Math for Little Kids

I’m a little obsessed with catching up to the 21st century and preparing my kids for a more competitive world. My upbringing was much more the 1970′s bo-ho variety … which is why I never memorized my multiplication tables and my handwriting looks like the deranged rantings of a prisoner. If it wasn’t for PBS and libraries, I would be feral.

While I understood the importance of civil disobedience at a young age, I do hold on to my “question authority” roots. I want my kids to do that with a roof over their head and money in the bank … or under the mattress. To that end, I will be less forgiving of experiments with burning vegetable matter (also it’s WAY stronger these days, can cause psychotic breaks), and have the expectation of them attending school — albeit calling their teacher by their first name — and a proficiency in math and science. I was impressed at what I heard learning how to work with an abacus could do for little ones. Some kids who don’t like math do like the abacus as it is tactile and visual. It’s the norm in many Asian countries, and last time I checked they were kicking our US butt in the math department.

Near where we live, this sweet little place opened up called My Ivy Kids. It’s run by a couple of nice, young Korean ladies who are very earnest. Viv’s teacher, Sandra, is painfully shy in front of the camera so in order to pay her back for making her part of my cool mom circus we made a short promo video for them that is embedded on their FB site. (They are so dear and need some marketing help.)

My father always said that kids are supposed to do better than their parents. Despite economic changes, I would like to keep that going.

School Meetings: If You Could Speak the Truth

If you jumped up during a school, PTA, or school committee meeting and said what was really on your mind, what would you say?

Imagine I am there in one of those meetings where the admins make their presentation and some parent leaders talk about something they are involved with. That is where this vid begins.

Then tell me what you would like to say… if their were no repercussions or dirty looks at drop-off to worry about.

Treasure Kai: The Book App

I’m still dirt deep in my landscape project at Vivien’s school. We are a designated Big Sunday school… the get out and volunteer day. As the head of the committee — um, there are two of us — I have been hoeing it up in such a different way from the late ’90′s. On prep day I was so engrossed in where the boulders and Mexican Sage should be placed, I lost the keys to Mark’s catering van (sorry honey!) Felt like such a bimbo.

So, this vid is from a calmer time. In between volunteering for tasks that are really too much for me. I’m very proud of how well Vivien is reading, but she sees her older brother playing games on his iPad and is gravitating toward this, so a friend in Australia pointed me to this app as a way to bridge this.

Thomas the Tank

“They say I can’t take that load, but I can.”

“I wouldn’t do that, Thomas”  said ____ the other engine.

“Yes, I can. I will show them.” Then Thomas gets into a scrap, has to be rescued and makes amends for getting too big for his britches, or wheels or whatever.

That’s the premise of 90% of Thomas the Tank.  But it can stop a two-year-old from crying for bit so it’s worth a lot.

My question is do producers of kid shows just throw stuff on the wall and hope something sticks? Or do they put electrodes on kids brains and know they will like a slow moving story about trains, or a purple dino … well, guess he is washed up.

Volunteering at School Lunch

Oh, the best laid plans.  I volunteer a fair bit at my daughter’s school, but one day I did hot lunch.  (It’s a shift I had to give up because it fell during Rex’s nap time. I would drive over to the school with him, he would fall asleep and I would spend an hour plus sitting in my car with him, not helping out.)

Surely, my daughter would be happy to see her mother nearby. Her mother involved in her school. In her LIFE.  It’s not like she is a teenager, cringing as I help out at every available event in her high school (which I will do if I am underemployed like now).  She is in kindergarten. Oh, what fun this will be!

My home is a stand-in for the school.

Grading Parents

Is it just me or is it impossible for a woman to spoof a politician without coming across as a Hillary Clinton/Sarah Palin hybrid?

Though I’m spoofing the format of political news conferences in this video, I actually wanted to say, “I hear you” to the legislation that prompted this piece.  I noticed, in a couple of places online, writers were deriding a certain piece of legislation that proposed to grade parents.

I am betting we all know some who would get a thumbs down.

Also, for some reason, teachers have become enemy number one — like they caused the financial meltdown, sold speculative investments and started two foreign wars.  Oh, yes, those wiley teachers with their $40,000-a-year salary and need for Sharpies. They are so terrible.  Geez.

School Dazed

Post Holiday Vacation… it’s tough to get back in the swing of things.  I’m thinking of myself here.  Getting breakfast made, lunches ready, humans dressed, shower is a challenge with two parents who have to read two newspapers even if the house is on fire.

But, for Vivien it’s also hard to go back to school.  Even though she likes her school.  “Mommy, when I go to school I don’t see my family as much.  I like to see my family.”  No wonder people home school.  It was nice to have her home.  I wish Kindergarten were a shorter day.

So, this is one of then times I tried to motivate her for school.  I was not succesful.

Note on language in this one:  The first time my dad saw my mom in grad school he said, “Hello, Scholar!” The rest is history.

Momversation: When Volunteering is Involuntary

I don’t know why, my sound came out so much worse than Dana or Jessica’s.   In a nutshell, this is about Jessica being irked by the forced community service her daughter’s school has that creates more work for her.  It’s funny that the three here all have chosen different educational paths.  My daughter goes to public school, Jessica’s go to private school and Dana home schools.

What do you think?  Have you encountered this issue at your school? I think there is a list of this and that a school asks you to do and sometimes I’m all for it and other times I sit it out. Like the Cultural day planned smack dab in the middle of the holidays on a day I already have plans, I’m not jumping in on that one.  But, hey look at my landscaping!

And I need to add my extra mic.

Private School

Look, private schools can be great, BUT I came across a tiny blog that I don’t even want to mention where the mother writing actually said  FOR REAL many of the things I say here in parody.  Am I the only public school mother who gets teed when private school parents act like I’m the little kid who smells like pee?

My blather is not near as effective as satire, that’s what I say.