Whew! It’s been a busy day today – in a good way! It’s a day that gives me hope for next year’s “official” home school endeavors. We’ve read books – even educational ones about “heroes” like Sacajawea and Nelson Mandela. We’ve done Math and Spanish games on the computer, and I was pleased to see unexpected advances in their computational abilities. We did some cutting, taping, stapling and drawing — Ian made cheetah arm cuffs, Isaac made a race car and a train, while practicing writing names on them, and Elijah practiced cutting and drawing. Ian has been mentally designing costumes over the last day or two. I’m totally in support of his efforts, but I’m at a loss when he asks me for wood and computer parts to make his robot claw costume. He kind of expects it to be fully functional. I guess that’s what I get for letting him watch so much Phineas and Ferb. After our creative time, we watched some videos about monster trucks, airplanes, helicopters and construction vehicles.
We had a productive drive this week, too. I’ll call it “carschooling.” As I pulled up to the bank, I noticed a line of cement guard poles, which inspired me to describe the concept of ‘parallel.” I held up two fingers and talked about two lines going in the same direction (not bothering to broach the concept of planes). The boys pointed out trees and fence poles, then Ian added vehicle wheels and cars parked beside each other. Since they didn’t in any way resemble lines, but exactly fit the meaning of “parallel,” I thought that was great 3-dimensional conceptual thinking!
Later in the drive, Ian struggled to say that, “ambliance” was hard to say. I said, “Well, it does have three syllables — am-bu-lance. ‘E-li-jah’ has three syllables also. ‘I-an’ and ‘Is-sac’ have only two syllables.” Isaac added, “And ‘elephant’ has three syllables like ‘ambliance.’ Ian paused and said, “A leaf falls off a tree — that has six syllables, right?” I love random learning moments.
The boys have kept me in stitches as usual. Yes, last week, we had Elijah in stitches — literally — but his lip is looking fantastic. He is buzzing around with his brothers, singing their favorite pop/rock songs, exploring the woods outside, telling unbearable “jokes,” and eating constantly. As I mentioned before, I’m not pushing the potty training, but I know he’s using diapers as a luxury item. I know this because he took off his wet diaper and put it in the trash. He played a while before he came running to me with a new diaper in hand, saying, “I’m ready for a biaper now.” I asked if he needed to pee or poop and he said, “Just pee.” I asked if he wanted to sit on the potty and he replied, “No, just wear a biaper.” So I put on the diaper, he ran off for a few minutes, then stopped to take off that diaper, saying, “Ew, yuk. Dis biaper all wet,” and put that one in the trash, too.
Isaac is probably the resident crooner. I love holding the privilege of seeing my little introvert in his most relaxed and free state of mind. I am witness to songs, witticisms and babblings that would never happen on demand, or for an audience. He’s reminding me of the peculiarity of our language, with adorable, but logical phrases like, “upside-up (vs. upside-down),” “outside out (vs. inside out),” and “warms us off (vs. cools off).” He does get me wondering why we say things the way we do. I wish I could bring more examples to mind. I adore his words so much, I’m always a bit disappointed when he begins to say them the “right” way, and of course, I can’t bear to correct him — like that does him any favors.
Ian is bursting with interesting inventions and observations. He told me one day that he sometimes tricks me at the store. Here is his explanation:
“Sometimes at the store I trick you when I see something and I act really excited, but behind all that excitement, I really just want to know how it works and what it’s like to play with it, so I act really excited so you’ll buy it.”
I didn’t know whether to be irritated at the possible manipulation, impressed at the insightfulness of his introspection, or simply amused by the idea of it. I ultimately stayed with the last two impressions. Slightly less introspective was his assessment of his flatulence: My toot smelled so bad my brother died! Reaching farther still with his scrutiny, I was experimenting with rutabaga the other night, and having a hard time slicing through it, so I took a big knife and gave a swift whack at the tuber. Ian, perched at a safe distance, was elated, saying, “Wow, Mom! That was awesome! You were like Karate!” He’s been gaining a working understanding of the concepts of “a couple” and “a few.” After pinning down alternative ways to convey “two” and “three,” he was irritated that there wasn’t a similar word for, “one.” Brian asked Ian what word he’d use instead of “one.” Ian’s suggestion: dimeshape regular. I can see it now: Mom? Can I have a waffle? Give me dimeshape regular minute, honey, I’m changing a diaper.