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No, it’s NOT what you think. In many ways I am not the terribly sentimental sort. But this is so cool, such an outstandingly neat idea that it makes me wish I had a little starting kindergarten in the fall so I could do this for him or her! (Well, it sorta makes me want one. Do it for yours instead. ;-))

Take a look and KEEP READING below the picture. It’s NOT what you think!

Now, don’t you want a kindergartner too?

Keep on smiling,




Ok, so I’m mixing metaphors here big time! One can eat an elephant, one bite at a time. Or take down a tree, one limb at a time.

Or read a book, one chunk at a time.

Whichever strikes your fancy, Jim Trelease has done a terrific job of making it visual; click here. For anyone who has trouble, even just sometimes, with plowing through a book, this video is a help. (I’m thinking especially of boys and assigned novels for school).




If you’re like most of us, you’re not real accustomed to dealing with what statistics really mean.

This article from the New York Times highlights one of the most misunderstood statistical factors about vaccinations especially the flu vaccine. What does it really mean when someone has a problem after getting a vaccine?

It also reminds us of the hazards of 24/7 news coverage. And the hazards of black and white thinking (all vaccines are good and necessary; all vaccines are bad and unnecessary). I encourage you to read and think about these issues before you need to make a decision.

I am very grateful that this virus has remained mild and not mutated toward the virulent end of the spectrum (especially since one son had it while away from home this summer).  But it is still early in the game and it’s a bit like trying to predict a hurricane. Where, when, how bad, too much, too little, too soon, too late, what are the best steps to take? It’s science at work in the real world, and some of the best of it out there comes from the CDC– but there are limits to human understandings, and decisions can only be made one day at a time and only with the info available right then. Life is still as much art as science.

I am grateful for people who are willing and able to put themselves on the front lines of making these really, really tough judgment calls.



It was a quiet group today but raucous books!punk farm

On the reading list were books about sounds, music, and dancing.

  • Punk Farm by Jarrett Krosoczka
  • Barn Dance by Bill Martin, Jr. and
  • Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin

Of course, we had to sing Old MacDonald with the kids picking the animals. And I did finally get them to be a little noisy, filling in the moo’s on click, clack, MOO!

Early literacy skills today included:

  • Print awareness (Click, clack, moo)
  • Narrative skills (sequencing) (Punk Farm and Old MacDonald)
  • Phonemic Awareness (rhymes) (Barn Dance, animal sounds, and Old Mac)

The school year’s still young. They’ll soon learn that it’s ok to talk about books with the librarian and sing and play along. They always do!


I had a conversation yesterday with a very caring, very well intentioned mother of a three year old.

She wanted to know what curriculum she could use with her.

I’m afraid I got on my soapbox big-time. I’m not going to do that here and now  (I may later :-)) but I do want to declare quite passionately:

Children between the ages of birth and five do not need a curriculum. Period. The end.

There are a few exceptions, but folks, those are exceptions, not the rule.

You didn’t need to teach your child to suck, to pick things up, to roll over, to walk,  or even to talk. You don’t need to teach your child the other things his or her brain is wired to grow into and learn in the ensuing years before school begins either.

I am truly worried about the coming generation of children who are not allowed to be babies and toddlers and preschoolers, following their own interests and curiosities and timetables. What happens when we have children with no childhoods?

I’ll write more soon about why this is not just my opinion. And I’ll write more about what is and is not needed.

Remember, no batteries and no curriculum needed.


Here are some great tips, surprising statistics, and our favorite no-brainer from the editors of the East Oregonian to help your child do better in school. They put it right on the line: Parents, you are the most important factor in your child’s education. Not the teachers, not the schools, but you.

Read more here.

(Did you find the no-brainer? ” At the early stages, the best 20 minutes parents can spend each day is reading to their children.” Make it your homework assignment with your kids each day!)


I know, I know. All the “best ways to make your way blogging” say don’t post apologies.

But here’s mine anyway ’cause it just keeps rolling in. question mark

I went on my first vacation in three years. A good thing–but no blogging while on vacation.

One week home and caught up enough to burn up the keyboard for you–and I get the 8 a.m. phone call that my kid at camp (of sorts) probably has the H1N1 (swine) flu. He did. I left the next morning, driving out to NC from CO, 1700 miles in 2.5 days. And then back again. (And he’s fine. More on the flu later).

Back home, I play catch-up again. I even post a little. I’m ready though to start sending ya’ll some thought-provoking, inspiring, useful posts–and the call comes in from the college kiddo in IL.

No, he doesn’t have the flu.

But he was at the doctor’s office and needs to come home for an outpatient procedure. So I’m scrambling to make that happen with aaaalllll that entails, especially on such short notice (he’s got to be well and clear by Sept. 5 to fly to Rome for his semester abroad).

So long story, not very short, 🙂 hang in there with me please! I’ll try to post some good stuff, but it will be a lot of “borrowing” for a bit until I have time to sit and breathe and think–and even find you a few new fingerplays and such.

I promise!

So here’s really, really good video, Shift Happens (the newest version). It’ll make you wonder and think and gawk with your mouth open–and then watch it again and think about children and the kind of education they need.


PS–Here’s also a wikispace page with more info (and a download link).

OK, folks, here’s another motivator for education that fosters thinking skills: 6% of Americans (that’s adults, folks, not kids) believe the moon landing was a hoax. Read more here in the New York Timesmoon

I find this both scary and sad–scary because these folks make big decisions in their lives such as which cancer treatment to pursue or who to vote for and sad because not being able to think through ideas clearly makes life so much more difficult.

Education is about more than pouring “stuff & info” into someone’s head. It’s about exposure to ideas and worlds different than your own. It’s about learning to think–and learning to think about thinking (fancy word: metacognition). It’s about learning to love learning and learning to learn forever and not just for a few years of your life.

As trite as it sounds, education changes people’s lives and thereby our world. And no one can take it away from you, once you’ve be given that gift.

And on that more upbeat note, here’s an article about Greg Mortenson. Made me cry and reminded me why I teach.

To a new school year!


Are you a teacher, a homeschool parent, a librarian, someone else involved with education?Alaska

Do you need a shot of motivation? Watch this 7 minute video of “The Best of Jaywalking with Jay Leno.”

Be forewarned: you WILL laugh out loud–so be somewhere you can do that in an appropriate manner. 🙂

And I recommend no food or drink in you mouth while watching it. I about sprayed my office with milk when I watched it while eating breakfast!


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Contact Info for Babette

email babette(dot)reeves(at)gmail(dot)com
snail mail
73 State Avenue
Alamosa, CO 81101

Blog with Integrity

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