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 …

Read the full story »
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.

Home » Archive by Tags

Articles tagged with: learning at home

All the world’s a history book
Thursday, 26 Jan, 2012 – 13:00 | Comments Off
All the world’s a history book

Maybe we’re weird, but I swear this kind of stuff happens here all the time. We’ll be out enjoying the day or running errands, something will catch one of the guys’ attention and before I …

The boy and the butterflies
Thursday, 8 Sep, 2011 – 13:12 | Comments Off
The boy and the butterflies

Boots  loves critters – anything with fur, feathers and fins. He’s always loved winged creatures the best, so I suppose it was inevitable that once the infomercials hit we would be buying a butterfly kit …

Why the guys have barely cracked a book all summer
Monday, 18 Jul, 2011 – 12:15 | One Comment
Why the guys have barely cracked a book all summer

I started out with good intentions, declaring as school let out that the guys would read for a half hour each day.
That soon devolved to bribing – they’d earn one “Mom Buck” for each 30 …

Law & Order: Baseball Intent
Wednesday, 20 Apr, 2011 – 12:18 | 2 Comments
Law & Order: Baseball Intent

If there’s an app on my phone Big Guy is going to play with it – especially since I’ve taken the games off my geriatric-by-today’s standards Blackberry so I could install Major League Baseball At …

How to teach math? Beats me.
Tuesday, 11 Jan, 2011 – 11:35 | One Comment
How to teach math? Beats me.

It’s not that I had the “bad math experience” in school that a recent newspaper article talks about – though I’m not sure what a “bad math experience” is because the article never defines it.
At …

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 …

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 …

Daily journal serves double duty when Dad’s deployed
Monday, 12 Apr, 2010 – 13:55 | Comments Off
Daily journal serves double duty when Dad’s deployed

For Big Guy, the timing couldn’t have been better on Dad’s arrival at his base in Afghanistan.
Dad was getting settled just as Big Guy’s school had a round of parent-teacher conferences. Big Guy’s went well, …

Boy vs. Wild
Wednesday, 31 Mar, 2010 – 11:33 | Comments Off
Boy vs. Wild

This is another fine mess Dad has gotten me into.
Most nights before he deployed, the routine was for Big Guy to take his bath, brush his teeth and then curl up to another heart-warming episode …

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 …

Ca-nation Cam: Day 5
Friday, 26 Mar, 2010 – 13:19 | Comments Off
Ca-nation Cam: Day 5

Even Boots can see the beginning of the end now. The blooms aren’t as full as they were, and the red flower is brown around the edges.
“Why, Mommy? The ones at school are still giant …

Ca-nation Cam: Day 4
Thursday, 25 Mar, 2010 – 13:14 | Comments Off
Ca-nation Cam: Day 4

Green is very late to the party – still barely showing up in fact – and Big Guy is starting to take that personally. Green, you see, is his favorite color, and the fact …

Ca-nation Cam: Day 3
Wednesday, 24 Mar, 2010 – 13:06 | Comments Off
Ca-nation Cam: Day 3

Ah, here comes yellow. The color isn’t as wide-spread as on the red and blue, but it looks really cool. I’m not a big fan of yellow, but I have to admit it makes the …

Capt. Jack Sparrow, professor emeritus
Wednesday, 24 Mar, 2010 – 11:48 | Comments Off
Capt. Jack Sparrow, professor emeritus

It started out innocently, when Big Guy brought home a “Pirates of the Caribbean” book as part of his voluntary school reading program – a program that became much more interesting, by the way, once …

Ca-nation Cam: Day 2
Tuesday, 23 Mar, 2010 – 14:49 | Comments Off
Ca-nation Cam: Day 2

Though yellow had taken the early lead at school, at home red and blue quickly pulled out in front at home in our flowers-and-food-coloring experiment. I wondered if the flowers were picking up on vibes …

Ca-nation Cam: Day 1
Monday, 22 Mar, 2010 – 14:48 | Comments Off
Ca-nation Cam: Day 1

From the same fun folks who brought you Chia Cam – the plants are all now officially dead, by the way – we introduce Ca-nation Cam. It’s the science project that was so much fun …

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 …

It’s not retail therapy; it’s education
Thursday, 25 Feb, 2010 – 10:39 | Comments Off
It’s not retail therapy; it’s education

What could possibly be more annoying than a 6-year-old who fritters away every dime on candy or a bright shiny object that’s going to hold his interest only for as long as it takes to …

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 …

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, …

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 …