November has begun. The days have been cold and grey. At first I was a bit unaccepting as to the weather conditions, thinking of being trapped inside, waiting for the hours to go by until bedtime, but my mind turned to creativity and productivity and all of the hours I have to fill with the things I need and want to do.
I’ve put a whole lot more energy into homeschool planning. It’s something that comes naturally as the season changes from summer to fall. Homeschooling Kesa is a huge difference from homeschooling Autumn. Autumn was always eager to please, a great listener, and very neat with her writing and drawings. Kesa is more distracted, has her own stubborn personality, and has her own style of writing and drawing. I realized that I can’t compare the two and I can’t judge how Kesa is doing against any other child’s work. She is her own individual.
I realized back in spring 2016 also that Kesa had dyslexia. I couldn’t understand why she would write letters (even words) backwards when given an assignment. She did this even when copying what was right in front of her. She would confuse b’s and d’s constantly and have so very many things backwards. She told me her favorite number is 8 because it’s the only number that she couldn’t write backwards.
At first I didn’t know what was going on. I thought maybe she was just being silly. But then I was reminded of her pencil grip and the fact that she has such trouble reading. I knew then that she had something different going on and looking it up confirmed for me that it was dyslexia. It’s not just in her work, with reading, writing, and math, but in the way she thinks. She has a brilliant imagination and unbelievable memory. She will come up with the most amazing memories as if they happened just earlier in the day, but they are things from when she was 3 or 5. She imagines all sort of fantasy worlds in her mind. Right now she is playing a game with Pheonyx called, “Bubba Kingdom” about two orphaned kids who have grand adventures, Pheonyx is”Bubba” and Kesa is “Bubba’s sister.”
So this dyslexia thing is another thing I am learning about and working with. Not viewing it as a flaw or something needing fixing or changing, but working with the gifts of it. I’m finding creative, imaginative ways to teach that are fun and engaging for her, and I’m having a lot of fun too! I’m also learning a lot as a teacher about just how unique each kid is and how unique my approach to teaching each kid will have to be.
This week we focused on handwriting and in a few days she felt completely comfortable with it. In a week we made it through to letter w, including making up our own silly sentences for each letter and a drawing to go along with it.
We are also working on measurement and math and how we use them in every day life. She is now so into measuring everything with he 12 inch ruler, including the snow fall. Right now it’s “8 cm.”
Every day we do meal prep or baking of some kind together too. She gets out her little apron and is eager to help. These are the memories I treasure most. Last week we made a lemon cake for Serafina’s birthday. Her birthday was in August but this year we decided not to make a cake, thinking Serafina wouldn’t care anyway. We usually just take her to her favorite place, the beach, but I still could never get over not baking the cake, even if she didn’t notice or really care. We bought a star-shaped cake pan and made a lemon cake with lemon icing. Every ingredient being wholesome and no refined sugar in sight. It was goooood! Even though Serafina didn’t care too much for eating it. Like her dad, she is just not much of a cake fan.
Watching Kesa as a big sister melts my heart. When I was pregnant she wanted a brother and her and him have been amazing together from the start, but now that his personality is coming out and he’s walking and saying words, they are having a ton of fun. They play games and tag and their laughter is so heart-warming.
Some dark evenings we put on music to help us get the cleaning done faster and with more enthusiasm. Music blaring does not exclude some lame dance moves and singing into broomsticks or dish soap bottles. Pheonyx also has his own amazing dance moves already as well!
I’m feeling blessed as a momma every day.
Bring on the grey November! We have the light inside.