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Z does a lot of storytelling and playing with words. A lot.

Under the reef
And under the sky,
A pouting fish
Wants to cry
.

Sometimes he asks me to write them down, like he did with this poem. And this story . . .

Thor the Thunder Orc

So…

In the house there is an old widow. But there was a particular enemy that lived up up up in the tallest mountain. With a forest next to it. And that forest was not just a normal forest, it was a dark deep spooky forest. And this was not just a normal dark spookiness. It was a murky spooky forest.

But that forest had three dwarves that were living there. But not just normal dwarves, they were ale ale ale dwarves. But that had a particular yumminess too. That was a seed cake.

But there was an orc in the tallest mountain. But that orc wasn’t just a normal orc. That was Thor, the Thunder Orc!

But there was a particular treasure that the orc owned.  It was a ruby diamond.  But that was just a normal diamond.  And that orc had a favorite thing to eat.  That was dwarves!

The orc had a particular two other treasures.  Those were golden boots. But that wasn’t just normal boots. That was magical golden boots!  But then the dwarves decided to take a walk on the mountain.  But that wasn’t the smartest plan for dwarves to do.

Because orc ate dwarves. But the favorite thing to do of the orc was not just to eat dwarves, it was to feast on dwarves! There was also another treasure that the orc owned.  hat was ruby slippers. That wasn’t just it of the treasure. There was one golden emerald but that wasn’t just a normal emerald. That was an enchanted emerald. When the dwarves came onto the mountain in the top of the mountain where the hole was, the orcs ate the dwarves.

Then the dwarves chopped off the head of the orc and came out. They were Viking dwarves.

The End

These stories and poems and drips and drabs of his mind become a prized possession for Z.  He asks me to read them in lieu of “books” and shares them as a way to connect with others.

For me, they go beyond a view into his imagination and help me to see why he gets so frustrated when it comes to writing and making art.  Very often, Z just doesn’t have the small motor skills to execute what he sees in his mind.  It’s a constant struggle to honor his desire to create through dictation while subtly encouraging him to try to produce on his own.

This book struck a chord with Z when I brought it home from the library this week.

I’m looking forward to helping Z balance  his drive for perfection with more Ish-ish endeavors, especially by modeling new learning adventures for myself. Knitting and sewing have been two areas particularly ripe for showing growth through mistakes.

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It’s amazing what you can discover when you turn things upside down.

And when you look at things from a slightly higher vantage point . . .


the beach becomes a giant notebook for writing secret codes.

It’s also the preferred for a young perfectionist to practice writing, since he knows that every letter inevitably will be erased by the tide.

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I had one of those conversations yesterday with a parent of another small child who made me question our decision to try homeschooling as an education option for Z.  I know that she has a different idea of what constitutes learning (workbooks and curriculum vs. by being surrounded by words and stories, scheduled classes three or four times a week vs. unstructured play), but I let her comments about just needing to find a good school get under my skin and into my gut.

Maybe it was the fact that her daughter came over with a perfectly hand-printed note for Zach that made me question whether I was doing him a disservice by keeping him out of a classroom.  Then, I remembered how he tends to wait until he knows he can do something perfectly before taking it on.  In fact, we’ve been spending lots of time just showing him by example that the process is as fun and as important as the product.

I also know that he needs to explore his passions until he exhausts them before he is able to focus on a new area of interest, and how those passions encompass a well-rounded approach to education.  Right now, we’ve been reading The Hobbit every night.  As a result, he’s been very into fantasy play featuring dwarves and their ilk, he’s been drawing the Misty Mountains and scenes from the book, and using things like enchanted rocks and crystals to count and figure out math problems.  Underneath these passing projects, he spends time in daily hardcore study of his own interests in the natural world.

Interestingly enough, after  he and I took a walk in the full moon last night, Z came home and started writing on a pad of paper without using any of the “letter writing” tablets that we bought when he first expressed an interest in writing by himself rather than his dictating stories and poems to me.  With me telling him the spelling, he wrote “Zach,” “Mom,” “Dad,” “Buster,” and “Gourami” for the first time and without looking at letters for guidance.  The coolest part was how he described how each letter looked in his brain as he determined how to write it – G was a half-circle with a tail.

We’re going to be just fine.  And I’m going to keep working feeling more secure in doing what is right for our family at this moment in time.