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Showing posts from August, 2011

Two Kinds of People

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I saw this posted on facebook.   I'm blessed because God has surrounded me with so many of the latter.

"There are 2 types of people - those who come into a room & say, "Well, here I am!" & those who come in & say, "Ah, there you are." ~F.L.Collins

Motivation

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I'm just back to the gym after dealing with back pain this summer.   I didn't throw up and I only stumbled off the elliptical; I did not fall.   Oh, and the towel that fell off my shoulder hit the floor and did not get caught in the treadmill.   Not only am I feeling better, but I was inspired by a couple of things recently.

First, when we moved, I came across old pictures from before my oldest was born.   The pictures inspired this post as a first step.


This one really hit hard.   My oldest, borrowing one of my t-shirts to sleep in.   I bought this and wore this in the year before I was pregnant with her.   It's a fitted t-shirt, but it was never tight or snug on me.   Seriously.   I wore this to school on a dress-up day when we had to wear a favorite sports team shirt.


Then, I was inspired by my friend, Gina.   We've been friends about twenty-three years now, so we've gone through a lot with each other.



Over the past year, she finally found an activity just for h…

Lots and Lots of Swimming

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We've never had a neighborhood pool before and the kids have really enjoyed it.   I've enjoyed watching them enjoy it.   It's a testament to my love for them that I wear a swimsuit in public so they may swim.

We've had so many swim dates with friends over the summer.   Sometimes I even remembered to take pictures.   I'm not good at remembering to do that.   The girls took swim lessons at a local health club and progressed so well.   I never learned to swim, so I am especially proud of them.   I'm also a little awe-struck.

Before we moved, we kept telling the kids how much they would enjoy the move because of the pool and our closer proximity to friends.   It took us a while to finally get to the pool the first time; I think they thought we lied about that part.   They finally quit asking about the pool as we'd drive by and they'd just press their noses against the windows as we passed.









Making Our House Our Home: Part III

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After Easter, some friends and I met at a local coffee shop to celebrate a birthday.   It was hilarious to watch as we each sat and tried to remember our ages.   I guess we just started to block it out after a certain age?   Anyway, I made the comment that it was probably surprising that I wasn't the oldest.   I then told them not to feel bad if they thought that because I had always been viewed as older than my age throughout my life.   I can remember being mistaken for a substitute as an eighth grader when I took a message to a high school classroom.   I'm also pretty old-fashioned.  

I give that as background for my dining room.   If a stranger looked at our dining room, they'd probably miss my age by several decades.   I love that.   I also love that I get lots of comments that include "deep south," "southern," and "mint juleps" when people see my dining room.   That's exactly how I wanted the room to feel.   This room is my Mama Room…

Learning, Not Tedium

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I have intended to write more about our home schooling on this blog, so I'm playing catch-up.

Education critics (usually outside of the field of education) often throw around terms like "fuzzy math," or "new math," and I wonder if they have ever really examined the curriculum and approaches recommended by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).   When children are taught using manipulatives, the goal is for understanding of the concept, not just memorization of facts and algorithms.   The idea of memorization is not excluded, though.   At some point, for efficiency and accuracy, students must memorize their basic math facts.  The goal, though, is for the memorization to take place AFTER they understand what those facts really mean.   Practice also has its place.   Once a student understands a concept, it is important that he practice it, especially in the context of real-world problems.

Here's an example from the past: Even and Odd numbers

T…

Of Stomach Aches, Janitors Closets, and Ooblek: My Math Journey

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We started our school year two weeks ago.   Things were going great until one day I sold out in math with my second grader.   Up until now, her math curriculum has been entirely hands-on with little paper and pencil.   I decided to give  a standard workbook a try.   So, I flipped through the pages and saw "Skip Counting."   Because heaven forbid you should use big, scary mathematical words, even if they are the most accurate.   Anyway, on one page, students were meant to practice skip counting by 2s, 5s and 10s.

It went like this.   For the first set, you had about six faces in a row and underneath each face was a blank.   Most of the blanks already had traceable numbers under the faces: 2, 4, 6, 8....   The directions: Count the eyes.   I cringed and groaned aloud.   I tried to give in and do the page with my daughter even though I knew it wasn't right.   She and I are so much alike and I could tell that she was struggling with the page.   She is actually very mathemat…