Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Let Freedom Ring - Our 4th of July

We had an awesome July 4th but before August 4th rolls around, I figured I should get a few pictures up. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Zahra, the wordsmith

In the grocery store:
Me: Zahra, if you can sit on your bottom, you can stay in the back of the cart. But as soon as you stand up, you have to sit in the seat. OK?
Z2: OK.
Me: Shake on it?
Z2: OK. I will shake on it. But if Uncle Jon was here, I would not shake on it. Or of Nini was here, I would not shake on it.
Me: Oh really?!
Z2: Yes, but if Nani or Nana were here, I would shake on it.

While walking to chipotle:
Me: Zahra, I really think we need to start using piggies and headbands and hair bows. It would keep the hair out of your face.
Zahra: No, look. I am sweeping off my face...(looks deep in thought)... I am sweeping my hair off my face with my hands.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Montessori Schoolhouse and my Little Learners

Everyday these little ones say or do something that I feel like I should record. They aren't true milestones, but more like a million tiny ones all strung together so quickly that I am awestruck.

Zahra is KILLING ME with her adorable hand motions lately. "Because" comes with a lilt and a double hand flip. She still hasn't managed consonant clusters though and I am loving every request for a 'poon, her bacelet, or noonles. I need to film some of her outrageous conversations with me. This little lady is whip smart. (She is reading her birthday horoscope.)

From the lentil, there are letters littered all over EVERYTHING - any source of paper, the front porch, my notebook, random text editor files on my mac, and even peppered along Zayd's limbs if he can find a workable pen.

While I will take some credit for the magic that is happening around here, I think I should spread the love to our little Montessori Schoolhouse.

Here are some photos of Zayd's Montessori environment.

And here are photos of the little guy at work from his evaluation at the end of the school year! Ms. Elaine told me that Zayd and Blake love to do color matching first thing every morning. She then pointed out that this is when she realized that Zayd was color blind. This prompted some follow on testing where she determined he was REALLY color blind. (Yes, I know. I told you that last semester, remember? Apparently it wasn't real for her until he called pink, green and brown all "Guh...reen"?? "Dark green, light green, and really green??) It made my heart sing to watch him interact with a peer to accomplish his work. This is something that I could have only hoped for when we started at Montessori Schoolhouse and something that I specifically prayed for even four months into our school experience.

Then, Zayd went over to Ms. Elaine and they did addition. What, you say? That's what I said. He had to count on her fingers but he was adding. I shed a little tear. I later told Ms. Elaine that I wasn't emotional because he was successfully doing mathematics. I teared up because I didn't know that he could touch Ms. Elaine's fingers. Zayd and physical touch have not always been simpatico. We really came so far over these two semesters.

At Zahra's end of the year discussion, her teacher just gushed. It would be gloating to recount it all here but lets just say that Zahra has graduated into the Primary Montessori environment.

Over the summer, we have stayed with Montessori since we don't think we could adjust Zayd back into school once the summer was over and we favor consistency for him. The kids are still academically thriving and I am grateful. As a family, we continue to struggle with the weight of school anxiety but we are doing everything we can. For example, we are opting to not call it school. For the summer, we are calling it camp, and Zayd will get to name it for the fall. There is so much fear wrapped up in that little word, that we are trying to unpack those emotions by reframing the conversation. We shall see. This fall, Zayd will start attending "that which we shan't call school" Monday - Friday. Or Monday - Friday(ish). We will see how well Mommy adjusts!

Zahra's First "Work Call"

Yesterday while I was dining dinner, Zahra marched around the dining room table having a very important "work call".

" OK, Pizza Man? Yes. Soooo, that's my problem and so how can you help me? "