Oh, but this blog is sorely neglected. There's always something else that needs to be done lately. Writing blows off steam for me, so I really miss it.
I did want to jump on here quickly and write out my Paul's fictional story. He's been writing it in ten-minute increments of time during our morning Quick Writes. I think it's worthy of sharing because it highlights the benefit of assigning copious amounts of reading texts, whether fiction or non-fiction. Over time, widely-read students begin to use "book language" when they speak and write, transforming them into articulate speakers and solid writers.
Paul, age 10, is working 18 months to 2 years ahead in school (which is why I can school him with his older brother), but he'll be the first to tell you that he doesn't like reading. He'd much rather study maps, design maps, design original card games, play board games or card games, or study almanacs and history time lines. He's a nerd, but not a book-loving nerd. Nevertheless, the books he whines about are benefiting him enormously.
Once upon a time there was a boy named Charlie. He had a mom and a dad, and a best friend, Tike, but no brothers or sisters. He had just moved to New York, near Albany.
It was a warm summer day, June 9th. Tike and Charlie were going swimming.
"Last one there is a rotten egg," said Tike.
Despite being ten, one year younger than Charlie, Tike was faster.
They plunged into the deep, cool lake. And of course, Tike was a better swimmer. They challenged each other to see who could swim faster across the half-mile lake.
"I don't like this idea," said Charlie, after thinking about it more.
"It will be fine," said the younger Tike.
So, Tike and Charlie started across. By the time they were halfway across the lake, Charlie turned back.
"I don't think this is going well. What if we start drowning?", said Charlie, partly because he was losing.
"I'll win without you," said Tike.
"Fine", said Charlie.
Tike was almost across when Charlie called to him, "Watch it. There are rocks over there."
But Tike didn't hear him.
Tike was excited when he made it across. "I won! I won!", he sang.
"Whoo", said Tike soon after that, slipping and falling face-down on a rock.
When Tike didn't come back, Charlie walked to the other side of the lake.
"Tike! Tike!," he called.
Charlie finally found Tike, lying unconscious on a rock. He called for help.
When Tike woke up, he was in a bed in the hospital. And, of course, his mom was next to him.
"Are you alright? Are you?", said his mom.
"Yes, I'm fine", said Tike. "But why am I in the hospital?"
"Well", said Charlie. "I'll tell you my story."
"We were racing across the lake", started Charlie. "I turned back, but Tike kept going. When he was almost across, I reminded him of the rocks. I guess he didn't hear me, because I found him lying on a rock, unconscious."
"After that, I got your mom and we took you to the hospital," he said to Tike.
He hasn't finished this story yet, but I'm so tickled by it.
Tell me about your own children? What are they doing that is inspiring you lately, or affirming your methods? Parenting is hard, and we really need to celebrate when our efforts bring fruit. (Or rather, when God blesses our efforts and allows them to grow fruit.)