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Lily_Grace

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  1. Ouch. Things to remember for this move, when our nearest Ikea is halfway across the state. To make you feel better, here's our moving overseas story: http://graceless-wandering.blogspot.it/2010/05/luckily-or-unluckily-baby-and-i-got.html We lost about 90% of what we owned when the final tally was done.
  2. I think sometimes we just need to ask ourselves, "is this helpful or hurtful"? Telling a child that their effort isn't good enough can be hurtful and take out the help, BUT, focusing on the process itself can be helpful. For example: "your bed is messy. Go do it again" is not quite as helpful as "you finished making your bed? Great! Let's check the steps with the process card." Removing emotion and opinion from a situation can be very helpful, and having something written out in steps lets the child see where they went wrong and correct it themselves.
  3. How about giving her a ping pong paddle and balls? She can entertain herself by playing against the wall. Macrame? A leather working kit? Whittling? Creating a dollhouse and furniture? Poor kiddo!
  4. Family is the first school for young children, and parents are powerful models - Alice Sterling Honig While we try to teach our children about life, our children teach us what life is all about - Angela Schwindt Where will our country find leaders with integrity, courage, strength - all the family values - in ten, twenty, or thirty years? The answer is that you are teaching them, loving them, and raising them right now - Barbara Bush
  5. Depends on the episode, I think. Some of them were pretty creepy, some not. Just like that show Are You Afraid Of The Dark? that was on years ago. Little bit of bad acting, lots of insinuated creepiness. Mine started with the Twilight Zone and well, he never really moved beyond that. LOL He's one of those kids that feels things pretty deeply and never quite shrugged it off. However corny 1950's pseudo-horror is a family favorite here! :laugh:
  6. We have a basement, and we have radiant floor heating. Just not on the same levels. :) The radiant floor heating has kept our house warmer than any other I've lived in (it also encourages the kiddos to pick up better, since the heat is coming from the floor). Our basement is our rotating room. In the summer we move the living room down to keep ourselves nice and cool, and in the winter we move the living room back up. If we had infloor heating on all levels it would never move. The basement is stuck with in the wall heaters, though. It's one of the few things I'm disappointed in when we look for houses back in the states. The inefficient heating and cooling systems are the worst.
  7. Next year, right after you buy them, take a can of scotchguard to every pair. Sincerely, the wife of a man who wears white on red clay fields.
  8. Depends on the weather and what you have access to. :) Around here, lunches would be something like a heavy salad (lots of veggies, dates, and apples) with cheese and precooked chicken strips on the side and a small container of dressing. Throw it all together when you get there and life is good. :) Even better with flatbread and hummus thrown in the bag, too. We also like Lunchable type meals or doing a pasta salad for the main and lots of fruit and yogurt - especially if you can get the Organic Valley Gogurts. Man, I miss those! You could also make a seven layer dip and serve with chips, like cold nachos. Course, if the weather there is anything like here you may want to bring a thermos full of soup!
  9. Our house rule is no electronics in the bedrooms without good reason. The 3yo has a cd player for audio books, but the rest of us leave the stuff off that level of the house unless dh is on call. We've set up our home here so that the router is in the basement, eliminating a 14yo on his ipod all night. :) I still don't sleep. There's one with night terrors, one who snores, and I've got a bladder the size of an infant's. :lol: Sleep is a rarity..and by 5am we're all up anyway with the sun streaming in through the bedroom windows (and oddly enough, the sun has only made an appearance in the morning over the past 3 months. The rest of the time is blasted rain and dreariness).
  10. The only reward system that has ever worked for us relied on focused responsibility. The Kid and I sat down with a chore contract when he was about 9 and agreed on times/specifics. If he completed his chores before X time in the morning, he was paid for each one. If they were not done (and by 'done', it meant to the specs of an instruction card), he still had to do them anyway AND I got license to nag and complain. Win-win. It put the focus on increasing his self-control and responsibility, which is what I wanted to grow, instead of the outcome of work. The work still got done regardless because it was established to be non-negotiable from the onset. If he chose not to get paid it was fine, and if he chose to get paid it was fine. Every other rewards system I have seen focuses on the outcome - the side effect of the growing being done. It lets the child choose to grow or remain without and I don't like giving my kid those options. LOL....course, right now I'm appealing to the 14yo sloth creature who has taken over The Kid's body and told him if he just completes that last merit badge I'd buy him his cot. So I'm being quite hypocritical at the moment. :laugh:
  11. This is our house. I try to make things palatable, but not necessarily motivate him, if that makes sense. We've come up with some crazy rules in our house regarding schoolwork, too. -teacher/student conference at the end of every month. This is relax, hang out with cookies and cocoa time as we go over what worked for that unit and what didn't, and how to proceed for the next. This means that the lapbooks and cooking projects were often dropped in favor of doing actual papers and presentations. -gloves come off during math. It is the one time of day we're both allowed to scream and shout and yes, even stomp off, and neither of us will hold it against the other. Math is hard. And that's okay. -big work, small bites. Sometimes, it's just asking too much to complete a dreaded assignment in one swoop. 35 chemistry problems can be bitten off 5 at a time, interchanging with other work. -cookies make everything better. -I can put a kid in charge of the schedule without getting rid of the schedule. At 11, we introduced daily work sheets for him to write down the necessary work. He got to pick the order, I got to make sure it all got done. -when in doubt, sit, encourage, and knit a sock, but don't leave their side until the work gets done. Now that I've had coffee, I'll edit to add this: My personal philosophy includes the idea that any conditioning technique that relies on outside forces will eventually stop working. It's why I never bought into popular chore/allowance systems and the like. They don't work. There is the short term "gain", but the long term is not there. Why? Because the emphasis is shifted from doing the work to LEARN to doing the work to GET. There's a huge, huge brain rewiring when this happens. The education part is looked at as lesser and not worthy and the work becomes option. Don't want the gain/don't care about the punishment, the work won't happen. I'd strongly suggest reading Punished By Rewards as well as Summerhill (A.S. Neill). The Summerhill book is the story of a free democratic school. Interesting, but more interesting are the methods used. They do not coerce children into classes, but make the classes exciting, interesting, and engaging so that they want to learn. Obviously at home I don't have time to plan out exciting lessons for every subject, every day, and some we both just hate. And that's okay. But it's even more okay for me to take the curriculum, turn it inside out and upside down and color it purple if that means it fits my kid. Curricula don't rule. They are not the boss. I am. I can make things fit us and let my kid know that I'm working with him instead of with an expensive book of paper and against him. That's how I motivate. I don't give a flying flip about anything more than connecting with my kid.
  12. :) I think an extravagant b-day ONCE is okay. We are generally low-key in our home, letting the kid be king for the day, choose an outing, pick dinner, 1-2 gifts total. However, for The Kid's 10th we surprised him with a trip to WDW. He loved it. We talk about doing something special for the little one when he reaches 10 now. There have been four more birthdays since and The Kid is quite happy to go back to king for the day/small outing. It hasn't changed anything except having a spectacular memory.
  13. I will honestly say I have not noticed that trend. Nearly every child I have come across has been polite, helpful, and just genuinely happy to be included in whatever was going on. Glee, not rudeness, though often times the boundaries were overstepped accidentally. ;) Really, though, good kids. Case in point - yesterday my son returned from a camping trip. Every boy helped unload the van, took out their trash, got things organized and settled....all while teasing each other and being general doofusi. I know some of the boys don't like each other. I have heard them grumble when one or two of them aren't around, or there's a slight cold shoulder (like one boy looking for a meet up later and getting the 'we're too busy' brush off). I know they don't always have fun together. But they try to make sure they're all okay and included when needed. The way they treat adults is very much the same. "How are you doing, Mrs. Kid's Mom? Did you have a good weekend while we were away?" "I need to call my mom first to make sure it's alright you give me a ride home. Excuse me, please" (kid lived a block away and his mom had given him instructions to walk - before the storm blew in) Dh and I were talking yesterday morning about the possibility of sending The Kid to high school. He is worried that The Kid has never had to deal with real conflict resolution, things always being decided by a) hierarchy or B) everyone being a good, thinking kid. This is the main sticking point. LOL And it makes me wonder if I should make sure my kid has a chance to deal with real frootloops before joining a workplace.
  14. I fall into the trap of volunteerism, but with an upcoming move to handle I've put all those to the wayside. Well, not all. I'm a CPST and will continue to assist parents with their car seats/kids' seating arrangements wherever I go. Now that my son is older I'm taking the time to do something else: create literature guides. And not just guides, but activity based for those of us who need hands on, along with a special format for historical fiction that weaves primary source document data into the guides so students can compare for themselves and work their way through a packet that corresponds to the story. I don't know if they'll be a flop for my little one, but it's keeping me interested and busy!
  15. Sure. :) There are three: Ancients (BC to early Middle Ages) World (up through early 20th century) and American. Each book has about 10 reproducible "cases" for the students to solve over a several day period. The first day starts out with an attention grabber: a notice on the door or whatnot, and then the kids are given a primary doc to look over and a sheet to keep evidence. They slowly get the story and then have to brainstorm, taking what they know and what they can find out to make a conclusion. I will say they work REALLY well with a little bit of extra effort. For example, I took a battered file folder and a few different kinds of paper to reproduce the diary entries and death cert. from the Man in The Iron Mask. For co-op last year with a bunch of 8-10yos I held a mock court, with the prosecution getting a Jackdaw of Marco Polo's journey, the defense getting the book The Travels of Marco Polo, and both sides getting pages from HiM so they could debate whether or not MP really did go to China. It took us a month meeting once a week, but they really got into it. :)
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