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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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

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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
 

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.