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Showing posts from February, 2018

Petroglyph National Monument

Seven year old No. 1 and I got to visit Petroglyph National Monument last week.  The monument’s a short drive from Albuquerques airport, and having nothing better to do, a hike seemed like a great way to spend our late afternoon, so we headed straight there after picking up our rental car.  Having never been before, (even though I grew up in New Mexico), our first stop was the Visitor Center. There are two things you should know about the visitor center.  First, it’s nowhere near any of the monuments hiking trails.  Second, while the rangers are ultimately very helpful, and truly very nice people, they do seem to enjoy talking some Park Service smack on the way to helping you.  1 and I inquired as to what would be the best trail for a short afternoon hike. “Well, you could go to Rinconada Canyon… but are you prepared for a hike?” The kid and I have literally been on hundreds of hikes. "I think so?" was my humble but confused reply. "Do you have water?" The r

The Joy of Walking Around with Kids

Recently a question came up  (if you haven't checked out Winnie yet you should, it's kinda awesome!)  If you hang out with two toddlers is it worth getting a double strollers, and at what age are kids done with strollers?  I love having never had a stroller, so I was of no use on the two-seat vs. single seat part of the question. As for the 'when are kids done with strollers?' part, I think the age for being done with the stroller for good largely depends on what the parent and the kid want to do.  My really short answer is the kids here were done with the wrap when they turned two.  Between two and three I occasionally had to hip carry or put them on my shoulders while I had the younger kid in the wrap, but for the most part they were down on the ground, and walking with the rest of the gang. Now for the longer answer just because I’ve had so much fun not having a stroller and walking around with the kids.  :) As each of the kids learned to walk, I took them ou

What proposed bill AB-2756 Means for CA Homeschoolers

In a nutshell the  proposed bill AB-2756  could result in every homeschooling family in the state of California could being visited on a yearly basis by their local fire chief who would in fact be required to do so.  The bill really has nothing to do with the authors' concerns for your fire safety, it was inspired by an awful incident of child abuse that occurred in Perris, CA  (this was an awful read for me, I'm putting it here for informational purposes, but be warned.).  The Homeschool Association of California has written up their thoughts on the bill .  If you'd like to contact your assemblymember regarding the bill, you can find their contact information here .  If you'd like to contact the authors' of the proposed bill their contact information is listed below. Medina, Jose 61 Democrat Contact Assembly Member Jose Medina Capitol Office, Room 2141 P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0061; (916) 319-2061 District Office 1223 University Avenue, S

CA homeschooling rights grab

A new bill affecting homeschoolers in CA is headed though the legislature.  The bill which is of course, 'for our safety' would require local fire marshal's to inspect all schools with fewer than six students.  Translated, this means that the fire chief in each town will be required to inspect every home that files a homeschooling affidavit.  The affidavits are currently required by law in CA, so that means if the bill passes, each of us who are homeschooling legally can expect a visit from a fire marshal. Some very good points are being made about this bill.  Among them are: You're not required to file a homeschool affidavit until your children are compulsory schooling age.  What is it about turning six that places children at higher risk due to fires.  In other words, when three kids are under the age of six in a home, why do they not get the privilege of a fire safety inspection? Apparently most fires happen in the evening, (you know when people are actually i

You Become What You Practice

A few days back, I wrote rather mournfully about an opportunity that three year-old No. 3 had lost because, well, she’s 3.  It seemed a bummer to me that 3 wasn’t allowed to continue what she’d done so well, (participating in a class involving a museum tour and a related project). I was thinking about the entire issues as 3 being able to do things that her same-age peers couldn’t.  Mostly I’d been led to this thinking by the museum staff who were concerned that other kids 3’s age couldn’t function in the class.  (Plus it’s kinda fun to think that your kid is stellar.) Then, it occurred to me.  What if all kids could do this?  What if we just don’t expect it of them as a society, and so, of course, they don’t.  3 was pretty much raised in the museum of which I speak, (and in a whole host of other locations).  She learned how to walk there.  Most Saturdays she could be found—at first in the wrap strapped to me and later on foot—following along with the museum tour and project class b

What If?

I might have mentioned before, (or I might not), that the kids and I, especially when they were very young, shared a rather incredibly tight biofeedback loop.  I found that when I became upset, even just internally, (assuming to myself that my emotions were smugly, if not stoically hidden), within seconds, whichever kids was the youngest would also be upset.  The whole thing was a bit of a bummer with respect to generally wanting the kids not to be upset, but also edifying in that we were so connected, and finally it was a very mindful sort of way to live in that I was offered constant reminders to calm myself the heck down. As the years have progressed, the kids and I have lost some of the animal immediacy of our bond.  When one of us is upset, the other doesn't instantly fall to pieces anymore, but we do still feel each others general tone.  Now, instead of calling it biofeedback, I find myself calling it jangliness, and I can feel it in the kids every bit as much as they can s

I Bailed My Dad out of Jail!

“I had to bail my dad out of jail!” This is how, then 3 year-old No. 1 had, (with great glee), started every conversation with visiting friends and relatives for the last several weeks. And so, seeing no reason to deviate from a winner, these were 1’s first words to my aunt after we’d settled in for lunch at our favorite Mexican food place. “Ummm, what?” said my aunt as she put down her margarita, grinned a little bit, and turned her focus to me. Fortunately, it was a short story, hillarious, but short. My partner and I had been on our way to pick up 1 and then one-year old No. 2 from daycare. I crept up to the stop sign at the edge of our neighborhood, looked both ways, and kept on creeping. The flashing lights that appeared in my rear-view mirror immediately indicated I hadn’t looked quite well enough. I pulled over in a large and rather empty strip mall parking lot. The officer and I went through the initial pleasantries. He returned to his car to run my license through the sy

Bus Pass!

Yesterday, five year old No. 2 had what has become a right of passage in our family.  He got his first Clipper Card with his San Francisco MUNI pass.  When now seven year-old No. 1 got her Clipper card and could boop onto buses and trains, she instantly became the envy of her two younger sibs.  2 asked for a Clipper card non-stop, and it wasn’t long before 3 also got into the game.  We compromised by getting 2 and 3 their backpack Clipper card holders early.  3 delights in holding her holder up when we get in the bus and saying, “Boop.” So, it was with great glee that 2 legitimately booped his way onto his first bus Thursday evening.  We had a bit of a hiccup at the BART station heading out.  (2 got stuck in the clamp-like jaws of the BART gate once when 2 year-old No. 3 went in front of him.  Since then, he and 3 have gained access to BART stations through the emergency gates.)  2 booped his card on the BART gate well enough.  It opened, but then he froze, staring at the clamps he wa