Author: brunk

About brunk

Susan Brunk has a Masters Degree in Education. She taught children in both public and private elementary and early childhood settings for more than ten years before she made the transition to educating teachers. Since beginning her journey with Stepping Stone School over five years ago, Susan has written several portions of our Platinum Learning for Life™ curriculum and has created valuable teacher education modules to improve the standard of education within our company. Through her years of teaching experience, research, and raising four children of her own, Susan has obtained a valuable understanding of developmentally appropriate practice which is demonstrated through her interactions with teachers and children alike.


12 Aug 2019

Helping Young Children Understand Fairness

A teacher invited the children to sit down for circle time.  Holding up a box of band-aids, she asked the children to pretend with her as they began a discussion on fairness.  Turning to the closest child in the circle, she asked him to show her where he had a pretend boo-boo.  He pointed to […]


Character DevelopmentJoyful Parenting

05 Aug 2019

Creating Child Initiated Learning Opportunities at Home

Nurturing self-directed learning is a combination of allowing for free and loosely-guided play and activities. Cultivating curiosity and independence in your child are the first steps to helping them become self-directed learners. Self-directed learners know how to use resources to find answers to questions or to learn to solve problems. At Stepping Stone School, child-led […]


Joyful Parenting

01 Jul 2019

How to Instill Responsibility and Independence in Your Child

Over the last several weeks, I have been working with my children to instill a sense of responsibility and independence in preparation for the birth of their baby sister.  We have focused on establishing morning routines to help us get out the door each day. This morning, my three-year-old came to get me, “Come and […]


Character DevelopmentJoyful Parenting

03 Jun 2019

5 Ways to Develop Empathy

  This month at Stepping Stone School, we are focusing on the development of Empathy as a part of our Communities of Character™ curriculum.  Empathy is a key aspect of emotional intelligence through which individuals imagine what another is experiencing as if feeling it themselves. Empathy is a complex skill to develop.  First, a child […]


Character Development

17 May 2019

1.4 million words

Astounding new research estimates that young children who have been read to multiple times a day from infancy until they reach school age have heard an average of 1.4 million more words than their peers who have never been read to.  Even if a child has only heard one book a day, she has still […]


Brain DevelopmentChild DevelopmentRaising a ...

06 May 2019

Supporting the Understanding and Development of Ownership

Fred Rogers, the host of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, testified before the Senate in 1969 discussing the need for the continued support of public broadcasting. Towards the end of his testimony, Rogers quotes the words to his song, What Do You Do with the Mad that You Feel? His statements before the Senate describing the need for […]


Character DevelopmentJoyful Parenting

08 Apr 2019

3 Important Ways to Communicate with Your Infant

For a new parent, it can be frustrating not knowing what your infant’s wants and needs are. What does a loud screeching cry mean? Does it mean that he is hungry or hurt? What about a soft cry? Aside from the crying, what do her body signals mean, such as arching her back, rubbing her […]


Brain DevelopmentJoyful Parenting

01 Apr 2019

Teaching Children to be Trustworthy

This month, Stepping Stone School will focus on the character development trait of trustworthiness.  A trustworthy person is honest, follows the rules, keeps a promise, is not unkind, and does not take things that do not belong to him.  Developing an attitude of trust, being trustworthy, and building trust with one another takes time, but […]


Character DevelopmentJoyful Parenting

04 Mar 2019

Demonstrating Respect

My school-age children came home with report cards not that long ago and I noticed a section describing respectful attitudes towards school property and treatment of others.  The idea of grading one’s development of this character trait seems a bit strange to me, but as I read further their report cards described respect as PR […]


Character Development

04 Feb 2019

Kindness Makes an Impact

In anticipation of accepting a new child into our classroom, I had my prekindergarten children create a welcome card.  They spent quite some time writing their names, thinking about the colors they thought this child may like and drawing pictures for her. Finally, the day had arrived, this child walked into our classroom holding tightly […]


Character Development