Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Drive to Collect Donations to Help Animals

E has been working on a doing a drive to raise money for the local animal shelter and a horse rescue.  She wanted to do something to help animals, so we called the animal shelter to see if she could volunteer, but they said she was too young.  So we googled for ideas of ways kids can help animals, and came across the idea to do a drive to collect donations.

She called the animal shelter and horse rescue and asked what they need.  Then she presented her idea to 4H and asked them to make it a committee. Then she did a presentation for the Humane Society and asked them to help.  She wrote a letter to businesses to ask them if she can put collection boxes in their locations, went to their locations, talked to the owners/managers, told them her idea, and got permission to put the boxes in 3 businesses.  Another business owner heard about it and offered to let her put one there, and of course there will be one at our county 4H office.

Yesterday, we went shopping for all the box decorating supplies and the kids on the committee, including L, met to decorate the boxes.  E typed up the lists of what the animal shelter and horse rescue said they need, I formatted it, and we posted them on the boxes. 

Not sure if the other kid's mom is ok with her picture being on a public blog, thus the editing.

Today we went down to the newspaper office, and she told one of the reporters all about the project, so we're hoping it will be in the paper next week.  The boxes will be up for the whole month of April, because it is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.  So I'll post an update after that with a tally of what gets collected! 

We also went down to the animal shelter today, so the girls could see the animals they are collecting donations for.  Those poor dogs will probably be really glad to get some new blankets and beds!  Other than that, they look like they are cared for well, and we were glad to hear that even though they are not a no-kill shelter, they do work with various rescues to try to either adopt out or transfer the animals before even considering putting them down.  The girls REALLY wanted to take home one of the adorable kittens they had.

She has learned so much from doing this:

Public speaking/presenting skills
Cold calling skills
Making a plan and implementing it
Typing and writing (spelling, reading)
How shelters/rescues work
Working with others
Finding a way to make something happen when the first idea doesn't work out

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Playing with Numbers

L randomly tells me, usually a few times per day, some math fact she's figured out for the fun of it.

The other day, she told me "2+2+2 is 6," and she's been doing that kind of multiplication for a while.  But then she told me how she came to that conclusion.  She said, "Because 3 plus 3 is 6, so you take 2 out of one 3, 2 out of the other 3, and that leaves 1 and 1 which is 2.  So you have three 2s and that makes 6."

Well, yes, that most certainly works!  And that's a far more abstract way of figuring it out than just counting on your fingers!

She's not always so open about what her process is.  She likes to figure things out, like if there are 12 ice creams how many does each kid get, but she doesn't usually like to show how she's doing it.  She will count in her head and discretely use her fingers, and I sometimes have to resist the urge to help her because I'm not sure if she's really figuring it out... but then she comes up with the answer!  

Banning Technology

I've seen a few things going around lately about banning technology from kids, for all kinds of fearful, hyped up reasons. I just wanted to share a few of the neat things technology has allowed in our lives lately. Last night, my kids got to play a video game with their uncle who lives 2 states away. They do this every few weeks, and it's really neat, because they probably wouldn't know him otherwise. Just talking on the phone can be awkward between a single guy and little kids, but having the video game to connect over meant at least an hour of conversation.
Also, my mom and my aunt are on a trip through Italy right now. The kids and I are able to "follow" them with google earth. Starting from the San Fransisco airport, tracking their path to Germany and then Italy, seeing the B&B where they are staying, the art museum the visited, the walk they went on, etc. has all been really neat. Plus when my kids ask a question I don't know the answer to, I'm able to pull up pictures, videos and answers in 2 minutes flat.
L loves coloring in pictures on an app on the phone and then being able to play it back, so I can see the process she used. We can play board games on free apps without the expense of buying them or the mess of cleaning them up. They can stay connected with family by writing emails back and forth. All of my kids have favorite tv shows and video games that bring laughter, questions, conversations, and a way to unwind into our home.
Could we survive without technology? Well, based on the fact that E played outside with friends for, literally, at least 8 hours today and L and Z did the same for at least 4... yes, I think we'd manage. But I can't imagine why would I want to take away these amazing modern resources for learning, connecting with people, and entertainment.