Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Where are we going?

Lucia, Elliott, and Mazie are about to take their first plane trip. Can you guess where we are all going?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Artists and Bangs

On our way to the beach in September, Lucia said, "Look, Mama. I drew a cyclop." I turned and looked and saw her one eye creature. Then she said, "Let me put a shoe on him" and drew the shoe below him. Of course I had to pull over and take a picture of my Lu and her cyclop.
For the three's birthday, my sister and her family gave us MagnaDoodles. Avery had one when she visited us and LEM loved it. Well, now they get to love their own. They are great toys because they are easy to handle and operate. I don't have to tend to them if they are playing with their MagnaDoodles. This makes them great for travel.
Over Halloween weekend the girls were playing with theirs. Lucia drew a cat and Mazie drew a monster. I thought they were pretty good.
Tangentially: I included both pictures of Mazie to show her bangs. I am not a fan of bangs on my children. Somehow Mazie started out with bangs so we've been trying to grow them out. She has fine hair so barrettes don't stay in really well. Unfortunately the above picture is how she often looks. The picture below was taken after H told me to get her hair out of her face. We've been growing her bangs out for what seems like a year. Over the Fourth of July weekend we left the three so we could have a night away. When we came back to get them Someone--who will remain unnamed--had decided to cut Mazie's bangs to get them out of her face. So, we were back to square one. Now they are about to the length they were in July. They won't be grown out for the holidays, but maybe by Easter.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

sayings, v. 3.4

Bubby to H: Can we watch one episode?
H: Go ask Mama.
Me: I don't know bubby. It is so pretty outside.
Bubby went back downstairs to H and said: I think she said yes.

Mazie: I'm gonna have (instead of behave)

Lucia calls restaurants meetings or restrooms. So, she is always saying: Let's go to the meeting and eat or How 'bout we go to the restroom for lunch.

Lucia: I saw a handicrane. (What she calls cranes.)

Mazie: I want to separate the table. (set the table)

Lucia: Hey Mama, where's the goph? (ghost)

Elliott to one of his sisters: Hit the stool. Hit the stool. Don't hit me; I might cry.

Lucia, when I ask her a question, like What state does Avery Mae live in: she'll whisper, You tell me.

Elliott, with a flashlight in hand: I can look through the dark with this.

Me to Lucia and Mazie: We are going to vote.
Lucia: We are going to the river?

Lucia loves the word similar. She says it all the time. She'll say things like 'Mazie and Maggie start the same. They are similar.' She'll also use it incorrectly, like 'Tree and chair are similar.'

Mazie: Yes, I'm appreciate it.

Lucia: When we are driving will ask every few miles: What state are we in now? Sometimes she'll say What steak are we in now?

Me, when the wind was blowing the leaves down from the trees: Look at the pretty leaves.
Lucia: That means it's fallen time.
Also lately when the wind blows she'll say: It's windy. That means it's winter time.

In the pictures above, Elliott made himself an onion mustache and goatee and kept saying, "I am the doctor. I am the doctor." (Our pediatrician is a female and she does not have facial hair.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Amazing, Chapter 3 has been quite a while since I did a chapter summary of Tim Seldin's How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way. Chapter Three is "Help me to do it myself." This is a good chapter for where we are. As I think I've mentioned before, I need to be fostering more independence in my children. I value independence; often times I can the easier, quicker route and just do it for them. I need to slow down and let them do more for themselves.

Here are the high points from the chapter that I really loved. I bolded the ideas that especially resonated with me. I put in brackets any ideas that are mine.
Chapter Three: Let Me Do It

The lessons your child learns can be broken down into three areas:
care of self
everyday tasks around the house
grace and courtesy

Children who feel respected and competent develop a greater sense of emotional well-being that children who are doted upon. [This idea is one of the ones I love the most about Montessori theory.]

It is important to teach the skill itself but also help your child develop a sense of calmness, concentration, cooperation, self-discipline, and self-reliance. Parents have to set the tone and serve as a daily role model for everyday living skills. We need to be poised, purposeful, precise, caring, and giving.

The best way to encourage your child to try new skills is to demonstrate them precisely and slowly in simple ways he can understand. Then give him time to practice, and to be allowed to make his own mistakes and correct them.

How often do we find ourselves continuing to bundle our children into their coats or shoes long after they are capable of managing to put them on by themselves? [I am totally guilty of this.]

Mastering an everyday skill is made easier by careful planning, and patient instruction and support from parents.
If taught where things belong and how to return them correctly, children internalize this sense of order, and carry it with them for the rest of their lives. [Again, this is such a weak area for me. Order in the home is a constant struggle for me.]

Establish a ground rule and gently but firmly teach your child that while she may select anything from her shelves to work and play with for as long as s he wishes, she must return it when she is done, and may not remove something new until the last thing has been put away.

[The author gives many specific ways to help foster independence in children. Just a few of them that I've tried are brushing teeth, washing hands, sweeping. Ones I need to work on are brushing hair, snaps and buttons, washing dishes, setting table.]

The rationale behind letting children use cups and bowls that break if they are dropped or misused is that children quickly learn to be careful and controlled when they use them.

Young children absorb and remember every nuance of their early home environment.

Avoid things which are cheap and made of plastic. Children respond to the beauty of wood, glass, silver, brass, and similar natural materials.

Children learn by practice and repetition. [This is one of my favorite things about this age. I love that they enjoy things over and over again. I love listening to them sing the same song or recite the same nursery rhyme or story over and over.]

If you approach things correctly, without nagging, impatience, criticism, and redoing something your child has done because it is not quite perfect, she will take delight in helping care for her home.

One way to encourage your child to eat healthy snacks is to get him involved in making them himself. Make sure your child can easily reach all the ingredients and utensils he needs to make a snack without help.