Gimme a "S"
Swim....school.....swim.....school...that's about all we've been up to lately....oh, and lots of trips to the local library. These things alone have kept us quite busy this summer.
Caleb is rocking it out at his swim lessons, and in fact, he will finish up this week. He has learned the swim-float-swim sequence and even did so in his clothes these past two days. I am so proud of him.
Madeline and swimming? Well, she's making progress. I adore the kids' swim instructor, Ms. Carmen. She's excellent with them. Madeline just won't open her eyes under water, and the first few lessons were like a crocodile fight. Even still, Madeline willingly gets in the water, tears and all.
Yesterday reminded me so much of our first days in Wuhan. Every morning Madeline woke up in our bed and began crying, as if to express her disappointment that she wasn't really dreaming this whole thing up; she was still with us, we were her parents, and that was the way it was going to be. Through her crying, she would let me change her diaper and put new clothes on; she never resisted, just cried and accepted it.
She has shown this same attitude at her swim lessons this week. She watches her brother, she knows it's good for her, so she'll do it. Even though she's not happy about it. We have seen her make big progress from last week. She knows just how proud we are of her, and you can see it all over her face.
And school? Well, let's just say Madeline and Caleb have very different attitudes toward learning. Caleb is very teachable. He's an awesome student. He has grown by leaps and bounds in his ability to focus on tasks while his sister trashes our school room during his lessons. lol. Madeline, well, let's just say she doesn't like to be corrected or helped in any way. Lovely.
Despite the fact that she wants to be her own teacher some times, she really is listening and learning. She knows the sounds for all but a few of the single letter phonograms. She initially learned their sounds as the corresponded with uppercase letters from Letter Factory. But I've been teaching her the lowercase letters from Caleb's Writing Road to Reading phonogram cards, and she has almost learned them all.
Because of this, we have started working on CVC words. I figured since she points to letters she sees in text and calls out their sounds, she recognizes that letters together make certain sounds. Do I expect her to be reading next month? Hardly. But I want her to see those connections. She has shown an interest in it. So I'm going with the flow.
I love the multisensory approach to learning that encompasses the Spalding method. I have seen Caleb's reading and spelling improve, and we've only been using the program for a few weeks. Naturally, since it involves writing, it's too soon to start using it with Madeline. (Although she really does love to "write" and does so quite well for a wee 3yo.) So I decided that the multisensory approach to take with her would be to use letter tiles. I purchased them from All About Spelling, and I love them! They are perfect for her. I bought the magnetic strips, so we can use them on one of our magnetic dry erase boards. We'll spell a few CVC words, she'll say all their sounds, and then I'll blend them for her. Then she's off to play.
She loves to spell on her board, and so does Caleb. Fortunately, their package of tiles contains all of the phonograms. So Caleb can spell words too. The other day he told me he wanted to spell Tennessee....and so he did. Oh, can you tell he's excited about our upcoming China reunion trip?
Anyway, I took a video of Madeline helping me tear apart the letter tiles. It just doesn't do any justice with respect to how giddy she actually was over her "new letters". (The "background music" is Caleb playing Ni Hao Kai Lan on his Leapster.)
This year Caleb and I watched the Scripps National Spelling Bee. I love spelling bees and even participated in a few in my younger years. When I would point out to Caleb the kids who were homeschooled, his eyes would grow large in amazement. He was definitely impressed. Who knows what the future holds. ;)