I have not done any extra math work with Julia since school began.  She did have math homework and math-y science homework last week, neither of which was easy for her, but I have not tried to do more than assigned during the last two weeks.  Can I say that I feel like I am on vacation??

This week coming up Julia will have a spelling test on Tuesday and a book “review” due on Friday.  Starting on Friday, we’ve done a bit of each for the last three days.  The review is finished and she did her spelling sentences and is ready for the test.  The kid really is a very good speller.  She needed to look up definitions for almost all of her 10 words — narration, throughout, thoughtfully, essential — and some of her sentences are awkward or obvious.  My favorite was “Listening to my mom is essential in my life.”  The only word that seemed impossible for her was narration.  I don’t give her example sentences but I do try very hard to help her find definitions that are useful.  She is very proficient at finding definitions on the internet, but so many time the definitions shed no light on the meaning of the word unless you already know what the word means.  I was in seventh or eighth grade when I made the discovery — was I slow on the uptake?

I have her writing the word, the definition and a draft of her sentence in her daily school journal that she keeps on her iPad.  By the time she does the iPad work and then copies the sentences to the paper provided for class, she knows the spelling.

It is a terrific shame that David didn’t live to see this.  He faulted my entire catholic school education because I was spelling challenged and worried way too much that Cheshire did not spell well and her grammar school did not put much emphasis on it.  Julia could almost train for spelling bees, although I’ve always considered those to be a waste of a kid’s time.

Today, Julia told me that she loved that her Ivy doll closes her eyes when Julia lays her down.  Eight years ago, Julia screamed and threw her baby doll on the ground and hit it repeated for the same reason.  Julia likes Ivy a lot.  Ivy moves around the house and can sometimes be found in the car because I will not allow Julia to take her into places like church.  This is a lovely development.  She is 13 and not 5, 6 or 7, but Lizzy the dinosaur was the closest to a doll that she has ever loved.  Ivy is a girl doll!  She is (vaguely) Asian looking and has a hair cut very much like Julia.  And to me this speaks volumes.

I twisted my ankle yesterday afternoon and have been hobbling around all day.  It was a beautiful day and we did not go walking or biking or to some street fair.  I was pretty grumpy to watch a sunny lovely day go by, but a few neighbors got together for what might be our last cook out of the summer in the late afternoon.  And I had two social evenings late last week cooking for friends two night in a row.  So, grumpys dissolve into gratitude for people who are willing to share their hearts and mind with Julia and I.

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