Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Newest Norburys

For her 7th birthday, my daughter really, REALLY wanted a pet. We already have two dogs and an old cat so I didn't want to add any more of the larger, four-footed variety of pet. We discussed Guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, geckos, frogs and more. She wanted a pet who would interact with her and that she could play with. After lots of library books and many questions to Travis at the local Petco, we settled on rats. We adopted two who were already a year old.  Meet Messi & Kiwi. They are brothers and VERY sweet. They LOVE, LOVE, LOVE walnuts and playing with the kids.

Rats get a bad wrap because of their wild relatives, but pet rats have been domesticated for so long, they are really almost a whole different animal (though they are still the same species as the wild brown rat, Rattus norvegicus). They are very dedicated and trusting of their humans.. trusting to the point that having a pet rat involves a higher stewardship to their safety. They trust us implicitly and will eat anything we offer them. Another example with our two is that they have no fear of our dogs... though they really should fear our standard poodle. We just lock her out of the room or the house when they are out.

If you are considering a pet for your child, look into rats. They are very sweet, can learn tricks and are easy to care for.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Multi-Child Discount

It just occurred to me that a multi-child discount would be useful for my homeschool classes. I am now offering a discount of 25% off your total bill if you sign up more than one child. Children must live in the same household and must be siblings, half-siblings or step-siblings to qualify. The discount can be applied across multiple classes. In other words, the children do not have to be attending the same classes.

And, remember, childcare for younger siblings is available for most sessions so you can use the opportunity to get some errands run... or just go have a quiet child-free cup of coffee at one of the many nearby coffee shops in Lee's Summit.

Many thanks to CWH for letting me use an image of her multiple children for this post.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Homeschool Classes - Fall 2014

When it became apparent that I needed a way to contribute a bit more to our family's bottom line, I pondered, contemplated, mulled over and meditated on what I could do that would fit into my busy schedule. During this time, I found myself in the middle of teaching a class on Andy Warhol and Pop Art to a great group of kids for my homeschool coop. And the light bulb went off! I was already doing the thing that could help with the bottom line... I just needed to rethink it as a business and not just as a coop offering.

With the incredibly unoriginal name HeatherAnne's Homeschool Classes, I am launching my new venture. I'm taking it pretty light this fall with offerings in art and music theory. I will also be taking on a few private piano students. Please take a moment to check out my offerings for fall! And feel free to suggest something! In addition to art and music, I also love teaching math and science and have a law degree. (I'm already thinking of either a high school moot court or Bill of Rights class for the spring).

You can see the fall class offerings at the following link or by clicking on the "Homeschool Classes" tab just under the blog's home page banner. http://foofynotfoofy.blogspot.com/p/homeschool-lessons.html

Monday, June 16, 2014

So what is Forest School?

The first time I ever heard of Forest School was from the following Ted Talk about hackschooling.

The name sounds AWESOME, right? What's not to love about something called Forest School... even though I had no idea what it was. The Wikipedia article was not all that helpful and www.forestschools.com is only really helpful if you live in the UK. And in reality, none of these definitions came to be what our Forest School is like. Every Forest School is different as defined by the varied locales and the individuals who attend. My most promising lead was from my friend Jerritt, who attended Forest School with her kids!... and lives half a country away. So it became evident that if I wanted the Forest School experience for my kids, I was going to have to create it myself.

So then, what is Forest School? It is fun, it is educational, it is freedom to explore, it is turning nature into a self-guided classroom, it is wet, and it is often muddy. The first step to starting a Forest School is to find the right forest. Wild, but maybe not too wild and relatively conveniently located since the idea is to visit the same place year round at least once a month but possibly more often. While many excellent choices were around the KC Metro, since I was going to be the "leader" of this muddy band of nature lovers, I chose a location close to me. The park where we go has a rocky bottomed creek, bluffs full of fun rocks to climb on and lots of beautiful green... all behind a park with ample parking and a play ground. The nature area is hemmed in by the park, a neighborhood and two streets so the kids can safely roam without getting lost. The creek always leads back to where the adults are. On the other hand, when you are in the creek bottom chasing tadpoles, those "civilized" spaces might as well be miles away for they are not intrusive to the peace of the nature area at all. 

We go year round... every second Tuesday and any (bonus) fifth Tuesdays. Rain or shine or snow. (We do skip dangerous weather). Because the creek is in a small dip (it's not really deep enough to be a valley), the temperature there is often warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and the winds aren't as strong. Once there, the kids just... go. They play. They explore. They swim (even when it's 60 degrees out and the water has only just thawed). They get muddy. They get SOAKED. No agenda, no curriculum, no lesson plan. Nature teaches them. And even the most screen-obsessed kid jumps in with both feet, literally and figuratively. It's a beautiful thing. There are no rules (though parents are encouraged to require a buddy system of exploration). Every family lets their kids explore with the supervision with which they are comfortable. If I have an interested audience, I'll point out different plants and explain their medicinal and culinary uses. But mostly, it's all kid lead exploration. And in a couple hours, worn out and wet, we'll ascend from the creek bed reconnected a bit to nature and to ourselves. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lorde - "Royals" Parody | Kansas City "Royals"

LOVE LOVE! Especially entertaining when you know that Lorde was influenced by a picture of Kansas City Royal's legend George Brett when she wrote her song.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Shop my AVON store!

Shop my AVON store!: Here's a sneak peak at some of the latest products available at Avon. Be sure to click.

My Avon lady retired so, naturally, I just started selling Avon myself when I have trouble finding a replacement Avon lady. :-)