School Year #1

Schoooooool's out for summer!
Schoooooool's out forever!

My daughter just finished her first year of school. She attended four-year-old Kindergarten, which is held for half-days. I think it was an excellent way for her to transition into her full-time gig in the fall. The main focus of 4K is to teach the kids self-control, teamwork, sharing, and how to handle expectations. Oh, and how to do classroom jobs. Thank goodness she finally landed the coveted line leader position for the last two weeks of school. All year she suffered through jobs like "chair checker" and "book straightener" just so that she could ascend to the zenith of all titles. Seriously, I was ready to slip Mrs. M a twenty if it meant my kid got to be line leader.

In 4K, each student's performance is evaluated on a number system, 1 through 4. 1 means the kid doesn't know jack about that particular topic/skill and 4 indicates mastery. My daughter received mostly 4s with a few 3s tossed in. In the comments area, her teacher wrote that she is "very social" but that she sometimes "has trouble maintaining her focus." You don't say! I really liked her teacher. She's one of those uber-patient people who was born to teach young, unruly children, mold young minds, yada yada yada. At a school event back in the fall I watched her helping a boy from A's class cut out a shape from some construction paper. After five minutes of this I think I would've grabbed the scissors and said, "Oh my God! Let me just cut it for you, for crying out loud!" And that, my friends, is why I am not a teacher.

A will spend the summer days at Kindercare (while her parents are busy working for The Man). I think I may attempt to work with her on her reading skills over the next two months. She knows all of the letters and sounds already, of course (I really credit "The Letter Factory" DVD, because she has known this since she was two). If you read her a book and ask her to pick out a particular word on the page, she can generally figure it out. She just needs to put it all together. Of course, she is usually too busy being "very social." I'm anxious for her to learn to read, but also a bit disappointed because I know it will mark the end of being able to spell stuff in front of her. P and I will have to resort to sign language.

In other end-of-year news, A also completed her dance class at the Y. She did very well and is ready to move to the next class (for five and six-year-olds). I think we will take the summer off, though, as I would like to leave some evenings open for trips to the park and other fun stuff. At the end of the summer I will check with her and see if she would like to take swimming, dance, or gymnastics. I can't say that she particularly excels at any of them (being "very social" really does seem to be her biggest talent), but I'm happy to keep taking her to whatever class she'd like to attend.

Until then, summer calls! See you at the next festibul!


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