Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Other things this month...

Uploading pictures off my camera for the month and have some more I'll share...

Earlier this month the girls took out the shells they collected from the creek in May, as well as shells they collected from Virginia Beach, VA and York Beach and Wells Beach in Maine. They were grouping them, touching them, drawing them, smelling them, listening to them, learning about them.

Georgia, feeling inspired by the movie Imagine That, wanted to know what scones were. We looked up some recipes and realized we had ingredients to make cranberry scones.

Olivia wanted to know who the Queen of England was...also inspired by Imagine That. (same scene as scones...the girls love that scene!)

Georgia went to the Creative Kids Club at the library where they made a tambourine out of paper, paper clips, and bottle caps.

Olivia had her first visit with the dentist.

And added some pictures to her alphabet book. She loves cutting out pictures, words, and letters from magazines and uses them in her alphabet book, or in collages.
Pan starts with a P.

The girls are also participating in the summer reading program at the library, have played soccer, captured bugs, fed the daring jumping spider they captured, watched it make a nest and later found lots of itty bitty spider babies.

Bee Feeding

The girls noticed a bee collecting nectar in a clover patch in the backyard. They really enjoyed watching her...and even held out some clover for her to sip.

Girls talked about how cool bees are...how they make honey, how they pollinate flowers and help in growing food, how our bee was a worker bee which meant she was female, and how they can travel a few miles in search of good nectar...and how they are declining in number.

Our bee was a bumblebee, a gentle kind of bee. The girls were very calm and moved slowly around her. We visit the honeybees at the nature center and have practiced walking calmly and slowly by them, so they knew how they should act. We talked about how it would sting if it felt threatened, and unlike a honeybee, the bumblebee's stinger was not barbed so it did not die after stinging.

They were so fascinated...I loved watching their excitement and wonder.

Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children

Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
By Jan Hunt, M.Sc.
from The Natural Child Project

1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready.
We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 4-year-old to clean his room. In all of these situations, we are being unrealistic. We are setting ourselves up for disappointment and setting up the child for repeated failures to please us. Yet many parents ask their young children to do things that even an older child would find difficult. In short, we ask children to stop acting their age.

2. We become angry when a child fails to meet our needs.
A child can only do what he can do. If a child cannot do something we ask, it is unfair and unrealistic to expect or demand more, and anger only makes things worse. A 2-year-old can only act like a 2-year-old, a 5-year-old cannot act like a 10-year-old, and a 10-year-old cannot act like an adult. To expect more is unrealistic and unhelpful. There are limits to what a child can manage, and if we don't accept those limits, it can only result in frustration on both sides.

3. We mistrust the child's motives.
If a child cannot meet our needs, we assume that he is being defiant, instead of looking closely at the situation from the child's point of view, so we can determine the truth of the matter. In reality, a "defiant" child may be ill, tired, hungry, in pain, responding to an emotional or physical hurt, or struggling with a hidden cause such as food allergy. Yet we seem to overlook these possibilities in favor of thinking the worst about the child's "personality".

4. We don't allow children to be children.
We somehow forget what it was like to be a child ourselves, and expect the child to act like an adult instead of acting his age. A healthy child will be rambunctious, noisy, emotionally expressive, and will have a short attention span. All of these "problems" are not problems at all, but are in fact normal qualities of a normal child. Rather, it is our society and our society's expectations of perfect behavior that are abnormal.

5. We get it backwards.
We expect, and demand, that the child meet our needs - for quiet, for uninterrupted sleep, for obedience to our wishes, and so on. Instead of accepting our parental role to meet the child's needs, we expect the child to care for ours. We can become so focussed on our own unmet needs and frustrations that we forget this is a child, who has needs of his own.

6. We blame and criticize when a child makes a mistake.
Yet children have had very little experience in life, and they will inevitably make mistakes. Mistakes are a natural part of learning at any age. Instead of understanding and helping the child, we blame him, as though he should be able to learn everything perfectly the first time. To err is human; to err in childhood is human and unavoidable. Yet we react to each mistake, infraction of a rule, or misbehavior with surprise and disappointment. It makes no sense to understand that a child will make mistakes, and then to react as though we think the child should behave perfectly at all times.

7. We forget how deeply blame and criticism can hurt a child.
Many parents are coming to understand that physically hurting a child is wrong and harmful, yet many of us forget how painful angry words, insults, and blame can be to a child who can only believe that he is at fault.

8. We forget how healing loving actions can be.
We fall into vicious cycles of blame and misbehavior, instead of stopping to give the child love, reassurance, self-esteem, and security with hugs and kind words.

9. We forget that our behavior provides the most potent lessons to the child.
It is truly "not what we say but what we do" that the child takes to heart. A parent who hits a child for hitting, telling him that hitting is wrong, is in fact teaching that hitting is right, at least for those in power. It is the parent who responds to problems with peaceful solutions who is teaching his child how to be a peaceful adult. So-called problems present our best opportunity for teaching values, because children learn best when they are learning about real things in real life.

10. We see only the outward behavior, not the love and good intentions inside the child.
When a child's behavior disappoints us, we should, more than anything else we do, "assume the best". We should assume that the child means well and is only behaving as well as possible considering all the circumstances (both obvious and hidden from us), together with his level of experience in life. If we always assume the best about our child, the child will be free to do his best. If we give only love, love is all we will receive.

Painting in June

Girls did some painting this month. We watched some painting shows on PBS Create and Georgia was particularly inspired by Donna Dewberry's Garden Party episode. She wanted to try the new techniques she learned and create the painting Donna showed us. It is a white picket fence with flowers and a hummingbird.

And Olivia painted some more abstracts...

Georgia made one as well...

Needless to say, our home is full of beautiful and one-of-a-kind art pieces!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Learn to Fly Day

Earlier this month the girls went to the Learn to Fly Day sponsored by the local model aeronautics club.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mark's Father's Day

Georgia and Olivia made Mark a t-shirt for Father's Day.

And we went hiking in a new spot.

Happy Father's Day, Mark!!!
Winner of the Best Dad of the Year for the ninth straight year!!!
We are lucky girls!

Celery Fun

The girls wanted to put a celery stalk with leaves in colored water again. This time Olivia chose blue and Georgia chose red.

Day One

Day Seven

(wilting from the summer heat!)

I told them we need to find some white flowers next time