Friday, the girls went to the monthly book club with other homeschoolers. The short story was "Raymond's Run" (which I really liked, btw) and they discussed that for about an hour in one of the library rooms. W and I hung around in the children's wing again, browsing through some books. He had fun playing with the building toys and helping little kids with their towers. I kept busy with a small stack of HEM - a homeschool magazine I love - while W played. When the kids came out, the librarian gave them all a scavenger hunt sheet based on the Dewey Decimal System where they had to find certain books, call numbers, authors, etc. It was boys against the girls and everyone ended up with a nice prize. Then they went to the computers and played Runescape with each other.
Saturday, J had dance most of the day and I worked, so B took the other kids around town. Sunday, they went to religion class and then we drove out to my mom's. We had another birthday party for W and he got more clothes, games for his new DS Lite, a hydro-rocket launch thing, and a Webkinz. Webkinz is a stuffed animal with a serial number that you punch into the computer, create a username and password, and earn points/money by playing games so you can buy cool things for your pet's room. I'm sure there's more to it, but it seems great. The kids got to spend time with the neighbor kids (same ages) and play a little basketball in the beautiful weather.
Our homeschool group had an art class today. It was all about drawing with charcoals. We had "toothed" paper, kneaded erasers, and 2 different kinds of charcoal. We all got a piece of popcorn and were told to draw it big and try to observe and copy the shadowing in all the crevasses. That was cool. There were a couple of new families there today. K found a great new friend who is her age and loves all the same things. She's so thrilled. Since she's been out of school (5 months) all she wanted was just one girlfriend to click with. They're already making lots of plans. W also made a new friend today. The other new mom has a 5y/o boy and W hung out with him all day. So, yay, this was a great day.
This morning before we left, W did a few pages in his new workbook with me. All of them were on ABC order. For some reason I thought it would be a difficult concept, but he picked it up immediately and really enjoyed it. K finished all the books in the Clique series and now wants to find a new series to read. J and I were talking about reading and she admits that she dislikes it so much because the teachers made sure she could never enjoy a book because they picked it apart and made them answer a ridiculous amount of questions. She remembers the homework battles and the humiliation she went through if she happened to misunderstand a homework question and answer it incorrectly, didn't write an answer exactly half a notebook page long, or didn't write neatly enough. She said she just lost her excitement over reading. I explained that things are different now and she can snuggle up with a cup of tea and really throw herself into a book without having to worry about anyone breathing down her neck or demanding anything from her. It was a nice talk and she agreed to try and change the way she thinks about it and re-learn to enjoy reading. And I will do what it takes to help.