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Showing posts from April, 2012

What price an apology?

I read an article today about a man who spent over 30 years looking for his teacher, to make amends for a slight that had troubled him ever since. But why? And was it right? It's an amazing story.   39 years ago, a boy named Larry asked to leave a well-liked teacher's class and did not offer a reason. The teacher, Mr. Atteberry, was gay during a time that this could get a teacher fired. Some students suspected his homosexuality, and teased Larry, who was often praised in class for good work. The teasing escalated to bullying, and Larry thought if he left the class and never spoke again to the teacher, it would stop. So he left. Then he regretted it ever after. He kept trying to find the teacher to apologize, and nearly four decades later, he did, through a news article. That's where the article I read, " A teacher, a student and a 39-year-long lesson in forgiveness ," began.  It's incredible what weighs on us, causes shame. This troubled this man for

We are the tardy people...don't hate us

My kids are tardy, frequently. It is a source of daily stress and distress. I start every single day unhappy. You are going to judge me. Tell me it's rude and disrespectful. It disrespects the school, the teacher, the class, the other kids, and my own kids' access to learning. Tell me it is undisciplined. A necessary life skill, failed. You think I do not know this? You are going to assume I do not know what to do or how to fix it. You are going to tell me about sticker charts, incentives, punishments, egg timers, consequences, school talks, how you fixed it (therefore you understand but you also know it CAN and SHOULD be fixed), how your neighbor's mother's cousin's daughter fixed it. You think I do not wish I had the magic fix? You are going to think you know what our deal is. You are going to suggest I put my kids to bed earlier or wake them earlier. You will tell me we ought to make lunches the night before. Create schedules. You may offer websites, books, mag

What to Read for Earth Day 2012 (Sunday April 22, 2012)

It's almost Earth Day ! What are you going to do? Turn out the lights for an hour? Plant a tree? Go green? Start a compost pile? Excellent. How about a book! If you know me at all you know how much I work to get my active on-the-go kids to sit and read. I found two earth day friendly books they liked! My oldest is a big "how stuff works" fan. For her, we found she liked this : With a LEED certified architect dad, she enjoyed the look at structures that are earth friendly. Also,this book is heavy on call-outs and factoids. It begins with a look at the roles in building. Then it talks about elements of structure and building. Next, it highlights some incredible examples around the world of earth friendly structures . Throughout it offers some great ideas of DIY projects kids can do at home. Today I get to go buy more pipe cleaners to complete the cross-bracing experiment (page 13). Last night we got a string of jokes. Did I mention there are funny jokes throug

Frog went a' courtin' and he did Stevie Wonder

Last night, as I tucked in my oldest and sat with her for a minute, we listened to the frogs. It's spring and rainy so it is time for them to find their happily ever afters. Every night, a plethora of them call to each other. I always imagine they each have their own song, like Happy Feet. It used to bother me, the crazy racket. Then we put in a pond and the frog songs amplified from racket to live concert level loud. You'd think we could have foreseen this but no, we did not. We thought only of managing mosquitos and happily watching koi. So last night, my daughter and I lay in her bed and listened to the frogs. "What do you think they are saying?" she asked me. I paused, wading through the truth, which in my head sounded heavily open air market-like but in a vaguely "Good morning Vietnam-ish," with a little "Dear penthouse..." thrown in way. "They are singing love songs to find their loves," I told her. "What sort of song? How does

Rhymes, Poems and Things: Good for kids reading during National Poetry Month

The truth is my younger daughter, aka Persistence, prefers to be on the move and we joke she has two speeds: stop and go. So getting her to sit and learn to read has been a challenge. We had to find subjects and books that would really engage her. Unlike me, neither of my kids are "read almost anything" simply for the pure pleasure of reading. They are more like their dad. That means I've had to reshape my image of a future wherein my girls and I happily share books the way I always have with friends and family. That also means a lot more backend work. One thing both always loved was Dr. Seuss. Silly, and rhyming. Catchy. Entertaining, with a solid plot and purpose. They loved parsing the secret message. Poetry, FTW! Still, anyone who knows me knows I am always on the hunt for things that engage my kids in language arts. When I got this press release in my inbox and I was so excited about it I put my kids on the computer immediately. The 7 year old was engrossed. I had