Posted in Slice of LIfe, Uncategorized

Weekly Reflections: A Slice of Life Post

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Slice of Life Post. My boys and I are enjoying our mid-winter break. We have two days off of school, so I’ve gotten a lot of writing done but housework…not so much. 🙂

Yes. I’ve been feeding my addiction. I’ve been writing. What else can I do during these rough winter months when I can’t get outside?

Photo credit: peaceful-jp-scenery via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

 

I did meet a friend for lunch over the weekend, though. Someone I went to high school with. We weren’t close in high school, but we connected on Facebook and found that we lived close by. Isn’t social media wonderful that way? I’ve been in touch with people I haven’t spoken to in years. It’s so interesting to see the different paths everyone has taken.

I miss those friendships from my school days. We had so much fun. I don’t think women are close like that in adulthood. We get married, and we devote all of our time to our families. I do believe you can have those close friendships in old age, though.

I see my Great Aunt Josie in her retirement home and she’s as spunky as ever. I want to be like her. She’s so full of spirit. She was close to my grandmother, and I love to hear tales of them growing up. She has friends she gets together with in their community room. I love the fact she has companions. I’m so thankful she’s not lonely.

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Photo credit: TheArches via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

 

When I think of my Aunt Josie. I think of this awesome poem. My grandmother gave it to me in a frame one Christmas, and I’ve kept it ever since. Here it is:

When I am an Old Woman

I shall wear purple

with a red hat which doesn’t go,

and doesn’t suit me,

and I shall spend my pension on brandy

and summer gloves and satin sandals,

and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired…

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain.

And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens

and learn to spit…

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for the children.

We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I should practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised when suddenly

I am old and start to wear purple.

Author: Jenny Joseph

          This is what I want to be like in my old age. How about you? Have you ever thought about it? What do you want to be like when you’re old? And what is the definition of old these days?

Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you!

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Posted in Family

Success! We made it through the first Week of School!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. The first week of the new school year is under our belt at the Orchard household. It seemed to go smoothly and there were no tears the first day.

I interpreted this as a good sign, although I’ve found something very interesting. Boys don’t seem to like school as much as girls do. I remember when I was younger I loved school, getting back together with friends and buying new school clothes. Unfortunately, my boys don’t have the same attitude.

Therefore, I tried to find out why and this is what I’ve found:

My boys don’t like the structure of school. They love being able to choose what they want to do with their time and when they want to do it.

I’ve also found that they think school is boring. They’re not interested in what the teacher is teaching them. This is unfortunate because these are the years where they learn the building blocks they’ll need for future endeavors when they will be interested in learning.

These are the two main issues that we’re facing right now. To combat this I’ve tried to find books the boys enjoy reading. I was fairly successful in getting them to read every day for at least ten to twenty minutes over the summer (minus vacation time). The books they enjoyed were “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, “The George Brown Class Clown” series, and  “The Michigan Chillers” series.

 

I know some of the books at school are outdated and the topics don’t interest my boys. You know how boys are they want to hear about burping, farting, and anything funny. 🙂

I wish the school day could be a little more flexible for my kids. I’ve always given them choices and I feel that if kids were able to choose when they did math as opposed to being told to do math, we might see some happier boys at school. I know this is hard to do with thirty students in a classroom, but it’d be interesting to see if it worked.

I’ve also heard of schools that are geared more toward boys. One school near me takes the kids on walks to view nature and discuss science. They also spend a tremendous amount of time outside, which I find beneficial for boys.

These are just a couple of ideas I had. What do you do when your child doesn’t want to go to school? Do you have any tricks that work for you? I’d love to read them so leave a comment!

 

 

Posted in Holiday Posts

Labor Day Ramblings

IMG_0315Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! Today is Labor Day, the last day of summer vacation for my boys. They’re not happy about this. They love summer and all its possibilities. My boys love the lack of structure that summer vacation brings, the spontaneity of being able to pick up and take off at a moment’s notice. I loved that too back when I was a kid, and I have to confess, I still do.

As I look back on my life, I realize I’ve always had an aversion to structure. I see it even in my writing. I’m a “seat of my pants” writer, which means that I don’t follow an outline. I sketch out my characters and then I figure out how I want my story to begin and end. From there, I let my characters take the wheel. It’s fun to write this way, because it’s exciting to see where the story goes.

I see this in my youngest as well. He has faked being sick so that he can stay home from school. During one of those sick days, he wrote a thirty-two page story about tornadoes. He was in first grade at the time, but it was amazing to watch him do this. Each page had a couple of complete sentences and illustrations as well. He stapled the pages together and handed it to me, wanting me to read it. He was so proud and I must say so was I.

I’m excited for this new school year. I can’t wait to see how my boys grow and develop. My oldest has more confidence and that does my heart good. I hope my youngest will develop that same kind of confidence. I hope it comes with age.

With my kids in school, I’ll be able to devote more time to my writing. I’m working on a Young Adult Coming of Age Novel and I’m really enjoying it. My beta readers have given me the thumbs up on it, which makes me extremely happy. It has a great message for teens. One that I wish I had learned in my teen years.

Labor Day is kind of like a new beginning for me. I imagine other parents feel this way with the new school year looming. I’m more motivated during this time and I believe this has to do with all those years in school. We’re conditioned this way from Kindergarten on. It makes me wonder about the whispers I’ve been hearing about year round schools and online schools for elementary and middle grade children.

I wonder what will happen to our educational system if these online schools take off. Will it have a positive effect or a negative one? I can see where online schools will save money, because there won’t be a need for those brick and mortar buildings anymore. However, I wonder what the effect will be on the learning process. I wonder if it will make our kids too passive, sitting in front of a computer to learn.

Going to school offers quite a bit for kids, in my opinion, there is the social aspect of it. If we convert to online schooling, will our children miss developing the social skills that they will need in future job markets?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my Labor Day Ramblings. If you have any thoughts you’d like to share about online schooling or anything else for that matter, I’d love to read them. So, leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Posted in Uncategorized

How to get your Child interested in Reading

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. Last week was my blog tour and it was exciting. I learned a lot and I’m looking forward to my next one. Thanks to all the bloggers who participated and all the wonderful people who left comments.

This week I want to talk about how to get your child interested in reading. When both my kids were babies I started the habit of reading to them before bedtime. I would read the fun nursery rhymes and the cadence of the rhyme would lull them into sleep mode.

I continued this pattern and still do it today, but now I let them pick the books they want to read. It’s amazing what they’re interested in! They’re interests range from the weather, to spiders…and even Transformers. J

Now, I can handle the weather and even spiders, but Transformers? Give me a break! J But because my sons were interested I bought them some Transformer books and I’ve got to say I’ve had to read them a million times.

I know everything about the Decepticons and the Autobots and the fall of Cybertron. Do I really care about these things? Not one wit, but my children do and if it keeps them reading I’m all for it. And here’s the thing my youngest was reading to himself before he started school. I attribute this to his strong drive to learn but also to the Transformers that became his passion during this phase of his life.

So when you’re trying to get your children interested in reading, pay attention to what their interests are. They’ll enjoy reading more if they’re reading a book that they’re interested in. You, on the other hand, may be sick of the topic. But you’ll have to pretend that it’s the most exciting topic in the world, because they are seeking your approval. J   And what better way to build self esteem in your child? Giving them approval or permission to enjoy they’re own interests.