Monday, July 30, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Sensible Addition assumes that the child already has an understanding of addition and what it means to add two numbers together. It does provide suggestions for teaching the addition concept, only to let parents know what their child should have learned in school. While most homeschooling parents understand learning the concept vs. memorizing facts, many parents who depend on teachers to teach the concepts may not realize that their child is having trouble memorizing facts for concepts that don't make sense to them. This is where math starts to go "down hill" for many children, who continue to struggle as more math concepts are built on shaky ground.
With Sensible Addition, any parent can sit down with a few manipulatives, find out how much their child understands about adding numbers, and move forward with practice, and finally with memorizing addition facts. You can learn more about teaching addition facts and what Sensible Addition is (and isn't), and buy a kit for your child today!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
Thursday, July 5, 2007
distilled water was good for the tadpoles' habitat, which was good since we have lots of that on hand! We tried collecting rain water but it was a pain! The Planet Frog habitat proved to be too small for the eight tadpoles because we had to change the water almost daily. So we split them up into two Pyrex dishes and put some rocks from our yard into these dishes. The tadpoles liked to swim under these as much as they could at the edges.
After we had the tadpoles for seven days, guess what appeared? That's right: LEGS!! Well, back legs anyway. The tadpoles still use their tails to get around, and the legs are just sort of there as if the tadpole doesn't realize it. The tadpoles didn't all get their back legs at the same time. In this picture you can see how one has more legs than the other, and some of the tadpoles had nothing at all. You might be wondering what to feed a tadpole. We were told they eat fish food, so we got the only kind available: tropical fish food, which they seem to like.
Seven days after the back legs appeared, we spotted some front legs! After hearing that tadpoles in captivity had to get a certain hormone in order to develop their front legs, I did some research on-line. Apparently, the stress of a puddle drying up (for example) releases a hormone which causes the tadpole to turn into a frog, because if it didn't, the tadpole would die without the puddle. So by the time the puddle dries out, the tadpole needs to have all legs to hop out. So what we did was place the "almost frogs" into the shallow glass Pyrex pan, and let the water naturally evaporate so that the hormone would be released. It must have worked! Once the front legs appeared, we noticed that they use these while swimming, and of course, the tail begins to disappear.
Once the tails were disappearing, we knew that we needed a bigger habitat for the frogs, and one that had a top. We went to PetsMart, where we got a new habitat and their new food: crickets! I sort of doubted that these tiny frogs would eat the crickets almost as big as they were, but the young man sounded knowledgeable so I went with it. In this picture, you can see how the frogs are losing their tails at different rates. We also noticed that the frogs were developing in pairs. At this point, we had three habitats going: one for legless tadpoles, one shallow dish for "frogs in training" and the frog habitat. We had an assembly line going that seemed to produce healthy frogs! (Or are they toads? Hmmm) The picture of these two frogs were taken 17 days after we brought them home. Time sure flies!
I'm still not sure about the crickets. We left a dead one on the rock for a "frog in training" so he could sort of check it out. I think they only eat them when we aren't watching them (or are they getting out of the habitat?) because they are disappearing, but we aren't sure where they're going! It has now been 25 days since we've had the tadpoles, and the frogs have gotten pretty active.
Yes, I AM wondering what I'll be doing with eight frogs, and I've only promised that we can keep two. The rest we will probably set free somewhere, like the turle that we set free at our lake. The kids only had that turtle overnight and still talk about it (they named it Snappy). We had a frog show up in our backyard one night ("Donut"), and I felt so bad for it that I made the kids let it go in our garden. My 4 year old daughter broke down! She could not stop crying; it was such a pitiful sight. But it made me feel good to know that she has such a BIG heart!
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Fourteen years ago, when I graduated from Georgia State University with a teaching degree, I never imagined that one day I would be a stay at home mom who homeschools. But after two years teaching middle school kids, I realized this career was NOT for me, and that I would never put my children into school.
Fourteen years ago, homeschooling was somewhat a novel idea. Many years later when I finally had children of my own, the decision to stay at home was a no-brainer. When my son was two and my daughter was six months, I had become a work at home mom selling cloth diapers and other baby products. With two in diapers, that was a no-brainer as well! As they both grew and flourished, the demand on my time was pulled between my kids and my business on a daily basis like a tug-of-war that no one ever won. I quickly realized how difficult it was to have a home business as well as spend quality time with my children. I also learned how to make every moment count, by providing educational toys for my children that would help them grow and connect synapses in their brains, and by playing with them and talking to them during play.
I remember one day that I had on a t-shirt with writing on it. I don't remember what it said, but I do remember my son pointing and saying the letters. It was then that I thought that there should be an entire line of products geared just for the children of WAHM's (work at home moms) so that children could learn letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc. in day to day life as they connect with their moms between phone calls and errands. That was over three years ago, and I still think there is a need! Maybe one day, but right now I am developing things for my own children that I hope to get into the market very soon.
We have just completed our first year of homeschooling, and I have to admit the decision was not easy. We now live in another part of the country, and in a small town. Out of selfishness, I convinced myself that this would NOT be the same situation as the school in which I taught. Somehow, it would be different. A month before school started, God began to speak to me. All of a sudden people I had never met before came into my path- all homeschoolers. Things began to happen that made me realize that school is school, no matter where you live, and if I wanted the BEST for my child, school was not an option.
Thirteen years after getting my degree, I became a member of the homeschooling community. Ironically, all those psychology courses they shoved down our throats in the teaching program convinced me that school is not a place for my children! So I stay home, and continue my business, and teach. The tug-of-war has become weaker over time, and it is my prayer that one day I will smile from ear to ear when my children say, "What can we do to help, Mom?" And I will know that I have raised a Stay At Home Child.