Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yarn Along 9: Dodging Little Fingers

Joining Ginny on a cloudy Wednesday for the weekly yarn along.

Dodging little fingers.

That pretty much sums up how my knitting has gone this week: just about constantly dodging little fingers that want to 'help'.   I tried giving K3 my biggest set of plastic straight needles and some scrap yarn, but she's only satisfied with winding her yarn around her needles, or poking her yarn ball with the pointy end so long before she's tossing aside her knitting and reaching for mine.

We are I am still working on establishing boundaries for her.  She is getting a little better, but, after all, she's only two, so it's a long process where some days we go many steps backward before making forward progress.

The oaklet shawl for DD1 is coming along.  It seems to be going slower now that I have worked through about two-thirds of the chart A (shawl start) increase rows and am closing in on two hundred stitches per row.  I can see the end of chart A in the near future, and am getting anxious to start on chart B, the shawl border.

DS2's Athos socks have been the main focus of my knitting this week.  I would like to have sock one finished by the end of this coming weekend.  I am almost half-way done knitting the foot, so if I can get enough alone time (ie. no little 'helpers' with fast fingers trying to grab at my needles) this week, I might reach that goal.

The book in the picture  is Ben Hewitt's newest:  Home Grown.  Why am I, a mother of 3 adults and one high school senior, reading about homeschooling and raising children?  Because I want to, that's why.  Because I have been following Ben's blog for a couple of years now and really relate to the things he writes about even though I am through the stage of parenting with my own children that he currently is in with his. Because, while I never homeschooled my kids (except DD2 will tell you she was 'homeschooled for preschool'), I have always been very hands-on in their educations and both DH and I did alot of extras in and out of their classrooms while they were growing up.  We weren't afraid to try a different method, at home in the evenings, if the school's approach to teaching a particular subject wasn't working for a particular offspring at any time.  DD1 still remembers the day I told her, struggling with reading still at age six and a half*, that I knew how Miss So-and-So wanted them to read, but it wasn't working, so at home we were going to do it Mommy's way.  Within two weeks, DD1 could read just as well as the best reader in her class. All she'd needed was a different approach to the task, one that clicked with her brain, personality, and learning style.

And, I admit, I'm reading Ben's book because more than one of my now adult offspring has asked me "Mom, if I have to work full time and can't do it myself, would you homeschool my kids if needed?".  So, I need to stay sharp, you see.  I can't say, "oh, schooling children, that's all behind me now".  I need to, I want to, be able to supplement (or even lead) my grandchildrens' educations just as I did for my children.  Because not all young minds fit into the conventional mold used in public schools.

*quick end note to explain that her siblings all started reading, on their own, around the time of their fifth birthday, so had a different foundation of reading than DD1 got, because she was 'taught' by the kindergarten and first grade teacher.  At least, until I had had enough of the tears and frustrations and dared to go against the school's directive on phonics being unnecessary because kids learned better by sight reading.  I figured that if her older brothers had learned, by themselves, to read just by me teaching them what sounds what letters made, then it should work for her too.

Why she hadn't learned to read in this manner, before starting kindergarten shortly after her fifth birthday, is because at age 4.5 we'd discovered she had a profound hearing loss caused by a build-up of fluid behind her eardrums.  Surgery to place tubes in her ears cleared this up by the time she started school, but she'd missed most of the 'this letter sounds like this' knowledge her brothers had picked up by that age, because she could not correctly hear the sounds.

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