Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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Homework and Sanity Don't Go Together!

Homework is one of the major trials and tribulations that every parent must go though (or at least it is a trial and tribulation around my house)......A typical homework session involves much grinding of teeth (mine), coercion (mine), endless supply of patience (mine) and getting to bed late (my kids) and homework is only fully completed 80 to 90 percent of the time. 

I am not sure where I went wrong as a parent, but 98.9% of the time I dread having to do homework with my two girls, both usually need my undivided attention and assistance (even if they don't need my help, they still want me in close proximity, just in case) and at some point we usually have pouting and/or the bursts of "You just don't understand anything!"  Yes I do understand most of their homework, with the exception of the "new age math" (I have a college degree after all), but I don't understand why the sitting down and actually doing the homework is a problem! The way they teach math these days is beyond me.....I had one teacher explain it to me like this:

  • ME: The math problems she brought home look like long division, so I taught her how to do long division to get the answer.
  • TEACHER: Yes, it is long division, it's just that some of our kids are not quite ready for that yet so we teach it this way until they can catch up and understand the concept.
  • ME: So my teaching her to do these problems using long division is not a problem then?
  • TEACHER: Sure she can do it that way, we will eventually be learning that once I feel all of the kids are ready.
Here is what I was actually thinking the whole time this conversation was taking place.....
So we teach a method of math that is much more convoluted to learn a math standard of long division and we teach it to all the kids in the class because there are a few who aren't ready to learn it the standard way?  Really?  So isn't this why there are tutors or parents, so they can help these "struggling" kids, why does the rest of class have to learn at the level of the kids who are struggling.....using this analogy ESL kids would determine at what level Grammar and English is taught in our schools.  Or how about this scenario while you are out in the work place:
  • BOSS to EMPLOYEE:  You really need to slow down while doing your work, we have a few people here who just can't do the same standard and level of work that you do, so we need to you tone it down because you are making the rest of the employees look bad!
Really, in what fantasy world do you think that might happen????

Sorry for the side rant, back to the homework issue....
My girls have a 4.5 year age span, so homework levels are quite different.  My youngest one doesn't need as much help, but she has some ADD tenancies, so her staying on track is really really hard and my oldest is very literal, she wants to know the "why" and all the details of the "what" is expected before she attempts anything.  I am a different personality than either of them, I do like to put some things off that are distasteful, but my theory is do the best that you can to get it done and over with and if it is wrong at least you tried and can fix it later. With these three personality types you can get a glimpse of why the homework challenge.

Oh and before you ask, Daddy usually only helps in dire emergencies, he has a patience level of about 4 on a scale of 1 -10 and my patience level is usually around a 9, so I get the short stick.

Does anyone have any tips, tricks, motivational aids or stories that have worked to help you through homework sessions, even if you are perfect and don't have problems during homework time, I want to know what you are doing to make it work, please share!  Inquiring minds and Mamas across the world want to know how you make it work, Lord knows I don't have a clue!

I am participating in:

~Keeping Life Simple by Mixing It Up!
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's Spring ~ Check Out Our National Parks

Yosemite National Park, California
I ran across a bit of information during my various blog and facebook travels that is worth sharing with all of you ~ especially in our economy and since it's FREE, what could be better!

Apparently our National Parks have several times during the year that they feature free entrance fees into their parks and starting today, April 16th and continuing through April 24th they are having National Park Week!

This is a fantastic opportunity to get out with the family, enjoy some outdoor time and explore our National Parks!

From what I can tell it looks like almost every state in the U.S. has a National Park that usually charges a fee ~ you can check out the list of FREE this Week National Parks here!  The list is arranged by states so it should be easy to find your nearest park!
~Keeping Life Simple by Mixing It Up!
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Watching the World Go By....

Sometimes you just can't help but wonder what they are thinking......

~Keeping Life Simple by Mixing It Up!
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blogging ~ Adding Threaded Comments

One of the most frustrating things about the Blogger platform is the lack of ability to reply to a comment and not having those replies show up as "threaded" similar to a forum.  I am sure that many of you who use  blogger know what I am talking about!  The standard comment feature that Blogger supplies basically only gives you two options to reply to comments:
  1. The first option is to reply to a comment by sending an email.  This option works great by letting the reader know that you got their comment and you can answer any questions or let them know what your next action is.  The problem is that when you respond via email other readers do not get to see your response.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Daughter's Room ~ Before -n- After....

We watched our house being built two years ago and finally moved in to our first home the end of June 2009, it has been a long process (room by room) painting and decorating each room.  To date we only have the living room completely painted and decorated and now my youngest daughter's room (what can I say, we're a little slow at this process I take too long to make up my mind).

Here is the progress from pre-move in until yesterday when we finally got it done!

This was taken about a month after going under contract
Taping Done

Painting done, still need trim & doors

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Well....That Was Painful! Does Your Blog Need to See the Doctor?

So I am participating in a couple of blog hops, one is a weekend blog hop and one is a week long "Ultimate" blog hop.  I still consider myself fairly new when it comes to blogging, but I have managed to form some definitive opinions along the way, particularly when it comes to finding and following blogs.  My session this morning was particularly painful and frustrating as there were so many blogs that I went to that I couldn't find a way to follow and/or comment so I just left.  I thought I would take a couple of minutes to share my thoughts written from the perspective of a potential follower. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Spring ~ April is Finally Here!

Early sign of Spring ~ I love Hydrangeas!
I don't know why but I have always associated April 1st as the start of Spring ~ I know that the "official" Spring Season starts in March, but for some reason it doesn't seem like Spring until I can turn the calendar to April!

During this month we celebrate April Fools Day, Tax Day (not sure if it is a celebration for some), Easter and personally it's my "dating" anniversary on April 1st. We (my hubby and I) always laugh about having an anniversary on April Fool's Day ~ not sure if the joke was on me or my hubby!  Whichever it was, it must have been a "good" joke as we have been together 18 years today ~ I Love You Honey!

Even though it is raining in true typical Pacific Northwest Fashion, I am welcoming spring by sharing some of our "Spring Memories" ~ hope you enjoy!
Last Year's Campfire Girls Project!

Decorating Easter Eggs 2010

Easter Morning 2010

April Rainbows...

More April Rainbows!

2008 Easter ~ All Dressed Up

~Keeping Life Simple by Mixing It Up!
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