Saturday, September 12, 2009

the scoop on school

Does it finally come to you waiting souls like a cold litre of Dasani in the middle of the Serengeti? Finally- news on how we are surviving our early school days!

Abi informed me that Friday was the 16th day of school. She then informed me that there were just four more days until the 20th day of school. I have therefore deduced that the mathematics program in her Kindergarten class is exemplary!

She handed me a picture today with two girls she had drawn. She had written across the top: SEDERELU AND ANUSDAYGU. When I asked what she had written, she told me it said Cinderella and Anastasia . Well, of COURSE it did! I have therefore deduced that the literacy program in her Kindergarten class is exemplary!

In all seriousness, Abi is having a great time in Kindergarten, and she appears to be thriving. I have seen some wonderful worksheets come home with her, and she has spoken of some fantastic activities they have done.

The second week in, they baked gingerbread cookies and read the book about the Gingerbread Man. Apparently, each child cut out his or her own gingerbread boy or girl, and they decorated one large one as a class. Well, later that morning, the principal came in and admitted he opened the oven. Wouldn't you know, that gingerbread man ran away. He left a note on the principal's desk. Bet you can guess what it said. The kids looked all weekend for that cookie. He didn't turn up until Monday.

They've worked on graphing, reading, Venn diagrams, coloring, cutting, pasting, washing their hands, crossing the street, Spanish, art, phys ed, music, library use, and (the one thing I've heard the most about) learning to be quiet. She is coming home, singing songs in Spanish, reciting her small reading books beautifully, phonetically spelling whatever she can all over the place, and writing numbers on her chalkboard just for fun.

It amazes me, really. She was clearly so ready for this, and she has jumped in full force. Yes, some days she comes home a little cranky, but when I see what they cram into three hours, I am awed that she even has the strength to walk the 3/4 of a mile home.

Oh- did I not mention that? We walk to school? About 3/4 of a mile each way? I'm sure when she's in her 60's she will recall it being up hill both ways (and parts of it are), and oh, just wait until the snow begins to fall!

As for making new friends... come on. This is Abi we're talking about. Right away she met Joy and Lauren. On day three she came out of school with a new best friend, Mackenzie. She also knows Isaac and Luke in her class, and the mom of a little boy named Sam told me that her son comes home talking about Abi all the time. She also has good friends Jakob and Kaylee in other kinder classes, and McKenna and Anna in second grade. Some days she'll tell me of some random older kid she met: Coby- the second grader on the playground, Maddy- her third grade reading buddy. You get the picture. She's not her mother's introvert. She is her father's social butterdragon.

... and those of you who try to keep tabs on me from time to time might be wondering: how is MOM handling all of this?

Well, with the extra 3-4 miles of walking each day, I am less concerned if I miss my workouts! It's nice to have a little time with Braeden, and I also really appreciate having a little quiet time each morning when Braeden naps. I miss her though. Don't get me wrong, it is easier to tolerate some things when she focuses on school for three hours each day, but... I miss her mind around here sometimes. Even though she is only five years old, given the amount of time we have spent together, she knows me so well. We read each other, and often can be what the other needs without even being asked. She knows me. And I know her. And sometimes it's nice to have that so near.

I'm pretty in touch with my kids at this point in our lives. Reading them is my job right now. It has been such a treat for me to watch Abi's mind develop, to recognize how strongly I understand her, and to sense how she flows. It could be just in simple things she says, or in how she helps or handles her brother. Even in how she gets so mad when all she wants to do is kiss Braeden and he wants no part of it. I see it coming. I see him flip out. I see her overreact, and thrash about not getting to dote on him to her fullest desires. I get a lot of pleasure from experiencing her methods of processing the world around her.

So. I miss that.

Then I think about all of the other people that are getting the chance to learn that she not only has potential to be an amazing person, but that she is, right now, an amazing person, and I am just so thrilled for the world.

What an exciting time.


  1. So beautiful! I can totally relate! Sounds like she has a great Kindergarten teacher, as Jamie had, and it is a very special thing. That their first year in school should be filled with such delight is a great blessing -- for everyone! Hard as it can be to give them up to the institution, it is a relief to discover it is, for the most part, an institution worthy of receiving our children. Wait till she actually starts to read on her own -- it is like the unfolding of a butterfly -- a miracle! And, I am happy you are getting some moments to enjoy your own solitude -- also terribly important. Just one question. . . What the heck is a butterdragon???
    P.S. Martha shall be heading home soon -- along with some special items that needed a special home, and not to be included in the garage sale!

  2. So many of your posts make me laugh out loud and yet some of them are so beautifully written that I'm left with a feeling of raw emotional love for parenthood. This one did both. You have a way with words that is quite incredible.

    I'm so glad to hear that school is going well! Out of curiosity, is it a public school she's going to?

  3. amy, butterflies are much too delicate to describe any of my offspring. hence... butterdragon. (and we look forward to hearing all of martha's montana stories!)

    niffer, yes, she is attending a truly fantastic public school. an IB certified public school.

    thanks to you both for your kind words and wonderful compliments.

  4. Hahaha... your explanation of Butterdragon made me laugh. That's fantastic!

  5. This is it! I found it! I don't know why I was looking for this post but I was beginning to wonder if it was even you who wrote what I was looking for.

    "Even though she is only five years old, given the amount of time we have spent together, she knows me so well. We read each other, and often can be what the other needs without even being asked. She knows me. And I know her."