Monday, July 04, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Is it illegal to be a kid in this town?

Your thoughts please... Yesterday I received a phone call from the local law enforcement asking, "did I know where my (10 & 12 year-old) kids were?"

I answered "unless something unusual happened, they are either at Target or on their way home from there."

Apparently they were stopped for being unaccompanied children. Because that is so abnormal. (I did question them about what they were doing; they assured me separately that all they were doing was walking).

I guess it was a good thing for all of us that they were where I expected them. The officer let them go.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Books, Libraries & Reading

I am very pleased to have developed three readers (so far) in my family. Trips to the library have been well received lately. Here is a story for each boy...

J has been making origami things for quite awhile. He was at the section where they had instruction books, and complained that they all had the same thing, and he already knew how to do all of them. So I introduced him to the stacks... We found the section on paper folding (for adults) and he practically jumped out of his skin, he was so excited. He picked out about five new books. The next week he figured out to ask for help with books on another subject he's excited about - knives. (But that's another story).

R seems to have about four books going at any given time. He does not feel the need to finish one before he sets out on another one. He is forever asking for bookmarks (I think he forgets to take them out of the books when he's done with them). He happily identifies himself as a "book worm." Last night we discussed the subject of one book, that reminded me of another book (and another author). I am happy to say that he is right this minute reading a Hugo/Nebula award winner (Ender's Game).

A is in first grade, and his world has just recently opened up to reading. It is so much fun to watch him figure things out. One of my favorite authors of all time (Spider Robinson) once wrote that his mother would read stories to him, and at the most exciting part, suddenly have something important to do in the kitchen (leaving him alone with the book). With that encouragement, he learned to read. So I've done the same thing with A. And it has worked beautifully.

The really funny part is that he was committed to reading his book (Animorphs - about a second or third grade level book), but didn't want to read his assigned book for class (20 pages - 40 sentences, plus or minus). I made him put down the hard book to read the easy one - but then wrote a letter to his teacher explaining how wrong that felt. We both agreed to give him something more challenging. He's reading a "Nate the Great" book every two or three days now. And Animorphs.

E is 5 and is learning his letter sounds. Montessori education focuses on the sound of the letter prior to the name of it ("ah" instead of "ay"). He's got most of them down and can read individual words (with pictures to help). I can't wait to see him develop this skill too.

Special bonus (for me). When we were at the library last week, I found not one, but two books by two different authors for two different series where they had not written anything new in years. I got both. Such a treat.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In appreciation of children

Conversations between E & A
Where did dinosaurs live?
In the desert.
No, cowboys live there.
Dinosaurs died because humans live here now.

A's question this morning
Where do fish go in the winter?
The same place they go in summer.
But what about when it snows?

Mornings
Even though I think the younger boys are probably old enough to wake themselves up to get ready for school, I don't mind participating. My "payment" for participating is that I get snuggle time. And during snuggle time, I get to hold them and touch their soft smooth skin. And boy oh boy do they have wonderful skin. Yum!

R has decided that he doesn't like his alarm clock and would rather I wake him up personally. And so, even though he is ten, I still do. Ten years old and still wants a hug from his mama in the morning. In fact, he is still quite the snuggler. I wonder how long it will last. I think J stopped around age 11. R may last longer.

J
It amazes me to watch my oldest move from "little boy" to adolescent. He is everything all the books/magazines talk about - with wild mood swings, infuriating obnoxiousness, and delightful inventions, often within three minutes of one another. Four more months and he will be an official teenager. (Which marks the beginning of a 12 year cycle that I will have at least one teenage boy in my home).

Yesterday dirt & mulch & plants arrived to be worked into the landscape and garden. All of the boys (except E) pitched in to help (with the promise of monetary reward). They were all so cheerful and willing. Kind of surprised me. In a good way.

Wonder if it will last through today - 'cause there is a lot more to be done.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Word of the Year

I am feeling a little slow this year. But I was inspired to make a Vision Board recently...

Apparently my word is "Boing." Which I think is about having more fun and finding stuff that gives me energy.

Secondarily, "Ahhhh." Which I'm pretty sure is about both enjoying life more and relaxing.