Friday, January 16, 2009

Week 18 -- Thinking about Low Tides

So we are at what Melissa Wiley calls a "lovely, lovely low tide" right now. But the low tide always reveals lots of fascinating curiosities.

Our family enjoys both kinds of learning—the heady adventure of the well-planned fishing trip, with a goal and a destination in mind, and the mellower joys of undirected discovery during weeks at the metaphorical beach. .... often I find that the children
catch more fish, so to speak, when the tide is out. Beachcombing reveals many treasures.
It's hard to list them all. One thing I notice is that the treasures you pick up in beachcombing aren't always ones you can identify right away. Since I like clarity, I find it hard to go with something I can't define. Like -- when three siblings of very different ages and temperaments find a way to play together well for quite a long time, how can I list it without doing a disservice to what it means? (and then I start thinking -- isn't the better part of our lives like that?)

But a few things that I wanted to list, definitely not all-inclusive:

  • Aidan typed more numbers into the word processor, asked me to put them in different colors and print them out. Then I cut the numbers into long strips with my cutting board and he snipped apart the numbers with scissors and put them in order.
  • He has been spelling words and yesterday asked me to write a bunch down: quiet, queen, zebra, zipper, hippo, giant, dog, used. He spelled them out for me and I wrote them down. Then he carried the list around with him and asked me if he could take them to bed with him. He tried to write QUIET but he can't manage that yet though he can spell it with magnet letters on the refrigerator. He did write TOP though, and then went upstairs and formed the word TOP with his handwriting-without-tears lines and curves.
  • He found 100 Easy Lessons and brought it down and spelled several of the words.
  • Then Paddy browsed through 100 Easy Lessons; I was curious about how his reading was doing since I haven't asked him for a while to read. I asked him to read the last story in the book and he did, only missing one word (hunting).
  • Aidan is spelling and reading everything he sees. " S-T-O-P -- that says STOP!" at the grocery parking lot today, as he read the painted word on the pavement.
Lots of other things I can't remember right now. .... we just got home from an unplanned trip to the dentist. Sean came home with an aching tooth yesterday so we took him out of school to the dentist today. Happily, it was not an abscess or a cavity or anything.... something to do with extra tartar bothering his gums???

I finished Jacques Maritain's Introduction to Philosophy -- very good book -- and am now reading a Gilbert Highet book called The Immortal Profession, about teaching. I'm not giving up my "cursory reading" as you see -- too many books out there that I want to at least read through once.

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