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.

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

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

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From preschool to kindergarten — so far

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Articles tagged with: first grade

Bored with school at age 6
Monday, 12 Sep, 2011 – 12:29 | 2 Comments
Bored with school at age 6

Boots’ school operates on a color system – kids start the day at green and either move up to yellow, orange and then red or down to blue, purple and gray.
The problems with that are …

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 …

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 …

Hopscotching into math
Wednesday, 17 Mar, 2010 – 11:46 | One Comment
Hopscotching into math

It’s a math drill with no flash cards!
It’s exercise without leaving the patio!
And it’s also an idea I blatantly stole from Parents Math Night at Big Guy’s school – but, hey, there’s nothing wrong with …

Over the moon about Molly – but is the trip worth it?
Wednesday, 10 Mar, 2010 – 12:36 | One Comment
Over the moon about Molly – but is the trip worth it?

I’m certain it was the bright-blue goggle-eyed pug on the cover that drew Big Guy’s attention. The fact that I was trying to steer him to what I thought was more age-appropriate reading material – …

Reading Across America – in a virtual way
Wednesday, 3 Mar, 2010 – 13:09 | Comments Off
Reading Across America – in a virtual way

We’ve read the books, and we’ve eaten the cake at the library. That’s all old Cat in the Hat now. What else could we do to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America, I …

Lunch with teacher
Tuesday, 2 Mar, 2010 – 13:18 | Comments Off
Lunch with teacher

When we last left Big Guy, his big mouth was causing problems at school on a daily basis. It’s a seasonal issue for him that’s going to crop up just as sure as the teacher …

Shhhhhhhh! Don’t tell them they’re learning
Tuesday, 9 Feb, 2010 – 12:05 | Comments Off
Shhhhhhhh! Don’t tell them they’re learning

Take one over-sized wall map of the United States.
Add quick sheets filled with random information about various states.
Combine with a boy’s passion for racing, stir with a DryErase marker and marinate for 36 events over …

Thank you, Junie B. Jones, for making reading fun again
Tuesday, 5 Jan, 2010 – 12:05 | Comments Off
Thank you, Junie B. Jones, for making reading fun again

Big Guy had big news just before the holidays. He’d been promoted to the hot-pink dots under the school library color-coded system for deciphering reading levels, meaning he now was allowed to check out “chapter …

Where are all those bad teachers? We’re not finding them
Friday, 18 Dec, 2009 – 11:42 | One Comment
Where are all those bad teachers? We’re not finding them

We got a call yesterday morning, just hours before the start of winter break, from Big Guy’s teacher. She’d wanted to know if he’d been sick the past two days – he had – and …

The household-object story challenge
Wednesday, 9 Dec, 2009 – 12:58 | Comments Off
The household-object story challenge

Used to be I thought the weirdest story assignment I’d ever tackled was in seventh grade, when the teacher told us to write about what life would be like inside a ping-pong ball.
That was before …

Making reading a race
Thursday, 3 Dec, 2009 – 12:51 | 2 Comments
Making reading a race

There are two things I like about the new voluntary reading program at Big Guy’s school, which involves his teacher sending home two books that the kids read until they can complete the text without …

If I had a pet chicken …
Wednesday, 2 Dec, 2009 – 22:40 | Comments Off
If I had a pet chicken …

If I had a pet chicken I will eat pizza with it.
I will eat hot dogs with it.
I will have a cocoa with it.
I will play with it.
I will take it to The Box.
What would …

Sure, I’ll play along
Wednesday, 30 Sep, 2009 – 14:45 | Comments Off
Sure, I’ll play along

A few weeks into spelling tests and I was tired of dancing, though at least it burned off the calories from the fruit-snack math.
Even worse: Big Guy was a little bored with the homework boogie, …

Does “naughty” last forever
Tuesday, 22 Sep, 2009 – 22:21 | Comments Off
Does “naughty” last forever

There are two types of behavior that put a kid at risk for being labeled “naughty” – a label, by the way, that can stick through a child’s school years and a reputation that can …

If you can’t beat ‘em, teach them
Tuesday, 22 Sep, 2009 – 12:05 | Comments Off
If you can’t beat ‘em, teach them

Parental advisory: The following trick incorporates two great evils I usually avoid at all costs – corn syrup and artificial dye. It’s an awful, awful idea. Except it happens to work.
It’s hardly an original idea …

Sure, it has a great beat. But can he spell ‘orange’
Friday, 18 Sep, 2009 – 13:12 | 2 Comments
Sure, it has a great beat. But can he spell ‘orange’

“Red and yellow and pink and green,

Purple and orange and blue …”

I hate you.
All of you, especially pink. The rest I didn’t despise until two weeks ago, when a note from Big Guy’s teacher gave …

California math standards, meet California reading standards
Tuesday, 15 Sep, 2009 – 21:11 | Comments Off
California math standards, meet California reading standards

“Kev makes this pattern: square, rectangle, rectangle, square. He repeats the pattern 3 times. What does the pattern look like?” – Macmillan McGraw-Hill “California Mathematics,” Page 1.
I don’t know about Kev, but to me the …

Nothing magic about this school bus – except to Big Guy
Tuesday, 1 Sep, 2009 – 14:40 | Comments Off
Nothing magic about this school bus – except to Big Guy

For Big Guy, the only thing that could match the anticipation last year of leaving the baby school and going to kindergarten was the excitement of a potential school bus ride.
His dreams were destroyed before …

Why am I in grade school again?
Monday, 24 Aug, 2009 – 21:58 | One Comment
Why am I in grade school again?

It’s a statement as obvious – at least, it is to anyone whose kid has been in kindergarten for more than a few days – as it is unfair: “To help the kid do better …

Back to school: A tale of two first days
Monday, 24 Aug, 2009 – 14:04 | Comments Off
Back to school: A tale of two first days

One guy bolted out of bed, strapped on his backpack and bounced out the door, eager to get started at his new school.
The other trudged, stoop-shouldered, to his classroom.
It was exactly what I expected – …