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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Skating Fun

We met the homeschool group for our monthly skating fieldtrip yesterday. It really is about so much more than skating. It is really just a place to meet for so much more. It is a place to come together and make plans, exchange materials, play games, and just enjoy one another.
Patrick doesn't like to skate and has yet to discover that there is more to it than that. We decided that every other month he can stay with Jeff's mom, and every other month go with us. We are both satisfied with this. I hated for him to miss an opportunity to meet new friends, but also needed him to know that I was listening to what he wanted and needed. I don't want to force anything on him. He is happy with homeschooling, and if he doesn't, at this time, feel the need for more socialization, then I will not force it.
Madison and Carter, on the other hand, are enjoying the trips to the skating rink. For the first time, Madison participated in all of the games yesterday....the limbo, races, and other games. That is a very big step for her and one that shows me that she is feeling a part of the group. She is not one to jump into things quickly, so when she does it means a lot.
Carter has never had a problem with jumping right into things. He hasn't really made any significant friendships, but is just happy to have contact with different children here and there. He is just confident in himself and doesn't seem to need the presence of anyone to confirm himself. He just wants to have fun, and he can find fun in any situation. I enjoy him so much!
I had a great time visiting with my new friends. Every time I have a change to sit and talk with them, I feel more a part of who they are.
I signed all of the kids up for the Mathathon that the group is participating in. To my surprise, Madison (who claims to hate Math) asked me to sign her up. I have been so amazed at her excitement over the Mathathon workbook. The problems are on a 4th grade level, some pretty difficult, but because they are in a fun workbook, she LOVES THEM. It has really made me rethink using Saxon until she gets a bit older. She still needs some external motivation for doing the problems. I hope to find something more suitable for her next year. Wow, how great it is to be able to tailor their learning to what they want and need!
Patrick has expressed interest in an upcoming Spelling Bee at a local church. He has always wanted to participate in one and feels that he is ready. I really hope that it is a positive experience for him. He is so passionate about what he enjoys, but does not enjoy many of the things that boys his age do. Therefore, anything that I can find to spark his interest is a big deal. This is so unlike Carter who wants to do it all. It really is amazing how each child, no matter how many you have, can be so unique. It really is the hardest part of parenting, yet something taken so lightly by some. It is the huge task of finding what makes each child "tick" and expanding on it...encouraging it without forcing it. It is mentally tiring, yet rewarding. It is a job that I am happy and honored to do!

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