Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Confessions of a Supermom

Well, today was tax day on Guam, and as usual, I was down to the wire on getting them finished. But I was successful. The tensions that lead up to tax time for me, always leave me a bit drained afterward. As a result, I arrived home from the day with a raging headache.

Alas, Supermom cannot take time off for headaches, so I whipped up dinner (teriyaki chopped steak with rice and peas). After dinner, I was resting my chin on my hands at the table when Cassie brought over an alphabet stencil card and asked me what it was for.

She stood before me in stained shirt and shorts, grubby hands clutching the plastic purple stencil.
"You need a bath." I said, before answering her original query.
"You mean a shower, " she said, since our new house doesn't exactly have a bathtub, more of a high tiled large shower stall.
"Bath...shower.....whatever. You need one before bed." I answered.
"You mean like other kids get before bed?" she asked.

Uh, oh. My supermom status was at risk here! I had been found out. No regular nightly baths for my kids? Truth is my kids are always in the water - whether at our beach office or at a swimming pool, and so often the rinses after swimming sufficed for their daily bath time. But sometimes, like today obviously, where Cassie had had an active day playing at the office, inside and outside, riding her bike and attending jump rope class (she can now do "kriss kross" jumping!) a real bath was necessary.

But before bath time, we needed to address the alphabet stencil question. I found an old bill on the table and flipped it over to the blank side and showed her how she could use the stencil to write her name. That lead to her wanting to try and she wrote "Mom" and "Dad" after a few hints on how to find the letter "d". Some letters just like to give kids trouble! From those two words, Cassie proceeded to find and strace out "Adam", "Stephanie", "Eric" and "Kevin", (learning some important phonetic rules along the way). Her interest in the process lasted through some cat names too - Daisy, Pillage, Wafflebox, and Nobby.

At one point during this impromptu writing lesson, Eric came along and bet me $5 he could write "Pteradactyl aquarium of the legends in industries" with less than 10 spelling mistakes or "wrong letters" as he put it. So the game was on. He made it with only 8 wrong letters and then wrote the sentence "Thanksgiving plan doesn't work out as expected." with only 3 mistakes. So as soon as I get some more money in hand, I owe him.

What I loved about this evening is that both children enthusiastically initiated a learning task appropriate to their level. More learning occurred in that half hour of interaction than an entire day in school would have accomplished.

Bath time happened (shower actually). Chocolate cookies were baked and eaten. Legos were played with, and now one child is asleep curled up on a bean bag chair while the other is reading a science book "Kid's Ask Where" and sharing tid bits of knowledge with me as I type. My headache has abated and it's time to call it a night.


unschoolermom said...

I love unschooling!


Joie said...

i am enjoying your blog. i too love all the impromptu self intiated learning, it just tickles me pink and reassures me of the choice our family has made.
my son has decided to read to me aloud on a voluntary basis, it so wonderful to see his confidence in reading aloud. he taught himself, and i am so impressed. my daughter is more philosophical, so she is always asking me the tough questions. she keeps me on my toes.
so how did you end up in Guam? i am a newer follower and i am intrigued. :o)
i am always wanting to move somewhere warmer and often think of many places. the one that comes to mind most for me is costa rica or puerto rico.