Sunday, August 21, 2005
"I Can Read!!"
Of all the fun pretend games of my childhood, I loved playing house and school the most. I remind myself of those childhood dreams each day as I tackle the seemingly overwhelming task of taking care of an actual house and schoolroom. (It was so much easier with dolls that didn't make noise, plastic dishes you don't have to wash, and stuffed bears filling my "classroom".)
Four years ago I was "led" into the world of homeschooling. I was excited about the idea of teaching my own kids, but also perplexed by the enormous amount of choices I had to make...curriculum, timing, schedule, method.... I began asking lots of questions and was given so much helpful advice from family and friends.
When our daughter was three, we began the Cash family preschool. We had class in the back 1/3 of our garage/TV room. I spent one-two hours every night cutting shapes, searching our shelves for books and planning for the next days activities. Our sweet Kinley LOVED school and I could hardly keep up with her eagerness to learn.
Since that time, we have "graduated" to an entire school room dedicated to our home teaching. Kinley is nearly finished with first grade and Alex is about to complete Kindergarten. I still have trouble keeping up with their eagerness to learn...actually with two in school, two toddlers, cooking every meal from scratch and handling all the unique "opportunities"that living in the third world offers, I just have trouble keeping up period!
My favorite part of homeschooling has been watching Kinley and Alex learn to read. Kinley has been a reader now for over a year and she loves it. Alex is just getting started and he is doing so well.
The other day I had a "wow! I'm so glad I'm a Mom!" moment.
I was sitting at our kitchen table with Alex on one side of me, Kinley on the other and Isaac in my lap. Silas was in his highchair. Alex was reading his very first book out loud to all of us and by some amazing miracle, everyone was still and quiet long enough to hear it!
Alex sounded out every word and enjoyed the story so much. It was incredible to see the delight in his eyes with each page he read. I was overwhelmed...in a good way this time! What a gift, to watch him experience this!
We are surrounded by people who never get to experience this kind of moment. The illiteracy rate in Uganda is huge...especially among women. There I sat, with my four healthy children, watching the second of them learn to read. Worlds and dreams and ideas are now becoming available to them as they simply learn how letters sound. What a gift.
I'm thankful I was able to watch it happen. God is Good!