Friday, January 2, 2009

My State of the Mikro Address

Since it is that time of year... Mikro at 5.7 years old:

  • He's reading!!! Bob books, Hooked on Phonics and Starfall beginner books, and a good bit of some Level 1 easy readers about frogs, bugs and other critters. He's getting the phonics stuff. He has a ridiculously large number of sight words. The sounding out stuff is the big new skill here. He is also constantly demanding that we spell things for him, and will surprise us by reading street signs and random advertisements on the trains.

  • He can count to 100, and do very simple addition (which he learned from playing with sugar packets while bored at restaurants...) For numbers 1-10, he refuses to say them in English, and will only count in Spanish. I suspect this would go for higher numbers as well, if my high school spanish hadn't all but disappeared for numbers greater than 10.

  • He begs to do schoolwork! He loves learning, and he even likes worksheets. We are doing Math U See (just started), Hooked on Phonics and a ton of reading aloud, mostly nonfiction (all about dinosaurs, animals, and science stuff, as well as poetry (he loves rhyming! Drives me nuts with it sometimes...). He has the attention span for longer books spread out over several days. In the New Year, I am hoping to add a history curriculum and maybe very simple Spanish.

  • He's learning to write, despite fine motor issues and an awful, painful looking grasp on the pencil that I haven't yet managed to correct. He can write his name, "I love you" and some other words. He has awful difficulty with the curved letters. B, D, R, S, G are still beyond him. C can face in any direction. He's a perfectionist, and doesn't enjoy practicing writing letters.

  • He says he loves living animals even better than the dinosaurs, and he wants to be a veterinarian. He is obsessed with Dog Whisperer, It's Me or the Dog, Dogs 101, etc., as well as Croc Hunter and The Most Extreme. He is completely in love with our patient old cat, who puts up with excesses of little boy affection with surprising grace. He likes his turtle, Shellie (because she has a shell!), a red eared slider, but thankfully confines his expressions of affection to the verbal and keeps his fingers out of her tank.

  • He is quite a little flirt, and he really loves girls of all ages. He even flirts with the moms in our homeschool groups. He has made some good friends. He is comfortable approaching and talking the ear off anyone of any age, adults included.

  • He loves telling stories and has a menagerie of imaginary friends, including dinosaurs and ostriches... He regales me with their exploits constantly.

  • Favorites:
    • animals: crocs, snakes, dinosaurs, ostriches, emus, cheetahs, giraffes, penguins, dogs & cats.
    • colors: green
    • food: ziti with peas
    • book: Dinosaur Mummy, Oddhopper Opera
    • toy: a plastic ostrich
    • song: Old MacDonald
    • dinosaur: Ornithomimus, Velocisilodont (one he made up)
    • crayon: magenta and green

  • His favorite places are the American Museum of Natural History, the Botanic Gardens and the Zoos and Aquarium. He also loves Coney Island, and any beach, anytime, anywhere. Of course, he loves the parks and nature centers, and especially going on nature hikes. And the playgrounds. And visiting his cousins and grandparents.

  • He now likes music (he used to say it hurt his ears) and sings a lot. He knows the words to many songs, including Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and some ecological songs for kids. Favorite artists include Walking Jim Stoltz and Magpie.

  • He is still struggling with food. He's afraid of new things, and resists mightily. I am not above threats of no TV in enforcing our 5 bite rule. Things he's added recently: broccoli, brocolini, carrots, sweet potatoes and green beans (not the pureed baby food either-- real steamed veggies!!!) He's also eating a gluten and dairy free Kids Meal from Amy's Organics that has baked ziti with broccoli, apple crisp, and corn bread. We've expanded our yogurt universe to include coconut milk yogurt as well as soy. He loves mango yogurt and flavored applesauce. And he'll drink soy milk, as well as mango juice, apple juice and orange juice, though mostly he still prefers water. He says he's on a journey to crispy foods (which he still will not try, and insisted I draw him a map. Which I did. It starts at the Plains of Mush, moves into the Rolling Hills of Lumpy, then the Foothills of Solids and on to the Mountains of Crispy Crunchy. What can I say, he is the geeky child of geeky parents...)

  • He still gives the best hugs on earth.

Me: I love you more than the world.
Mikro: I love you too, mama. More than the universe!

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