We didn’t leave for the Nook today until after lunch, even though it meant Leila missing an Arts & Crafts class that’s her favourite. Last week, it seemed like we were rushing around everywhere, but we moved into a wonderfully slow weekend…and I needed it to be like that for just one more day. Half day.
Zahra crafted all weekend (and most of the week before), and so this morning, I told her she had to move forward on the academic side of things. She worked hard all morning. I’m in such awe at her ability to move from one thing to another and succeed, her positive attitude and her strong work ethic. She’s up for anything and everything! She’s really motivated by her small business, too. This weekend, she tried to teach me how to sew and how to needle felt. I’m no good at either, but it doesn’t matter. It’s just nice to spend that time together.
True to my word, I let Leila’s French reading workbook go this morning. She was refusing to get dressed (refusing to do things is her thing) and come downstairs, so I told her we were going to just have story time. She came down. We read a stack of French library books on the couch and I had her read the easiest words, the ones I knew she knew. We finished up with some golden bead math work and left it at that. I’m going to ditch the workbook until she’s ready, but I already have some other ideas. Le Salon du livre is coming up and I know I’ll find infinite resources there.
I think I’ve written a good amount on the girls lately—Zahra because she’s trying so many new things and Leila because igniting that fire in her has been my biggest challenge. In all that, I don’t know that I’ve taken the time to record just how pleasing and rewarding it’s been to work with Noah this year. His reading skills have improved immensely, in both French and English, and he’s even keen to write now. Last night, as I was reading to the kids from a French-language read-aloud (Le Cri de la baleine), Noah stopped me and said, “How about I read three sentences and you read the rest of the page?”
“Ok,” I agreed excitedly. He read three sentences and I finished the page. When I turned to the next one, he took it from me and read three sentences. Pause. He held tight to the book.
“How about I just read a whole page and then you read a whole page?”
Who’s going to argue with that? And so like that, we finished the chapter. After everyone was in bed, he came to me with one of his all-time favourites, Hatchet.
“I want to improve my reading in English,” he said, “so can we read this together?” Um—yes. And so we spent the next hour cuddled up under the covers, passing Hatchet back and forth, and having a detailed discussion on heart attacks.
This morning, like most mornings now, Noah did some French and some math with ease, mostly autonomously. He joined Leila and I for story time. When Leila was doing some addition, he jumped in to excitedly tell her his tricks for adding.
(Never mind that she barked back at him. Sigh.)
After a quick lunch, we packed up for the Nook. Noah didn’t even make it inside—his pack of boys was waiting for him and came running to drag him to the slide. I went inside with the girls, dropping off clothes for our used clothing sale. Leila ran to Music & Movement, and Zahra and I went to Creative Writing. Beth was teaching this week, but I decided to sit in because I just love being with this group of young writers. Beth was leading them through the exercise of writing how-to’s—and cheeky ones at that, like How to Avoid Taking a Shower. The kids brainstormed things they might be good at explaining to someone else. I came up with a few, too:
How to Homeschool Without Ever Being Home
How to Fake a Clean House on Short Notice
How to Not Cook for Days and Still Feed Your Family
How to Utterly Fail at Aquaponics
After the 1:00 workshops, it was time to go apple picking! We met Mr. Quinn at the tractor and rode through the blustery afternoon to the apple orchard. Apples for everyone—and lots of smiles and laughs, too! On Thursday, we’ll help gather the juicing apples into huge wooden crates.
We took some apples back for the animals in the barn. Zahra took the new calf, Brutus, out on a leash. He’s a feisty one! We took a walk out to the squash fields before heading home, with Anjali and Jordan. While I made dinner, the boys shared their talents at the piano and ran through the house on some mission, and the girls worked on their history presentation. They’ve chosen the Iroquois chief Donnacona. They made him an ID card, researched his biography in their history books and online, and started making up a song about him for their oral presentation.
We finished our day with another chapter from Le Cri de la baleine. Book club tomorrow!