Archive for the ‘Baby G’ Category

Ramping Up Summer

Summers at home with the boys have basically been a free-for-all, trying-not-to-kill-each-other, kind of experience. This year, inspired by Nicole & Maggie’s recent post, I’m trying something different.

It’s called STRUCTURE.

My boys need it, especially since they’ll both be in school come September (E will be going into grade 2, C into junior kindergarten). BUH-BYE super expensive daycare!

E has two weeks of summer camps (first one is science/multi-sport, second is outdoor/nature-based), and will be home otherwise. C will be at daycare Monday/Wednesday/Friday, and home otherwise. We will also be going away in mid-July to visit my family in Alberta.

So, here are my rough thoughts so far:

For E (between grade 1 and 2)

  • Reading time each day (15-30min?)
  • Writing practice each day (1-2 workbook pages)
  • Learning piano with me M/W/F (15-30min?)
  • Math practice on T/Th (1-2 workbook pages)
  • Weekly journal entry
  • Other educational activities: puzzle books (he likes word searches and mazes), electronics and robotics kits, flying drone
  • Video game time and unstructured play-time of course (board/card games, lego, etc).
  • Summer goals: learning to ride a 2-wheel bike; learning to knit

C loves doing homework when E does, so hopefully this will work. I have a couple pre-K workbook, so he’ll work on:

  • Letters
  • Numbers
  • Reading time
  • Other educational activities: puzzles, his codeapillar, colouring
  • He’ll also get screen time & unstructured playtime
  • Summer goals: writing his name legibly; not drive me insane!

For both (T/Th):

  • Soccer practice
  • Arts & crafts
  • Field trips!
  • LOTS of outdoor time/exploration

Any thoughts or suggestions for kids that are 3.5 and 6.5 years old? What are you doing with your kids this summer?

 

 

Valentine’s Protest

As with many elementary school classrooms, E’s requires students to either give valentines to everybody OR nobody.

The past two years, he’s given them to everybody, but never seemed to care too much about it.

This year, after I bought him some dollar store valentines, he said he’d rather not give them out. When DH asked him why, he said that there are a few kids who have been mean to him this year, and he doesn’t want to give them Valentines. So, he’d  rather just not give any given the choice.

I totally respect that, and am actually very impressed and proud of his decision.

I think the whole “you have to give Valentines to EVERYONE” rule is ridiculous and totally takes the meaning out of the tradition. Yes, I get that some kids would not get any, and that’s sad. So, since both these options suck, I wish the whole thing would just be abolished at this age.

6 year-olds don’t care about cards! Why not just have a Valentine’s party without the stupid cards and be done with it?

We got a message from C’s daycare about this topic. Since the kids don’t know how to write and no parent knows all the other kids, they suggest just sending in blank cards. WHY? Just GET RID OF THIS PART, for the love of God!

Based on this, you probably wouldn’t be surprised that DH and I basically ignore this holiday (unless me asking him to pick up 50% off chocolate the day after counts). His birthday is about a week after VD, and mine is in mid-March, so we’d much rather focus on celebrating those.

What do your kids end up doing for Valentine’s? 

The Over-The-Top Pout

Sometimes, when E starts a new class/activity we enrol him in, he complete shuts down, starts pouting, refused to take part, stands by a wall/on the sidelines, and just shakes his head while repeating “no” anytime someone tries to get him to participate.

Notice how I say sometimes. He does not do this with outdoor soccer, and not when he knows someone else (so we try to do that when we can). He usually does not start out this way. Instead, usually a game of tag or something will send him into this state.

Both DH and I are at the end of our ropes with this behaviour. When it happened when he was 2 or 3, we just assumed he’d grow out of it. But, he keeps doing it as he gets older, and it gets more annoying every time (and embarrassing too!).

We’ve tried positive strategies (talking it up before hand, getting him to choose  the activities, being super encouraging, offering rewards, etc.), neutral strategies (ignoring behaviour), and negative strategies (time outs, lecturing, taking away privileges).

Sometimes he’ll eventually and reluctantly start participating, but with an over-the-top-pout, continually looking at us (to make sure we know he’s not happy?), faking like he’s hurt, etc.. NOTHING seems to have the desired affect of getting him to participate in a positive way.

Any thoughts or tips?? HELP!!!

SK Grad

Yesterday, E “graIMG_4367_cropduated” from senior kindergarten (SK). Here in Ontario, the kids start kindergarten the year they turn 4, and do 2 years (junior, and senior).

When E started, we were a bit concerned because of his shy and very dependent nature at the time. It was at least a couple of months before he wouldn’t fall asleep on the couch around 5pm every evening.

It was a bit of a tough transition, but he has grown in so many ways over the past 2 school years.

His writing is actually legible, and he’s beginning to sound out the spelling of words and being able to read sight words.

He’s very good with numbers, patterns, and anything math related (though a lot of this probably has to do with his parents!).

He’s much more confident now, and it sounds like he’s a leader in the classroom. He’s more willing to try new things and to take more risks.

He has made some good friends and seems to be pretty well-liked by his classmates.

We and his teachers definitely think he’s ready for grade 1, and he will probably do very well! It will be exciting to see how he grows with this next big transition from play-based learning to a more traditional classroom setting.

Our Kids to a “T”

It was just after the kids went to bed, and I needed them both to sign a Father’s Day card for DH.

I go into C’s room first. I creep inside, whisper “C, are you still awake?” Dumb question. As I get close I see his eyes are wide open and he has a big smile on his face. I tell him I need to turn on the light and he needs to “sign” DH’s card. He gets very giggly and exuberantly signs the card multiple times. I tell him that’s good, and he lies down and practically yells “goodnight mommy!!”.

Then I got into E’s room. I had just left about 5 minutes before, and he is completely passed out. Luckily, since it wasn’t for long, I was able to wake him up (which is usually impossible*). After a few false wake-ups, I was able to get him to sit up and he mumbles something completely incoherent at me. I put the pen in his hand and ask him to sign DH’s card. He used the wrong side of the pen first, and then didn’t press down hard enough his second try. Then he signed his name quickly, laid down and promptly fell back asleep.

These two are as different as night and day in so many ways!

*One evening, our fire alarm (which is located right outside our bedrooms) went off for a good 10 minutes, with us running through the house, turning on lights, yelling at each other trying to find the source of the smoke**. E never even flinched once. It’s a bit scary.

**C has put one of my old stuffed animals on the bulb in my bed-side lamp and it practically burnt to a crisp. We were luck it didn’t go up in flames! We now use LED bulbs in all our open lamps!

IMG_0587

Poor 1980’s Stegasaurus

Changes for the Summer

I’m done teaching my university and college course, so I’m heading into the post-secondary summer (yay for 4 months!).

E will stop attending before/after school program starting tomorrow, and I’ll be walking him to and from school every day. I’m excited about it because a) it’ll force me to move and b) I get to spend some good 1-on-1 time with him.

C will be going back to part-time at the daycare and will be home with me on Tuesday/Thursday each week. This will allow me to have some nice 1-on-1 time with him as well.

I’m a bit nervous, because the summer last year was very hard for me because it was just TOO MUCH kid time after a very stressful and busy academic year. But, I’ve put some things into place that will hopefully make this summer more enjoyable:

  • I’m taking a couple additional qualification courses for teaching (special education and getting my physics teachable). This will help me make strides toward my goal of getting into a public school board, but shouldn’t be too stressful (I hope!)
  • I’ve registered E in 3 summer camps, so that’s 3 weeks with him out of the house and being around kids his age
  • Both sets of grandparents will be visiting
  • We have booked a cottage for a week
  • I have joined a women’s soccer team in the hopes it will motivate me to move more AND I get automatic social time every week

At the end of summer last year I was more frazzled than at the beginning and ended up taking a not-so-great job just so I could BE AWAY. So, here’s hoping this year will be better (and hopefully with some kind of decent employment in September.

Brotherly Love

E and I went winter boot shopping tonight after dinner (why can’t last year’s winter boots ever crap out at the beginning of the season when there are actually boots on sale?).

Anyway, on our way home, E said that when we were walking around the mall that he was sad.

“How come?”, I asked.

“I missed C.”.

“Aw, how come?”

“I just really like him.”, he said with tears in his eyes.

*melting heart ❤ ❤ , ❤ **

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