Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm a Rock Star

This is the time of year when my husband and I start deciding what to do for each of the children for school next year. We homeschooled for about a decade, and have have some combination of kids in school for the past 4 years. So, homeschooling is always an option if we feel the individual kid needs it.

I go back and forth between feeling like I can or cannot do a good job homeschooling my kids ever again. Mainly, now that our "baby" is 4 years old, it seems that the hardest part of trying to homeschool with babies underfoot is over, so I think it could be done if we needed to. Now that life seems more manageable, I find myself thinking more and more about the benefits of homeschooling, and feeling like the time for it will come again.

The other day when I went to my daughter's class to take treats to share with her class while we celebrated her 11th birthday, her teacher said to me, "You've got to read what your daughter wrote."

She handed me a portfolio piece that my daughter had recently written. They were supposed to write a reflective piece about someone that had helped them learn. This is what she wrote:

Dear Mom,

I am writing this to tell you how much you helped me with reading and writing. The thing that helped me the most was the "Children Learning Book."* I can remember that you would sound it out then I would sound it out. or when you would give me some paper and tell me words to write and that helped me because I can write long stories that rate a 4 in the grades. Also you helped me understand things in the books we read. If you did not teach me I would be the oldest person in preschool. You have done so many things that have helped me now. Mom, you are the reason why I get straight A's in school. It is because of you and your nifty, little ideas that got me back on track.

I'll be the first to admit that at first I tried to avoid reading and writing and I wanted to stop. I used to think reading was horrible and I despised it. Thinking back it was a huge struggle for me to read and so I turn away from writing just the same as I did reading. I thought it was a waste of time and energy. But you helped me by putting the "Children Learning Book" in my face and tried to help me read and after that I devoted myself to it after I knew how. Now every day I dash down to that same book and read, read, read. Now I know that reading and writing are very important in the massive world of learning. Finally I could write with elaborations and details because you kept putting that learning book in my face.

I used to spell words horribly. I would spell words like "y z w m" and it never made a word at all. it was a mumbo jumbo mess of "words." Thinking back I thought every thing I wrote was a word, but I was wrong. My reading was also stopped by that writing jam. What influenced my change? It was your box of rice.** You opened it up and wrote "c a t" then you told me to write it and say it and I did. This helped me have a picture in my mind of what the word looked like, and I remembered it in my head and for some reason it helped me spell the word perfectly, with no mistakes. Now I can write words like that with little trouble. Or some times I can go find the words I needed in books. You have helped me become an independent person. Now I know that there are other places than the rice box to find words when I need help.

My goal is to be able to read and write very well so I can go to colege and get a job. And if I can read and write then maybe they will double my pay or give me a promotion. This all points down to you, the one that has put the book in my face, the one who got out the box of rice. You are the one that helped me get to my goal of being a successful person in life.

To sum it up I would like to thank you for all the things you have done for me and for all the hard work you have done to help me. I want you to remember that you are the reason I am what I am and you are the one who has helped me with my reading and writing. You are the one who put me up when I was far down in a never-ending hole until you filled the hole up with a million gallons of dirt that brought me back up. Thank you, Mommy; you are the best mom of the world. One time I want to thank you for every thing.

Your daughter, _____

WOW! WOW! Isn't that amazing??? I'll tell you....affirmations like this make me feel like a million bucks! And, to know that my child still remembers and appreciates so much from her few shorts years that she was homeschooled just made my day! She remembers things that I had forgotten.

I myself have risen up to call my own mother "blessed" many times, but I had no expectations of being on the receiving end of such a thing for a long, long time. What a breath of fresh air!!

*The book she is talking about is Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons." It is my favorite resource for teaching kids to read. It's inexpensive, simple, and quick. Much better than spending hundreds of dollars on a phonics curriculum.

**She is talking about a Tupperware container I had that had uncooked rice in it. The container was probably 8"x12" and shallow. The kids would use their finger to "write" letters or words in the rice. They would also say the letters out loud while they did this. The idea is that by moving, saying, hearing, and feeling the letters, it will stick better in their brain. Sounds like it worked for her!

1 comment:

Mimley said...

I am thrilled that you now know a little about how it feels to receive positive comments from your child !! Blessed !!!