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The Tragedy in Paris and the Conversation it Sparked with my 7 Year Old

tragedyinparis

The Tragedy in Paris and the conversation is sparked with my 7 year old son about religion, safety and fear.

I would like to preface this article with two things.  I am pro-gun (I own one, I know how to use it and I carry it – legally) and I love Jesus.  If either of these things bother you, you might not want to read this post.

BigG just turned 7.  Some days he acts like a silly 5 year old and some days his maturity amazes me.  We’ve talked about “stranger danger” and “tricky people“, fire safety, tornado safety and things like that.  But a while back I was reading an article online about schools having “active shooter” drills.  And I thought, “Thank you, Jesus, that we homeschool and my kindergartner doesn’t have to sit through an active shooter drill in school!”

But the article I was reading was talking about how an “active shooter” situation can happen anywhere – the park, the grocery store – and that’s just the world we live in now.  And I thought, you know, we need to have a conversation about this.  But I put it off.  Because BigG can be sensitive sometimes…and worry himself to death over the worse case scenario (like the time he cried for an hour after we talked about fire safety and he was afraid the house was going to catch on fire and he wouldn’t be able to save his favorite stuffed dog.)

So last night I’m reading about Paris.  And I thought, you know, we NEED to have this conversation.  Part of me wanted to just go about our day today and not say anything to BigG about it and let him live in his oblivious little bubble.  I was almost twice his age when my oblivious bubble burst – I was unaware of this level of evil in the world until the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.  I was 11.  Of course I knew of wars in the past….but that was past.  I thought the world was sunshine and rainbows now.  Until Oklahoma City.  Then there was Columbine.  And 9/11.  And then, in BigG’s lifetime, there have been so many of these “events” that I can’t even keep up with them anymore.  More in the last 1/4th of my life than in the first 3/4ths.

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Should You Teach Cursive Handwriting to Your Kids

Should you teach your child cursive

Should you teach cursive handwriting to your kids?

I could just say YES and be done with this entire post.  But I guess I’ll elaborate.

So what are the reasons for teaching your children cursive?

 

  • Historical Documents are all written in cursive.
    Do we want a generation of people who are unable to read original historical documents?
  • Important family documents may also be written in cursive.
    Notes in the family bible, letters great-grandpa wrote home during the war, your great-aunt’s famous cornbread recipe – probably all written in cursive.  What good is it passing these mementos down to our children if they can’t read them?
  • Taking notes is quicker in cursive.
    I take notes every Sunday during church.  They’re all in cursive and pretty much everything else I write is print.
  • Research shows that writing in cursive uses a part of our brain we don’t normally use.
    And I’m a firm believer that if you don’t use something you’ll lose it.  So I’m all for exercising as many parts of our brain as possible!
  • You have to know cursive to have a signature.
    Signatures are as unique as you are.  Without cursive, you’ll never have a signature.  And there are some pretty important things that require a signature – driver’s license, marriage certificate, legal papers, financial papers, etc.
  • It’s a fine motor skill.
    Meaning, the sooner your child starts practicing it the sooner his fine motor skills will be honed.
  • And probably a lot of other reasons….

Ready to start teaching cursive?

Download FREE cursive handwriting worksheets on Educents!

So, WHEN should start teaching cursive?

Well, I say it’s never to late to start!  I went to private school and I started learning in 1st grade.  I think that’s a good age to start.  I know some people teach their children cursive before they teach them print!  That’s okay too!

BigG is in 2nd grade right now and we started cursive on his first day of 2nd grade.  Full disclosure though, he’s 1st grade age – he skipped Kindergarten last year – so he’s the same age I was when I learned.  That’s one of the reasons I held off last year when we started 1st grade.  I wanted his maturity level a little higher before we started – getting him to write anything last year was a hair-pulling ordeal   Shortly before we finished our year last year, he saw a cursive book and said, “When are we going to start doing that?”  And I said 2nd grade.  And he said, “Oh, but I want to do it NOW!”  He was really excited about it.  I had to fend him off the last couple weeks of school because he realllllly wanted to start Cursive.  On our last day of 1st grade I showed him his name.  He practiced it all.summer.long.  And talked all summer about how he was going to learn cursive in 2nd grade!

So go figure, I guess I could’ve started last year!

So I guess the moral of the story is to start teaching them when you feel like they are ready.  If it’s not working, shelve it for 3-6 months and try again!

Handwriting Resources for Kids

Are you an educator or parent who wants to spend time teaching your kids how to write in cursive? If so, these resources from Educents will make it a lot easier and FUN to learn cursive. Super Cursive Freebie - Educents Blog

Web Learning Resources for Kids

Online learning is becoming even more important for the next generations. Educents also has affordable resources that helps children develop their typing and coding skills.
Writing Programs - Educents Blog

  • Learn to Mod with Minecraft – Did you know kids can learn how
    to code by modifying (or “modding”) Minecraft®? Kids learn how to code in Java® and apply it to Minecraft® themed problems!
  • The WriteWell App– A simple and intuitive web-based tool that makes writing fun and effective. With its unique visual and tactile interface and library of interactive essay templates, WriteWell is a convenient tool for teachers and students at home or in the classroom.
  • Handwriting Worksheet Wizard – StartWrite helps teachers, homeschoolers, and parents create handwriting lessons quickly and easily. This program saves hours in lesson preparation time, yet allows you to easily create fun, meaningful worksheet to teach handwriting.

What do you think?

Will you, are you or did you teach your children cursive?

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A Homeschool Mom’s Musings on the First Day of Public School

homeschoolmom1stdayschool1

Today is the first day of school for our county.  In our little homeschool of 1 we’ve already done 4 weeks of school and we’re taking a break this week.  (Yes, that was totally planned to coincide with the week everyone else went back to school.)

I was contemplating this post as I was lying in bed this morning.   I don’t know that the post has a specific points.  Which is why I just called it “musings”.

While I was lying in the bed, I heard the school bus coming down the road. “Thank goodness I don’t have to be up already.” I thought.  It was almost 7.  I was enjoying a few quiet moments before I got up.  BigG wouldn’t be up for at least another hour.  I laid in bed a little longer than usual this morning.  I knew when I got up and logged on the computer I would be bombarded with “first day of school pictures” on Facebook.

Now I’m up, sipping a smoothie and trying to get a little work done, in the quiet.  Can I point out how glad I am we don’t have the “get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, get out the door” morning routine?  BigG does better when he’s had a good night’s sleep and gets to wake up at his pace and start his day on his terms.  Aren’t we all that way?   I’ve read several articles lately about how early school times are making it hard for kids to get enough sleep (here and here are two of them).  That’s why I’ve decided to not wake BigG up at a certain time in the morning just for the sake of having him be up.  He’s 6.  If his body stays asleep until 9 then it needed it to make up for a particularly busy few days or using a lot of energy the day before swimming, at the park, etc.

So, on to the “first day of school” pictures all over Facebook this morning.  I do love seeing my friend’s kids smiling faces and excitement over their first day of school.  I am happy for them.

We never did the public school thing.  BigG went to day care/preschool from 12 weeks to 5 years old…but I always worked in the same building at the time.  Then last year we jumped into homeschooling with both feet.

Last year I thought I would be sad when all those pictures started flooding my newsfeed.  But I wasn’t.  Today I was afraid I would be sad even though I wasn’t last year.  But I’m not.

In some ways, the first day of school solidifies my decision to homeschool.  Being in bed when the bus goes by, BigG getting to sleep in, starting our morning on our terms, no rushing out the door.  It just feels like the way life should be.  It works for us.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I hear little footsteps coming this way.  That means it’s time for breakfast.  We have karate later this morning and then we’re going swimming.

Happy first day of school – no matter when or where yours is!