Weekend Activity – Nursery Rhymes

Studies have shown children that can recite 8 nursery rhymes by the age of 4 are much better readers by 4th grade than children that cannot.

Practice nursery rhymes with your children this weekend!  Children of any age can enjoy them.  Even babies should hear them over and over.

Sing them, act  them out, make up hand motions for them, leave out words and see if your child can fill it in, draw a picture of one, or read a book full of them.

Try finding more activities including computer games and printable coloring pages at http://www.mothergoose.com

Some of the favorites in our house are:

Hey Diddle Diddle

The Grand Ol’ Duke of York

Round and Round the Garden

Old Mother Hubbard

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Little Miss Muffett

Banbury Cross

Twinkle Twinkle

Little Boy Blue

Rain, Rain Go Away

Jack Sprat

Thoughtful Thursday – Questions!

My oldest is deep in the why stage.  If you’ve never experienced this, or if it’s been a while, I thought I’d give you a little insight into what life is like in this stage.  Here is a conversation we had in the car:

J:  Why does William live so far away?

me:  He lives in a different state than we live in.  He lives in New Hampshire and we live in Massachusetts.

J:  But he didn’t live far away before and now he does.

me:  That’s right.  He used to live in the same town as us, but he moved away.

J:  I know our town (tells me his name and address).  You live there and Dad and Matthew too.  But I can’t remember how to call on the phone.  What is it?  (he’s been working on memorizing his phone number – we repeat it a few times)  Like when George calls the fire department.  He presses the numbers on the phone.

me:  Yes, but not the same numbers.  The numbers we said only call our house.  George dialed the emergency number.

J:  what is it?

me:  911.  You only call that number if its an emergency though.  You can get in big trouble if you call it for fun.  Just like George.

J:  Why?

me:  The number is only for people that need help.  If they said the emergency workers for someone just having fun then someone that really needed help might not get it.

J:  Why?

me:  They would be busy seeing if you needed help and the person that really needed help would be waiting and waiting for them?

J:  Why?

me:  The emergency workers have to check and make sure there isn’t really an emergency if you call, so they will come to you  instead of someone else.

J:  Why?

me:  That is their job

J:  They come when you call 991?

me: no 911.

J:  Why is it 911?

me:  That is the number that they picked for emergencies.

J:  why?

me:  I don’t know.  I bet Dad knows.  Let’s ask him when he gets home!!!!!

Yes, that is just a short glimpse into the never ending questions I go through every day.  My dad line at the end is a favorite when I just can’t go on.

This leads me to a blog post I just read and thought I’d share because I found it interesting!


Thoughtful Thursday – Thanks!

How often do I tell my boys they should thank people?

How about me?  I need to say thank you to all of my readers.  I am overwhelmed by the responses I get, both on my blog and through messages (and even in person).  This really started out as a way for me to be accountable and intentional with my kids, and I really appreciate people taking the time to read and consider my thoughts and ideas (regardless of whether you agree or not).

We’ve been doing so many things lately, and I haven’t posted nearly as much as I’d like, but I’m doing, so things are good busy, not bad busy.

If you live nearby, just drive by my house for a glimpse of our crazy fun!

Anyhow, thanks to you, my readers, for taking the time to read my ramblings!!!

Thoughtful Thursday – All or nothing

I know I’ve mentioned Wife Swap before.  It’s like a guilty pleasure.  I don’t like to admit that I watch it – and I definitely don’t follow the show – but I do, on occasion, like to catch an episode.

One thing that I think really turns people away from the show is that the families are it are SO EXTREME.  A mom that works 3 jobs and does all of the housework swaps lives with a mom that has nannies watching the kids and housekeepers cleaning her house, while she goes out to shop and get pampered.  A mom that believes her kids should have the freedom to make their own choices about EVERYTHING swaps with a mom that schedules every minute of her children’s lives and enforces severe disciple to the most minor offense.  Sometimes it does seem like they learn something from each other, but often they spend their time defending their choices and pointing out how the other people are wrong.

I’ve seen these extremes in teaching styles in classrooms, and in available curriculum.  It just makes me wonder why the middle of the road isn’t an option for some people.  Do you really feel like you have to choose between having children that are free thinkers and children that are well-behaved?  A huge movement in parenting right now is what I’ve heard people call the “yes” movement.  It’s like the Montessori teaching philosophy taken to the extreme and applied to home life.  Allow children to explore and do what they  want, and they will naturally learn because it follows their interests.  They will also learn natural consequences to control their behavior.

I do think that children are often more intelligent than people give them credit for, and their ability to learn their desire to explore is phenomenal.  I think this movement is particularly seen as being needed among those parents that take an extreme view of discipline as reaction to the belief that young adults now are lazy and feel entitled.  However, I don’t think using it 100% of the time is best for kids, and seems like many are taking it as all or nothing.

Anyhow, watching Wife Swap makes me want to scream, “Compromise!  Take lessons from both sides!  Use the best of both worlds!”  Also, sometimes reading other mommy blogs and parenting philosophy articles makes me want to scream the same thing.

So yes, relax and give your children freedom.  Realize that you can believe in them and trust them, but also don’t be afraid to teach them.  Teach them what is important to you and what you believe.  You are their parents!

What extremes have you experienced?