seminars

Reading is fun!

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Gail displayed our lists of books from the read-a-thon on the bulletin board in the classroom.
Gail displayed our lists of books from the read-a-thon on the bulletin board in the classroom.

We had Literacy Night this week as one of our educational seminars. It was a great time to hang out with the families–we had pizza plus a wide array of salads (not to mention a Martha Stewart–worthy fruit pizza. Wow, it was pretty!). There was also a book exchange, and my family came home with four great new ones that have not left our nightly rotation since.

Since March was also Dr. Seuss month, we had a Cat in the Hat theme for our read-a-thon. We listed all of the books that we read during a week, and then Gail posted them so that we could see what our buddies were reading lately, too. Here were a few favorites:

  1. A to Z My Stars
  2. Archie and the Pirates
  3. The Cat in the Hat
  4. Go, Dog, Go!
  5. Goodnight Moon
  6. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb
  7. Hello Freight Train
  8. I Took the Moon for a Walk
  9. King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub
  10. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
  11. Planes!
  12. Where’s Waldo?
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Halloween seminar

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Our October seminar had, naturally, a Halloween theme. Of course, there were lots of fairies and princesses, but also a dragon slayer and (gulp!) two dragons, some owls, two Minnie Mouses, at least one cowboy, a pumpkin, and a good witch (Gail!), among others.

Little Ariel, Bode Miller ca. 1985, and Elsa search in the rice table for treasures.
Little Ariel, Bode Miller ca. 1985, and Elsa search in the rice table for treasures: pumpkin scoops, eyeballs, and frogs.

We enjoyed snacking on clever little ‘pumpkins’ (peeled clementines with celery stems) and apple cider and learned about the phases of the moon and nocturnal animals. After songs and high fives, we headed home. It was fun to see our good friends!

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The sensory table, where the kids used magnifying glasses to see the details on leaves, berries, chestnuts, and gourds.

A seminar: Kent Hoffman live!

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We usually have a seminar the same night as our business meeting, but this month, all of the co-ops in the city had one big meeting at Spokane Community College. (SCC is in charge of all of the co-ops. Parents pay a fee to them each quarter.) Kent Hoffman was the speaker, and he was magnificent! I’d already learned the general idea of his theory–called the Circle of Security–from Teacher Gail last year, but his ninety-minute presentation was very beneficial and inspiring. (For more information on Circle of Security, see here and here.) I left the talk last night thinking hard about how I can be a better parent and looking forward to reading his book, The Circle of Security Intervention: Enhancing Attachment in Early Parent-Child Relationships. I foresee coming back to it often, to remind myself of the goal of creating a well-rounded attachment with my son.

As I mentioned, every month we have a seminar, some kind of parenting-related topic. So far, ours have included green cleaning methods, First Aid, and how to plan ahead to pay for college. To be honest, I thought I would dread these meetings, but the discussions have been thought-provoking and it is actually fun to get together with the parents who go on different days. (Also, there are always really, really good brownies. I don’t know if it is the same person who brings them every time, or if we are just lucky to have many excellent brownie-bakers in our group. But it’s a great enticement, for me, anyway.)

Our first quarter is already over

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In the past three months, our kids have raked up the leaves in a nearby park, crafted feathery turkeys, and made Christmas ornaments. More importantly to me, they’re learning how to play together! This is my son’s main source of interaction with other kids, so it’s good experience for him to start learning (slowly, very slowly) how to share. The big kids are just dazzling to him, and he wants to do everything that they do . . . even if it means riding on a big boy’s back in order to participate. Everett, one of the older boys, has been especially caring with the little ones, and played peekaboo with them in the tunnel in the romper room (and didn’t even seem to mind that one of the toddlers was crawling slowly through it).

Our monthly seminars have been pretty interesting. Besides housekeeping tasks like voting on a budget and talking about fundraisers, we’ve learned about making environmentally friendly cleaning products, and two parents did a really informative presentation about different methods of saving for college. (Also: we have really good treats at these meetings. Especially the maple cookies we had the first month!) We missed the Halloween party but are looking forward to the upcoming holiday gathering, where Santa will pass out books to the kids.

Here’s a peek at some of our fun. (Click on one of the photos for a gallery to open.)