1. Bean actually brought me a beginning reader from the library and said he wanted to read it. This is huge. I've been checking them out for months and whenever I would suggest he try to read even some of the words he would get angry or burst into tears. So when he brought me the book and said "I want to read this" my jaw dropped. And he read it. It contained about 65 words and he read most of them himself. I cannot tell you how thrilling this is to me.
2. I've been using "The Never-Bored Kid Book" as Fish's school curriculum. When Bean was doing his math exercises Fish felt left out that he didn't have any papers to work on. I realized I had these books and that they were perfect for a preschooler. Lots of cutting, tracing, gluing, coloring, etc.
3. Bean is doing very well on the piano. It was gratifying to see the way he took to music when he struggled so much with reading and other subjects. The toughest thing has been helping him remember to practice and to learn to practice adequately. Last week he was not able to shop at the family store because he did not practice the piano enough during the week. This week he is practicing like a dervish. The family store is pretty popular around here.
4. Cousin S is our violin teacher. We are all progressing under his tutelage and it has really helped me to have his old beginner violin book in the house. I like to play along with Bean when he practices the piano. If he goes too fast I get all messed up and then we laugh and I say, "Boy, I sound awful!" and Bean thinks that's hilarious. I think it's brilliant because he sees firsthand the process of learning something and how you are bad at it at first and that's okay. He's such a perfectionist that I have had a hard time getting him to understand this. He's also seeing the concept that you have to play something over and over and over again during one practice session to really master it-- another concept I've had a hard time drilling into his head just with my words. I also love the idea that he's watching his mother continue to learn and develop new talents in her ancient age.
5. For our Geography lesson on Tuesday I got a big map of the United States and drew in the routes of every trip our family has ever taken in the nine-plus years of its existence, starting with our honeymoon to San Diego all the way up through our trip to New Mexico this last Thanksgiving. It was really neat to see the resultant spider web. It reawakened my wanderlust and made me itch to add some new lines in new directions.
6. In conjunction with this I also added up how many states each of us has been to. The Rabbit already has 11 under her size-12-months belt. The other kids each have 14 because they have also been to the west coast states. (It hit me that the Rabbit has never been to Oregon, the poor thing! That's just wrong!) I've been to 39 plus DC and the Badger has been to at least half of them. I will have to check with him-- he's flown so many random places over the years that I can't remember them all. When we got married I was by far the more well-traveled spouse (when I met him he'd never been east of the Rocky Mountains except on his mission) but that's definitely not the case anymore. Since we're so centrally located right now I would love to take a few long road trips and get the 9 I'm missing from the Lower 48.
7. In general, our Tuesday studies lately have been very eclectic. After finishing our overview of each of the regions of the US last December we've just been checking out books from the library on things that caught our interest during our studies. I've been picking mostly books on physical geography and Bean has been picking books on American history, which he adores. On Tuesday mornings we sit down on the couch with a dozen books and just read. One book might be about life in Colonial America. The next one might be about tornadoes. Then we might read about a certain tribe of Native Americans. There's usually a "Magic Schoolbus" book in there somewhere as well. I guess we should re-label Tuesday since it's not just geography anymore. Everyone enjoys it though.
8. Spring soccer season is upon us. Fish has his same coach from last fall and Bean has a friend from last fall on his team, which heightens their enjoyment of the experience. I really love to watch them play soccer. I see them learning teamwork and physical skills, all while getting really tired so they sleep better. I can just tell it's a really good thing for them and that makes me happy.
9. The Rabbit can now stand alone for short periods of time. I can tell she can't wait to run. This is going to be an exciting spring for her.
10. Our making day project today is those little Fuse Beads that you put on a little peg board and then melt together with an iron. They were dirt cheap at the craft store and my kids are having a ball. Score!