Friday, September 30, 2011

R.H. Series, Day 6 (Sorting It All Out)

It is only 7:39 p.m., and the sun is almost all the way down. The sky is a lovely violet-blue. I think I have been in denial about the end of summer all the way through September. But tomorrow October begins, and soon my favorite holiday, Halloween, will be upon us. Also, I have a bi-annual ritual that signals the end of my denial. Today I began putting my summer clothes away in their storage tub, where they will reside in the attic until spring. I had already begun to tuck Beezy's into a large bag as they came out of the wash. No sense putting them back into her dresser drawers! I am leaving a few things out for both of us in the event of some warmer days likely left, and I won't take everything to the attic until I have made sure there is nothing left in the laundry. This is also the time that I set items aside for the See and Do charity that I no longer want to own.

The most daunting thing about laundry is that one adds to it each and every day. Even with keeping up on my one load a day, it seems like the mountain in the basement will not cease to exist for a very, very, very long while. When there is too much rain, the basement floor gets wet, so I had to attend to wet laundry this morning. There is too much to fit into proper baskets, and besides, the baskets are usually full of clean clothes waiting to be put away! So most of it stays on the floor. I know, dreadful, awful, shameful situation...

I have misplaced Set 2 of Beezy's BOB readers, so for that reason, but primarily because I want to try something different, we are going to work through Dr. Christman's Learn to Read manual, borrowed from the library. We used it some last year. It seems to use a good method, and I like that there are lots of word lists as well as sentences. Beezy still needs a lot of practice sounding out words. Sometimes she labors over each word in a sentence, and other times she reads most of the sentence without sounding out words at all. I am hoping that by the end of Dr. Christman's book she can read real books, with good stories, something that qualifies as literature! While not as senseless as the Dick and Jane readers, the BOB books are still, by necessity I suppose, completely lacking in literary merit.

I imagine that Charlotte Mason would be horrified by modern books designed for children first learning to read. I am going to study her method in the 1st book of her six book series, Home Education, and find out exactly how I might proceed. Ms. Mason despised what she called "twaddle," which basically means a silly, dumbed down book lacking in literary value. But most children seem to need books with 3 to 4 letter phonetic words when beginning to read, with very few sight words. The BOB books are good considering the limitations. I am having Beezy read sentences I have written out in broken lines for her to copy, which she first traces and then writes out herself. I think this is a good way to reinforce reading, spelling, and sentence structure, as well as the fine motor skills of printing.

Tomorrow morning Bee has her last soccer game. It is getting chilly, and I will be glad to have it over with, though Beezy enjoys it and I love watching her play. It will be one less thing in our busy fall schedule. Busyness is one of our modern afflictions and has strangely become a badge of importance, producing martyrdom, over-scheduling, over-structuring, and the further alienation of people from having meaningful, satisfying contact with one another. But that is another topic for another day, and rest assured, I will explore it in depth!

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