Thursday, October 18, 2012

Learning at Home

Howdy friends and family,

It's haircut time at the Casa de Webb.  My shaggy look was not developing into a respectable hair style.  That left me with only one Dave Ramsey approved option: Let Kendra shear me like a sheep.  I conned Easton into joining me for the shearing.  He was hesitant, but I saw him make the transition from timid to courageous.  I know we're only talking about getting a haircut, but every journey begins with a single step.  His body language suggested he was intimidated and scared, but something switched when he saw me take my shirt off and get hyped up about it.  His teeth were still slightly clinched, but when I asked, "are you with me, Big Time?"  He nodded his head and duffed his shirt.  

I don't think Easton and I have ever posed together with a profile shot so this is a different view of us.  I don't see the similarities, but everyone else can clearly see he is my boy.    

We sat in the bath tub like helpless farm animals being led to a slaughter house...  or so it felt.  No blood was lost by either of us and he gained a little more courage to draw from for the next challenge he faces.

Layla did not participate in the sheep shearing.  Her hair must never be cut.  ever.  She had no hair until well after her second birthday.  That's why I'm excited for her to have long hair.  Besides, I have them both convinced boys have short hair and girls have long hair.  I don't want Layla dating a hippie so it's best to start early with setting her perception of "normal".

She grew into another one of Riley's hand-me-down dresses.  When I came home she wanted to show me how it twirls when she spins around.  Layla floats, dances, trots, skips, and hops everywhere she goes.  The only thing she doesn't do is walk, but I like that about her.  

Many times I'll follow her through the house skipping and hopping just like her.  Prior to Layla in my life I can't remember the last time I skipped.  This is my second childhood and I plan to make the most of it.

Here's a blast from the past.  Easton and Layla at 15 months old in their double stroller.

The time has come for us to sell the stroller.  Kendra cleaned it off in preparation for the Craigslist pictures.  The twins were outside with us and requested one more push around the driveway.  I can't believe how fast they grow.  Nothing brings out that mental disconnect more than seeing picture comparisons like these.

Easton inherited several costumes as hand-me-downs from Jaden.  The Superman outfit isn't his favorite yet, but he's still new to the idea of a flying superhero.  Spiderman, Leonardo TMNT, and Flash just run around and swing from webs so this will take some getting used to.  Layla is happily representing the ballerina princess saved by Superman.

Now for the learning portion of my stories.  Kendra is doing regular home schooling on the off-days from their pre-k classes.  I'm using every learning opportunity possible and creating some of my own.  I don't know what, exactly,  Easton and Layla are doing at school from day to day.   We talk about their day during dinner and they tell me stories, but nothing specific enough for me to know which letter or skill they focused on that day.

Anyway, Kendra is using what's available to teach them.  In this case she used Easton's plethora of planes and cars to teach some counting concepts.

I wanted to teach them about opportunity costs and order.  Not exactly pre-k curriculum, but if they understand it, then who cares what age these concepts are supposed to be introduced.  I wrote down their "to do" list for the evening activities after dinner.  I tore them into individual items and laid them out on the ground.  The three of us talked through what needs to be done and ordered them.  I helped them understand we have to clean first to do what NEEDS to be done, then we will have fun and do what they WANT to do.  Layla suggested bath after bed, but Easton corrected that logical issue quickly by pointing out we can't take a bath after we go to bed.  Clean room was first.  Then after we finished a task I moved it to the right and continued down the list.  Paper airplanes was their agreed-upon choice for play time with Daddy.

Layla threw in a curve ball because she wanted to play superheros.  I walked the twins through the process of choosing between books and superheros.  That's the opportunity costs lesson.  They chose superheros so I removed books and added the new task in its place.  By the end of the task list we gave each other high-fives while reveling in the feeling of success and completion. Job well done.

Layla created a bouquet of flowers out of K'nex.  She gave them to me and smiled really big waiting for my hug and kiss as a display of gratitude.  I bet any boy her age would like to receive flowers if they are made of K'nex.  I gave them back to her for the photo opp. and she gladly posed to show me some love.  I asked her, "Can I always be your superhero forever?"  She smiled and said, "yes, yes, yes, of course!"  She knows how to make my day, but doesn't know how easy it would be to get her way with anything she wanted after a response like that.    

This stage of life is getting easier and more fulfilling each day.  See you soon!

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