Weeks of Contradiction

Forgive the crappy pic. iPhones can only go so far.

Forgive the crappy pic. iPhones can only go so far.

This last two weeks…wow! That’s really all I can say. Well, not really, because I’m long winded and can always think of something to say. It has been two of the best weeks I have ever experienced with my monsters (did not expect that) and two of the most frustrating weeks I’ve ever experienced with my monsters (I did expect that.) It has been more challenging than I thought it would be and less challenging than I thought it would be. In short, it has been two weeks of contradictions. 

Monster A. A little unsure about this venture.

Monster A. A little unsure about this venture.

Monster A is way further in math than I anticipated and is picking up things like crazy! He’s a little further behind in reading than I anticipated which is perfectly fine. He blows through a math worksheet in 5-10 minutes with very little help needed. Reading might take us 45 mins. I try to cut it off after that because he begins to get frustrated and honestly, so do I. So, we step back. Take a break. Play a game. And resume later. However, today I saw a light bulb moment. He finally did one of his phonics worksheets by himself! Was it completely correct? Nope. But it was close and I could tell he was trying and really starting to understand the concept. I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud in my entire life. I think reading is just such a natural thing for me to do (seriously, 2-3 books of regular length a week) that I forget that learning to read is HARD work. There have many times over the past couple of weeks that I’ve been frustrated and had to tell him to move on to something else and we’d return while I go get a drink or something to chill out. Plus, he’s a five year-old little BOY. He has the attention span of a goldfish. Focus. It’s something we’re all working on. 

Monster S. Not really sure about this smile she's got going on. She looks far older than her 4 years.

Monster S. Not really sure about this smile she’s got going on. She looks far older than her 4 years.

Monster S…wow. She is blowing me away! Seriously. We have some problem areas. Mostly with identifying lower case letters and their sounds, but compared to a week ago she’s come leaps and bounds already. I think I need to combine two of the curricula I have to fill in some gaps. I’m pretty flexible with her. If she seems to be ready to move on to something harder, well then, GO GIRL, GO!!!! She’s smart, but seems to have a better grasp of reading than her brother does which drives Monster A crazy. Especially when she’s working on her own thing and answers a question that I asked him. They’re about on the same level right now, which again, is fine. I haven’t got into any real math with her yet. She doesn’t seem ready. My new mantra this year is “It’s fine!” just in case you’re wondering. 

Part of our classroom. This took some tinkering. Including, buy another table and some new chairs.

Part of our classroom. This took some tinkering. Including, buy another table and some new chairs.

So far, I really am loving the flexibility we have. Not just with our school work but with the fact that we can go anywhere, anytime and it’s lesson. We had a lesson in the grocery store the other day. Monster A had to tell me what was less/more expensive. We have pretty healthy eating habits around here too so we had a lesson on what foods are better to put in our bodies. We go to the library for story time, which teaches social skills and promotes literacy. Cody’s off tomorrow so I’m trying to talk him into taking us to the Peace Gardens at the Canadian border. So not only a science lesson by looking at the flowers, but also a social studies lesson by discussing why the Peace Garden was created. This is awesome. We’re learning through living. Yes, worksheets and book work is important, but living is so much more important. I honestly never thought I could love being with my kids so much, but so far, this has been one of the best experiences of my life.  

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