Mar 16, 2012

Weekly Update - Looking Ahead to SPRING!!!

This past week is the last one of our winter session and things went really smoothly. This was DN's first full session and though there was some trips and a few stumbles all and all it seems as though we are all getting our feet firmly planted beneath us! He was here over the weekend and finished up things smoothly and with no issue. He also completed a few "pre-tests" in writing and in U.S. Geography so that I know exactly what I am working with. He really surprised himself on the writing evaluation as he thought he was going to do poorly on the entire thing, but only a few areas - 4 out of the 21 - that he needs to work on. As for U.S. geography, we have a ways to go, but I think it will all come together without too much of a problem if he puts his mind to it. He was at home for the rest of this week and will be going on the road with CJ next week. This should be a very interesting experience for the both of them, as they have never spent that much time together - 24 hours a day in close quarters for an undetermined number of days. I am confident that this will help them to understand each other a bit better.

KM finished up some areas, but will not be taking a full break over the next two weeks as she has to complete her Literature Skype class which doesn't end until 3/28. She has also decided to keep watching the Liberty Kids episodes and may need to do one or two other things as she is HOPING to have her turn to on the road with CJ the first week of April. This will also be an interesting endeavor as has never been away from me for more than two nights and although I know she will be fine and CJ will take good care of her, I will also be staying at home all alone for the FIRST TIME EVER - dun, dun, DUN! I will be fine, but will probably not know what to do with myself after the first day. I bet they will come back and the whole house will be rearranged, organized and unrecognizable.

As we were ending our winter studies, this included the ant and earthworm habitat studies, so it was time to release the critters. Although I know it is not recommended that you release harvester ants in our area as they are sure to not survive, there were only two left and we really didn't think that it would be long before they would be gone as well. They seemed so sad and lonely in there. As for the earthworms, they were going strong and KM had a great time making me jump and squirm nearly as much as the worms were - I know it is an irrational fear, but I think it is more that I just don't LIKE them than that I am afraid of them. So we released all of the critters close to home and right into our compost container. KM was delighted to see all the worms that were already crawling in there and felt Herbert and his friends would be in good company there. We will be freecycling the Anthill and remaining supplies so that another family can enjoy learning about these incredibly complex creatures. For next session we will be hatching frogs and are awaiting the arrival of the embryos.

I had a personal break through this week that I want to mention - I FINALLY learned how to skate backwards. Yes at 33, my 14 year old daughter found the key to unlocking my ability to skate in reverse. I have been trying all season to figure out how it is done. I watched others, I tried it myself, I listened to suggestions, but for some reason I just could not get more than two or three little movements before I would be in a dead stop or a spin. Well today we got to free skate a few minutes early and had the entire place to ourselves. We got right out into the middle of the ice and started playing around, spinning, turning, attempting to go backwards and suddenly I was doing it a little bit more than I had before. KM was making different suggestions to me and I was trying all the different things when suddenly I had made it from one side of the rink to other, it was jerky and no where near smooth, but I made it. At this point some other skaters arrived and I was nervous about them being behind me. When I would glance over my shoulder my whole body would move causing me to feel unsteady and catch my skate. I just kept trying though. KM was very supportive and started skating in front of me to keep an eye out when she suddenly said, "Move like the samba"  - WELL DUH!!! That was it, I moved like I was doing the Samba and I skated backwards flawlessly. That was my key, she kept trying and finally found a way for me to understand what she was doing.  I was so proud of myself, but I was even more proud of her. She didn't get frustrated or give up on me, she just kept trying. I feel like this is what I do every day with her and DN - I try to find just the right words, programs, approach, resources, games etc. to help them reach their potential and her she was doing the same for me!

And on that note here are some pics from the week -




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