Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Worlds For Ryan

Here's what I found on my desk - amidst a half-finished chocolate milk and some brotchen crumbs - when I came home from Writers' Group on Saturday.

With all my worrying about whether or not I am doing the right thing for Ryan, about what I could be doing differently, and better, for her, it is nice to have confirmation that just being me, and letting her be herself, is the best I can do.

Ryan's story, written while home alone (the boys were at baseball), VOLUNTARILY for FUN, came complete with pictures of horse and owner. I can only reproduce the written words here. Remember, English is her second language. (Read it out loud; it helps!)

I couldn't be prouder.

Cobolt (Picture of a black horse with Carole.)

Carole Hanson (HEART for loves) Cobolt they meant to be together but Cobolt is Veronicka di Angelo's Horse. She killd Cobolt with forsing him to go over a gump. Dr. Judy had to put him down. Carole wanted to quit riding bekos of Veronika and she almost did. Stevie and Lisa thot (say it out loud!) of a plane. Veronicka shold bey (out loud, I tell you!) Starlight but Carole said: ''You are not gonea kill Starlight and your not gonea get Starlight eather understand!?" and Veronicka said:

That's it. It's a direct synopsis of her favorite book - and TV - series "Saddle Club." Written in a second-language by a child with problems synthesizing information.

Just look at what these kids can do when given the chance and encouraged!

They need an interest. And they need a visual. (The German education system is not very visual, no pictures of the alphabet, no charts of the multiplication tables.)

But I'm psyched - again - about a few months of homeschooling in the fall. The schoolroom will take shape around us. Area history and culture. Language. Reading and math. And I'm thinking TV - and the Internet - isn't all bad for a kid like Ryan, if it is used properly. She responds to the visual and to the story. Our trip to the movie theater on Sunday is just the sort of thing she personally soaks up better than taking notes from the board or listening to a presentation.

Ryan is opening up new worlds for me. I'm thrilled to be able to do the same for her.

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