I was born in Opava, in Silesia,
in city that was, for much of its history, an important administrative, cultural, and business centre. At home and in all educational institutions, emphasis was placed on high-quality general education, including the most important stage – the preschool period. This was done in a practical way, by recognizing the strengths and talents of a child, and this is so important for their future journey through life.
Later, as I went through life,
I realized how much the first six years of life matter. Everything a child learns from their parents, as well as in kindergarten and school during this time, will influence their life greatly in the future.
From what my home and home region gave me as a part of my education, I appreciate my intuition, logical reasoning and critical thinking skills the most. I tried to put everything I gained in childhood and during my life into my books for my children to learn from too.
The creation of the first book of rhymes was inspired by my son, who refused to listen to the traditional rhymes I grew up on.
I did not want to accept this and when I noticed that my son was responding very positively to information about real life, his body and the world around him, my colleagues and I decided to write rhymes not only for him, but also for other curious children under 5 years of age. Each of the nursery rhymes gives the children some knowledge or teaches them a new skill, playfully and with humour.
This first book, especially its acceptance by parents and children and the fact that the first edition was sold out in a short time, gave us confidence in our work.
The experience with both of my children made me repeat everything a child came across in the first 6 years of their life before starting school. But since there was no entertaining, systematically guided and above all comprehensive primary school preparation, I came up with the idea to write it for our children in a professional manner. Not to copy something from somewhere, but to give children their own aids, including a reward in the form of 160 stickers and a huge space map.
The greatest benefit of this systematically led, pedagogically supported preparation with development oriented graphomotor skills and exercises was that many children actually gained the necessary self-confidence to do activities that they had previously refused to indulge in (for instance a child that had constantly refused to draw suddenly began drawing pictures of a walk or trip they had gone on, etc.). In many families, the main purpose of the preparation was to discover the previously unknown talents of the child.
Me and my son reaped the rewards of this cooperation during the preschool when, five years later, he was preparing for the entrance examination for eight-year grammar school. The teachers in my son’s primary school were surprised at first when they found out that he wanted to apply to grammar school at all, but he was eventually admitted to two prestigious grammar schools in Brno. He was even ranked fifth out of more than 300 children in the school he ultimately chose.
When I was playing with my preschool son, I remembered the beloved alphabet cards I had in childhood. There were 32 of them, just like there are 32 basic letters in the Czech alphabet. I loved them, but at the same time, I was very sorry that I couldn’t play with them, just look at them. So I thought of creating 112 such cards such cards, similar to playing cards, always several cards of each letter, with different number of syllables (1-5) or groups of pictures (fruits, vegetables, parts of the body, plants, fairy tale characters and more). Although we created these cards for preschoolers, we were pleasantly surprised by parents telling us that they use them with children as young as one year old to expand their vocabulary.
And the inspiration for the last book for preschool children was again my son. It was when he came to me and asked, ‘‘Where do I come from?” Talking to him gave rise to a loving, logically built story in which I kept the real questions of a 5-year-old child and often also his simplified versions of my answers. This is how the sex education book for little ones called How Children Come into the World was created.
This brings us to another of our thematic areas – sex education.