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14 January 2010

The Daily Endeavor

I was thinking this evening about how nicely the small and simple things - the baby steps - Monkey and I take with his education are adding up. This afternoon, we were reading Green Eggs and Ham. Now, most of that book is WAY beyond him still. But those first 3 pages? Challenging, yet almost do-able.

"I am Sam."

"I am Sam."

"Sam I am."

Of course, I asked him to try it. "Sam" is one of the words we've been practicing blending, and "am" is from the Webster's Syllabary list that we use regularly with his penny game. So it was all words he's somewhat familiar with. After the second page, he gave me this sparkly look, this bright-eyed look that said, "OH! I get what you've been trying to do here!" Then he guessed his way through the third page. (He's not a very good guesser.) He's still not quite there, but I think he understands now what's supposed to be happening with these letters that I keep asking him to sound out. Very exciting.

It's wonderful seeing the effort that we've put into letters, letter sounds, phonics games, and so on start to come together in his mind so that he begins to get it!

Then, this evening, I saw this from the Simply Charlotte Mason blog:

“To ‘endeavour ourselves’ to the daily effort of education, to live and act, think and speak before the children, so that they shall be hourly the better for all that we are, is harder, no doubt, than to make one enormous sacrifice” (Vol. 5, p. 156).

They've got a great post about this quote, which focuses on the importance of what we are, verses what we do, and how it impacts our children much more than the lesson of the day.

Thing is, I'm sleepy, and I missed all that, noticing instead what Miss Mason said about how the daily endeavor is both harder, and more fruitful, than a large, single sacrifice. And that is so true in this case! Learning to discipline myself to the routine of doing school, learning to remember all the different elements we've decided to include at this point, and requiring myself to actually do them each day, each week, is MUCH harder than, say, a week-long letter marathon would be. And I think it's more effective too. One of those small and simple things that accomplishes so much. And they really are small and simple things: we seldom spend more than 15 minutes on any school activity (other than reading stories), except that the penny game invariably takes a little longer.

I'm getting better at this "daily endeavor." It's still not perfect: I bailed on Math today on account of lack of nap (for me) and feeling queezy (thank you, Sparrow). We'll see about picking it back up tomorrow. But even if it waits until next week, we're still getting most of the things on my list accomplished most of the time, and the consistency is bearing some lovely fruit.


misskate said...

Wohoo for GETTING things :) it's such a great feeling! Yay! That's very exciting!

mommyx12 said...

No problem. I just didn't want to spend all day looking around my house for it!!! Because I do that kind of thing. I am so bad at misplacing everything. It's amazing actually how good I am at it. Thanks

Keeley said...

Monkey's reading???? Oh my good gravy! What a smartie! =)

Ritsumei said...

I think that to call it "reading" would still be pretty generous. But he's definitely closer and closer all the time! (Sometimes I wonder: "How close can you get to reading, kid, without DOING IT???")

Keeley said...

I counted Andrew as reading as soon as he read one word....has Monkey read one word? =)


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