An Online Resource With Educational Activities You’ll Actually Want To Do With Your Kids (And They Will Want To Do, Too!)

I am SO excited to share today’s post with you! I’ve partnered with education.com to bring you an educational activity prepared exclusively for His Girl Friday readers! Education.com is a fantastic online resource for parents and educators. They work with teachers to create thousands of educational activities, lessons and resources in reading, writing and math.

I’m so thrilled to have discovered this new resource. As a homeschooling momma, it’s nice to have a place to go for inspiration and help. But regardless of your child’s schooling situation, this is a site that offers plenty of resources to help boost their learning.

Today, we are bringing you an easy and FUN activity you can do with your kids that’s focused on math for first graders. Theo and I had a great time creating and playing this game. I loved the simplicity of the activity and that it combined art and math in such a fun way. Theo loved creating his own game board and thoroughly enjoyed playing the game. In fact, mid way through our activity, he told me, “This is a good game, mom!” So don’t just take my word for it – this is an authentic six year old approved activity. 😉 Enjoy! (And don’t forget to take a look at education.com’s site for other great educational resources!) Continue reading “An Online Resource With Educational Activities You’ll Actually Want To Do With Your Kids (And They Will Want To Do, Too!)”

Why We Chose To Opt-Out Of Homework (yes, you have a choice)

On the day before I sent my son off to kindergarten, I sat down and wrote his new teacher a letter.

A homework opt-out letter.

I know, I know. I’m awesome at first impressions, right?

I already had all these reservations about school. Reservations that I really couldn’t do anything about if we chose to send Theo to public school, which, for the time being, is the decision we made. But there was one major concern I had that I knew I had some control over: what our evenings at home looked like after Theo returned from school.

From 7:15-3:30, Theo is in the very kind and capable hands of his school. Outside of those hours, he is first and foremost my kid.

It’s incredibly important to me that our home be a safe harbor for our kids. A nurturing place for them to land. Whether they have had a good day or bad, I want them to know that their home is their safe space. And I have really specific ideas about what it means to have a nurturing home. I want to nurture my whole child. Not just the school portion of my child.

One glaring issue with homework is this idea that what is happening during the school hours is somehow a kid’s main purpose in life. I’m sorry, it’s just not.

Wait. I’m actually not sorry at all. Continue reading “Why We Chose To Opt-Out Of Homework (yes, you have a choice)”

Five Things

1. I keep telling my husband that maybe we just need to sell our house and our belongings, buy an RV, and take this show on the road. He could sell his beautiful woodworking from city to city across the US and it would be one heck of a way to see the country. Imagine the sights! Imagine what the kids would learn! (He says we already have one too-few bedrooms, but still…It would be an adventure!) This couple actually quit their jobs and traveled by VW bus from Alaska to Argentina. Hashtag inspiration!

2. My oldest son had his first night of testing and orientation for kindergarden this week. Whew. Talk about feeling all the feelings and thinking all the thoughts! My friend sent me this fascinating article that talks about how “Young children today continue to learn best by watching the everyday things that grown-ups do, from cleaning the house to fixing a car.” It’s a great read, especially for parents! Continue reading “Five Things”

A Word On School Supply Lists

I remember back-to-school shopping when I was a kid. I was a bookworm, and nothing filled me with more pleasure than going out to buy all my supplies and a new book bag. I couldn’t wait to get to school. I organized my bag, I labeled my supplies, and then I went back to my summer reading list to try and sneak in one more book (or two) before school started.

This year, it will be my oldest child, Theodore, who goes off to school, and I recently took him shopping for school supplies.

Gone was the childlike excitement over freshly sharpened pencils and perfect, unused pink erasers. Instead of gleefully filling a book bag, I had to fight to suppress the sobs that filled my throat as I piled the supplies in my cart.

Among many other things, some of Theo’s required shopping list included: a pair of tennis shoes to leave at school year round, 16 glue sticks (which we will be asked to “refresh” midway through the year), a box of gallon zip lock bags, and four packs of crayons. FOUR.

Did you know that worldwide, there are over 62 million girls who aren’t in school? 62. MILLION. (source)

These girls aren’t in school because they either don’t have the infrastructure in place, they are too impoverished to attend, or because of their gender – they aren’t allowed. Millions more are fighting to stay in school, but it’s a losing battle for many of the aforementioned reasons.

My frustration over my son’s school supply list has very little to do with the hassle of shopping or the amount of money we spent, and everything to do with our culture’s misguided ideology of what is necessary for education.

We will cut art, music, and recess but 16 glue sticks are fundamental, crucial, to a child’s education.  Continue reading “A Word On School Supply Lists”

On School

*deep exhale*

I’ve been thinking about school a lot, lately. I knew I would eventually write about this topic, but I’ve been putting it off.

Part of my hesitation in writing this is I just don’t know. I just don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about Theo trotting off to kindergarten this fall (why do we keep saying “fall” when, let’s be real, the kids head to school while it’s still summer).

And, I know schooling is this cauldron of carefully crafted arguments and opinions and theories and, to be honest, I just don’t care. I mean, if you’ve figured out life for yourself and your family, kudos. Seriously. I think that’s awesome. But what you’ve figured out for your family doesn’t really mean much for mine.

Don’t be offended. You feel the same way.

So school. Continue reading “On School”

Mommy Manifesto: Choosing the Road Less Travelled

Talk to any parent, and you will eventually get on the subject of comparing one’s child with another person’s child, to see where they are at in relation to one another and the “milestones” they are supposed to have reached. Kids, it would seem, are supposed to be identical to one another. They are supposed to form the same skills, at the same time, and are supposed to go down a prescribed path that will prepare them for life. Who’s life, you ask? Well, theirs of course. It just so happens that the path for their life is supposed to be exactly the same a everyone else’s.

I’ve recently stopped caring that Theo doesn’t do well in certain situations (situations that are supposed to be “geared” towards his age). I’ve stopped caring that Theo processes things his own way. I’ve stopped caring that Theo is sensitive about certain things, and a train wreck about others. I’ve stopped caring that Theo might not fit into the current model of modern education.

I don’t care.

I knew, even before I typed this post, that many people might disagree with me on this subject. I realize that, but I’m not entirely sure I care. I don’t mean that harshly, I just mean to say that I’m really, really comfortable where I’ve landed on this topic. I’m good. I’ve arrived at some hard-earned conclusions, and I’m ok with the fact that they are inevitably different from many other’s viewpoint. Continue reading “Mommy Manifesto: Choosing the Road Less Travelled”