Down to the Nitty Gritty

Apr 17, 2019

Essentials Field Notes: Week Four

Last week, we used an old-fashioned hand drill to make wood cookie necklaces. They focused on the task at hand, used grit and motor skills to drill a hole in their wood cookies and to string up their necklaces. Some learners wondered what a wood cookie might taste like, while others adorned their necklaces with color.

As always, we engaged in physical play and some roughhousing. As believers in the benefits of roughhousing, we honored and held space for our learners.

When roughhousing turned a bit more aggressive for some, we were there to guide the learners in peacemaking. We recognize that these are skills young learners are just beginning to acquire and our goal is to role model, coach and facilitate them. We do this by using reminders (“Take care of yourself, each other and Mama Earth”) and logical consequences and teaching peacemaking or the ability to manage conflict through empathy, inner peace, talking and listening, and seeking agreement.


If peacemaking is called for, we implement this by allowing the learner(s) recovery time, to sit with a leader, take some deep breaths and to recenter themselves. The leader’s job is not to solve the issue but to hold space for the learner(s) and to let them feel what they are feeling. Once all involved are grounded (which sometimes happens when we all hold hands- gotta love the mind/body connection!) and able to more thoughtfully discuss the situation, they can then discuss possible resolutions.