Showing posts from January, 2014

Teenagers + common core

Parenting a teenager is tough. Add in a few years of that teenager being able to do whatever he wanted, an adoption he didn't ask for, a black biological family living in the poverty mindset and an white adoptive family living the upper middle class dream in a white neighborhood in a white school district, mixed feelings about his own mother, familes that seem to be pulling in different directions, a move, switching schools twice, a "serious" girlfriend,'s pretty much a recipe for complete disaster.

I'm thankful we are not in "complete disaster" phase at the moment.  I was going to say a lot more about that but I think I just won't.  I'm thankful our oldest son is a pretty good kid. He has his moments but hey, don't we all?

So there was an article in our newspaper about a neighboring school district and Common Core.  If you haven't heard about Common Core, just google it. There is a ton …

MLK Jr. Day

We do a calendar time every morning with the very exciting pocket calendar that I got, I'm sure I've talked about that before. We talk about the date, season, day of the week, weather, etc. It also has little cards for holidays, and birthdays, and parties.  So this month we have my birthday, Ben's birthday, his birthday party, and Martin Luther King Jr. day.

I checked out a couple of books from the library on MLK to read to the kids about him. I read the first one the other day and I had to stop several times because I got choked up.  It is such an ugly time in America's history, and I don't like having to tell them about the way that people of their race were treated in many places.  We talked about segregation and slavery and some other things too. I think Y kind of understood, but I'm pretty sure it was mostly over Miss M's head.

I hate that that is in our history but I am glad that I can be the one to tell them about it and to be there when they have qu…

First book

Y read his first book yesterday!  It was a Bob book, the first one in the first set, which only requires knowledge of a few letter sounds (short a, M, T, and S).  He actually knows a lot of his consonant sounds already but we are working on vowels right now.  He can sound out each individual letter but really struggles with getting from sounding out to knowing what the word is, if that makes sense.  So he requires quite a bit of hand holding right now which is totally to be expected I'm sure, and it is fine. He wants to do it so much but he gets so frustrated so I usually encourage him to take a break before he thinks he is ready for one.

This is what it is like when he is trying to read the word "mat"
Him: (making the letter sounds) "M-A-T...M-A-T...M-A-T...Sam?"

The first time he read the book he actually did the best, I think at this point he is trying to guess what the words are based on the words he knows that are in the book, maybe.  I don't know.  I …

Nerding out

I got most of the home school stuff I ordered in the mail. I am totally nerding out, home-school style!  I am seriously so excited. I don't know what my problem is. I hope I'm still this excited at this time next year. ;)

I got a book on how to teach your kids to read. I think I am going to try (TRY!) to get Y reading at least basic, easy stuff before this summer. If I can get him going before I really start home schooling C then I feel like that will be a little bit of a burden off of me.  So we will be working on reading for only a few minutes every day, I'm not going to push it hard but we will spend time doing it daily. And if Miss M wants to join us for lessons that is OK, and if not then that is OK too.  We are using "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading" by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington.  It looks pretty simple so far and it looks like something I will be able to teach.  I'm excited to get started.

I also got a book for C to start teac…