So far, so good. Corazon has been plugging along on her schoolwork while I still refuse to give her any. She even asked to go back to her blog this weekend. She used to post her daily journal prompts there and then lost interest in both the blog and her schoolwork. Now she seems ready to tackle it again. We shall see how it goes but for now I am grateful that she has taken a new interest in her school work. It has been challenging to come up with a school routine with four kids "formally" schooling. We are in week 3 of our schedule and are hitting our stride I think. The biggest challenge is that both Pollito and Corazon demand CONSTANT attention particularly if another one of them is talking with me. It is like clockwork...if one asks a question, the other one (or two if the original child talking to me is Tortuga or Milagro) is right there. It would be one thing if they waited quietly but the shout at me and each other to try and get my attention. I have gotten pretty good at ignoring it until I am finished with the first kid but sometimes it escalates quickly. Other than this behavior though I think we are lucky. They all seem to know what they need to do, we have time for group activities or lessons, and this year we have started having organized "arts" activities at least twice per week. The kids all love to do crafts and arts but it is not my strength nor my interest. So I struggle to create opportunities for them beyond their usual drawing, coloring, painting activities--which they all love and is their "go to" activity when they have free time.
Pollito is still a very angry little boy. He just turned 8 but still lags about 2 years behind his chronological age in most areas. His anger is directed mostly at himself or his sisters and he is destructive. It is difficult to tell whether the issue is his nature run amok (he loves taking things apart) or he is actively working to make them angry at him. He pretty much destroys (quietly) anything he has--toys, books, stuffed animals, etc and he does it to any of their items he can get ahold of. Yet he is also very sensitive. Whenever the other kids are sad or in trouble (even when he set them up) he feels bad for them and tries to hug them or goes off to draw them "a card." Just yesterday, I sent Corazon to her room for a "break" for deliberately defying me as I was trying to get Milagro to do something she knew how to do on her own. Pollito went off and drew her a card and wrote on it that he missed her so much when she wasn't downstairs with the other kids. This is pretty typical of him.
Tortuga is still having a hard time but we are seeing some slow progress. The meanness and hostility have tapered off and have been replaced by disrespect and attitude. I just reread that and marveled at how I can describe disrespect and attitude as "progress." :-) For him it is. I still haven't re-instituted his guitar lessons (should have started in late August) because he hasn't demonstrated that he can consistently follow his most basic routines and expectations. I am not sure what to expect with him because his WORST times are usually between Halloween and mid February. Lots of traumaversaries for him during those months. If what we are seeing is the best we are going to get until next February this is going to be one dreary Fall/Winter and I am not looking forward to this at all. We shall see.