Category Archives: Henry
Well, some stuff stuck I am glad to say! We are reviewing Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations and Henry remembered the history sentence about the Mayflower Compact and the cute little boat hand sign his tutor, Mrs. Lori taught them. I LOVE the boat hand sign, I cannot express how much I love that silly boat. I used to make him do this over and over just to see his little fingers do the boat. This may be why he remembers it…hmm…
Today was CC day and I thought I’d tape the boys’ presentations. I particularly wanted to tape Rhys’ since he was reciting poems, so I thought I shouldn’t exclude Henry.
First up, Rhys reciting three poems: ”The Caterpillar” by Christina G. Rosetti, “Hearts Are Like Doors” by Anonymous, and “Work” by Anonymous.
I think he was a little nervous at first because he knows “The Caterpillar” the best and he messed it up a bit. But once he got over his nerves he did fine. I am so proud of my Rhysie! There’s no way I could have stood up in front of a group and recited poems when I was four – and these are poems he’s learned by hanging around the table while Henry does his school work, they are from Henry’s book, First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind by Jessie Wise (a great book, by the way).
Now for Henry. We finished up Little House on the Prairie last night so I coaxed him into taking it in today as his presentation. He was going to take “The Odyssey” in but since we haven’t read it yet he didn’t have anything to say about it. The Little House book just made a lot more sense. We’ve found a lot of other CC’ers reading the series, so we’re either spoiling it for them or we’re getting spoilers ourselves. It’s kind of funny. ”CLOSE YOUR EARS!” Gosh, I hope no one tells them Mary goes blind, that’s a biggie.
This is one thing I really love about the CC program. Notice how the presentations evolve and mature between Rhys’ class and Henry’s class. Both classes use the same method (child stands at the front, introduces himself – mother doesn’t get the camera on quickly enough…) and then addresses the class with their presentation. When it’s complete, they know to ask if there are any questions. They call on the question askers and answer the best they can. Usually there isn’t any chaos. Usually
This type of presentation (in Rhys’ room it’s more like show-and-tell most weeks) starts them on the road to public speaking, giving them the ability to speak clearly and confidently in front of a group of peers and adults starting at four years of age. By the time they’re ten, they’re poised, confident and old pros at public speaking. I’m 36, never had this kind of opportunity and I want to stammer and stare at my feet when I have to speak to a group. Where was this when I was growing up?!
Oh and fever and auge is malaria. Sorry we never clarified that, but you probably guessed it.
I’m entering this kid in some kind of contest. Look how skinny his arms are! My mom said I was built just like him when I was a child (what? Nevermind, cake). He finished the whole thing, using his face but also the trademark fork all our kids seem to think they need.
“Here’s a cheese slice.”
“I need a fork.”
Whatever gets ‘er done.
We’re such a talented crew around here, we have Lego DIYs, poets, artists and now we have this to add to our list:
I’m so proud!
Henry looked up from his copybook the other day and said, “I want to go on an airplane. I don’t care if anyone touches my pee-pee.”
Well I do, I’d make the national news.
Sometimes I wonder if I am the strangest parent on the planet and maybe I should just stop talking around the children, period. He’s with me almost 14 hours a day, most of what he picks up is straight from me, so I’m to blame for these weird out-spoutings. The inner struggle between airplanes rides and the blue glove treatment must have been going on for awhile, I don’t recall grousing about the TSA lately. And the indifference to the TSA and the would-be molesters of freedom and otherwise sort of surprises me. Henry, true to his name, is the one I’d expect to bellow “Give me fondle-free airplane rides or…OOOH!!! Airplane rides!” Okay, nevermind, he is a six-year-old boy.
I’m still not cool with that, I would still end up appearing as some Adam Kokesh podcast segment. I’m sure the screenshot would not be flattering and it would probably be stock footage of me, played by a frothy-mouthed Rottweiler and the ubiquitous cover of “Home Alone” as Henry, post-TSA “inspection.”
Geesh. The things you have to put up with just to get to Disneyworld in this country.
Maybe I shouldn’t write that because:
- We’re not going to Disneyworld.
- Henry can read.
- If Henry reads we’re going to Disneyworld he’s going to be really disappointed when we don’t go to Disneyworld because mama hates Disneyworld without ever even having been there. I have been to Epcot, it was boring. I am not spending any more money on Disney. I don’t care if I went back in 1996 and my parents paid for it and I was 19 and a lot has changed since then and it wasn’t even really Disneyworld, it was Epcot. I’m not wasting my money on not-Disneyworld again. And Florida is HOT, even in January, except it was cold when I was there, and that wasn’t fun either. LOGIC, people!
- Is it Disneyworld or Disney World?
- Oh, I’m seeing it’s Walt Disney World Resort. Well! Pretentious now, aren’t we? Add that to #3!
- There is NO pleasing me. See again #3.
Another Henry-ism, while we’re still on the subject of Henry. Our nightly routine goes as follows:
Read the daily Bible verse and devotional from “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. Yeah, it’s way over their (our collective) heads, but it’s good for them to hear and I hope maybe they get something out of it to mull over. And if I read it in a librarian voice, I’m thinking this makes it go into the brain better.
Read a chapter or two from the New Testament. We’re almost done with Matthew so you can tell this is a fairly new routine. If the chapter ends with Jesus healing a demon possessed person, I usually read the next chapter so that’s not what they’re left clinging to all night.
First, during our Bible reading the other night, Henry stopped me and asked me something like this,
“Mama, why did you tell me that God can only write with his left hand, again?”
To which I replied, “Wha?”
He said, “You said He could only use His left hand because He’s sits on His right.”
So I explained it wasn’t that God was sitting on His OWN hand, or that He couldn’t write with just one of them, it was that Jesus sits at the right hand of God. Maybe I’d been saying “Sits on the right hand of God.” Maybe some translation says that? Maybe all do? Believe in/believe on. There it goes again, even Dave’s mom brought that up or maybe she brought it up because I’d mentioned it and she saw it somewhere and noticed it too. I don’t remember now. So now I have two phrases to confuse me. I’m just not going to say either if I can avoid them, I am just going to do charades.
He (Henry) also saw that “Oswald” the cheerful cephalopod was on Nick Jr. ”It’s Oswald Chambers!” he cried. Which is just absurd, there’s no way an octopus could be a missionary in Egypt, it’s too dry.
And happy 18 months to Sarah! As we were preparing things to move a china hutch into the house, I found myself saying, “Where’s Sarah?”
Oh. Sitting on the table, sucking left-over icing out of the bag.
We didn’t get you a present, but if I thought about it, I would have wrapped up our newest hole puncher so that in 25 years you could take a picture of the one you got as a present to make me smirk and hiss “Ingrate!”
Goodbye Saxon 2 Phonics, it was nice tearing those five million flash cards apart for no reason.
Goodbye Christian Liberty Press Phonics Book A – I bought you but hardly used you.
My world has changed thanks to reading a book I should have read before I ever started CC. This is why they tell you to read the book before you start. It saves you a lot of time. So CCers, if you haven’t read it, particularly new CCers with little ones, READ IT NOW.
- Get your child reading proficiently before you move on to anything else, like history or science. If they can’t read it, they can’t learn it.
- Don’t worry about kindergarten. Don’t do workbooks. Just work with them on their letters and sounds. Read the book and see how well Susan Wise Bauer and her brother did without workbooks and all sorts of fancy things. Letters and sounds are all you need.
- Reading is the key to an excellent education and a sharp mind.
The old rundown was: Saxon 2 phonics (includes spelling), Saxon 2 math, First Language Lessons, CC
The new rundown is:
Math (Saxon 2) 30 – 40 minutes a day
Spelling (using Saxon 2 phonics sheets) 10 – 15 minutes a day
Grammar – First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise 15 – 20 minutes a day (it never takes him this long)
Writing – The Complete Writer Level One by Susan Wise Bauer 5 – 20 minutes a day (this takes the place of phonics)
Assigned Reading – 20 – 30 minutes a day (this will come from the historical material relevant to what we’re studying in CC, generally)
Classical Conversations – Cycle 1 15 – 20 minutes a day
Independent Reading – Whatever he’d like to read 30 – 60 minutes a day
Music and Art – violin at least 3x a week for 15 mins a pop
We also do our work in this order, generally. His little brain is best equipped to do math first thing in the day – and it gets it out of the way. It takes the longest of all the subjects. I am going to supplement the Saxon 2 curriculum with the iPad app Math Board if there aren’t any addition/subtraction problems given during the day’s lesson to keep him sharp, because boy, they will lose those skills quickly. He loves playing Math Board and it will allow you to save player’s data. He was so proud he got 100% on his last round – a first for him! I was proud too
All this said, getting him to DO SCHOOL is another matter. He hates it, he starts whining as soon as he wakes up, says he hates homeschool, that he won’t go to the elementary school down the road either, he hates SCHOOL. Fantastic attitude, kid. We raised you well.
Well, let me amend that a bit, he does and he doesn’t hate school. He loves the Complete Writer book that’s taken his phonics book’s place. It includes copy work (doesn’t like that), narration and dictation and he is captivated by the stories in the book. She uses excerpts from classical literature. The first story she used was from the Little House in the Big Woods series and Henry wanted to read the rest of the book NOW. Sadly, they don’t make a Kindle version so we’re going to have to go to the library. I am planning on buying the set – we need it for our little homeschool library (yes, I’m making one, we have three kids to school) – but I don’t want to spend the money right now. He frustrates me.
But he is a WHIZ at Legos. He can see something online and go into his Lego room and replicate it down to the last detail. He looked at one of the Heroica games and built his own. I didn’t understand or know what the heck it was until Dave explained it to me, but Henry created a dice game all on his own and he and Dave were actually able to play it. He’s six. Six! And he created a board game! So maybe he can just do that for a living and school is a moot point. He says he just wants to live with us forever, that he and his future wife (Kaelynn – head’s up, Jenn) are going to live with us, in separate rooms (no grands for me, I guess) and live with me and Dave forever. Well, I have always found Kaelynn adorable and entertaining so that will be alright and she can wash my hair when I get too old to do it myself.
Ah homeschool. Some days I love you. Other days I wonder why I was insane enough to answer your call.
Henry watched a video one of his friends made, demonstrating how to make little Lego mice and cats and other animals. It was really cute and creative. I had been taking pictures of all of Henry’s creations but it had never occurred to me to film him building one. This morning during my coffee, he thrust a handful of teensy Legos infront of me and asked me to get out my camera, that he wanted to be taped building a ninja spinner. Okay.
Take One: ”My name is Henry and I’d like to thank my cousin Nathan K***** for the inspiration…”
“Henry, Nathan isn’t your cousin!”
Once we got our relations cleared up, this was take two.
At 2:45 am Rhys woke me up, scared of the wind. I realized Dave wasn’t in bed with me, which was now, us. I checked the computer room – empty. I heard a door make noise downstairs – ah! He’s outside! Rhys heard it too and before I could stop him (it could have been a burglar, after all) he ran downstairs. A few seconds later, he was back, deflated. No dad.
No dad? Then what was that door? Good gosh, I had just sent my 4-year-old downstairs to confront a robber. Then a thought occurred to me. What was Dave doing out of bed, wandering the neighborhood at almost 3 am? He must be having an affair. I ran through a list of potential adulteresses and coming up short, it briefly occurred to me that he might be selling drugs, but he wears such tight pants, I dismissed that notion rather quickly as well.
Finally, he appeared, no explanation for his whereabouts given, but he did seem…well, mad. I said “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!?” and he said “Staying up with THEM!” Seems the storm was keeping “them” up (plural, yet referring to only Rhys. This is why I do language arts and he does music). It’s a shame Rhys isn’t a 64-bit armless figure or he would have been oodles of fun at 3 am.
We all tromped back to bed but after about three minutes of poor Rhys coughing and snuffling and curling up like a shrimp yet taking up 3/4ths of the bed, Dave grabbed his pillow and announced he was going to sleep in the guest room. I cringed as I offered, “There aren’t any sheets on the bed…” Rhys piped up and happily offered,
“Grandma took them with her!”
As if Grandma is making off with our sheets when she leaves after a visit. In fact, she brings her own so I don’t have to do any extra washing. Plus hers are way-hay-hay-hay nicer than ours, so I can’t say I blame her for supplying her own.
“Donna! Where are all the good towels?”
Happily, “Grandma took them with her!”
Fast forward to 6:30 am, after a horrible night of sleep with the shrimp who had half of an entire king-sized bed at his disposal, yet still managed to nudge me to the very edge of my side. I love that he wants to be close, but can’t we be close in the middle? Who wakes then, but Miss Snuffles of the Whole Foods Bloody Nose? That’s a story for a later date. Rhys was back asleep so I wanted to get in and out of her room without waking him up. It almost worked until I brought her back upstairs with some milk and she started breathing and he heard it. Why must she insist on making so much noise?
Into the king-sized bed we all piled. A light came on in the hallway, I figured it was Dave. Until Henry appeared in the doorway and then wedged onto the sliver that was keeping me from sliding off the bed into the floor. At this point, I threw in the towel.
Downstairs. Breakfast. Daily routine.
I am sore, tired, but so tired that I am silly, so that’s a bonus, I suppose. Rhys has a horrible chest cold going on, with a lot of wheezing and we’re having to give him shots of his inhaler every 4 hours. Sarah has a clear runny nose (except when she sticks her finger up it, nicking the delicate blood vessels and blood POURS out to many a shopper’s horror). Henry seems find. I have a horrid sore throat but – BUT - I got a bottle of my elderberry syrup at Whole Foods last night so together we can ward it off. Using that plus a regime of tea made with honey, lemon and cayenne pepper (yes, you read that right) I can stave off the soreness. The cayenne is the trick. Just a smidge. JUST. A. SMIDGE. And my master tonic is ready today but I still haven’t replaced the french press that leapt to it’s death from a high, high cabinet in our kitchen many years ago, so I can’t really strain it. If nothing else, it gets the old blood pumping. I love herbal remedies. Some work, some don’t, but they’re fun to try nonetheless.
And a few happy pictures to brighten the mood outside my window, which looks like imminent death. I’m glad we got that little container of rice milk an I have a frozen loaf of Ezekiel bread in case of a real disaster. Wonder if the generator takes gasoline?
This is not a post about politics, so keep reading.
Wednesday we went to check out Rhys’ preschool. I was terrified we wouldn’t make it because he’d pitch such a fit we’d miss our 8:15 appointment but by some miracle, he was happy and pleasant and agreed to go. I told him we were just looking and I’d get him a Bojangles biscuit afterwards. He is so like me, I know it was the food that did it.
After looking around and meeting the teacher, he seemed like he was interested. Unbelievable!! So I got the enrollment package from the office and we all piled back into the car and got our Bojangles. Both boys got a big orange juice, and a BoBerry biscuit. Sarah and I were going to “split” a chicken biscuit. Meaning I’d give her something decent and I’d eat the chicken biscuit, but give her little nibbles.
Before we headed home, I stopped by City Hall to do early voting. There was NO WAY I was standing in line to vote on election day and there weren’t many cars in the parking lot so I figured it would be an easy in and out. When I got out, one of the candidates came up to the car and started talking to me. He was a nice man and Dave had met him on Monday morning. He’s running as an independent so I didn’t really know where he stood on issues, but I was pretty certain. I just wanted to make sure before I cast my vote. I managed to get a judge to admit he did not legislate from the bench (good) but he was proud that he sent people to jail for wearing baggy pants (is this a good use of tax dollars?). I mean, I hate baggy pants as much as the next person but really, jail? How about hand out belts and then issue a fine for them, the proceeds going towards Social Services or something worthwhile?
While I was chatting it up, I heard Henry say he had to pee. I figured we were heading into the building soon so I didn’t think much about it and someone’s always claiming they have to pee and frankly, I think they say it half the time just to have something to say. Taking all that into consideration, I didn’t think it was a big deal.
Before I go on, a little backstory: a few months ago, we went to pick up groceries at Harris Teeter and Rhys HAD to pee. Everyone had on pajamas (except for me) and no one had on shoes (except for me) so we couldn’t go in the store. Luckily I happened to have an empty Gatorade bottle left over from a soccer game in the van, and Rhys played “fill ‘er up” in the HT parking lot. A week later, we went to Chick-fil-A on that tempestuous, controversial “support Chick-fil-A Day” and AGAIN Rhys announced he had to pee and absolutely could not hold it. Once again, no one had shoes on. Why do I let them get in the car without shoes on?! I am an idiot. So I had to ask the CFA girl for an extra cup, which I am sure was interpreted as “I am trying to be an agitator and ask for something free and take advantage of you on this day when people are going through and ordering waters and video taping it and making sales girls cry when in reality it’s just for my 4-year-old to pee in, thank you!” And then he peed in it.
After my dad’s funeral, we were at the house and he had an unused portable male urinal like they have in hospitals. ”A HA!” Exactly what we need in the van! So my mom let me take it, because she doesn’t have the equipment necessary to put it to use.
The urinal had never been used, though it came close once. Henry’s class at CC is learning prepositions and his tutor wanted them to bring stuffed animals in to physically demonstrate the prepositions (above, below, beneath, beyond, etc) to gain a better understanding and help them remember all the different words. We got to CC one week and I frantically realized Henry had no stuffed animal. Frazzled and apparently out of my gourd, as we were scrambling out of the van to get into the assembly I suggested to Henry that he take the urinal in lieu of his stuffed animal. The look he gave me left no room for arguing and he was right, it was a ridiculous idea.
But back to voting and City Hall: I was talking to one of the candidates and the kids were still in the van, all the doors open, including the back liftgate. I thought they were eating their biscuits when this was not the case. As the independent candidate for County Commissioner was telling me he’d been attending the baptist church down the street from our house for 30-some odd years, Henry popped up from the back seat, urinal held aloft like the olympic torch and said “Nevermind! I used THIS!”
OH. MY. WORD.
“Out of the car, get out of the car! I’m getting Sarah, let’s go in now!”
“RHYS SPILLED THE PEE!”
OH. MY. WORD.
Someone’s travel blanket took one for the team and was used to soak up the urine that spilled on the backseat and dribbled down through the seat into the back trunk space. The poor man running for commissioner just stood there, watching this freak show, dropping bon mots about me having my hands full. Yes, that’s a nice way to put it, I suppose.
I talked to several other folks, I voted for two of the three others. One played the blame game which I cannot – CANNOT – stand and bad-mouthed his opponent instead of telling me what HE’D continue to do as (fill-in-the-blank). Hhhrumph. Rubs me the wrong way. Anyway, voting was easy, no one was in line, no one peed on anything and we were in and out. AND Henry didn’t scream out who I voted for like I was afraid he would. Whew!
When we got home I grabbed the folder from the preschool so I could fill out the paperwork. That’s when I noticed it was yellow. I’m hoping they have these forms on their website so I don’t have to call and say “Yes, this is Rhys’ mom. Henry peed on Rhys’ forms…”
Never a dull moment. Never.