Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Anyone have a wand???


I don't know why I love this picture...but I do!

Our days have been very very full.  Not full of running around from place to place but full of meaningful work. If I had a magic wand there would be only one thing that I would change....the amount of bickering between my two girls.  If I could just get it to stop everything would be as close to perfect as it could get.  I don’t know if that is realistic but it is my wish....
I wonder what is a reasonable expectation of the relationship of sisters.  We idealize it, think that they must be BFFs forever and for always.  I look at my adult friends and it seems that while we have this expectation for our children, it is rarely the case in adulthood.
I don’t want to put the pressure on my girls that they must be best friends.  They know that they must treat each other with kindness and respect.  They love each other and with love should come kindness and respect.  You do not have to like the same books, games, movies or subjects.  You may not have the same styles in clothes, hair and jewelry.  One of you may be outgoing, the other more introverted.  One may be into fashion and art while the other is into athletics and physical activity.  You may be two people who if you met at a playdate may not end up being best friends.  I have come to realize that that is okay.  You are sisters.  You were born into the same family and from that bond, the type of relationship you desire will develop.  That relationship is up to you to define.  
While we are figuring out relationships, we have been figuring out lots of amazing things as well.  Like who Beowulf is.  How to write an essay.  That John James Audubon was not American-born as I had assumed. We have watched videos about people and videos about books.  Grace now wants to read Ballet Shoes.  Finally.  I have been waiting 11 years for one of my girls to express interest in a book I adored as a child.  We have cleaned out rooms and created space to work in private and in peace.  It is Tuesday.  Just Tuesday.  
Our education this year looks much different than it did this time last year.  It is flowing from us, rather than being offered to us.  It is a pretty amazing feeling.  I look back as I put pieces of writing into binders and glance at their work from a year ago.  I am astonished at the growth I see.  Greg commented on it as well.  Their writing is developing and this is partially because they want to write.  The use of the Girl Scout Badge book is a perfect fit for us.  It gives them a purpose to their effort.  Rather than me “assigning” an essay on Mr. Audubon, which would be disconnected from other learning but part of a unit on biography, I can ask them to write an essay after watching a biography.  We have spent hours and hours at the local Audubon attending classes and taking hikes.  We have been pressing flowers, writing poetry, and building on our nature studies.  The girls enjoyed this short study of his adventurous life.  I think the next time we visit the Audubon, they will have a whole new understanding of why it bears his name.  Hopefully soon we will visit the New York Historical Society and see in person what we were watching on video.  A date must be set soon.
This is how we do it.  Writing flows into social studies, which flows into cursive practice, which flows into art, which flows into history, which flows into nature studies, which flows into science.  Only math remains on the outside of this process.  The one kink in our zen like flow.  I hope that once we finish our review and begin the business math series, we will be drawn into math the way we are to history and language arts.  My goal for beginning that program is the first week of October.
So...if this Mama could wave her magic wand or click her heels together three times, or perhaps it will take my head spinning around a few times to get the level of arguing reduced, I will do it, whatever it takes.  Then I would be completely and totally at peace.

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