Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day

I got a rare break: all three kids slept over at my amazing mother-in-law's house last night! This was the first time for 2 yo, but she did well, we just had to transport all her blankies and "friends". I know a lot of people out there are into attachment parenting and probably cannot imagine doing this. Well, I'm sorry to say but life interferes sometimes, so it's better if they can separate without trauma.

When my father had his liver transplant, I flew to visit him by myself. My boys were almost 2 and 4 and I had to leave them with a patchwork of friends. When my father passed away, I had to leave them again. My last baby was lucky that no family emergencies caused separations. Either way, I am happy that she can sleep over at grandma's without being tethered to mommy.

This gave me a bit of a breather here. My husband was also on call, so I came back to an empty house. I got a chance to clean up and organize and plan a bit ahead. So today, by the time we started school, I felt refreshed and ready to go.

We started with bird count, which went a bit better today. Then boys did Rosetta Stone. I turned off voice recognition and writing for 5 yo, and he is much more cooperative about doing it now. I read to him and he read to me. He chose to read captions from one of the dinosaur books and another picture book. I read about human body. We also did handwriting and ketiva. We were doing lamed, which is the last letter that he did not know how to write in his name. He kept insisting that I am not showing it correctly and he has his own way, but his lameds were illegible. So it became "write a letter, whine, write another letter, whine some more". We finished with Yesh Lanu Lama.

For President's Day, I assigned the oldest to write a short report about George Washington. We have DK biography which he previously read. He took it quite seriously and wrote two full pages. I taught a bit about paraphrasing and summarizing. He wanted to write about the wars. Apparently, we did not do this long enough, as he wants to go back.

Then we did Chumash. He seemed more disengaged today, but did remember a bunch of words from before. He decided to illustrate each new pasuk that we do. He likes drawing diagrams and hopefully this will let him remember content better. He rolled his eyes a bit. I do wonder whether he can finally express his resistance instead of pretending to love every minute of it.

The kids helped me load up recycling into the car. I dropped off boys in gymnastics and proceeded to farmer's market where I drop off recycling and pick up fruits and veggies. 2 yo loves looking at live fish, lobsters and crabs they have there. During the summer I brought the boys and they got a kick out of walking around multiple fish tables, say which ones are kosher.

Then it was time to pick up boys and head home for dinner (french toast). During the ride back, 7 yo asked how the water stays in the oceans and does not splash out. I asked him whether he had a hunch. He said: gravity? I confirmed and described what water looks like in space, which led to a discussion of space food.

After dinner and bathing, 7 yo poured his sister's goodnight milk since I was busy with 5 yo. Chessed does start at home. You can learn middos at school all you want, but unless you are put into the situations when you have to use them, it's just a bunch of words. Then he tackled 550 piece puzzle which has been sitting around for a while. 2 yo asked to help him. I got her 24 piece. 5 yo was helping both of them and feeling needed.

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