A quick update... and a HUGE THANK YOU to all the people who emailed me with words of encouragement and support! I cannot find the words to tell you how much I needed the "back up" and affirmations you gave me!
I forgot to tell you what Isaiah's parting words to the Meister were as we were leaving the other day after registering him. The Meister said, "I'll see you on Wednesday!"
Isaiah turned and waved, flashing his incredibly irresistable smile, "Am Mittwoch!" (On Wednesday!) The Meister smiled back, (did I hear him chuckle a little?).
So this morning our entire family walked Isaiah to the bus stop where he got on a bus with a bus driver and children who didn't speak his language. He went through the day at a school where the only language he understood were the smiles and "thumbs-up" he received.
Now I am writing as the proud mother of a son who I aspire to be more like in so many ways, but especially his courage today. When the bus dropped him off he was very, very quiet -- and I felt very, very worried -- for about 20 seconds. The suspense about killed me! Then, he turned to me as we walked up to the house.
"I loved it!!" Then he told me story after story about all the friends he made, the differences between the way they do things there and what he's experienced before, his kind and patient teacher, and how all the children talked excitedly in German after recess to the teacher until the teacher came over and explained to Isaiah that they were all excited to have such a fantastic soccer player in their midst. (Mind you, Isaiah's only soccer lessons have come from the neighbor boy, Jonas, in the last couple of months!) And the teacher? Frau Backes speaks clear English -- in a soft, laid-back tone of voice! (We have heard so many rumors of the harsh task-masters in the German schools -- so at least for his first day, this was such a huge blessing!)
I think I have a budding anthropologist in our midst. Again, thank you for your prayers and support. Please keep them coming -- we can feel them all the way across the Atlantic!
As for Eli and Homeschooling... I'm not sure who is having more fun, me or him? (Did I say that grammatically correct?) Have you ever felt like your house was more or less in order only to find out that special guests were arriving and suddenly you notice all the spiderwebs and dust bunnies and clutter that somehow escaped your attention before? Yes, well all of a sudden, I'm acutely aware of the spiderwebs hanging in academic portions of my brain that I didn't notice before!
However, spending the last several days with Eli working on reading, writing, spelling, critical thinking... (do you notice a pattern here?) has been nothing short of fun and inspirational! Even with the few tears shed... (what about that harsh taskmaster??), Eli says he thoroughly enjoys being at home to study. We're still in the process of figuring out our curriculum. If anyone has any great ideas, please, please don't hesitate to pass those on to us! (Diane -- Can we just fly you and John over here?) I could definitely use some guidance in the math and sciences -- besides all the other subjects! But for right now, we're not stressing -- and we're simply settling into the process of what a School Day at home looks like. (Darren -- Any Pegasus-teaching-astronomy-to-a- classroom-full-of-horses-and-unicorns ideas??)
We still do not have internet at our house so I am still trying to make time to come on Base to use the computers at the Resource Center or the Base Library. Forgive me if I do not respond to emails in a timely manner. But please know that your emails are fuel that keep me energized and encouraged (and keep the homesickness at bay)!!
More later... (perhaps pictures next time?)
PS -- Ezekiel and Israel are thriving!! Israel started "Chorus" which is perfect as she already half-talks/half-sings everything! She's loving it! And Ezekiel is enjoying everything about school. His love of learning is inspiring! He recently joined the Math Whiz Club and his remark when I picked him up the first time was, "Mom! You know how I love games and I'm soooo good at them?" I shook my head in agreement. "Well, you also know how much I love math and I'm soooo good at math, right?" I agreed again. He looked up at me as we walked to the van together, "Well! I get to spend the whole time figuring out math problems with a partner and the math is all games, too!" Hm. Makes me want to go home and play math games with Zeke!