Friday, April 17, 2009

Let Them Misspell

My daughter is in kindergarten and we are so lucky to have a really wonderful teacher. Early on in the year the teacher spoke with us about her plans to teach them how to write sentences and short essays. I was pleased with her aggressive approach. One of her requests to us what that when she writes that we do not spell any words for her. We were supposed to encourage her to write the words how they sound. Spelling them for her does not get her to think about the word and phonics. So we did what sounded reasonable to us.

I deeply feel from that logic that my daughter has really learned so much about phonics and words and has improved in her spelling all on her own. And the essays we get from her are so cute and funny. The words are sometimes really big and to see her give her 100% effort on getting them right really warms my heart...and helps her to learn so much more. So if you want to really help your kids learn words and how to spell them, let them make mistakes on their own.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Menu Monday err..Wednesday

I like the idea of starting a Menu Monday....I had the menu all planned last weekend but failed to put it on my blog so here goes...a little bit late but here nonetheless.

Monday - Leftover Turkey from Easter, Stuffing, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes.

Tuesday - Ribeye Steak, buttered noodles, green beans, brownies

Wednesday - Pizza, mixed green salad

Thursday - Shrimp with orange pasta

Friday - Asian pork in the crockpot

Saturday - hamburgers/hot dogs, slaw salad, brownies

Sunday - Lasagna, garlic toast, mixed green salad

Enjoy your menu this week!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I just loathe generalizations. They really are just a way for someone to lump a person into one group that someone has expectations of to behave a certain way or develop in a certain manner according to the group...or something like that. When people make generalizations they don't take into account certain "other" factors.

I never witnessed these generalizations as much as when I started to have children.

At first it was my decision to go back to work and send my child to daycare. Lots of people asked me how I could do know, send your kid off to a strange place so strangers could raise him. I heard a lot of comments like "why do people have kids if they are going to send them to day care?" and "kids in day care turn out to be much more aggressive than kids not in day care."

Then it was my decision to not breastfeed. It just wasn't in me. Why do I have to explain it? Well really I don't. But people kept asking me "WHY NOT??" as if there was something inherently WRONG with my own personal decision. I read a lot of opinions of how breastfeeding is best. It probably is...FOR SOME PEOPLE...again, generalizations...breastfeeding is not for everyone and why did I need to explain that? People would tell me "but children who breastfeed have a better chance of fighting off childhood illnesses". That may be true. But I have formula fed all 4 of my children and have never had an allergy or an illness of any kind.

And then there was the obvious generalizations when I got divorced. I heard a lot about how my boys would never make it. They had no chance. They would struggle their whole lives. They will have a difficult time in school. They will have a difficult time with relationships. Their grades will fall. They will have behavioral problems. I heard it all. I felt the judgments. All of them.

It's been a difficult road being Catholic and divorced. Not that any other faith doesn't carry the hardships that come with being divorced. But my religion in particular comes with its share of judgments..after all, if you get divorced and remarried you are breaking Canon law. But that's for another post that I plan to write one day.

But with each passing day that my older boys live in the generalizations, they continue to amaze me how they seem to be proving them wrong. My oldest boy was just invited into the National Honor Society. He is making a 4.0 GPA and is going to Catholic high school. My younger son is also making a 4.0 and will go to the same high school next year. I watch as they get selected by their teammates to be captains of their sports teams. I watch them help people out all of the time. I watch them volunteer their time to helping handicap kids play soccer. I watch them help elderly people in the store. Every day I watch this stuff go on with my boys...the ones who were supposed to be aggressive because I sent them to day care, sickly because I didn't breastfeed, not amount to anything because I got divorced.

But their successes are no accident. I make it a point to take them to church every Sunday. In fact I fought my ex in court so I could have every Sunday with my kids. I even pay for that Sunday in child support to my ex just to have every Sunday. People have asked me "why is Sunday so important to you that you would pay your ex to get that day?" My answer is "church." It was supremely important to me to have my kids grounded at church and in school. The rules in my house were always church, school, then sports.

These hard investments into my kid's inner banks have not always come easy. I prayed one day to start seeing the rewards and I am so happy to be seeing those rewards come to be. And it makes me so proud. So very very proud.
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