~a month in the life of a lifelong learner~ catch!

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we had an auspicious start to the month of learning with a wonderful family camping trip.

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quinn was keen on (read: fixated on) pokemon monopoly over the weekend, so he rallied the kids and taught a bunch of them how to play.

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~dog therapy with walter~

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~reading harry potter to himself by headlamp~

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~owls, ravens, ducks, field guides and dip nets~

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~ninja throwing stars~

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~possum diets, ranging widely from fresh raspberries to the compost bin~

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~a big theme this month has been defining and carrying out responsibilities. many of these things have already been defined, but the pattern of mama repeating herself each time a responsibility came along (brush your teeth, put your dishes in the sink, fold your karate uniform for tomorrow…) had gotten a little… loud, shall we say? so, in an effort to save my voice and quinn’s ears, i decided to revamp the system.~

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~now, quinn refers to “the instructions” which are all laid out on fridge magnets that i stole from google images and photoshopped words onto, then printed, laminated, and backed with magnetic sheets.~

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~i tried to keep them interesting to him, so i used lego minifigures who looked like they were doing the actions called for. harry potter with quidditch uniform and broom accompanies the words “sweep your area,” while ninja turtle rafael instructs quinn to “take care of your karate equipment.” ~

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~quinn requested a few that i had missed, including “help feed the cats” and “read.” it was validating that he made those requests, since the whole idea, at least later in life, is for him to be able to identify his own responsibilities, not necessarily to have me identify them for him…~

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~so far, the results are decent. there is less screaming on my part, and although he can get distracted now looking at the magnets, he is showing more willingness to check in with his instructions and not just blow off whatever i happen to be asking him to do at the moment. ~

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~chewbacca is having his hair combed by han solo to encourage quinn to brush his hair (it’s getting long, and that is what he wants – the tradeoff being he is then responsible for it!) ~ harry potter sweeping, emmett brushing his teeth ~ the dwarves stacking their dishes in bilbo’s house ~

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~baseball had been big this summer. he has been attending what we are affectionately calling “camp boss summer program” which just means his best friend’s mom (who happens to also be my sister) is taking care of him for me while i’m at work. together they have done some baseball math, have been playing a weeks-long game of major league baseball monopoly, and of course, have been playing baseball in the back yard. quinn’s skills are improving, i mean, look at this windup:~

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~still, i think he may have more of a future in baseball commentating, moreso than playing the game. he has a real knack for understanding the rules and giving the play-by-play. “the bases are loaded, they have two outs and he has two strikes. he swings and bam, he hits it out of the park! the pirates win the series!” (or the cubs, or whatever team they happen to be impersonating that day.)~

speaking of hitting one out of the park, james taylor just did with his new album before the world. fair warning, the song about baseball, angels of fenway made me weep, and i am decidedly not a red sox fan. “doesn’t seem like a long time ago…”

while i’m misty-eyed from just typing that, i also wanted to record quinn’s recent interest in his family tree, thanks in part to his grammy making him an awesome book about family members, through a lens of a famous arctic explorer, roald amundson, with whom one of our relatives was acquainted, according to legend; and thanks also in part to the new martin and sylvia audio series from sparkle stories entitled “family tree of stories.” it came with a link to a printable family tree template with cut-out leaves to glue on your very own family tree, which quinn has begun doing. he is more excited, however, about the handheld tape recorder i dug out for him to use to collect family stories when we go to new york at the end of august! (you can’t buy blank cassette tapes at fred meyer, in case you were wondering. thank goodness for the internet.)

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~we took an intentional detour to the beach on a friday before i dove into packing all weekend, and quinn and i went on a big dinosaur pokemon fossil hunting expedition.~

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~tracking something~

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~making a point to carve out some fun and keep him feeling cared for while i was wrapped up in the move, i got quinn a new suitcase (it rolls, and it’s r2d2. how perfect is that? he took him up and down the “escalator” practicing for our upcoming trip, and r2 is also handy since we are living out of suitcases for a time at the vacation house.) rich got quinn a dragon tapestry of his very own, when he went to oregon country fair. he said he thought the blue and green would go well with quinn’s room colors and, well, we are bringing the dragon house with us, after all. quinn was ecstatic about his dragon and immediately noticed the dragon is holding a blue crystal ball. ~

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~then i realized it’s the same dragon as the one at the karate studio! quinn has been continuing to work hard on his yellow belt curriculum.~

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~universal set one work during “street clothes” week at karate~

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~another riding session with molly!~

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~lots and lots of general summer learning~

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~still smiling his way through sparring class~

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~another month rides off into the sunset!~

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