8.25.2014

Preschool by any other name would still be fun

I don't really like the term Pre-K. I think everything before school should be called preschool. Instead of having preschool being an option for 3-4 year olds to go and play for a few hours with peers, we now have preschool, Pre-K3, Pre-K4 and maybe depending on your areas cut-off Pre-K5 which makes it seem like there are all these "grades" that your kid might be missing out on. I understand that it can help keep class names organized to have different names for each age level but still, it's a pet peeve of mine. Up there with kindergarten graduation and calling daycare for 1-year-olds "school." If your kid is in a diaper, it's not school. It's daycare.

And now that I seem like a old crank, I will admit that we are calling this year Pre-K. Lucy overhead me talking to some moms at church about her Sunday School class which is called, you guessed it, the Pre-K and K class. So later on when I told her we were starting up our new preschool fun times in a few days, she turns to me, gives me a look of confusion and says "Don't you mean, Pre-K? I am in Pre-K now!" When I printed out her sign, she wanted to make sure it said "Pre-K." I've started calling it both Preschool and Pre-K with the hope that maybe eventually, she's let it go, but at this point, she still (politely) correcting me most of the time so I'm not really holding out much hope. What can you do?  She's a stickler for the rules. So Pre-K, here we come!

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8.20.2014

A little pun for your wednesday

This is me officially announcing that we aren't doing the activities schedule for August WOL. Mostly because I wasn't excited about them and wanted to start the new stuff. So we did. And we are on our second letter already and having a blast. And I'll say more about it sometime soonish but for now....

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could they BEE any cuter? Lucy insisted we do a craft on our first "B" day and luckily 30 seconds on pinterest came up with something that only needed items I had on hand.

8.18.2014

A Mother's Daybook - The edition in which I seem to be obsessed with everything but Kombucha

Watching - Emma Approved. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before but I don't even care because I'm that obsessed with it. I have others webseries going too but this is by far my favorite. Partly because Emma is my all time favorite book and partly because Pemberly Digital modernizations are really amazing. They manage to really convey all the characters and emotions while still making the modernization aspect make sense - not an easy thing to do, especially considering the confines of the many short episodes with a web-cam format. Okay, and partly because Emma and Knightly are just adorable as are the actors that play them and are dating in real life. They are just too cute and I want them to get married and have very cute babies.

It's also so much fun to read the comments. There are two big groups of people. 1) The Jane Austen fans like me that are so excited when certain plot points finally arrive and we see how they are done in this version and high fiving each other when some the classic lines are kept, "there was the badly, done! They kept it." 2) The confused people that start off complaining that Emma is kinda selfish and they don't like her, then later add insightful comments like "does this seems really similar to Clueless and oh, guise, is this based on a book because why do some of you know what's going to happen and pls, no spoilers!" They are quite entertaining as well.

There are only 2 episodes to finish it up which is really sad. But that's okay because I've just started over! In fact, I'm rewatching listening right now. What? My kids are asleep, my husband is away for the night and I'm spending my Friday night watching a literary based web series while concurrently blogging about my obsession with it. Are you implying that is not completely? Don't answer!

Drinking - My first batch of Kombucha. Part of my new health protocol is supposed to be high doses of probiotics, in food and not just pill form. But my sensitivity to cabbage rules out all my favorite ways of eating fermented foods. Enter - Kombucha. That said, it's a bit weird. Even for me. And you know I do weird a lot. It could even be said that "weird" is one of my things. But scooping up a plate of symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast off my tea is pushing it and calling it a "scoby" doesn't really make that disappear. But I drank some of it. My first try was decent, maybe a bit too sour/vinegary for my taste. I keep trying though. Perseverence is also one of my things.

Listening - To lots of stuff but only with one ear. Craig and I had a date morning and went to a local shooting range. It was fun. But since then my right ear doesn't seem to be working quite right. And yes, I did wear ear protection! It's getting better than it was so I'm hopeful that this will be temporary. (Update - it's been 3 days now and its almost back to normal, not quite but not completely bothersome all day either)

Reading - Plutarch! I just finished my first life, Poplicola, and I'm shocked but I loved it and can't wait to start my next one. Now I'm actually a bit obsessed with Roman history right now which is odd because I'm not normally a history girl with the exception of a couple certain periods (see Austen fan girling above :-) So if you have any roman history books to recommend, hit me with them!

Thinking - About the news. I'm normally not one to read or watch a lot of the news. I stay up to date but honestly, I do so mostly through a Craig. I just let him tell me what's happening and since he is so news obsessed, it works out well. But when its happening in your backyard and effecting people I know and care about, I can't avoid it. I like checking facebook to see if friend's babies have been born, I don't like checking facebook to see if friends are safe. I've started probably three posts about this but can't seem to articulate any of my thoughts so don't worry, this isn't going to become a long post about Ferguson but right now it's just sad because so far, it seems like everyone is responding poorly. Like Oprah "everyone gets a car!" but with bad decisions. So I'm praying, for those I know and for those I don't.

8.14.2014

Narration

Since it's already been a couple weeks since the CM conference came and went, my post of notes in the draft folder will probably stay there but I just have to share my favorite part. But first, a disclaimer. I sometimes feel like the only tips and tricks type of things I share are really obvious (like it's easier to get your kids outside if you plan to do so) and I have these fears that people are reading this going, "Well, Duh" to everything I say. But I say it not to insult you, my readers, but because at some point, often times in the recent past, it wasn't obvious to me! This is one of those things.

A indispensible part of the Charlotte Mason method of teaching is Narration. The idea being that a person has to form their own connections with the material and the ideas it contains. By narrating, or telling back in their own words, what happened in the story, the person has a chance to do that. To process and work through it and make it their own. It's not a test of knowledge but the key to a child gaining that knowledge and is done for everything a student reads.

I agree with all of that but until I went to the conference, I hadn't actually done any narrating. Hangs head. Nancy over at Sage Parnassus gave the plenary talks and excellent speaker and CM expert that she is, required a variety of narration from us - drawing narration, silent narration, group narration of a picture and the classic narration (with the person sitting next to us). I could immediately tell the difference in my comprehension and now a few weeks later, I know I retained more of those talks then the rest of the conference.

Since then, I've started self-narrating two different things I'm reading - Charlotte Mason's 6th volume and my first of Plutarch's Lives, Poplicola. I've been reading Mason's works with a group since the beginning of the year but her sixth volume was getting a bit deep for me. I could tell you the basic idea she was talking about but I know I was missing out on a lot. And Poplicola was something I had started and really struggled to understand. So for that one, I completely started over, reading a paragraph a day and  narrating. I'll be honest, I had to narrate sentence by sentence at the beginning but now I can finish the whole paragraph and narrate it back just fine. It only takes a few seconds for me to close my eyes, give myself a little narration and move on but its doing so much! If I wasn't a believe before, I certainly am now.