Tag Archives: Education

Star of the Week

25 Jan

Earlier this week I was delighted to be able to visit my little one in her classroom for her Star of the Week festivities.
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Each week a student in the class is the Star.  A poster is displayed all about that child and a parent visits to read a story and bring a treat.

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Except in this case, my daughter wanted to read her own stories which was fine with me :)

Prior to my arrival the kids had come up with some adjectives on the easel to describe the Star of the Week and I got such a kick out of reading some of them…

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I think they’ve described her pretty accurately :)

I relish every moment of these visits.  Sometimes I just want to hit the pause button…like when I entered the class and the kids were on the rug learning math and my little one spotted me, smiled big as can be and shouted MOMMY!

I try to savor these seconds…how about you?

Reading Time

29 Sep

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Over the past couple of weeks I attended all three kids back to school nights.  One of the messages that came across loudly is how important and how much reading needs to be happening on a regular basis.  So, we’ve really been trying to make it a daily routine in the house…after homework, after dinner, after all activities and sometime before bed.  It’s almost a bigger challenge to accomplish than homework, but once the kids settle into it, they look so cute!

Do you have any tricks to get your kids reading on a regular basis?

First Day of School 2013

6 Sep

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Well the third and first graders had their first day of school on Tuesday and I think it went pretty smoothly.

We don’t do a big back to school shop but I do get the kids new outfits for the first day.  The girls saw those dresses at the Children’s Place and both wanted them.  I was pleased because my big girl doesn’t even like to wear dresses anymore and the matching outfits worked out okay because they are at different schools.  My son on the other hand didn’t want any new clothes except new socks. (what a typical boy!) :)  He said his first day outfit would consist of lacrosse shorts and a “handsome shirt”.

As soon as they took off I headed out to our local Starbucks where I always meet up with a couple of friends to commiserate on the first day of school. Some years I’ve sat there with a lump in my throat, like last year when my little one went to kindergarten. This year, I felt alright.

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It was a bit cloudy and humid in the morning but by the time the kids were delivered home the sun was shining beautifully and I was happy to hear all about the day. Of course they raced off and I heard barely anything!

We carried on another tradition that evening thanks to my lovely neighbors. On the first day of school they always give us an ice cream cake to celebrate after they wait at the bus stop with us!  We have our neighbors over for an ice cream party after school to talk about the first day.
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First week was only two days as we have Thurs and Fri off for holidays.  It’s nice they are able to ease back into things.

How’s back to school going for you?

Schoooool’s Out!

21 Jun

The kids had last day of school today on what is usually my favorite day of the entire year……….the first of my most favorite season in existence.  I shouldn’t even call it a last day because they only went for like an hour…which is mildy irritating.  They’ve already had 2 half days these week and they have been long days for me! We had been going to our town pool those days with minimal fighting so yesterday I decided to take them out to dinner.

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They made it through the meal and then someone did something to someone else and before I knew it they were all on the floor punching each other. I literally pulled them all out there by limbs and hair and we looked like a massive ball of blonde hair and curls.  Mortifying.

Today, however, they were in great spirits for the last day of school.  Like I’ve done then past few years, I blasted some Alice Cooper while they ate breakfast to get them in the mood.  There was lots of excitement at the bus stop both going….and coming back an hour later!

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When they got home it was only 9:30 so we decided to head to MY favorite place in the world on MY favorite day of the year.  Sure I live in one of the most congested, trafficky and high tax regions of the world, but what I absolutely love about it is that I am only about a 20 minute drive from beautiful and gorgeous beaches and if you know me at all by now you know I am 100% a summer lovin girl.  And hitting the beach on the first day of the summer…well it makes it all seem right somehow.

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The beach was amazing and I got great joy seeing the kids enjoy the waves fearlessly. Can’t believe I now have a brood of 1st and 3rd graders!

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I’m assuming school is done everywhere by today…is that so where you are? Are your kids off the wall yet like mine?! :)

Kindergarten Spring Sing

24 May

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The little one had her spring concert this week and it was an absolute pleasure!  Recognize the dress?  Big sis wore it for her spring sing last year!!! (They request kids dress in pastels so it’s so perfect!)

I am amazed and impressed with the music teacher in the school (who looks all of 22!) with her capacity to get all the children enthused and singing the most adorable songs.  This year’s theme was “silly songs” so we got to enjoy songs like “On Top of Spaghetti” and “High Hopes” which I remember learning in my elementary music class!

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And of course these things are always opportunities for photo ops with mom and dad :)

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Aren’t these kids concerts the greatest?

2nd Grade Pizza Friday

20 Apr

In my community, kindergarten and 1st grade are spent in one school and there are lots of opportunities for parents to get involved in classroom projects and field trips.

Once they hit second grade, however, it’s big league.  Immersed with grades up to fifth it’s hardcore and there are very few chances for parents to be involved with the kids during the school day.

So I thought I was very fortunate to have secured a coveted spot as a parent volunteer on Friday helping to serve on one of a few special pizza Fridays.  The twins were happy and immediately grilled me as to which side of the cafeteria I would be serving on, which thrust me into another twin mom dilemma, given that they both were on opposite sides of the cafeteria.

But ultimately, I ended up serving on my son’s side because it was via his class that I signed up to be a volunteer.  That didn’t stop me, however, from visiting with my girl twin to get some midday smooches.

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She and her pals were more than happy to ham it up for the camera.

Her brother on the other hand got a little cool for his momma when he was around his friends.

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It was such a thrill to see them in their element!  I was told there are so few 5th grade parent volunteers to serve the students because by 5th grade the kids absolutely do not want their parents coming around :(

It’s unfathomable that another school year will be soon completed…

Do you grab opportunities to help out at your child/ren’s school?

Back to School

20 Feb

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The freezing winds at the bus stop this morning didn’t hamper the little one’s smiles.

Our 4 day mini break from school this week (abbreviated because of so much school missed during Hurricane Sandy) was anti climactic because we were all sick. I feel bad about that.  I’m hoping the kids appreciate the return to routine today as a change from lying around the house.

Isn’t it kind of a nice feeling sending them all onto the bus after several days at home? :)

Reticent Reader

16 Feb

My daughter came home from school yesterday buzzing about Anne Frank. She told me she had chosen a book about her from the book basket at school and had enjoyed learning about her. Typical of my big girl, I knew what was coming next. She begged me to get her more books on Anne Frank. Not tomorrow…right now!
I can’t ever say no to a request to go visit the library, so off we went.
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She couldn’t even wait until we were home to rip into the books and was getting irritated with her little sister who kept breaking her concentration in the library.

My daughter takes everything to heart. She soaks up the world and feels for everyone. She once saw a story on the news about a baby panda bear in China that died. She CRIED FOR 3 DAYS about that panda. So I’m a bit concerned she’s going to get wrapped up in Anne Frank, similarly to the way she did with Ruby Bridges last year (she still talks about Ruby A LOT). She’s planning on recreating Anne’s diary as her next project.

In the meantime I’m going to focus on the positive….that she is an eager, sensitive and creative learner who loves reading, more than my other two. Do you have a child that loves to read?

Johnny and Amelia

3 Feb

My son had to do a biographical presentation this week.  He had been reading biographies all month and then was to choose his favorite, dress as the character and talk as him a bit.

Though all the pictures of Johnny Appleseed show him with a pot on his head, it wasn’t gonna work with my son and his big cranium.  He wanted to wear a frying pan but somehow I didn’t think his teacher would appreciate that!

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Still Johnny Appleseed turned out damn cute.

And it all reminded me of when I had to give a similar presentation in the 3rd grade (my son is in 2nd).  The teacher had snapped a photo of each of us to display in the classroom.  I knew my parents had held onto so I begged them to uncover it.

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…and they did! (though damn what a messs I am!)

My kids love it though every time I show my 5-year-old a picture from my youth she wants to know why I look like a boy :).
Needless to say, Johnny is much cuter than Amelia…wouldn’t you agree?!

Teaching My Child to Fight Back

3 Dec
this little guy kinda even looks like MY little guy!

this little guy kinda even looks like MY little guy!

Last Friday my second grade son got off the bus after school dragging his feet, stifling a cry.  He immediately tightly hugged my leg as he buried his face in it.  I knew something was very wrong as he and twin sister are the youngest at their bus stop and my son does everything he can to appear cool in front of the 4th and 5th grade boys at the stop.

So he told me a 4th grader, who I’ll call Bruce, wanted the seat my son had secured and was hassling him to move.  Bruce put his hand on my son’s face and gave him a shove.  When my son told me I felt my blood pumping as I imagined all the ways I wanted to deal with Bruce.  But before I could respond, my son said he didn’t want me to do anything…not to make a big deal, not to embarrass him.

He stopped me my tracks.  He’s 7 years old now and he’s right, I can’t be so quick to swoop in.  I reminded myself that it’s my job to teach him the skills to deal with adversity in life.  So we talked for a while and I stressed the following:

1– it is not okay for ANYONE to touch you without your permission

2–if anyone does put their hands on you, shout “keep your hands off me”

3–if that doesn’t work you defend yourself.  it is okay to shove, push, punch etc if you are defending yourself.

4–fourth graders that pick on second graders half their size are LOSERS (okay I know but I can’t help myself)

When I discussed my conversation without another mother, she told me in so many words that I am wrong about my 3rd point…that my son should get the bus driver or an adult.  She said my son would be suspended from school for fighting back.  I had one of those “I’m not a good mother” moments of extreme self-doubt.

My son is on a small bus.  The bus driver had to have seen or heard something but he did nothing.  I want my son to contemplate defending himself without having to run to an adult.  I want him to feel okay fighting back in life when boundaries are crossed.

I’ve made it very clear to him that fighting is not a good thing, that hurting people is definitely not a good thing.  But I’ve carefully talked to him about using good judgement to fight back in a situation where he needs to protect himself or his sisters.

My son came off the bus happy today.  He said no one was bothering him, and, in fact, Bruce asked to sit with him.  My son said he let him “even though he never apologized for shoving me”.  I told him that was very kind and that maybe Bruce is feeling bad about mistreating him.

I’m very relieved that this doesn’t seem to be an ongoing thing and I’m hoping that I am guiding my kids in good directions.

How do you feel about guiding your child/ren to fight back when provoked?

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