Tag Archives: Homeschooling

Dance Pants

We love music in this house. We sing almost everything from “where’s the milk” to “time for bed.”

It is perfectly delightful.

And at some point on almost every day we blast the techno. DJ Tiesto is a household name–Weasley even asks for it. Wiggles shakes her booty in a flurry of smiles and giggles and flailing limbs. In my eyes, nothing is more wonderful.

I was a dancer until I had children, my husband and I met ice skating and we love to go dancing on our nights out. Movement and music is part of us. And as such, it is part of our children.

In the parenting trend of Baby Einstein and The Mozart Effect, I diverge.

I spent Weasley’s babyhood immersing him in classical music and exposing him to every composer that would supposedly boost his intelligence. And you know what? Baby Einstein taught him how to sit in front of the TV and listening to Mozart pretty much bored him (except for Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca–that made him dance his funny little toddler pants off).

As a music major in college, I was convinced that classical music truly had the ability to “organize one’s brain.” But what I came to learn as a parent is that is just doesn’t matter. I honestly don’t have any control over my children’s intelligence level. And why would I want to control it anyway? We live in a society so full of messages that your kids don’t fit in a particular box. They move too much, they talk too much, they read too late, they walk too soon… It’s never just “your child is so good at who they are.”

Now, I am not saying I don’t have an appreciation for classical music. I spent my entire childhood dancing ballet to classical composers and went on to study music in college. I have a great amount of classical music education under my belt but I really feel that kids need a variety of music in their education.

Something that made me realize classical music isn’t the only thing your child should listen to is Kindermusik. I got my Kindermusik teaching license when Weasley was still a toddler. And I was shocked when I realized there were very few classical music pieces in the Kindermusik lessons. In fact, most of their music depended on what age the child was and how to get them interacting. Music + movement! This got me thinking. It doesn’t matter what music the kids are listening to as long it makes them move and smile.

For us, that’s techno.

And let me tell you, the kids love it!

He’s A Big Kid Now

My Weasley is growing up. I just had a glimpse of him being his own person and living his own life–discovering and experiencing things as only he will.

He was playing outside in the spring sunshine and came running into the house whispering,

“Mom! I have a surprise!”

There was a sweetness and gentleness in his tone that made me completely attentive. The first thing that ran through my mind?

“Oh no, this is it, he has found some sort of wild pet and he is bringing it in the house.”

It was just something in his tone. It sounded very caring and tender. Next thought I had was

“Is it a mouse? A bird? A rabbit??”

He walked gently around the corner with his hands cupped together.

“Ok brace yourself,” I thought.

“Look mom! I found a caterpillar!!”

“Whew. Ok. Oh how cool, honey!”

I don’t know why I was so terrified of what he was delivering to me but the thought of a mouse or bird getting loose in the house was, well, ew. Then I realized that it was inevitable. He is finally a big kid–and a boy none the less. Creatures will find their way into my house. And that’s ok. When I was a six, I would bring newts and snakes into my mom’s house. (Maybe that’s why I was nervous!)

But what I really realized in the whole scene was that he is living his own life. He is discovering his own experiences with the world. I am not guiding him like I used to. Things like caterpillars weren’t a surprise before because I was there. I was guiding him in his play. We’d discover things like that together. In a way I miss it. I miss searching for ants and caterpillars and seeing the look on his face when we found one. But I am so thankful for having those moments with him. And I am thankful for him experiencing them on his own and for him growing up and having his own experiences. And I am thankful for him still wanting to share them with me.

I love being a mom!

The Mom Pledge

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I am so excited to take the Mom Pledge and be a part of such an encouraging blogging community!

Raising kids is hard–especially if you are told you aren’t doing it right. Every child is different. Every parent will do things differently.
And there is no one person on this earth that knows how to raise another human being perfectly.

Discouragement is the worst thing a mother can experience. As a parent there have been many times when I have been told my parenting was insufficient. And it brought me down. Way down.

My desire is to love my children. If I teach my children nothing else I want them to know joy. And Love. I hope to give them a foundation for a happy life. Everything else is fleeting in my opinion.

If your child doesn’t have all their immunizations, if they don’t potty train by two, if they don’t learn to ready by five, if they throw a tantrum in the grocery store, it just doesn’t matter–it is a fleeting moment in time. None of that matters and I don’t want to know any one person’s opinion on why or why my child should or should not have or do a certain thing.

There is no magical formulation to raising a human. It is complicated. And personal. And difficult. And beautiful. And emotional. And amazing. There is no point in telling a mother they are wrong in how they raise their kids.

I have no desire to feel more knowledgeable or powerful than another mother. I want to be a part of a community of mothers that love their children and encourage each other. I hold no parenting answers. I will accept advice when it is solicited. I will admire the knowledge that another mother has learned over the years. But I will accept no hostile comments toward my motherhood. I love my kids. And I will do everything in my power to show them that and to raise them to be happy human beings. But in order to teach them happiness I need to be happy. Happy with myself and happy with my kids.

And I know I make mistakes.

And most likely I will know it when I do make a mistake. Telling me I am not a “good” mother for whatever reason will only make my life dark. I choose to ignore the hostile comments and focus on the love I have for my children.

I am new to the blogging world and I love it! But everything I say in my blog is my opinion and it is about things that work for my family. In no way do I expect what I say or do to work perfectly for another mother. But I do hope to share a laugh or encourage another mother. And I hope I gain encouragement from other mom bloggers. There is no reason to share hate or hostility.

I long for a community of women who listen, discuss and encourage each other. We are all humans raising humans and I love and respect the challenge and joy that comes with that.

And to all you mothers, you are doing a great job!

Vegan Brownies

Some friends came over this weekend and made these vegan brownies from literally a can of beans and a brownie mix.

They are so good!

We are not vegan but I don’t really want to make regular brownies again. They are fluffy and cake like. And oh so easy!

How to make them:

1 brownie mix
1 can of black beans

Pour can of black beans (with water in it still) into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add brownie mix to beans, mix. Pour batter into greased 13×9″ pan. Cook according to box instructions.

Yeah, that’s it.

You could make these anywhere you have a way to mash the beans and a heat source. I’m thinking brownies while camping, what do you think?

Slime

Today we made slime.

Squishy, bouncy, stretchy, well, slimy slime.

It.

Is.

Wonderful.

I’m going to tag this as the best craft ever–after all who doesn’t want to make a craft you can play with???

Here’s how to make it:

1 cup glue
3/4 a cup warm water
Food dye
4 teaspoons borax
1 1/3 cups warm water

Mix together the 1 cup of glue and the 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Add whatever color food dye you want the slime to be and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix the 4 teaspoons borax and the 1 1/3 cups warm water. Now pour the borax mixture into the glue mixture. Do not stir. Leave it for one minute and then mix it together. It will have become a thick gel-like substance at this point. (The water and gel will not fully mix together)

Pull the gel-like portion out of the mixture and put it in a plastic bag. Close the bag and kneed the gel until it is one consistency. Now take it out of the bag and play with it! (This is where I got super excited about this awesome new creation and had a difficult time handing it over to Weasley.)

You can keep it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh but it seems more pliable when warm.

Do not let this get on the carpet or clothing–it sticks to most fibrous materials.

Have fun!

Reading Time

This picture brings me happiness. A six year old boy sitting on the stairs fully immersed in a book. He is engaged in another world. Images that he is creating in unison with the words on the pages make his experience and this written world unique to him and his mind. What could be better?

There is so much knowledge to be had in the written world. There are so many books that share insight and ideas into the world we live in. Books help form a child’s character. Fictional heroes can show a child how to act and behave toward others.

A few years ago we turned off the TV. We still watch things on Netflix and Hulu but at least I can limit the content to documentaries or selected educational kids programs. There is just something about having my kids stare at flashing light for hours on end that offends me. Especially when it comes to cable television, my kids are being forced media’s endless, pointless and in some cases harmful messages. TV seems to have the power to turn your conscious mind off and just be fed whatever is on the screen. Books are different in that matter as I think they actually turn your conscious mind on. There are very few books I have read that I have not thought about, considered or that haven’t changed my knowledge about something in some way.

Now I understand that there are, well, not so great books out there. But there are a wealth of books out there. Why read a poorly written one? Or one that doesn’t interest you? You aren’t fed anything when you read a book–you have to read it. It isn’t in front of you talking to you, you have to go to the effort to get the information off the page. You have to take the initiative to learn from what you are reading.

Yes, I love books. And yes, I love that without TV, my six year old is at a fourth grade reading level and sits on the stairs riveted in his latest book.

Saint Louis

Last week we took a family trip to Saint Louis. I spent my teen years there and it was like going home. Went to my best friend’s wedding, got to see old friends and childhood haunts. It was a great time. Here are some pictures I took of the Arch. It was fun seeing my kids enjoy places I did as a kid.


Looking straight down from inside the top of the arch


Tug boats are awesome!


That’s a lot of stairs!


At the top!


Bridge over the Mississippi River


Saint Louis has a lot of really amazing old buildings that are abandoned. Fun photo ops for sure.