When I encountered the Child’Space Method I was already working with children in my capacity as a Feldenkrais teacher. And although, originally trained as a Kindergarten teacher in Switzerland and used to working with children between the ages of 5 and 7, I often felt out of my depth, especially when working with very small children and babies.
What do you do when a young child or baby does not stay still in a lesson?
- How do you engage a small person’s attention?
- How do you plan a lesson and decide what is relevant for the infant or baby to learn?
- And what do you do when a baby just cries in a lesson or a child refuses to join in?
In my Child’Space training with Chava Shelhav who gathered a wealth of experience working with typically developed or neurologically challenged children over many years, I found answers to my many questions.
I also found answers to questions I didn’t know I had like for example:
- How do you help a baby to learn to come into sitting or move out of it?
- Why is kneeling such an important developmental stage?
- How do you include the parents in the learning process of their babies and infants?
The Child’Space training has given me invaluable insight into how babies learn to move and into how many elements their nervous system has to bring together before they can master a new developmental step. Through observation; hands-on work with colleagues, dolls and later babies; through lectures and my own experience exploring DME’s (developmental movement explorations) I gained a much deeper understanding of a baby’s motor development and its connection to the baby’s speech, cognitive, emotional and social development. The training also very much informed my Feldenkrais work with adults as I began to feel braver to use positions and movements with my students that I would have hesitated to suggest before.
Chava’s warm and humorous teaching style made learning easy and I appreciated her creative, yet clear and structured approach. I also felt very well supported by the rest of the teaching staff. Working with parents and babies, either in groups or individually, is now an integral part of my practice and one that is very rewarding.
It was a pleasure to learn and grow surrounded by waterways, bicycles, tulips and the Dutch language and I feel happy to be part of an international group of Child’Space practitioners.
Sabine Schmid Blackaby, January 2017