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Busy Elijah

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Elijah continues to be camera-shy. I can sneak a pic here or there without him being the wiser but any more than that and I get this.

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Like Sadie, Elijah likes when I write out his messages first on dry-erase for him to copy in full. Unlike Sadie, Elijah can read just about anything and prefers not to write. He came to reading quietly and on his own- without rules, lessons, or forced repetition. Words like ‘night’ and ‘caution’ pose no challenge as they are seen in the context of a story, sign or other such life situation. That recognition is built on when similar words are encountered. As a left-hander, Elijah has not mastered a comfortable way of holding a writing utensil AND being able to see the product of his pen at the same time. We learned a new way (turning the paper and writing vertically) from a Bermudian unschooling dad at the Rethinking Education conference and will try it out next time! Thanks Michael!

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July 31  2009 024As part of my regular exercise routine, I was running to the tennis courts for Tennis Tuesdays and then back home. This day, Elijah opted to run to the courts with me. Here we are stretching, talking about different muscle groups, and thinking about why stretching is important. He made it about 1/2 mile before the heat got to him (95 degrees F) and Chris picked him up in the car.

Elijah remains very enthusiastic about video games. He has virtually ‘beaten’ the games of MarioKart and Lego Star Wars for Wii through strategy, online searches for ways to unlock new options, earning money through play to purchase new characters and strategic tools, etc. Yesterday he used saved money from occasions to buy Lego Indian Jones for Wii. He and Chris are on cloud 9 figuring out this new game and blazing through the unfamiliar levels. An excerpt from this morning’s conversation:

“Daddy said when he gets home from basketball, we can play more Lego Indiana Jones. There are 3 sections. Each section has 6 boards. That’s 18 boards altogether because 3- 6s are 18. We did 4 boards yesterday. That leaves 2 boards in the first section. But then we can go to the next section. Since we did 4 boards yesterday, there are 14 new boards that we haven’t done yet.”

Sometimes the gears in his brain are audible!

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Tennis Tuesdays

Coming to the conclusion that we could replicate all of the exercises practiced at the tennis lessons, the kids requested their own racquets and sessions with Mama and Daddy at the courts down the road. So we started Tennis Tuesdays and were going over to the courts for family practices. So fun!

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Posted by on September 2, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Tennis Cont’d

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Elijah completed a whole session of tennis lessons and loved every minute of them. When asked if he would like to continue to attend the weekly lessons, he declined gracefully. Upon further probing, it appears that he has reached saturation with the repetitive activities and that, though it was all great fun, feels that he can better spend his time doing new things or practicing these exercises with us at the high school tennis courts.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2009 in Classes

 

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Grammy’s Here!

Chris’ mom came to visit all the way from New Hampshire! We were all very excited to spend time with her!

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Here the kids greet her at the airport with a million things to say.

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We stopped at Christina’s for some yummy Mexican on the way back to the house from the airport. Such a good restaurant and everyone must have a little (or a lot) of Mexican in Texas.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the pool and relaxing in the hot tub. The kids were super-psyched to show Grammy their extensive self-taught swimming skills. Margaritas were poured, water fights ensued, frisbees were tossed, and snuggles were had.

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Chris had a league basketball game that night and was thrilled to have his mom present like the ‘old’ days. While he was warming up, the kids took Grammy on a short tour around a beautiful portion of Bear Creek Park. They rode their bikes and we hustled to keep up. June 7  2009 067

Chris’ team burned it up. It’s inspiring to see grown men doing something they love to do and putting all of their critical thinking and critical mass into it.

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Sadie snuggles up with Grammy for part of the game.

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Friday was a trip into Ft. Worth! We wandered around the Ft. Worth Water Gardens and Sadie, Grammy, and Chris went down into The Active Pool. It’s amazing everytime. Elijah prefers to watch from above.

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The kids and I climbed The Mountain and looked out over the city.

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This picture’s just cute. Two hot kids sporting their Boston-wear that Grammy brought.

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From the Water Gardens, we were off to the Ft. Worth Historic Stockyards. We wandered around appreciating the ambience and had some BBQ at Riscky’s (another must when one travels to Texas). Elijah saw the flying clock above outside a storefront and said, “I’ve heard time flies, but that’s ridiculous!” That boy is a crackerjack.June 7  2009 099

Yes, then back to the pool for more swimming/play!

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Saturday was the 2nd tennis clinic that Sadie and Elijah were burning to attend. Unfortunately, there were just too many kids and the location was shifted last minute to a parking lot for the little kids rather than a court. It was clearly not as organized or fun as the first that we had attended. These instructors also had a heavy focus on doing it ‘right’ versus doing it ‘wrong’ which made a big difference in the energy. That didn’t squelch the kids desire to play, though- just affirmed that the country club with the instructors that focused on fun, games, and engagement is the place for us! The kids were really happy that Grammy got to see them wield their racquets a bit.

Thank you so much for coming to visit us, Grammy! We really enjoyed our time with you and look forward to doing it again soon.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2009 in Classes, Family

 

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Approaching the NETT

Recently I picked up a promotional card for a tennis clinic put on by the Northeast Tarrant Tennis Association (NETT). Elijah immediately became very excited and said decidedly that he wanted to attend. This was shocking from a child that generally avoids structured learning situations of any kind. In the days that led up to the clinic, his excitement continued. He could not wait to play tennis! Sadie- the child who will attend and be enthusiastic about anything and everything- was thrilled to have been invited to join as well even though she was slightly below the minimum age listed.

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The kids and their partners practice tossing a bean bag back and forth on their racquets for hand-eye coordination.

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It was a 2-hour clinic in the afternoon on a 100-degree Texas day but the kids didn’t seem to mind. They had a great time with these instructors learning to play tennis through lots of fun games. Elijah’s excitement about tennis continued and he requested more opportunities to play. We attended another NETT clinic 2 weeks later at a different location with different instructors. It was mayhem due to an overwhelming turnout of children. Elijah’s excitement, however, could not be dampened. Observing these two different experiences, it was obvious the type of learning environment that would continue to fuel his love for the game for as long as he decided. The country club where the first clinic was held has drop-in sessions twice a week. Elijah has attended 3 weeks in a row and says every week that this class was the best ever. There are 3-5 kids in the classes depending on the day and the instructor is lively and witty. The children giggle and play nonstop doing hand-eye coordination, stamina, and ball handling exercises. Elijah says, “Mama, I love playing tennis lessons.”

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2009 in Classes

 

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