Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer 2015 List

Our summer break starts next week! With my first child exiting Kindergarten, we can all really use the break. The two little ones and I can use a break from the car line and the oldest is excited to spend more time with family. The month of June is going to be really exciting with a visit from an aunt and two cousins and then later from Grandma and Grandpa.

As always, I've made a list of fun things to do. But this summer we need to make a conscious effort to keep up with reading, writing, and math for our soon to be first grader. I'm new at that--any suggestions?

Here's my list of summer fun for our family:

Super Fun Days
The Beach
Downtown Disney
The Gulf Coast
Orlando Science Center
The Zoo
Mini Golf

Closer to Home Fun
Family Bike Ride
Picnic at the Park
Splash Pad
Swimming Pool
Farmer’s Market

Playing Outside
Run Through the Sprinklers
Play with Water Table
Water Balloons
Hula Hoops
Sidewalk Chalk
Blow Bubbles

Rainy Days
Mosaic Art (w/ torn up paper)
Learn about Sea Animals
Write Letters
Pillow Fort and a Movie
Dance in the Rain

Summer Foods
Homemade Icees
Pizza on the Grill
Homemade Ice Cream
Jello Popsicles

Summer Learning
Sea Animals
Florida Animals
Thunder and Lightning
Learn to Tell Time

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day

I know that Mother's Day can be a sensitive time for some people. Women who want to be mothers but can't be. Children, no matter their age, who have lost their mother or whose mothers are not part of their life for whatever reason. Mothers who feel guilty for not being as good a mother as they wanted to be.

Not everyone who wants to be a mother can be. And not everyone has the kind of relationship they want to have with their mother. But I do believe that Mother's Day can be a celebration of all women. A mother is someone who loves, cares for, and nurtures. And though my own mother takes the top spot, many other women have loved, cared for, and nurtured me through the years.

My mother bore me, raised me, taught me, and has always loved me no matter what.

Many of my aunts have given me that extra long hug when I needed it and been there for me to talk to through my childhood and my adulthood.

My sisters have listened to me and helped me through the experience of being a mother myself. I can't imagine that journey without them.

My good friends have been listened to me, laughed and cried with me, and watched out for me for many years.

My husband's mother and grandmothers have been amazing grandmothers to my children.

And for that mom guilt, this is my favorite quote about motherhood.

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. ... What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply." - M. Russell Ballard

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Week

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week. And I don't really appreciate my child's teacher. Nothing so bad has ever happened that I've considered having her changed to another class (mostly because I think that would be harder on my child than just staying in the class she's in).

There's been nothing really big--just lots of little things that have frustrated me. The teacher is not great at communicating with me. I ask direct questions and get responses that don't even acknowledge the questions. When my daughter pretends to read to a class of kids, she yells at her fake audience to calm down and that everyone will get a chance to see the picture and if you don't sit down you're going to have to move your color! (Their color is the system of showing their behavior that day.) Last week my daughter came home without a homework packet. I e-mailed the teacher to tell her and asked her to put one in my daughter's folder the next day. The teacher e-mailed back that she most definitely put a homework packet in the folder. Ummm... So mistakes happen, things get overlooked, I wasn't the least bit upset about it being forgotten. Until I felt we were being accused of losing it. How about a simple, "I'm sorry. I wonder what happened to it? I'll be sure to give her a new one tomorrow."

Anyway. Just lots of little things over the course of a school year.

Now regardless of my feelings about them personally, teachers have a hard job. They do something I would never attempt. They don't get paid enough. But whatever happened to a reminder about Teacher Appreciation Week and letting each parent/child decide how they want to celebrate their teacher? Why isn't a homemade card from my child enough? And even if you make some suggestions, having a certain thing we're supposed to do each day creates anxiety in a Kindergartener if she's not doing the same thing as everyone else. Is this a way to help us feel better about the fact that teacher's don't get paid enough?

I'm not buying a plant or flower for her teacher. And honestly, does she want 18 plants on her desk on Thursday?

My daughter will fill out the My Teacher is a Star Because... paper. She can wear blue on Friday. And I'll do her teacher another favor by waiting until after Teacher Appreciation Week to send back my honest teacher evaluation that she asked for. (Which she claims is anonymous but how can it be if my options are sending it in my child's folder or e-mailing it back?)

I look at this list as Mother's Day approaches and I'm thinking we need to change it to Mother's Week. Because let's be honest, teacher's are great, even the so-so ones like my daughter's do a lot of work. But mothers do a lot more.