Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You Win Some, You Lose Some, You Win Some--The Boost of Accomplishing a Goal while Working for Yourself

Now I'm working for myself. Not my own business, really. I'm an independent contractor. I get to work for myself as I work for someone else. It's new for me.

My previous job was as an engineer (although my most recent was homeschooler). It wasn't a job that had you out much. Sure, I'd meet customers sometimes, but I never had to introduce the company or ask anyone for money.

Over the last few months I've had my share of problems trying to work from home (the kids are a little better about interrupting me on the phone). But I've also had a really good result. And that feeling of success not only wipes out the last bad phone call, it wipes out the the last week's worth of bad calls.

It's an amazing exhilaration. Those times where something falls through are no longer as daunting. When I'm discouraged it can feel like it's going to take forever to get where I need to be. When I got something I had to work for, it's as though the finish line is right in front of me and I only need to take the final step.

Enjoy crafts, recipes, and local Connecticut events for kids and teens at Macaroni Kid for Southbury, Oxford, Middlebury, Woodbury, Roxbury, and Bridgewater.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Slime for a Crowd--How I Became a "Cool Mom"

Mad Science gets a lot of props for fun science. While I would never substitute those activities for science instruction, they get kids excited. Once I bought a book with simple science experiments. Was I ever surprised to find the same types of activities that kids love. With a trip to the grocery store, I was set.

At some point in the beginning of the year, the class parent for my 3rd grader had asked for volunteers. As usual I signed up and then smacked my forehead once I realized I would actually have to do something with all the kids in the class. These science activities fit the bill nicely–if I could get them to work for 24 kids.

A little recipe testing was in order. Anyone who has had a dinner party knows you’re supposed to test all the recipes before serving them to guests. Science recipes benefit by the same procedure when you’ll be in front of an audience of 9 year-olds. I had to take the numbers of kids and the amount of time allowed into account. I used the slime recipe from chemistry.about.com. I mixed the glue at home in small batches and put 1/2 a cup of the mixture in 24 quart-sized, zipper bags.

I packed up all of the baggies (making sure the top stayed up–I didn’t want to take any chances), some food color, and a Mason jar of the Borax mixture. Once I got to the school, I passed out the ziplock bags of the glue mixture and let the kids color it. After the color, I had the kids line up and I put three tablespoons of the Borax solution into each baggy. The kids just squeezed the bags to mix it up. When they could reach in and feel the slime, it was declared the “best Fun Friday ever!”

A little hint that I learned: the more water added to the glue the more “slimy” the slime.

More craft or activity ideas for kids and teens and also local things to do in Connecticut.