Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Posted by Sarah at 8:23 PM
Monday, January 28, 2008
Tonight I am battling a severe case of mommy guilt and quite possibly the flu (if my aching body, scratchy throat and insane tiredness are any indication). I'm sure I caught the flu from any number of places we have been recently, but the mommy guilt started when I opened my 4 year old's progress report from her Pre-K. Let me preface all of this by saying, I LOVE her teacher and think very highly of her school. The majority of her progress report was about how sweet a child she is, works great with peers, excels in Biblical principals and participates well in discussions (she is my child after all and could hold a conversation with a brick wall.)
However, what jumped out at me was the check-marks in the no column that show she has not "mastered" recognizing numbers, letters, patterns, etc. Immediately I began feeling like I had done her some sort of disservice, that I'm not spending enough time with her working on her letter and number recognition. I began rethinking our daily schedule, how I had to make more time to sit down with workbooks, puzzles, and other various learning activities to "catch her up to speed." Perhaps I should even run out and purchase one of those electronic toys that makes learning fun and noisy.
However, once the kids were in bed and I had a few quiet moments to think while loading the dishes in the dishwasher, I was able to somewhat clearly sort through the mommy guilt. I think what I'm fighting is expecting my kid to be "the best" at everything. It's a natural temptation to want to brag to the other parents that my kid already reads "sight words" at age 4, when in reality, there are very few children who can read that early and sometimes to push a child can cause them to regress. From my background in education, children really aren't ready to read until around the age of 5, boys even later. I recall in my childhood struggling with school in the early years because I started too young- I HATED working with the alphabet, but I did love books.
I know that her pre-K is not expecting her to read novels by the end of the year, just have a good familiarity of the letters and numbers. My daughter is a precious, unique child who excels in other areas. I'm thrilled that she has a wonderful imagination, loves to "read" books to her sister, and can play for hours without a TV or electronic device (ADHD toys as my husband refers to them)- not that those are bad either, all in moderation. It also made me think that perhaps I need to be a little more cautious about how I measure up my child to her peers. So often there is a "one-upmanship" going on in playgroups, that I avoid those things. Comparing my child to others can be a prime contributor to mommy guilt and makes me feel as though I'm a failure. Truth be told, by the grace of God my husband and I've done a pretty good job in fostering her imagination, giving her a love for books, and building her character qualities. Sure I may go out and purchase some flashcards or something else along that line, but I'm thankful for the unique little girl that she is, precocious and brilliant in her own special way.
Posted by Sarah at 10:30 PM
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Posted by Sarah at 7:37 PM
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
One of my New Years Resolutions was to learn something new. This was fairly easy to say because I had made plans during the summer of 2007 to take some on-line courses in order to get re certified in elementary education. I have always been attracted to teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and have some experience in that area. The program that my hubby found is completely on-line, fully accredited, and not only will certify me in that area (after I take 3 courses) but will also count towards a master's degree, something I would definitely consider. Once I am ready to go back into the professional world of teaching a certification in TESOL (or better yet, a masters) would open a lot of doors for me. My thinking was "Because I have prior experience in this area and did fairly well in college, this shouldn't be too stressful." Plus, while my hubby is away, what better time to "occupy" myself with "higher learning?"
My first class began this month, and I was all proud of myself because I helped some of the other students set up their web pages on Black Board. Last night I started reading the assigned books in order to respond to the discussion question. I have to say, I'm really out of practice. This is the basic course, and I haven't read books with this kind of language since college (which was a "few" years ago.) I finally consented to pulling out our dictionary and looking up practically every other word. Needing consoling I wrote a desperate e-mail to my hubby and went to bed. This morning he responded by saying, "Don't worry, babe. You'll do great. Those books were just written by a bunch of liberal, draft-dodging professors who want to show off how smart they are." Comforting, very comforting. He's been watching CNN too much, but he did make me laugh.
Nevertheless, if I'm not heard from for awhile it's only because I'm reading the dictionary trying to figure out what these people are really trying to say.
I must clarify one thing about this post. Those of you who know me personally probably know that I did not mean to insult any professors. My husband and I have total respect for those who teach higher education and are brilliant enough to write books at that level. Furthermore, my husband would probably shoot me (not literally since he does presently carry a gun everywhere he goes) if he knew I had quoted him on my blog saying that. We have many friends who are professors who we dearly love. SORRY Monica, Tad, Andrew, and the many other who I may have unintentionally insulted.
Also, after getting some sleep, I realized that my main problem was that I had tried reading my books after 10 p.m. I turn into a pumpkin at that hour. SIGH! I'm not as young as I wish I was.
Posted by Sarah at 12:57 PM
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Posted by Sarah at 7:29 PM
Friday, January 11, 2008
I had another title for this posting, but I was afraid that it might offend some readers. It's not anything I really say either, but when my husband called me this morning it was the first thing that popped in my head after I thought, "I have to write about this..."
I could tell something was going on by the tone in his voice. That always puts me on edge because of where he is right now. Plus he doesn't always call first thing in the morning either.
He told me about how he was leaving his "hooch" and upon opening the door he was hit with...snow.
Yep, it was snowing in Iraq.
I live in the northeast, and we had rain and record high temps for January. My husband had snow, in the dessert, in Iraq. I wonder just how common that is...
Posted by Sarah at 11:08 AM
Thursday, January 10, 2008
We had two glorious days of record highs. This "southern" girl doesn't venture outside too long in freezing weather, so this winter we haven't done much outdoor activity. The laundry was screaming my name and the Christmas decorations were begging to be put away, but I decided to take advantage of the fabulous weather and go where we have not ventured for months- the zoo.
The girls were ecstatic about seeing the polar bears and that's all they talked about during the drive there. Wouldn't you know, after I had loaded them up on the stroller and walked up the hill to the entrance a large sign stood there informing us that the polar bear exhibit was closed for the week due to maintenance. SIGH! Nevertheless, I told the kids that although the polar bears were on "vacation" there were still plenty more animals to see. They took the news relatively well.
The animals did not disappoint. Because of the unseasonable weather and a storm on the way, the animals were, well, wild. In light of recent events I was a little unnerved by the tiger exhibit, but my oldest daughter stared the big cat down. The lion roared for about 10 minutes straight. The wild dogs were always sleeping whenever we've visited in the past, but they were out and running around. Even the sea lions were very active. One kept on coming up to the viewing window. I think it was interested in some quarters a little boy was playing with.
Of course my kids found a fuzzy caterpillar very fascinating and spent more time looking at it than any of the other exhibits!
It was truly a day well spent. When we returned home the laundry was still screaming, but the Christmas decorations are now just about put away since the weather is returning to normal. So nice to have a little respite!
Posted by Sarah at 12:18 PM
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Posted by Sarah at 1:32 PM
Friday, January 4, 2008
Posted by Sarah at 1:37 PM
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Posted by Sarah at 6:11 PM