Once in a while us homeschooling moms get a glimpse of true success in what we do. Of course, there are the little successes like when our kids do well on an assignment or get an A on a math test. Then there's the greater feeling of success that comes when we get back the results of annual assessments and all of our hard work is validated by the test. Finally, there's the TRUE success that comes when our children begin applying what we are teaching them in their regular life. My daughter gave me that tonight.
I was in the kitchen preparing dinner when Mika came in and told me, "Mom, I using dress ups in my story." First, the back story:
1) She's writing a story completely on her own volition. It has nothing to do with school; it is not a required assignment. Mika likes to write.
2) Dress ups is a term used by our writing curriculum, Excellence in Writing. The term refers to adding several things to our writing that makes it better and more interesting. Some of the dress ups add more interesting word choices, and some of them help the writer vary sentence structure. The curriculum asks that the student deliberately practice adding them into every writing assignment, and each paragraph has to have at least one of each dress up that they have learned. Over time, the student begins to use them naturally and comfortably.
Mika used what she has learned and added several dress ups into one sentence to make it more interesting. She even acknowledged that she thought her sentence was more interesting because of the dress ups. She also used alliteration, which she learned from our poetry curriculum. Here's her sentence:
Phoenix sat on her bed, gazing gloomily outside at the softly falling rain.
When a child begins to use what she learns outside of school assignments, it makes a homeschool mom proud.