Teen Summer Reading: Birthday Suit

I don’t know if you have the same problem as I do, but finding good reading material for teens over the summer can be a challenge. In fact, just getting teens to read at all can be difficult. I was recently sent a copy of the “Birthday Suit” written by Tyler Durman. I decided to preview the book before handing it off to one of my teens. Well it didn’t take long before I was laughing out loud. He takes the long lost art of storytelling and brings it alive again. It is comprised of nine short stories that take … Continue reading

Summer Learning Lost

In a recent article by Families.com parenting blogger, Myra Turner, she discussed the dreaded summer brain drain that many teachers complain about when school is back into session. Myra is exactly right. Research shows that students lose over two and one half months of information over the summer vacation. This research finding came about through testing students at the beginning of summer vacation and repeating a test over the same material at the end of summer vacation. The information is not mysteriously drained from each child’s head as he or she sleeps at night. The simple fact is that without … Continue reading

Summer Brain Drain

Summer vacation has officially arrived. I barely survived my first week! Here’s an interesting tidbit I read about. According to a study by Dr. Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, students lose one to three months worth of learning when they return to school after the summer break. According to Cooper, this loss is greatest in math skills. He claims that all students lose math skills over the summer. The study also found that income had an impact on how much a student lost or gained in the area of reading. Middle-class students gained in … Continue reading

Setting Up A Sit Spot

In a few minutes, we’ll head out for the evening. We’ll walk up the hill to a place about ten minutes away, and there we will sit in the forest and listen. We’ll listen, we’ll look, and we’ll just relax. These are my most relaxing ten minutes of the day, and they are a wonderful bonding time with my daughter. We’ve created a sit spot, a tradition that I’m hoping to continue on throughout the summer months. A sit spot is just that: a spot where you sit. It’s a lot more than that too. By going to a place … Continue reading

Heading Back to School

Many of us, myself included, are heading back into our homeschool routines tomorrow. Some of us only took time off for the holidays – I’ve been in the Twilight Zone the last month because of a car accident, and so I’m having to reacclimatize myself to the whole thing. Whether you took a week off, two weeks off, or a month off from school, you’ll find the same challenges. 1. Motivation. It’s so easy to let school slide. If you’re tired or don’t feel well, school is one of the first things to go. And after time off, it’s really … Continue reading

Hail the Returning Aunt

Oh! To be an aunt! What a wonderful thing it is. My son loves his aunts. He has lots of them and he loves each one of them a great deal. A lot. So much that it’s impossible to gauge his sadness when one of them leaves. This year alone two of his aunts went off to college. This was in some ways a terrible thing. We’d been away for a number of years and our son hadn’t had a lot of time to spend with his aunts. The summer was full of fun times to be spent with them, … Continue reading

First Day Jitters

My son started daycare this week. I spent a lot of time beforehand researching different daycare centers, looking into family and friends that did daycare, etc. After stressing about it for most of the summer I finally found one that I felt pretty good about. We set up a time to go meet with her about two weeks before I was supposed to start back to school. We went to her house and met a few of the other kids. Logan warmed up fairly quickly and I started to feel like everything was going to be ok. Then my old … Continue reading

Was the Atkins Diet Worth It?

In the Summer of 2011, I started the Atkins diet. At the very end of the Summer, I decided it was time for me to quit the diet. Looking back now, I cannot help but wonder. Was the Atkins diet worth doing? Or, was it a waste of time and effort? There are many ways to assess the value of a particular diet. I think the most common way to determine if a diet was “worth it” would be if the diet helped a person to lose weight. Or, one could say that a diet was “worth it” if the … Continue reading

Unclaimed Persons

Genealogists can do some pretty amazing things. Today, I learned about a very interesting way in which genealogists can put their skills to use. I also learned about a problem that I had no idea existed until today. The problem is that occasionally when a person dies, no family appears to claim their body. Genealogists have stepped up to the plate to offer their assistance in finding the next of kin for these unclaimed persons. I learned about the problem of unclaimed persons through the web site unclaimedpersons.org, which is a resource where coroners seeking assistance with unclaimed persons can … Continue reading

Mom Just Can’t Do It All

Well it has certainly been a rough start for our family this school year. While I had been so looking forward to a routine and being able to work in peace and quiet, it has not gone as smoothly as I thought it would. My work time has been drastically cut down, by almost two hours just because I have to get my children to and from school, along with another group of kids in the afternoon. I can’t even necessarily finish up my work when we finally get home because there are homework issues, dinner to cook and football … Continue reading