Ask the Expert: Kabana Community

For this not so normal Back to School season, we have teamed up with some really amazing experts to help you stay sane and keep your kids engaged! Continuing our series, we would like to introduce Flor Isola & Dr. Judith Fabrega from Kabana Community!
ABOUT: Elearning, Products & Resources - we offer a homeschooling program for children 2-6 years old. Also, online courses and workshops for families and educators. In our shop you will find our Kabana Boxes and many other toys that we carefully choose for our store. We keep researching to bring you what you need. Weekly blog posts, free downloadable documents and personalized coaching sessions.
MISSION: Kabana aims to offer a virtual space where families and educators cannot only find many resources but also create a community to share ideas and ask questions. We are a community for all of you who understand early childhood education as a way to create a better world. Our goal is to bring you the best resources to rethink what we understand as parenting and education. At Kabana we believe in the innate curiosity of children and we consider that they must be the owners of their learning. What we bring you are not recipes to follow but tools so we can make a change of vision towards an active, free, and respectful education; both at home and at schools. We collaborate with institutions and professionals that share our same educational values, to bring you the best activities, courses and experiences. We research for you and create new content constantly, so you don’t have to be looking around.
Meet Flor Isola, Founder & COO
Meet Dr. Judith Fabrega,  Founder and pedagogist
Q & A:
1. Please tell us about the Kabana Community and how the platform was created?  Kabana is a play based educational platform that was created  with the need to fulfill a space where families and educators can reach out for questions and resources about early childhood education. Our approach is based on respectful parenting where kids are the creators of their play. Kabana was created by two moms with different backgrounds and the same passion: education, kids and play.
2. You offer both homeschooling and e-learning on your site, can you please explain how each of these work? What are the main differences? 

Our e-learning platform offers different workshops and webinars: the homeschooling program is designed for kids 2-6 and it is a play and project based guide. It includes 12 weeks of activities (summer, fall, winter and spring).
We also have a workshop designed for educators: Process art, where you will find the basics of the Atelier according to the Regio Emilia approach. Our other workshop: Play areas and activities at home, is designed to help parents optimize their space at home where kids can take advantage of this and play, create and imagine with the different educational activities we offer. We also offer free resources to download like activities and topics of the moment.

3. How have these programs been adapted due to the pandemic? These resources are currently offered online which give access to anyone at home. We are also working to have all our resources in Spanish to increase our reach. Most of the activities we offer in our workshops are designed so parents and educators can use materials they have at home, but we also offer material boxes with different options as well as open ended toys.

4. What are some of your best tips for working parents, who now have to teach their children from home as well? First of all, YOU ARE DOING GREAT! The situation we are living in is absolutely exhausting, and we all have days where we feel we are failing at working, parenting and teaching. The best advice we can give to families is to lower their expectations. They don’t need to create a “Pinterest-like” homeschooling room, they don’t need to be entertaining their children all day long, and most likely they don’t have time to bake a banana bread from scratch. So, think about what you want your children to remember from this time at home and prioritize connection and love! Another great tip is to schedule quiet time every day! If your children don’t take naps anymore, set a time during the day for them to be playing on their own. It may take a bit of practice, but we promise they will really enjoy it. It is a time for independent play that will also give adults some time for themselves. And, don’t worry if they are bored because it is actually the best that can happen to them!

5. You sell products as well as programs on your site - how do you select these products and toys to sell? We partner up and recommend products that align with our values and the activities we offer. We try to select materials that can be reused, eco-friendly and open-ended. We also offer activity boxes that include 6 different art, sensory and construction activities for kids to do at home and all materials for these are included.

6. How important do you think play time is for children? As Maria Montessori said “Play is the work of the child”. At Kabana, we believe in play-based learning as the most meaningful way for children to grow holistically and understand the world around them. It is through play that children explore properties, make hypotheses, ask questions and make their own discoveries. When we give enough time and provide an adequate space, children are owners of their own learning.

7. What is your advice for socializing children during this time where we all feel isolated? This is a really complicated question because it absolutely depends on each family situation and beliefs. Before COVID-19, if someone would ask us about how homeschooling children socialize with others, I will have ready hundreds of ways to support my answer: homeschooling groups, museums, sports, outdoor activities... there “were” many possibilities to find other groups with same interests to share activities and explorations. But, now, many children are doing distance learning and maybe they are lacking true play with others. What we always say to families is that this will pass, children will go back to school or to a homeschooling situation that allows group activities, and meanwhile we have to find the balance that works for our family. And, don’t forget that outdoors and nature are always a great idea!

8. What kinds of “specialists” will subscribers have access to when they join the Kabana Community? Kabana is founded by Flor and Judith. Flor is our business specialist and helps moms and women to find all the resources and tools they need to navigate the early stage of motherhood, where we also think about the moms and support them on their personal journey. Judith is a doctor in Education, she specializes in Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood and she is an advocate for active learning pedagogies and play-based education. But as a community our goal is to collaborate with the best specialists in different areas to bring to you resources, courses and workshops. We have worked with a psychologist, an atelierista, other doctors in education, and we are currently working on new courses with Loczy specialists and educators. We also research for the best products and toy manufacturers to bring you sustainable, open-ended materials. For example, we just launched a collaboration with Kodo to create amazing homeschooling material boxes, and we have many wonderful toy brands as Grapat in our online store.

9. Anything interesting you can share about future plans or additions to the community that you are planning for 2020/2021?

- More teacher education.

- Specialized courses for infants, we are currently working on a workshop series about Respectful Parenting and Education.

- More products and distribution!

- Many more workshops and free resources for families.



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