Podcasts I Listen To

I have a rather long commute and became bored with the available radio station offerings.  A few months ago I received an iPod Suffle free as a promotional item.  After searching around iTunes for a while, I came across the directory for Parenting podcasts.  One of the first to which I subcribed was The Croncast produced by Kris and Betsy Smith.  These guys are still my favorite.  While my wife watches her TV soaps, I download every MWF for the real life soap opera that is the life of the Smith Family.  And I have to say, their life is more eventful and entertaining than anything the writers of network TV can even imagine.

Other parenting podcasts that help me during my commute are The Manic Mommies, The Mommy Cast, The Daddy Cast, and Kids Wife Work Life.  While I don’t always agree with them, I certainly understand where they are coming from as parents.  I love their guests, and hearing their perspectives on parenting. 

If you have a long commute and want some fresh ideas and “friends” to make the trip with you, check out these great podcasters.

May 14, 2008 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

Birthday Time

The twins turned 7 this past weekend.  They opted for a family only party.  DS doesn’t care for lots of noise.  They wanted cupcakes so I found a chocolate gluten free mix which turned out great. I frosted them with a simple grenache.  They were quite good.

They have grown three inches since fall, no wonder they are looking bigger! 

We went to their first IMAX movie in 3D.  It was fun to watch them take the glasses on and off depending on the “scariness” of what was on the screen.  I had to chuckle when DD tried to reach out an touch one of the animals on the screen.

Overall it was a great success and we are now preparing for summer sports activity, soccer and baseball.

It was their birthday, why is that I’m the one feeling older?

February 13, 2008 at 8:34 pm Leave a comment

A much too common experience by parents

Blogs and podcasts are full of the experience expressed by the author of the following post:

why-im-homeschooling-my-kid-in-science-next-year

It is also why it is unlikely our children will ever be educated in a traditional school environment.  Our DD would do great at filling out her notebook perfectly and doing great in  the course work as well.  However, our DS would never complete the notebook for top grade.  He detests busy work.  All work must mean something and add to the educational experience.  He is a visual/spatial learner.  He understands the big picture first and then seeks to understand the parts, which is anathema to traditional classroom pedagogy.

So we will continue to home-school until there is a school like the Watershed School in Boulder, CO.

January 15, 2008 at 9:40 pm Leave a comment

Christmas wonderings…

While watching the news about the last minute shoppers and pictures of Santa at the mall, I was reminded of the story earlier this season about the shopping centers banning Santa from saying Ho-Ho-Ho. 

And then I began to wonder…
Does Santa take Lipitor?
In order to be good role model for children, should Santa be forced to go on a diet? (Will he need gastric bypass surgery to maintain a healthy weight?)
Should we set out carrot sticks instead of cookies?
Will a skinny Santa ruin Christmas?
Is the arctic ice cap melting because Santa has to produce more toys each year for the growing population of earth’s children? 

Hmmmmmm…

December 22, 2007 at 11:00 pm 1 comment

Thanksgiving Idea

We’ve been thinking about how to make the Thanksgiving Holiday more meaningful for the kids this year so that it’s more than just a big meal.  They’re now at an age they can begin to understand abstract concepts, take the perspective of another, and express themselves well both verbally and in writing. 

So from now until Thanksgiving, we’re going to have them write down on slips of paper, one thing each day they are thankful for.  We’ll put the slips of paper in a jar, and then after our Thanksgiving meal, we will take turns pulling a slip of paper out of the jar and read it aloud.

Do you have ideas that you have used to make holidays more meaningful for your kids?

November 16, 2007 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment

Teaching your Child to Read

The ability to read is basic to all other education.  We parents want to make sure that we are preparing our children for this all important skill. 

A little about how we went about it.  The twins learned the alphabet pretty much on their own using alphabet blocks, educational videos, and just natural inquisitiveness.  We have read to them all along, but never asked them to read back to us or spent any time teaching them words. 

Then they were reaching kindergarten age and we wanted to assess their abilities.  So we started teaching them simple two and three letter words.  They loved this “game” so we looked for a way to incorporate these words into actual reading.  We found a series of books that systematically starts with this concept and builds on it.  They are the BOB BOOKS.  The illustrations are simple and non-distracting, putting the emphasis on the reading.  We started with the Level 1 box and kept going through Level 3 (there are 5 levels), having them repeat each book until they could go all the way through each one without assistance.  By then they were reading not only the BOB BOOKS, but everything they could get their hands on.

We quickly had to move on to more advanced language and vocabulary building lessons and exercises, but the BOB BOOKS were a great foundation.

November 8, 2007 at 1:29 am Leave a comment

Only 7 Weeks ’til Christmas

Christmas, Holidays, Toys, Commercialism, Frenzy, Stressed, Depressed, Food, Tax Deductions, …

How many other descriptors is there for this time of year? 

We are struggling with the question of what are the appropriate gifts this year.  The twins want several toys that can also double for educational uses with their home school studies, so those seem okay, not too much guilt there.  But which ones for Christmas and which ones do we save for birthday which is in February?  Which ones do they actually need?

Purchased gifts…easy.  Homemade gifts…more time needed but more meaningful. 

There’s only 7 weeks left, how much can I get done?  What to do?

November 8, 2007 at 12:04 am Leave a comment

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