Showing posts with label childhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label childhood. Show all posts

Troubles and Doubles and Reflections Askew and Shrieks and Sounds and Things Abound -- Double Book Review and Giveaway


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today I get to share with you two great picture books that have lessons of self-control and self-love. Both books are by Dr. Drew Palacio and illustrated by Apolline Etienne and are recommended for ages 4+. The newest of the books is Troubles and Doubles and Reflections Askew. The other book is Shrieks and Sounds and Things Abound. Both are offered as prizes in the giveaway at the end!

No Is All I Know! -- Learn the Power of Yes!


Disclosure: I was sent a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Is your child in the no stage? It is a normal stage for toddlers who are exploring their boundaries and discovering their own voices and world. To learn more about this stage and some coping strategies check out this article. If you want to show them the power of yes, read on. Today I get to share with you a new picture book from Chris Grabenstein called No Is All I Know! and illustrated by Leo Espinosa. It is recommended for ages 3 to 7, but it certainly could be read to a two-year-old. 

Mamie Phipps Clark -- #blacklivesmatter -- the Black Psychologist Who Helped End Segregation in Schools

Today we are continuing our Black Lives Matter Series. Today we are getting to know about Mamie Phipps Clark. She and her husband, Kenneth B. Clark, helped end segregation in public schools. Kenneth often said he piggybacked on his wife's research and tried to give her more of the credit, but he often is the one who is credited still, so we are focusing on Mamie. I find her work and life so fascinating. She dealt with racism and sexism throughout her life and worked towards what we are still fighting for--equal rights. Even now her husband gets more credit for the work that was originally hers which he decided to participate in after she started it. Plus her most famous study was a doll test involving white and brown dolls. Now I have shared one of my biggest regrets of not saying something to a young Black girl at a store when she thought the white doll was more beautiful than the Black doll. This one hit me personally. Plus her work was used to end segregation. I think back to my own years of schooling and think of how much learning about other cultures from my friends of other races added so much to my life and still does. Plus to my own classrooms and how the mixed races always made the classes more interesting and a better experience. So with those thoughts, I would like to introduce you to Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark.

You're All Kinds of Wonderful Blog Tour

Disclosure: Macmillan Publishers sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Have you read any of Nancy Tillman's books? They are the type of books that make you feel good and help teach kids about how amazing they truly are and how much we love them. Her newest one is no different. The book is You're All Kinds of Wonderful by Nancy Tillman. It is being released today!!

Indian Boyhood: The True Story of a Sioux Upbringing -- Book Review

Have you entered my current giveaway for a custom canvas print?
 Disclosure: Wisdom Tales Press gave me a copy of this product free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Wow, I'm way behind on my posts this week. I was planning on writing this one for Multicultural Monday, but with Hazel's last week of school my schedule has been crazy!! I don't remember my parents coming to lots of end of the school year events when I was little? For that matter I don't remember there being so many end of the school year events. Do you? Things sure have changed. Which is a perfect introduction to today's book, Indian Boyhood: The True Story of a Sioux Upbringing by Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa), edited and adapted by Michael Oren Fitzgerald and illustrated by Heidi M. Rasch.

Tough Week at School

So my happy go lucky daughter who has loved school got sick two weeks ago. She had a very bad cold that kept moving around her body (first throat, nose, voice and ears) and it made her very lethargic. She missed three days of school as a result. Well one of those days I believed my mother-in-law that Hazel was back to her healthy self after spending a day with Nonni so the next morning when she was full of energy I took her to school and I got a call about an hour after I left to come get my sick child. Apparently her energy fizzled out pretty fast. The next school day was class picture day and I brought her in just for the class picture, but otherwise she was stuck at home for a week and a half. Now we are sending Hazel to a Waldorf School and are trying to follow the no media rule at the school (for a great video on why no media is important for young children go here--thanks to Donni, at The Magic Onions for sharing it).

Day 2 of her bad cold she literally just laid on the couch the entire day, so I caved and let her watch television. I picked shows like Caillou and Curious George. (One of the other parents mentioned a study to me that showed shows that went at a slower pace like Caillou showed almost the same brain activity as a child who didn't watch any versus shows like Sponge Bob which showed major brain activity to the point of often becoming ADD.) We also pulled out some of the Disney movies. Hazel is very into the princesses right now and had never seen any of the movies. I pulled out Cinderella since I knew it was not too scary. We also watched Pocahontas. The other ones I thought might scare her, so I kept them put away. 

Now after being home for a week and a half and getting to watch some television, she no longer wants to go to school. On Tuesday morning she woke up at 5:30. She listened to her stories on CD until 6:30 and then came into bed with me crying that she didn't want to go because she would miss me too much. She cried the entire time we were home and then cried more when we got to school. I left her there with the teacher (who was already dealing with a boy who always cries and has been a bit aggressive with some of the students) and figured she would stop once I left. She didn't. From what I understand she whimpered most of the time at school. I had even tried bribing her, but apparently that didn't work either.  I keep hoping it will just go away.

Unfortunately, this morning she crawled into bed with me at 6:30 again crying about not wanting to go to school. It breaks my heart to hear her cry so much. My daughter hardly ever cries unless she is really hurt or overtired, so this is not like her at all. I know she will grow out of this, but I just want my happy child back--the one who loves school.

Any advice is welcome!! Oh, and I'll share some crafts later.

More Turkeys (and Thanksgiving Books) and Some Angels

We had one of those long days that involved a migraine for me and no nap for Hazel. UGH!! Plus I tutored and the drive there and back was not worth the time I spent with the student. Oh, well. Since we did not have a nap, we did some crafts finally!!

What is important? What do we value?

They say opposites attract. I guess Steve and I are in some ways opposite. He is very conservative and I'm rather liberal. However, on things that are important to us we agree (or the other one doesn't really care). We both have been thinking back to our childhoods and what we liked and didn't like about them. We also look around at today's society and worry about bringing up Hazel with our morals and values in today's society. I think this is why we both really like the idea of a Waldorf education for her.

Since making that decision I have noticed my life going back to older times. Making more crafts (not that I wasn't before but now focusing on what they are made of, etc.), slowing down, looking for more family time and wishing the blues laws were not voted out way back when. I miss having the Sabbath day where the stores for the most part were closed and certainly miss the holidays where the stores remain closed. Now it seems like the various holidays equal sales and craziness at the stores. Our society seems to rush around so much I wonder when do people rest and connect with one another.

Now stating this I should say that Steve and I do not text on our phones--in fact I have it blocked to receive texts (after getting spam on it). We do not have fancy phones and don't want them. Our cell phones are for phone calls when we are away from home and need to get in touch with someone. We do not plan on getting a cell phone for Hazel until she goes to high school at the earliest. We are also not the type to go out and buy the latest technology and keep up with it. Steve uses my laptop that I bought in 2001 or so and I have a computer we bought right after Hazel was born (when we realized all of the pictures from our digital camera was taking too much memory on the laptop). Now stating this, I should also say I know we live very comfortably. We have a beautiful (too large) house that we have professionally cleaned twice a month (because I'm not very good at keeping up with the cleaning and playing with Hazel) even though I'm a stay-at-home mom. So it isn't that we cannot afford these things, but we decide not to do them. Most of our vacations nowadays involve visiting family--usually my parents on Cape Cod.

I guess things I have been thinking about are what we value. My car is five years old and I still think of it as brand new. (My last car was ten years old when we got rid of it.) It is a Subaru Forrester nothing fancy. Steve's car is a Ford Escape and is four years old. So we are not driving fancy cars. I see many neighbors who do, but could care less. Even though I'm in my car a lot to me as long as it is dependable nothing else matters. I know it will start when I need it to and we always maintain them well. Steve is rather meticulous about it.

So many of our decisions come from how we want to live our lives. We do not want to be the family that people need to keep up with or try to keep up with any other family. We want to have time together and teach Hazel our values. We feel strongly that religion is important and want Hazel to be active in a church. We have decided on my church (I'm protestant and Steve's catholic), but we take Hazel to mass every once in awhile as well. I watch how the families with young children stop coming to church and hear about all the sporting events that take place on Sundays. I understand why, but can't imagine letting Hazel belong to a team that plays most of their games during church time. I remember being young and going to my grandparents house for Sunday dinner after church--it was always a steak dinner. Are our children going to have these connections and breaks in life? Steve and I have decided that we want to consciously put this break in Hazel's life (and our own). After church we are planning on having family time after Hazel stops napping. She usually comes home and has lunch and takes her nap right now after church. But when she no longer naps, we want to have a family meal and then a family activity--a walk in the state park nearby, play a game, something fun and together.

I guess this is why I like the Waldorf philosophy. We have struggled as a family with some of it--especially the no television. When Hazel is sick or one of us isn't feeling well, we do give in and let her watch it, but usually only one of three shows (Sesame Street--she loves Elmo, Caillou, and Curious George). Steve's mother often lets her watch it as well when she is taking care of her for us. But I have noticed that when we don't let her watch it, she doesn't ask too much to watch it. It is only when we have recently let her that she will ask. She also has learned that Mommy doesn't allow it as much as Daddy or Nonni. She doesn't seem to ask for it at my parents but the few times she has, they have said no so she knows it won't work there. I have also noticed she does play with her toys more and she does mimic life but also mimics the shows. Her imaginary friend at my parents was Rosie, Caillou's little sister (and her favorite character). She has told me she has the flu or her dolls have the flu because Caillou gets the flu in an episode. I know from the reading I have done that this is one of the issues with television since she is not imitating real experiences of her own, but her favorite thing to do is put her babies to bed or to serve a meal or make a phone call. All of which are real life experiences or things she watches me do every day, so I'm not that concerned. We are also not putting her in front of the television as a babysitter and we are picky about what she watches.  (I should also add that she learned all of her letters and numbers--what they look like--from Sesame Street and how to count.) We did allow her to watch some television (Sprout and PBS only) before making the Waldorf decision.

My other area of concern is food. We do our best to serve her organic food whenever possible. I truly believe it is all the processing of our food that has caused the allergies and various illness, learning disabilities, etc. I know our pediatrician told me to make sure I always gave her dairy products that do not have extra hormones given to the cows. I figure I cannot control everything she will eat, but when we are home I can do my best to give her what is best for her.

I watched as a high school teacher for years the teenagers who were becoming adults way too young. (I taught in pretty wealthy towns, so it wasn't the teen pregnancies, etc., but how the kids carried themselves and acted.) I was shocked when a girl in one of my freshman geometry classes was excited about Victoria's Secret's semi-annual sale (and this was before Victoria's Secret really marketed to the teenagers). I know as a freshman in high school, I wouldn't have dreamed of going into a store like Victoria's Secret. So I am hoping by making some of these decisions we can help Hazel have a childhood that will be happy and not rushed. I know she is advanced for her age--I'm told it all the time. Between her height and her language people are shocked to hear she isn't three yet, but I don't see a reason to push her now. Let her enjoy learning and growing while she can. There is enough stress to fill her life when she becomes an adult.

Do you agree? What are some ideas you have come up with to slow down life in your family and allow your kids to be kids?