Showing posts from June, 2016

Will Your Child Learn to Read?

Back in the day, when I was in a master's program,  the "whole language" movement was a hot topic. In simple terms,  the "whole language" approach is a method of teaching children to read by recognizing words as whole pieces of language.  It is an approach to spelling that encourages a lot of reading aloud to your child (a good thing!) but it also encourages children to read by sight rather than sounding out words.  Phonics proponents argue that in reality there are very few words that don't follow any phonics rules and that must be learned by sight. If you are over the age of 50, you probably learned to read by sight.  Remember when you saw Dick and Jane run, eat, play and engage in any number of other activities?  In many pre-k classrooms that I visited I saw a number of good things including "word walls" consisting of children's names, environmental print, such as McDonald's bags and Wal-Mart logos, along with some "sight" wo

What's the Name of Today? Yellow, of course.

When I visited preschool classrooms,  a certain ritual would be observed.   This occurred when all children had been summoned to "the rug" and instructed to sit "criss-cross applesauce." This also sometimes included, "snip, snap, hands in lap" as well.  The amount of time it took to wrangle everyone varied from a couple of minutes to what seemed like an eternity. The question of the day was:  "boys and girls, what's the name of today?"  I admit I did not conduct a scientific study but rather took note of how many times this ritual took place.  And, I'm going to say it took place a whole lot. Like, this much.  (I am holding my arms out really wide). Since children love to demonstrate how smart (and cute) they are as well as please Miss Whoever, participation was guaranteed.  Although young children are not that good about raising their hand and waiting to be called on ( that's a whole blog subject in itself),  it cannot be said tha

Retirement, Simple Living, and Me

I came across an article about "simple living" in 1993.  I became fascinated by this and began looking for more articles, books, etc on the subject and my journey began. I started reading articles about "living on less"  and "working less and living more" and thought, that's what I want!   It seemed easy enough.  Apparently, you just lived on half of your income, invested the rest, and pretty soon you wouldn't have to work anymore and then the "simple living" would begin. Believe it or not,  it took about 5 years for me to figure out that to live on half of your income, you had to have an income that amounted to more than "squat".  So I thought that this would never work and began to actually scoff at and doubt articles that claimed " I feed my family on one bean a month" and "we have no jobs and live like royalty". " Then I discovered The Simle Living Guide by Janet Luhrs.  I checked it out from t

Petite Promenades with Pups

One of my retirement goals (besides doing not much of anything) is to do more walking and another goal is to enjoy my pups every chance I get.   So I decided to combine the two and take them on petite promenades. That's "small walks" to me and you. Our promenade today included my own street. By strolling slowly and taking photos, I discovered lots of beauty around me.  I encourage others to give it a try! Here are some photos from today.  Enjoy! That's all for now. Check back again!

How About that Piaget?

The post today is directed toward parents and teachers of infants,  toddlers,  and preschoolers. That's not to say that others won't find it fascinating, I'm just saying that parents and teachers might find some "sage" advice. To start,  I once heard the definition of an expert is: "a person with a briefcase, at least 50 miles from home".  I don't claim to be an "expert", but I am confident in my knowledge of child development and can identify developmentally appropriate practice when I see it. I feel this allows me to present some thoughts for you to think about and  invite you to take what you will from these thoughts. So today's post is the first one regarding children's development and what children should learn that will benefit them throughout their life.  It seems that parents and teachers often feel that young children must be getting "ready" for the next step or skill or concept. Jean Piaget, the eminent Sw

The Tenth Day

On the first day of my retirement I posted on Facebook that it was my first day and I didn't do squat. Well,  this is day 10 and I have actually accomplished squat. I re-painted my living room.  My family would tell you that this is nothing new. True, I have painted and re-painted that room at least 6 times, could be more.  Well, surprise, this is it!  This will be the last time I paint in my house.  Read between the lines, folks. I also completed a garden project.  And when I say I ,  I mean the hubby completed the project under my expert guidance.  Looks great and Gracie the Beagle enjoys relaxing next to the large metal Razorback.  She seems to have a new friend. I have also fielded many phone calls declaring me the lucky recipient of hearing aids, back braces, and a personal alert system, just in case I fall down and can't get up. My biggest accomplishment so far, however,  is enrolling in an advantage plan with medicare. I am not sure, but after 45 minutes on t

Welcome to my blog....

I have worked for the past 40 some odd years with young children, parents of young children, and teachers of young children.  I am starting this blog as a way to document my journey in retirement as well as to offer "sage" advice to parents and teachers. When asked what I plan to do in my retirement years,  my first answer is actually "nothing". But when pressed to provide an answer I say, I'm going to reduce my carbon footprint on this lovely planet by living simply,  piddle around in the garden,  read,  learn to bake French pastries, and most of all hang out with my two adorable, albeit, ill-behaved hound dogs, Quincy and Gracie. I would love for you to come along with my on my journey, so check back later for new posts!