Sometimes it is hard to believe that my life can contain so many challenges and yet be so purely entertaining in so many ways that it is! I don't know if it's entertaining you all, but I'm having fun, so I'm writing about it.
So this was the prize tag on my cup at breakfast where I took the kids this morning before we started school (and because it was too rainy so balloon events were canceled, which bummed us all out). I thought it was pretty clever and funny, but at the same time, I got to have a good sarcastic moment telling the kids how I was definitely bringing this back in to get my napkin.
And speaking of fast food, a couple days ago, we got drive-thru and they forgot to give us straws for our drinks. So S ran into the mini-mart where I stopped to get gas after getting food to grab some straws. She stopped herself before heading out the door to ask if it was considered stealing to take their straws if we hadn't bought our drinks there. The guy at the counter said, "Yes!" totally serious.
S explained our situation and told him how we were buying gas there and stuff and the woman at the counter told her to go ahead and take the straws.
I just thought it was neat that S even paused to consider it might be stealing to take "free" straws. What a conundrum. She handled it well and we ended up with straws. Phew.
Okay, so before I divulge any more information about our fast food habits (bad, bad), I have some extremely awesome news!
Three and a half weeks ago, I tested the older boys on their overall world geography (pre-test). It didn't look very good. Just looking at the United States map, H got seven states correct (all spelled incorrectly, but one) and Z got one state correct (also spelled incorrectly).
Tomorrow is a check-in test on the U.S. map to see what they've learned so far from these 3-1/2 weeks of school, primarily dedicated to North America for now. All week, they've practiced labeling and coloring the U.S. map over and over. Today, when they went to practice labeling, I decided to have them do as much as they could without looking at a map (sort of a practice test) and H was up to 40 states correctly identified (though still with some spelling issues) and then I was able to hint to him about the other 10 and only had to finally just tell him about Nebraska. Z was up to 37 states correctly identified AND spelled all by himself. I hinted to him the rest and only had to tell him two remaining states.
Folks, Geography is one of my absolute worst subjects, which is why I think I work so hard to make sure my kids get really good at it. They blew me away today.
If that wasn't grins enough, S asked to take the map test (she covered Countries and Cultures back in sixth grade homeschool and was awesome way back then) and she remembered 48 states from the top of her head. She only forgot Minnesota and Iowa. That was five years ago that she learned that stuff!! It somehow managed to stick with her. Her retention is amazing.
So, I know Geography isn't everything and yet, to me, I felt a little bit more successful today. H, with his Nonverbal Learning Disorder has always been horrible with maps and directions and locations ... yet, he's doing this! And Z, while he's good with directions, he hardly has the patience to figure out maps ... yet he's doing this, too! Besides the bonus thing he did, which was good spelling on the map and stopping himself to correct randomly placed capital letters in state names (we've been working on that "little kid" habit in all the subjects lately).
Wow, wow, wow. I'm a proud Mama today.