First, L. learned to ride a bike! She had been getting closer and closer, and then on Sunday she spent a long time pushing herself along as she finally figured out the whole balance-thing. Once she had that it was a very small step to actually pedaling. It made school yesterday a little difficult for her, because having learned her new skill it was very difficult to wait to practice it some more. Yes, I know I could have just let her go ride her bike outside, but what she really wanted to do was to go a couple of blocks away to the elementary school which has a lovely track just made for bike riding. It was hard to wait.
Next, R. learned to really, really ride the training wheel bike. A while back I might have mentioned that R. really wanted to ride a bike, but for the life of her could not figure out how to pedal. The round and round motion that her feet had to make to go forward baffled her. She would push half-way around and then stop. The other half of the circle just didn't exist. Not being able to move forward, she would then shriek and want someone to help her again. We did this for a little bit, but regardless of what you all think, I am not a patient person and soon tired of the helping every thirty seconds, so told her that she would have to figure it out.
Well, take a look at this.
Not bad, huh? This is pretty darn amazing in my book. (That's K. how zips through at the very end. And please, don't kvetch at me about the non-helmet. When she goes fast enough to warrant one, we'll put it on her head. She's in more danger from a head injury just going up and down stairs or even walking down the sidewalk than she is on this bicycle at the moment.)
Now, not to be left out, G., who is still not quite ready to conquer the bicycle, still wanted to have something shared. She's rather good on a scooter and as a result sees no need to do scarier things.
I have one more thing I wanted to share. I don't have a video to show you, but I wish I could have had someone with a camera just making one in the corner to have it on record. Here's my huge news for the day. H. read. As in really, really read. Yesterday I decided to try her out with The Cat in the Hat again. We tried this last spring and she just wasn't able to get past the first page. If words are short, behave themselves phonetically, and there aren't too many of them, she can read them. She's been able to sound words out individually for a few years now, but putting them together fluently... assembling that string of words into a meaningful sentence and story, just hasn't happened. After our little debacle with The Cat last spring, I was wondering if I should just face up to the fact that perhaps reading was not in her future and ponder all those implications.
Then we had a summer break. Her brain rested, and when we started work last week she seemed fresh and on top of things, which is why the thought of trying that darn Cat book again even crossed my mind. I put the book in front of her and took a deep breath inside my head and we began. There was a brief moment of stumbling over the word 'was', but it didn't completely sidetrack us and we were able to keep going. And going. And going. She read the first eight pages of the book in as many minutes! This is more than she has ever read in one time in her entire life. And not only that, she UNDERSTOOD IT!
But wait, there's more.
Today we pulled out the book to keep reading. She read the page we were on...
I nearly cried. I don't think there is a more beautiful sound than a child laughing over what she has read and understood for the very first time.