Kairi has been ready for school much longer than I have been ready for her to be ready for school. She astonishes both me and my family on a nearly regular basis with the things she has taught herself. Do you remember my grand plans for homeschooling this spring? Well, they fell through thanks to a certain young lady NEVER believing a word I said. Every single lesson or thought or game became a challenge of did I really know what I was talking about? Even just reading books for the last few months has been interesting. I read a sentence ... "Mommy, does it really say that? Are you sure? Maybe you need to read it again to make sure." (Sure being pronounced shore.) And if you accidentally stumble over a word ... may heaven have mercy on your soul because Kairi will NOT. To say that this deployment was trying would be a drastic understatement.
But despite my not spending as much time "teaching", Kairi still has managed to teach herself a thing or two. She can almost write her own name. She knows most of her letters and their sounds. She can draw very well. Her reasoning powers are amazing. And she believes that every story should have the following parts: 1) Once upon a time, 2) And then there was a PROBLEM! What are we going to do?!?, 3) The end. And she can quote facts about the ocean, dinosaurs, bugs, Texas, and other random tidbits she's picked up, at the drop of a hat.
I hadn't realized how far she had come until our second day at my il's house in Texas. It was our stop on the way to Midland. Becky (my mil) had brought the kids some highlighters and paper from her office. Kairi had been drawing and "writing" stories for a while when she jumped up and ran over to me with blank paper and highlighter in hand. "Mommy! Pretend this is red!" Ok baby, it's red. "Now, take de color and draw an octagon." An octagon? Ok... "Good job Mommy! Now put in the middle s." An s ... alrighty, there you go. "Perfect Mommy. Just perfect." Then she walks over to the coffee table and starts working intently on the same paper. Finally, she stands up and walks over to me and goes "Member we're pretending it's red! Now look! It's a stop sign! See?!? S-T-O-P! That spells stop!" And right next to the s I had written for her, she had followed it with a t, o, and p ... formed almost perfectly. Since that day she has told every one that she thinks might be interested how to spell stop and that a stop sign is an octagon and is red. She also tries to spell her name, but frequently forgets the last r and i.
This spring I also knew that starting in August Kairi would be able to start pre-school for half days for free. It's a nice program that Florida has for our children. I worked hard to pick out a school for her that used curriculum that I wanted her to use and had the same philosophies and ideals I used when teaching myself. I did find what I wanted in a school. They use a fun curriculum that is also much more advanced than the traditional pre-school stuff. It's also Christian based which is pleasing to me. My aunt uses the home-school version of it for her son and through them I have come to really appreciate it and what it teaches. It should push Kairi to learn (which she needs) but will give her a teacher besides Mommy so that maybe she'll believe her. They do require uniforms at the cost of the parents, and I had to pay a curriculum fee since it's not the state-provided curriculum, but beyond that I couldn't ask for a better situation for Kairi. I'm really excited about the coming school year.
So why the title you ask? If I'm not sad that Kairi's going to school, and Kairi's definitely not sad that she's going, who is blue? His name would be Alexander James. Alex frequently cries because he doesn't want his sister to leave him. He cries that he doesn't get to go to school. He cries and claims that no one needs to go to school. But mostly, it's just that Kairi is leaving him. The poor kid has never had to spend more than a few short periods without his sister. His life pretty much revolves around her and what she wants to do. This fall will be interesting for both of us as we get to experience what life without Kairi is like. I'm thankful it's only for a few hours each morning for this first year, but I also am hoping that just as it's good for Kairi to go to school, that it will be good for Alex to be home with me. And maybe he'll let me teach him if she's not there throwing things off with her constant questioning. :)
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