From my desk: April 27, 2020

I think today is the 27th…

Anyhow, life is moving along slowly, as I assume it is for just about everyone else who is not working. I think the people who are still working have a little bit of normalcy, maybe I’m wrong.

I have been building my miniatures. I just finished a Japanese Tea Shop. I also completed a Kimono shop and a little Japanese market. I want to do a whole bunch of the Japanese shops and have my own little mini marketplace. I am doing a different one right now, a two story home of sorts.

I have to send in more paperwork from my son’s motorcycle, regarding his ownership and all that. It is so painful to think about what happened. Part of me wishes I could just completely forget. I don’t mean forget about him. Just forget.

My dad called yesterday to thank me for a mug I sent him. It had a picture from a few years back when Bob, me and the kids met him and his partner, Laurette, at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg FL. The picture is of me and my dad standing next to one of those posterboard figures of Salvadore Dali. My dad, who has dementia, said he couldn’t remember who those people were that I was standing with. I told him it was him and Dali. I then had to tell him that Dali was the one with the mustache. My dad has never grown a mustache in his life. Anyhow, I was happy that he was so happy to have received the mug. Then he asked me how my kids were. I had to remind him that Joey has passed away. It broke both of our hearts again, having to relive that moment of finding out.

On a brighter side, I got my new little guinea pig, to be a little brother to Beary. I made a big playpen area for them to play. Right now they only play for about 15 minutes before they start chattering and getting annoyed with each other. That should go away with time. They are both so cute.

I have been thinking about all of the kids at home doing schoolwork and I thought I would put it out there that if anyone needs help let me know, I am a certified teacher and feel like I should be helping someone.

Have a peaceful night! Stay well and healthy.

Shakespeare and Basho

Two great poets living in two distant worlds in two distinct time periods, expressing life in messages, as the Japanese spirit of Haiku replaces random words of no significance, so does the English colloquy of love and mankind, pepper the world with words that reflect life and love. The latter having no idea of Basho’s interpretation of life, finds his own essence in the written language.  

two poets may rise 
to speak the truths of the heart 
and role of the mind. 

Learning with kids: Things to do!

I have posted a few blogs and this morning saw this from Milwaukee With Kids. It confirms my posts but adds a whole lot of other ideas for staying home with kids and making learning fun!

Here are some other sites that might have a few new fresh ideas!
CuriOdyssey Science Playground:
This site has activities for kids that focus on science and hands-on learning

Free Stem Activity Guide:
This guide has activities for science fun at home using things you find around the home. Most of the projects require things like glue, tape, scissors, and a ruler.
This site has activities around writing, scavenger hunts at home, and exercises for you and the kids right in your own home, no extra equipment is needed!

Parade Magazine: 125 Things to do!
This article has some great ideas for sparking kids imaginations. Some of them, like building a cardboard fort, may require a few materials, but many are items you can find around the home. It has many links to sites, youtube videos, even an article on making elephant toothpaste!

Staying at home without new ideas can lead to boredom and aggravation for parents who really do need to get adult things done. A lot of the sites and activities I have mentioned require minimal parental input (unless your kids are too small to do independent activities).

Have fun!

Blogging A to Z April Challenge: W 04/27/2020

Writing and loving it

Some kids love to write others fight it with everything they can. What makes this difference? Some of the desire to, or lack of desire, to write comes from the feedback children receive on their writing. Topic also has a lot to do with wanting to write.

When I was teaching, I had students (this is high school)that never wrote more than a few sentences at one time. What happened to kids being given 15 minutes to write and they fill a page? One of the messages they conveyed to me is that, as the teacher, I was going to say it was all wrong anyways! STOP! What?

As an educator, we all want children to grow into young adults with competitive writing skills, those that will help them move forward in life among so many other bright and talented people from all over the world. That can happen but you can’t expect it to happen before they feel comfortable writing more than a few sentences. One of my main rules was this: Do Not Erase Anything! Only Add To It! This rule helped my students see that no matter what they wrote we could find some use for it in the finished project. Not only did this encourage students to write, they also loved to see how “adding on” makes it look like they are writing tons of material.

The other problem I faced was topic of writing. There was a semester where students were asked to complete a report for their Health/Life Skills class, on any relevant sickness or medical issue in current news. Of course most of them picked Marijuana and legalization, what it does to you, how there aren’t many long term studies, etc. The kids picked this topic because at the time it was the one topic, here in the US, that was big. But what about the kids who didn’t really have an opinion? I would tell them, if you get to pick the topic, pick something that you want to learn more about. Given this perspective, I used to also let students choose their own topics for most of the 1st quarter of a school year, just to get them to write about things they like. Give it a try….Write about something you are passionate about and the words flow like water!

Not everyone is going to love writing. I have even heard before that there are authors who don’t particularly like to write, but do so because they like to be a storyteller!

For the real young kids, have them pick out their favorite book, and they can copy the pages onto their own paper and maybe even make their own illustrations. Remember to let them know that all rights still go to the author since they are copying someone else’s work. It is never to early to teach copy write laws and plagiarism!

Finally, give kids a variety of options for writing. Writing can be letters to a best friend, a short story for a younger sibling or cousin, or a how-to book about their favorite cookies.