Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Lovely Day

Today was an awesome day. I'd been kind of down because we haven't had just a regular week in at least three weeks. I'm just missing some normalcy and routine. Anyway, I was checking on field trip stuff and e-mail and facebooking my cousin, and a friend, a Happy Birthday, when Ellie came down to say "It's time to start school!" We didn't start school just then and she wandered off back upstairs to her room. I should've stopped what I was doing and headed off to the school room right then, but I had "stuff" to do...that I thought couldn't wait.

Wyatt then came downstairs begging to do Math. I was basically done by that time, so I headed up to help him start Math (his Math books get carried everywhere...he has even taken them in the car). I took the opportunity to make my big announcement. I received the Pizza Hut Book It! Reading Program kit in the mail yesterday and for some reason was thinking today was the big kick off day (it's actually Thursday, October 1). This is the third year we've participated in Book It!, but we really only half-heatedly did the chart before. I was always left with useless coupons (past expiration).

Well, my announcement got every ones attention (all two of them!). Ellie asked how the program works and promptly got a paper set up to write down the books she reads to earn her Pizza Hut coupon for October. She got out a couple of books, while Wyatt began his Math. Shortly after, she declared that Reading was her new favorite subject! You can't imagine what a relief that was to hear. I LOVE READING! Honestly, I've been worried that I ruined reading for her. I know she loves books, and listening to me read, but after the torture of trying to teach her phonics with 100 Easy Lessons in Kindergarten...realizing that I was not teaching her using her learning style...finally seeing the pieces come together...much nerves when asked to read aloud (which I only asked her to do when it was just the two of us)...I'm just a worry-wort. We had many discussions on how it's okay to make mistakes...that making mistakes are a good learning experience. I'm afraid I bore a little perfectionist...much like myself before I had children. So, ah, I can breath now.

Today has many wonderful moments. Wyatt petitioned me to ask to move up a grade in our Co-op. He has always been a year ahead in Math, but I have been reluctant to say he is a grade ahead. He did wonderful with the 100 Easy Lessons (pre-pre-Kindergarten) at the same time I was trying to teach Ellie. The style made sense to him. He could sound letters out, but he had no idea what he was saying. They made a pretty good team, because then she knew what the word was. I have not worked too hard on reading with him, so I wasn't sure if I could really say he was in the next grade. I also hated to move him up a grade and keep Ellie in the same grade. They are two years and two weeks apart in age...they should be two grades apart...right? Anyway, he made a valid argument about Co-op...that he know how to sew (yet is stuck with the little kids doing crafts)...that he is a grade ahead in Math...that he can do most things his sister can...that he know the 50 States song her group is singing (and I think the younger group, too, but they didn't sing it this last class time). Anyway, I told him he would have to prove himself in Reading (which he tends to avoid when possible). Well, he did! With Sister tutoring him! Oh, if I could just capture that moment. Honestly, I don't think I'll ever forget it. The two of them on the couch. When he got stuck, she helped him sound the word out (she was sounding out words!!! out loud!!! and reading out loud today, with confidence!!!). Brother was really trying, doing well, and not getting frustrated either.

When we had group read aloud time today (when I read out loud to the kids and sometimes the Daddy, too), Ellie asked for me to read Moonlight on the Magic Flute, a Magic Tree House series book, by Mary Pope Osborne. Ellie interrupted me once, asking to read aloud one of her stories to count for the Book It! So, I stopped and let her read. As we continued the story, I realized we were reading about Mozart as a child. A little bit later, the kids realized who we were reading about. They were so excited and Wyatt asked if he was a real person. I said "Yes, and I might have a CD with his music on it." Oh, did they get excited then! I can't blame them, I love music almost as much as I love reading. So, I search a bit and found a CD with Mozart's Symphony No. 40 on it. Well, Wyatt just had to dance with me. What a little dancer he is. He is not quite 7, but he can actually lead! He was twirling me (well, having me twirl by his hand position, I still have to duck under his arm) and moving me around the floor. I was impressed. Ellie was dancing a bit herself, but mostly she was conducting (she learned about conducting from watching the new season of Fetch! on PBS kids).

Today was just lovely. We didn't go anywhere! That was lovely in itself. I just got to enjoy my kids and homeschooling. I didn't get all the chores done today that are behind, but I don't care. The dishes can be done anytime; my kids will be a whole day older tomorrow. If Jesus comes back and we all leave this earth tonight, I will not be taking my dirty dishes with me, but I will be taking my beautiful children. We had a fabulous day.

So, now we're working on baths, switching laundry, and getting ready for bed. Tomorrow's another crazy day. Sometime before 3:30pm, we need to head to the library to pick up borrowed period clothing for Saturday (they joined the Civil War Kid's Club...but that's a whole other post!), go to the Poppy Seed health food store to pick up my special soap and Wyatt's favorite toothpaste, and pick up the ice cream cake that I'm buying myself for my birthday...and I get to work tomorrow evening at my part-time job (yes, on my birthday). Sigh. Thank you, Lord, for another day.

Hmm, titling this just reminded me of the song Lovely Day, by Out of Eden, which is so appropriate: "When I wake up in the morning, Lord, and the sunlight hurts my eyes, and something without warning, Lord, bears heavy on my mind. When the day that lies ahead of me seems impossible to face and when someone else instead of me always seems to know the way....then I look to you and the world is alright...just one look to you and the world is alright with me....just one look to you and I know it's gonna be...a Lovely Day!" We've just got to get the right focus, and it's gonna be a Lovely Day!

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