K went off to school bright and chipper this morning. She was excited to see her friends and get back into the swing of things there.
The first thing J wanted to do today was her new workbook. We sat together for almost an hour doing 2-4 pages in each subject section. She breezed through it and found all of it fun. I didn't realize how greatly her skills have improved after a 1 1/2 years being out of school. Her reading comprehension alone blew me away. That was one area in school she was constantly criticized for. The math part, as usual, was easy for her, as were the sections on language arts and writing. There's a test prep part in the back that she did some of, too, since she will be taking a standardized test this spring. She's glad she chose the 6th (rather than 5th) grade book. She also has another workbook she's eager to crack open.
J also started writing a story about a girl in an orphanage. I happened to catch her with pen and notebook last night (wow) and then again this morning finishing up the second chapter (double wow). Then she read it to me and typed it up on MS Word. I'm so proud of her for feeling comfortable writing again. I noticed that her handwriting has really changed and become more deliberate and mature all of a sudden. I think she might have finally deschooled enough now to let her real self shine through.
W played on the computer while I sat with J. She needs quiet and concentration, so having him next to us wasn't working. He watched J for a little while, though. After J was done, W came over with his big 1st grade book to do with me. We hit a few pages on each subject section. He's finding the math pretty easy and likes the reading comprehension part - it's like a game to him. He's getting better at writing letters and numbers now, too. J was reading 100-page books and taught herself perfect cursive at 5 years-old, so it feels weird to see W not loving reading and writing like J did. But I know they're different kids and I shouldn't compare. But what I do notice is that he's very particular about showing others these abilities. It's as if he has to really know it well first. Well, whatever it is, it's right for him so it's right for me. I believe he'll be an incredible reader and writer if he's able to take all the time he needs.
We visited the library around 1pm. They took out 8 books and 2 tapes. J wants to read a "series", so she decided on something light called The Spiderwick Chronicles (in addition to books on Russia, Johnny Appleseed, and Medieval times). W picked books on space, origami, kids in NYC, and funny poems. We picked up K, went home, and J and W started on some origami. K told me all about her day, what teachers she has, what supplies she needs, and I filled out and signed the usual beginning-of-school forms. I made sure to make copies of all the class outlines and her schedule so I can be fully on top of what's going on. K is shooting for straight As this year. And I'll be helping in every way I can.