Family Life

Duck in a Raincoat




It's another rainy day on the shore - will it ever end?

Great day for the children's book "Have you Ever seen a Duck in a Raincoat" which teaches children about animals by relating to human behavior. (but really - I was sold at the title!)


The Mid-Shore counties are under flash flood warnings AND coastal flood warnings - so drive carefully! Be especially cautious when driving into water-covered roads - you don't know how deep the water may be!

Stay safe! And keep on treading water - the sunshine should return by the end of the week!

A Spelling Book that WORKS!

There are many different ways to approach spelling. It's possible I've tried them all. The most popular are grade-appropriate spelling lists; unrelated words the child spells, defines, and memorizes. Except one of my children doesn't. She cannot memorize spelling words - even with games, physical movement, rewards, and so on. She gets very, very upset that her younger sibling can easily memorize and repeat the words.

I abandoned spelling lists a year ago - just because it seemed like I was setting her up for constant failure. I still BOUGHT spelling curricula, mind you - I just didn't use it. I kept hoping that by spelling out the words she asked for - she would eventually learn to spell. Except it didn't work. She can't spell. 

Last week, in desperation, I pulled out my brand new copy of "Sequential Spelling 1". I had ordered it last year, but after discovering the book primarily consisted of pages of word lists - and nothing else except a few "what to say" pages at the beginning - I put it away in disgust. But desperation does strange things to a homeschooling mother.

History Comes Alive for Kids

Building a “Family Tree Forest” at La Grange

Children aged 5 – 11 years old are invited to La Grange on Saturday, April 17th from 9:30 – 11:30 am.  This will be the third installment of the History Comes Alive learning series.  They will learn some basic skills to uncover their family roots.  Using these facts, they will construct a family tree.  They will craft a forest of their individual trees.  This will utilize writing, deduction and crafting skills.  Several hands on craft projects will be completed. 

There is no cost for this program, although donations or sponsorships are welcome.  Space is limited, so please call  410-228-7953 to reserve a spot.

Homeschool and Educator Alert

National Geographic is celebrating World Water Day!

"Water: Our Thisty World" is available for free download starting on World Water Day, March 22, and extending through April 2, 2010. This interactive edition of National Geographic magazine presents complete content from the print edition, plus extra photo galleries, rollover graphics that animate features like maps and time lines, video profiles of photographers who contributed to the issue, and other interactive features. National Geographic's water issue is available in print on newsstands everywhere beginning March 30.

Click below to get the free materials!

아메리칸 룰렛http://www.natgeofreshwater.com/

MamMaw’s Cooking

by Carolyn Smith-Kennedy

Someone once said:  “If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn't have given us grandmothers.” Indeed even the great-granddaughters still ask my Mother how to make certain dishes.  Mother once was a very good cook and probably still would be if she could make it into the kitchen.  Her meals weren’t fancy but they sure were tasty. 

Mother was able to prepare delicious meals well into her 80’s.  A few years ago, however, it became clear to me that cooking was becoming a challenge and possibly a risk for her.  She did not give it up easily.

One of the first services I enrolled my parents in when it became clear that Mother could no longer cook as she had been was Meals on Wheels.  MOW is a wonderful resource available in most areas.  Just do a search online to find the Meals on Wheels location nearest you.  You do have to apply for the service but the application process is not too complicated.

Homeschooling through Spring Fever

By Cyndi Paxton Johnson

“Holy insulated underwear, Batman! You’ve captured Mr. Freeze! Finally, Gotham City will have some decent weather!”

Gotham City’s not alone. After a long, cold, snowy winter – followed by enough rain to make us all wonder about reviving Noah’s Ark – fair weather is on the horizon!  As we all pause to utter a collective “FINALLY” – let’s take a moment to consider how this fits into our homeschooling plan.  Let’s face it – we all want to be outside, enjoying the sunshine and moderate temperatures – but how do we combine our thirst for sunlight with our homeschool curriculum?

First, plan some field trips. This is the BEST time of year to visit zoos, farms and wildlife preserves.  Not only is it NOT  100F, but other kids are still in school (afternoons are best – the schools do bus trips in the am).  Try to spend at least one day a week on the road, even if you’re just exploring close to home – you’ll be amazed what you find!

Make your schedule flexible – we’ll still have enough rainy days for the kids to work with their traditional books – but have alternate plans for when the sun shines.

Math: A paved driveway/sidewalk and chalk offers endless possibilities.  I found a 1970’s book, “I Hate Math” at a flea market that has a lot of math brain teasers. The kids have been outside dividing squares, competing to see how many sections they can make using only 4 straight lines.  A library book about Fibonacci numbers gives us other outdoor activities – both adding /drawing to make the Fibonacci curve and then finding that curve in nature.  

아메리칸 룰렛Caring for Elderly Parents - Raising Expectations

by Carolyn Kennedy 

Caring for elderly loved ones often becomes a balancing act.  You must balance your life and comforts against theirs.  If you are employed you may at times have to miss several days on the job because your parents need your time, have a doctor appointment, or an unexpected need arises.

My husband and I try to live most of the winter months in Florida.  We are of the age where people start to say “at your age”, though we like to think we are in the prime of life.  Even a cool Florida feels good in January and February when the snow is falling in the North.  My elderly parents live in a northeastern state.  The Blizzards of 2010 created some challenges for keeping them safe and comfortable.

During the first storm in February, they were on their own.  They both rely on a walker to move around and because Mother is very frail and Father has macular degeneration, it is difficult for them to even prepare meals.  Fortunately we have caregivers who are there every day to prepare meals. 

Blackwater NWR Holds 10th Annual Eagle Festival

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is holding it's 10th Annual Eagle Festival to celebrate Blackwater NWR's 77th birthday and the 107th anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System on Saturday, March 13, 2010 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The public is invited to participate in the many great activities planned for the day. All activities are free, and the entrance fee to the Wildlife Drive is also free for the day.

The day will begin with the 4th annual Wild Birds Unlimited bird walk at 8:00am with our experienced birder Terry Allen. Programs will include: a live peregrine falcon training demonstration with falconer Andrew Bullen and his peregrine falcon; a live bald eagle program with Mike Callahan from Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Education Center; “The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly@ live birds-of-prey program with a MD Scales and Tales Naturalist; Masters of the Sky raptor program with Naturalist and Raptor Educator Liz Owens and her live birds; a lecture and discussion “Chesapeake Bay: Past, Present, and the Future” with author Ned Tillman; a nature photography workshop with photography instructor Bob Boner; Native American Flute Music with Native American Ron Warren; the George Fox Middle School Ukulele Ensemble; and three of our famous “Eagle Prowls” with Volunteer Zeeger de Wilde and refuge staff. The Eagle Prowls are free, but you must pick up a ticket on the day of the event before each scheduled prowl.

There will be plenty of activities for young people at the Eagle Festival. A blue bird nest box construction program will provide materials for youths to build their own box to take home. No preregistration is required. Other youth programs will include: an owl pellet investigation, endangered species puppet show, eagle finger puppet construction, an opportunity for kids to build their own “flapping eagle”, and make your own wildlife magnet program. All participants at the puppet show will receive a free “Albert the Delmarva Fox Squirrel” coloring book. Blackwater’s mascot ATom Eagle@ will be greeting all the kids and promoting getting your kids out in nature.

Adult Cork Hunt

March, Saturday 20 Rain Date: March 27

2 PM

Dove Valley Winery, 645 Harrington Road, Rising Sun

21 & up

Free Event

410-658-8388 Email: dovevalleyvineyard@zoominternet.net

Website: www.dovevalleywine.com

Egg Hunt

March Saturday 20, Rain Date: March 27

2:00 PM

Egg hunt for children up to 12 years of age

Dove Valley Winery, 645 Harrington Road, Rising Sun

Free Event

410-658-8388 Email: dovevalleywine@zoominternet.net

Website: www.dovevalleywine.com

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