‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Homeschooling (er, unschooling) Begins!

The New England Academy for Highly Spirited Russian girls named Anastasia has officially opened.

After a week visiting family in Florida, we are home and settling in to our home school routine. I have to admit, Anastasia is getting used to it far faster than I am. I'm still struggling with worry -- Will I be a good teacher for her? Will she actually learn anything from me? Is it ok that we do actual schooling during after school hours? Will I even survive the first week?

But I'm trying, oh so hard, to be easier on myself. Why? Because Anastasia is positively radiant with this change. Her personality has truly blossomed . She is more open, more hopeful, more positive, and best of all...more willing to say yes to things like emptying the dishwasher when asked! (Of course I'm kidding. I'm far happier about her current state of happiness than her willingness to do chores...) Anyway, it is like watching a chick emerge from its shell. It's fascinating to watch.

Still, we are taking it very slow. We are focusing mostly on reading, handwriting, and printing penmanship now - as those are her most glaring weaknesses, and the areas that bother her the most. We are also spending lots of time together walking the beach & through the woods. She asks me a thousand questions about each plant, each shell, each animal we see. And where she was always sullen and withdrawn after school, now she is so energetic and up for adventures when she gets up that I'm completely exhausted in two hours time. I notice she interacts much more with others and in a positive way. She had the mattress salesman in hysterics yesterday with her very witty banter, when usually, upon meeting a stranger, she would sulk behind me with her arms crossed. So, I guess I am writing this as a reminder to myself - that this is a good change for her.

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