We’ve been visiting the art museum,
making up new ways to play Carcassonne,
working on his book.
He started out writing his book in pencil and was doing really well but then began to slow down, as he became frustrated by mistakes and time and the constraints of paper. I asked if he’d like to type the rest and he was enthusiastically for it. We’ve been avoiding this as hand writing is one of those things that I believe is a handy thing to feel confident at and has slowly, slowly been getting easier as the trauma of trying to write in school fades. However, it was getting to the point in his book project where he wasn’t feeling good about the book project but obviously wanted to keep going. Problems like, he doesn’t like the mess it makes when he needs to erase and he decides, paragraphs in, that he wants to add character descriptions in the beginning and similarly change the tense from past to present all add up to he feels overwhelmed and unable to continue on paper. So, I typed up what he’d written, letter for letter, all mistakes included and he began fixing things and adding to it and the last two days I’ve heard, “Mama, can I work on my book?” and “I think I want to work on the next part.” Wow! What a difference that is from the way it was before, when he had an idea to write about and was so excited and started and then got so mad and frustrated that he would cry and yell and tell me he “couldn’t” and “was too scared”! I’m enjoying his excitement and perseverance and I’m enjoying feeling proud of myself for asking and answering the question, “How can I help him succeed?” I don’t care if he chooses to stop because he wants to, but I certainly do care if he chooses to stop because he doesn’t know how to or feel comfortable proceeding even though he wants to go on. I think we’ve turned a corner.
Yesterday, in the middle of writing he decided he needed to make a map of the area in his story and then used that in his writing. He asked what a good name for a capitol city would be and Lilah suggested Capitol Reef and he thought that sounded good so long as it was by water.
We also discussed how many words are on a page and how that can be different based on so many things, paper size, letter size, margins, etc. He’s still deciding how he wants to lay it out.
We’ve been drawing (cats, kittens, occasional porcupine or Invader Zim)
enjoying lots of time playing with friends,
going to see Art Dog, a play at our neighborhood theatre with my sister and parents,
putting up the holiday tree,
swimming. The kids are getting better each time we go and they ask to go to the pool so they can “practice their swimming” and then they do! Gavin is getting better at moving his arms smoothly and kicking with his legs close together. Lilah is getting better at turning her head to breathe while she’s moving. It’s amazing to see what learning a new skill can look like when it’s accomplished all on their own interest, planning and work. They are really enjoying their progress as well as ownership of their process.
There was a twilight hike for me,
chocolate bark making (and subsequent eating),
pop up card making (she pulled out our pop up card book, pored over it, and then asked for materials and away she went),
cooking (red lentil dal),
working on rehanging our basement door (It’s finished now and I am relieved and proud!),
ice skating for the first time for the kids and the first time in at least ten years for me,
knitting for me.
Our days have been full to the brim with goodness. There is so much to see, learn and share. We’re never lacking for things to do or ideas of things to pursue.