Tag Archive | dictionary.com

Nursery Rhymes Uncovered and Continued

Just in time for us to restart this program. The kids are bugging me constantly to pull out the nursery rhyme book. We really enjoyed our look into history last year and with the twins one year older I am hoping their enthusiasm to find out the weird but true will help keep me on my toes!!!  

 

So, as I promised HERE… the further adventures (and really mostly resources) of our foray into Nursery Rhymes. I try to pick rhymes that I remember and that may be at least a fun challenge to learn for half of the kids. As I am sure those who are on my Facebook or Instagram have noticed, not all of our rhymes have gone over well with the minions.

Hush a Bye Baby/Rock a Bye Baby is another of those. While looking into cradleboards was fun and interesting and the multiple origin theories fun to explore some of the kids were put out by the “meanness” of the original rhyme. Echo espeically disliked the idea that ANY babies were harmed in the making of the story. After all for the rhyme to have been written she believed at least one baby had to fall. So of course we included the “not scary” version in our copy work. You can read about that version HERE. I didn’t make them memorize this vsersion as it is not common, but it was fun to read through the sweetened up version and wonder if it was necessary to do so.

We made sure to do some research about Cradleboards as soon as it was made clear that that is what the poem is referring to. And am I ever glad we did, they are BEAUTIFUL! And then, at the science museum, we found an actual example of one. You can read all about them HERE.

There is always Wiki for a brief write up HERE, try Song Facts for more information about various uses of this rhyme HERE, and Mom.me for a dark origin HERE.

MotherGoose.com has a cute colouring page HERE. We did a craft for this rhyme with Education.com called Baby Footprints. As you can see from the additional picture… we really didn’t stop there!IMG_20170809_133712_200

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3 Blind Mice was our next nursery rhyme. It was sadly much delayed with noise from siding construction. We could not get our video recorded and everyone was out of sorts so rather large amounts of work did NOT get done. BUT I do have links to share…

KidZone had an Itsy Bisty Book to share HERE. DLTK has a fun number sheet related to our rhyme HERE. A cute shaped colouring picture HERE was used by the kids. Check out Reading With Kids for another colouring page HERE

For research purposes check out rhymes.org.uk HERE or All Nursery Rhymes HERE. For a good joke page with animal related jokes, and most of the way down one specifically about the 3 blind mice head to THIS Activity Village link. Education.com has a list of brief information for various rhymes including this one HERE.

Hot Cross Buns came next with a lovely printable of pennies and buns that I printed in colour and laminated from Play at Home Teacher HERE. DLTK has a printable recipe HERE. Sadly we did not have time to bake buns but we saved the recipe for the holiday season to add to our cooking experience.

There is definitely religious significance to the rhyme in the subject matter, so if you are researching be aware. But the actual origins of the rhyme are as a selling tool. End of story. So not the most exciting. Though the kids loved singing it with the extended verse about having a daughter or son. You can read about it all on Powerfulwords.info HERE, Rhymes.org.uk HERE, Smithsonianmag.com HERE.

Kiddyhouse.com has both verses HERE.

Now as an additional bit of info Zander took some time and researched Mother Goose herself. Not an easy woman to pin down. But you can do your own reading with our resources. Bluebonkers.com HERE.

Back to the rhymes and Ring Around The Rosies (which does not have the origin story most people think it does). Echo really enjoyed learning the dance.

I will say straight off, I too thought it was about the plague. Wiki has a good run down HERE. Library of Congress has a helpful site HERE, Dictionary.com has information HERE. Dover Publications has a great colouring page with the lines of the rhyme in a traditional style HERE. And that is where we ended our series. Check back in the next months to see how we get on with our reboot!!

The Grass is Always Greener…

on the other side… I am sure we have all pretty much heard SOME variation on that old saying. But is it really? I wonder, at times, if anyone sees MY “grass” as greener than theirs.

If you take the saying literally and look in my backyard (heck let’s be honest, front yard too) it is obvious, the neighbour’s grass IS greener. But, that is mainly because weeds masquerading as grass will NEVER have the plush vibrant green of true lovely grass. So, yah… my grass is not greener if you want to get TECHNICAL.

Now take the saying as a saying… do you see my life as better/easier/greener than yours? I have a somewhat skeptical view when it comes to the idea that someone would see my life as simple and fun from the outside looking in. Let’s lay it out as I am rather sure it appears:

  • 5 kids
  • homeschool
  • stay at home mom
  • no license (because I don’t have one)
  • husband has been diagnosed with severe depression AND a hearing disability
  • one income household
  • idea of a good night – anime and crochet

Some good, some bad, some awesome in my mind. But I am not sure it is anyone else’s idea of an enviable lifestyle as much as I love my life. Ups and downs and all. So as a full out overview – my grass seems a little… sparse… but there are aspects… I get to homeschool, I have chosen to have my say fully in their education and embrace it as my life. I get to be at home, with my babies (and honestly, I hate working), which if I am utterly honest is a bit of a double edged sword. My husband is DIAGNOSED, and as far as we have seen CORRECTLY. I wonder if anyone can grasp the huge relief and gift that is. We have titles and names and symptoms and, even more important, a plan to a healthier life.

Now you can envy all you want on that last one – I get to craft… and watch anime… bliss.

I have made it one of my active choices to NOT look at the outside of someone’s life and be jealous or judgmental. What is the saying – still waters run deep? You can see a dictionary meaning HERE, but really what I mean by that is that what seems like a beautiful and gilded life is often masking turmoil, trial and tribulations and so much more. So, unless I want to let myself place a huge amount of worth on the physical possessions of others… well it is so much better to simply be pleased for them and realize that my life is mine. It is the sum of my choices, the result of my experiences. There is a lot of truth in the belief that without the ups and downs you would not be the person you are.

And, when I look deep inside, I like me. I am a good person, I try my best in all things, I love well… I try to live well. Your grass, your choices and abilities and possessions, the are not mine. And that is ok. We all do what we can with what we have.

Now that is not to say I haven’t seen someone’s new toy or home or adorable fluffy, sweet kitty and been a wee bit jealous. Honesty is important, and I REALLY want my own little kitten to love and pet and snuggle. We all are weak to that I think… no, not cats… but to a wee bit of jealousy. But do I want their life… do I want to give up my own and fit into theirs? Nope.

It is really important that, at the end of the day, we see the good. This is something that was super important early on in Ken’s journey to a healthier life, and remains important even to today. At the end of the day I can always see something special, something positive, something ours that happened. The more you can embrace the life you live the less you see the need to gaze at someone else’s.

I think at times I really wonder – would ANYONE want my life? The thought makes me giggle, so many people say they could never do what I do. Good! Because if you did I would be out of a job. And that wouldn’t work. I could not imagine my life any other way. Could you?DSCN1497[1]

Tiny Bodies, Big Ears

Well, I am not the ONLY “healthy” one (as was discussed last entry that is a part of my mental health saga series) in this not so tiny family of ours… We have 5 kids (obviously) which are currently ages 12 through 5, which I gush about often here on the blog. I am a stay at home mom who homeschools all 5… just laying it out there. So our kids are home with us and around our family situation at a near constant basis. This has been instrumental in Ken’s process and been implemented into his therapy itself. I am not saying this is optimum for ALL people undergoing the process of returning from severe clinical depression, but for our family, having Ken thrust into our day to day life and education plans forced him out of himself and the thoughts we are committed to if not silence, prove false and quiet.

Because of this constant interaction and the children’s progressively deeper understanding of life in general it was never an option to keep the situation completely out of their scope. I do want to stop right here and clarify, we have NOT discussed anything to do with Ken’s suicidal thoughts/plans/intentions… this is not a discussion that I feel my children are ready to deal with and grasp, but WHEN they are it will be something I sit down with them and frankly share. I joke about the 1 in 5 statistics and how we live it with our 5 kids… but I am more than aware that there is a potential (especially with Ken’s family history and his own severe case) for any or all of our kids to at one time or another suffer from this mental illness.

Now at the same time we have created a house that is open for discussion. We are pro therapy of course, and do not hide from the kids that Ken is on a regiment of medication and vitamin supplements (once again this is overseen by his therapist and psychiatrist and NOT something we take lightly… doses are prescribed for a reason people). We have often discussed how Dad has had a hard time feeling positive and happy, so therapy and his medicine help with that and make it so he can be with us in a better way. I have made a conscious effort NOT to hide Ken’s appointments. The kids are not privy to the content of the therapy sessions, but they are well aware that Dad goes weekly and WANTS to go. That if they felt they needed to come with and talk about the situation they are welcome. In fact, Mom has gone a few times to check in and be involved.

Out of necessity we have discussed in great lengthy Dad’s hearing impairment. I would LOVE to say this has taken instant effect and the kids are always careful to not crowd in and talk at the same time or slow their speech BUT… well we are on a great learning curve right now. I am a firm believer in the idea that if I explain these seemingly grown up issues to the kids in a way they can understand they too can be a part of the healing process.

But I ask you, do you seriously think we could have kept it completely from them? There is a saying – Little pitchers have big ears. Basically be careful what you say in front of children… for all that they seem deaf when you ask them a question or tell them to go do a chore, that whispered conversation in the front of the van is heard clear to the back. I would rather they sat down with us and were given proper information than they picked it up here and there and then repeated these little nuggets to the world at large out of order and improperly.

Our children are our future and for mental health and mental illness to ever be properly addressed we really need to continue our education with them and as soon as possible. Echo does not care that Daddy goes to therapy, in fact, she loves tagging along to see his work aid. The boys are well aware that Dad was not as happy and involved as he is now, they are SO pleased when he takes interest in their assignment or pitches in on a science project.

The road is not a smooth one, feelings are hurt when we have to cancel for an appointment, and sometimes he returns too drained to be involved with us… we are still trying to strike a balance with what Ken WANTS to do in regards to education and family and what he CAN do or can AIM for. This does slow my process down with planning and at times a project just MAY go on a bit longer than expected… BUT having that additional involvement in our school of Ken and his own interests and skill set is a win win for us all.

I think that having the whole family participating in positive ways as a healthy unit is an important part of the healing process. We are not just healing Ken with his series of issues and diagnosis but we are healing a family that wasn’t even aware it was hurting. That is the most amazing part of this process, before we were aware we were hurting we were healing. When one of the family is in need we are all in need. I think that this process is filling a void that we didn’t know existed.

So basically, while I think that keeping many of the details of an illness from children can be the best choice… telling them all about how feeling super sad and having emotions you simply cannot deal with as an adult means it is absolutely ok to go talk to someone and seek help allows them to see that as children those sorts of emotions are something to share and talk about. Silence is really one of the biggest stumbling blocks in healing mental illness, let alone diagnosing it. 

Well, here I end this entry… and as usual I end with a reminder… for those who are suffering, either in silence or as they seek help… we are here with you… those who support others… we applaud you and hold out a hand to hold in solidarity… because EVERYONE should know they are loved, know that WE love you! Reach out, talk, share and heal. It will make us ALL better people! DSCN1583[1]