I was feeling down and the kids noticed.  I decided to answer honestly and said “Sometimes I don’t feel like a good mommy.”  I don’t want to burden the kids too often with that sort of statement, but this time Joseph and Vivienne answered “You’re a good mommy to me.”  So sweet.


Joseph remembered that Grandma had made him a treasure hunt for his birthday so he made clues for a treasure hunt for Vivienne’s birthday.


We got a balance beam from IKEA and he fell and hit his chin.  We went to the doctor, but of course he was fine.



Joseph to Vivienne: I want you to be unbelievable.  (Stephan, care to explain?)


Joseph can do a headstand.


“What’s a mozzarella fox?”  (He meant Mozilla Firefox)


He made a “hinonsplodierpistole” – some time of pistol inmade-up German.  In English he called it a “pie –stole.”



We went to a homeschool gathering over the border in Aargau for the first time and the kids loved it.  I was finally comfortable enough driving to make it out there on my own with the kids.  We’ve had the car a year now and I can’t believe how much progress I’ve made and how easily because I gave myself permission to be afraid and to practice a bit at a time.


We read Stuart Little out loud and Vivienne and Joseph were captivated.  They’ve grown so much since we tried to do read-alouds last year!  At the end Stuart drives north.  Joseph connected the dots, remembering that the story takes place in New York City and asked “Is Stuart driving to Vermont?”


In a fit of frustration I wanted to start keeping track of every time the kids disobeyed and use that against them when they asked for privileges like sweets or media time.  The training from the parenting course we took over a year ago came to mind and I racked my brain trying to think of a more positive way to encourage obedience.  I decided to write their names on the whiteboard and put a check every time they DID obey.  It didn’t end all struggles, but I was shocked how well it worked, especially since there is no reward for the checks, other than the positive acknowledgement that they did the right thing.  After a week of doing it I heard Joseph say, “I obey every day.”  I love that he sees himself as one who obeys and sometimes fails rather than one who is a “bad boy” who disobeys.  It’s also been good for me to be aware of all the times they do obey and not just sulk over the times when I feel I have no control.


Example School Project

We’ve been quite free with school so far this year.  So far it’s worked out just fine.  Here is an example of the kinds of projects he spontaneously works on because he has the space, time, and resources to do it.


Joseph is often at work early in the morning before I get up.  One day in March when I came down in the morning he asked me, “Mommy, what do they speak in The Central African Republic?”


I told him to look it up, so he pulled out his list of countries and languages I’d printed for him long ago when I got tired of answering “what language do they speak” questions.


He looked it up, then pulled out the atlas and found the list of poorest countries.  He decided to make money and give it to the poor so they can have food to eat.


“I’ll make money for the Liberian people because they are poor.”


He drew and cut out several varieties of bills.



He wanted to call Grandma to tell her what he had done but I told him Florida time was our time minus six hours and asked him what time it was in Florida.  He read the clock at 6:29am and determined that it was 12:29am and realized that Grandma would still be asleep and couldn’t Skype so he asked to write an email instead.


Then on his own he printed the email, got an envelope and looked at the stamps but was disappointed to see that the 1.90Fr stamps only had photos of Daniel and there were none of him (Stephan prints stamps with family photos of the post office site).  He asked Stephan to print some stamps with himself on them, and did so in German, stopping in the middle to ask what “print” was in German (was heisst “print” uf Dutsch).


Stephan couldn’t get to it right away so the project was postponed, but this is a good example of all the different subjects Joseph’s natural curiosity brings him in contact with.

Posted by harp on Friday, April 8, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Edit
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I love seeing how so many subjects are connected together.

Posted by joyful on Friday, April 29, 2016 at 2:48 am
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