It has been a week when the heat has sapped us of energy, of ability to pay attention or to think before we act. It has been a week when we have done lessons here and there as and when with lots of breaks in between. It has been a week when we have not ventured far in a desire to conserve energy. It has been a week when I have had reflections and wonderings go round and round as I have watched Bob, Zog and Kanga interact with each other, with me, with the heat and the impact that has had on all of us.
As an introvert I am thankful not to have had the fulness of last week of term that my school parenting friends have had. While some thrive on it and love it I and my children are not those people, I get tired simply reading their Facebook updates.
There has been much to celebrate this week when I consider how far we have come in a year. The last two weeks will give me plenty of time to consider the steps taken, but we are drawing to a close with each of them having made massive headway in their learning.
Bob is reading novels. He has been reading the Chronicles of Narnia, going on ahead under the duvet after Daddy has finished bedtime readings. This week I caught him reading on in Coot Club, our lunch time read. We knew he was reading non fiction but full length stories is a new venture and to be able to hold the whole story in his head and talk about it and often play games around the characters with his other Home Ed friends. The Life of Fred books have given him an end of year boost in confidence for maths and he is loving those and is reading way on with those too. I suspect if I let him he would have the entire elementary series read and completed in a week. They are being strictly rationed. While I enjoyed maths myself it never occurred to me that I would end up having to ration maths books when I became a parent. Though thinking back I do remember my parents reminding me when completing my Leaving Cert ( Irish A Level equivalent) that I had other subjects aside from maths to revise for. He also wrote a book ‘ Bob’s little hand book of animals’. 4 chapters long, each chapter covering one animal with one fact and a picture. To many it may not seem much, but this is massive. He choose to do this in his own time, made the booklet, found out the facts and wrote them down. Aside from writing to the police over a year ago he has never volunteered to write anything before now that was actual words. This was something to celebrate.
Zog has become a vibrant confident speaker, especially when it comes to animals and buffalos in particular. His speech sounds are clear and he is more willing to speak out now that he is confident others will understand him. He continues to love colour and bring colour into all aspects of life. He has also in the last few weeks decided that it is high time he caught up with Bob’s writing, spelling and reading and so has taught himself the alphabet and to write and we are now learning to read. His grasp of letter sounds outstrips both Bob and mine and so is racing ahead with spelling those very useful words, the names of African animals. He loves making the flags of the world from wooden shaped pieces we have and seeing the colours and patterns they make, to go along with his lego maps of continents.
Kanga is sitting beside me with all the early reader books picking out all the pictures of dogs as she has developed a love for dogs. She loves to join in with Zog learning to read and making all the sounds of the letters, though according to her they are all in the word dog; as in d is for /d/ in dog, so is f is for /f/ in dog and b is for /b/ in dog. We have some way to go there but there is plenty of time for that. As with her brothers she is in no rush to use actual words for the most part but is clearly understanding everything and is well capable of making her wishes understood. We suspect she is too busy understanding and making sense of the world around her which can be a very strange one with he two brothers in full flow to bother using a word here or there. Once she gets talking there will be no stopping her though. Her common sense and awareness is in a league of its on in comparison to her brothers and when anything is lost or needs to be got we all turn to her to find the item.
All 3 have done well. There is still lots of learning and growing to do across the board in skills, character and knowledge but we are journeying in the right direction I believe. Opportunities to reflect like this each week encourage me to keep going, where to tweet learning patterns, character traits that need attention which enable us to keep going.