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If you're looking for information about baby development, or looking for ideas about how to play with your baby to support development, Learn With Less (formerly Strength In Words) is where we discuss all things early parenthood and early childhood. We help families (expecting parents, new parents, and seasoned parents) navigate those early years in an inclusive, educational, and supportive space. Join Ayelet Marinovich, M.A., CCC-SLP, author, singer, mother of two and pediatric speech-language pathologist, for a podcast for parents, caregivers, and educators of infants and toddlers. Learn With Less is the place for families to access high quality, evidence-based resources about how their infants and toddlers learn and develop; for regular sessions of music, play and developmental information for both you and your baby, subscribe on iTunes and visit www.learnwithless.com!

Learn With Less Learn With Less - Ayelet Marinovich

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If you're looking for information about baby development, or looking for ideas about how to play with your baby to support development, Learn With Less (formerly Strength In Words) is where we discuss all things early parenthood and early childhood. We help families (expecting parents, new parents, and seasoned parents) navigate those early years in an inclusive, educational, and supportive space. Join Ayelet Marinovich, M.A., CCC-SLP, author, singer, mother of two and pediatric speech-language pathologist, for a podcast for parents, caregivers, and educators of infants and toddlers. Learn With Less is the place for families to access high quality, evidence-based resources about how their infants and toddlers learn and develop; for regular sessions of music, play and developmental information for both you and your baby, subscribe on iTunes and visit www.learnwithless.com!

    The Benefits of Music For Babies and Toddlers

    The Benefits of Music For Babies and Toddlers

    Why is Music Important for Infants and Toddlers?















    In this episode of the Learn With Less podcast, Ayelet is joined by Nancy Kopman, an early childhood educator and composer. Nancy has been creating, testing, developing, recording and performing her catchy, educational songs for children 0-10 for over 20 years. Her music can be found on TV, radio and online. 







    Nancy’s work is celebrated worldwide by educators, therapists, family program directors, parents and caregivers. Her music is used in schools, daycares, Montessori environments, libraries, camps, internet radio and other children’s environments.







    On this episode, we discuss the ways in which music help to foster social/emotional development, what parents and caregivers can do to use music (even when they don’t consider themselves musical), and Nancy’s top tips and favorite resources for using music to engage with your baby and/or toddler.







    Great resources we mentioned in this podcast episode:







    Music With Nancy on YouTube







    Nancy’s music albums







    Pre-K Pages







    Preschool Inspirations







    Teach Preschool blog







    Sesame Street songs on YouTube







    Connect With Us







    Ayelet: Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest







    Nancy: Website / YouTube / Facebook / Instagram







    Text Transcript of this episode







    Ayelet: Today, I am speaking with early childhood educator and composer Nancy Kopman. Nancy has been creating, testing, developing, recording, and performing her short, catchy educational songs for children zero to 10 years for over 20 years. Her music can be found on TV, radio and online. She performs regularly in Toronto, Ontario and she does virtual video visits with her far away fans. Love the alliteration, by the way.







    Her work is celebrated worldwide by educators, therapists, family program directors, parents, and caregivers. Nancy believes that music is more than a universal language: it’s a communication tool that works far deeper than words. Music can soothe, reassure, comfort, validate, stimulate, relax and elicit joy and people of all ages, cultures, abilities and intellectual capacity.







    Music connects us at the roots of our instincts, making it a necessary tool in teaching and nurturing, developing minds. Nancy, I am in complete agreement with all of that and I want to thank you for being here. Welcome to Learn With Less.







    Nancy: Thank you so much for having me. It is such an honor and a pleasure to align my work with the work that you are doing, which I admire so much and feel is so important and I follow you every single day. So thank you very much for having me today.







    Ayelet: Thank you, Nancy. Well, I have asked you to come onto the show today to speak to us about all of the very many benefits of music for infants and ...

    • 34 Min.
    Choosing Books for Infants and Toddlers

    Choosing Books for Infants and Toddlers

    What’s important to look for when choosing books for infants and toddlers?







    In this episode of the Learn With Less podcast, Ayelet is joined by Sara Rizik-Baer, who serves as Deputy Director of the nonprofit organization, Tandem Partners in Early Learning.







    Sara has over 10 years of experience working in early education and family engagement. She has held multiple roles in the field as a family literacy specialist, professional development provider, preschool and transitional kindergarten literacy coach, and bilingual classroom teacher.















    Sara is fervently passionate about literacy, believes it takes a community to raise a child and wants to support every adult in that community with their ability to contribute to each child’s well-being and academic development. She also firmly believes that early education and specifically early literacy is the key to positive social change. 







    On this episode, we discuss important factors for choosing books for infants and toddlers, how to actively engage infants and toddlers in early literacy experiences, and Sara’s top tips and resources for choosing excellent books for (and reading them with!) your infant or toddler.







    Great resources we mentioned in this podcast episode:







    Book sharing tips from Tandem







    Think Outside The Text, a Learn With Less podcast episode







    Lift The Flap For Language Book, from Learn With Less







    Colorín Colorado







    Reading Rockets







    Be Boy Buzz, by Bell Hooks







    Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering, by Ruth Spiro







    Baby Loves Coding, by Ruth Spiro







    Counting On Community, by Innosanta Nagara







    Oh, Oh, Baby Boy, by Janine McBeth







    From Head To Toe, by Eric Carle







    Brown Bear, Brown Bear, by Eric Carle







    My Very First Book of Colors, by Eric Carle







    Connect With Us







    Ayelet: Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest







    Sara and Tandem: Website / Facebook







    Text Transcript of this episode







    Ayelet: So today I am speaking with Sara Rizik-Baer, who serves as deputy director of the nonprofit organization, Tandem Partners in Early Learning. So Sara has over 10 years of experience working in early childhood education and in family engagement. And she’s passionate about literacy.







    She believes that it takes a community to raise a child, and wants to support every adult in that community with their ability to contribute to each child’s wellbeing and a...

    • 31 Min.
    How to Use Music To Support Early Communication

    How to Use Music To Support Early Communication

    In this session of the Learn With Less podcast (a special episode brought to you in partnership with the pod-conference, SLP Live), we discussed different ways that music and singing promotes early language development in infants and toddlers.







    We also discussed research that supports the use of music as a framework to support communication development. In addition, we explored different strategies to help keep a young child engaged in musical activities.







    Hi, I’m Ayelet Marinovich, your host. Welcome to Learn With Less, a family enrichment program for parents, caregivers, and educators working with infants and toddlers of all developmental levels.







    In this podcast series, we get together to sing a few songs, discuss some ideas for play, outlines, some insight about early development and talk about life as a parent or caregiver in these early years of parenthood.







    The mission of Learn With Less is to provide peace of mind families already have everything they need to support the infants and toddlers in their lives.







    Now, before we get started, I would like to take a moment to let you know that I am the creator of the Learn With Less Curriculum, the basis for which is outlined in my best selling books, Understanding Your Baby and Understanding Your Toddler. The Learn With Less Curriculum also exists as both a live, local offering for families provided by me and a group of licensed facilitators, and as a virtual program.







    I am the sole recording artist on my musical album, which I do mention later in the episode, called Strength In Words: Music For Families. As the creator of the Learn With Less Curriculum, I do receive royalties and collect membership and licensing fees. I’m also the host of the Learn With Less podcast, which is a free early development and early parenting resource for parents, caregivers and professionals working with families with infants and toddlers, and which occasionally informs my audience about my paid offerings.







    I also want to let you know that after listening to this episode of the Learn With Less podcast, you have a few learning outcomes:







    * You will be able to identify ways that music and singing promotes early development in infants and toddlers* You will be able to identify research that supports the use of music as a framework to support early communication* You’ll be able to pull from a repertoire of songs and rhymes to use in play or a therapeutic context that can target early communication and other early developing skills* You’ll be able to identify additional songs that you already know that might also be utilized in a learning context* And you’ll be able to identify strategies to keep a young child engaged in musical activities







    Let’s start today’s episode by using our bodies and tapping to the beat. Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself musical or if the rhythm doesn’t feel like it comes naturally to you. This is about the time you spend with your baby or toddler doing something together. We’ll talk more about why it’s so beneficial later in the episode.







    Sings Hello Song







    Great job. So that is our hello song and we start with some version of it each time in my podcast.

    • 51 Min.
    Learn With Less: For Families With Infants And Toddlers… or Why Strength In Words is Getting A New Home

    Learn With Less: For Families With Infants And Toddlers… or Why Strength In Words is Getting A New Home

    Early Parenthood Is Isolating















    When I initially started my business, I was a pediatric speech-language pathologist with a brand new baby living as an expat in a foreign land. 







    I came up with a plan to woo other new parents and caregivers to

    want to hang out with me. 







    Because, although I certainly experienced my share of the deep vulnerability, incredible lack of confidence, and insane level of overwhelm and anxiety that affects many new parents…







    One thing I DID know about was how to play with a baby. 







    I wasn’t worried that I was “doing it wrong” or

    “doing enough.” 







    I didn’t feel that, when it came to early development, I was

    “just winging it.”







    But I found, as I started leading  part play groups / part

    parent support groups out of my home, that many of my fellow new parents did feel

    that way.







    So I started showing my new friends simple ideas for supporting

    and connecting with their babies (and as our children grew) and toddlers. 







    I showed them how to take simple objects, like the empty toilet

    paper roll, and use it to support a baby’s understanding about important

    developmental concepts. 







    I showed them why everyday routines, like changing a dirty

    diaper or putting on your shoes, are often the most powerful moments for

    learning. 







    I had come up with a name for my website (knowing nothing about websites),

    and started blogging for fun. 







    I called my site “Strength In Words,” a play on my

    language specialist roots, a nod to my hometown (go, Warriors!), and an

    allusion to the fact that what we do and how we speak to our children as

    parents in those first few years has an enormous impact on the way they learn

    language and other developmental milestones.







    But it never really felt like it was quite the

    right name.







    But as my work became more and more focused on creating online

    content to reach a broader audience, I stuck with it. 







    Strength In Words was the name of my business, my brand, my

    podcast…







    But it didn’t say what I do, straightaway. It didn’t

    scream, 







    “I help families with infants and

    toddlers feel confident they can raise a great human from day one – without

    having to buy a single toy!”







    But then, I published my first book. 







    And things started to come together.







    The first book, Understanding Your Baby, was, in written form, what

    I had done with my friends during that very special postpartum period.







    And then I wrote my second book, Understanding Your Toddler, which finished out the foundation.







    And now, I had something.







    I had a foundation. 







    I could see, SO much more clearly, what I had been trying to

    build all along, but hadn’t yet had the words for.







    I wasn’t just talking about the strength of our words, the

    importance of early communication…







    I was helping families see how they could support all areas of development.







    I had developed an entire curriculum for parents and caregivers

    • 6 Min.
    How to Stop Yelling At Your Kids

    How to Stop Yelling At Your Kids

    How do I retrain my brain to stop yelling at my kids?















    In this episode, we speak with Amanda Rueter, a mental health counselor, mother of two young boys, and founder of Messy Motherhood. Through her work, Amanda helps bust the myth of the “super mom,” and helps parents embrace their imperfections.







    We cover:







    * Amanda’s background, and how she came to do the work she’s doing today* The cycle of emotion for parents and caregivers: negative self-talk, common triggers, and why we explode* The link between taking care of ourselves and taking care of our families* Amanda’s top tips and resources for understanding and working around our own emotional triggers, so we can regulate our won emotions as parents and caregivers!







    Great resources we mentioned in this podcast episode:







    Messy Motherhood







    Mama’s Anger Management e-course







    Amy McCready’s book, “If I Have To Tell You One More Time” 







    Learn With Less episode Using the Language of Listening with Infants and Toddlers, with Tracey Cutchlow







    Learn With Less episode Creativity Outlets for New Parents, with Beryl Young







    Connect With Us:







    Ayelet: Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest







    Amanda: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest







    Text Transcript of this episode







    Ayelet: Welcome to the Learn With Less podcast. So today I am speaking with Amanda Rueter. Amanda was a mental health therapist, turned mom to two boys actually. She is a mental health therapist, turned mom to two boys. She thought her experience and education would prepare her for motherhood, but she had no idea.







    She now writes on her blog, Messy Motherhood to help empower mothers and fathers to feel confident in themselves and their parenting so that they can build happier homes with their children. She is the force behind the popular Mama’s Anger Management e-course, which has helped almost a thousand mothers stop the yelling and start creating happier moments with their children. Amanda, thank you so much for being here. Welcome to Learn With Less.







    Amanda: I’m so happy to be here with you.







    Ayelet: Yay. So I have asked you to come onto the show today to speak to us a little bit about how we can stop yell...

    What Do I Need For Baby To Learn?

    What Do I Need For Baby To Learn?

    How Do Babies and Toddlers Learn?















    It’s so easy to get bombarded with the “stuff” of early parenthood.







    Especially when hormones are “out of whack,” and the idea of getting more than a few hours of uninterrupted sleep seems years away.







    The sense that we’re “winging it” is often all encompassing. We feel like we’re constantly playing catch up – which can be especially daunting for those perfectionists among us, or if we felt like we were pretty good at most things in life before parenthood.







    So, we go out in search of the “best toys” to support our babies, or the “parenting expert” that can tell us the formula for sleep, discipline, introducing solids, potty training, or anything else we need to know – often right in that moment, and often desperately.







    But let me tell you something…







    We are all asking the same questions.







    And our babies are all so very, very different.







    In fact, when I incredulously placed my second child down in his bassinet “sleepy but awake,” (something that I had never ever done successfully with my first baby), I could NOT believe my eyes when he actually did the thing SO many of these so-called “sleep experts” said was supposed to happen.







    I suddenly felt so validated – that it hadn’t been “my fault” – and that I simply had two tiny humans with radically different needs and preferences.







    And what did I do first?







    I called my mom.







    I wanted to share my experience.







    Learning Is Relational







    I wanted to scream this information from the rooftops, and chat with every single new mom (and dad) I knew – about how some babies are sleep unicorns, and some simply have different preferences!







    Because learning is relational. And we’re all learning off the cuff about how to parent each of our children.







    But when we know more about how our babies learn and develop, and when we can compare notes with other families and have a sounding board about this crazy early period of time in parenthood… 







    Then we feel like we have options and ideas to know what our next steps are – even if we feel isolated at home with a tiny dictator.







    I’d like to introduce you today to a series of parents and caregivers who have grown to feel supported and reassured – even as first-time parents, even if they weren’t raised with siblings, and even if they didn’t have much contact with babies most of their lives.







    They’ve learned how to watch, observe, and discover their children – as well as what was happening to them – as they move through these first years of parenthood.







    The first person I’d like to introduce you to is Gwen, who lived in the same part of London as I did when we first became moms.







    Here’s how she describes journey into motherhood:







    “I was a first-time parent. I’m an only child. In fact, myself, I didn’t grow up with siblings, I hadn’t had much contact with babies most of my life.And so I came to motherhood with this being, feeling like a complete amateur, and, that’s a bit, I know I shouldn’t feel so critical of myself, but I felt, you know, a bit isolated and a little bit lost.” 







    Rachel, a speech-language pathologist who works primarily with adults, describes it in a different way:







    “I felt really comfortable in the mom role. I’d been waiting to be a mom for a really long time…”

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