Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Maggie had early release from Kindergarten today. Nancy picked her up from school and took her to the Southwest Museum in Mesa. I have never been, but it has dinosaurs, fossils, native american artifacts, and panning for "real gold", as Maggie puts it. She came home with all sorts of new facts about how a dinosaurs brain is smaller than her brain and why the native american made baskets. I think she really had a great time. I'm glad because the past couple of days have been hard for her. Finally, a good day.
Sooooo...math homework has started in Kindergarten for Maggie. Every day she comes home with a worksheet, adding 1 + 2, and such. Its much too abstract for her, and I don't see how she is supposed to do it alone. I've been helping her use nuts to represent the problems so she can count them up. This takes us anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes. Plus she has 10 minutes of reading homework also. Argh!!! I HATE HOMEWORK!!! So far, Maggie is ok with it. But I feel it is too much and have said so to the teacher. She said homework is mandated by the district. Guess I need to put my complaint in there. Maggie is in full day Kindergarten. Not half-day like most places. Can't she do this at school? WHat the heck!?
As you can tell, I am completely against homework for young kids. Homework has been shown to make NO difference in a childs success in school up to grade 5. If Maggie doesn't do her homework, she will miss recess. And as research, and common sense, clearly shows, a student NEEDS physical activity in order to focus. At Maggie's school, PE is already only once a week, and they have only one recess, 45 minutes long. So a kid who misses recess is basically going to turn into a sloth. I could go on for days...but probably no one is reading this now...
Sunday, January 27, 2008
So today is Sunday, and Glen is back out in Fountain Hills finishing up the tournament. Its been raining nonstop, so I decided not to take the kids out there again. Plus, my throat hurts and I think I'm getting sick. Nancy called this morning and asked if she could take Maggie until dinner time because Tesla was over at her house and needed something to do. (I think she took pity on me with Glen being occupoed this weekend) I happily obliged so now its just Sean and me napping the morning away. Oh...and we did get groceries, and didn't use the parking break. ;)
Sunday, January 20, 2008
We also saw some animals that Phoenix Zoo doesn't have, like this albino alligator.
Sean rode in the stroller a bit today. He had fun, but still prefers the carrier for naps. We had fun but probably wont go more than once a year. Its pretty far away and not too shady. Phoenix zoo makes this operation look kinda rinky-dink. Lots of chain-link fence for animal enclosures. But the sky cab, train, and boat ride makes it worth it from Maggie's perspective. :)
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
We made sidewalk chalk "paint" today out of equal parts cornstarch and water and some food coloring. Maggie had fun painting it on the driveway. And when it dried, it really looked like sidewalk chalk.
Had a lazy Sunday. Took a walk to the pyramid. Maggie rode her bike, Sean rode in the ergo baby carrier. Our house was cut off from the rest of the town because of a marathon. Roads were closed all around us. This often happens as its nice for the runners to run around Papago Park and then down Scottsdale Road. It makes it hard to do the grocery shopping though. I had to wait until 4:30 before the barricades on Scottsdale rode were down so I could get to Safeway. And Sunday afternoon is NOT a fun time to shop. The store is crowded with college students who shop in packs, block the aisles, and don't know where anything is. It makes it hard to get in and get out quickly.
Ok...now its Sean's turn for a video clip....
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
News from Sean's world...Sean is now 7 months old and he has successfully eaten mashed pears, sweet potatoes, and avocado. I really don't want to feed him because I feel it marks the end of his little baby era. Now we move into big baby era...then next thing you know its toddlerhood! I'm not ready for little baby era to be over yet!! :( I'm sure I could put it off another month or two if I wasn't working, but I worry about Sean never eating at daycare. Perhaps he will eat this stuff there even though he still refuses the bottle.
I'm a bit nervous about tomorrow. I usually pick up Sean at 12:30 and immediately nurse him as he refuses to drink from a bottle. But tomorrow I won't be there until after 2pm. I'm taking a bunch of kids to a math competition. Sean has had a bit of baby food, so I'll send some of that with him. Hopefully he won't be too starved and grumpy, or sleep deprived when I pick him up. (He hasn't been napping well lately either.) Wish us luck!
Saturday, January 5, 2008
We haven't been too impressed with Maggie's school. Its seems worksheet and homework heavy, both things I would expect in the middle and upper grades, but NOT Kindy! So we have been looking around for schools for next year. We ignorantly missed open enrollment cut-off dates last time around, and were wait-listed, so we are busy getting in applications early this year. First choice is Villa Montessori. Open enrollment lottery is February 11th. Pros: Its on the way to work, its free for K-8th, it goes from Toddler to 8th Grade, beautiful campus and a good vibe. Cons: Huuuuuuge wait list. Probably won't get in. Toddler care is an arm and a leg, and maybe the other leg too.
Second place is Montessori Academy. Open Enrollment is the first week of March. Pros: Its right down the street from home, its free for K-8th, and we actually have a chance to get in!! Sean can attend at age 2, which is when Maggie woul be starting 2nd grade, at the same price as the preschool he is currently at. Cons: The school is less than pretty from the outside. Its a hodge podge of houses connected by a paved, or sandy, outdoors. Not a lot of plantings, no grass except in the toddler though age 5 yard. The inside is great though.
Third place is Khalsa Montessori. Open Enrollment is in July? Did I read that right? Crazy! We haven't been able to tour this one yet, so all I know about it is through there website. We hope to set-up a tour in about 2 weeks. Apparent Pros: close location to Xavier although far from our home, which could be a pain when Maggie has school, but Glen and I don't. Free for k-8th, and has a toddler program for Sean. Apparent Cons: Toddler and Pre-primary classes are in a different location than the elementary school (that means 2 drop offs ans pickups), open enrollment on lottery method (which we don't have good luck with) which means there is probably a large waitlist and we won't get in. After our tour, this may change either up or down in the rankings.
Down at the bottom of the list is Hopi Elementary, another public school in our district that is closer to Xavier and has afterschool care, Children's House Montessori, which is a private school (bad since we don't want to pay) and northwest of Xavier (toooooo far) but does have a guaranteed spot for Maggie, and finally, sticking with her current school, Yavapai, which we don't like because of the hours, size, curriculum woes, and location. We really need Maggie to be in school until 3:30 or 4pm so Glen can pick her up so I don't have to rush all around, as next year Sean and I will probably still be on the early release plan, although not as early as this year. He will be in the 1-2 year old room next year, and they have a scheduled naptime from 12-ish to 2:30-ish. Since the earliest I can leave is 12:30, when Sean is napping, I plan to let him nap stay at Xavier until 2:30, and then pick him up. At Maggies current school, the bus drops her off at 2:30, soooo....thats not going to work. Also, Glen and I will always be working during her fall and spring breaks (1 week each semester) and its hard to find someplace for Maggie to go during that time.
Well...I'm sure this isn't very interesting, but writing it all down helped me to sort it all through my brain...