September 4, 2008

Aikido began yesterday and Henry returned with a new confidence and playfulness. His time away and his ghi both show how he has grown physically and emotionally. He was even recruited at one point: "you five with more experience, stand up and go find someone to help." His time off has served him as well as the time he spend studying. This is so often the case. The fallow time being as important as the plowing time. Henry was shining yesterday and he had so much fun working out.

Riley is progressing well in her reading. Her breakthrough this summer was exhilarating for all of us. But as the months wore on I found myself board with the repetition and rhythm we had established during our daily "readers." During Readers we trade chapters with one another. First her to me, then I to her. I was bored even as I wrestled with my guilt. She wants to practice. She needs to practice. All I have to do is follow and guide. Yet, ugh! Enough with the phonics again and again and again. More importantly, her determination was starting to look grim. She set her face and her courage and threw her shoulder to the plow, hard.

Thus, I whipped out the lemonade and ordered her off the field. Take a break, my darling dear. She was confounded. What did I mean? Exactly this: "You may not read to me today." "Yes, I forbid you to read." "Seriously, you may not read." "I am in no way kidding, not even one little bit." "No, I will not listen." "You are about to get a time out. Go play, now." "You MAY NOT READ to me."

She was stunned and incredulous. And I think she did take a few days off. And I continued reading to her. Then she started sneaking. I began to catch her reading alone, silently, and secretly at night to her father. (She had previously refused to read for anyone but me.) See how smug she is? See how proud? Do we all understand where the power resides? It resides in her and what she most needed was to break routine and find it for herself.

All of this reminds me of David H. Albert who writes about unschooling. To paraphrase him: the lighter you hold the bow the more music it releases.


Annie said...

Lovely lovely lovely.

rae said...

Tehehehehehe. What a wise mama you are! I can just hear you saying, "I am in no way kidding..."

Now off to Amazon dot com to find that book!

rae said...

Back to say....Dear God. 216 pages to read. What a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. Thanks for the link.