I'm back! Is this thing on!
Thank you to everyone who has emailed me privately to make sure we were still alive and well. We are. Nothing catastrophic happened. I seem to have some kind of aversion to sitting at the computer lately. It shows. My inbox is hopelessly backed up all the time, and so is my google reader, though I am making efforts to catch up on everyone's blogs...so don't be surprised if you see some weird comment to something you posted about two months ago. I need a laptop, that's what I need. Then I can find a quiet place to sit and be comfy. I'm very unhappy with our computer desk situation right now. It's in a major traffic area of our living room, and if you are sitting at the desk people are tripping over you, chattering over your head, etc...it's most irritating. John or Maria always seem to be on the computer after the littles are in bed. I had been taking my computer time during afternoon rest time, but now Kain has therapy twice a week during that time...so I'm not sure what to do...maybe move my computer time to early in the morning and move my prayer time to the evening?
Anyway, here's a quick catch up on everybody here. We are finishing up our school year and planning to take all of July off. We school year round, but we do take July off. I have tons of wonderful pictures of my beautiful babies, but I can't find the cord to my camera, AAARRRGGGHHH, so I can't upload any until I find it.
Tessie turned a year old on May 28th. Please join me in a collective pensive sigh. (SIGH) She is just...what can I say? Beautiful. Precious. Yummy for chewing. She is so much fun and just the light of our days. She is still sweet and easy-going. She's not walking yet, but it's coming...she's cruising the furniture and is a very busy girl. The mosquitoes love her...we can't walk out the door that she doesn't get half a dozen bites, and she has some kind of reaction to them so that each one swells up half-dollar size, poor child.
Jack will be starting preschool here at home in August and he is *very* excited about that. Every day he says, "Am I doing preschool today?" But I'm not ready to start just yet. I need July to get ready. His reading has just taken off...he's reading Henry and Mudge and other easy readers this summer. And yet he still can't even hold a crayon or pencil properly. So I plan to concentrate on those small motor skills this school year with him. We will be starting Little Saints, and I can't wait...it looks so fun and I think he will really enjoy it, and I like that it is not academic in nature at all. Time enough for that later. It's a Montessori program and focuses on a lot of small motor skill activities, which is just what he needs. It's not a low-maintenance program...it does require a lot of prep time. but I really want to do this with him. He's going to love it.
Kain is finishing up 3rd grade. More or less. His math skills are quite behind still. His memory is *terrible*, and he spent the whole first half of the school year struggling to remember what the different operation signs looked like, that sort of thing. We keep plugging along. It drives me crazy to be "behind" where he is "supposed" to be. I'm trying to keep it in perspective and tell myself, "So what? So what's the worse case scenario, that he only gets through Geometry or even a year of Algebra before he graduates? Maybe he's not Harvard bound. Maybe he's not college bound at all. Maybe he becomes a tradesman of some kind, or a fireman, or a chef, or heck, a freakin' janitor, does it really matter?" And it doesn't, not at all. It's not like we are a family of Ivy Leaguers anyway, you know? It's too easy to get your homeschooling ego all wrapped up in what your kids are accomplishing, and it's not fair to them. Kain has delays, that's all there is to it. I was hoping that it was just immaturity, and I guess it still could be, but I don't think it's just that. He has a hard time learning most subjects. He just does. His brain was marinated in drugs for nine months, you know? His formative baby and toddler years were spent just trying to survive. There's bound to be some effect from those things. If he were in public school, I'm sure he would have an IEP and be in some kind of special ed. classes. So why do I expect to work miracles here? I'm letting it go. We will plow on to fourth grade, and we will ignore the fact that we only got through half of the third grade math book. In August, we will pick up where we left off. I'm educating for eternity, not Harvard.
Moving on. Maria will be starting 7th grade. Now this child...she has really matured so much this year. We've tweaked our curriculum for her for..well, since the beginning...she's diagnosed with dyslexia for those new to the blog...and I'm very proud to say that this year she has very nearly been able to follow the syllabus as written. I'm so impressed with her progress. Her writing skills, while I'm sure they are still behind grade level, have improved so much. Our curriculum is very writing intensive from here on out, so I have faith that she will make great strides in the coming years, if just out of sheer sweaty practice. Her spelling is atrocious, and it probably always will be, but it does sloooowwwwly improve. Her grammar and punctuation has improved the most. She has done really well in Latin and in grammar. My favorite program for her this past year has been the Great Editing Adventure. Painless, just a few minutes a day, but it drills grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. At the beginning of the year, I had to really hold her hand and help her with it, but now she very often doesn't need any help from me at all to find the errors.
So, in the coming weeks we will be swimming, going to the lake, going to the library for the summer reading program, and going to vacation bible school. I will be purging and painting our school/play room, yay!!! And with that, I will abruptly go. I am being climbed. I promise to post again before two more months go by.