Mea in Kindergarten


Mea’s teacher really understood how to balance time for her to be silly and time for her to focus. She would only have to say, “Mea, it’s time to get the sillies out,” and Mea would know that she had to settle down.

Mea could have gone to school all day (she was in half-day Kindergarten). She loved all of the kids she was able to spend time with – better than being with just dad.

Truly, whenever Mea would be out around town and see a kid, they all seemed to know who she was.

During this time, we saw Mea start to collect every scrap of paper, pencil, eraser, and bracelet that was given to her at school or at Sunday school.

I would find them all over her room – sometimes hidden, and sometimes not.

I would have to go through and “clean” out her collection, especially because sometimes it was just a blank piece of paper.

This was different than with the boys – they were just messy and didn’t put things away.

Mea was holding on to everything that was “hers.”

It gave us more to think about as she began her school career.

More Reading by Memory


Switching to a school with a slightly different approach to reading helped us see just how little Kieran knew about phonemic awareness and phonics, and how much he relied on his memory to read.

While still reading “above” grade level, now that he was headed into short chapter books, his frustration with how to say multisyllabic and unfamiliar words was clear.

He reverted to looking at the first letter or two within the word and guessing at what it might say, based on the context of what he was reading. Sometimes he was right, which reinforced for him that he was “fine.” Many times he was incorrect in his guess, which helped us show him why we wanted to help him better decode those types of words.

While he would struggle with phonics again, later on in his elementary career, we were lucky to “catch” this behavior and need at the end of first grade. It might not have come out if we had not changed schools, and saw his reading through a different district’s eyes.

#SOL17 – Day 26 – Teach-Write-Life Balance

On Thursday night, Keystone State Reading Association held a Twitter chat with author and teacher, Jennie Brown, about how to maintain balance in one’s personal and professional life.

Sadly, I struggled mightily with this balance, especially toward writing, this weekend.

We are trying to sell our current home. Therefore, we spent the weekend cleaning our house (in anticipation of our first showing) and combing through the active listings to find our next house.

When I wasn’t cleaning or combing, I was binge watching The West Wing, which I had never watched even one episode of, until yesterday. No excuse. Just a respite from the stress we’ve embarked upon this week.

Then there was small group, church service, and softball try-outs.

But I cannot give up now. I have committed to blogging each day in the month of March. It’s the 26th day for goodness sake. I only have five more days to go.

Also, I have set a personal goal (a marathon 😉 to write every day (of the week) this whole year. It’s only the third month of said year.

So, here I am. Not eloquent, not witty, not insightful. But a writer – writing. That is going to have to suffice for tonight.

#SOL17 – Day 24 – When Life Hands You Lemons

One District, One Book

An opportunity for families to read together.

Kids reading “classic” children’s books with a mom,

Or a dad, or an older sibling.

It brings the whole school together,

everyone reading the same text.

Reading a chapter a night – what will happen next?

Then, an author visit. How exciting!

This year, The Lemonade War.

Learning about where the idea for the story came.

Paying attention to life – filled with great stories.

The character needs motivation

And someone standing in the way of what they want.

A problem to solve keeps the reader’s interest.

Learning about the story from the author herself?


#SOL17 – Day 18 – Family Poetry


This post is inspired by Janet Wong’s poem “Dad” from Good Luck Gold.

My father is like a loyal Labrador – a great guide in life. A best friend, hard working, strong, a protector.

My mother is like a domestic house cat – aloof much of the time, but when you get that “purr” of attention, your heart soars from being in her undivided sights.

My husband is like an armadillo – having built up armor over the years, he’s an incredibly hard worker. Underneath, if you are lucky enough to get him to let down his guard, there’s a soft and vulnerable side to him.

My older son is like a sloth – surprisingly speedy when necessary. Strong body – slow and steady to accomplish his goals.

My middle son is like a Tasmanian devil – small and growing more solitary with (teen) age. Constantly active, capable of surprising speed and endurance. A whirlwind of a child.

My daughter is like a cheetah – fast, a survivor, beautiful, graceful, and sometimes a little illusive.

I wonder what animal they would pick for me?







#SOL17- Day 17 – Life in Numbers

I am imitating this format, as I think its clever and fun!

  1. One daughter – whom we prayed for and waited for. My athlete and our pride and joy.
  2. Two sons who are my guys – who I fight for (and with) for their own good. I hope they always know how much I love them and am proud of them, even when they move away.
  3. Three siblings that I grew up with: two brothers and a big sister.
  4. Four days that my husband had to work night shift to clear the snow. I am glad to have him rejoin the family – we missed him.
  5. Five years that we have lived in our current house.
  6. Six years at my current job, which I am so thankful to have. I enjoy every day, because each day brings a new, exciting challenge.
  7. Seven months until my reading conference in Hershey, PA! #KSRA17
  8. Eight is my favorite number… but I’m not sure why.
  9. Nine years since my Dad passed away – I always smile when I think of him.
  10. Ten cats that I have had as pets; only one currently. I am a Leo, born in July and love cats.

Have a wonderful day!




I’m going to write about Kieran only this morning. Remember, Kieran is showing signs of ADHD. We did not know at the time about the ODD, but looking back he did exhibit signs.

Here is a chart of other “disorders” that can be co-morbid with ADHD (


What we saw was aggressive behavior when he became frustrated.

Kieran, to this day, gets very easily frustrated. We only rent his trumpet because I wonder every time he gets a new piece of music if the instrument will survive his wrath. He invariably will start to bang the trumpet on his leg, take it apart, and then lubricate every inch of it. This past time, however, we had a mini-breakthrough in that we reflected on how frustrated he was upon getting his winter concert music, but learned it so well that he had a successful concert. It seemed to click that, if he just took one line at a time and practiced daily, he would indeed improve. AKA, he didn’t need to play the piece perfectly, all of the way through, the first time he practiced it. There was a little less banging and oiling this time around. Concert music has yet to be handed out, though.

Early on, Kieran also became frustrated, as many other kids do, when he could not express his thoughts and feelings quickly or adequately enough with his limited repertoire of words. He is still more apt to punch or kick Liam if he is losing a game, than eloquently share that he doesn’t like losing.

When Kieran was still in the infant room at day care (the same day care that wanted to hold Liam back, interestingly enough), he started to become frustrated with other kids who would: take his toy, invade his space, not play the way he wanted them to… anything that annoyed him, really. He started biting, just one or two times. The director’s recommendation was to move him up to the 1-1/2 year old’s class. He was about 13 months at the time.

We trusted her recommendation and Kieran seemed to immediately settle down. He was so in awe of the “older” kids – what they could do, how they talked, the new games and activities they had, that he stopped misbehaving. He could do and play the way they did, and his language increased daily! He didn’t become as frustrated.

It was the first time that the word “bored” had been used with him. I do think that this word can be used an excuse at times, that we should teach our kids that it’s okay to be bored – it’s a part of life, and/or that it’s an overused term, especially with gifted kids. But there he was, enjoying life – being challenged in a positive way. No more biting (for now).