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Monday, April 30, 2007

a beautiful mess....

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.... it all started as a very simple task- to pack for a 3 day scrapbooking retreat. I don't know how I get myself into these things, but a mess is all I have accomplished so far. Why do I feel the need to sort & organize before I pack? I feel so out of touch with my photos.... I haven't made the time to scrapbook lately. I also gave myself a challenge-NOT to buy anything new for this trip. I have boxes of paper as it is....I don't need to add to it. The designated project for this retreat... birthday books for both children. Simply put....layouts for each birthday party...projects I have been meaning to get to for a long time.

my little reader.....

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Amazing to me how two children from the same household can be completely different learners. For Hunter, reading came very easily. The year after she completed primary, she just literally opened up a book and started reading. The words just flowed for her and she could read with such expression, in both English & French. Even now, she continues to be a very strong reader. We have not reached the end of Grade 5, yet she has completed the "leveled" reading at school to the end of Grade 6. She is reading at level 30+ which is considered the reading level outcome for students by the end of Grade 6. There is only one other person in her class who has attained this level. Tyler, on the other hand, learns differently than she does. Reading takes more effort and concentration for him at age 6. He seemed to be stalled in his reading a little bit, so I got very active at home with purchasing magnetic words for the fridge, magnetic letters, word family books, puzzles featuring consonant blends, etc. Unknown to me, he had a reading conference today with the early literacy specialist at school, as she sees all the kindergarten kids once a month. She wrote in his reading log that he is making "excellent progress" and she moved him to level 9 & 10 books. I am so pleased for him. He is working so hard on his sight words and his reading every day. They are many things I can live without as talents in my children-i don't care if they don't have strong athletic abilities, or great creative visions, but I do want them to be strong readers and life long readers. Reading is such an important pathway for learning in school. Here is Tyler reading to his kindergarten class at school, and doing a great job at it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

il divo...

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I have been a really bad blogger lately.
Last week I went to this spectacular performance. No words to describe how beautiful it was.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

funny bunny.....

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My mom made this cute cake quite often when I was growing up as an Easter treat, so the first thing I asked her when I learned that she & Dad were coming for Easter is if she could make the bunny cake with the kids. We use our traditional white butter birthday cake recipe for two 9" circles which we then cut into the parts to make the bunny. The kids call it the "funny bunny" cake and we have had more fun looking at it. We had a great Easter weekend with Mom & Dad. We had lots of fun eating, shopping, and playing games. We had a ham dinner on Easter sunday and watched some fun movies. This is the first time that Mom & Dad have visited where we didn't have hockey or skating to attend, so it was a nice change.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Queen Bees & Wannabees....

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When the kids were smaller, I used to read quite a few parenting books, but I haven't read any for a long time. I picked up this book from the library since I have heard so much about it. It's a fascinating read. The first couple chapters blew me away with it's accurate description of girl relationships and cliques. This a must read for parents of girls. The first chapter, titled "Cliques & Popularity" gets right to the heart of the issue by describing the different personalities and roles that make up the girl clique. Such roles as Queen Bee, The Banker, The Sidekick, The Floater, The Torn Bystander, The Pleaser and The Target. As I was reading the description of each role, my brain was picking off each of Hunter's friends who fit these various roles. I was shocked to realize that last year she was the sidekick for the Queen Bee in her class, and I am so very glad that this particular girl is not in her class this year because this girl seemed so nice at first but then revealed a real nasty side, and by the end of the year, Hunter was coming home in tears about things this girl had done. I can see how this year Hunter has become a "Floater" which means she doesn't like to exclude people and she rarely has fights with people, her friends are comfortable around her and she doesn't have to 'win' conversations; most importantly, she's not exclusively tied to one group of friends, she has friendships from different areas of her life, like skating & ballet, and she can bring another person into the group with some success. Now I just have to help her keep this personality and role for the new few years. It is totally amazing to me how when I think back over Hunter's school years and from my observations at school, girls are organizing themselves into cliques and roles by Grade 1. Yes, I said Grade 1! Grade 6, 7, & 8 are the worst years for girl cliques, so I can hardly wait for next year. I am so glad I am able to stay home with my children, because the first 15 minutes after I pick up Hunter from school are the most important of the whole day. She is just bursting forth info about how her day went for her and what was great or what was not so great. I am so glad I am there to really listen to her.
This book has a whole chapter devoted to the topic of nasty girls. The later chapters are about parties and boys, but hopefully I won't have to deal with that for a few more years. Tyler has given me enough grey hair already.
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