Children Should Be Encouraged to Write

Children should be encouraged to write down the musing from their vast imaginations.  A six-year-old child can create a work of art, similar to the works of adults.

These works might be smaller, but the attention spans of children are shorter.  By the time the story is written, the child will have thought of ten more stories.

Writing their own stories helps them to develop handwriting and penmanship techniques, which is so important.  It also helps them to put their imaginations into words.  This is difficult. It forces them to learn the rules of language.  It allows them to share their imaginations in a different way that simply telling a story.

Parents can now assist children by inspiring their learning through publishing their work on Kindle Books. One such book is The Little Birdie that Thought He Went to Heaven. This is a book available for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Side note: If you have children or you typically read a lot during the month (about one book a week or two), I suggest subscribing to Kindle Unlimited.  There is a lot of good stuff that you can get for a low monthly price.

Regardless, getting children to connect written language to spoken language is important. This endeavor can be achieved relatively simply by teaching children how to write their imaginations. Inspire brilliance!

 

 

 

 

Cannot Escape Logic

A child cannot escape a logical consequence, because it is logical. It is the mess (literal or metaphorical) that is caused by a poor choice and must be cleaned up before life can be gotten on with. Likewise, a child does not resent a logical consequence, because it is just.

-Gregory and Lisa Popcak, Parenting with Grace.

Parenting with Grace

Parenting your child will be the most important work you ever do.

Most of my personal convictions on education and childbearing come from  the way my mother raised me when I was a young child.  My mother stayed at home and was able to spend a great amount of time bonding with us.  Being her eldest, I believe I probably had the greatest benefit from her presence.

My mother based her parenting style in part on a book, Parenting with Grace.  This book, written by a Catholic psychologist who believes in logical consequences and recognizing the stage and phase the children are in, is an excellent parenting resource.  As my son is only two months old, I really haven’t had a need to employ my knowledge, but I have read this book.  It seems like it should work.

You might wonder, “what are logical consequences?”

When looking for a logical consequence to address a child’s misbehavior, a parent’s mind-set must not be, “What can I do to the little creep so that he will learn to never do this again!?” but rather, “What must my child do to clean up the mess (literally or figuratively) he made and — most importantly — learn what to do instead?”

I love this quote.  Logical consequences allow parents to find teaching moments.  This helps children to learn how to control themselves.  It also teaches them a basic principle of life: every action as a reaction.

A child’s misbehavior is not necessarily a child being naughty.  They may not understand the consequences of their actions.  They may not realize they are being “bad”.  They might be curious or interested.  Sometimes, parents even punish children for help gone wrong, like accidentally dropping the eggs when putting them away. Children do not have the same coordination as adults.

Teach children. Don’t undermine their learning.

 

 

 

Surviving Large Families

Large families are a source of curiosity in today’s world.  There was once a time that having less than four children was an anomaly, but today it is the opposite.  Many people view four children as strange – stranger still if a family has five, six, …twelve!

Recently, I have been tracing my family history.  The average number of children seems to be about seven, but I have had seen a few outliers.  There was a family with only two children.  There was also a family of sixteen children.  There was a “yours, mine, and ours” family of twenty children in the mid-1800s.  To be honest, I am a little embarrassed for the amount of time I have spent on the Ancestry website.

I am the eldest of ten children.  I know at least two other families with ten children.  I am considering writing a humorous expose on growing up in a large family.  I am trying to convince my siblings to collaborate on this project.  Here is a sneak peak of what I would write:

  1. There is no such thing as leftover Tuesday. Leftovers are either very planned because they taste good warmed up or they are an unholy punishment which resembles a medieval torture.
    • Leftovers that are planned must be something that tastes good warmed up.  It must be relatively cheap and easy to triple the recipe (because if there is more food, they will eat more.) These leftovers generally follow Holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
    • All other leftovers are an unholy punishment thought up in the bowels of a frustrated mother. These generally happen because one of the children suddenly decides to become a picky eater. These leftovers are served as the only meal for the eater until it is gone.  An application of this is: “Eat all of your scalloped potatoes, Sally, or you will have them for breakfast tomorrow.”

My fourth sister recently posted something on Facebook which touches on the humor of living in a large family.  If you can’t laugh, you will cry.  People take life too seriously, so take a break and enjoy the list “14 Things Only People with Big Families Will Understand“.  The point on the list that is most humorous to my sister is “Everything is a competition”.  Birth Order four likes to state, “I am Alpha!” She has a tremendous work ethic and ability to do things “perfectly”. She is very competitive with everyone.

If my book gets off the ground, there will be topics ranging from Sunday Morning routines to Cleaning Dance Parties to Including Younger Siblings in School.  This book would be humorous, but there might be recipes and tips included.

 

 

Even the Fetus Desires to Know

The Philosopher, Aristotle, in his Metaphysics states that all men desire to know:

ALL men by nature desire to know…the delight we take in our senses…we prefer seeing to everything else.

Man learns through his senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.  Man primarily learns through the sense of sight, although the other senses have their rightful place.

It is known to science that even in the womb, the offspring of man – the fetus – the baby growing in the mother’s womb begins to employ the senses.

Shutterstock, http://www.businessinsider.com/fetus-vision-hearing-development-uterus-2016-9

By the 16th week, the baby begins to hear sounds.  So from about 4 months into the pregnancy, the baby is able to learn through sound.  This is the time that the baby begins to bond with mother.  Hearing the mother’s voice allows the baby to learn.

As a result of this bonding, near term babies respond to their mother’s voices.  A study was conducted on near term fetuses using fetal heart rate and motor activity monitors while mother’s read aloud from a neutral passage.  The reason for this study:

Knowledge about prenatal learning has been largely predicated on the observation that newborns appear to recognize the maternal voice

The fetus responds to the calming affect of mother’s voice both physically and physiologically.  This indicates that these babies can hear their mothers and that they have realized that this voice is comforting.

Newborns are often comforted by their mother’s voice or touch after birth.  The maternal bond of trust between mother and child is begun long before birth.  As they use their senses, they begin to learn.

Meet Adventurous Mama!

Adventurous Mama will hopefully be my frequent guest author.  She already posted her first piece, No Use Crying Over Spilled Milk.  She posted this piece right after the 4 year old and the 20 month old cleaned up their mess.

A little information about her:

  • She is my younger sister.
  • She is amazingly creative and a great artist.
  • She is the mama of three kids – 4, 20 months, and a womb baby.
  • She does some awesome things with her kids – museums, parks, rivers!
  • She believes in logical consequences (like cleaning up the milk you spilled).
  • She is a “Jill of all trades” and has done everything from plumbing to remodeling a kitchen to building a barn.
  • She is a kinesthetic learner.
  • She is a breastfeeding advocate.
  • She is a Father’s Rights Advocate.

She was my shadow growing up.  Because I loved reading as a child and she loved building things, we had all those science experiments figured out.  She is a hands-on mom with a “can do” attitude.  She takes great care to ensure her kids enjoy life and learning.

 

Teaching the Scientific Method

Teaching the scientific method is an important part to teaching children how to learn.  We learn through the use of our senses – the more senses engaged, the better we learn.  This is why experiments are such a profound method of learning.

The scientific method is the process of formulating, testing, and modifying a hypothesis.  Depending on which scientific discipline an individual is in, the process may look slightly different. The fundamentals of observation -> testing -> concluding are always there.

scientific-method

The scientific method is the way we can prove the axiom that what goes up must come down.  It is a way of systematic discovery, assisting the scientists in covering the possible objections to the discovery.  In short, the scientific method helps us think.

The scientific method is a simple to teach and model experiments.  Teaching your children to follow a method will structure their curiosity and bring greater learning.  Remember, it doesn’t have to be strict.

The Toy Every College Kid Needs

When getting ready for college, the supplies needed and text book costs can be overwhelming.  Frankly, this is true for high school students as well.  There is one supply that can make a tremendous difference in lecture-based classes which you won’t find on any back to school list.

photo

The Oball.

Yes, I am talking about a baby toy.  Costing around $6-$8, the Oball is easily one of the cheapest supplies a student could invest in.

The Oball seen in the picture above belongs to my son.  It is the rattle variety and not suggested for lectures. The non-rattle variety is a grade saver.  It is better than a stress ball!

I discovered this #lifehack when I was a Freshman in my second semester.  Luckily, I am one of those weird people who came from a large family.  In fact, I am the eldest of that large family and my youngest sibling was a baby when I was a pleb.  Somehow, the Oball got into my messenger back. I discovered it when I was looking for gum (another great stress relief) during the break of my three hour chemistry lecture.

Creativity Should Payoff!

Calling all teachers! Your creativity should payoff outside the classroom, too!

Whether in public, private, or homeschooling settings, teachers spend a lot of time and effort in the materials they create. Other teachers and educators are willing to buy, sell, and trade materials.  Who wouldn’t want to make some extra money from those after school hours? Who wouldn’t want to buy a little extra planning help to avoid those after school hours?

There is a place you can do both these things: Teachers Pay Teachers. At the risk of shameless self-promotion, I just opened my store there and have a few science enrichments placed. Some are free!

If you like it, sign up for your own account! Sell what creative resources you’ve made and look around for resources you need. (Use the link I placed so I get referral credit, or sign up directly. Your call).

Life Which is Worth Living

I say again that the greatest good of man is daily to converse about virtue,… and that the life which is unexamined is not worth living.

-Plato, The Apology of Socrates

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