February 21, 2017

Training Children vs. Raising Children

In many conservative circles, parents refer to training their children.  This term comes from Proverbs 22:6, which says "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  Almost unfailingly, when you get into a discussion on this topic, there is a parent that is appalled at the use of "training" on children.  Nine times out of ten, they say "You train dogs, you RAISE children." 

I disagree, and my new comeback is "You raise livestock, you TRAIN beings that you want to have live in the house with you."  Livestock are left mostly to their own devices, because you don't really have to deal with them so it isn't worth training them. I love my children and it is certainly worth training them. But is this a real issue, or just semantics that serve as another way to divide us?  I don't know, but as I write this, I am going to find out!  Seriously, I am looking this stuff up as I write.

The definition of train (the verb, not the noun which means "choo-choo train") is (according to a quick Google search): teach (a person or animal) a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time.  Some synonyms include instruct, teach, and coach.

Raise has about a zillion definitions, but way down the line is bring up (a child).  Synonyms include rear, nurture, and look after.  In the same definition listing is breed or grow (plant or animal). 

After looking at the definitions, it has become fairly apparent to me that we need to both train AND raise children.  One without the other is asking for trouble.

Training is the active part of parenting.  The hard part.  The times that we are teaching them to be civilized members of society rather than the selfish mammals seeking to fulfill our own fleshly desires we would all be without training.  When we are teaching them how to behave and why, as well as when we are teaching them academics, that is training a child. 

Raising seems to refer more to the easy part of parenting.  Making sure they are cared for; fed, clothed, and loved. 

If we just raise them, and don't train them, we are creating selfish monsters that no one will want to be around.  Children are born bad, which is not a popular opinion, but I believe it to be true.  There are people that never spank their children, yet their toddlers hit when they don't get their way.  And I am about 99% certain that no parents, at least not semi-sane ones, bite their children in response to disobedience, and yet there are plenty of kids that bite when they are frustrated.  Most parents share very well with their children, then their children turn around and refuse to share.  Yes, these are all age appropriate behaviors, but they are unacceptable, and require some sort of training to teach them right from wrong. 

Training and not raising children is considered neglect.  As a parent it is your job to provide for the needs of a child.  If you don't raise the child, they will be removed from your home and training won't be an issue. 

The loving parts of parenting can be categorized in training and raising, depending on what you are referring to.  Even if you are not an affectionate person, it is important that your children know that they are valued members of your household.  Giving them jobs to do, and making sure to praise them when they do well, so they learn not only the value they offer the world, but the value of hard work is training.  Giving them a hug when they are sad is training them in empathy. 

I think the bottom line is that we HAVE to, by law, raise children.  Training children is optional, but woe to the poor child that isn't trained, and to the people around him.  So I will still refer to parenting as training my children, because that is the part that I struggle with.  I have no problem with the raising part.

February 20, 2017

Control Girl by Shannon Popkin - A Review

So before I get to the review, don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a free paperback copy of the book along with some other prizes.  The giveaway ends tomorrow, so hurry and enter! 


As if that were not enough, you can get a FREE kindle copy (February 20th only) on Amazon today!  Just click here!

Do you ever feel anxious or angry?  Maybe both?  Well thankfully it isn't just me.  Shannon Popkin has written a book about the problem that many women have with wanting to control things. 

Apparently it is an age old problem, because she looks in depth at seven women in the Bible that have also suffered because of their own patterns of trying to control things rather than letting God be in control.  Throughout the book she gives examples from her own life on how trying to control things has been counterproductive, or hurt people.  It was an interesting thing to think about. 

You know a book is good when it changes your perspective on yourself.  Although she did give some advice on how to deal with your controlling behavior, just the (probably years late in coming) realization that my anger, and even my worrying comes from a need to control things was what I really got from this book.  Now I am (trying) to stop and think about what I am trying to accomplish when I start to get angry.  It isn't working as well as I would like, but 30 years of being a control freak probably isn't going to go away overnight. 

The only thing that I didn't like about this book is that many of the Bible verses were not from a Bible translation I recognize, which is a pretty small complaint. 

I received a free copy of Control Girl to be able to review the book.  All opinions are my own.

February 19, 2017

What's In the Box? - At The Pond - Mother Goose Time

Next month we are going to be learning all about things that you can find at a pond!  Since we got the School Bus Box from Mother Goose Time early this month, I thought I would do an incredibly in-depth preview.  Unfortunately, a lot of my pictures are not nearly as nice as I had hoped, but hopefully it is still helpful!

This first picture is everything that is in the Teacher Tool Bag.  You can see the Gathering List, the skills chart, the Planning Journal, the Teacher Guide, our new CD with electric pop music "Dancing at the Pond", the theme web, a shape stamp and of course, our MANIPULATIVES: Duck Counters and a magnifying glass.

In this picture you can see what comes in the Circle Time Bag for At the Pond.  You can see the theme poster, the letter/picture/vocabulary cards and posters, the cookie cutters and color ribbons, Circle Time songs, and the calendar with calendar pieces (in an ABCD pattern).

The Celebration Kit this month is for St. Patrick's Day and includes a guide, supplies for games and art, and invitations.

Something new in the last couple of months is that some of the bulkier materials are packaged in a separate bag so they don't get smashed.  I really like this, it makes my bags sit a lot nicer in the box.

So it turns out that ponds are disgusting, and most things at a pond are things that gross me out.  Starting with turtles.  This is the Day One bag, and it includes counting cards, a Family Newsletter for those that are preschool instructors, the nametags, turtle eggs for a game, and the parts to make a cute little turtle.

Because turtles are not gross enough, Day Two is all about snakes.  You can see the Invitation to Create, and the supplies (straws, beads, and pipe cleaners) to create with, as well as the looking glasses to use with the theme poster.

Tadpoles are a little less yucky.  In our Day Three bag, we have some character trait feathers, supplies for our Make and Play project, a pattern card (ABCD) and My Little Journal for the month.

Ugh.  Another yucky creature: Frogs.  You can't see them, because they are under the Make and Play instructions, but there are little jumping frogs to use to play the lily pad game.

Finally, a creature that doesn't make me want to run away when I see it!  Ducks!  Our Invitation to Create and art supplies are included in this bag, plus some number cards to put in our Pocket Cube, for a game.

For week two, we are taking a break from yucky things, and focusing on plant life at a pond.  Day one is Submerged Pond Plants.  We have a recipe card, and TWO games to play.  The little game is actually a take home game that would be really fun for children in a preschool to be able to show their families.

I don't know if there are any other kind of bog plants, but it seems to be Cattail Day!  There are supplies for the Invitation to Create, as well as puzzle, and our monthly storybook.  Little Guy and I watch A LOT of Andy Griffith (like an episode or two a day) and they sing a song about Crawdads (which are also called Crawfish).  I wanted to show Little Guy what a crawdad looks like, but our encyclopedia doesn't have a picture, and I pretty much refuse to show him things on the computer.  Interactive screen time is a big no-no for children in our house.  So I was REALLY excited when I saw that this book has a picture of a crawdad!

Emergent Pond Plants are the topic for Day Eight.  The Lily Pad cards are to play an Uno like game, and you can also see the supplies for the Water Lilies Invitation to Create, and the Around the Lily Pad participation story.

Day Nine is floating pond plants.  There is a science card to do an experiment, and sand and rocks to make your own pond!

Our plant week ends with Algae.  The green sheet is actually diamond foam shapes, to use on the pattern sheets.  There are also supplies for the Invitation to Create!

I am not going to bother saying how gross the next week is.  It is all about bugs, so it speaks for itself.  *shudder*

For Dragonfly day, we have supplies to make a dragonfly, and story sequence cards.

Mosquitoes!  We have a participation story, a rhyme time poster, a "P" for some sort of activity, and a cute little take home set. 

I think we called these bugs water skimmers, isn't it funny how different places have different names for the same thing, even if it is the same language?  This bag has supplies for an Invitation to Create and a game.

On Mayfly day, we will make a mayfly, play Would You Rather?, and learn new words with an "I Can Read" book!

Backswimmer day has instructions and supplies for an Invitation to Create.

Week four has a few more creatures that make me want to scream, cry, or run away.

On Snail day, we will play a phonics game and create a snail trail.

I am pretty sure we will be singing The Crawdad Song even more than usual on Crawfish day.  In between singing we will be making crawfish clappers, write postcards and use our math story cards.

In case you don't know The Crawdad Song, here is a clip.

Apparently Little Guy was excited about Lizard day because he is pointing at something.  We have stuff to do our Invitation to Create, and our vocabulary cards.

Thankfully, there are no alligators in our ponds.  Or in our state unless we are at the zoo, and even then they might be crocodiles.  Apparently that isn't so in other areas.  We have a storytelling set to go along with our storybook, an Invitation to Create and a game about asking for help.  Which is a necessary skill when there are alligators at the pond.

To finish up our month "At the Pond" we are going to learn about fish.  There is a fun Make and Play activity, cards to put in the pocket cube to play a game and some supplies to do the portfolio for assessment.  We don't really do that part, but it would be very useful in a preschool setting.

Well, there you have it!  Everything that came in our Curriculum Kit this month.  There are so many fun activities we are going to be doing this month, that even though most of the creatures are things I consider somewhere in the range of yucky to terrifying, I am really looking forward to starting it.  I love the different themes, going from something fun and kind of silly like Nursery Rhymes, to a science heavy theme like At the Pond is great, I love the variety, and I know that Little Guy does too.

If there is anything you want to see better pictures of, or have questions about, please feel free to ask!

I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing our pictures and experiences!  All opinions are my own (or sometimes my son's).

February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day for Preschoolers - Mother Goose Time

Every month our Mother Goose Time box includes a Celebration Kit.  It is generally fitting with the time of year, and separate from the regular curriculum.  They seem to be the same every year, which I honestly thought was a little lame, until it came to Valentine's Day.  We don't use our Celebration Kit every month, but last year we did the Valentine's Day Celebration, and Little Guy made a Lovebug Headband.  Which was in the garbage by the next day because he wore it around and it got ruined and we don't keep ruined things in our house.

2016 Lovebug Headband
He has talked about his Lovebug since then, as recently as last month I believe.  So I was pretty excited that he was going to be able to make a new one. 

I kind of forgot about it on Valentine's Day though, so we did it today.  I handed him the stuff to make it, then I started making one so that he could see how to do the part with the heart cutouts (we didn't do that last year).  Unfortunately mine didn't fit very well, and masking tape is NOT very strong.  I think I packed my scotch tape in with my Christmas stuff...

2017 Lovebug Headband

Mama had to make one too

Little Guy also played a game I will call "Un-Break the Hearts" where he matched capital and lowercase letters to complete mini heart puzzles.  He actually did this twice, because I was dressing  Baby Girl while he did the puzzles and before I could tell him not to, he scrambled them all together again.  Since I wanted a picture I had him do them again.  Matching capital and lowercase letters is no problem for him, and it is really nice that he is able to do some activities independently now.  Last year he needed guidance on almost everything.

I wonder why there is a "g"?  The rest of the letters make sense... Maybe I am missing something.
Last we read a Participation Story:

The Prince's Valentine is a short story about a prince finding a present for his friend the princess.  It came with storytelling pieces.  After I read the story I asked Little Guy some comprehension questions and then he retold me the story.

There was also a Healthy Heart game, but we didn't do that one this year, since we (and by we I mean Little Guy) are working on remembering to be CALM in the living room.

Celebration Sets from Mother Goose Time are a great way to use the holidays throughout the year as learning opportunities.

And Little Guy has already ruined his headband from this year, wearing it as he rolled down the stairs (on purpose) and losing an antennae.  Maybe next year he will keep it nice for more than a day...

I receive Mother Goose Time for free in exchange for sharing my experiences!  All opinions are my own.