Monday, May 02, 2016

Lydia at 8

Lydia at 8,
You dont' like to sleep alone and claim to have "nightmares" so that you can sleep with me in my bed.
You love beets and jicama and hate sandwiches of all sorts.  You think you are allergic to cashews and anytime you don't like something you claim it makes you "itchy" and that it probably has cashews in it.  You love to be the center of attention and are so excited that you have a role in the Little Mermaid.
You bite you nails to the quick and pick at every little cut and scrape so that they last for months, especially ones on your face.
You hate dance, except for the being on stage part, and are looking forward to starting Tae Kwon Do. 
You want to dye your hair very blonde or pink, you haven't decided yet, but you don't like "dirty blonde" hair because it has the word dirty in it.
You love baths but you hate to wash your hair or your body.  You just want to soak and play toys. 
You and Bethany are like two peas in a pod--you love hanging out together.  Elijah and you are arch-enemies and you do whatever you can to annoy him, especially singing in the car.
You are loving the fact that you can microwave stuff now and follow recipes.  You melt chocolate chips and peanut butter and pour them over bananas at every chance.
You love Harry Potter and have seen all of the movies.  You are on book two of the series.
You hate loud noises, but are getting much better with them.
You love anything with sugar in it.
You love hamburgers and buying school lunch.
You feel like you don't fit in at school.  Mary Michael and Emily and Caitlin are the "popular girls" and they tease you.  Camryn is your best buddy at school though and you guys get along really well. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Love of Learning

My job as a mother and as a teacher is to inspire my kids to love learning.  My goal as a teacher is to help kids fall in love with Science.  I want to create kids that want to learn for the sake of learning, not so that they can pass a test.  Curious, self-driven learners are who are going to be the innovators and the leaders, not the kiddos who ace the test and forget the material five minutes afterwards.

I've noticed a lot of people ask me "Is there anything you can't do?"  Yes, there are lots of things I can't do, but there isn't much I am not willing to LEARN how to do.

This past week for example, I learned four new things:
  1. Use a saw and drill--not really skilled with that, but a few you tube videos and a little self confidence and I can install a cat door.  
  2. Decorate a cake a certain way--like a lemur?  Maybe not at first, but some practice, tutorials, failed attempts and trial and error and I can get it done.  Was it perfect? Nope, but it sure tasted yummy!
  3. Crochet a cool new pattern for an ear muff with a cool flower?  Maybe not, but it is easy to pull out the wrong stitches and try again.  After four attempts, I got it right and it looks really great!
  4. Make a music video for school?  I had no idea!  I took about 300 video clips of kiddos and used iMovie to put them together.  The finished product isn't perfect, but it is good.  My next movie will be better.  I went from not knowing how to turn on an iPad to making a pretty awesome video in a week's time.
While some things come easier than others, I'm not afraid of hard work to succeed.  I am not afraid to mess up and have to start again.  I am not afraid to fail and ask for help to figure something out.  I pray to God that I am teaching my kiddos at school and my own at home that failure is a part of life.  Learning is a part of life.  I will never in my life have to take a test on how to crochet or how to install a cat door, but I learned a new skill.  I enjoyed it.  It was fun.

When kids at school complain about math or history or science I explain it to them this way.  There are so many things you might love to do.  It's our job to expose you to a whole bunch of different things--math and history and science--so that you can find out what you really love.  Once you find that thing, you can focus on that in college or in your career.  It is so much easier to go to work everyday doing something that brings you joy.  Maybe one of you kids is the next math genius, but if we let you stop math because you didn't like learning times tables, you would live out your whole life missing out on something you were just meant to do.

What is your philosophy on learning new things??

Bethany at 6

Bethany, you are an amazing girl.  I can't wait to watch you continue growing and changing.
You love hairstyles.  Your hair is long and you love fancy braids and updos.  We look on Pinterest for ideas and you love to give mama a challenge at 5:30 in the morning. 

You love snuggles and being rocked.  You will always come in for morning snuggles, but occasionally you have bad dreams or feel crummy or say to me "I just need to hold you tonight" and you sleep in my bed.  Oh my word it is so wonderful!  You are still,you don't snore, you are just sweet and wonderful.

You are an amazing eater.  You will try anything, including octopus!  You love things no one else in the family likes--capers, pepperoni, hummus and Roquefort cheeses.  You take seaweed to school, eat casseroles, ostrich. . .you name it and you'll try it! 

You are super artistic like your brother.  You love to draw and color.  You are loving kindergarten and learning how to read.  It drives you crazy that brother and sister can read and you can't.

Your favorite show is Zaboomafoo.  We had hoped to get a lemur for your party, but Dan's lemur died.  He brought a monkey and other animals.  You didn't even flinch when he asked you to hold the four foot alligator.  You are so brave!

You have tow best friends, Adeline and Sydney.  Adeline is your best friend all day at school and Sydney goes to after school so she and you play a lot there.  I am so glad that you are making friends of your own at school.

You started dance this year and like it a lot.  You want to be in the nutcracker next year.  Right now you only take one class a week, Jazz. 

You were in your first plays this year: the school musical and Winnie the Pooh.  The acting bug has hit and you've tried out for several other plays in Act for youth.  I am so glad that you enjoy being up in front of a crowd.  Public speaking is such a wonderful skill to have.  You also keep a great attitude no matter what part you get or don't get.  That positive spirit is so admirable.

You are almost past needing loveys.  Anything soft will do to hold on to while you fall asleep.