Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sweet and sour and the latest from first grade

The beginning of the week was a bit disappointing, leaving a sour aftertaste if you will.  I've been trying to focus on what's really important in life and not allow these negative moments or people to drag me down.  I hate that I need reminders to do this, that this doesn't come naturally to me as it should.  I've been through enough to know what's important, to know what and who will really matter 5, 10, 15 years from now.  I held strong and, somewhat miraculously, the week turned around.

I recently met with the girls' teachers for the first round of parent/teacher conferences for this school year and all three are doing really well!  They love school - they're engaged and constantly learning and growing.  This is an important part of life.  Every night, I try to work with each of them, whether it be with math facts or reading.  I'm not even going to go into a discussion (or rant) on work/life balance but it goes without saying, if I were to choose to work late every night, this wouldn't be possible.  And I don't even know if choose is the proper word as it isn't always a choice.  There's so much more I could say on this but this is a public blog.  

So the girls are doing well both academically and socially and I'm one proud mom.  I don't expect my kids to be geniuses but I want them to always put forth their best effort.  And they have been.  And they are super smart.  (That's me bragging.)  Emily's teacher gave me overall percentages for literacy and math assessments and Emily had scored a 98% and a 96%.  Allie and Anna had high percentages as well but their assessments were broken down into sections, not overall scores.  But they all have areas to work on, which is completely normal.  As one of the teachers said, "There's always something we can work on."  By the end of the school year, they need to pass (twice for it to count) two timed math exams.  The first is addition (sums to 10) and the other is subtraction (highest number is 10) and they have 3 minutes (for each) to correctly answer 70 questions.  Every few weeks, they are tested and with each test, the girls' scores rise, as they should  Emily just brought home a 56/70 on the addition one.  She's almost there!  Allie has actually been scoring the highest on those so I'm curious to see what her most recent one looks like.  (After they score 70/70 twice, they are given the 2nd grade test for the remainder of the year.)

Anna's teacher told us that Anna is well liked by the other students and probably has a few boyfriends by now, which I completely believe because anytime we walk by kids from her class, there's always at least one boy yelling out, "Hey, there's Anna," and waving.  When she was a baby, I didn't realize how the diagnosis of spina bifida would bleed into almost every single aspect of her life.  There's an emotional/mental side to it that needs to be watched and I'm grateful that everyone she has contact with at the school is on top of it.  She strives for independence and doesn't want to be different, which is typical of most kids.  Hers is just slightly different though.  We all need to make sure she understands that it's okay to need help.  She's such a hard worker.

When the girls were in preschool, a family with a little boy with spina bifida moved into our town.  He was placed in Anna's preschool class and we connected via a spina bifida organization.  The family was over at our house one day visiting and I noticed how the younger sister instinctively knew to stay out of the way of her brother's wheelchair.  She always knew where her brother was and always moved out of the way with just the right timing.  I mention this because I feel like it's the easiest way to describe Anna's movements around other kids.  She's very aware and watchful of what other kids around her are doing and always ready to move out of their way.  Anna's knows her physical limitations when it comes to activities that may be dangerous, like recess on the playground.  She knows what she can and can't do so the fear is that she'll be injured (accidentally) by another kid. At this point, I feel like her actions and awareness around other kids is an instinct that she's developed and not necessarily something she thinks about doing.  She never mentions it and it doesn't seem to be causing any stress but it is something we adults need to monitor.

It's interesting to note that the girls have slightly different strengths academically.  Identical multiples are fascinating from a scientific point of view and talking to three different teachers about three kids who began as one was so very interesting.  A common misconception of identicals is that because they share the same genetic makeup, they have the same personalty.  Yeah, so not true.  Even though their personalities cross over, they are different.  There's one who's quiet, one with a super good sense of humor and one who sparkles.  Can you guess who that last one is?  Yes, Allie.  I'm telling you that kid needs to go into theater or something.  She's quite a character.

Do all kids this age like books?  I was a bookworm up until I had kids (and ran out of reading time) and it fills me with joy to watch my kids develop a love of reading. I usually tuck Emily in last as Allie and Anna demand that I tuck them in first (or second).  She's very easy going (a characteristic from her father) and patiently waits for me in room.  She has taken to sitting in the little Boston Rocker that used to be mine and reading to herself until I come in.


1 comment:

Kelly said...

That is so awesome! You have every right to brag!!!!!

I like that their teacher seems very positive. Ours is not. The boys are young 5s and are in a young 5s program with full kindergarten curriculum (minus the need to read by end of year). Well, they are already doing all that math and well, some kids do not get 6+3 and 10-4 just yet...and the teacher is always to point out the negatives....which most parents that I talked to do not appreciate...a fair balance would be nice, right?

:) work/life balance? what's that?????