Archive for January, 2014

Happy Daze

 

 

Has it been 50 years since I sat at that table at the grill downtown, quietly pretending to do my homework and drink my milkshake when all I could think about was you?

 

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Thomas Leuthard / Foter.com / CC BY

 

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Baby Boomer Barrier

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Barriers-the story of my life. It seems that the harder I work, the more perseverance I put into something, the less likely I am to achieve my goals to my satisfaction. Since the prompt ask for last week, I must say that the frustration I have with getting my computer to work has to top the list.

 I often ask people to help me find a “wordpress 101”, but find it difficult to understand if I do have a chance and often with my back and hip problems, have to limit my time on the computer. I won’t forget to mention that my computers do not like me. I pay a good price for them and yet I have had three completely crash in the past three years, one to the point where my hard drive could not be saved.

I had failed to back up everything-it is more difficult that just pushing “save”, and lost a years work.

Computers are to people who grew up in the days of electric typewriters are a night mare. My 15-year-old son wants to make a career of computer technology and was raised on today’s electronic whirlwind. It is very discouraging. If I ever get to the point where I can enjoy my creativity rather that agonize over my frustration with computers, that will be a good week!

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Papa’s Barn

It was Papa’s way to put everything to use. He built our house from the boards of an old barn. He gathered stones from the hillside to make level ground on the mountainside to plant and work.

 

 

One day he found himself in need of a storage building. When he went to the village to pick up supplies, he saw a man tearing down a metal building. With his mind racing, he asked the gentleman what he planed to do with the sides, pained with advertizements.

 

 

 

“Wish I knew” huffed the man.

 

A few days later, Papa was building his storage shed.

 

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The First Steps in Reading

01090157I will teach you how use the most effective, fun lesson to teach a child who has a basic knowledge of letters and their sounds how to read their “first words” . After spending months teaching my two or three-year olds how to recognize the letters of the alphabet, then moving on to teaching them how the letters sounded, we worked on putting the sounds together. I started with just sounds, or maybe small words such as “to”, “go”,“I” ,“no” and such, but found they were soon bored. I came up with away to teach words that they had learned as some of their first spoken words-colors. We all teach our children colors and shapes early on in their quest to expand vocabulary, and eventually read.

I would write the basic colors, such as green, blue, black, yellow, red, orange, purple, pink and white with the color of colored pencil that the word was. Red would be written in red pencil or crayon, blue was written in blue, and so on. I immediately noticed that they paid more attention to the word. When I felt they could recognize the word, I took away the “color” cue and wrote it in plain pencil. With in a very short time, they were reading the words without the color cue.

I did the same thing with familiar object. I might draw a cat or dog and write the word below it. After several sessions, I would take away the drawing and we would work on reading the word. They read them within very little time.

Another methods I used was rhyming words. I would tell them, if you can read “fun”, then you can read words that sound like the word “fun”. I would list “run”, “sun” and ”gun” and have the read them with me. Another set might be “it”, “fit”, “sit”, hit’ and such. You get the idea. I showed them that they could read many words, if they could sound out the primary sound of one word. Again, they caught on very quickly.

As their confidence grew, it encouraged them to put together new sounds, to “guess” what word might come next and to sound out words they didn’t know. If they did not succeed, I would sound the word out with them before they got discouraged. I made each teaching time short, with breaks between reading and math. Science and geography, “maps” were more fun, so I often divided the more difficult subjects with the ones they liked. We did a lot of nature studies, whether it was in the neighborhood, or at a local estuary.

As my older kids moved on, I made sure they were studying geography or science while I worked with reading and math with the little ones. If the younger children saw that the older kids were not working, they did not want to work either. When they were in middle and high school, I would have the older ones learning world nations, their capitols and location while I taught the younger children how to point out each state in the United States and then learn its capitol.

Of course there is much more. Many times, I just did what came into my mind, or saw the children raise a question about. I feel it is very important to begin at an early age and have a consistent routine. If you do not have a consistent routine, I guarantee, you will have to fight for their attention. If it is a part of their day that they expect, they comply with very little objection. You can offer a snack when you finish, if needed.

Teach children is a fun activity for all of you. Robert Half wrote one of my favorite quotes, which says, “When one teaches, two learn.” I love that. It is so true. Try my method, incorporate it into your own and enjoy helping your child off to a great start in school!

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A Trip to the Past

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“Serena,” Raven sputtered excitedly as they walked to the cafeteria beneath the beautiful autumn maples.

Raven turned around and giggled. “Serena, what’s wrong with you?

“There’s this new cafe off campus.”

“So?”smiled Raven, walking as they talked.

“Well, they serve tea ,coffee, hot chocolate or pastries, but that’s not the exciting part.”

“Then what is?” Raven asked, stopping in her tracks.

“When you walk in the door, you go back in time.” Serena whispered. “I swear. I thought I’d been drugged. Even my clothes were from the middle ages. Everything was, the food….”

“Raven grabbed Serena’s hand. “What are you waiting for, let’s go!”

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A Country Girl Meets the Big City

Arriving on Cecelia’s block had been quite an adventure. Everything looked the same. Rows and rows of tall brown buildings, each apartment with its private fie escape-seemingly the only thing “private” about the north-eastern metropolis. The noise was so uncomfortable, everyone seemed to be in such a rush. Honking horns and sirens filled the background. She had resorted to parking blocks away at a price high enough to buy a good meal in the Carolina’s, where she lived. Why hadn’t she just invited her cousin to her house where she could have at least have experienced a breath of fresh air!

Arriving on Cecelia’s block had been quite an adventure. Everything looked the same. Rows and rows of tall brown buildings, each apartment with its private fie escape-seemingly the only thing “private” about the north-eastern metropolis. The noise was so uncomfortable, everyone seemed to be in such a rush. Honking horns and sirens filled the background. She had resorted to parking blocks away at a price high enough to buy a good meal in the Carolina’s, where she lived. Why hadn’t she just invited her cousin to her house where she could have at least have experienced a breath of fresh air!

She walked quickly into the entryway where four elevators and some vending machines resided. Pushing the button to the fifth floor, she looked cautiously around her, hoping to see nothing that dwelt in this checkerboard city. As the door opened, a man emerged. Just a regular man, she sighed in relief as she went in and he emerged.

She took the note card with her cousins apartment number on it out to refresh her memory. “519” it said, as she began looking from side to side on the hall. At last she found it and breathlessly knocked at the door.

“Sophie!” her cousin said as she opened both the door and her arms. “It’s so good to see you! Welcome to my humble abode.”

“Humble?” thought Sophie, “we’ll see.”

She walked into the apartment and was pleasantly surprised. In contrast to the outdoors, it was surprisingly individualistic. The colors were bright and welcoming. The space, though relatively small, was well arranged and felt roomy. She began to feel better, more at home.

She thought of her home in the mountains, the sound of the trees whooshing in the wind, her dogs barking at squirrels in the woods, the long dirt driveway, the peace and solitude.

“What drew people to a place like this?”She thought. Money? Friends, and education, a boyfriend. She sighed and whispered, “who knows?” to no one.

Cecelia had gone to pour them a cup of coffee. This would be an interesting adventure. Next time, Sophie smiled, she would be inviting Cecelia to her house.

She walked quickly into the entryway where four elevators and some vending machines resided. Pushing the button to the fifth floor, she looked cautiously around her, hoping to see nothing that dwelt in this checkerboard city. As the door opened, a man emerged. Just a regular man, she sighed in relief as she went in and he emerged.

She took the note card with her cousins apartment number on it out to refresh her memory. “519” it said, as she began looking from side to side on the hall. At last she found it and breathlessly knocked at the door.

“Sophie!” her cousin said as she opened both the door and her arms. “It’s so good to see you! Welcome to my humble abode.”

“Humble?” thought Sophie, “we’ll see.”

She walked into the apartment and was pleasantly surprised. In contrast to the outdoors, it was surprisingly individualistic. The colors were bright and welcoming. The space, though relatively small, was well arranged and felt roomy. She began to feel better, more at home.

She thought of her home in the mountains, the sound of the trees whooshing in the wind, her dogs barking at squirrels in the woods, the long dirt driveway, the peace and solitude.

“What drew people to a place like this?”She thought. Money? Friends, and education, a boyfriend. She sighed and whispered, “who knows?” to no one.

Cecelia had gone to pour them a cup of coffee. This would be an interesting adventure. Next time, Sophie smiled, she would be inviting Cecelia to her house.

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Forest Primeval

IMG_0073I have been “kidnapped”, or so it seems. let’s just say I have awoken in a new place,in a new home,you might say optimistically.It is a forest somewhere that I have never been. I have everything I need to make a home, then begin a plan to find out where I am and someone I can communicate with. First step-find water. Mark my way back to where I began, so I will at least have a “starting’ point. Hopefully the water will lead to civilization, where I can observe the people, the buildings, read signs, get some idea where I am. Where that first step leads me, who knows? My second step will have to consider what I have found out there.

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