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Archive for October, 2015

Barrys Lately

The fall is upon us and seems to be moving quickly. All is well in the Barry family.

This school year we began homeschooling all four children (Ellie, 3rd grade; the boys Kindergarten). So far, it has been easier than I anticipated and we are seeing rich rewards. This season of our lives will be short and we are grateful for the unique opportunities we have this year. School has kept us busy, but also freed us up to do a lot of fun things.

Ellie and James started piano and absolutely love it. Their teacher has a unique methodology that has them playing complete songs with both hands from the get go. They will start reading music later. James has kept up with Ellie and the teacher has commented numerous times on how well he is doing for his age.

All four children decided to play soccer again this fall. It has gone well. The boys were excited to be on a team with a few friends from their school last year. The boys usually score several goals each game. It is fun to watch. Ellie has a larger field and it is much tougher to play at her age than the boys’, but she has persevered through some long and tiring games.

Jack continues to do speech therapy and just restarted occupational therapy. Both are going well and “clicking” for him.

When we are not doing the routine things, our schedule has allowed us to travel to the mountains to visit friends, go apple picking, visit with grandparents, and check out some local sites for “field trips.”

The boys are tearing through their 1st grade math curriculum. They are also reading very well. Thomas is at a 2nd grade level (Frog and Toad books are favorites), James a 1st grade level (Dear Dragon and Little Critter are his favorites), and Jack is at a solid Kindergarten level (and he is proficient at his own leveled books and about ready for mainstream series books). This is very reflective of how they develop in many areas of life. I do think they will all catch up to each other quickly. I am so proud of how hard they are working.

Ellie does what is expected of her, like book reports and times tables, and is challenging herself with grammar, cursive, typing, and computer programming.

Teeth seem to be falling out left and right. Even Ellie is on another round of loose teeth. Thomas was first for the boys and then Jack. Both of them have now lost several teeth. It seems that once they start coming, they don’t stop for awhile. James has expressed his concern on numerous occasions about his teeth not being loose. In typical James fashion, we have heard, “I’m horrible, I’m never going to lose my teeth.” Sure enough, one of his bottom teeth is now loose. He reports on the status daily. Thomas swallowed (or literally lost, we are not sure) two of his teeth. Jack keeps a very close eye on his. We are eager to see what will happen with James.

As I reflect on our children collectively, I am incredibly blessed by the fruitfulness of our recent efforts to focus on their relationships with one another. They still fight and argue like only the best siblings can, but they have made great improvements in expressing their feelings in more appropriate ways with each other, talking through some things, not involving us as much, and demonstrating kindness toward each other. On a good day, they devise an elaborate imaginary play activity that involves all of them for hours. I relish seeing them truly be kids and getting lost in the world of childhood imagination and play without the pressures of the world that will press upon them soon enough.

Ellie and Wes' Little Library

Ellie and Wes’ Little Library

Building forts in the woods with friends

Building forts in the woods with friends

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