Monthly Archives: March 2013

Boredom is a Gift

Not to be feared, those three special words: “I am Bored!” I love it when Zed says this. I know that just around the corner is something amazing – a new Lego creation, an invention, a game out of sticks and pine cones, or . . . ? So when I hear this childhood rant that paralyzes some parents, a little thrill runs through

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What is so right about Finland’s state schools?

Kids in Finland attend the least number of school hours in the developed world and get the best results. Why? Here are some key points in this video that give us an idea: Students start school at the age of 7. The idea is that at that age they will be itching to learn. Finland has a culture of valuing education. The first order

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Close the Distance

“Time’s up. Turn off your iPad,” I yell from the kitchen to another part of the house. “What, Mom?” my son yells back. “No more Minecraft!” I yell a little louder. “WHAT?” I am agitated now. He must be ignoring me. At full-throttle volume: “TURN IT OFF!” Has this ever happened to you? Daily, maybe? One of the biggest changes we made as a

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Great Resource: 3R’s Learning Center

The 3R’s of Positive Behavior is an excellent manual for educators. There are a lot of GREAT classroom techniques that can transfer to parenting as well. The 3Rs are Respect, Responsibility, and Reliability. If you like the idea of Thematic Parenting, this is a “Go-To” resource. This manual is written by my father, Gailen Keeling. I grew up with first-hand experience of many of

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Family Meetings: Do You?

It’s Sunday. Sunny and mild March foothills weather. Sunday is traditionally family day at our house. Today we are all here but doing our own thing. Barry is fixing a squeak on his mountain bike (specifically, rear-disc brakes, he just informed me.) Zed is building his Lego MindStorms ping pong catapult for Science class. Before I sat down to write this post I was

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Positive Discipline Book Review

When I took a Positive Discipline parenting class, we were all given this book. What is Positive Discipline? Can you have both those words together in one experience? To begin, Jane Nelson names three adult-child interactions – strictness, permissiveness, and positive discipline – and then provides helpful concepts for understanding their differences. She writes about how punishment DOES work – it stops the immediate

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My Boy’s Grief

My mother’s death is still so recent –  maybe that’s why it’s easier to talk about Zed’s grief instead of my own.  He had one small previous experience with death (unless you count rural Grass Valley road kill). Our dog of many years, Ziggy, died when he was two. Fueled by pictures and our stories, he will sometimes use these memories to access a

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A Basket of Music

If you don’t have one already, an accessible basket of musical instruments is a must-have in a home with children under the age of 5.  Where to start with your basket? Maracas, Jingle Stick, Castanets, a Drum and stick – these are great basics to start with. Here’s a set that I like: Shake, Rattle and Drum by Sounds like Fun. I give it

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The Harm in Praising Kids

In my son’s classroom, the teacher praised a child’s roundly perfect cursive o’s. “Good job, Sienna.” At Little League, the coach told the boy who caught the ball, “Good job, Timothy.” Today, I heard “Good job” at the grocery store when the girl stopped throwing her Cheerios, on the playground when a boy hit the wall with the ball instead of his sister, and

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Helping Children Succeed in School

Parents want their children to do well in school. You may already implement early bedtimes, assist with homework, limit sugar in lunches, and discuss on-going updates with their teacher. Here’s a few more ideas for helping your with homework and doing well in school: The Conversation The more I know about my son’s school experience, the more I can help it be a good

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