This past weekend was our second Freckles weekend. (Freckles is a stuffed jaguar that travels from house to house from the kindergarten in a little blue backpack.) I got pretty wild and crazy. "Frecks" rode the bus home for Fran's playdate at Carlos's house, dined at Bennie's- just like MIchael Phelps, and went to a Tiger's soccer game. Freckles hosted a crazy playdate with Luke after soccer and hosted Claudia's Birthday Brunch. Fran even read the funnies to him on Sunday. Many events were documented by photographs.
Then we had to fill in the journal page (on school nights after long school days.) We trimmed a couple pictures and Fran picked his "layout". And then it was time for the captions. Fran was doing fine work, but Blaine and I were getting cranky. It was like a kindergartner was doing this writing. (Wait- he is in kindergarten...)
As a classroom teacher, I remember those points in the year where I would panic a bit about making sure I was guiding kids firmly enough. And looking over our year at home, I am having the same worries. I feel like there are a lot of times I have dropped the literacy ball at home. Fran has only written one story at home this year. We do a great job reading aloud to him, but after full day kindergarten, he often plays instead of reading independently (except for March is Reading month... he was a lean, mean reading machine.) But looking at his progress over the year is reassuring and inspiring. The difference in his writing from October was incredible: confidence in stretching and approximating new words, getting ideas on his own, neatness, spelling (kindergarten) high frequency words conventionally,... Most importantly, he works so much more independently now.
Maybe having a reading and writing house is not just about reading and writing. Maybe it's also about puppet shows, playing outside, and just sitting in the backyard in beach chairs under the Snoopy flag, thinking. But now, I think about how a little stuffed jaguar showed me how hard my Kindergartner has worked.