Tuesday, September 07, 2010

9/7/2010 Schoolgirl

You'd think I'd be immune to being impressed by what kids learn in school by the 3rd one, but I'm not for Katrina. I'm impressed.

I hope it's not because Katrina is a girl and I secretly harbor lower expectations for her, and I hope it's not because her brothers both showed some extraordinary abilities early on that she hasn't yet. I think it's mostly because she's really a lot younger than the boys were at this stage of her schooling and it's easier to be surprised when she is up to "grade level" for lack of a better term.

And I'm also just a proud mom of a happy, delightful, charming, engaging, bright little light in our household, bringing joy streaming through the clouds of gloom and fury that her brothers have been dusting up.

Katrina's pre-K schoolwork consists of 7 or 8 worksheets a week, that teach things like opposites, shadow shapes, upper and lower case, sequencing, picking a different item out of a list of items, matching shapes, finding objects in a drawing. Some of this is stuff kindergartners do.

Here she traces numbers, then writes them, then traces the word version of the number.

Here she circles the opposite image.

And check out her name! She has handwriting! And it's already pretty darned close in quality to the boys'! Somehow, both boys have the worst handwriting in their classes.

Gabriel, meantime, is flubbing the one subject we always thought would be a breeze for him -- math. He says he gets tired, he says he doesn't have enough time. Looking at something sort of like a math test he had to take, he made sloppy mistakes that I know he knows easily (e.g. 17 - 9 = 12). I'm not sure what's going on here, but his teacher mentioned he gets tired during math, and he says so too. Time of day relative to recess and/or lunch? I don't know, but something's going on.

Julian goes between complaining about doing his work, to not wanting to stop. His teacher is not impressed with his socializing and inability to stay focused on his classwork. But Julian can be very very focused without distraction, and he can be very serious about his schoolwork too. It's easier to get him to do his work than Gabriel.

But so far, Katrina takes her schoolwork seriously and really seems to enjoy it. Before you think she's being shackled academically, she comes home with more art projects and drawings and paintings and sand in her shoes from playing outside than worksheets. She's getting plenty of fun and play too at the marvelous nicely balanced preschool she's in. But though she stubbornly refused to do her worksheets at first, now she enjoys them and takes pride in them. She may yet be our star student!


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