Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Couchful

The kids made me laugh today. We went wading in the river, and I brought the babes out with their bottles (called "boss" around here, courtesy of our last little kid who used one). They love playing on a large rock a little ways from shore. Today, after finishing their bottles, they got their thrills by dropping their bottles into the river and shrieking until Lillian or Joey chased after them and "saved" them. It was a hilarious game. Lillian would hand back the bottle to a baby, who would wait a few moments, then drop it back in again! Lillian & Joey even had a few squabbles over whose turn it was to save the bottles. They finally worked out a compromise -- Lillian would save the purple one, Joey the green one.

This morning, Lillian had an assessment at her school. She's entering first grade in a few weeks with a brand-new teacher (her first year!) and I really want to know where Lillian's at so I can help her be challenged and know where she's lacking. She's very bright and is reading chapter books. Her reading score was very high; as was the other scores. One thing that the test brought out is that her math skills are very good -- she scored a 33 on the part of the test that dealt with math application -- but her math "language" is pretty low -- she only scored a 3 on that section. She knows how to apply the knowledge and did fantastic on all the story problems, but hand her a sheet filled with problems like "3 x 2 = " and she doesn't know what it means. So I look forward to seeing her learn that this year, and I'm pleased to know now where she can make better progress.

Surprisingly, when I asked her about the test, she told me the math problems were the funnest. I need to do more of that with her. Sometimes to pass the time in the car, we make up math problems (things like "Joey has 10 trucks. 3 of them get smashed. How many does he have left?"). I hadn't realized how much she enjoys it. I need to make more of an effort with it.

I also need to do better with reading to the kids. We used to do it every night at bedtime, but since the twins are born, we're more interested in SHORT bedtime routines (imagine that!). So I've been reading more during the day, but it's been hard to make a routine of it. When the babies take their nap, I usually want that to be quiet time and don't really feel like reading. But when the babes are up, then I've got them climbing around grabbing the books and bothering everyone. Occasionally, I'll have all five kids on the couch with me while I read a story, but Allison & Sarah just can't sit still for long and I'll end up with protest from the other kids -- "Baby's bothering me!"

I just realized how silly these complaints are and I'm giggling as I type. I am so lucky to have a couchful.

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