|Cadence created this out of a box of recyclables and some masking tape. She says she's not sure what it is called, but it is a form of mass transportation and it has a built - in telescope.|
Cadence has reread several boxcar children books, tackled a few new novels, and threw in a few non-fiction books (mostly about small fuzzy animals) this week. Hazel has been improving her reading and writing skills at an incredible rate lately, consistently sounding out words and continuing her months-old habit of passing the time by trying to guess how random words are spelled. She will sit quietly by herself contemplating it until she thinks she might have it right, and then approach the nearest grown up (or even sometimes Cadence) and ask, for example, "Is this how you spell heart? H-E-A-R-T, heart?" (The fact that she has self generated this spelling-bee-style amuses me very much.)
Anyhow, she is now capable of reading well enough to identify certain words on a page, and can sound out simple words like it was no big deal, but staunchly refuses to try reading any book - even easy reading books like Dog is Hot - if they aren't board books. I think it is simply anxiety - they seem more grown up and therefore more difficult, and she is afraid to purposefully set out to read one of them. She would much rather catch herself reading them by accident.
Personally, I find her writing almost more impressive than her reading. Her penmanship is pretty derned remarkable for a 4-year old, and her understanding of word groupings has skyrocketed overnight.
|Hazel wrote a letter to Papa, and wrote "Hazel to Papa" on the back. She pointed out a mistaken squiggle after the 'to', and said the heart means "with love".|
To this end we have been doing more writing stuff at home. Cadence has been labeling stuff all over the house, (because taping the paper to the thing makes writing down the name of the thing ridiculously fun) and has written in her diary (which I don't read) and several letters this week. I also asked her to write a story with a beginning, middle, and end, and she produced a fun little page long story called The Hunt. It's about our cat, Puy, going hunting because she was hungry, catching some squirrels, and feeling good after eating them. She even specified that while Puy lived happily ever after, the squirrels...well, they'd been eaten.
|Cadence working on a puzzle. She was pretty upset with me for introducing her to such a frustrating endeavor.|
|One of the older kids caught some fish with a bucket and brought it over to show the younger kids|
|Shell gatherers at work|
|close up of the shells after they dumped them out of the bucket|
Also this week, we attended a block party and got to meet a ton of local families. The neighborhood kids all bonded in the bounce-house while the grown ups chatted around tables full of homemade goodies, and once the sun went down (and the truck took the bounce house away) everyone gathered for a little bon fire in the street. Someone broke out some sparklers and small fireworks, and the kids had a blast exploring the brief, volatile nature of the flames.
|Hazel manages to look serene even while bouncing.|
|Callie Bounces! and Cadence does her best not to land on her new friend...|
Not bad for a week that also saw the first illness of the new academic year - a nasty head cold that hit hard and fast, which the kids have pretty much beaten at this point, but my poor asthmatic lungs always take weeks to recover following respiratory bugs.
Here's to another busy week!