You are never too old, or too young, to learn

Categories: Education

Last week I read two articles that stood out to me, for their similarities and their differences.

The first was about the world’s oldest first-grader. Kimani Maruge started school for the first time at the age of 84 in 2004. Before that he’d been too poor to attend school in his native Kenya. He lived his life as a farmer and fought in the army for Kenyan independence, hoping then the government would stop charging fees to go to school. Even after independence though the government continued to charge fees till 2003. At the age of 84 school was finally opened to all, not just those who could afford it, so he went.

It’s never too late to learn. It’s never too late to chase your dreams. It’s never too late.

The second article was about learners on the other end of the spectrum – newborns, how their brains process new knowledge and the knowledge they already come with. I’m always fascinated by studies showing just how much newborns know and understand and the ways scientists are finding to measure their intelligence since they aren’t exactly adept at filling in bubble sheets. The first year is an intense period of growth physically and mentally for humans and it’s amazing all we’ve learned about that period, and all we still don’t know.

It’s never too early to start learning. We shouldn’t wait till the time seems right or the process seems easier because the process began before we even knew it.

Things we wonder about

Categories: Health, Learn Something

There are things a person wonders about from time to time but never cares enough about to actively go searching for the answer. This weekend the stars aligned so that I could find one of those answers.

Thursday I started catching what would turn out to be an amazingly nasty cold. Thursday the Kleenex box in the front bathroom also ran out. I’ve often wondered if I had colds bad enough that I could use an entire box of Kleenex all on my own. But the start of a cold, the start of a new box, and my ability to completely monopolize the use of said box, never worked out before. At 5:30 this morning I pulled the last Kleenex out of a box of 160 count. That means I averaged 40 a day. Yikes! At 7:30 I started box #2. I’m hoping this thing passes before I finish the second box. But now I no longer need to wonder if I ever use that many Kleenex again.

Now I’m wondering what it is about orange juice that makes it taste so incredibly good when you are sick.

Here are some things other people have wondered about and been a little bit more active in finding the answers to:

What things have you wondered about recently?

7 Years

Categories: Life, Random

Seven years ago this morning my mom and I pulled in to Tucson with all of my stuff after driving all night from Utah (a drive that would’ve been a bit shorter if we’d had a GPS or a better map). We got the keys to my new apartment and crashed on the floor for a few hours before starting to figure out how to settle in. That evening a large group of young men, organized by Brett (who promised I, the new girl in the single’s ward, would have food), completely emptied my moving van in under an hour, before the food even arrived. Two weeks later I declared myself officially unpacked, even though it wouldn’t be till last year that I finally opened the last box I brought down with me. Such is packing.

Seven years. They’ve been good to me.

Children’s Songs

Categories: Questions, Random

Last night I sang “Where is Thumbkin?” for Iddo for the first time since she really figured out what fingers are. I needed a song I could sing that would last long enough to keep her calm through a messy diaper change and it did the trick. Then we went back to the family room and I sang it again. She had fun wiggling her fingers with me. But it took over 15 minutes to sing.

It isn’t that long of a song. But at the end of every verse are the words “Run away. Run away.” So she did. She ran around the coffee table. She ran around the kitchen table. She ran down into the hall and back. The whole time repeating either “run away” or “running.” And then she’d come back and we’d sing the next verse.

I knew that song was a finger play but I had no idea it could be such an active song.

With regards to another children’s song, Brett and I are in disagreement about how it goes. Which isn’t unusual with these types of songs. They’re almost like camp songs where every camp sings them slightly differently. But I’ve still wondered which of us is right (it’s me).

Are you familiar with the song “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee”? How do the verses go for you?

In Brett’s version he’s bringing it home, it stings him, he squishes it, and then wipes it on his shirt. And he thinks that’s it.

In my version I’m bringing it home, it stings me, I squish it, I lick it up, I get sick, I throw it up.

So, do you wipe the squished up baby bumblebee off or do you eat it?

Smart kid

Categories: Books, Education

I’m totally biased, but Iddo is super smart.

I’m well aware that “smart” is a subjective term and varies greatly based on how it is being measured. I know that so far the best we’ve been able to figure is that it’s a combination of nature and nurture. The experiences a child has when they are young, particularly real young, pay huge dividends down the line. But they don’t need to be complicated experiences. In fact, you can boil down the basics to just 5 simple things – talk, sing, read, write, and play.

NPR ran a piece a week or so ago about how community libraries are stepping in to help parents figure out how to do those five things, and how simple they are to do. It was a good piece, except for the opening paragraph:

Literacy begins at home — there are a number of simple things parents can do with their young children to help them get ready to read. But parents can’t do it all alone, and that’s where community services, especially libraries, come in.

There is nothing about talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing with your child that parents can’t do all by themselves. The key is if they know they need to do them or not. The opening paragraph admits they are simple things to do, but then follows it up immediately with saying they can’t do it alone. Suddenly those simple things seem rather intimidating.

We do all five of those things in our home. Currently the writing part is increasingly confident lines drawn with crayon, but that’s where we start. The only resources we have are books (yeah used book stores!), crayons, and paper. Also helps that I have a mother who loves crazy songs so I’ve got a whole bunch of those up my sleeve as well as the book Mockingbird Flight which has over 100 children’s songs in it. But you can find fun songs to sing for children anywhere.

None of the five things to help give kids a leg up in education requires a lot of money or materials. They just require a little bit of time and a tiny bit of know-how (even if that know-how is how to get to the library for books and how to google children’s songs).

What’s your favorite child-type song?

Summary of 2014 on the blog

Categories: Life, Random, Science & Tech

In 2014 I wrote 91 posts and there were 421 shared thoughts. Here is how it all broke down by month, day, and hour.

The number of posts and shared thoughts in each month:

Month Posts Thoughts
January: 7 42
February: 11 26
March: 5 16
April: 5 25
May: 2 17
June: 5 19
July: 4 18
August: 7 33
September: 3 13
October: 8 41
November: 30 104
December: 4 67

The number of posts on each day of week and the days people thought about them:

Day Posts Thoughts
Sunday: 7 28
Monday: 17 89
Tuesday: 10 81
Wednesday: 18 66
Thursday: 13 57
Friday: 20 53
Saturday: 6 47

At what hours I publish new posts and when people thought about them:

Hour Posts Thoughts
0:00 1 2
1:00 1
2:00 1
3:00
4:00 2
5:00 4
6:00 1 12
7:00 14 33
8:00 8 34
9:00 4 52
10:00 3 33
11:00 7 34
12:00 9 12
13:00 6 17
14:00 2 15
15:00 3 23
16:00 8 25
17:00 7 28
18:00 2 16
19:00 12
20:00 7 14
21:00 3 25
22:00 4 18
23:00 2 8

Thinkers of 2014:

  1. Brett: 92 shared thoughts
  2. Mama G: 86 shared thoughts
  3. AmandaStretch: 66 shared thoughts
  4. Denice: 64 shared thoughts
  5. Whitney: 44 shared thoughts
  6. Giggles & HeidiAphrodite: 27 shared thoughts each
  7. Mitali: 4 shared thoughts
  8. Lena: 2 shared thoughts
  9. Abbie, Daunell Butt, Genevieve Ford, Janice Fender, Lindsey Redfern of therhouse.com, Mimi, Mindy, myriam, Stephanie Renee, and Valerie: 1 shared thought each

Top posts with the most shared thoughts in 2014:

  1. For some must push…: 10 shared thoughts
  2. She’s not a horror story: 9 shared thoughts
  3. I Knit: 9 shared thoughts
  4. They left us hope: 8 shared thoughts
  5. Boringly healthy: 8 shared thoughts
  6. Walk WITH Hope: 7 shared thoughts
  7. Lay hold upon every good thing: 6 shared thoughts
  8. Knowing more: 6 shared thoughts
  9. His daughter: 6 shared thoughts
  10. Us-Sufficient: 6 shared thoughts
  11. My running partner: 6 shared thoughts
  12. Reading to Iddo: 6 shared thoughts
  13. Lost memories: 6 shared thoughts
  14. A blessing on the food: 5 shared thoughts
  15. I don’t do that… yet.: 5 shared thoughts
Summary generated by 2010 Summary plugin by Tomasz Topa

Happy New Year!

Categories: Happy Things

Something inside me tells me this next year is going to be big.
I can hardly wait for the adventures it has in store.

Happy 2015!!