Aug 1, 2008

First Week Back

We are officially back to school.  I find it is nice to start extra early.  It wasn't until today that Caity realized other kids aren't back in school.  The gentle reminder that we finish in time to enjoy the nice weather outside while other kids are inside seemed to squash her lamenting.  After much soul searching we also started Malena in Junior Kindergarten. Basically, she is doing the kindergarten curriculum at a much slower pace without the pressure to complete the entire day.  I wasn't expecting her to really do much this week.  I was pleasantly surprised with her eagerness and ability.  Handwriting is probably her least favorite.  That makes complete sense with it being such a fine motor skill and she is only three and a half.  So, I have not been pressing that at all.  I did have to remind myself that the ultimate goal is not to advance her but to satisfy her natural curiosity to learn about the world.    

Caity is now in third grade and picking up right where we left off in May.  There are a few cobwebs that need to be shaken, and her enthusiasm is that of a typical third grader who is realizing that school equals work.  She also had a few moments of raining on Malena's accomplishment with the obligatory sisterly comments.  I know that it must be hard to see someone take to something so easily that it a struggle for yourself.  I believe that this year will be a big character building year for our Rose.

Colin still lives here and naturally complicates our school time.  I had planned on him being happy playing around in the living room with his trucks and such.  I underestimated his desire to be right by his sisters at all times.  He kept climbing up on the bench or chair next to one of them to look at their books.  Sometimes looking meant he would make stray marks on Caity's assignment.  Strapping him to the highchair to color and make faces only lasts so long before he is an even bigger distraction.  He was trying so hard to imitate Malena saying letters and sounds that it often had us all in stitches at the pure cuteness of it all.  His nap time is our golden time for school. That is when the math and reading happen and that seems to work well for now.  I just pray that he continues to nap this well.

My confidence has increased this year, and I am not second guessing myself quite as much.  We are using a decidedly Christian/Catholic program and have been quite pleased thus far.  The beginning of school has been an adjustment for all in this household.  The bed is calling me earlier and the morning disappears before I get to run.  Next week will be better.  I know that Chris will have his energetic and not as emotional wife back soon.  Fingers crossed!