Academia Nuts


Tonight my oldest daughter and I were cleaning up the kitchen while the second oldest, ever studious, worked on her homeschool. She had us guess words starting with the same letter:

“A is for apple, armadillo, Australia…”

“Academia nuts!” chimed in my cleaning helper. Hearing me laugh she said,

“Mummy, it’s a good thing you got married and had kids, cause your job is blogs, and otherwise you wouldn’t have much to write about.”

True enough! 😉 So what have we been up to lately in Crazyland anyway?

We’ve been reading lots of books from the library. Here they are reading bedtime stories with their uncle. The big girls also like reading to the little ones, which is great practice for reading aloud and with expression. They also get to feel like the teacher, which pleases them…imparting their greater wisdom as the little ones snuggle up to listen.


The kids have been colouring pictures and practicing letters.


And making crazy drawings just for fun. Who can this crazy coffee monster be?!


They all love stickers but these googly-eyed mermaid and pirate stickers were a special hit with my preschool crowd, who love the mermaid show Bubble Guppies. Three kids kept very happy for half an hour for $1.25. Not bad!


I finally found the half-blank, half-lined journal notebooks I wanted at Shopper Drug Mart. I told the girls they can draw and write about anything. Not just what happened yesterday, but anything special they did before, read about, learned, etc.


We’ve enjoyed making shapes on our geoboards. Mouthfuls like ‘parallel’ and ‘perpendicular’ are less intimidating when you get to make them with elastic bands! And we discovered times tables are much more fun when you recite them in silly voices. I’d do my best Gollum impression:
“Threeeee plus threeeee is NIIIIIINE!”
The girls would copy me then say, “Do it again, do it again!” Then they’d have turns choosing the silly voice themselves. Drama and math in one easy package.



Nanna came and baked this birthday cake with my girls. They practiced math by measuring fractions and doubling the recipe. They sure love baking! I have many kitchen helpers pushing up chairs to stand near the counter, whether I like it or not! 😉


We have been making cloth dollies and clothes with felt from the dollar store. Very fun, and great way for them to work on fine motor skills with little scizzors.


This was our easy birthday party craft…even uncle and grandpa got into it!


Our days have been very full…all this can be exhausting, especially if you only just turned three! 😉


For a very interesting article featuring retired UBC prof Bob Steele on the importance of spontaneous drawing for the development of self-expression and literacy in children, check out the link below. It will make you happy for all the “scribbling” your kids do, and help you see that in drawing and expressing things they can’t yet put in words, they are learning to communicate, bond and interact in ways essential to developing later literacy skills.

Raise-a-Reader: Is childhood art key to developing language literacy?

Let’s try that again! When baby presses publish…

Well, well, yesterday I broke my record for shortest post. A handful of words with a spelling mistake, and nothing more! This is because I was trying to multitask, as moms always do, and was blogging on the floor while my curious one year old tried to touch my iPad…and scared me into pressing “publish” by accident instead of “save draft,” before getting up to put my iPad away. So sorry to all my followers who received this weirdo post in their email inboxes!

What I meant to write about “brilliant yet simple parenting advice” (see my last post) was something like this:

Attention Modern Parents! The answer to all your woes is here! Would you like a simple way to advance your child’s social, intellectual and emotional development? Would you like them to be entertained for hours without your having to play clown? For them to learn their numbers, letters and colours with without you teaching them? For their speech and vocabulary to develop rapidly? For them to feel safe, happy and confident that they can contribute to the world?

Modern parents, ever concerned with their child keeping up with age-appropriate development, are salivating but clutching their wallets nervously. What could this secret solution be, and how much will it cost? Is it Baby Einstein DVDs, expensive preschool, private tutors for toddlers, a magic diet of organic seaweed? What could it be?!

The solution in fact is simple, natural, and fun to make.

It’s a sibling.

And if this seems too simple, here’s some photographic evidence:

First of all, despite excessive media paranoia about sibling jealousy, little kids naturally love babies, and therefore each other.


Having siblings does a lot of good things in a simple way.

Stimulating the imagination and developing speech = playing puppets


Encouraging them to observe their natural surroundings =
ants on the driveway are exciting when you look at them together


Expressing emotion and developing socially = playing dress up


Developing patience and delaying gratification =
waiting for your turn to ride the unicorn


Promoting contentment and appreciation for simple pleasures =
an hour whips by when you have a box and a baby to play with


Teaching responsibility and concern for others =
giving your baby brother a ride to the park


Building confidence and a sense of worth =
I’m a big sister and can take care of the baby


Promoting social development, building friendship and trust =
crossing the road together is safer and more fun


Stimulating a love for learning = big sister plays teacher


Kids pick up what’s around them so when they are surrounded with other little people they learn to speak, walk, sing ABC’s, count, dance, play, paint and draw without you as a parent even having to teach them. This has been my experience anyway. They also learn how to defend themselves, how to be loyal, and how to care for others. These are all great life skills, and hard to teach in a course.

So instead of frantically signing your kid up for Ferber, Gerber, Berber and every other new method that claims to be the magic solution for healthy development, how about signing them up for life by allowing them to experience the magic of family.

Besides, being the only can be lonely, especially when mom and dad are so busy taking care of things.


And as one added bonus, although you may be tired at the end of the day, so are your little fairies, who have been running themselves ragged playing together all day. You can enjoy some blissful quiet time…perhaps reading, blogging, or just staring at them thinking how beautiful they are when asleep.