February 5, 2010


I've been released from jury service for the year. Yippee! They settled out of court, so I never even ended up on a jury. I did, however, get free entry to the Museum of Modern Art on my lunch break yesterday, which was cool. And which is why I have no pictures to show you today.

But, I would like to share what I've been eating for breakfast with you. It's so yummy. And so healthy. I've been having Irish oatmeal with 2 chopped dried plums (aka prunes) and 2 chopped dried apricots with a sprinkling of cinnamon every morning and it's delicious! This is my third or fourth week of my new healthy eating and I'm loving it. I can't say exactly what has changed, but I'm having no problem sticking to the foods that are healthy and leaving out white flour, dairy, sugar, and processed foods. It's weird. Normally I would give up after a couple days. I'm also reading a great book that is just reinforcing my decision to eat healthier. It's called The Blue Zones. In the book, the author visits three (or four?) areas of the world that scientists call "blue zones," where a high concentration of centenarians exists, and tries to figure out what lifestyle choices led those people to such longevity, then he gives ideas for how we might do the same. It's a quick easy read and I'm enjoying it a lot. Once I'm certain my eating habits have changed I'm going to move on to exercise and find ways to get moving a bit more. Then I'll add meditation and I'll be set for life. I hope.

More good news: we might have a French boy come stay with us for a few weeks this summer. It would be an "exchange" of sorts through Homelink (the house swapping service we belong to) so that he could improve his English. I'm hoping it works out, though I doubt Jerry would be interested in going to France without us. But, you never know. I can't recommend this house swapping thing highly enough. If you've ever thought about doing it, just take the plunge. You'll never regret it!

By the way, on the unschool front I've made a couple changes. Warren is very worried about the way Jerry spends his time. He particularly wants him to know some things about history and feels he should study Japanese in between his lessons, instead of only doing it for the one hour each week when he is with his teacher. So, Jerry and I have taken to spending some time most evenings after dinner going over a Japanese book I bought him a while back and doing flash cards and I'm also taking the opportunity to tell him a few things about history, or to read a short book from the library on a certain topic. So, it's not strictly unschooling because he isn't coming to me saying "Mom, I want to learn this. Can you help?" But, on the other hand, he's not complaining and we both enjoy cuddling up on the new bed/couch we recently put in his playroom and reading and talking. So I see it more a me nudging him. If he refused to sit with me I think I'd have to let it go, but so far we both enjoy the time, so I'm going to keep going. And it puts Warren's mind at ease, which is good. So it's win/win all around.

I've been thinking of trying to add some math to his life, though. And that might not go as smoothly. The reasoning behind my idea, is that whenever I read about people who study video game design, they always mention that math is important. Now Jerry says he wants to study video game design. But he hasn't yet made the connection that he'll need math. He still thinks he hates math. So, I've been thinking of trying to find a person who loves math to come over now and then and show Jerry what he or she loves so much about it. I'm not really thinking it would be a "lesson" so much as a shared passion. I'm still toying with the idea in my mind. But, I do think that knowing Jerry, and knowing how he tends to feel overwhelmed when he doesn't feel comfortable doing something (which inevitably leads to his giving up), I'm just thinking it may be a bit negligent on my part to ignore the math thing completely. On the other hand, maybe if he focused more on video game design now, he would recognize that he needs math and then he would want to learn it. Hmmm. I think that might be right. So, doing more video game design with him now will lead him to want to learn math if he sees he needs it for the game design that he's doing. Aha! I've just figured it out. OK. Forget what I said before. We're just going to focus on what Jerry loves doing now. And if he finds he needs math to do it, then we'll learn math because he sees a need for it. Yes, that's right. Phew! That was a close one.


Shell (in NZ) said...

I was disappointed at not being selected, but I think it was more of "I didn't get an 'a'". I'm sure it's much easier.

Some kids need a bit of a nudge, don't they? I think my J is probably like that...others like A just have so much they want to do they can hardly fit it all in- I doubt I would ever need to nudge her toward anything- her life is too full.

I'm happy not nudging for now...ask me again in year or two, or a month...who knows? :0)

Grammie said...

Where do you get "Irish" oatmeal? And I HATE oatmeal (although I love, love, love oatmeal cookies!) so would I like what you are eating for breakfast?

Colleen said...

It's in the same section as regular oatmeal, but it comes in a metal can. It takes 30 minutes to cook, but you can reheat leftovers fairly quickly. Did you start a blog, Barb?!

I was happy to be released Lishelle!

Grammie said...

A long time ago but never did anything with it. I guess I forgot that I had to log on here with my google stuff or did I not have to? I get soooooooooo confused with all this stuff.

Frank said...

Nice reasoning path there! I'd be more inclined to say that logic is what's useful more than pure-dee "math" but that's a quibble. Logic and math are closely related. You're right that he'll learn what he needs/wants when he needs/wants it.

Shady Lady said...

I was doing so well with my exercise, then Princess got sick...then I got sick...and I haven't worked out since. I have got to get back to it!

That's awesome that Jerry enjoys sitting with you and listening to history stories. Princess is very "hit or miss" when it comes to reading time together.

Good going on the math front!! :)

Colleen said...

Thanks Frank. :)

I wouldn't say he "likes" listening to stories about history, Shady. He does like doing Japanese, though, and he likes to be snuggled up on the bed with the cats and me, so I think that makes the stories more palatable. And it makes Warren happy. We'll see how long it lasts.... ;)

Cate said...

Have you tried the "Horrible Histories" series of books with Jerry? My two ate them up as they are so entertaining and cool to read - and were learning all about history at the same time. There is also a science series which Bronte in particular loved.

Diane said...

My daughter does not like math either. I have three recommendations that are math books , but not math textbooks. Making Math Meaningful, Business Math Series(you will be running a Pet Store, Book Store, or Sports Store for a year) from www.simplycharlottemason.com, and Life of Fred. Life of Fred is hilarious and tells a story and only has 4-10 problems per chapter. Maybe some of those will look interesting to your son.

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