Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Inman Library Class: September 2014

The children attended Inman's library homeschool classes today.  They always enjoy the Inman classes.

Things have changed this school year.  Ms. Terri is no longer at the library.  Her husband was transferred to Texas and she, of course, moved with him.  We will miss Ms. Terri.  Her classes were always fun and very informative.

Ms. Megan has taken over as the children's librarian.  She had a great first day with the children in Little Man's group.  She is following well in Ms. Terri's footsteps.

'Where In the World Are You' is the topic of this school year.  The children were given worksheets and filled them in with information they learned.  They colored a picture of a globe and made little paper boomerangs, as they learned about Australia.    Everyone was excited as they exited the doors.

Ms. Sarah was Egee's teacher this time.  She had created The Break Neck Bistro for the teens theme.  They are learning to create microwave foods.  Of course, this was right up Egee's alley.   They learned to make a very simple lasagna today.  Egee saved me a bite and it was good.   She loves to cook and now she will have things to make for us.  I can't wait!

Ms. Sarah also conducts the tween class on Nature Study.  Friends of ours had children attend this program.  They went outside and played a nature game and looked for different plants and animals.  They are keeping a nature journal for the class, as well.  They all seemed to enjoy it. 

While waiting on the teen class to finish, the younger ones played outside and came back with an interesting seed pod.  They thought they found green beans.  They cut into the pods and extracted the seeds and I looked up the pods on the internet.  From all the evidence they collected, we believe they found a Kentucky Coffee Tree. 

I read to them the information I found and we learned more about the plant and how it is used.  It was very interesting. 

Can't wait for the next class!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What?! "Poll: Most Americans Want to Criminalize Pre-Teens Playing Unsupervised"

Okay, so the other day I saw this article :

I just had to click on it and read it.  The attack on parents actually letting their kids be kids has been popping up here and there in the news.  So, just how much of our population thinks we should nanny state our children?  I had to find out.

Ugh!  Sixty-eight percent of adults feel that children under the age of nine and under should not be allowed to play outside in a park unsupervised!

Now, my mother was one that didn't allow us to roam all over.  However, we played outdoors after breakfast until lunch and then back out we went until supper.   We lived on a dead end street and could go up and down it to friends houses.  She checked on us periodically and guess what, I am here as an adult writing about it.

I had the most freedom at my grandparents' house.  I could walk up and down the street or play in the huge city block field behind their house.  I walked a little over half a mile from school everyday to their house.  It seemed much farther back then.  I was a latchkey kid and it was just what pretty much all kids did.  I never remember being afraid to be out and about like that.  I don't want my kids to fear it either.  They are armed with self defense and common sense. 

I feel that parents should use common sense and what seems right for one child or family may not be for another.  A mature six year old vs an immature nine year old will have different needs.  Would I send my six year old out to play unsupervised in a public park?  No.  That is just me and my feelings.  Mainly because we live to far away from a public park to allow this.  If the park was right down the street, it would depend on a host of circumstances.  However, I am not going to judge the actions of another family.

I have had to come to terms with allowing my children to play in our neighborhood.  I put my trust in them and if they break the trust they are restricted.  Little Man has taught me much of this.  He is a social butterfly to find friends to play with in the neighborhood.  This last year and  a half, I have freed the reigns and allowed him to go here and there in the neighborhood.  He has to let me know where he is headed and report home at given intervals.  He has enjoyed his freedom.  Thank goodness we live in a neighborhood with common sense!

I allow the children to go to the neighborhood lake and fish.  I check on them periodically from our  backyard and they are happily fishing the afternoon away.  I am far enough away, yet close enough if needed.  Most of the neighbors are familiar with the different children in the neighborhood and keep an eye out for them.  Many children ride their bikes or walk here and there to friends houses. It is nice to see kids outside and playing.

I hope that the pendulum swings back to the days that kids could be kids and all adults kept a watchful eye on them.  Adults that won't mettle into other's affairs and will quit micromanaging kids and the parent.  If they see a child out having a good time and they don't see the parent, oh well.  If the child needs help, then step in and help them.  Be a good neighbor, not a nosy one.   

With the 24 hour news cycle, most people have become paranoid of every little what if.  Kids are just as safe now as they were years ago.  In fact, now most kids have a cell phone and can access their parents within seconds.  No need to run home.  So, if a parent isn't visible it doesn't mean they aren't close in touch with their child.  Let's all use common sense and our children will be better off. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

RIP Mrs. Nancy

I don't normally scan the obituaries on a daily basis or even weekly basis.  I found out today that our beloved Landrum children's librarian Mrs. Nancy Caldwell had passed back in July. 

We came to know Mrs. Nancy mid way through our first homeschool year in the winter of 2012.  We had ventured up to Landrum library to check out the homeschool program and fell in love with Mrs. Nancy.

She was a wonderful woman that loved children.  She interacted with them and always had a smile to share.  The children in the programs always knew Mrs. Nancy loved what she did.  She asked them about their summer vacation, what they did over Christmas break, what cool stuff had they done recently, etc. 

She wasn't afraid to make a mess with her classes.  She found out just how messy kirigami was with the twelve and under crowd.  Or, the time she had them make marshmallow catapults and the room looked like it had snowed.  Dyeing, painting, and tie-dyeing Easter eggs was a hit.  The painting of gourds for Halloween had little hands covered in paint, glue, and glitter. Oh, the fun she created!

Mrs. Nancy was hands on with everything!  She encouraged and listened intently to children describe their creations.  She gathered the moms to participate in a few of her projects.  We helped supervise the terrarium projects.  Sand, dirt, rocks, moss, seeds, and water littered the table tops.  We still have our terrariums!  We blew up balloon after balloon for the straw rockets.  We didn't mind one bit picking up the bits of paper on the floor or the marshmallows.  Or using a hair dryer to speed up the drying of the paint on the gourds.  Our kids were having fun and learning.

She worked hard making sure the summer library programs were active and intriguing.  We made worm farms, listened to Native American history, participated in a pow-wow, watched plays, and did art work.

Last fall, Mrs. Nancy told us she was retiring.  Our hearts broke to hear the news.  We were happy for her, but sad that she would no longer be leading the homeschool programs.  We wished her well and listened to her tell us all about the fun things she had planned for retirement.  So much involved her grandchildren.  She also planned on working with the community children.

We saw Mrs. Nancy a couple of times during the spring.  She always had a smile on her face and asked the children what they were doing.  Our summer was busy and we didn't make it to Landrum's Summer Reading activities.  Of course, Mrs. Nancy wouldn't be there.  We were hoping to run into her this coming fall on our adventures to Landrum. 

We will always remember Mrs. Nancy!  We are so happy that we got to know her!

Gumdrop Geometry

It's time to start going to library home school classes!  We decided to drive a bit further down the road and visit Woodruff Library for their home school class. 

Gumdrop Geometry was the theme today.  Ms. Jean, the librarian, had made packets for the children to match the term to the shape and a packet to help in assembling the different shapes.

Egee and another older homeschooler were able to participate today because there was not many children there.  They had a good time reviewing the geometry shapes with the younger ones.

I was very proud of Little Man for reading and following the directions on his own.  I might have an engineer in the making!

 Little Man and Egee had a good time making the various shapes using toothpicks and gumdrops.

We also met new friends at the library class.  So, it was a great day all around.  We can't wait to go back next month!