Monday, May 2, 2011
The goings on
We are still in our post-Pesach recovery period. The kids have been somewhat discombobulated and quite wild at times. But just today as I was feeling somewhat discouraged, we had a very good learning day, thank G-d. We are continuing with the Math Mammoth and the Beautiful Italics Handwriting for Children. The big boys are doing well with both. They are still busy with their electronic kits, especially the almost nine year old. We've also attempted some experiments with a solar battery toy and a kit, with limited success,but I think the kids got the general idea and living in Israel they are very familiar with the use of solar power to heat water, etc. I've done some abacus activities with the almost five year old and the three year old usually get involvled with all of her sister's activities as well. I am hoping to do more with them in the coming weeks. In general there was a whole lot of tinkering around by the kids, lot of outdoor and free play. They are talking of making a clubhouse. We've enjoyed repeating some of the exciting science experiments we've tried in the past. We used binoculars to observe our environment, much to everyone's enjoyment. I am glad I got good quality binoculars for them. They really enjoyed watching someone fly a remote controlled model airplane next to our house. We've watched various agricultural activities in the neighbouring fields. We saw a fire being put out. I am trying to keep things very basic for now but it looks like a lot has been happening as is, educationally. I am hoping to fit some projects in when things calm down. There has been a request for more geographical activities so hopefully I'll find a way to accommodate that. The baby is learning to stand and walk and is very sweet and the kids all love him. But he requires a lot of my attention most of the time which often limits my availability for other things. I am noticing though that the older children are taking more initiative and coming up with their own ideas and plans which gives me more space and limits the need for my constant participation and involvement. I am contemplating music lessons for them. We have had some very good discussions and I've been gratified to hear some good discussions among themselves. We had some good read alouds, and spend lots of time with our overseas relatives. Their uncle is a fantastic storyteller and his original offerings were both instructive and highly enjoyable for the kids. They are a very active and jolly bunch, very intense and articulate and requiring a lot of input and attention from their parents. There are many things to work on and many areas to explore and strengthen but for now, I think things are good as they are, not perfect by far but certainly good. Education is really a lifelong process, one can't always pack it all into a particular moment. Slowly things take a form on its own but patience is required to see how it all plays out in the long term. It's important though to enjoy and appreciate the process itself, all the small victories, the many separate moments of learning and inspiration. It's important to stop sometimes and appreciate that regardles of how far one still has to go, that one has already come quite far, often much further than one expected. Thank G-d. Onwards we press on.