Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Lapbooks and Other Updates

It’s been a long weekend, I tell ya. I cannot believe that we’re already in the third week of January. Where does the time go? We’ve been home quite a bit lately since it’s so blasted cold outside (the pic is from Park Day last week with our homeschool group. We were FREEZING and ended up at my house instead) and hitting the books hard. We’re averaging a little more than 5 hours per day, which is a LOT of school time for us. We’ll slack off when spring and summer hits, so I think it’ll even out as we hit better weather. We’ve started our history timeline (a scroll version) and have gotten a lot of use from our History Passports – the kids think that is so much fun!

We’ve made several lapbooks over the past couple of months that (shame on me) I’ve been neglectful about adding to our lapbooks list. In a burst of productivity today, I’ve updated my Lapbooks Page and added several of our newer books to the list, including our Martin Luther King, Jr. Lapbook that we did in coordination with today’s holiday.

Most of the newer additions are mini-lapbooks (meaning only one file folder), and after making them I have to say that I am starting to think that less may be more. Some of our books are multi-flap monstrosities that require an instruction manual to get folded back into submission. Not that I don’t love the big, involved ones, but these mini ones are small and clean and easy to get in and out of. They’re ‘faster’ to go though, and I think that appeals to my bouncy boys. I also like that the boys have been able to do more of the smaller books themselves. I admit it; I’m a cut-and-paste junkie, so usually I assemble and the boys add info to the mini-books, then we paste it all together. But they actually made the 10 Things ones on their own and they both turned out really well.

Some of our newer additions are:

I posted a bit about our holiday lessons for MLK Jr. Day on the lapbook page, so go check that out if you have a minute.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been quite busy – I mentioned it before, but a woman in our playgroup thought her kids had chicken pox so I brought the boys over for exposure. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have jumped the gun. I was so excited to have a case of CP locally that I didn’t stop to ask many questions. I’ve been irritated with myself for not confirming that her kids did indeed have chicken pox. Another playgroup mom who also exposed her kids took them in to see their pedi and they were diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease. Whether or not the first mom’s kids had it or not is unclear since she didn’t request blood work for an accurate diagnosis and confirmation. Had it been me offering up a disease for exposure, I’d have made darn sure that was for sure what it was before advertising it, but that’s just me. I think it’s also possible that the first mom’s doctor mentioned CP in a list of other things, or that she misunderstood, or that the doctor was just guessing (which would prompt me to find another doc as mis-diagnosis could lead to problems down the line) … in any case, the fault lies squarely with yours truly for not asking more questions. Hindsight is 20/20, and as much as I’d prefer my kids actually have chicken pox, next time, I’ll do more detective work before exposing my bratty kids to someone else’s germy ones. My kids haven’t been sick though, with either HFM symptoms (which would have surfaced at 3ish days post exposure and usually only is symptomatic in younger kids – mine are too old to get it, I think) or CP (which would be about now).

We had a bit of a shock this weekend; my Loverly Husband’s father passed away in his sleep sometime Friday night. He was an alcoholic, and has been off-and-on ill with complications resulting from alcoholism for the past 5 or so years, so it wasn’t a surprise, exactly, but he’d been doing better over the past few months and his death was sudden and unexpected. He and I had our differences, and I have a lot of anger towards him regarding his actions and words over the past few years, but I also recognize that he was sick and broken. I’m incredibly sad for my husband and his family that my father-in-law’s death has so many mixed emotions. I can say one thing, as much as we were at odds, he did love my kids and never treated them badly. He gets a gold star for that. Seeing my husband grieve makes me glad that our kids have each other. He’s an only child and I can’t imagine how that must feel – to lose your parent and not have anyone ‘else’.

In other news, circumcision has been a buzz word in my social circle lately. One of our playgroup moms started an ‘intactivist’ group for locals to discuss genital integrity, but so far it’s more of a choir group – all the moms are already educated on the issue and in agreement that it’s a bad thing worth fighting to abolish. That has its own joys, but I really would love to have a local place to send moms for information on the topic.

It’s always interesting to me to be on this side of the ‘mothering crusades’. I did my time as a staunch lactivist (Militant Breastfeeding Cult – huzzah!) and baby-wearing, co-sleeping, non-vaxer, and I stand by those decisions. They were best for our family and I think that they are the best approach to child-rearing, period. To this day, I haven’t seen any credible research that makes me think that those practices are anything but optimal for child-development. That’s not to say that everyone can do them, or that I am tooting my own horn in saying that I did – more that we all do the best we can with the information we have at the time. Now that my kids are older, I have other issues that I soapbox about – no less passionately – but it’s somewhat odd to me to see people stressing out over things that I am totally comfortable with now.

Back to the circ thing – my boys are both circumcised. It’s a decision that I didn’t know to question when LBB was born, and I really had only just started looking into it when PeaGreen was born. Knowing even half of what I know now, there’s no way I’d make that mistake again. As a mom, it sucks to be wrong. It makes me physically ill to dwell on the thought that I made a decision that has been harmful to my child. But that doesn’t mean that I get to bury my head in the sand and pretend that the decision is right because it’s the one I made. My job as a mother is to do the best I can do for my kids, even if it means admitting that something I did that I thought was good was, in fact, bad. I have seen several moms lately say that they’d make a different decision if they had it to do over again, and I think that hearing a mom say, ‘Yes, I did that and I wish I hadn’t. Here’s the information that helped me change my thinking.’ without being negative or judgmental is SUCH a powerful thing. It goes back to ‘sharing information’ rather than ‘giving advice’. No one wants advice, because advice implies that what you’re doing is wrong. But sharing information… sharing information is vital to supporting mothers, and I think I’ll always want to be part of that community no matter how old my kids get.

Leaving you with this quote from Dr. King:

‎”In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”

Now I am off to put homemade yogurt on to set, and get ready for tomorrow’s field trip to the Forbidden Gardens. Wishing you a peaceful evening and a lovely night’s sleep,

Warmly,

~h

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2 responses

  1. PB&J

    I love “mini” lapbooks. They are my absolute favorite for one on one learning. AngelBoy and I just finished a Turtle Lapbook and that was fun.

    Hugs to your family as you go through this season of loss. (((((Love you)))))

    January 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm

  2. What you said here, “we all do the best we can with the information we have at the time”…YES!

    January 19, 2011 at 11:06 pm

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