The following book I highly recommend to ANY TEACHER OR PARENT:
Ron Fournier writes a deeply honest and poignant story about his son Tyler who has Asperger’s. However, this is not a book about one child and one disability. Fournier ties together research from psychology, education, popular culture and his own life experience into a tale that every parent and teacher should read. It summarizes many paradoxes that the modern parent is facing currently: push your children hard to excel and be the best, but don’t push too hard and allow them to fail. The new norm is to be above and beyond the average.
Why display all your child’s successes on Facebook and tell everyone? Because the underlying notion or premise is that: I’m a good parent. Look at me – my kid got a (fill in the blank). This puts enormous pressure on kids so much so that sleep deprivation is high among young children and teenagers. High schools now need “sleep ambassadors” because the lack of sleep is such a large health problem. “You’re only as successful as your child is popular.”
Interwoven into these issues, Tyler and Ron visit former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The interviews are different for each president and we learn something new about Tyler through each one. Ron, I believe, also learns something about himself as well.
From the the two year old who is not potty trained yet, to high school students who are not making higher than a 4.0 GPA, parenting expectations have been out of whack for quite some time. The victims are the children and the relationship between parent and child. This book helps to unveil the problem and offer some solutions – or at least books and researchers that can elaborate what that solution might be.
I have read other books that discuss their child with some kind of disability. This book was the best. The book doesn’t utilize hagiography that a reader may find with a parent authored book. It is a soul-bearing story of a father who learned more about himself through his “non-perfect” son than any perfect-sports-loving-baseball-hitting-football-throwing son could have. I understand we must have high expectations for our children and not just accept their attempts. However, research seems to imply that the constant intervening is what is driving students of all socioeconomic statuses to depression.
The summary at the end gives Fournier’s essential “what to do” as a parent and how to avoid the pitfalls of being overly passive or overly authoritarian. The list includes: Celebrate all victories, Make different cool, Slow down, Be a spouse first parent second, Share even the bad news, and Fight for your kids.
I would highly recommend this book to any teacher or parent. The conversational style of writing makes the book a quick read.
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.
These blueberry muffins are in one of the oldest of cookbooks I have where I copied down the recipe. The yummy topping is a must. I love making these with whole wheat flour or white flour, oil or applesauce – you really can’t go wrong. They are the #1 blueberry muffin on Allrecipes.com and a great go-to recipe with simple ingredients that are ripe this time of year. I have used frozen in the past, but there is something about the huge blueberries that are in season this time of year that make these muffins exceptional.
The second recipe for our little buffet is a breakfast sundae my son made. My kids would NEVER add this much fruit to their yogurt and granola. Ever. But it is in a fancy cup! So they ate every bit 🙂
Gotta love kids.
These two recipes are perfect for a brunch or breakfast buffet because everything can be put together ahead of time. Or a breakfast buffet can be made out of the yogurt sundaes.
The kids made both of these recipes themselves. My 9 year old likes to make muffins and learned to bake following kid cookbooks. The first thing we taught him? When you get burned, take it to the sink and put the burn under cold water. Then we worked on making muffins and the muffin method: mix dry, mix wet, add wet to dry and stir to combine. You can make any muffin, pancake or waffle if you know this method.
My 5 year old learned how to use a serrated knife several months ago and you can find her making us fruit salad almost every lunchtime.
Fruit salad is a great start for learning how to use a knife because the fruit yields easily to the pressure of a knife. The serrated knife isn’t as sharp as my other knives, so if she makes a mistake it won’t be bad. Plus the serrated knife is great for cutting up apples anyway. For her fruit salad, she will cut up one banana, one apple, several strawberries and throw in some blueberries or other fruit that we have. I found a small colandar at World Market for $3 which is great for small hands and small portions of fruit.
- Muffin: 3 cups AP flour or white whole wheat or mix of the two
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil or applesauce or mix of the two
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup milk
- 2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen)
- 3 cups favorite Greek yogurt (we've used lemon and vanilla)
- 1 and ½ cups fresh berries
- 1 and ½ cups granola
- Muffins - Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray 18 muffin cups with baking spray or use muffin/cupcake liners.
- In a great big bowl mix the dry stuff: flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Take about 2 Tb. of the mixture and toss with the blueberries to coat them.
- In a medium bowl, mix the wet stuff: oil, eggs and milk.
- Add the wet to the dry and stir until barely combined. Add the flour coated blueberries and stir gently.
- Divide the muffin batter among 18 muffin cups. Fill to about ¾ full. Top with crumble topping which should fill the well completely. Pat down gently.
- Bake 18-20 minutes. A toothpick should come out cleanly. Remove and cool on cooling racks. remove muffins from the pan after 10 minutes to prevent further cooking.
- Breakfast Sundae: Layer the yogurt, berries and granola in plastic wine cups, or ramekins, or clear plastic cups.
Mix ⅔ cup brown sugar, ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon, and ¼ cup flour.
Add 2 Tb. cold butter cut into pieces. Toss together and use fingers to make into coarse crumbs.
Muffin recipe adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/6865/to-die-for-blueberry-muffins/