Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Long Weekend

I cooked a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for my son, daughter and grand children on Sunday.  It seems like we never get together on an actual holiday—well, rarely—so I figured I would make the best of it by celebrating whenever.  And it was a holiday, anyway.

The grand kids had Monday off from school so they stayed overnight because their mom had to work.  We had a busy day.  Dane brought his packet of kindergarten homework.  He is in an all day program and he has a packet of activities to practice letter recognition, numbers, and writing his full name.

Here is what I noticed about that.  While we were walking around downtown Burlington (our trip to the city), he was constantly counting things—pigeons on the sidewalk, items in store windows, wrapped packages they were bringing in for setting up under a Christmas tree.  He was reading off the letters  and numbers on signs all over the place, even when we stopped at a light on the way home.  He seemed to be having a delightful time practicing these skills.  Then we got home and decided to do one of the activities.  He has a hard time with the pencil and he got frustrated right away.  “It’s so hard.  I hate school.”  That just broke my heart.  He really does enjoy school though—at least for now.

The library was closed for Veteran’s Day, but I still had a job to complete.  The kids helped me out.  We made puppets.
The story time group is being treated to a puppet show and then the kids are going to  make their own puppets.  We made the examples.  Since we ran out of paper towels during this activity, I made a tube puppet as well.
My daughter made the napkin holder when she was in middle school.  All the schools around here have cut out those industrial art and home economics programs. Schools are making me feel sad today.


  1. As a former teacher, I'm sure that Dane's outburst bothered you even more. Isn't it sad when you see the results of his learning (counting, letter recognition) but the work he's given can be so frustrating for him. I wish teachers would recognize the need for differentiation since each child learns in a different way. [Okay, down from my soapbox!]

    Love the spoon puppets! good luck with the puppet show!


  2. How fun counting stuff along the way. I felt his frustration when he got to the paperwork. Sometimes those fine motor skills take a while to catch up with the brain. Sounds like a smart little guy. You made some good memories having a puppet show. I'll bet there was lots of laughing and giggling.

  3. I love your tube puppet! Kind of reminds me of the traditional Grammy!

  4. Two of my grandsons are the same way - smart and love learning but get frustrated with the drills and paperwork. Also, I think they're sometimes pushing kids before they're developmentally ready to do pencil and paper drills. My one grandson was put in "remedial handwriting" in first grade! Learning as play or as part of everyday life is so much more meaningful to children. (Gosh you might get long comments from all the retired teachers who read your blog!) Love those puppets. It's given me an idea for a fun craft project to do with the Grands!

  5. I agree. Here is an interesting fact:Developmentally, the pace at which kids write does not even out until 9th grade, and there is really nothing you can do about it. But what misery if you are at the slow end of that spectrum.x

  6. I couldn't agree with you more. What happened to making learning fun? Schools today make me sad also. I was looking at a notebook I put together in the mid-60's for a class in art for those of us who were preparing to be elementary school teachers. As I looked through my notes and examples of activities from all those years ago, I was struck by how much we have lost in today's educational environment. Thankfully, your grandson has you in his life. The puppets are creative and fun.

  7. I love your puppets! I planned to try wooden spoons too. Tube puppet? is that a paper towel tube?


I appreciate readers' comments so much. You don't even always have to agree with me.