- 02.20.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off
We headed to Olympia on Presidents’ Day where a rally was being held to protest the massive influx of high stakes testing we are allowing our children to be impacted by. I never thought I’d see the day when I wished for the good old MSP or WASL. This new stuff, the Smarter Balance, is crazy. I understand the desire to create equity among all the kids in our country, but the levels at which our congressmen and other non-educators think they should be at is nuts. Wonder, inquiry and creativity seem to be getting stripped out of the system. Our children are being expected to regurgitate facts and be little calculators rather that exploring their world.
Worse yet, the that all students must take to graduate high school is more difficult than the SAT. It’s been noted by my superintendent, among others, that our new standards and tests make it more difficult to graduate high school than to get into college. Testing is not the answer, draconian standards are not the answer. Listening to research and applying researched based practices that are supported by educators while attending to developmentally appropriate practices is a place to start…
Anyhow, we were there, the four of us, marking up the bus with our feelings and laying down in protest in front is the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. By the time we left, the kids had learned something about democracy and I learned a lot too. I felt empowered and supported as a teacher, who does not want to give the test, and as a parent, who is pulling her kids from all the standardized testing this year. Enough, already. Let me teach, let my kids learn. They aren’t human capital, they are children. Let them behave as such.
- 02.15.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off
We decided to celebrate the day with our littlest Valentines at the Father/Daughter, Mother/Son dance at a local high school. It was really fun to dance with the kids and one another at an actual high school dance. Jude liked to charge me around the dance floor dipping me like mad and batting balloons around, while my daughter was quite territorial of Bradley when I tried to sneak a kiss in! She confessed that Daddy was hers, tonight, so I kept to my side of the dance floor after that.
We came home from the dance, donned our jammies and settled in for the night. Two separate sleepovers and movie marathons were happening in our house- one in the rumpus room that was complete with a basket of blankets and snacks and a kid theme, and one for mom and dad with a romance theme upstairs, but all who were involved watched movies, giggled, loved and ate more recess peanut butter cup than anyone ever should… I think it’s funny, we watched Moulin Rouge and Titanic, they watched YouTube videos of some guys playing Minecraft. But in the name of Valentine’s Day we do these kinds of things, and I did, we did, and it was good!
Yeah. So that’s supposed to be like the ‘bennifer’ of ‘bowling with my brother’. Pretty fly, right? Wink wink.
My brother asked my family to go bowling a few weeks ago. But of course , it was January, and we all got sick/busy/who knows what the heck what happened in January… But every Friday night it was me calling me or him calling me to express regrets. Finally, we landed on a night when we were all moderately healthy and we actually did it!
My brother used to compete when we were kids, so I’ve seen my fair share of Washington’s bowling alleys, circa the 1970’s and 1980’s. Needless to say, my hours spent at Strawberry Lanes were mostly around the bubble gum machines, the bathroom and the video game machines. While I bowled, I rarely scored anything worth mentioning, so I wasn’t too excited, as a kid, to bowl.
When Dan asked us I didn’t have a strong opinion about it, but was totally amazed at how we Lj’s rocked it! Granted, the kids had bumpers, but they were pretty decent in their form and effort. Bradley was awesome until his arms started causing him fits, I managed to throw a bunch of strikes, and my brother and niece rocked it pretty hard! It turned out to be a really fun night with my brother and his kids that I would never hesitate to repeat!
- 02.03.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off
We are on book two of the Narnia series. Two nights ago, we finished book one: The Magicians Nephew. Last night we considered what we should read to our children next… It occurred to us that we have one almost teenager and one almost 7, if there is a moment to seize, this should be it. We decided to continue reading the Narnia series through until the end! You should have seen the kids as they started making connections through the two books… The wardrobe… Diggory… And a mysterious mansion with a strange man with familiar servants out in the middle of the country… This is the first time they can enjoy literature like this and it is a thrill to be a part of it. It took me until I was nearly 20 to read the series, and then I did it in two weeks! I’m so happy my own kids will have even longer to marinate in the brilliance that is C.S. Lewis.