impossibleway: (Movingthe Soul with Color)
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Christopherus Grade ThreeAfter a long February, I find myself with a little afternoon break.  The wind is strong today, steadily around 20 mph, but it is sunny.  March  weather at its most typical.  Three months left to the school year, I am settling in and refocusing old routines, and planning a new year.  As the first big shift in our homeschooling, our Christopherus materials arrived earlier this week.  I'm reading through them and feeling pleased with what I see.  Just like our choice of Enki, this one also relied heavily on my intuition.  I spent time on the phone with both Live Education and Christopherus, getting a feel for their methods.  It felt good and comfortable to choose Christopherus as our next step, having exhausted the current Enki materials.

I'll admit that I like very much the idea of having the whole year laid out for me.  Enki did this, to some degree, but left a lot in the hands of the teacher.  While I do love being able to choose from many materials, I also find comfort in trusting that it is all put before me.  Enki was my teacher training, truly, and I am going forth in faith and freedom now.  I am so excited about third grade, practical person that I am.  A year of creation stories, native peoples, and life skills will be so fun, I think.  The way that we have handled religion has meant that Willow's steps into such stories have been gentle, which may not suit everyone.  But, for us, and for her temperament and tendencies, it has been right.  She will be ready to take hold of Bible stories at just the right time.

For now, we are still moving along with second grade.  Onto the Jewish tradition, we are reading trickster tales about a fellow named Herschele and the many times he avoids trouble (or makes his own!).  The children always enjoy these stories so much and they are welcome right now, when the weather seems just as fickle as our emotions.  We need to hear what our friend Herschele is up to for some lightness in our days.  The Baal Shem Tov is the sage we're studying this time around, and it will be completely new for all of us, excepting maybe Mike.  Our final sage will be St. Francis, which I think will please the children.  Sweet memories, these are, even when the day-to-day can be so challenging.

Trickster TaleWe spent February learning about place value and experiencing a thousand through jewel-colored base ten blocks.  Willow really enjoyed filling bowls with ten units and then bars of ten and so on.  It is interesting to me the things that children think are not exhausting or boring.  We moved on to a short block on "The Helpful Elf," the ways an "e" at the end of a word changes it into something else.  Teaching phonics has not been a strong point for me, so this was a help.  Reading is moving along for Willow--she is able to read much of what is before her, with some struggle on words that don't make much sense.  Handwriting is a challenge, but so is form drawing.  We spend some time with that each week and she is improving.

I guess all of this is a report card, of sorts, on where we've come from in the past couple months.  In that mood, I can see Roan growing, too.  He can draw almost anything he wants now, which is a big shift from the start of the year when he made simple head and limb people.  He is happy to copy letters to make a short phrase for his pictures.  I don't ask him to do this, but I don't turn down his requests, either.  He has drawn many recurring images--trains on trestles, himself playing in the snow, himself as a cowboy,  horses, houses with woodsheds.  The ladder (or train track) is strong in his work, the single image that could capture his sixth year in its essence. I can find it carved into the wood on my sewing cabinet and it makes me smile at his mischief.  He recently duplicated a chalkboard drawing I did of a leprechaun under a rainbow by a tree house.  It is so dear to see.

Well, time to get it together around here and prepare to welcome the windswept family home.  Happy Friday!

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