W has been more creative lately than ever. Last night he figured out that on his Nintendo DS he can create his own virtual flip-book and make cartoons. He was at that for over an hour, creating balloons that float up and off the screen, a line that turns into a huge claw, a person cartwheeling from one side to the other, and a all bouncing across the page. That was cool. Also last night he did like 4 pages (reading/phonics) in one of his workbooks - this is a really fun and different book for him. He is doing really well with a combination of whole-language and phonics, now that I know how to present it to him. He's enjoying reading now. This morning he was making all different kinds of paper airplanes, seeing what he could create that would fly the best. I love watching him when he's in creative mode. Oh, and I think MIL is finally coming around with us homeschooling. She likes buying him new workbooks and the other day she called from the store asking if she should pick up some 3rd grade ones for him. I said, No, 2nd grade would be better. And she said that he would probably find the 3rd grade book easy since he's so bright. I almost fell off my chair. So I guess I'm not ruining his life, huh?
J and I sat together last night to read Sarah, Plain and Tall. It's a book she'd read in 3rd grade, but loved it, so we read it again. I read aloud all the narrative parts and she read all the character parts, using different voices and accents. She also spent a lot of time yesterday (and this morning) on CCD homework and studying. She goes to the religion class every week and does well without much effort. It's interesting to me that she decided to sit on the floor with open looseleaf binder and textbook, writing out definitions and reading about the Exodus, the Tower of Babel, and the Prophet Isaiah. I think it's for a test next week. I've never seen her even DO homework for that class - especially when the next class is a week away.
I know this all stems from letting kids own their educations. If I had demanded she study and do homework, I would have probably been met with resistance or a battle. When I leave it up to her to decide what she should do, she takes the time to think ahead about what it feels like to be unprepared for class and takes full responsibility for what needs to be done. It works for K the same way. Once I stopped hovering and just let her own it all, her grades went up and she actually tells me all about her day, her friends, and her thoughts. One teacher emailed me to say that K did excellent work in class (on a written piece on apoptosis). This is unusual for 9th grade! She has become very independent, mature, and responsible lately, too. And she'll still stop to give me a hug or make a bunch of snacks while we enjoy a movie together. I love spending time with her. I'm incredibly lucky to have such a cool teenager.