Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wish List Item #12

12. If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

I was sitting at East End Arts Council this afternoon waiting for my oldest daughter to finish her Art class. My 4yo was sitting with me reading a library book...yes, actually reading a book. An early reader, but still reading. As people were coming and going they were quite amazed, which was a little astonishing to me. And while I would love to take credit for having produced such an "advanced" child, I really had little to do with her progress. Sure, we talk about letter sounds, and I read to the kids, but she did most of the work all on her own.

Now, I also have a 6.5yo who is not reading, and shows very little interest. He has recently been inspired by the See More Readers written by Seymour Simon, but even that is sporadic at best. However, this child retains nearly everything that is read to him, and has a wide knowledge base. He remembers King Sargon from his sister's Story of the World lessons when he was only 4! And has since found considerable commonality between Sargon and Moses...who would have thought?

Homeschooling allows us the ability to let our kids be kids in their own time and in their own way. Oh how I wish my two little ones were on the same page and I could teach them both the same lessons at the same time, but that just isn't so. They learn completely differently, and I am blessed to have the freedom to nurture each of them, right where they are.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Horse Crazy

I grew up in the middle of Lancaster County amid vast expanses of farmland. My family had the same dairy farm for dozens of generations until me. I was an active member of FFA and have done my share of cow milking... and tipping but that is another story.

I have been extremely blessed by my friend Barbara. Not only is she a wonderful friend to me, she is a horse person and has taught my children a love and respect for horses that I am not sure i could have imparted in them. I also have in-laws that are horse people, and are wonderfully encouraging to the children.
So now my daughter is at the point in her life where she wants a horse of her own. Partial lease of someone else's horse is no longer acceptable to her. I, of course, preached the virtues of being grateful for what you have, but to little avail. She is not ready for a horse, I am not ready for a horse, we do not need a horse.

Should you pass me in the store, or call to say hello, please take a mintue to tell me that we do not need a horse! Remind me that I have 3 children, 2 fish, a tortoise and a really big dog...all of which poop and need to be fed. Remind me that my darling husband, who does not really want me working at all, has asked me to work another day during the busy season. Remind me that we live on an island full of beaches and beach activities, and that I may like to visit them once in awhile. Remind me that I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, look forward to taking a decadently long vacation to Florida in the fall... where I spend 2 weeks taking care of 3 kids, 4 dogs, 8 horses and my husband's 95 year old Grandpa.... Oh, nevermind.