FOTD: Dandelion growth stages. May 21, 2020

On a recent nature walk with my kids, I noticed a few dandelions in different growth states! This was the first time I mentally put together its life cycle. It’s probably my skepticism that a flower could drastically transform from one state to a totally different one.

Funny…how I didn’t differentiate the yellow dandelion flower to a seeding dandelion. Like Homer Simpson slapping his forehead, “D’oh!” All this extra time from sheltering in place makes you question random things.

I’m especially happy with this discovery because it’ll be our next science study. It involves the outdoors and learning about something they see frequently. Also, I don’t have to wonder about which topic to cover next. 

It’ll probably include another nature walk searching for different stages of dandelions, researching its usefulness for health and food, illustrating, watching YouTube videos, etc. Cool! One less stress for homeschooling.

If you’re out talking a walk, take a closer look at them.

Thanks Cee for hosting the flower challenge! Through this, I’m learning details about different kinds of flowers and meeting new blogging friends. Win win!

A new school year already?!

School has already started for many or will start in a matter of days. I can imagine the spectrum of feelings a lot of us are experiencing: first-day jitters, anxiety, excitement, fear, relief, dread, freedom, anticipation, happiness, hope, among others.

I have mixed emotions. Since I’m my kid’s teacher, I feel an enormous amount of pressure. I do love my role and see it as a privilege to homeschool, but it’s daunting at times.

When I feel overwhelmed though, I try to focus on my long-term goals: education involves learning how to tackle new challenges (it’s not all fun and games); comparisons accomplishes nothing positive; celebrate individual successes; choose quality over quantity; and lastly aim to cultivate a discerning and reflective mind.

Being a homeschooling mom teaches me to trust that my kids’ minds are actively processing even when results are not tangible right away. And it makes me wonder the blind faith my parents had in me.

Growing up I was a late bloomer and things clicked way past the time it should’ve occurred. Compound that with the effects of brain trauma from a car accident: I was a hot mess. I fumbled through classes and feigned tummy aches. Despite them all, my parents cheered me on, paid for endless tutoring, and believed (or faked it well) that I would succeed. I wonder how they must’ve felt waiting for me even when I wasn’t showing much progress.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. – Confucius

This year I pray that I will become a better teacher, co-learner and investigator, and guide. I want to have more motivation, patience, and a spontaneous mindset to explore new things. Eeek…I enter it with trepidation. But I know God will sustain me through the doubts and insecurities. In the big scheme of life, my mundane stuff seems insignificant to God, but to Him they are not.

Psalm 120:1:   
“In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me.”

Isaiah 40:31:
“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

And my hope for kids, parents, teachers, and others involved in raising kids have a blessed, peace-filled, and fruitful school year!! Wishing many “a-ha” moments and joyful hearts pursuing mindfulness, God’s wisdom, and gratefulness.

And how can I forget the most important factor?? Fun and happiness.

Have fun, laugh more than usual, be spunky, love your kids for who they are, and pat yourself on the back more often.

 “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”Winston Churchill

With school starting soon, find curriculum materials at Education.com!

As a homeschooling parent, I’m constantly searching for engaging, interesting, and curriculum to use with my kids. When they were younger, I would make my own learning materials to accommodate their ever-changing interests. But it was a laborious and time-consuming process, so now I use curriculum from various sources to fit my kid’s learning needs.

One resource I frequently use is Education.com. Their various teaching materials cover a broad range of subjects and skills to master for grades preschool to 5th grade. You type in your interested subject in the search box, choose a grade level, and voila! The search results generate rows of sample materials accompanied by user’s review ratings. A favorite feature for me is their colorful and kid-friendly format that piques kids’ curiosities right away.

So when Education.com asked if I would be interested to share a printable worksheet with my teachers, and I was happy to do so. It’s a great resource I use that you may find useful too.

The attached worksheet is a fun word activity that introduces keywords about the upcoming season. It’s one sample of the kinds of resources they provide. I hope you get a chance to check it out and have your kids try it out too.

Children will ‘fall’ in love with this fun autumn crossword puzzle! Also be sure to check out many more great reading activities at Education.com!

*This is not a paid promotion but my honest feedback about my positive experience with Education.com.

Ribbit’s Picture Day

Yesterday when I wrote the “Unexpected” post, I only added a tadpole photo but not Ribbit as a frog. Its habitat was not picture-friendly, but it’s much better today with a water change. https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/lens-artists-photo-challenge-30-unexpected/

Hello! My name is Ribbit. My favorite things to do are pooping, swimming, eating, pooping (oh wait, I already said that), stretching, playing, relaxing, exploring, and smiling to those who admire my cute face.

Nice to meet you readers!
I’m thinking…I’m thinking…yes, I do want flies for dinner.
Don’t mind me. This is just my fancy way of coming up for air.

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Unexpected. This tadpole of ours.

The topic of sharing something “unexpected” fit right into a picture taken 3 weeks ago. Thank you Anne-Christine for hosting this challenge. https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/lens-artists-photo-challenge-30-unexpected/

An “unexpected” package arrived in the mailbox. It was the size of an upright tissue box and felt like it held nothing but popcorn inside.

I brought the box in and wondered out loud what it could be. My kids immediately dropped what they were doing and asked, “Is it a package for me?”

The package held a clear cube-shaped box with a plastic bag of water in it. This was our mail-order tadpole for our homeschooling science study this term.

Our new tadpole

This tadpole was specifically bred in a Florida laboratory, and it has special characteristics: its tadpole body is transparent; and when it becomes a frog, it will live entirely in water and only surface to breathe. This specific breed is called Pipadae found in Africa and South America. The facts sheet clearly explains that these frogs have never been to those places.

Our tadpole may have went through a quicker metamorphosis due to our overzealous attempt to make it happy with natural rain sounds. We learned that tadpoles like the sound of rain, which can be mimicked by slowly pouring spring water into the tank. As I did more research about this, I learned that this sound hastens metamorphosis.

We can’t tell if it’s a boy or a girl yet. If it makes a sound, it’s a boy. If the body size is larger, it’s a female; although I have no basis for comparison. I’ll just have to wait for that sound or lack of it.

And as I was writing this post, I learned something totally unexpected. Pipidae is the family name for the species African Clawed Frog. It is an invasive and very aggressive species that like to eat anything in its path and cannot be released into our local waters. If you can’t care for it anymore, it could be sent back to the supplier or to a pet store for proper…you know….and environmentally friendly farewell. Also, it could live 5-15 years. Gulp. Knowing beforehand that this species cannot be released into the local waters and its long life-span would’ve been helpful information.

You learn something new and unexpected everyday. With all the surprising facts we’re learning, it’s more likely that the kids will remember this frog life-cycle and frog-care study. Also, they enjoy feeding it and interacting with it, but cleaning the tank is mainly my task. .

p.s. I was going to show a picture of Ribbit metamorphosed into a frog, but its water is too cloudy and not camera-ready. I’ll have to take a picture right after replacing the water.