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Cultural Responsiveness and Routines: When Center and Home Don’t Match

by Janet Gonzalez-Mena
July/August 2010
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/cultural-responsiveness-and-routines-when-center-and-home-dont-match/5019442/

“The center is always talking about time!” complained a Native American mother to me when I was visiting the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

“What do you mean?” I asked, eager to understand.

“Well, they have this schedule up on the wall and it’s all about time. First there’s breakfast time, then circle time, then snack time, then outdoor time. . . . See what I mean?”

“Oh,” I said waiting for more.

“And they always announce it that way " ‘Nap time!’ they say to the children. Or ‘It’s time to go outside.’”

“That doesn’t feel comfortable to you,” I said, hoping to hear what the problem was.

“Well, that’s not the way we organize our lives at home. It’s more of a rhythm, a free flow and has nothing to do with time.” She paused, “We just do what we feel like and we don’t have a schedule. We don’t go by the clock! Whenever I look at the paper on the wall, I’m thinking that I’m supposed to have a schedule at home like they do in the center and that just doesn’t work for me or my family!”

I wasn’t able to pursue this issue further, but I urged the mother ...

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