Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tackling Math: Bedtime Math 2

One of the many fascinating aspects of raising children is you get to relive your own childhood.

When Marie get all excited about discovering Judy Blume books or the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary, I am surprised by the rush of warm, fuzzy memories of reading those same books.  Some details I can recall so vividly, like the time Ramona’s dad made pancakes for dinner when Ramona’s mom forgot to plug in the crockpot and the beef stew was not cooked.  I became so connected to these characters it was as if these things happened in my own life.

When I see Thomas taking his lovey, Baby Jammies, everywhere with him, it reminds my how I used to be so attached to my soft, yellow blankie.  I was so attached that when I was in first grade, I used to hide it when my friends would come over so no one knew about it.

I also remember my horrible struggles as they encounter their own battles.  I remember in crystal clear detail how much I hated the collaborative learning centers in my second grade teacher’s class; they just did not mesh well with my emerging introvert personality.

I also remember sitting at the kitchen table with tears of frustration streaming down my face as I attempted my math homework. Story problems were the worst!  A scenario involving trains going at different speeds to get somewhere at the same time – blah, blah, blah.

I was more interested in who was on the train.  Where was it going?  Why?  What kind of food was on the train? 

No mystery why I became an English major.

I shut myself off to math and declared it useless.


Clearly I had yet to use money or try to cut a recipe in half or have the pleasure of visiting Ikea.

Math is everywhere!

I do not want my kids growing up with this convoluted attitude about math that I did, so imagine my excitement when I discovered that Laura Overdeck wrote a new book called Bedtime Math 2 –This Time It’s Personal.

Now that Thomas is five and almost in Kindergarten, I can even do Wee Level with him, which involves simple addition, and working with patterns.  He was a tad resistant at first, but the stories about underwear (one of his most favorite topics to discuss) and birthdays (he could talk about birthdays and cake forever) won him over.

Marie loves the stories in the book, and I feel so immensely excited that she is doing math in her head.  In her head!!

This newest edition not only has the three levels with each story problem as in the previous book (Wee Ones, Little Kids, Big Kids), but has some really engaging Bonus Questions as well.

I love that both kids can sit down and enjoy this book together even though they are at different levels.

Mommy on the Spot Bedtime Math 2

This gives me hope that they won’t struggle with doing math in their head to leave a tip or figuring out the sale price or wondering if that beautiful entertainment center will actually fit on the family room wall.

Do you struggle with math?  How do you help your kids feel excited about math?

**Disclaimer – I was given a copy of Bedtime Math 2 – This Time It’s Personal to review.  These options (and admission about my math deficiencies) are all my own.

Friday, April 4, 2014

And Now You are 5

Dear Thomas,

You turned five last week. 

My baby is now five years old.

I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around when exactly this happened.  Time seemed to pass so slowly during those early sleepless nights which made the days seem to blur together in an endless montage of laundry and mealtimes.  Then I blinked my eyes and before me now stands a boy.

Not a toddler.

Not a baby. 

A boy.

A boy who has his own unique sense of humor. 

A boy who seems to never pay attention to what I am saying but then will recall every minute detail of the conversation. 

A boy with a resolve of steel.

A boy who has the biggest heart and shares his love so freely it takes my breath away.

A boy who will start Kindergarten in the fall.

I silently prayed to myself, as I reluctantly handed over your paper work at Kindergarten registration, that you will never loose the way you care for others.  I am always inspired by the way you give your love without reservations.

When asked to share your beloved fruit snack, you say, “Sure thing! Here you go.”

You always make sure the cat feels loved by all the cuddles you give him.

At your birthday party, you were so happy to have everyone together and introduce your friends to you grandparents.  My heart wants to burst when I see how thoughtful you are with the people in your life.

It takes some people a whole lifetime to learn how to love the way that you love at the tender age of five.

My birthday wish for you is that you never let the cold ways of callous people ever take this gift away from you.  There are those who are not comfortable with people who shine from the inside out; they do not know how to respond to genuine kindness.

Pay no mind to these haters.  The world needs more people like you – happy souls who are not afraid to love.

mommy on the spot son's 5th birthday

Happy birthday, my sweet boy!

Love always,