Right now we are just plugging along like the little engine that could. We count each small success a victory in training attitudes and minds.
Jack is just reading like the plague (?!?). He is doing a really interesting math book which cares less for computation and more for the process. It's been a challenge for him to work long and hard on some different mathematical ideas. For a concrete thinking kid, it is good growth! His cursive and typing and spanish are some extra activities on the outside of the three "R's". I've heard some talk of not bothering with cursive anymore because of typing, but the kids really enjoy that "fancy" writing, so we're sticking with it for some things. Meeting new friends around town has taken up a lot of his thinking and time this fall and it's been fun to see how he relates to the numerous friends he's made. He's also been as diligent at helping around the house as ever. He says he prefers inside work (like using a knife for ANYTHING in the kitchen or mixing concrete for window frames) to outside work, but we plant them outside for a time each tolerable day nonetheless.
Lena prefers learning to read with trade books so we've put aside our "100 Easy Lessons" book for Dr. Seuss. We were getting a bit lost in the lengthier pictureless stories of the text and the focus and interest go out the window as the frustration sets in. She says she likes math and is learning more concrete ideas of computation. Lena is doing a lot of writing, which has added benefit to boost her reading and doesn't groan at the journal writing as she did even at the beginning of the year. She's involved in several activities outside the home and has made a few nice girl friends. So far most of the crowd we're running with is comprised of boys her age, but we've made a point to schedule play dates with the girlies when we find ones!
PJ is still just cracking us up. He's still wearing his bat costume from Monday night...yes, even for naps and meals. Though I put my foot down at bedtime! At 3, he is getting a lot of color, shape, and number ideas. He occasionally gets letters correct, too, and I think, "Oh, NO, not yet!!!" Just play for another year or so, okay!!!
We're adding in art, nature study, and science as often as we can (right now averaging once a week). Still, we're just reveling in some of these nicer warm days (in between the sleet and cold days) and trying to soak in all the outside time we can before the big chill sets up in the driftless region.
Make sure to drop us a line if you haven't in a while! We like to know you're out there, too!