Sunshine's First Watercolor
Elsie is helping to school her little brother and sister. She is in charge of art, games and puzzles.
After a month long break, we started back to school today with two new students. While in Ethiopia, Sunshine attended a local school for half of the day. I was told that there were about 50 children and one teacher. I was not expecting her to know much in the way of letters and numbers, but I was completely surprised when I met her. She was already reading in Tigrinia and knew all of her letters and numbers in English. She is a smart little cookie. So instead of waiting until next fall to start formal school, we started today.
We had an interpreter explain to Sunshine a few weeks back that I was going to be her teacher. She laughed out loud. And then asked if he was serious. Everything in America is new and different.=)
We took both of them to our home-school co-op at church yesterday. I took them into a preschool class to show them what it was like. The teacher was talking about winter. She read a story about winter and then invited the kids to join her in a snowball fight. (We don't have snow here. The "snow" consisted of about 100 white mesh sponges. So soft, but lots of fun!) They threw snowballs for about 10 minutes and it was time to go. I asked them if they wanted to come back next week and the overwhelming answer was, "Yes!!!"
Today we started school with a new schedule. Yes, I am a 'scheduler.' I love a schedule. I don't think I needed one until the fourth baby came along, but they make me happy. I have my homeschool day planned out in 30 minute segments. The book "Managers of Their Homes" by Steve and Terri Maxwell has been very helpful. The schedule is basically a guide to help everyone move through the day and complete most of their work.
I added Sunshine and Little Buddy to the schedule and made adjustments with some of the other kids to fit everything in. I think it went pretty well. Sunshine was quite confused for most of the morning. She explained to me that at school in Ethiopia everyone did the same thing. If the teacher said to write "A", "everyone wrote A." She did not understand why I did some school with her and Little Buddy, and then other school with Sweet Pea and Pumpkin. It was very hard to explain to her that each of her brothers and sisters do different levels of work. I think that this is another area that will be OK in time.
My favorite part of our day was prayer time tonight. I rock each of the little ones in a rocking chair before bed. We sing a song and pray together. I usually pray first and give them an opportunity to pray. Sunshine prays in Tigrinia each night. I love listening to her lift her voice to the Lord in her own language. I love that God hears our prayers in every language on this big planet.
This past week I started praying for Sunshine and Little Buddy's siblings in Ethiopia during our prayer time. I don't know why I had not done this before. I definitely pray for them during my private prayer time. Sunshine was so pleased and I heard the names of her siblings in her prayer as well. Since that day, she has prayed for each one.
Tonight when she began her prayers, I heard my name and Stand-Up Dad and all of her American siblings too. I started to cry. It overwhelmed me. It may seem silly, but I have been praying for this little girl even before I knew her name. Tonight, she prayed for me. God is good!