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School is Now in Session

Or sort of.

 We have officially begun and yesterday received a 46 pound box with the bulk of our new books and learning  supplies. You've never seen such excited children. They literally ran out to meet the UPS truck. I suppose some of my young scholars were slightly less enthusiastic, but hey I'll take what I can get.

And speaking of getting things.

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I got this First Day of School Present from Hilary, who was gracious enough to give it to me even after, as she said, I "cheated" by starting a day early. Beatles paraphernalia, and chocolate? With a few school supplies thrown in? It just doesn't get any better than that. Everyone should have a Hilary. 

And speaking of things everyone should have, how about this?

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Archtecto came in our box o' bounty yesterday and Hezekiah (6) quickly claimed it. You can probably figure out what he's doing from the picture, but the basic idea is to look at the two dimensional picture and then build it out of the blocks. As you can see, he is completely engaged in this activity (and as I type this four year of Tucker is playing with it). Maria Montessori had some quote (that I'm too lazy to look up) about children's play being their work, and I believe that wholeheartedly. As I was processing this photo for the blog, I suddenly remembered a similar photo I took and posted on here nearly four years ago, when Hezekiah was two.

I remember at the time being amazed that at age two he could make this series of identical pyramids. He had been sitting at the table by himself with the wedgits and when I walked back over this is what he had done.

Think of how much scientists have learned in the past twenty years or so about how are brains work. Rather than being set at birth, they are living, flexible organs….we are making so many vital connections in the first three years of life. I am convinced that surrounding our toddlers and preschoolers with carefully selected learning materials has a positive affect of later learning. I am even more convinced of this after adopting older children who had did not have a learning-rich environment. My older adopted children struggle with putting together a simple puzzle or completing a pattern. These are concepts that baffle them. Taking a two dimensional figure and translating that into three dimensions? Its beyond them. And the lack of those skills, makes daily life much more difficult. While I can't make up for  what they lacked as preschoolers, I can do my best to help them learn now and make sure that my younger children have plenty of opportunities for learning. 


  1. Tammi K

    This morning, while waiting for an appointment, I picked up a several months old copy of Newsweek which had a wonderful article decrying the death of creativity in America. “Seems that excess television and computer games and a lack of ‘play’ are killing creativity. Wow, what a concept!

  2. Lou

    Love this post. I have a Hillary called Penny! But what I really wanted to say is that I used to teach deaf kids, signing deaf kids. And many of them did not for whatever reason pick up any speech or lipreading skills despite years of trying (or rather families and schools trying). When I used to get them at 7 or 8 it was basically too late to really make up for those lost years. Yes, there was progress, but it just was not the same as with the “normal” kids. (As in deaf but from signing families.) Still breaks my heart to see this loss of potential, though it happens less these days in Australia. The lack of creativity etc. And these are loved children surrounded by families who care but who just can’t communicate with them. **sigh** I ball my eyes out in Mr Holland’s Opus EVERY time. (Totally random seeming comment if you haven’t seen it. Cheesy, but I love it.)

  3. Renee

    Mr. Hollands Opus is on my list of Movies I Want My Children to Watch…and as far as deaf children…Ive read several books about how some people believe deaf children should not be taught to sign but only lip read. Teaching them to sign is letting them give in to their deafness….I think this is sheer craziness. Imagine telling a blind person they cant use a cane or service dog, but they just need to learn to cope in a seeing world…have you hear of this trend in Australia?

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