Mason's reading @ 10:22 am
Just a quick note -- Lynne pointed me to a nice little shout out to my AngeLINK series in an article on io09.com called "Science Fiction Angels that are Aliens in Disguise."
Secondly, since I mentioned this earlier, I should say that Mason passed his reading test. It's a bit of a "fooly," as we say at our house, because the test is structured so that you have to read a specific book (which is at a predetermined level) and answer comprehension question based on that book. So it's not like a test where you go until you can't read any more and it determines your final level of reading ability. You test at a known level. The librarian suggested that we go for "encouraging success." So, rather than try to find the most difficult book at the top of Mason's potential, we picked one he was super comfortable with -- a book called "Clifford's Kitten." It was rated at a 1 - 1.5, which is translated as "someone reading as well as a first grader who has had five months of school."
Mason is anxious to try to test higher already (though that may be because he was offered Izzy's icecream as a reward for a job well done), but after talking to Mrs. R, I'm willing to let him test at the school under Ms. Pat's supervision. (They'd planned to do that this Friday apparently). Though the librarian is more than comfortable having me sit beside Mason and guide him through the process, Mrs. R, I think, though she didn't say specifically, would like an uninvested third party to oversee the process. To be fair, the test is set up so that there is an option for "assisted test taking" which we chose, which means that I could read the questions and multiple choices out loud to Mason. My voice could, without intending to, give away the correct answers. But, as it happened when we took the test, Mason read ahead of me. Most of the time he didn't even read the questions out loud and simply told me which button he wanted me to click on. So I don't think I influenced his results. However, I have enough confidence in Mason's ability that I really have no interest in kicking up a fuss about this. The plan is to have Mason try the next level on Friday with Ms. Pat. I'm sure he'll do fine -- or he won't, and he's still reading at a first grade level at age 4.
Frankly, the last thing I want is for this testing/reading stuff to become un-fun for Mason. I think one of the reasons that Mason is an early reader is that, although we always allowed him to persue anything he was interested in, we never, EVER pushed him. When he asked us about letters and how they were pronounced, we gave him tools to do that, but we resisted making it a quiz, you know? Reading and spelling are games at our house -- games we play as a family. Every day before school lately, Mason has wanted to play Scrabble (tm). We don't really PLAY, not competitively, anyway, but we sit with all the letters in front of us and we try to make up cool words. I showed him how to score, so now he wants to try to find words tht make up the most ponts as well. Today he wanted me to spell "zephyr" and see how many points that would be on a triple-word. (Answer: over sixty, with the "y" landing on a double letter score.) We don't worry about connecting words or how they even go on the board (Mason loves the look of the words going up a diagonal.
The news from Indiana is still mostly confusing. The doctors have pushed back the day for Shawn's dad's surgery by a week and are sending him to an assisted living facility because of Medicare rules and the fact that he's not strong enough for surgery yet. My personal hope (which is deeply selfish) is that this date will continue to be pushed back until it corresponds with the time Mason has off from school in mid-February, but I think that may be too convenient to really hope for -- not to mention the fact that it would probably be better for Shanwn's dad to have the surgery sooner. Shawn, meanwhile, is going stark raving mad because all the information is being filtered through various family members like a bad game of telephone. She's still very anxious to go down and see her dad for herself. I think she still may head down early to check in, possibly on her own or with her brother, and then Mason and I will follow after... but when _exactly_ is no longer clear.
Meanwhile she also caught a cold.
Last night I managed to write nearly 1,000 words on Tate's project because I still have no wireless access and Shawn and Mason were both asleep by 7:30 pm. I've been trying to work on my secret project during the day, and Tate's at night, but I've discovered just how much I rely on instant internet access in my writing process. I was humming along and I hit a point where I wanted to know what second degree burns were like and how to treat them. Despite the fact that we have six sets of encyclopedia in our house (that's hardly an exaggeration, though I don't think any of them were published after 1938,) I felt completely stymied that I couldn't just google the damn information.