A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles in School days

Yes, let’s have food allergy policies everywhere
Tuesday, 21 Dec, 2010 – 18:34 | One Comment
Yes, let’s have food allergy policies everywhere

There’s egg-free, and then there’s the kind of egg-free that led Big Guy to puke up his pastries despite a donut shop owner’s assurances that he didn’t use egg. It was true as far as …

Shhhhhh! Don’t tell him he’s doing extra homework
Thursday, 16 Dec, 2010 – 10:07 | 3 Comments
Shhhhhh! Don’t tell him he’s doing extra homework

Like most of my instances of parenting genius, this one was pure dumb luck, too. Not to mention laziness.
It was a Sunday night at the end of a hectic weekend, and I just did not …

Thanksgiving
Wednesday, 24 Nov, 2010 – 11:41 | Comments Off
Thanksgiving

I am thankful for my family. We are getting a turkey. I am also thanking for after this is Christmas. Thanksgiving is my third favorite holiday. Thanksgiving is the most thankful holiday.

There is no good time to do homework
Friday, 5 Nov, 2010 – 13:36 | Comments Off
There is no good time to do homework

We’ve tried it first thing after school, hoping that will help keep his head in the game.
We’ve tried it later in the afternoon, hoping that giving him a chance to blow off steam before settling …

No wonder we’re confused about education reform
Monday, 1 Nov, 2010 – 22:02 | Comments Off
No wonder we’re confused about education reform

Today’s news reminded me of the joke we used to rib the mathematically inclined with during my college days: Yesterday I didn’t know what an engineer was. Today I are one.
In this corner, we have …

Class-size reduction does work. Phonics too!
Wednesday, 27 Oct, 2010 – 22:33 | Comments Off
Class-size reduction does work. Phonics too!

The guys’ school had a problem at the beginning of the year, and we’re lucky that the district had the money to solve it.
Boots’ kindergarten class the first week of school had 27 kids. So …

This ain’t your mother’s parent-teacher conference
Thursday, 21 Oct, 2010 – 14:23 | One Comment
This ain’t your mother’s parent-teacher conference

Back in the day when we had to walk four miles up hill both ways to school, Mom used to sneak out a few evenings a year for this mysterious thing called a “parent-teacher conference.”
Convinced …

Homeschool not for the faint of heart – or me either
Monday, 18 Oct, 2010 – 12:49 | 2 Comments
Homeschool not for the faint of heart – or me either

The relentlessly cheery among us never have problems. Instead, they experience “challenges” or “opportunities.” It’s a “chance for growth.”
So, in that spirit let me thank our school system for giving me the “opportunity” to put …

A candy land curriculum for math
Saturday, 2 Oct, 2010 – 9:22 | Comments Off
A candy land curriculum for math

Seeing that I’d already compromised my principles a year ago by using “fruit” snacks to help Big Guy learn to add and subtract, I had no ethical problem whatsoever with sending Boots to hell in …

THIS is second-grade math?
Friday, 1 Oct, 2010 – 13:17 | 2 Comments
THIS is second-grade math?

Rhonda, Tom, Liz and Miguel all have 4 shells. If they each find 1 more shell, does the mode change? If so, what is the new mode? – Page 64, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill “California Mathematics,” Second Grade.
Big …

An evaluation by numbers isn’t really an evaluation
Monday, 20 Sep, 2010 – 22:21 | Comments Off
An evaluation by numbers isn’t really an evaluation

Evaluation: An interview between a manager and an employee, which allows the manager to judge how well the employee is doing the job.
Now that we have the dictionary definition out of the way, let’s move …

I don’t believe in bribes – unless they work
Wednesday, 15 Sep, 2010 – 14:21 | Comments Off
I don’t believe in bribes – unless they work

I don’t pay for grades, despite some scant evidence that it can work in some situations.
I don’t pay for goals – that would counteract the “you’re part of a team” message I’m trying to drum …

Diving off a cliff into second grade
Thursday, 9 Sep, 2010 – 11:14 | Comments Off
Diving off a cliff into second grade

It’s not so much the academics, though the weekly spelling list now is 20 instead of 12 and the words are harder for Big Guy to wrap his head around.
“Witch? That’s not W-I-T-C-H, because I …

Mack
Saturday, 4 Sep, 2010 – 10:57 | Comments Off
Mack

Editor’s note: Clearly, I am failing Big Guy educationally. He took his imaginary dog to an American League baseball game? Unacceptable. We must watch more National League ball before he starts to think the designated …

If you think school isn’t hard enough, go to kindergarten
Friday, 3 Sep, 2010 – 12:30 | Comments Off
If you think school isn’t hard enough, go to kindergarten

I’m confused. Genuinely perplexed, as opposed to the fake puzzlement I sometimes try to pull on the guys. As in, “I just don’t understand why you thought it was a good idea to cut gaping …

Leave them kids alone
Tuesday, 31 Aug, 2010 – 15:03 | 3 Comments
Leave them kids alone

Just as sure as someone’s going to be selling a box of crayons for a quarter every August, you can mark the annual bashing of American students on your calendar in the vicinity of Labor …

Big boys ride the bus
Tuesday, 17 Aug, 2010 – 14:53 | Comments Off
Big boys ride the bus

He trundled to the bus stop less than a football field’s length from our back door, waddling slightly from the balk of a backpack a tad to big for him. He clutched a sheath of …

Thank heaven Mrs. M has a great bread pizza recipe
Wednesday, 2 Jun, 2010 – 12:39 | Comments Off
Thank heaven Mrs. M has a great bread pizza recipe

I was there for the preparation but had to leave before the feast began, so I was curious to hear Big Guy’s reaction to the lunch that was part of his end-of-school party.
“Oh. My. God,” …

The weeper in Room 14
Thursday, 27 May, 2010 – 14:54 | One Comment
The weeper in Room 14

With no outward warning signs, he buried his face in his arms and started crying. These were no delicate sobs, but chest-wracking heaves.
“What’s wrong?” his teacher asked.
“It’s the end of school, and I’ll never see …

Summer reading in three-part harmony
Wednesday, 26 May, 2010 – 15:11 | Comments Off
Summer reading in three-part harmony

Mom’s Two Commandments of Summer: Thou shalt stay out of my hair in the mornings so I can work, and thou shalt read and like it.
It’s a given that the first is not going to …

Preschool graduation – go ahead and laugh
Tuesday, 25 May, 2010 – 12:24 | Comments Off
Preschool graduation – go ahead and laugh

The invitation set my snarkometer into overdrive when the teachers handed it to us that morning.
Preschool graduation. 4 p.m., May 19. Complete with a “commencement address.” It had all the markings of a big to-do, …

A notebook worth keeping
Wednesday, 19 May, 2010 – 14:06 | One Comment
A notebook worth keeping

There are two gray plastic bins in the garage, each roughly 2x2x2. I bought them several years ago, to preserve the guys’ keepsakes. Important stuff such as the first outfits they wore and their first …

The moon is made of …
Friday, 14 May, 2010 – 14:42 | Comments Off
The moon is made of …

There is not gravity on the moon. You can flot up in the rocket. The gravity can lif you.
It is not strong gravity. The moon have a slick gravity. Gravity is not hot air. Astonots …

Happy Mother’s Day!
Saturday, 8 May, 2010 – 23:59 | One Comment
Happy Mother’s Day!

Dear Mom,
I love you! Happy Mothr’s Day! I love it when you clim the montin. Have a special day! I like it when we ride bikes.
Love,
Big Guy

If I had a Thing …
Friday, 16 Apr, 2010 – 15:22 | Comments Off
If I had a Thing …

(All misspellings are by the author. Not that the Web master does much better on any given day.)
If i had a thing I would cich it.
I would take the kite away fron him.
If the thing …

Trying not to turn Air Force One into a helicopter
Thursday, 15 Apr, 2010 – 13:03 | Comments Off
Trying not to turn Air Force One into a helicopter

A funny thing happened on the way to the White House.
As he “researched” information for his first-ever report – one page on a historical site, with a picture from which he could create a drawing …

What can we do to create 21st Century schools? Just look to Central California
Friday, 2 Apr, 2010 – 18:29 | One Comment
What can we do to create 21st Century schools? Just look to Central California

Forget all the discussion about where we’re going to live when Dad gets out of the Army. As far as I’m concerned, it’s settled. We are moving to Madera County.
Yes, that Madera County, the one …

Ca-nation Cam: Day 6
Saturday, 27 Mar, 2010 – 13:18 | Comments Off
Ca-nation Cam: Day 6

It’s not been quite a week, but the great ca-nation experiment is dead as the green flower flopping over the side of the bottle.
Big Guy still blames me, and he’s right that we did leave …