A Meme to Get Me Writing
Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors performed by Athena's Train

Swimming, Pushing, and Standardized Testing

[Written late yesterday evening and proofread today (for reasons which will become obvious)]

Happy longest-day-of-the year (i.e. solstice)!  - a very important day for those of us whose moods depend on the amount of sunlight. 

The pool was fairly empty when we went late this afternoon - maybe because it was not quite as hot and humid as it has been lately.  For a while, we were the only ones in it.   

We were able to swim in the deep section (the diving board section) since no one else was using it.  Younger son just got comfortable swimming in it at the end of last summer (with me swimming right next to him). 

Near the end of our time there, he said that his back hurt and he wanted to go sit down.  Our stuff was across the pool from where we were, and he wanted me to go with him so he didn't have to be alone.  The two of us went to sit down while the older two continued to swim in the deep end. 

While sitting there, I realized that many parents would have told him to go ahead - he'll be fine... the pool's not that big so he wouldn't be that far away - thinking that this would produce independence.  I know, from looking at my older two, that he'll be independent enough some day.  There's no need to push him when he feels bad.

He felt better after a few minutes and went back in.  When I asked him to tell his older siblings that it was time to go, he swam over to the edge of the deep end to tell them - which was as far away as I would have been had I not gone with him to sit down (grin)...

I love going to the pool in the late afternoon/early evening.  The sunlight filtering through the trees is beautiful!

We recently did our standardized testing for the year.  We do a rather low-key test when they're young, but I still think it's inappropriate for second graders.   The part that bothered me the most is identifying the correct punctuation for envelopes -  like second graders are sending lots of snail mail?!

When my kids are in second grade, I just encourage them to enjoy reading and to read as much as they want - and whatever they want!  Younger son is currently reading kids' graphic novels and his older sister's stash of National Geographic Kids magazines.  The point is that he's reading, enjoying it, and it's something he chooses to do.  That's what I want - independent, involved, interested readers.  Once you've got that, half the homeschooling battle is won. 

Writing will come in its own time.  Older son did very little writing until he was in high school.  If you want to read a current sample of his writing, click here to read "A Very Long Explanation for the Curious."  Getting into writing later didn't hurt him - and all the fantasy he's read has helped to shape his mental world!

Younger son did very well on the reading comprehension and the math sections.  Language Mechanics were a source of frustration for him and a source of irritation for me (since I think the focus is overkill at this age - they have a whole decade of school to go!).  I was glad to get rid of his test mail the test back as soon as he finished. 

Oh, and older daughter - who was also very frustrated by the test back when she was in second grade?  She worked hard on her test, seemed to do fine, and was only irritated by the parts which seemed stupid and pedestrian ("That's the best question they could think of for this passage?!").  However, she wasn't as frustrated back in second grade as younger son is.  He's got an engineer's love of precision (just try to tell him something a little bit wrong and see how earnestly you get corrected) so he wanted to get everything right. 

Dear husband just informed me that younger son fell asleep with the light on - while reading. 

Lest you think that I'm slack in their eventual writing - as they get older, I emphasize that part of how you present yourself is by your writing.  Just as you should be showered, shaved, and groomed (not necessarily stylish or to impress, but presentable), your writing should be edited, spell-checked, and correctly punctuated. 

Daughter gets irritated with Amazon reviewers who can't be bothered with these "trivialities."  You know the type:  "i'm too busy to worry about speling, capitalization or pnctuation. youll just have to read things the way i writ them."*  She doesn't read their reviews, and she's amazed at how often grownups write this way. 

My attitude is similar.  If they're too busy to worry about these things, I'm too busy to read (with the obvious exception for those with verbal disabilities). 

*  I have to force myself to type that way.  I'm too used to typing with capitals and punctuation. 

Comments

Jennifer

Interesting to read this today. Just last night I was up worrying about whether it was time to start working with my 13 year old more on spelling and grammar mechanics. (PMS has me awake worrying about the strangest things.)

Anyway, her writing is REALLY good, but it does need work with the mechanics. The problem is, I'm not supposed to know about the website where she does her writing, so I don't know how to approach her and suggest we clean it up, so I guess I won't for now. Like yours, somehow my son managed to get those things. He took an online English class last year that required a lot of writing and I was surprised and pleased to see that he was really more than competent!

M Light

Daughter writes a lot on some boards, and I think her writing has improved a good bit. I don't read them, though so I only see her other writing. I'm glad she's got something that makes her want to write! When I was a teenager, I hated writing.

We have discussed that it's time to work more on editing and research papers this next year. Older son, at this age, took a writing class for two years and went from rarely writing to writing well. The class really clicked for him - he was able to write interesting papers on topics that would never have inspired me!

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