Who says science birthday parties are boring?

Ok, so I have to admit, this image (and train of thought) is from a few years ago.  I was a little skeptical when we heard that the kids were going to be making elastopolymers at the party.  ScienceBday.

As you can see in the photograph, they were captivated. I admit, I do not have the creativity to envision this kind of party and this was just one of the stations available for the kids to get hands on with science. It was a hit!

T,

Thanks for taking me with you. I love watching the wonder in your eyes.

Dad

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Secret Adventures (if big brother thinks its cool, then it is!)

Little man,

As I loaded the dishwater the other night, I watched intently as the two of you gathered at the dining room table.  One would think that the two of you were

Big brother teaches little sister addition and subtraction.

Big brother teaches little sister addition and subtraction.

playing with the latest gadget, or building the coolest Lego spaceship.  Instead, what you two had in had were a pencil, a napkin, a keen curiosity, a desire to share, and a desire to learn.

Who says math can’t be cool? by Leslie Crawford

Little man, I have seen you go out of your way all the time to teach your sister.  As you can see, I had my old phone on hand and was able to capture this moment.  And yes, you two have turned our dining table into a table for arts and crafts and learning time, too.

I love math, I hope that love has passed on to you as well.  I love when you go out of your way to stump me with math equations you create.  (I win if I can solve them without the use of pencil and paper.)

If a child can learn to think math is fun, or for that matter, education is fun, what is their potential in life?  I was proud to see you working with her.  I see such great hope in you both.

–Dad

Making a rhyme all the time

So if someone has asked me before the thought of kids had come in to my mind how my poetry skills were, I would have laughed. Aside from love endearing penmanship attempts that helped win over my love, I would have said “eh, ok”.

Here I am juggling around an active pre-pre-schooler and a first-grader and I find myself singing to them the silly songs I make up to emphasize an idea or a point. The thesaurus and I have become very good friends.

I ran across this blog (see link below) and the message there seemed to drive home an underlying plan that I myself had not written down.

10 Ways to Raise a Reader by Matthew Brown

Reading, reciting and singing Mother Goose rhymes to our children might seem old-fashioned today, but it is an excellent way to help children get ready to read. Nursery rhymes are more than just short stories or songs;

How time flies…

So as I gaze at this blog, I am surprised to see that so much time has passed by. I suppose I should explain.

Beginning June of 2013, we as a family decided to get rid of the cable television connection at our home. I have to admit that the decision was extremely painful for someone like myself who intentionally sought out news, cooking shows, and HGTV.

Our kids being 6 and 2 didn’t have much of an opinion but the older one did express concern about losing his Nick Jr. shows. It was then that I realized just how much, though unintentionally, we used the television to pacify them; to buy ourselves quiet moments of reprieve.

I found myself that next day, after pulling the plug, on the floor coloring lines across paper at the direction of our youngest while our older worked intently with glue, Popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners. Dinner time was different as well. It was quieter…attention was focused on each other instead of the entertainment on the screen.

We started reading more. The bicycles in the garage started getting used. And best of all, when the holiday season rolled around and I asked the older what he wanted for Christmas, he had no answer! Which meant that whatever he received was going to be a wonderful surprise. And it was.

Poor Sleep Can Negatively Affect a Student’s Grades, Increase the Odds of Emotional and Behavioral Disturbance

http://www.aasmnet.org/articles.aspx?id=873

WESTCHESTER, Ill. – Insufficient sleep among adolescents may not only contribute to lower grades and a lack of motivation, but may also increase the odds of serious levels of emotional and behavioral disturbances, including ADHD, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Fred Danner, PhD, of the University of Kentucky, focused on 882 high school freshmen who provided information about their sleep habits and school grades and also completed psychological and behavioral assessments.

Adolescent Sleep, School Start Times, and Teen Motor Vehicle Crashes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2603528/

There is considerable evidence that a majority of adolescents do not get enough sleep for optimal functioning during the day.The following popper user interface control may not be accessible. Tab to the next button to revert the control to an accessible version.Destroy user interface control1The following popper user interface control may not be accessible. Tab to the next button to revert the control to an accessible version.Destroy user interface control–The following popper user interface control may not be accessible. Tab to the next button to revert the control to an accessible version.Destroy user interface control3 It is also clear that driving while drowsy is a serious traffic safety problem, especially among young drivers.The following popper user interface control may not be accessible. Tab to the next button to revert the control to an accessible version.Destroy user interface control4The following popper user interface control may not be accessible. Tab to the next button to revert the control to an accessible version.Destroy user interface control–The following popper user interface control may not be accessible. Tab to the next button to revert the control to an accessible version.Destroy user interface control6 Both social and biologic pressures appear to cause a shift in sleep patterns during the transition to adolescence, with the result that adolescents stay up progressively later as they progress through high school.The following popper user interface control may not be accessible. Tab to the next button to revert the control to an accessible version.Destroy user interface control7The following popper user interface control may not be accessible. Tab to the next button to revert the control to an accessible version.Destroy user interface control–The following popper user interface control may not be accessible. Tab to the next button to revert the control to an accessible version.Destroy user interface control9 Therefore, early school start times for adolescents decrease their sleep, which increases their daytime sleepiness,The following popper user interface control may not be accessible. Tab to the next button to revert the control to an accessible version.Destroy user interface control8 which may, in turn, increase their odds of crashing their vehicles while driving.