Wednesday, February 21, 2007

winter break, and books

In case anyone is wondering where I've been for the past week or so, I was traveling across the country to pick up the pup pictured in this photo. Kids are having a blast, as you can well imagine!

Well, our daily rhythms have completely fallen apart. As has just about any other semblence of regulation in our household. The fact that I was away for 4 days is partly to blame. The fact that Zoo Boy had an oral-motor and speech evaluation most of the day before I left is another part. The fact that our little foundered pony needs somewhat frequent attention is another piece, as is the fact that I have to keep running to the barn to check for new lambs. And then you throw a new puppy into the mix, and it's pretty close to utter chaos around here.

So I've declared this week as our "winter break" -- break from classes, therapy, and anything that has to do with travel or organized thought. I DO need to sit down and hammer out a new daily rhythm schedule for us, that takes our added responsibilities into account. For instance, with the new pony arriving any day, we will have one more major animal to care for -- she'll need to be brushed and ridden in addition to adding another feed bucket to mix up and 33% more poop to scoop. Riding can take the place of our morning exercise time, but is more time-involved than just going for a walk or turning on some songs to dance to. Brushing, feeding, and clean-up can be incorporated into our RDI time, but that means moving our "scheduled" RDI time to the morning instead of the late afternoon where it was. And then there's the new pup, who needs regular attention as well (more concentrated attention than our older, trained dogs) in several blocks throughout the day.

So while the kids enjoy a "holiday" from "work", I'll be concentrating my efforts on working out a new daily rythym schedule, while also trying to organize my increase in work load into manageable chunks. I'm not thinking about RDI this week at all -- it'll still happen, it's become such a way of life for us, there's no avoiding it. But I won't be looking at the objectives and figuring out where our activities for the day might fit into the mix. It'll be all go-with-the-flow, no planned organized time.

The only thing we're adamently sticking to this week is our evening Family Story Time. This is the anchor that will keep us from completely floating off the planet. We are being uncreative about it, however, and are using the same books we did last week (which I never did have a chance to post about), continuing our Snow theme. Here they are:

Fox's Dream, by Tejima. A simple story of a lonely fox's night-time walk through a winter woodland and what he sees and meets on the way. Beautiful woodcut illustrations tell the tale as much as the text does, leaving much to the imagination, making the book very RDI-friendly as well. Thumbs up around here!

Snowballs, by Lois Ehlert. Ehlert's paper-sculpture illustrations always catch my kids' attention, and her text is always expressly simple so as not to take away from the artwork, which is really what tells the story. Winter birds, creative snowmen, and the inevitable melt-down when the sun comes out is about all there is to this book. But the kids just adore it, and have been swiping it from my Story Time stash to read on their own.

Snow Ponies, by Cynthia Cotten, illustrated by Jason Cockcroft. FABULOUS book, telling the tale of Old Man Winter's string of Snow Ponies, who he lets loose upon the land, spreading a blanket of snow as they tear across the countryside on a romp, coming home for a rub down and a rest when they are done turning the world a winter white. Much is said between the lines rather than in the rich text, and gorgeous illustrations add to the wonder and mystique. An absolute must-read that we just had to add to our home library.


At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES I had wondered where you were! and ... I know this blog is called "Jacob's Journey" but please tell us more about the new puppy!!! :o) -Bev C


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