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

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Really neat blog I ran across today…

So I ran across this blog today and it made me wonder about how I am when my little girl and I are out and about. You see, right now, she wants to spend every opportunity she can with me, whether its taking the garbage can outside, washing our dog, painting art work, you name it. It’s flattering. And I cherish every moment of it because I know that at some point in the future, this will go away.

But for now, we make up silly stories and we rhyme out nonsensical sentences no matter where we are. So, the blog that I have a link to below, looks at a daddy and his little girl on just such an excursion not unlike ones she and I have embarked on.

Love you A,

Daddy

What Little Girls Wish Daddies Knew by Tara Hedman

1. How you love me is how I will love myself.

2. Ask how I am feeling and listen to my answer, I need to know you value me before I can understand my true value.

3. I learn how I should be treated by how you treat my mom, whether you are married to her or not.

and 22 others

Continue reading

Technology -> Schools -> Our kids

So when I ran across the article below, it made me think back to the 2012-2013 school year, when a school district in the city I live spent the better part of $200,000 for iPads for an elementary grade level that was under-performing with their reading skills.

If I was a member of that school district, I would have some serious questions for the school board. I know that no amount of technology is going to teach a child the way a hands on approach can. I see that with the reading teacher for my children. The only technology she uses is a smart board that allows her to go through the photocopied, phonics worksheets she has created from scratch. It helps keep all the class on the same page and it allows for a succinct delivery of the decoding of the English language.

As Schools Jump to Tablets, Questions Linger Over Impact on Writing and Reading Skills.

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;

I wonder how much bedtime reading takes place here?

My wife and I tag team the reading activities in our household. I am a big proponent of literacy for children, actually I wonder who would be against that. Nevertheless, our older child has taken an active role in teaching our youngest phonograms (Based on the Spalding method of explicit phonics) and has begun to construct “homework” activities for her, here at home.

Homework Time

Little sister learning Spalding explicit phonics from her big brother.

I confess that I don’t weave any Royals into the stories we read here at home, for now, we just stick to the classics.

C
 

Snooze or Lose

http://nymag.com/news/features/38951/index1.html

Dr. Avi Sadeh of Tel Aviv University is one of the authorities in the field. A couple of years ago, Sadeh sent 77 fourth-graders and sixth-graders home with randomly drawn instructions to either go to bed earlier or stay up later for three nights. Each child was given an actigraph (a wristwatchlike device that’s equivalent to a seismograph for sleep activity), which enabled Sadeh’s team to learn that the first group managed to get 30 minutes more sleep per night. The latter got 31 minutes less sleep.


After the third night’s sleep, a researcher went to the school in the morning to test the children’s neurobiological functioning. The test they used is highly predictive of both achievement-test scores and how teachers will rate a child’s ability to maintain attention in class.