Month: July 2014

Beatrix Potter

Last night I watched the movie ‘Miss Potter’ and this morning I found that one of my friends had sent me a link to her biography.  (Universal coincidence in action once again.)

When I was a little kid, before I got into mysteries, I liked her stories enormously.  I liked Squirrel Nutkin and Mrs Tiggywinkle, but I remember, as a child, thinking that Peter Rabbit was a very naughty little rabbit. I could never figure out why his mother didn’t punish him more severely. 

Boy, if I ever crept into someone else’s garden to steal their lettuces, I would have really copped it. I felt sorry for poor old Mr McGregor who had worked so hard in his garden, only to have the rabbits pinch his crop. 

Miss Beatrix, though, was a most interesting lady, well ahead of her times in some ways. If you would like to read her bio, the link is below.

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                                                              Beatrix Potter

 

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                            Do you have a favourite Beatrix Potter story?

 

Finally!

When I was a kid waiting for the postman was a big part of my life. As you may know if you are a follower of this blog, I had pen friends everywhere and loved receiving letters from them.

It would take about two weeks for a letter to get from me to my pen-pals in the USA and for them to write back.  I hated waiting. I am not gifted with a great deal of patience.

So it was these past two weeks, when I was waiting for a box of books to arrive from the printer. I have been staying home every morning until after eleven, by which time the parcel delivery people would have come if they had a package for me.

I knew the estimated delivery date was July 11, but I still woke every morning in the hope that my books would, by some postal miracle, arrive early.

And today they did!

 

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These are my books with the new covers.  I am so happy with them. They look terrific.

It was definitely worth the wait.  I hope the kids love them as much as I do.

Ahh, the small joys of life!

 

 

Mum – I’m Bored!

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When I was a kid, my mother only ever had one response to my whined statement.

‘Well,’ she would say, putting her face on a level with mine. ‘Go find something to do.’

It is school holiday time again and our newspapers are full of suggestions of ‘what to do with the kids these holidays’.  Blog pages are dedicated to boredom-buster activities. It seems our children need to be constantly entertained or the most undesirable state in the entire world…BOREDOM…will set in.

When I was teaching, the word ‘boring‘ as in ‘Maths is boring’ was banned in my classroom.  That’s because many children used the word ‘boring’ when they meant ‘difficult’ or ‘takes too long to finish’.

Early in the school year I would explain to my students that I would put every possible effort into making lessons relevant and engaging for them, but there would be times when the subject matter would be less than riveting. When these times arose, I promised to alert them so that  they could concentrate really hard. That way the tedious but necessary content could be completed in the shortest possible time.

I don’t think boredom is to be avoided. To me, boredom is when your brain just doesn’t have anything to think about. Is that such a bad thing?

In my own experience of boredom, it is just the pre-cursor of imagination, day-dreaming, invention, exercise and adventure.  Giving my mind to have a break allowed it to search around for new ideas.

Children need to understand that their world, at times, includes times that require patience, down-time, mind-relaxation and, yes, boredom.  Being bored means your mind is resting for a minute or two.

Why must our minds be bombarded with stimulation all  the time? Why can’t we let our minds rest occasionally? Can we not allow for a mental tea break?  We do it for our bodies, why not for our brains? Do we, as parents, schedule our children’s lives to the point where their brains do not have enough down-time.

Maybe we should let them be bored sometimes.

What would happen if, when our kids come out with the dreaded ‘I’m bored!’, we replied ‘Well, go find something to do.’?

Maybe it would be worth a try. After all the inevitable complaining and moaning had died down, it might just be the beginning of some creativity, imagination, invention and adventure.

Hmmm – I wonder.

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