This is just a quick update on school progress, and then a bit about family/life stuff.
Kindergarten is going well. I love the ebb and flow of business and activity in our home when we are working on school and chores and play. Monkey Man occupies himself well by digging out in the backyard in his “construction site.” I slather him in sunscreen and stick a hat on his head, and he’s good to go. It’s so peaceful to look out and see him atop his mountain of dirt, digging away with his little shovel, while the chickens browse in the (GIANT) weeds nearby. He hardly even notices them, and they only move away from him in order to escape the flying dirt he sometimes flings in their direction. Monkey Man gets completely absorbed in his projects; he works SO hard and doesn’t stop unless he’s thirsty… a lot like his Daddy.
Hula Girl is enjoying school for the most part. She is not a fan of copywork, but she will write sticky notes for anyone and everyone all day long! So funny. I have been trying to get a little bit of narration out of her in response to the readings. Narration is totally unguided and is a way to check for understanding. Charlotte Mason says students should narrate in order to solidify their own understanding of the material and that narration should never be guided- we want children to make their OWN unique connections. I will say that there are times when Hula Girl’s narrations surprise me with her insight, and there are other times when her narration is so obviously NOT correct that I feel the need to go back and re-read segments of the text with emphasis so she gets the point. This is especially critical with Aesop’s Fables. Haha.
I think our next big change is going to be switching to the Alpha level in Math-U-See. The Primer level is just dragging along and Hula Girl is becoming a bit restless as the concepts seem too easy for her after just a day’s practice, but then too difficult after a week off. She gets it right away, experiences success, and then as we move on, the concepts seem to leave her brain, and she gets frustrated when we have to do it again. So we’ll see how that goes. I think we might back off math completely for summer and then pick up with the Alpha level in fall.
Hula Girl’s dance recital is on Saturday. We are all very excited to see her perform; I have heard that the productions done by this studio are magnificent. Hula Girl is doing a phenomenal job with dance. Her class ended up being a bit too easy this session, but that worked out because her teachers used her in a leadership role. She has SO enjoyed the responsibility. She will be continuing on with this studio in the fall with a half ballet, half tap class. She is also doing a dance camp this summer to ease her into tap and rhythm a bit.
Monkey Man and Hula Girl are taking swimming lessons two days per week at the YMCA. We opted to put them into a private lesson together. They each get 15 minutes of full attention from their teacher, Miss J. Hula Girl thinks Miss J is something special. Monkey Man runs away from her. We’ve ended up having me play with Monkey Man for Hula Girl’s lesson and then having Miss J use Hula Girl as the demo kid while showing me what to do with Monkey Man for his lesson. It works pretty well. My goal is for Hula Girl to be able to swim and for Monkey Man to get there by next summer.
The kids went to my parents’ house for the long weekend. Jonathan and I spent our time at home cleaning, working on the chicken coop and run, planting some things in our garden, mowing and pulling weeds, taking down old dead trees, ripping out some fencing, and shopping for some new organizers and stuff for our closets. We also had our pastor and his wife over for dinner on Friday and went up the road to a friend’s house for dinner on Saturday. It was a productive weekend!
The kids’ weekend was really fun. My parents took them bowling when it was raining. The next day they went kayaking on my parents’ pond, scouting for bugs and critters (they caught frogs, snakes, crickets, grasshoppers, and all kinds of flies), and camping in my parents’ fifth wheel. Of course they got to have s’mores. The kids had a blast with Grammy and Grampy, and BOY were they tired when they got home on Monday! We got nice long nights and naps the first couple days home.
I’m hoping this week gets calmer. It seems to me that we’ve been going, going, going for weeks on end. I’ve also been sick for five weeks straight with colds and sinus infections. I was up all night last night, coughing and coughing. Ugh. Power through.