Sunday, October 21, 2012


Teaching my daughter to read was about as much fun as stabbing myself to death with a spoon.

I'm surprised she survived it. I'm also surprised I survived it. And we still speak to each other. Amazing. Now that I don't need to teach her to read anymore, life seems a lot less like a Saw movie. She's still working towards reading Hebrew, but for some reason, this is not a hideous life-ruining ordeal for either of us.

Genome is now learning to read -- or rather, learning his alphabet mostly. It is much easier than teaching his sister was. If you are ever given a choice of teaching my daughter to read, or teaching my son to read, you should choose my son. For starters, he kind of wants to do it. My daughter's disinterest in academics is so powerful, you can feel it at a hundred paces. Her disinterest could be a lethal weapon. It's that strong. That's how much she Does Not Care. Or did not care. Now that she can do it, it has some appeal. She also thinks Judaics has appeal.

So, do you have an early reader, and you want them to read things, but you have noticed that everyone's definition of "early" or "easy" or "emerging" is completely different? I found a nifty little tool. Lexile measurements are measurements of reading ease used for standardized testing and such. They maintain a large book database at First, find your child's Lexile score by looking up a book or two that they read with relative ease. Then search for similar books by Lexile score. There are about a billion categories as well.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

After the Fact

Well it's the middle of October, but I finally took the time to write out what we're actually doing for home schooling. I actually have a second child going, kind of, now.

I am not going to post it. The only purpose of posting the books you use is to help other people feel superior. I do that enough when I go out of my house, so I feel that I've done my part here.

I use 1-2-3 Magic with the children. This is a way of counting to three, and if the child lets you get to three, they're in for it. Firefly thinks that I am trying to teach him how to count. Or that I don't know what comes after two, and I'm asking him about it. I'm not quite sure how to deal with this.

I had to retrieve a son from the front porch, where he was naked-below-the-waist and threatening his brother with a pretend-machine gun that was actually a bottle of vodka (Grey Goose). Someone stole my regular life and dumped me in Honey Boo Boo, but without the television crew.

Genome keeps walking smack into my stomach, bouncing backwards, and then asking, "how you get so fat?" PREGNANT, child. Not fat. Pregnant. Never, ever call a lady fat. How are we going to marry him off at this rate?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Please Be Sleeping

To add to my "things I say all the time to my child," a friend suggested, "crying won't make it any better." So, consider it added. Also, my daughter always asks, when told to do something, "do I have to?" So I spend a lot of time saying "I have never in your life told you to do something that you don't have to do." I say this so often that she can fill in the rest of the phrase after "I have never in your life . . . "

I'm at that stage of pregnancy when I spend most of the day going back and forth to the bathroom. Liquids run through me immediately, similar to that Baby-Wets-Itself type of doll we used to have back in the early nineties. It would really be more efficient if I consumed 100% of my liquids while standing at the bathroom sink.

Strangely, Firefly seems to think that I can't possibly use the bathroom without his supervision. I'm not sure what he thinks is going to happen. Am I going to fall in? Escape out the window? It's not just that he wants to spend time with me. If he's playing, or sleeping (PLEASE BE SLEEPING) and he hears the bathroom light flick on (which he always does) he's off like a shot to station himself a foot away from me and stare. Also, I can't get out a tiny bathroom window. I'm too huge right now.

The boys love home schooling. Not being home schooled. They love that I am home schooling their sister. Firefly prefers to stay within his one-foot bathroom radius and assertively Miss the Point. For example, if Munchkin is reading her history book, he sits down next to her and shoves it out of the way, replacing it with a storybook he'd prefer she read. If she's using cuisinaire rods, he takes the ones she's using to place them in an elaborate block-pattern. Because she's amazingly good-tempered compared to me, none of this first-level distraction phases her.

It was slightly harder to brush off when he found a pair of cymbals.

Genome generally uses this time to disappear to another room and engage in the type of creative destruction that he correctly ascertains I would halt were I present. Sure, he wanders in every once in awhile, crawling over me like I'm so much furniture. But mainly he sees this as a great time to do that which he isn't, technically, allowed to do. Such as eat cereal from the box in front of the living room.