What Do YOU Want to Do Today?

Balancing working, with homeschooling, writing, and prepping for our big move is intimidating and challenging at times. However, this morning, things really slid into place well…

Making A List, Checking It Twice

Christmas might be over, but the list-making isn’t. Today I prepped before Emily woke up by writing out a list of things I wanted to do, including a blank column for her.

Once she woke up, I drew her over to the sofa and showed her the list asking, “So…what do you want to do today?”

Emily had plenty of ideas…

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Reinforcing Days of Week and Patterns

“So today is Monday and our week is nice and open, we don’t have a cleaning until Friday!. Do you remember what comes after Monday?” I asked Emily after we had reviewed our Things To Do list.

She grinned, “Yes! Tomorrow is Tuesday…Story Time at the library!”

“I’ve already sent an email to Bethany and asked if she would like to go to lunch afterwards.”

Emily bounced, “Yippee!”

Encouraging Reading

“Ooh, that reminds me,” I grabbed the pen again and starting writing in her column.

“What are you writing?” Emily asked.

“You tell me.” I said, and leaned back to let her look at the words I had written.

She didn’t say a word, she just stared at the letters and jumped up off the couch, grinning happily. “I’ll do that right now,” she said, and went to feed her frogs.

Sneaky Learning

I thought of a sneaky way to get more word recognition in play today. As I scrubbed away on a dirty frying pan I said, “Oh, Emily, could you please scratch ‘clean the litter box’ off of my list? I did that when I was down in the basement switching over the laundry.”

Emily loves to help – especially with things she finds easy to do. I was pleased to hear her call out a moment later, “I did it, Mom!”

Natural and Unnatural Things

You may have noticed the “give little egg bath” on Emily’s list. The egg was tiny, and it came from the chickens! Unfortunately, during the bathing process, or the vigorous drying afterwards, the tiny egg cracked open. Emily was so sad.

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Cracked or no, the shell was impossibly small. Not even when they were first laying had the eggs been that small. We emptied into a small dish, and then cracked a full-sized egg into another dish to show the difference.

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No yolk in the tiny one!

So cool.

The Magic Schoolbus has a great episode on how chickens lay eggs. It’s great, check it out. It explains how the shell is formed and lots more.

Oh Yeah…A Teaching Moment

Sometimes teaching opportunities hit me at moments when I’m completely distracted and unaware of what Emily is saying or doing.

Take today for example.

I was sitting in the Sears Outlet, bored out of my mind as my mother went on the hunt for a salesman, one she could sink her claws into and magically extract a steal of a deal from. I’ve seen her in action, I am torn between feeling sorry for the salesman and wondering why I didn’t manage to inherit her ability to whittle salesmen down to soft mush.

Emily was beside me, snuggled into the extra wide rocking armchair. The salesman looked like he was sweating…damn Mom, take it easy on him it’s 20 degrees out.

“Ah…ah…ffff…fff…OFF.” Emily said clearly. And it pierced through the haze of daydream about paint colors in the future utility room. She was reading…willingly…on her own initiative.

We take wins where we can get them. And we most certainly take learning moments where we can find them.

I played it cool and said, “Right, that appliance is on sale. It’s 25% off…see the 2…5? And see that funny little symbol with a little circle, a slash, and then another circle? Do you know what that is?”

Emily studied the symbol and shook her head “no.” I took a moment to explain what a percent sign was and how it worked. Then I pointed to another word and said, “Try that word on for size.”

She labored over it, with a couple of corrections/explanations on letter sounds before blurting, “Cooking!” and a moment later, “Sale!”

Each time she reads a word, and especially like this where she is curious, I want to jump up and down and yell, “She’s learning, she’s learning! It’s SO COOL!” Thankfully, I mainly keep it together. I doubt either of my daughters know what a complete goob I am over them. How I always have been a silly goob where they are concerned. Perhaps that childlike sense of wonder is still with me, in spite of my childhood long having passed.

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