Sometimes, when I am feeling overwhelmed with the needs of our family, school, work and home, I wonder if the kids are actually learning enough (and on some days anything?!?!) to help them grow, learn and enjoy life to its fullest. In the past couple of days, I have been given glimpses of what is really going on.
AJ is excited about learning to read. Today, he read "That cat is sick. That cat is sad." He started learning to read at the beginning of September and he is really excited.IT doesn't come easily for him, and yet he shows such great determination. His speech and language was delayed and there are times when I really see those issues creeping up and him getting really mixed up with sound symbol association, yet he just keeps trying. When he gets a new sound or word, his grin could swallow you up and you will definitely be blinded by the flash of his smile and pride. L usually tells him what he needs to do, what he is doing wrong or how she did things so much better than he did when she was in kindergarten yet for reading she cheers him on and encourages him, being his number one fan. He is also really enjoying printing and learning to make the letters. He practices on a magna doodle, slate and paper. He leaps into the air and does the touch down victory dance when he feels he has made an especially good looking letter. Math also has clicked for him and he knows more than I thought he did. Everyday, I find that he knows more and more and has been soaking things up when his sister would work on them. He is enjoying learning and it is so fun to share this with him. He has already told me I need to buy him harder books, and I know he is right.
A-girl is not going to be left behind. It is so much fun to see all of her skills emerging as well. She now prints the first letter of her name and today drew a picture of a cat that actually was more than scribbling. It had a circles for the face, eyes a mouth and two points for ears. She also loves to learn the sounds in AJ's reading program so sits and takes things in while he repeats sounds and reads.
I wish I could say that L is as enthusiastic about learning as her siblings. She commented at the end of last week as she cried about her work that she wished she could just be in kindergarten forever. I told her if she studied hard, she could become a kindergarten teacher and be there forever. It wasn't quite where she wanted to go with that thought, however it did distract her just long enough. She has been reading a lot lately and yesterday asked me what Quakers believed that was different than us. I told her I wasn't exactly sure but we could look it up. She then proceeded to read a paragraph from her book about the Quakers coming to America so they could be free to practice what they believed. She then said "Mom, what do those Quackers believe in that is so different that us? Guess we'll be digging up some information on the Quackers....well OK the Quakers. A little later in the day while I was making dinner, she stormed into the kitchen announcing that being separated just because of your color was stupid. She talked about Rosa Parks and segregation. She thought it was "completely ridiculous" to do that. We were able to have a great conversation around prejudice and segregation. It was really interesting to be able to have this type of conversation with her and I look forward to many more in the future. IT is my goal to find something that sparks that desire to learn in her. I think its there, but currently is jsut buried under her negative attitude around school. Hopefully I find it really soon or the only sparks around here are going to be inside me as I go a little batty!