Sunday, July 29, 2012

when 'by myself' hits a doubt phase, the power of art

My Boo is a very capable child, no one would argue that.  Well, almost no one.  I am finding she is increasingly doubting whether or not she is capable of making good choices.  Not about big things such as cheating or lying but about little things which really shouldn't matter.
Things like "should the hula hoops be placed biggest to smallest or smallest to biggest?" and "should I shower or take a bath?" or "which green crayon should I use for the trees?" I have been answering "It is your choice, doesn't matter to me." and this erupts into big sighs and long drawn out going nowhere comments like, "just tell me cause I don't know what is best."  This behavior is a road sign that it time for her to get messy and make some mistakes; she is ready to take more control. 
Wonderful!!!  This is where Art Journal comes in. 
"I" Page in progress

I feel giving her a free form space to journal her day & studies will start to help her manage those pesky small decisions.  In the end she will be able to see that all those 'hits, runs, and errors' or 'masterpieces & scribbles' add up to something beautiful.
The SMASH Book (totally love these things!!!). 
What can't you teach using them?!?!  We have already held sidebars on the main styles/schools of art, use of color, types of lines, symbolic representation of emotion and movement, thinking outside the box... 
Before we started we spent some time looking at a lot of different styles of art an books. We even drug out the one I made in Jr. High, what a hoot!!! 

The Pool Page
The first few pages we worked together but she is already gaining confidence enough to create on her own and that for us is the whole point :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

NHMU and finding old friends

Look who Boo found, Al!!!!
He was finally relocated to the new NHMU.
We also found this little man and his mom, our good friends from Portland,
back in SLC on a summer vacation.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

what I like about you

A few days ago the house got really quiet so I went looking for my Boo...
I found her in the yard blowing bubbles with items she pulled from the recycling bin. 
The remains of the last of every type of liquid soap near by. 
I like that a child, who on occasion is gently reminded she does not have to fill all of the space in a room with words says she understands then asks if humming is okay, can sit and work in total peace.
I laugh that she is the kind of child parents trust with a lighter...
I love the way she loves her friends.
The way she see the world...
I know we are doing something (very) right. 
We are extremely blessed to have so many great people in our village.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

team life, views from the parent bench

what it is and what it isn’t

When I started thinking about this post I thought, well it is just one of those mom moments.  But that is the trouble it isn’t just one of those mom moments, in fact that is the whole point…competitive gymnastics is something operating way outside the normal realm of childhood fun and games.  Okay I’ve said it; perhaps I have even said it before but today is a new dawn of not loving this incredibly cruel sport >sigh< that my child loves. 

But when is enough, enough?  This year (level) is hard on my child.  She is challenged in ways she has never been before.  Comfortably working in the dead middle of the pack for the first time takes the pressure off being the best; for that I am grateful and unless you have had a child standing in her shoes you might think I’m crazy for that, oh well.  Guess what it gets crazier to the point that I found myself thinking in a moment when she is doing something crazy, well if she breaks her arm she can stop doing gymnastic.  Does that make my state of mind any clearer to you?

I have made peace with a lot of issues with this sport.  Having to work hard to gain skills is good for her, even those like her squat-on jump to high-bar which her visual impairment makes even harder.  None of the difficulties out on the mat or the hours of practices bother me…any more.  What is getting to me (again) are parents who take their child to TOSH (arguably the best orthopedic specialty hospital in Utah) to correct a vault run of an 8 yr old, parents who pay for private ballet lessons just to get pretty fingers, and parents who add extra conditioning (& excessive gymnastic privates) to their child’s life.  It makes me want to scream, perhaps even punch somebody.  It’s not okay and get away from my child.
What else is killing me is the whole “I pay people to judge my child”.  And that this sport has the potential to end like hitting a brick wall going 85 mph.  It could end in an injury, one day you train your normal 4 hrs surrounded by your friends, your beloved coaches, your life is there, and the next day you can never go back, or you do your last routine at 18 yrs old and that is it nothing else.  Yes, there is diving and ski jumping and the physical fitness you gained but your love, your hours, your sweat and tears, are in the end for nothing.  What I am saying is it is not a sport/love she can do her whole life it ends abruptly and she doesn’t know that.  She cannot even begin to understand it.  It is her whole life, it is all she knows & loves.
I feel like I need to say, don’t worry she doesn’t have any idea I feel this way and I will support her no matter what dream she needs to follow.  And I am not going to scream or punch anyone (today)… and now I need to go, she has gym.           

fun way to learn multiplication facts

More dusting off the bookshelf brought out a few surprise hits like this one; Cootie Catchers for math.  Boo has been enjoying playing with these Fun-Flap Facts. They are a bit silly and I didn't find them particular charming but she enjoys them so much she asked if she could keep them in her room so her friends could play with them too.
I will have to sit down and make some for other subjects.  I think using the format (solve the problem, lift the flap, check your answer, read a message) you could apply it to historical events and people.  I might even make some for the Elements and Animal Classifications...pretty great find! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

reading now: Fablehaven


I have spent a few hours each day over the couple of weeks reviewing past studies, gathering materials, and setting the educational goals for Boo's.  We plan on starting school this year right in time with the schooled kids at the end of August and I want us to be ready. 
One of the things I unearthed in my digging were cards made from preschool art. 
We used a few for our friends and then decided the rest we would turn into bookmarks. 
I cut the paper into strips, punching a hole at one end,
then let Boo stamp & color them any way she wished.
She has already set aside some to give to her best buddies. 
And I will take a few to use as reading punch cards.  She will get a stamp for each 30 minute block of independent reading.  When she reaches 3 hr she can turn it in for a small reading related reward.    

always learning...

One of the 'side effects' of homeschooling is I get to learn things too.  Sometimes it is new stuff but right now it is most often a humbling second shot at elementary education.  So please excuse me while go look up Complementary Colors, which apparently (somehow)I don't seem to know...

Monday, July 23, 2012

looking ahead

Last week we attended the annual family bbq at the gym Boo trains in.  It is a time to mingle with other parents, to catch up with friends who have been separated by schedules & training levels.  It is also the time you receive the Fall season meet schedules & fees.  What I didn't expect to get was the Fall Training Schedule.  What, summer is over?  Is there really an end in sight?  According to the gym summer ends August 19 because on the 20th we switch back to the after school schedule.

Oh but there is so much left to do and so much to plan for!

The end of summer to do list:

Go back to the lake (a few more times!)

Visit Timpanogos Caves

Hike & Mt. picnic (& hike some more)

A long bike ride, or two

Visit some of the other local farmers' markets

Extended Family Trip to Lava Hot Springs

Midnight Madness Beach Party at Gardner Village (Aug 11 starts at 6:30 pm)

Antelope Island Stampede, Kite and Balloon Fest (Aug 31-Sept 2)

The Utah State Fair (Sept 6-16)

Canyon Cook Out

Back to School Mt. Breakfast

Host a good old backyard kids water party
~Sweet sweet summer love~