Learning and Teaching

10246614_510334319067570_7811031388482900585_nAfter a ton of thinking about the subject¬†and weighing the pros & cons on the matter, I’ve decided to homeschool my son next year. Alexander will be in 4th grade (and Juliana will be in pre-school) and I think it will be the absolutely BEST thing for us all. It will be our last year in Hawaii and the schools here seem to be a bit “lacking” (honestly) and I’m worried that the both of them – mostly Xander – will be behind once we get back to the mainland.

I’ve been “pinning” a ton of resources onto my Pinterest “Learning & Teaching” board and I have some homeschool and teacher friends sharing ideas and curriculum information with me! Lots of support (for which I am very grateful.)

I’m planning on more of an “unschool” sort of direction in homeschool. I was never really “into” school even though I adore learning – and it seems as though my son is similar to me in that sense. I plan on using a “curriculum” for math (Saxon) but the rest of the schooling will be based very loosely on what he “should” be learning. I get to teach not for TESTING but for LEARNING! 4th and 5th grades were my absolutely favorite in school – so I am super stoked to be his teacher for at least 4th grade.

I don’t really mind lesson planning. There are so many friends of mine who homeschool and there are so many FREE resources available online! I’m not stressed about this, I’m excited! (Perhaps a little TOO excited!) My husband is even totally on board! He’s excited about working in lots of science lessons when we do a little family vacation to the Big Island soon!

So, be prepared for the onslaught of homeschooling information. I find it easier to re-locate information via my own blog sometimes (much like the meatloaf recipe I had lost, then found on here!)

Anyway, you’ve been warned. I even added a new Category ūüėČ

 

Mama! I’m Scared!

My fearless little two-year-old has recently become scared of EVERYTHING! She is scared of the water hose, scared of the Jeep, scared of bikes, scooters, motorcycles,¬†helicopters¬†… The list seems to never end. I never dealt with this with my (now) 8 year old! So, I’m at a bit of a loss here.

Apparently, from what I have been reading this is a pretty common thing.

According to BabyCenter “It’s normal for your child to be fearful. After all, anxiety is a natural condition that helps us cope with new experiences and protects us from danger. Some 2-year-olds are frightened of very specific things: bugs, dogs, the dark, even the vacuum cleaner. Other kids are afraid of new situations or meeting new people. Most of your 2-year-old’s fears will fade as she becomes more secure in herself and her environment.”

We have been trying to work with her about her fears but to be perfectly honest (and I know other parents will agree) – “explaining” away a fear to a two-year-old is like trying to make a brick wall understand physics. Nothing gets through!

Some of the suggestions that I’ve heard are to expose the child to the fear – demonstrate that the vaccuum won’t suck up your big brother so it won’t suck you up either! Use “lovies” (stuffies, blankies) to stand guard over the child. Practice and pretend (like – easing a child’s fears about Doctor offices).

Most importantly – don’t show your child that YOU are scared of something! This one is REALLY difficult for me – at least when we go off-roading in our Jeep. Juliana used to LOVE going on Jeep rides. But I guess since I showed some fear a couple times she really flips out. I know we are safe – but still. It’s a little scary sometimes.

This will be an ongoing process I guess. If you have ANY tips to share please do! I appreciate it!

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Military Families Near and Far

Military Families Near and Far is a free, bilingual (English and Spanish) website where families can create, communicate, and stay connected. Developed for military families, the site provides new ways for preschool and school-aged children to express themselves and communicate within their own family networks.

Families can add characters from Sesame Street and The Electric Company to their networks to get messages from these special friends. New interactive tools for creating art, music, videos, letters, cards, and notebooks help kids explore their emotions and encourage communication. Materials from Sesame Street’s ongoing Talk, Listen, Connect initiative and new materials from The Electric Company provide resources for parents and caregivers to help children cope with challenging transitions.

Military Families Near and Far is an extension of Sesame Workshop’s ongoing efforts to support our troops and their families.

Talking to Our Kids about Newtown

In an open letter to parents, First Lady Michelle Obama offers some ideas for discussing the tragedy in Newtown with children and young people. Read the First Lady’s letter below:

Dear parents,

Like every American, Barack and I are absolutely heartbroken about the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week in Newtown, Connecticut.  And like so many of you, our first reactions were not as a President and First Lady, but as a Mom and Dad.  We were asking ourselves, what if this had been our town, or our school, or our girls?

[ read the rest ]

Talk, Listen, Connect with your Military Kids

As many as 700,000 children under the age of five have a parent in the military. Recognizing the need for first-rate media-based resources to support military families, in 2006, Sesame Workshop launched the bilingual (English/Spanish), multimedia outreach initiative Talk, Listen, Connect: Helping Families During Military Deployment (TLC). This critical outreach tool helped military families and their young children cope with the challenges of deployment and build resilience in times of separation and change. The overwhelming response to this program revealed a need for additional resources and in 2008 and 2010, respectively, Sesame Workshop followed up with Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes (TLC 2) and Talk, Listen, Connect: When Families Grieve (TLC 3).

Since its initial launch, Talk, Listen, Connect has expanded to include a free Sesame Street/USO family tour; two PBS primetime specials; and Sesame Rooms, bringing toys and furniture to military spaces.

With the launch of the Sesame Street Family Connections (SSFC) website in 2009, Sesame Workshop extended Talk, Listen, Connect into a robust online experience, with the goal of facilitating interaction between deployed or injured soldiers and their loved ones when distance or disability made everyday communication difficult.

The following year, with support from the Defense Centers of Excellence, Sesame Workshop began a major expansion of the Sesame Street Family Connections site that included not only technological updates, but also the enhancement of existing features, and the creation of new tools and resources aimed at school-age children. The result of these efforts is Military Families Near and Far, an online space that provides new ways for preschool and school-aged children to express themselves, communicate within their own family networks, and stay connected with loved ones.

Watch Talk, Listen, Connect online for free!

Order your free copy of Talk, Listen, Connect from MilitaryOneSource!

Hey! Can You Hear Me?

My seven year old son … I love him very much; but he has developed something that many children have – “selective deafness.” Mainly – I know he hears me – he just doesn’t realize this. He ignores my voice like crazy now! I feel like I have to launch a brick at his head to get him to listen most days.

Each (school day) morning I get up at 7:00 – brew myself a cuppa and then go wake him up. Then at 7:20 I go in again to wake him up. 7:25 … 7:30 … By 7:35 I’ve yanked the covers off him and turned on the light.

I pick out his clothes; throw them at him and tell him “here put these on” then I have to keep reminding him to eat his breakfast, put shoes and socks on, breathe …. I’m sure he has A.D.D … hell I have A.D.D … But seriously kid?! You’re seven years old! Get with the damn program!

Sidenote: Last night he finished off the milk. So the only milk left is already in the baby’s cup. I have no creamer or milk for my coffee. Is it wrong to ‘borrow’ some milk from the sippy cup? Yes? Oh … Oh well ….