Sunday, May 15, 2005

La guarachera de Cuba

Akmul_001Jesse wants to learn to spell. Actually, he said he'd like to be able to "write" but I know he can write, so I thought maybe he meant spelling. I suggested he decide how many words/day he wanted to work on, then wrote the words (in English and Spanish) and suggested he write the words over and over (page for each word) and test himself on how well he remembered. Better ideas? As soon as Jesse got his page, Pike immediately asked for a worksheet with math problems. I actually turned him down and said, "no, I really want to get going. I felt like such a Bad Homeschooling Mom - to tell my boy that NO, he could NOT have math problems to work on. Well, I really wanted to get going. With these four, once one of them distracts you with one thing, by the time you get it, the others will be off in adventureland and you'll never get them headed out again.

Ellen started something this morning that not one of the other kids has done. She is reading to me. Akmul_002 She picks out a book that I've read ad nauseum to her, and she goes through each page and "reads" the story to me. It is so cute and I am loving it. I've read that this is so normal with kids, but not one of mine has done it yet. The other kids love to read (though truly, Jesse is the only fluent reader) and will spend hours looking at books, but not one, until now, has decided to share their stories with me. It will be interesting to see how Ellen learns to read. Jesse is a sight reader, Pikey phonics and Sissy is doing phonics along with Pike, but I'm not sure that is her way.

Enough "school".

Akmul_008Today Jamie felt well enough to do a day trip. We headed down the coast towards Tulum to Yal-Ku. It is reported to be something like a "poor man's Xpu-Ha". It is a lovely lagoon that opens to the sea; there are turtles that will come in (but we didn't see any) but the clincher is that young children can walk around the many limestoneAkmul_011 paths that wander about the lagoon and watch the tropical fish. The boys have had a blast swimming out to the reef with me and we can snorkel and look at the amazing fish, but the girls just aren't able and we don't have tiny masks anyway. So the girls had a blast; I had a blast (cause for some reason, the normal heart-stopping anxiety that attacks me in open water didn't happen in the lagoon); Jamie had a blast and the boys had a blast.

Beach_021The title of this post refers to Celia Cruz, and whenever I see sugar" sand, I think of Celia Cruz. The beach (bay next to the one we're staying at) is full of sand that is so sugary, when wet, it is the consistency of wet flour. I'll have to take a picture next time we go AND I'll have to bring some back. It is so amazing. Last time we went, we took Jamie. He and the boys went out to the reef and snorkeled a LONG time while Sissy, Ellen and I chatted with the (buen mozo!!) Argentinian we'd met there once before and his co-worker. They are so nice to the girls and love talking to them. Ellen was not a happy camper when we left.

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