Miracles come in all sorts of shapes & sizes, big, small & in between. We have had a small miracle this week.
I think I have mentioned, just once or twice, that Ditz is not real keen on her academic work. Less than enthusiastic even. Worse she has been agitating to go to a *real* school. The public schools are less than ideal round here. Worse the islands are stigmatized as a home for *ferals* & our kids are the prime targets of bullies. The closest school is particularly bad but even the one our older children went to has since gone downhill with a change of Headship. Seriously, the stories I hear make my blood run cold but I'm pretty sure Ditz thought I was making the whole thing up just to spoil her fun.
Apart from any other consideration there is no way we could do all Ditz's music if she was in public school. Between travelling & homework there just aren't enough hours in a day. I might as well have been talking to the wind. I just got attitude & more attitude until I was whinging in the Lord's ear like you wouldn't believe. I do a lot of that, whinging at the Lord. I wanted Him to do something. A major change of attitude was called for. I love my daughter but she was not acting in a very lovable way & I was starting to unravel. It is not pretty when I unravel.
Then the other night the majority of my household was gathered round the other bane of my life ~ the T.V set. The girls were waiting on the news finishing so they could put in a movie when what comes up but a special report on bullying in Queensland schools. Now I missed this whole thing. The t.v irritates me beyond all reason so I rarely watch it but by all accounts it was an eye opener for Ditz. Her eyes got bigger & bigger as the long list of stats started scrolling showing the increase in the level & types of violence in our schools. Some things are up 100% ~ everything from name calling to cyber bullying, stalking, rape, assault & it's kids like Ditz, a little different, a little clever, gifted in unusual areas, who are the primary targets. They interviewed the victims, showed the horrific injuries. Dearest was taking note.
Now Ditz didn't say anything to me but I have been pleasantly surprised the last two mornings to find my reluctant learner more co~operative than usual. In fact we are back to having fun together with her learning rather than me dragging Ditz reluctantly through the motions of learning. This is how homeschooling used to be in our house before Ditz got a bee in her bonnet about missing out on something. We laugh a lot together, make bad jokes, & in between Ditz manages to concentrate enough in short spurts to zoom through her work. She is a clever bunny when she puts her mind to it.
Now we use Sonlight & we aren't bookwork sorts. Drill is just boring so when we began Sonlight I just threw Ditz in at the deep end with her grammar, teaching it like a jig~saw puzzle. Over & over I'd parse sentences with her as they came up ~ interesting because my grammar is not at this level either! The more obscure stuff I just delete but after an 8 week holiday I was expecting to have to run Ditz through a refresher course on even her basics. With a change in attitude Ditz just blitzed her grammar work. Prepositions, that have troubled her for 3 terms, she nailed. Subject V direct object, no problem. Passive V active voice, well her mother likes the passive voice so we have a few problems still with this because sometimes the rhythm & flow is just better in the passive voice.
Ditz is working her way through the next chapter of her science & is on top of her history research paper. She has finished her first 3 readers & reading history is so not Ditz's thing. Her dictation has taken a decided turn for the better as well, which is astounding because I don't do spelling as a subject & haven't since we abandoned BSDE. Ditz rarely makes spelling mistakes though her punctuation can be a tad shaky but she has been asking me to reread her dictation aloud & checks for comma pauses etc then. I've been impressed. There are far fewer grammar errors this year. I'm not relieved so much as I feel things have returned to normal. Ditz is never going to be a brilliant student but I can live with that so long as she does her best with those things that don't interest her as well as those things that do.
Once we had got her wok out of the way this morning I rang her violin teacher to discuss suitable days & times to resume lessons. Althea is lovely & takes so much care with Ditz though violin has taken a third place in Ditz's affections well behind singing & flute. Althea knows this but considers Ditz too gifted with the violin to allow her to give up easily. She has waited patiently for me to sort out our other commitments before slotting in violin. Actually I think she was probably starting to wonder if we were continuing.
Now Althea is a smart lady & her first question was whether Ditz was doing grade 4 flute this year. Yep, Ditz is though I've agreed to forgo the exams this year. Althea is perfectly happy with that. Grade 4 is, she tells me, difficult & you are really getting somewhere if you have got that far. Singing 5/6 part harmony is also difficult. With this information she will bolster Ditz's ego & cajole her into actually working.
Now Ditz is a random visual/spatial learner so what she can't do on the violin she applies to flute & flute to singing & singing to violin ~ any or all of the above combinations. I watch this & stand in awe of the wonderful people God has given Ditz because every single one of them deals with her ratty attention span & erratic learning pattern without batting an eyelash.
Yep, we get miracles in all shapes & sizes round here.