April 24, 2008

All About CHARIS

Since I haven't done any general updates for awhile, I decided to focus on one child at a time. Today it's Charis' turn to be in the spotlight.

Recently Charis got on a cursive kick. She asked me to write all the letters in cursive on our whiteboard, and she carefully copied them and practiced on her own for days. Suddenly everything she wrote was in large, loopy cursive letters, which looked remarkably good considering the fact that she has not had specific cursive handwriting instruction. However, she discovered that it was rather labor-intensive to write in such a manner, so I think she has decided to wait until she can start work on her next handwriting book, which will transition her to cursive. Thank goodness--it was getting annoying to try to read the myriad of notes she was leaving us all over the place!!

A new obsession for Charis is bugs. She has a pet ladybug whom she appropriately named Redbug. Redbug lives in a baby food jar with holes poked in the lid. Charis learned that ladybugs eat aphids, and she learned how to locate aphids on our roses so Redbug has something to eat. Redbug gets a new home every few days when the dirt and leaves start to smell bad, and Redbug has also accompanied us to the park, to a friend's house, and in and out of the house depending on where Charis is at the moment. This kind of pet I can handle.

Over the last couple of weeks Charis and I have both been rather obsessed with finishing Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. I finished Book the Thirteenth, The End, yesterday, and Charis is on Book the Twelfth. We've both giggled at the antics of Sunny, whom we picture to be like our own Kenna, and while I can't say I'm completely satisfied with the ambiguous ending, I'm looking forward to discussing it more with Charis once she finishes, which, at the rate she's going, could be today or tomorrow.

A few mornings ago I discovered Charis reading Book the Tenth at the breakfast table. Since I knew she had finished at chapter 8 (about 2/3 of the way) in Book the Ninth the previous evening, when I had allowed her to stay up a bit and read with me, I confronted her. "Just WHEN did you finish that book?" She immediately burst into tears and confessed that she had stayed up the night before to read. This has happened a few times before, and she is always tearful and remorseful and apologetic, promising it will NEVER happen again. Her punishment is that she has to have her door open at night and she is not allowed to stay up and read for 2 weeks. (We usually give her 2-3 nights per week that she can do this.)

I can't say I blame her one bit, though. It's really hard to put a good book down!

Charis has discovered The Garage Sale! When Mom was here with us last weekend, we went to a fundraiser garage sale benefitting the Nevada Homeschool Network. We had donated a bunch of stuff, from books to toys to our old pots and pans that we replaced recently, and I was hoping to get away from the sale without hauling back the same amount of stuff that we had donated. Thankfully, I was able to escape with a single Trader Joe's bag full of books (can't resist books, of course) and a $7 bookshelf that will be perfect for Charis' room. Charis was delighted when she only had to pay $2 for all 5 of her treasures, which included a pony-on-a-stick. I don't know if the pony has a name yet or not.

So last night Ted and I were praying in bed right before falling asleep when we heard some major thumping. We figured it was the boys, still rowdy from a late night at AWANA. As Ted got up to leave the room, I realized I had accidentally pulled Charis' door shut--it's still supposed to be open, remember, because of her sneaky reading habits. Sure enough, Ted walked into Charis' room to find...

...that she was riding her pony-on-a-stick around the room with all her might! It was 9:45 p.m.!! Did she not think we would hear her?! We only tucked her in about 15 minutes before we headed to bed ourselves!!

When Ted got back in bed and told me what he had found, we both laughed our heads off. Hey, at least she wasn't reading! She KNEW that was forbidden!!!


Ski said...

What a compliment to you that Charis loves to read so much that she'll stay up late to read. Who hasn't wanted to finish a good part or find out what happened and stayed up later than we should have?

Bob & Claire said...

LOL, that stick horse story is so funny! I can remember staying up to read several times through high school and regretting it the next day . . . maybe she'll learn her lesson earlier! : ) One of the Miller books has a story on that too--Prudence and the Millers maybe?

Also, that ladybug pet sounds wonderful! A dream! I'll have to remember that. No house-breaking!

tina (www.the-miles.org) said...

I remember staying up late, reading by the light of the night light (Heidi and I shared a room and she needed one). Who am I kidding, I stayed up too late Tuesday night reading!

The Litwillers said...

Charis, my friend, welcome to the club of night-time sneaky readers. I used to read by the nightlight WAY past my bedtime. And my parents punished me by making me go outside and play, or so they said....

And yes, the ending to that series was rather strange. I'm still not sure what I think of it.

Megan said...

The horse story is hysterical! I was snickering outloud!

And I can definitely relate to Charis staying up too late reading. I still do that, and I'm 32. Of course now I am more tired than I was as a child and more likely to drop the book on my face than I was back then. ;-)

I remember doing schoolwork in my dad's basement office and scouring his shelves for reading material. I found "The Old Man and the Sea" and spent the afternoon reading that instead of doing my schoolwork (I was in 6th grade, I think). My punishment was to use the book to write one of my six required annual book reports. That was about the worst possible form of torture (the book report form was single-spaced, and I had to hand-write answers to several questions on both sides of the page), and I was very, very careful to never ever read for fun during school hours. :P

Beverly said...

How sad--you were punished for reading a classic during school time?! There is something wrong with that!