahead. So when the N-9 school needed a new nursery teacher I was recommended. It was the best thing that ever happened in my professional life.
After the first year, the Pre-K teacher left and I got the job. By now I had developed a philosophy of teaching young children. And I was very interested to see how much 4-5's could learn if I designed a curriculum just for them at their particular developmental stage which I saw as bicameral.
I realized that it was going to be my job to take these highly visual and creative beings and introduce them to left brain organizing and communication methods, such as writing, in a way that they would perceive these new systems as reIevant and powerful. I appreciated the importance of teaching prerequisite skills for effective learning.
I searched everywhere for a simple and efficient, developmentally appropriate system to teach the following on a daily basis in order to provide a set of solid basic skills that would take them through their learning:
I've been teaching young children for twenty years. I have a very supportive husband and two grown children, one an extraordinary electrician and the other is very talented film maker and writer. I also have a wonderful daughter in law who is a fine and busy pediatrician. We have a lot to talk about! We may write a book together... I also have a smart and beautiful granddaughter and a brand new happy and social grandson.
As you will see on my site, when I'm with my grandchildren, my world is complete and I am able to use twenty years of experience to benefit those I love. I'd like to thank all my parents for putting up with really painty hands that only get really clean in the bath tub.
I've realized afer twenty years, that figurative drawing is an expressive language that has been lost to teachers and their students.There is a tradition of asking elementary students to illustrate their writing from kindergarten sentences to fifth grade essays and yet no one seriously teaches figurative drawing. I would ask them to draw then describe what is happening. The way many writers visualize a story then write it down.
Preschoolers can think visually and be trained to express their ideas in the same way as they can be taught to spell. I realize that few people know how to draw so in addition to little lessons, I have designed a book with over 200 figures in many areas of interest to teachers and students that makes simple drawing easy while encouraging individual style. The next time a teacher asks a student to illustrate the First Thanksgiving, she can copy and hand out those pages from DRAW! and her students will create accurate and detailed illustrations. They will visualize!
Thank you for your interest...Karen