Wednesday, 26 November 2014

FLUReviews: Star Wars 2nd Grade Workbooks...

My wonderful friends at Thomas Allen & Son Ltd. have spoiled me again and sent me a few books from their Star Wars Workbooks library.  This is a group of educational books with a theme that most little kids can relate to - Star Wars!

My son is currently in grade five, however with his learning disability he is currently reading and writing at a grade two level.  It's hard to find appropriate materials for him to work with because the books at the level he is currently reading at are "babyish" and although they are at an appropriate level for him, he feels like they are too easy - simply because of the childish content and illustrations.

This is the reason I was really excited for him to have a chance to work with the following books:  2nd Grade Writing, 2nd grade Math and 2nd Grade Reading.

These books are perfect for a little boy (or girl) who have an interest in Star Wars. Unfortunately, my son lost his Star Wars interest after taking a lightsaber toy to the eye, but I figured it had to be better than the workbook he has with creepy clowns all over it. 

The books themselves are very well illustrated.  They are filled with well-known characters from all Star Wars generations (or episodes?).  I love that they give you the standard copy the writing as well as a lot of blank space where children can create their own ideas.  One of my favourite books, 2nd Grade Writing, while seemed a little beyond my son's abilities at this point, gave tasks for him to write paragraphs about characters with facts provided. 
I know it's a little blurry...but look at that concentration!

A couple areas that could possibly improve in these books (again in the writing book) is that some of the words provided are names of characters. So instead of having "space" or "robot" (for example) the words are names of characters.  While that is good for children who have a lot of interest in Star Wars, the words were pretty much useless to my son - who is lucky to be alive after taking that light sabre to the eye (I kid, it was harmless....although traumatizing!). 

As a mother to a child with a learning disability, there is one thing that kind of stood out for me.  The front of the book says 2nd Grade Writing in big letters across the front as well as the age of the children it relates to.  The first thing my son noticed was that he was doing "grade two" work.  While that is true, I feel like it shouldn't be so prominent on the cover.

Overall, I think these books are fantastic. The questions (minus the writing the names) are age appropriate and interesting and the illustrations are exciting.  I really enjoyed that there are familiar characters from all ranges of Star Wars and of course I loved that the answers are printed in the back....because who else doesn't second-guess themselves when it comes to second grade math!

 You can find more information about the Star Wars Workbooks here:

2nd Grade Writing

2nd Grade Math 

2nd Grade Reading

I would like to thank my friends at Thomas Allen & Son for providing us with these awesome books. 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Little Moments...

I've been reminiscing a lot lately.  I remember when he was little and how amazing everything was to him. Watching him learn everything he knows for the very first time was an incredible gift. Now he knows everything and is as tall as the top of my ear. Although sometimes I miss the old times, I find there is so much I can appreciate about his new found wisdom.

Getting older is a scary thing.  I can't even begin to explain how terrified I am of the moment my son asks me how to shave or how to ask a girl out on a date.  My only advice? Enjoy the little moments.  They may not seem like much at the time, but looking back those little moments are some of my  greatest memories.

Decorating our tree for Christmas has always been one of his favourite events.  I can't say I enjoyed decorating our tree when I was little - I don't even remember having a tree half the time. I mean I'm sure we did most years, we just didn't make it a huge deal.

Putting ornaments on a tree gets old pretty quick.  After about five or six coloured shatterproof balls, his attention was back on his toy cars. Every year he seemed to get more and more interested in decorating the tree.  I would re-arrange the ornaments after he went to bed because he would have the same ornaments beside each other. Sometimes the Santa ornaments would be hanging out together - and that could not happen, who ever heard of two Santas?? (I have a little bit of OCD). 

This year I didn't have to arrange any of the ornaments. He put all 50 of those coloured shatterproof balls on the tree by himself. I thought he would be drawn to a video game or YouTube video after only a few decorations - but he stayed and he sang and he decorated the way he wanted to.

So even though growing up is scary (trust me I'm still absolutely terrified), I think I can get used to this whole independence phase - until he asks to borrow my car.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The post where I talk about: World Psoriasis Day

I meant to post this yesterday, but as usual, life got in the way...


October 29 is World Psoriasis Day.  
I try to avoid including my disease in my photos (I wear bangs or makeup). I know sometimes I'm not always successful at hiding it and I get stares or rude comments. I'm sharing this with you (and hoping not to lose any friends/followers) because I want to raise awareness to this awful disease. 
It's not contagious. It's not just a "cute heart shaped patch". I don't have cancer on my face. It's not because of poor hygiene. It does cause pain and humiliation. It does cause poor self esteem. It does cost thousands of dollars for treatments (the only treatment that worked for me was a chemotherapy pill -- that caused stomach problems so I had to stop). It does cause other health issues (right now I am dealing with blood pressure issues which was explained to me as a side effect of my disease). Most of the treatments that I have encountered have the side effect of skin cancer - I mean it's probably rare that will happen but treating one disease only to end up with cancer seems pretty harsh. It does attack more than one area and usually pretty widespread which makes it difficult to treat topically. 
Those are just a few things I've experienced in the three years that I've had this awful disease. 
I hope I didn't scare you away -- I assure you I am not dressing up as a "walker" for Halloween (sorry joking helps me cope with the self-esteem part of the disease!).

Monday, 22 September 2014

I'm sorry that you are a jerk...

I don’t think you realized how dumb you looked making fun of me today.  I came to your office today to do a good deed what I didn’t expect was you to be there, in your standard office attire pointing and cackling at my wardrobe choices that day. 

Yes I was wearing a headband with cat ears on it.  I also realize that I was wearing a Christmas sweater – but you know what? It’s what I chose to wear because it makes me happy.  I don’t wear cat headbands and Christmas sweaters every day – no, sometimes I like to mix it up a little with a Power Rangers t-shirt or a Pikachu hoodie.  We all do things that make us feel a little better, maybe your fancy Suzy Shier blazer made you feel happy that morning – for me I needed some cat ears and a Christmas sweater.  Get over it.

I can only remember being bullied twice.  Once when I wore a Hypercolor shirt (which is totally mind boggling because those shirts were awesome).  I ran home and cried and never wore that awesome magical shirt ever again.  The other time was when a grown man made fun of my teeth and my step dad punched him in the face at the zoo – I haven’t been able to go to that zoo since.

I avoided further bullying incidents by not being myself. I tried to fit in with groups that I had no business being a part of.  I refused to smile with an open mouth in pictures.  It worked – but at a huge price of never getting to show my true self. 

So as you stood there trying to ridicule me in front your group of office friends, with your judgmental gaspy laugh – I wasn’t mad. I learned from my step-dad to not punch people in the face for making fun of people - it would have been really nice to see the komodo dragons that day without being escorted out of the zoo – so instead I answered your ridiculous questions.  When you asked me why I would wear cat ears “like, is it for Halloween or something?”  I just shrugged and said “because I like them” 

To be honest, I actually felt sorry for you.  Trying to knock someone down for being themselves is a classic move for someone who is jealous because they can’t be themselves.  So if you ever want to know where to buy your own cat ears, well screw you go look on eBay you jerk.


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