Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pretend Play With a Real Rock Star

     This isn't about homeschooling specifically, but I credit God and the daily Bible studying that we get to do in our homeschool for what just happened in our home.

     My daughter LOVES pretend play.  She has such a wonderful imagination and it was something we could see early on, which is why we happily obliged when she asked to take acting classes.  Every day, there is some sort of performance or pretend playing.  Every single day.

     A few minutes before I began writing this we were in the middle of playing.  Pretend play, that is.  She asked me to pretend that I was a homeless person and that she was a rock star.  I wasn't sure where this was going, but of course, went along.

     She told me that she was going to walk past me and that I was to ask for spare change and then she would lead the rest of the play.  Below is a write-up of how it went:
Me:  Excuse me, ma'am, could you spare some change?
Rock Star:  Well, you can come live with me.
Me:  Live with you?
Rock Star:  I'm a Rock Star and I have a homeless shelter so you can come live with me.  (By the way, she was holding a guitar.  I guess it was to serve as proof that she was indeed a Rock Star.)
Me:  Well, that's mighty nice of you, but I don't have any money and can't pay you.  Why are you doing this?
Rock Star:  Well, we love the homeless.  We care about the homeless and we feed the homeless.  So, you can come live with me and I'll give you food.
     We continued our playing and she provided  me a blanket and fed me.  She gave me hugs and patted me on my back to comfort me.  She'd tell me that there was nothing I had to do when I offered to clean her house or cook as payment for allowing me to live with her.  She gently told me, "No, you don't have to do anything."

     I can't tell you how much my heart swelled hearing all these things come from her.  Her heart is full of pure love and I pray that by the power of Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that it will forever be that way.

     She doesn't know it yet, but in God's eyes, she's already a real Rock Star!    

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kindergarten, Week 18

     Week 18 has come and gone and according to our curriculum, we are half-way through our first year of homeschooling and half-way through Kindergarten.  My, how time flies!

     Our week was jammed-packed.  With Classical Conversations, then a Christmas party planning meeting for me, a play-date for my daughter, then my birthday, plus having to help out with a science project; needless to say it was all a blur.

      Let's start with Classical Conversations.  Every week the kids are to prepare a presentation for their group.  This week my daughter shared her experience at Pitfire Pizza (where one of my step-daughters is the GM).  As I mentioned in my last post, there is a pizza making event every week.  On one of those occasions, I snapped pictures of my Little Toughie during the pizza making process.  I loaded them onto my tablet and she shared the pictures, telling the group what she was doing in each one.  The group thought it was pretty cool.  I enjoy that fact that the children get to practice their speaking and presentation skills at a young age and as they continue to do this they will hone those skills.  By the time they reach high school, they'll be able to present anything with eloquence.  I can only imagine how that will permeate their higher education and later, their careers.

     We had a play-date where my aptly named Little Toughie showed she could hang with the boys.  She was playing with twin boys and while running she was tagged just a bit too hard.  She fell, using her nose as a brake. (Gah!)  Her nose was scraped (Pretty good!) but there were only a few tears before she was ready to go again.  I even observed her standing up for one of the twins when another boy at the playground starting calling him a "little girl".  Ever the diplomat, I saw my daughter take her friend by the hand and approach the offender.  I couldn't tell what was being said, but since my daughter is always very animated when she speaks, I could tell that boy was getting a good talking to!  Later, I asked her what she was saying and she said, "I was telling him that it's not nice to say things like that, but he wouldn't listen."  I pray she will always stand up and speak up for herself and for those who can't.

     The rest of the week was filled with a meeting and my birthday plus a science project for my son.  As I type this, I'm waiting for him to get back so that we can finish working on it.  My kids were so excited it was my birthday (I think it was the fact we were all going to have cake, including myself!) and were telling everyone who would listen.  I was getting birthday wishes from people passing out samples at Whole Foods!

     That was our week.  As we head into Thanksgiving, I pray that you are surrounded by loved ones and take a moment (or a few) to count your blessings and share what you are thankful for.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Homeschooling, Weeks 16 and 17

     I missed a week!  I can't believe I did, yet I can understand why.  The days are passing quickly and the weeks are flying by.  My birthday is coming up and then Thanksgiving is exactly a week after.  Between both kids, as most parents know, there's more to do (on top of what is already scheduled) around the holidays.  As a runner turned CrossFitter, I know how to pace myself in all things, but it can still be a lot.  At the beginning of October, all our weekends in November and December were already booked!

      Despite the busyness of this time of the year, we take our time when it comes to homeschooling.  With the Sonlight Curriculum I'm using, there's a lot of reading (which my daughter and I LOVE) and I want to make sure she understands everything she's listening to.  At the same time I don't stress out if she doesn't get a particular concept immediately.  It takes time for things to really sink in and for everything to make sense.  Sometimes, we parents can freak out, especially when we fall into the trap of comparing our kids to other kids.  That can rub off on our kids as well.

     Recently, my daughter caught something at the end of the news (she walked in when it was on) about a 5-year old boy who knew all the countries in the world.  Yes, ALL.  Every single country.  Did I mention that he knew all the capitals as well?  My daughter was amazed and at the same time disappointed with herself for not knowing all the countries.  I had to remind her, and you as well, that we are all blessed with different talents and skills.  I took the opportunity to tell my daughter that God created each and every one of us for a different purpose, with a different set of abilities, and different personalities and that if we were all the same it would get particularly boring.  She was happy to know that God made her special.

     During those times I don't think it's sinking in or that it may be too much, God gives me a glimpse of the work He's doing in her.  This week we finished our Bible study on the Kings (Saul, David and Solomon).  That was a lot of reading and there were different details to the each King's story.  I secretly underestimated her comprehension when she decided to create her own bible and draw pictures to go with each King's story.  She was able to retell the stories, which she so carefully did while on her daddy's lap.

     On the flip side, we squeezed in some fun the past couple of weeks making pizza at my step-daughter's restaurant, Pitfire Pizza (she's the head honcho there).  Every Tuesday she holds a pizza making event and we brought a couple of friends with us.

     This was a perfect outing for us because we got to see my step-daughter (and all her gracious and patient staff) and she got to make pizza plus share a meal with her friends.

     Ah, the simple things!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Homeschooling, Week 15

     We're back!  Since our Classical Conversations class had a break we decided to take the week off as well.  We still did some reading and copy work (and math at the request of my Little Toughie) but we took a break and instead enjoyed diving into non-homeschooling books.  I even had a chance to catch up on a little bit of my own reading.

     Week 15 led us to the story of David and Goliath in our Bible Study.  This is one of my daughter's favorite stories, but she has never learned what happened after that.  While that is one of the more well known stories of David, my daughter was surprised to hear that he had become a king and that he wrote a lot of the Psalms.

     As we start Week 16, she'll learn more about David's love for God and his obedience (and disobedience) to Him.  She'll learn how forgiving and just our Father is.  She always asks intriguing questions as I'm reading these Bible stories to her and I pray she keeps them in mind as she gets older and encounters her own "Goliath".

     That's all I have for this week.  I know it's not much.  We're just getting back into the groove of things after taking a week off.  My daughter is starting to read more, taking in words every where we go and telling me what they are.  She's even writing me little love notes, trying her very best to spell the words without my help.  It's great to see the progress she's making each day.

     Have a great week!