Saturday, August 2, 2008

So, How's He Doing?

I was just wandering around the internet, reading random things here and there. I do this a lot. I find that if I'm not reading something, I really don't know what to do with myself. My brain constantly wants words inputted into it -- it's really the only thing that makes me shut my mouth! I guess my brain either wants tons of information coming in, or tons of information coming out. (It's even full duplex -- meaning I can input and output at the same time. My mom, brother, and I can have a conversation where all three of us are talking at once and we all hear everything that's going on and may actually be having one, two, or three conversations simultaneously. And people wonder why I love IM and hate phones.)

Anyway, I was reading some of the articles online at the new Secular Homeschooling magazine and ran into the article So, How's He Doing?. Natually, as I'm reading, I start wondering how I would answer the question, and think about her answer and if I would say the same thing or something different.

At first, I thought to myself about the challenges we've had recently. He's five, and I'm trying to intice him into some more formal studies, like reading (we failed at 100 Easy Lessons, and after a few lessons of another program, he's not really interested), Story of the World, or Singapore Math. We just switched over to trying Math-U-See... and I'm trying not to be pushy. I'm really just so different from my son (he takes so strongly after his father) that I know I have to teach him in a way that is just quite unnatural for me. I read (and write) manuals. I read books cover to cover. I want to read everything in the "right" order and read it all. My mind is constantly stuffing more things into it, ruminating about it, spitting stuff out, having conversations about it, and just living every fact every second of my existance. My husband (and seemingly son) just pick a fact here or there, don't follow up on it, and don't talk about it much. But they will remember it for eternity, while I may read the same thing 20 times before it sticks in the web of my consciousness.

So while I was reading this article and thinking about my trials and tribulations in trying to figure out what to do with my son, he approached me. He was holding one of those little paper umbrella toothpicks that you often get in tropical drinks. His cousin gave it to him last night after dinner when she was finished with her coconut juice which came in a real coconut. So he had the toothpick, and he looked at it a moment, then held it up in the air, and declared, "This is my jelly fish!" and then proceeded to move it exactly the way a jellyfish moves. He closed the umbrella top slightly as it zipped up through the air, then opened the top fully whle his jellyfish slowly drifted downward. Then it zipped up again, and drifted. His face was filled with happiness as he watched his jellyfish moving through the air, and turned his twinkly eyes toward me to make sure I was watching.

Then I remembered the night before. He had the same umbrella in the car, but this time he was inserting the bottom toothpick end in a little hole in the seat in front of him (the little hole where a post for the headrest would normally be, but we temporarily removed the headrest while the seat holds the baby's seat -- it makes it way easier to LATCH and de-LATCH it.) I was watching him put the umbrella there, the little pink paper top of the umbrella sitting flush on the seat back. He then picked up the umbrella and closed it, and slowly "walked" it over to the other post hole and opened the top part of it again. "Blackhawk of the Lakota picked up his tent and moved east," he narrarated. The story unfolded silently in his head while he was looking at his teepee. A few moments later he piked up the toothpick again and moved it back to where it had been before, in the other post hole, "Then Blackhawk moves back west, where the buffalo are."

Yeah, I like our life, too. He's doing just fine.

1 comment:

KathyJo said...

Your little guy sounds a lot like Nikki (my 7.5yos) when I read about him. Nikki is very math oriented (working through three different math programs to keep him happy) and didn't read fluently until he was 6.5 (which really freaked me out at the time). Or maybe it's just that Nikki is also so different than me. Jared is my little carbon copy, so I get him and how he learns, but Nikki presents me with new challenges at least once a week. :) Lord only knows what Joshua and Eli have in store for me. Joshua is 4.5 now, and already showing signs of being a completely different kind of learner than either of his brothers.