A funny story to start out the new thread...
My husband hates for me to keep reading material in the bathroom and has even gone so far as to hide the books he found in the bathroom in the attic. (The ensuing marital discord has cured him from that solution).
The other day I call out to DD “Come on, let’s go to the bathroom and change your diaper!”
DD calls back: “I’ll take a book!”
She gets that from me...
DD is talking up a storm – she just turned 2, will not be able to enter preschool until the month after she turns 3 at the earliest (it’s not for stupid policy reasons, they currently have space issues due to year-round construction) but is already the most verbal child in her daycare classroom.
She is much more social and adjusted than DS was at that age and still plays well with the other kids, so I hope she will not be as horribly frustrated as DS was, having no-one to assort with but the teachers before he could finally move up to a 3-6 classroom. Meanwhile I’ll keep pestering the preschool admin...it’s interesting though, because while she is clearly advanced, using 5-6 word sentences, pronouns, tenses and adverbs correctly, she is very different from DS and I am so much more relaxed with people pointing it out because people seem to be relaxed about it, too. She still makes odd grammar and syntax mistakes and has a toddler’s articulation and prosody – people can’t tell that she is using “probably” correctly, because they can’t understand it!
DS had perfect articulation, grammar and syntax at 2, even his prosody sounded like that of a 4 yo, and people pointing it out sounded oddly tense – irritated even, sometimes, which made me tense as well...
While DD has to go to daycare even though I am already home on maternity leave because I cannot lift her anymore (or stop her from climbing dangerous places!) DS is home with me until he starts elementary in 3 days.
We’ve been having so much hassle with him fighting DD and ramping up his sensory seeking those last few weeks (tongue play, spit play, chewing, humming, flicking his fingers against objects or subjects – try having a conversation that makes sense with your 5yo as he starts chucking you compulsively under the chin) I had forgotten how mature and helpful and how much FUN he can be when he’s got my undivided attention!
We have been to the store, been cooking and baking, doing arts and crafts, reading books together and writing books together too. We have printed out his first Magic treehouse novel – 6 chapters over three pages in small font, about half he’s typed himself, the rest scribed by me. He was SO proud of it. He’s run out of steam for the moment but I’m sure he’ll take it up again. He’s even tried a touch typing lesson and did great on the actual exercises, but had an explosion over failing the “fun game” which involved steering an astronaut with the f and j keys – he missed the spaceship and adamantly refused to try again. He’s now decided he’s not old enough to learn touch-typing! We’ll see how that perfectionism plays out in school...
We are all very excited and I will report in the first-day-of-school thread.
We took some time off from 'school' but kiddo starts CTY classes tomorrow.
Our summer was chaotic to say the least. 2 cross country moves leaves even the most active kid - tired!
Kiddo started swim team again, he is reading up a storm. Reading has been his constant all summer long.
Fall semester of 'homeschooling' looks something like this
Swim team 3 nights a week
CTY for web programming then Geometry
Lots of reading
Possibly Meet the Masters for Art/Art History
Review of Language Arts
Rosetta Stone for French
Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed
Seeking zen in 2014. Working on journaling and finding peace this year. Spending my free time taking J to swimteam
First round started on a bit of a shaky foundation--he literally fell off the finger board on the first piece, Popper etude 17. But then he somehow got it together and played Glazunov's Chant du Menestrel with stunning beauty and openness. Next came Pezzo Capriccioso --my son claims he surprised himself at how great his lyrical parts came together, and the first virtuoso section was stunning. There was a small mistake on the final scale, in the second virtuoso part, but he managed to cover it up partly and end on the correct note which is not a small feat.
After a day of feeling sorry for himself--I tried to keep him positive, he found out he was advancing to the second round. He threw himself into it with all his heart, and gave the best performance I have ever witnessed him do. He played Bach's Prelude and Sarabande to the 3rd cello suite, and the entire Boccherini Sonata in A major and the Ligeti Sonata. At the end of the second round there was no doubt in anyone's mind he would make the final. One the judges told my son that he could not play the Ligeti as well as my 13 year old!!
The final round came way too quickly, and my son had to get the Rococo Variations in performance shape--he had not worked on this concerto since May under the assumption that he would probably not make it this far. In record time, the piece came together. Again. it was an incredible performance, full of heart and sophistication. He literally held the audience in the palm of his hand in the two slow variations.
Overall, this has been such a rich and educational experience. I am so proud of him for overcoming challenges, for coming back, and for playing his hardest under pressure.
Congrats, dessismama, on the Silver Medal for your ds! What an amazing accomplishment!
As for my crew...
Dd18 has started university in a Bachelor of Music - Performance program in Montreal, in Canada's top music program for strings. She thought she bombed her ensemble placement audition (she'd only had 10 days to prepare a ton of excerpts for the two rounds, and was playing on a loaner violin and $100 (cheap, almost throw-away bow) but she placed sixth chair out of 85 undergrad violinists... as a freshman. She's happy as a clam to be busy with the academic study of music and to finally be thoroughly immersed in an intensive music education community. Having lived on her own in the same city last year, she's got all the logistical parts of managing her time, the transit system, laundry, grocery shopping, meal prep, rent and utilities worked out, so she is completely immersed in music. And loving it!
Ds15 seems happy. Broke up with his girlfriend a month or so ago, which I think was a good move, and now has more opportunity to direct his own interests and find his own groove. He's taking a combination of 11th and 12th grade courses at school, and is in high school full-time for the first time. He is really enjoying some of it -- most notably the very intense outdoor fitness course he signed up merely to fill his schedule (he had a choice between foods and outdoor fitness, and then it turned out foods was cancelled anyway). Considering he's been completely un-sports-minded (hates team sports stuff), and below the 5th percentile for height and weight, the fact that he's feeling successful and empowered by the trail runs, weight-lifting, canoe portage work, rock climbing and mountain-bike skills work is really amazing to me. He's finding his academic work enjoyable and easy. He's not a highly motivated high-achiever, but is doing well in his advanced courses.
Dd13 is in a combined 9th/10th grade program at our local public K-12 school, in her second year of school. It's taken us a couple of weeks to get the kinks worked out of her program so she's been shunted around a little in the interim and hasn't really sunk her teeth into some of her courses yet. But on Monday she leaves for a week of arts and literature stuff with the 10-12 classes, including a couple of Shakespearean plays at Vancouver's acclaimed Bard on the Beach festival, tours of art galleries and post-secondary institutions. With a nice group of older kids whom she gets along well with.
Dd9 (homeschooled/unschooled) just got back from a kayaking trip with the public school Grade 4/5/6 class. She had a great time. Kayak'ed just over 20 miles in three-and-a-half days, camped at night with lows down to almost the freezing point, but lovely weather, calm and sunny during the days. I was with the group as a chaperone about two thirds of the time, but she enjoyed the time when I wasn't there just fine, even though she missed me a bit. She deepened some friendships with a few of the kids, had her mind opened a little about the challenges some of the kids deal with in their home and personal lives, and as usual gravitated to friendships with the adults. By the end she was still enjoying herself, but was getting so frustrated by the herding-cats aspects of camping with a group of normal kids, by their lack of personal and social responsibility, their distractibility, clique-ish social styles, inability to follow directions and so on. It was just the right taste of school for her, demystifying the environment, affirming for her the advantages of homeschooling. At home, recently she's taken up viola in addition to violin and has been learning to read alto clef. Not much has started up for her yet: regular weeks at home, gymnastics classes, violin master classes, string quartet, etc., those things all start in the next week or two. Academically we haven't structured anything in for the past three months or so, but it was so lovely to see her hunkering down at the kitchen table with the informal Monday afternoon homework club my older kids are holding: the other kids are 17, 15 and 13, and they're working on an assortment of 10th through 12th grade courses, and my 9-year-old is just in her element, working away alongside them on her 7th and 8th grade math and science, chatting, sharing ideas, asking questions, taking an interest in everyone's work, just as they are with her. This is the sort of collegial learning environment she craves!
Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up
After a break of about 5 months, DS5 started playing and studying chess again yesterday. We'll see if it picks up to the intensity of when he was four; I hope he just enjoys playing instead of being caught up in being the best! He is finally started wanting to learn to swim this summer and asking for lessons. He's reading like a madman and I'm having a hard time keeping up! His favorites this summer included The Jungle Book, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, The Muse & the Motorcycle, The Wizard of Oz, ans lots of non fiction Life books on science.
DD2 is really into drawing right now. Here is one of her recent drawings; it is of a jellyfish & giraffe. I love her imagination!
She is also loving gymnastics; her instructor wants to move her up a class early (they don't start non-parents classes until age 3) but she is not sure she wants to do a class without Daddy there with her! :)
DS9months Is crawling all over the house and getting into everything. He is a constant source of joy!
Jesus-loving Doula/Birth Photographer Mama to Tor 4/2007, Zion 11/2009, Enoch 11/2011, and Zephyr due 12/13/2013
Dd, 13 soon to be 14, is a few weeks into her first university class, Russian. She is enjoying it very much and enjoying the fact that none of her classmates has figured out she's not a college student. She's enjoying the rest of her studies as well, although she has had to put in a pretty hard week with translating Horace for her Latin class. She is enjoying a local volleyball group and our little science co-op. The kids are going to try participating in the TARC rocketry competition this year.
Socially it has been a bit hard. She doesn't 'fit' well with any of her groups of friends. Most of her homeschool friends have gone back to school, and their social life revolves around the daily dramas there. Her friends who have always gone to school are a bit better, but they also are busy with their school schedules. Her volleyball group is homeschooled but very religious, so she is not in their church group. She knows that if she went to school she wouldn't be in classes with her friends for the most part anyway. So, she is muddling through. She is already thinking about going away for college, and seems to be leaning toward trying to speed up her departure. I'm hoping we can keep her happy at home till near typical college age.
Here is the most recent video we have posted. I really need to upload some more recent ones... I did not record him in Vevey--he insisted he did not want me to. I do know other people recorded him though, so I am hopeful to get my hands on them.