Sunday, November 15, 2009

Steven Survives

while his Mommy waits for inspiration for a new strategy.

Yes, we are not following a curriculum, and no, I'm not a qualified teacher. No, we don't get approval from the school board, and yes, I don't know what I'm doing sometimes. Yes, we change our minds about 14 times a year about how we want to approach book-learning,...

And no, he is not going to school next year....

Because, while he is reading at a middle school level, he hates to read. Because although he spells well, he can just barely write his letters.

And because he thinks states are countries and countries are states, and doesn't have the slightest curiosity about continents or where they are located in what seas. And because his mind wanders more than it wonders when it comes to Math. And mostly, because he believes in Santa and wears reindeer antlers or an elf hat everyday as soon as we have our first frost. (He also sleeps late and sometimes eats candy for breakfast when he gets up while he watches marathons of The Simpson episodes he's programmed into the DVR).

Meanwhile, Steven is doing the play The Emperor's Nightingale playing a lead character, "The Lord-in-Waiting." He is nervous because he has the most lines, but it'll be fine. He is sharp and in good voice and as he told his teacher, "It doesn't matter what part I get, I just want to bring the play to life." :)

He is feeling a ton better physically and back in action at Taekwondo. He is bummed to have missed so much, but has a lot of motivation to catch up and he is working it out. He should be ready by December to move on to the next belt. I'm hoping beyond hope that we are done with viruses for awhile. It has been incredibly tough on him because he enjoys TKD so much.

He is sewing with Alissa which he loves, but his machine is on the fritz ~ Fingers are crossed that we get word that it's fixed for tomorrow's class. Thank you AS for letting him use yours, just in case.

Also this week: He has theatre workshop at the library, a class at the metro parks and will be going to the science museum for a circuits and art class. When we go to work, he'll see his best friends who are mostly grown-ups, but also, when he gets home his best neighbor friends will be here for the week with their moms.

And finally, he is planning on staying up really late one night this week, until midnight, and ordering a pizza.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Steven Lives

We're still out here, but it's hard to catch up on the blog regularly.

On school nights we've taken very well to turning off the television and the computers after 6pm. No screens in the evening and we are having lots of fun. Nothing special is going on, nothing to brag about, we're just eating supper together and talking, mostly. It's so great to listen to the kid's giggling and being goofy. They still bicker and the usual, but they are spending time together, which is great to us. I didn't want to turn it into more time where I have to entertain them, we basically consider it free time and we can all do whatever we want. Sometimes we hang out together and play games, but mostly not. Mostly, I read my own books and catch up on various things and they find some kind of imagination game to reckon out.

We're are reading together every night, The Life of Pi, and I can't even explain how deeply I'm enjoying reading with Lea again. My heart honestly broke when I would think about the past and all the wonderful years we read together, and how I took it for granted...and how recently when I recalled the last time we read together not realizing it was the last time. How I began to miss her asking me, "Can we read tonight?" And miss her laying her head on my shoulder, playing with my hair, and us curling and uncurling our fingers, holding hands while I read. I never thought I would hear her ask me again and I really didn't think we would ever find the time or place since she is changing and needing me less in those ways. I thought it would be o.k. because we were finding other ways of being together... But, one night last week I picked up this book and started reading it aloud. She sat on the sofa behind me, brushed my hair and quietly listened.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Steven Sick (again)

This is "Virus: Round 3" since school started for Steven who doesn't attend.

He had a big week planned with lots of stuff going on, but he managed only to make it through Monday afternoon's sewing class before he was down for the count.

This is potentially trans-formative for him though. It seems like he is understanding how much good food, rest and exercise (and hand-washing) play a big part in his overall health. That is a life lesson that far exceeds any other goal we set up for him this year, and hopefully one that is being etched deeply. It is no fun to be sick when you're a kid, but really no fun to be sick over and over again.

We did get his workbook I ordered. It is a DK book helping with math skills to accompany his Saxon math curriculum that is becoming a little overwhelming for him. I totally believe the children when they say they aren't ready for a task by either telling me verbally or exhibiting signs of distraction or frustration. I'm not going to promote to Steven that he must continue work that is discouraging for him, but I'm not going to let him give up too quickly on it either; thus, a satisfying and somewhat easy workbook with big happy fonts and cute pictures. Offering small successes is a key to supporting his development, I think. This is all new for him, book learning, and I want him to know books are a significant key to finding stuff out, not a detriment to personal exploration.

Anyway, what we didn't do yesterday was a class at the local metro park and his drama workshop at the library, and what we aren't doing today is going to gym class or Taekwondo.

But, as he laid around healing his bod yesterday he did watch some dvds I found at the library about Understanding the Universe, (plus "Gremlins" and "Transformers 2"), and today he is playing Runescape and resting as much as he can.

Together we are reading: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Interrupting for a commercial break:

Check out the blog:


This is neighbor and friend, Hiliary (yeah, it's spelled right. that's the way it's spelled.) This will be a very, very entertaining blog to keep up with.