My child didn't go to school today.

But, she read,

A House for Hermit Crab

Curious George

The Nightingale

The Emperor and the Kite

The Funny Little Woman

Queen Esther

The Two Trails

Thank You, Amelia Bedelia

Please Note: These are just the books I saw her reading. There were at least a few others that she read and put away before I noticed.

She also read Water Wonders for the third time and decided to make a frog out of cork. I suggested she paint the cork instead of trying to color it with crayons. So, she gathered the materials herself and did the painting herself.

She had to leave the cork to dry for a while, so she sat and read books to her baby sister.

She also colored with her sister and built a tent for the two of them in the living room.

She bundled up and went outside in the afternoon. She collected caterpillars and a slug off our rotten tomato plants in the garden.

She put the caterpillars in her praying mantis's case to feed it, but decided she wants to keep the slug as a pet. So, we read about how to care for slugs and she worked on making a home for it.

She started working on another puzzle, using these steps. She managed to build the edges and sort the pieces into three groups before going on to something else.

She finished her frog and got to play with it in the bathtub after dinner.

She also worked on table manners at breakfast, lunch and dinner: using a napkin, sitting up straight, swallowing before talking and keeping her elbows off the table.

She made her bed, wiped off the table after every meal and picked up all the toys twice (because the house gets messy again and again throughout the day).

And, perhaps best of all, she had to practice saying sorry today. Once, she got really annoyed and threw her baby sister's toy across the room, making her cry. She had to get down, look her in the eyes and say, "I was wrong. I'm sorry." She also leaned in and whispered something really sweet in the baby's ear. I couldn't hear what it was, but the baby dove forward, giving her a big hug. They both laughed and everything was okay after that.

"I'm ashamed that so many of us cannot imagine a better way to do things than locking children up all day in cells instead of letting them grow up knowing their families, mingling with the world, assuming real obligations, striving to be independent and self-reliant and free."

- John Taylor Gatto


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