Sunday, May 27, 2007
I will twine with my mingles and waving black hair
With the roses so red and the lilies so fair
And the myrtle so bright with it's emerald dew
The pale and the leader and eyes look like blue
I will dance, I will sing and my life shall be gay
I will charm every heart, in his crown I will sway
When I woke from my dreaming, my idols was clay
All portions of loving had all flown away
But he taught me to love him and promised to love
And to cherish me over all others above
My poor heart is wondering no misery can tell
He left with no warning, no word of farewell
Well you told me you love me and called me your flower
That was blooming to cheer you through life's dreary hour
I long to see him and regret this dark hour
He's gone and neglected this pale wildwood flower
From the article:
Maria Montessori might have called the child "an amorphous, splendid being in search of his own proper form," but far more important, in the end, is a different canny insight of hers: Those splendid kids crave order. Montessori isn't magic. It's fine-tuned and detail-driven and tactile, like a workshop for two dozen good-humored but serious young elves.
And Simon, my irrepressible, short-fused man of mischief, calmly rolled out a mat for himself on the floor, took out the "bank," and proceeded to match the number 3,987, which he'd constructed from short boards painted with numbers, to the correct combination of 1,000-unit cubes, 100- and 10-unit rectangles, and single-unit beads.
Last fall, the prestigious Science gave its pages to a well-designed study that found some measurable advantages for the Montessori method. The researchers compared 59 Montessori students with 53 kids who'd tried to get in to a public Montessori school in Wisconsin and lost out in a lottery (a strategy that addressed the methodological concern that families who choose Montessori differ from those who don't). By the end of kindergarten, the Montessori students outscored the others on standardized tests of reading and math, treated each other better on the playground, and "showed more concern for fairness and justice." By the end of elementary school, the test-score gap closed. But the Montessori kids "wrote more creative essays with more complex sentence structures," responded better to social dilemmas, and were more likely to say they felt a sense of community at school.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Since Asher refuses to peddle his trike, he just pushes along with his feet, we thought we'd help him along his path to riding a two wheel bike and bought him a Rolli Rider wooden "learner bike." He took to it immediately. No sweat. Apparently there are tons of manufacturers producing this sort of bike now, they're very popular in Europe and have received a lot of press recently.
From their site: The Rolli-Rider is an indoor/outdoor self-powered, sit-down riding coaster intended for children between two and six years old. This grandparent handcrafted balancing riding toy (Made in USA with a lifetime warranty) teaches children to balance a two-wheeler long before they are ready to ride a bicycle. When old enough to ride a bicycle, Rolli-Rider provides plenty of confidence that training wheels should not be necessary.
Today we had Asher's birthday party at Little Gym. I invited a small group, to keep the chaos factor down (I'm burnt out from Elliot's gigantic circus parties). Unfortunately only a handful of kids could come (which made the price tag for the small party pretty steep). I should remember that there will always be at least 2-3 last minute cancellations for parties involving little ones, plus it was memorial day weekend.
But who cares. Asher had a blast, our exuberant little madman, running around the gym with his buddies until he collapsed into a chocolate cupcake and juice nirvana.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
As the school year winds down, Asher's class is becoming far less routine and a lot more whimsical. We've had Pajama Day, Beach Day, Outside Class, Face Painting and Beauty Shop Day (don't ask). Today the fire department visited Asher's school. The firemen were patient and friendly. They told the kids not to be afraid if they saw a fireman in full gear in their house. Asher loved the fire engine, he sat in every seat in the truck. We had snack, cleaned up, then went outside for story time under the shade of a birch tree.
Tonight Elliot's school held their Spring Concert and Art Walk. Families picnicked on the front lawn of the school and listened to the sweet voices in the warm evening air.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Clemson University did several tests on floor to food contamination with E.coli and salmonella, and if the surfaces were contaminated, within 5 seconds food became contaminated. It only takes 10 salmonella and fewer than 100 E. coli to contaminate food. Those pesky salmonella can live up to 28 days. Fun fact: carpet retains tens of thousands more bacteria than wood or tile. Ewww gross.
I was attracted to the comforting dailiness and the minutiae of the story - Martha has trouble putting her shirt on and her mother helps her; Martha dries the forks and spoons; Mommy buys the kids a picture book and some cookies at the supermarket. Each drawing is packed with sharp focus details - a row of geraniums sits in a window sill; a fireplace in their bedroom is arched with fluted curves; the kitchen floor is black with red and green confetti.
In the 1970s, animal characters and loose, scribbly illustrations dominated children's literature, so the realism must have been refreshing to me. And of course it was about Mommy, my favorite person in the world.
Now, I like the book not only out nostalgia, but because I hope it will inspire the boys to feel more responsibility for their role in our household. Look I can dress myself! May I please sweep the floor? I'll clean the toilet Mom. I'm serving you breakfast in bed Mommy. Asher is actually very motivated to learn how to do all cleaning right now. It must be developmental.
Happy Mother's Day to my Mommy! I love you.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
In this photo Asher is inspecting an ant hill. We were stuck here for a small eternity on our way to the farmer's market. We were relieved that he didn't feel compelled to touch the ants.
Speaking of insects, we checked out the book Insects Are My Life by Megan Mcdonald from the library this week and it became an instant hit with the boys. It's a quirky story about a girl named Amanda Frankenstein who is a "Friend to Bugs." Amanda is single minded in her passion for insects, she wears mosquito bites as a badge of honor, practices walking like a beetle and invites bugs into her room at night. Of course she's at odds with the world because she's so head strong. Good messages (follow your passion, intellectual pursuits, be yourself even if you are weird), but we mostly liked it because it's a well written book with plenty of sassy and funny lines and it was about bugs.