Summer recap- playing in the woods!

Oh my has it been a busy summer. Beautiful weather, great friends, and family galore come to visit. The summer has flown by and I have neglected this space in blogland for far too long.

Montana is beautiful this time of year, and while my heart still aches for Alaska (and probably always will) I feel at peace when I step into this vast wilderness that is this state. I think my children would say they feel the same.

Summer wildflowers are abundant and make the perfect backdrop for pictures.

Watching dad fish, an everyday occurrence in the summer months. Little W is always fascinated.

I've been keeping my eyes on these thimbleberry plants. I plan on thimbleberry jam this year.

Of course A found moose scat and had to poke it. LOL

Isn't nature incredible? This butterfly on yarrow....

...a spider on red clover....

...a mountain goat on the side of the cliff....all spectacular sights!

Nothing better than a day in the woods with my family.


Tammy said…
Gorgeous pics!
You are right, you DO live in a beautiful state.
Abbie said…
Thank you so much for your blog and sharing your story. I stumbled onto your post about making a model of lungs from...somewhere. You know how searches go. Since I didn't find an e-mail address at first blush, I am writing a comment, but you need to publish this. :)

I am a homeschooling mother of three, ages 10, 8.5, and 5. We are transitioning to a more classical approach this year, but I started our homeschooling journey using a pretty pure Montessori approach. My older two attended private Montessori school as primaries for a couple of years and am particularly drawn to this her methods.

I am so interested in your journey teaching a profoundly gifted child. My youngest son seems to have some unique academic needs and this summer I've been reading a bit about what it means to be a gifted child. I truly hesitate to use this term with him since I agree that the "gifted" term is often diluted and misused in many PR situations, and that there are children who learn quite differently than their peers and have a need for accelerated and advanced academics. I don't have an IQ number to back anything up. I don't believe that he is profoundly gifted, and I even have trouble believing that he is even what people would appropriately term "gifted." But, the more I talk with other friends about their 5 year olds the more I wonder if his level of academic achievement is more than just a bit advanced.

Thus far, I've attributed his ability to do academic work far more advanced than his peers to the fact that he is the youngest of three, and we just gave him what he needed earlier than other children normally receive these lessons. He started his Montessori infant/toddler training at 11 mos. and primary training at 2 yrs, 4 mos. He doesn't exhibit the other behavioral challenges many labeled "gifted" do. He is happy with his second grade math book, and is beginning to read easy chapter books. At 4.5 yrs he completed the end of year kindergarten grade Terra Nova in the 99th percentile. (I personally think that this test is pretty easy for homeschoolers generally.) He read his first words, not at 2.5 yrs like your daughter, but at about 4. We are starting elementary Montessori math this year his kindergarten year. And my husband and I realized very quickly while visiting a charter-public kindergarten class last fall that, he would just not be able to fit in with the children and academic pace of that environment.

I guess my questions are, how do you know if your child is gifted, if they aren't profoundly gifted? Is he just advanced and not gifted? Does it matter in a situation like mine? We are calling him a kindergartener for PR purposes and just meet him where he needs us at home. How do you talk with others about your child so it doesn't seem like you are bragging? Can a child have an exceptional ability in one area and not in another? Can gifted children also display some level of advanced maturity as well? It could be a function of his older sibling role-models, but he definitely doesn't act like other 5 year olds we know. He is super focused on his work. He is meticulous, and particular, and exhibits a very calm body and problem solving attitude. He is always wondering why that child is having a difficult time.

I know you don't know me. And probably don't have a lot of time to answer my random questions. But your advice would be greatly appreciated. I've read many resources with the checklists, does your child exhibit X, Y, and Z? and they don't all match up. But I still wonder.

Thank you again, and I hope that you keep blogging!