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Progress Reports: Do Parents Make the Grade?

Progress Reports from our elementary school went home last week.  Unless you were like me and didn’t actually receive it until today – a full week later – when the teacher made us a second copy (as the original seems to have gotten lost in the Black Hole otherwise known as my son’s cubby). Interestingly, this particular progress report has made me pause in a way none other has before and this Zen Mama Wannabe cannot help but wonder: what is more telling – their actual progress or our reaction to it all?

For example, is it just human nature to skim over all the high marks and go immediately to the one or two areas that aren’t given an outstanding score?  Excellent, excellent, excellent, needs improvement, excel….. WHAT WAS THAT?  NEEDS IMPROVEMENT?????  Suddenly the lights dim and the spotlight shines on the area(s) that aren’t perhaps quite up to snuff.  Thoughts immediately race toward what we can …

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Lotus and the Golden Pearl – teaching peace to kids


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If there is one thing I’m always in search of (during the holiday season or just throughout the year) it is peace.  Peace in my head, peace in my home, peace among my children – I want it any and every way I can get it.  One of my biggest wishes is for my children to know of the peace I search for.  Best case would be leading by example, but it doesn’t always work that way for me.  So when this Zen Mama Wannabe finds a tool to help me with this, I want to shout it from the mountain tops – or at least as far as my little voice can carry.

In this particular case, the tool I found is a book – one that helps teach lessons without kids even realizing it.  It’s called Lotus and the Golden Pearl – A Young Girl’s Peace Odyssey and it’s an easy to read …

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What’s all the Fuss?

President ObamaHe got to see it – his cousin at another school in a more Republican part of the state did not.  A speech by the President of the United States to the young students of our great nation – and it wasn’t aired to everyone? Parents in tears over the possibility of their school district letting their kids watch it?  Threats to pull children out of school because they might be subjected to hearing the President (OUR President) speak?  What is going on here????

All day I told myself breathe.  Just take a breath.  Yet every time I heard something more about it, I would feel my blood boil.  After all, the transcript of the speech had already been released the day before.  All concerned parties knew exactly what he was going to say.  But that was never really it anyway, was it?

Have we become so polarized that people from one political party would say their kids couldn’t listen …

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Average?? or Extraordinary??

LightingTheirFireI am not interested in being average. For myself or my kids.  Children first come us as these beautiful souls.  I believe our job is to help guide, shape, and encourage them to live up to their full potential as extraordinary human beings.   Just as I am always working to better myself, I am also constantly working on how I can help my kids become better too.  I don’t mean in sports or academic subjects – I am talking about something much bigger and grander (and more important, in my view) – LIFE.

In Life, I want my kids to choose to be kind.  To always have good manners and a fire in their belly to keep learning more.  I want my kids to soar.  To figure out what is to be their contribution to the world – and then make it.  I am not interested in them being just like all the others.  I see what the pack is …

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Lunch time Blues

My son has a lunch date today – with his former 1st Grade teacher.  He has been looking forward to it all week.  I have been dreading it (as only a mother of an active member of the Picky Eaters of America club would do).

He missed the pizza party last week, for the students that completed those thick packets she handled out at the end of last year.  My son had an incentive to work hard during the summer, doing so many workbook pages per day, so that he could join her for this pizza party once the new school year started.  Then, wouldn’t you know it, the party was scheduled for last Friday – when we were to be out of town. Sweet teacher that she is, she told him they could have lunch together THIS week – just the two of them (!!!) and she would bring the dessert.  My son is thrilled; I been worrying about …

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First Day Jitters

It is the first day of school today. After a summer that seemed to whiz by, we are back trying to remember the daily school routine we so conveniently forgot over these past few months.  I don’t know about at your house, but here we are dealing with some nervousness, a little excitement at what lies ahead, and more than a few butterflies mixed in there as well.  New people to meet, new schedules to learn…. it is enough to make me more than a little anxious if I let it.  That is right, my son is doing fine with it all – it’s ME riding this emotional rollercoaster – feeling more like a Wannabe than I care to admit. 

What happened to all the hand-holding they did in Kindergarten and even for a bit in 1st grade?  The kids may not need it anymore, but many of us parents still do.  We stood there today as our new teacher …

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