Tis the season to neglect my blog. Everyday, I try to carve out a few minutes to download pictures and get a post up. But, it's been pretty busy around these parts. So, this is a catch up/catch all moment.
I continue to feel great, with no nausea and tons of energy. Having my appetite back is like a whole new world, after spending more than a year feeling mostly awful. So, I decided to let November be a "splurge" month and I fully enjoyed every minute. But, the calendar tells me it's now December and the scale tells me it's time to start tracking my calories again. I lost over 40 pounds after having Devin with Weight Watchers, but now I use "Livestrong MyPlate" app on the iphone. It's free and is an easy way to track my food and exercise. I lost about 20 more pounds, not eating and so now my goal is maintenance. Which, in my experience, has been fairly challenging:)
It seems hard for me to write anything without bragging on Montessori. The JCPS (local public school system) test scores came back lower than ever a few weeks ago. Several of our "resides" schools were way below the acceptable level. (I'm talking scores of 50-60% overall) It's a shame there's such a broken system here, with so much evidence-based science proving there are OTHER options. There are several cities in the US, with similar socio-economic problems, that found great success with the Montessori method. (Nice job Milwaukee)
I love this video. No words of explanation are needed in the short clip. It looks SO much like the classroom's at Dev's school and how the children behave. As a frequent substitute, it's actually a very interesting and "easy" job. The children know exactly what and when to do things, because they decide! Notice the children making their own choices of work, but still seeking guidance from the teacher in the background. I also notice the careful and methodical way of treating classroom materials.
What's really crazy is seeing just how advanced some children are in the Early Childhood (3-6 years) class. Most of the 3 year olds have no trouble getting their own snack, sitting an enjoying a conversation with a peer and cleaning up after themselves. Which includes washing their own dishes and wiping the table/sweeping crumbs. There are many 4-5 year olds reading and writing, counting in the thousands...it's astounding. I truly enjoy watching the children's confidence grow as they mature and become comfortable in the classroom.
Devin continues to thrive in every way possible. She's only missed a day of school for a mild cold and low fever. Although her Elementary class is much more focused on academics than the Early Childhood, I'm so glad to see some basic practical life lessons. Dev's teacher asked for any silver we needed polishing, so I sent my Great Grandmother's whole set! The children did a great job and we used the silver for the first time in many years at Thanksgiving.
The obsession continues with gymnastics. She pretty much practices handstands and cartwheels at any opportunity. That includes 7:00 am, before school & most every afternoon. She's been asking and asking to return to gymnastics lessons, but I'm not adding anything else to her after school time. Chess and violin are both done during regular school time and we add tennis to Thursday afternoons. That's enough for all of us...so gymnastics may have to wait until summer. (We'll see....as I like to say to her)
There's nothing quite like a group of 1st grade girls, I've decided. The social aspects of school are getting more complicated, as this is a new and important focus of life for the 6-7 year old. For the most part, they get along well. We've had a few hurt feelings, "secrets about me," and some general infighting. She did NOT enjoy a field trip they took about a month ago. I purposefully chose to not attend, so she could start to navigate these social outings without me. I heard bits and pieces about the drama, but she got through it:)
The Outdoor Classroom received some new additions during the past few weeks. These are some 1st graders enjoying the new chalkboard for the 1st time.
Just before Thanksgiving, MSL hosted a Fall Bake & Craft Sale. I was in charge and freaking out that we wouldn't have enough items to sell on that Friday. I was wrong. Families brought cakes, muffins, cookies, pies, handmade scrubs and many other delicious treats. The sale made right around $900.00! As usual, I worried for nothing as we had WAY more food than we could sell.
Devin's class has a spelling quiz each Friday and they are asked to write a sentence they hear on the back. This still makes me smile...
This is how fishermen make money in the off season.