Monday, March 24, 2008

Blog? What blog?

This year is really going by awfully fast. Since mid-January we have been plagued by just about every cold and flu out there-- some of them more than once. That's not a bonus when it comes to gastrointestinal stuff. But I suppose that's what we get from dragging our kids around the country for Christmas.

We have seen some interesting developments as a result of the sicknesses though. Moonshine emerged from one bout of illness with the ability to both whistle and read. She woke up one morning in February and things just started clicking for her. She went from not reading to reading in the blink of an eye.

Just as Sunburst did, Moonshine has really taken a fond affection to the McGuffey Primer Reader. Every few days she brings it to me and asks Einstein or me to help her work on the next lesson, and so we do. If she's amped enough about reading to want to work on it, how can we say no to that?

Other things that have clicked for Moonshine in the past few months include ice skating and roller blading.

Sunburst has been mostly reading. We're still trucking along with lessons, but her reading has just taken on a life of its own. She's reading about 200 pages a day now, sometimes more. She would rather be reading than anything else. If we had a horse, this would be a different story. She spends a lot of time reading horse-care manuals. Just yesterday she was reading a manual on robotics-- so you never can tell.

Einstein and I have taken a different approach to homeschooling this past month. While we are still heavily driven by Waldorf, my concerns about how she measures up in a foreign country have gotten the better of my unschooling leanings. I imagine it will pass eventually, but in the meantime we have amped up our expectations. Rather than nag, we have asked Sunburst to take some responsibility for her own schooling. She and I sat down and decided together how much work she could be accomplishing each week in each subject area. We then made a list with check boxes and stuck it on the fridge in a sheet protector. When she finishes a task, she can check it off her list, and in a glance, she (and we) can know what she has left to accomplish.

This plan is working out great so far. With one month left before we move overseas, you can imagine my brain is a bit frazzled. It's really hard for me to stay focused and be the end-all homeschooling mom. We are still doing main lesson, but at nine years old, there are some things that Sunburst can do by herself now. And I think she likes it that way.

Kitty Bill is still trying to play the Alpha Male card on his sisters. He spends a lot of time being the destructive, high-energy, two year old. He has learned to ride a small bicycle with training wheels-- and he can even steer! Which is something. I need to remember that as long as he has something to be in control of he may let the rest of us live to see another day. Large motor activities are a huge plus in his case. He's a busy little guy!
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