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Exciting morning today: Fire Drill on campus!

We heard the fire alarm go off in the building next door, which led Carl to astutely guess we’d be next. We all put on shoes and prepared for our alarm, which, sure enough, went off a short time after next door’s alarm ended. Out we trotted (three of us with hands over our ears – those alarms are PAINFUL), and joined our neighbors at the playground.

Which put a dent in what we’ve gotten accomplished today, but was excellent for seeing people we haven’t talked to in a little while. So I guess it balances.

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Joy is still more concerned about figuring out the code that will let her trick us into thinking she’s “getting” the math and allow her to put down the correct answer without any effort than she is about actually understanding how the process works (ironic, since learning the process is actually kind of like a secret code that allows you to get the correct answer every time …). Carl has taken over her math lessons the last couple of days, which at first worked great, but she started trying to stonewall with him the same way she does with me today.

I also found out today that when she tells me “I finished this book” and gives me a brief summary of it, she hasn’t necessarily read the thing: she skims. She tried to persuade me today that she read a book in a shorter time frame than I could have managed, and I’m an incredibly speedy reader. When I queried her, she insisted that she just “read it silently.” I handed it back to her and told her to read it again, and this time read every word. I left her pouting. We’ll see how the actual reading goes.

She just doesn’t like to push herself, this kid. She likes everything safe and easy. She loves to draw, but she digs in her heels at any attempt to improve her drawing; she wants to stay stagnant with where she’s at. Same with reading, she’ll read old books but not something new, something that might challenge her. She did great with math until we hit new stuff that actually stretches her abilities and understanding. She wants me to spoon-feed her everything from social studies and science, and pouts when I make her pursue or try to understand something herself. Even when it comes to playing, she only ever wants to play the same old game or theme, she doesn’t like to stretch her imagination to try something new.

It’s immensely frustrating, and so many times a day I want to sign her up for public school, hand her off to the teachers and say “here, you deal with it!” But while there are good reasons to send your kid to public school, that one is very, very bad. I think I’m going to have to find some homeschool moms of older kids, see if this is something they ever ran into and, if so, what they did for it.

Gracie is doing great. She read all the words on her reading assessment pages with no problems at all, which means we are just about ready to move on to the next book. Reading has been a slower process for her than for Joy, but I suspect she’ll be a stronger reader overall when it does come together for her. She likes to challenge herself, and get better at things that she does, which is great for her and for me, because I don’t think I could take two stubborn heel-diggers.

Granted, kindergarten is a world of difference from first grade, so I might be singing a different tune come next September, but even just going by their personalities, I see that Gracie doesn’t shy away from hard things, while Joy will always look for the easy way out. (In general – of course there are always exceptions.)

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Trying to write as much as I can. I am so ready to be done with my plethora of first drafts I have on hand right now. My brain is ready for it to be revision time. I’m learning to protect my writing time, to own it as a legitimate use of my time, as my work, and not to just squeeze it in around other things. Even if other people think I’m using it as an excuse to not do things, I need to believe it’s important. And I am, slowly.

I’m also attempting art again, and for fear of jinxing it, I shall say no more than that.

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