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.

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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 tagged with: preschool

A SWAT for cramming for kindergarten
Thursday, 17 Feb, 2011 – 17:01 | Comments Off
A SWAT for cramming for kindergarten

You know what they say about kindergarten being the new first grade?
Well, forget it. It turns out that advanced kindergarten is life in the slow lane. The real competitors in the “get your kids ahead …

If you want a race to the top, make sure kids start at the same place
Monday, 7 Feb, 2011 – 19:51 | One Comment
If you want a race to the top, make sure kids start at the same place

How can we promise to leave no child behind when we’re abandoning so many of them at the start?
And how can we hope to have a race to the top when some kids are a …

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 …

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, …

The case of the hug-happy kid
Wednesday, 21 Apr, 2010 – 13:19 | Comments Off
The case of the hug-happy kid

As far as discipline problems go, it’s a not-bad one to have. It’s preferable to biting, hitting, kicking, pinching, etc.
It’s still annoying, though, and it’s getting Boots in trouble somewhere virtually every day: At school, …

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 …

No! Not my precious projects!
Wednesday, 27 Jan, 2010 – 12:00 | Comments Off
No! Not my precious projects!

It was a sad, sad day when Boots’ folder came home from school last week brimming with Christmas-era artwork. Stockings, trees, gingerbread and more, all removed from the classroom walls in order to make room …

Rolling along with sight words. So what.
Thursday, 17 Dec, 2009 – 14:14 | Comments Off
Rolling along with sight words. So what.

A full eight months before he’s to start kindergarten, Boots already knows a half-dozen “sight” words.
I’d never say this to his face because it would break his little heart, but so what?
Yeah, yeah. I know. …

Hair today, in-school suspension tomorrow
Wednesday, 16 Dec, 2009 – 22:56 | One Comment
Hair today, in-school suspension tomorrow

Of all the things to go to the wall with a kid over, hair has to be the most ridiculous.
An odd-ball hair style causes no long-term damage – it can always be cut or grow …

Temperatures aren’t the only things that freeze in the winter
Thursday, 10 Dec, 2009 – 13:41 | Comments Off
Temperatures aren’t the only things that freeze in the winter

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen …
But do you know how scary it is up here? Even when the audience is all mommies and daddies …

Milk: It’s what’s for dinner
Friday, 20 Nov, 2009 – 14:34 | Comments Off
Milk: It’s what’s for dinner

I love independence – one of the happiest days of my life was when Big Guy woke up early, climbed on a stool, hoisted the Cheerios from atop the fridge and made himself and his …

Becoming one of THOSE moms
Wednesday, 4 Nov, 2009 – 15:27 | Comments Off
Becoming one of THOSE moms

I’m not a big meeting person – I’ve sat through too many in my life to voluntarily assign myself more.
I’m not a big on telling schools how to do their jobs – as much as …

Battling obesity one trick-or-treat basket at a time
Thursday, 29 Oct, 2009 – 14:40 | Comments Off
Battling obesity one trick-or-treat basket at a time

The best parenting advice I ever heard was from an older co-worker who’d raised three daughters.
“Don’t try to ban junk food,” he said. “It will backfire. They’ll sneak it on the sly anyway and wind …

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 – …

An education plan that finally drills down to basics
Tuesday, 10 Mar, 2009 – 23:05 | 3 Comments
An education plan that finally drills down to basics

It’s too bad that most of the buzz about President Barack Obama’s education policy speech today before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has to do with charter schools and merit pay.
Both are tired subjects that …

9to5to9: Thomas, we’re counting on you
Tuesday, 18 Nov, 2008 – 23:34 | 2 Comments
9to5to9: Thomas, we’re counting on you

James plus Thomas equals Percy.
Edward plus Henry equals James.
Toby plus Thomas equals Duck.
And that’s as far as we’ve made it in number recognition, because we don’t have any Thomas and Friends engines beyond eight. OK, …

It’s never too early to freak out over kindergarten
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 20:51 | Comments Off

There are roughly 347 days between Big Guy and kindergarten, depending on where he winds up going. Is it too early for me to start freaking out?

Because that’s exactly what I’ve been doing since Back to School night Friday at his preschool.

Surrounded by two other moms and myself, Big Guy’s teacher lamented the problem of teaching 4-year-olds to do what they need to do to be ready for kindergarten these days. “I have to make them sit here at a table for part of the day, when they’d all rather be playing and running around and being kids.”

I share her sorrow, which is why I’ve always shunned flash cards and such, preferring to let a kid be a kid for as long as possible. I

Professor Tree v Florida’s Pre K
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:56 | Comments Off

Welcome to Professor Tree’s Lemonade 101.

In April, Professor Tree was loaded with fragrant blooms. At least, most of him was. The top was a threadbare, the victim of the winter’s frost.

Big Guy and Little Guy, of course, wanted to rip off the blossoms. And since the tree desperately needs pruned – it’s a metaphor for my life – many blooms were within easy reach.

“Let’s not do that, guys. We need to leave the flowers, so they’ll grow into lemons,” I said.

Big Guy looked at me as if I’d sprouted another head. “No way,” he said. Tonight everything clicked.

“Mommy, Mommy, Mommy ! I see the little lemons! I see the little lemons! Can we make lemonade?”

I explained the rest of the process: they’d have to water Professor Tree so the little green lemons would get big and yellow, and then we could make lemonade.

Welcome to the state of Florida’s pre-k program, where 5-year-olds are given one-minute drills in an effort to gauge the program’s success.