My first experience of seeing the enormous beauty in early childhood learning was when I was 15 years old. A single mother in my apartment complex had two children, one of which was autistic thinking without verbal communication. She worked nights as a waitress and I came over everyday after dinner and took care of both kids. Autism was an enormous stress on the household. Although the mother had some resources and intervention, none of it was of quality. I think I made twenty dollars. I looked forward to being with both kids everyday, and I was making so much progress revising what autism meant in the home. The oldest girl and I used to make dance videos together before bed. We would make fun play areas for her brother to find in the morning. We packed lunches. We cleaned up the house and left little gifts for her mom. We listened to and trusted each other. We all had purpose. I came to realize that building these connections, trust, and purpose was where root learning happened.
This was the most important time of my day back then, and it’s the most important part of my life now.
April received her degree in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University Fullerton and is completing her Masters in Early Childhood Leadership and Organizational Change.
Winner of the Althea B. McLaren award in Arts in Early Childhood and the Robert B. McLaren award in Children’s Moral Development.
To me The Learning Root is an enchanting space deep within us. A place where everything we could possibly learn sits awaiting our knowledge of it.
In early Childhood we have innumerable theories and approaches that seek to reach the root of learning. From Montessori to STEAM, Reggio Emelia to Waldorf. All can be extraordinarily beautiful paths to the root.