Saturday, March 31, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts®. All opinions are 100% mine.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012
It's been quite a while, but I do remember some of the things I learned. Now that R, the 5 year old, is in Kindergarten, I find myself tapping some of that information.
R goes to a full-day Kindergarten and comes home with homework every night. Homework consists of ditto sheets which, presumably, reinforce the day's lessons. Homework at this age was unsettling at first. He's in school all day. Does he really need more work after school? But homework is not my issue.
Ditto sheets. What to say about all these ditto sheets R brings home? I loathe them. I was taught to loathe them while getting my master's degree. They're busy work. They're not a learning tool. Hands-on, interactive methods were supposedly the best ways to get a child to learn a concept.
I have stacks and stacks of ditto sheets that come home from school with R on a daily basis. Not only are they used for homework purposes, apparently they're used in the classroom for teaching purposes as well.
Okay, maybe I'm being too critical. After all, I grew up on ditto sheets and I'm pretty smart. When you go online, you can find lots of print-outs as instructional aides. However, I tend to check the copyright dates of the ditto sheets that come home, just out of curiosity. I'd like to think my son's teachers are keeping up to date. Well . . .
One of R's ditto sheets yesterday was dated 1972. That's correct, not a typo. 1972. This, in my opinion, is unacceptable. There is no reason that a teacher should be using teaching tools from 40 years ago.
I'm not sure where the blame lies. The teacher, the principal, or the school board. Shame on the teacher for using something from 40 years ago. Shame on the principal for approving this lesson plan. Shame on the board for setting a curriculum that allows the use of ditto sheets as teaching tools - outdated or not.
In this day and age of computers and iPads, dittos are an antiquated teaching technique. I don't live in a particularly wealthy district, but I do pay very high taxes. I expect more from my child's school. I intend to take this up with the principal and the superintendent. My children deserve better . . . and so do yours!
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
Saturday started off terrible and ended just as bad. I woke up to find D, the 2 year old, laid out on the couch like a bowl of jelly. He was, literally, a gray lump. Panicking, as I tend to do, I immediately called the pediatrician and took him in right away.
D proceeded to be a miserable lump and throw up on me in the waiting room. Lucky me. The doctor did say he had an ear infection but thought this was the beginning of some sort of flu. Great.
I got D home, laid him out on the couch and proceeded to panic some more. One thing about me, I hate sickness. Illness of any kind really pushes me over the edge. I just don't do well with it and I worry myself sick about my kids when they get anything - and I mean even the sniffles.
D slept for about an hour, woke up and said he wanted a donut. We gave him a little something to eat, gave him his antibiotic, and the child perked up. Within an hour, he was bouncing on the couch.
Phew - that wasn't that awful and thank God he was feeling better. And then . . .
R, the 5 year old, started turning the same shade of gray as D was 6 hours earlier. And he complained that his stomach hurt. Oh no. Oh please, no.
Yes. R was sick as sick could be and that damn stomach virus intruded into our lives. R was sick for a few hours and then slept it off. By 12 midnight he was feeling much better.
Not being Irish myself, I never really celebrated St. Patrick's Day. I suppose we didn't have the luck of the Irish this weekend. Except come Sunday morning when all was right with the world and my children were back to being themselves. Then I quietly celebrated.
Friday, March 16, 2012
"The Homecoming of Samuel Lake" by Jenny Wingfield
"Another Piece of My Heart" by Jane Green
"Carry the One" by Carol Anshaw
Thursday, March 15, 2012
My boys, ages 5 and 2, have very different personalities. R, the 5 year old, is sensitive and sweet. D, the 2 year old, is . . . well, I call him the beast (and I say that with love). I realize he's dead-smack in the throws of the terrible 2's, but he's unbearable at times. Yesterday was one such time.
After picking up R from school, we stopped by the playground because it was 70 degrees in March in New Jersey. That's a good enough reason for just about anything.
When I was ready to leave, D did the screaming bloody murder thing that most children his age do when you're trying to get them to leave someplace they're not quite ready to leave. This I'm used to since big brother, R, used to do the same thing at this age.
What I wasn't quite prepared for was the fit of rage my 2 year old expressed once I strapped him in his car seat. There was high-pitched screeching, some not-so-nice language, and hitting. Excuse me?!?
Apparently my 2 year old is a hitter. I've witnessed some hitting between brothers and, honestly, find that normal behavior. But hitting me? Unacceptable.
In an effort to nip this nightmare in the bud, I supernannied-up and kept putting him in time out until he broke down and said he was sorry. This time-out battle, which lasted 20 minutes but would only had to have lasted 2 minutes had he just stayed there, unveiled this anger and fury that I never saw before and, quite honestly, rattled me.
How did I produce this little monster? Where did I go wrong? How can I have one sweet, caring boy and one raging, hitting bully? Bad mother vibes reared their ugly heads. I'm hoping to keep it under control and alter this bad behavior now . . . before I actually do call in Supernanny.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I remember playing outside all day, making "stews" in garbage can lids consisting of tree bark, shrubbery leaves, water, rocks, a little dirt, and anything else I could find. My imagination was boundless.
I remember playing tag down the street with the kids on my block and making a "board" out of chalk for a game of bottle caps on the sidewalk.
Mister Softee would come every afternoon and stop right in front of my door.
Those were the days I cherish, the ones I wish my children could have.
Instead they're subject to playdates, mostly indoors, or playing in the yard behind a locked gate. Days spent inside playing Wii, Leapster, DS. But it's not all their fault.
Even in the nicest of neighborhoods, the stories are told of child abduction, pedophiles, drugs for sale.
It's a world that's unsafe. A world that's scary. A world I never knew when I was their age. Certainly not a world I wished for them.
Monday, March 12, 2012
I wish I was reading another book by Elin Hilderbrand, but I just finished two books based on the island of Nantucket so I thought I'd give myself a change of pace. If I was reading one of her books, I'd love to be reading on Nantucket. Now that would be perfect!
Friday, March 9, 2012
"The Beginner's Goodbye" by Anne Tyler
"Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal" by Jeanette Winterson
"The View From Here" by Deborah McKinlay
"Juicy Joy - 7 Simple Steps to Your Glorious, Gutsy Self" by Lisa McCourt
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
First I had Rude Hornblower at R's school during drop off a few weeks ago. Now I have Parking Space Snatcher at D's school during pick up.
D's preschool is a small school in a nice neighborhood where all the moms drive one form or another of SUV or minivan. I am perfectly happy with my Lexus 4-door car. I don't need nor do I want an SUV and, quite honestly, I loathe the minivan. But I digress.
The preschool has a limited number of parking spots on a somewhat busy street. Lots of times the moms wait in the street with their blinkers on for spots to become available - which they do every few minutes.
I was one of the blinker moms today. As I was waiting patiently for a spot to open up, a black SUV pulled up in front of me and put her blinker on. Uhm, excuse me? When a spot became available, her and her big ass SUV took my spot. Wow, that was rude!
Fortunately another spot became available immediately after that one, but that's not the point. I was waiting longer, with my blinker on, for a spot. I followed proper protocol and she just came along and snatched my spot.
I debated saying something, but took the higher road (again) and refrained from a confrontation. The only problem with that is now I'm aggrevated and angry for the rest of the day.
This higher road stuff isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Monday, March 5, 2012
I usually peruse the Bargain books first since that section is almost always closest to the doors. Then I hit the New Releases and the tables set up with Buy 2, Get the 3rd Free or the Summer Reads. After that I'll head over to the General Fiction to see if there's anything there that I missed.