Maritza Ruiz-Kim

Artist, San Francisco Bay Area

On Being a Little Man

He wants to be just like Daddy. Everyday, instead of washing his face, he shaves. We ask him: “Did you brush your teeth? Did you shave?” He does do a pretty good close shave, by the way. Nice and soft afterwards, ha ha. I love this kid.

It’s been a full week of homeschooling, and you know what, it’s been pretty cool. Enn loves it, too, even though there are parts of it that I can say plainly he’d be happy to do without. He loves the math manipulatives that we borrowed from my neighbor. You know, little colored teddy bears, geometrics pieces that fit into larger shapes, little blocks that can stack up quite tall. And he is learning to tell time, that is our main math exercise of the month. I have no math curriculum, so we are winging that one. We are using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. The not easy part is getting your kid to do the first lessons when they are ssssooooo wwwwaaaayyyyy easy for him. And if you’ve done these specific lessons, you’d get the inside joke here- that he has to learn to say the sounds sssssllllllooooowwwwwllllyyyy and slowly blending them, not “mm–aaa–t, mat.” It’s mmmmmmaaaaaaaat. Supposedly it gets them reading more fluently later on, since they don’t pause between each sound. This program was recommended to me by a friend who homeschooled each of her three kids before they entered public school at the end of elementary, and she is now a public school principal. She said this is hands down, the best program. I think it will work for Enn, it’s just tedious and boring right now, because he’s like- I know those sounds! Why do i have to say it ssssslllloooowwwww over & over again? So he fools around, doesn’t answer me, or whines & complains. Well, today, during Task 1 of Lesson 5, he got a timeout for not obeying & cooperating. I sent him to Timeout until he was ready to do the lesson correctly. It was 10, maybe 15, maybe even 20 minutes later. Then he said, “I’m done with my timeout.” I said “Only if you’re ready to do the lesson.” “I’m ready, mama.” And he did. It went so fast. Like the whole thing would take 10 minutes daily if he’d not fool around. So we got back into it, and he started a tiny bit of silliness, and I threatened another timeout, and it worked like magic. Back to work, and then we were done.

In the car on the way to the park, I told him that I was very proud of him for listening even when it was hard. And he said “And I am so sorry, so very very sorry, for not listening. I am so sorry.” My heart melted. What a little gentleman. What a little man.
His daddy is so great at saying sorry. Much better than me, I should say. And this is part of growing up, saying sorry, forgiving. It’s a grown up thing to do. I wish we could all be good at it. All of the time.

3 Replies to “On Being a Little Man”

  • That’s great that homeschooling is taking off so beautifully! And that your little man is taking after his dad.

    I am probably a crappy apologizer as well. See, I can’t even admit that I definitely am — proving that I don’t know how/when to say sorry.

    Three cheers for our husbands, who can be better examples!!

  • That’s great that homeschooling is taking off so beautifully! And that your little man is taking after his dad.

    I am probably a crappy apologizer as well. See, I can’t even admit that I definitely am — proving that I don’t know how/when to say sorry.

    Three cheers for our husbands, who can be better examples!!

  • That’s great that homeschooling is taking off so beautifully! And that your little man is taking after his dad.

    I am probably a crappy apologizer as well. See, I can’t even admit that I definitely am — proving that I don’t know how/when to say sorry.

    Three cheers for our husbands, who can be better examples!!

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