Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Free Poetry Workshop Taught by Papa Green Bean


Free Poetry Workshop by Papa Green Bean

Hey Everyone,

I've been given the honor of leading a poetry workshop for the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest.  This is an annual event held here in Bellingham, WA, my home town. 

Sign up by clicking this link: Papa Green Bean's Poetry workshop

There are hundreds of entries every year from all ages. Poets may only enter one poem per year, so the chances of being selected is low. Ten poems are selected as 'Walk' winners. These poems are mounted outside the Bellingham Library for a year. The next fifteen poems chosen are 'Merit' winners. These are placed on Bellingham city buses for a year. 

This year, after five or six poems not being chosen, my poem in 2020 was a 'Merit' winner! Winners read their poem at a special ceremony, and a local artist creates an illustration based on their inspiration to the poems. Here is mine:

Here is the link, again, to join the workshop. The Sue C. Boynton Poetry contest has a particular fondness for encouraging youth in the art of poetry. Many young one's poems are selected each year, along with older folk like me! 

This workshop will be designed for children, many who have never written a poem before. However, to be sure, it is open to writers, and wanna-be poets of all ages. So, feel free to attend. 

It will be a virtual event on zoom. Here is the direct link.

Papa Green Bean's Poetry workshop

Warmly waving,

Papa Green Bean

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Whimsy Park: A Reading with Papa Green Bean: 2 pm PT Saturday October 24th


Whimsy Park: A Reading and Conversation 

with Papa Green Bean and Christen Mattix

Sponsored by Village Books

2 pm PT Saturday October 24th 

This will be an online Zoom event. Click on the link below for details, then hit the, CLICK HERE TO ATTEND to register. 

Whimsy Park:A Reading and Conversation

Whimsy Park is my first book! It is a book of children's poems for ages 5-12 officially, but in reality ages birth to 100+! 

This is Rubber Band!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Papa Green Bean: Whimsy Park: Poems for the Whole Family is Published!

Papa Green Bean: Whimsy Park: Poems for the Whole Family is Published!:   Whimsy Park Poems for the Whole Family   Well, my first book is published. It is a beautiful book of 40 poems written by yours truly, Papa...

Whimsy Park: Poems for the Whole Family is Published!

 Whimsy Park

Poems for the Whole Family 

Well, my first book is published. It is a beautiful book of 40 poems written by yours truly, Papa Green Bean.  The illustrator is Christen Mattix, and she created 40 matching watercolor illustrations. Here is the cover. Pretty cool, huh? This is a rubber band, and she is a philosopher! The white cat has her own poem also. But the birds just make a few cameos.



I hope you will let me know if you'd like a copy. Right now, I only have the paperback version, but it turned out so well. I am perfectly pleased. When the hardcover version comes out it will be available on Amazon. 

Best to everyone during this most peculiar of summers.  One of the benefits of believing in play-based learning is that missing classroom time is not nearly as big a deal as many so called experts would lead you to believe. If a child has free-time to play at their own pace in a non restrictive environment, then great imagination is produced. It's not necessary for the adults/parents to step in. They can do their own thing while simply maintaining an eye on the child from afar. The best learning takes place when the children let their elders be!

 I'll keep you all up to date on Whimsy Park.


Papa Green Bean

Thursday, December 22, 2016

My Favorite Early Learning Resources

Papa Green Bean's Top Twelve 

Here is a treasure chest of free resources for parents. Give each a look and please follow the ones you like. They are the best of what I've seen anywhere—honestly helpful and inspiring.

1) Teacher Tom's Blog  (Age Range 2 - 5)

Teacher Tom is my favorite early learning writer. He understand children like no other I know. He posts five times a week. If you have a Facebook account, please like his Teacher Tom page. It is often my favorite read of the day. Tom Hobson is the only employee of the Woodland Park Cooperative School in Seattle, Washington. In his words, "The children come to us as 2-year-olds in diapers and leave as "sophisticated" 5-year-olds ready for kindergarten. The cooperative school model allows me to work very closely with families in a true community setting." 

I love when my dad reads Teacher Tom's blog!

2) Forty Short Films for Early Learning  (Age Range: 1 - 6)

The Department of Education in Zurich, Switzerland has created an astonishingly beautiful series of forty films—less than five minutes each. They are "designed to support professionals who work in early childhood education, care and upbringing: In the areas of family support, parental counseling and education. For this reason, the short films are available in 13 languages with extensive expert commentary."

Play based learning is the best!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Papa Green Bean's Secret Sauce

Vital Ingredients for Happy Parents and Cheerful Children

  • Use a huge amount of humor, silliness and absurd thinking to encourage imagination and optimism. Respect for children includes a genuine light-hearted view of life.  Embrace a witty perspective in day-to-day activities. It gets your children to open up to you. This closeness to you enables a child to follow her dreams with gusto.  The ability to let loose—to be ourselves, lets the child know that there is true joy in living. All of the rest of it, then, becomes much, much, easier for everyone. 
  • Babies are born watchers—they develop based on the modeling within their immediate environment. That's why when my daughter was a newborn; I was holding conversations with her—that's correct! I would use her facial expressions, mainly her eyes, as her non-verbal responses to my statements and questions. She became a good conversationalist by first being a good listener.

  • Insights into brain development are more than just interesting science.  They underscore the importance of hands-on parenting—taking the time to cuddle a baby—converse with a toddler, provides a stimulating experience for everyone. Therefore, the natural unfolding of each newborn, and how best to allow, rather than hinder, this enormous budding of a human being to reach its fullest potential is critical.
  • Our challenge, as adults, is to respect the child's cues. Each time a baby tries to touch a tantalizing object, gaze intently at a face, or listen to a lullaby, tiny bursts of electricity shoot through the brain, knitting neurons into circuits of connectivity.  There is a time scale to brain development, and the most important period is the first thousand days.
  • The child’s ultimate achievement is to develop the power of concentration. The parent is the caretaker of this right. We must help to bring it out. One of the most precious gifts we can give the child is patience.
  • Encourage exploration and discovery. Let your baby crawl around and get into everything. Simply, safety-proof the room and let them go—fully charged! Also, let them manipulate objects for long periods of time—there is no rush to a babies trials and tribulations—they are building blocks to becoming a life long learner.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Wild, Wise and Rad: Tea Party Time

Healthy Environmental Family Fun

Alice in Wonderland's tea party three minute scene depicts silliness, imagination, wit and and a deep sense of humor. It is indeed a most curious event when children are in the midst of playing—magic happens—adventure is created.

Understand the desperate need for children to create worlds of their own, bubbles of make-believe play that are building blocks for their self-confidence, and comprehension of the real world they live in.

What children deserve from us is respect. We owe them a full and complete—like in 100%—level playing field. Respect: a reverence, a deep admiration. No less.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Why Is Conversation So Important?

  Listening Is An Art

A few years ago, my father was visiting my daughter and me with his partner, Maureen, a certified master gardener. This was their first time in Minnesota—and it was early summer. We had been walking around a lake, and were now sitting on a park bench. Maureen started a conversation by describing the flora surrounding the water and how the vegetation was quite different from her parks in Georgia. I agreed and mentioned the invasive species, Kudzu, prevalent in the south but nonexistent in the Midwest. My father said looking at my daughter, "I'm glad you enjoyed your classes this year." Maureen began to explain that invasive species are quite different regionally. My dad interrupted, "What books are you reading, Anna?"

My father-in-law, Don, does the same thing, except one-on-one which is even worse than in a small group. When there are four people you can divert into two two person conversations if need be. But with two people? I started, "Jen and I have been working on a few children's books in our spare time." Don replies, "I see that there must be a sailing club out on the bay." Arrrgh! (Don is a good man—he and my mother-in-law have been married 52 years. See All Are Significant.)

Granted, men interrupt more and are generally worse conversationalists than women—take the presidential debate between Trump and Clinton as an embarrassing example. However, conversation is an art form, I say. Conversation is a skill. And it is not taught in school. It is not taught in college. It isn't taught anywhere. It is learned from day one as a baby—as a noticer.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Forget Nice—Be Genuine

The Strength of Authenticity

I used to try to be nice to everyone.  I found myself using white lies to appease other people while holding in my true thoughts and emotions. People would compliment me by saying what a nice guy I was—"Johnny gets along with everyone."

After my daughter was born, I soon realized that this approach was deception. Something about becoming a father made me understand that I did not want my child to be nice like I had been. So, I changed and began to speak my truth. This made life so much easier, which helped me to gain internal strength.

That's me in my dad's arms being nice!

I soon began to see myself as more real—people looked at me differently. This translated into modeling self-confidence, which, in turn, allowed a more natural self-discovery for my little child, Anna.

By giving her honest answers to everything we experienced she grew up with a self-determination that encouraged curiosity and the natural empowerment of truth. I started to say, "I don't know" much more! Accepting the fact that I was not hiding anything inside, I was being genuine to myself and everyone I touched. With Anna, the "I don't knows" were often followed by, "But why don't we find out!"