Friday, June 17, 2011

6/17/2011 Rose Blossom

Katrina...what a funny little thing she is.

Picking kids up this week has been crazy because they're all 3 in different places. I pick Katrina up first at preschool, then Gabriel at our usual CDC, then Julian at a YMCA daycamp where he took Martial Arts for a week (and he loved it). Despite this craziness, having the boys apart has been great for everyone. What a relief not getting behavior reports from teachers or camp counselors every day.

On the way to pick up Julian, which is farther than usual and along a new route, Katrina's been making a game of calling aloud names on street signs, and showing that she knows all their abbreviations, like "Rd" is Road, "Dr" is Drive, "Wy" is Way, etc. And sometimes she make a joke or laughs at a particular street name.

One sign that caught her eye a few days ago was Rose Blossom Drive. "Rose Blossom!" she called out, "That's my new name!!" And so, she's now Rose Blossom.

Rifling through this week's preschool work, I couldn't believe it when I saw the Name on this worksheet.

At least 3 of her worksheets, she'd put her name down as Rose Blossom!! Mis-spelled, but I can forgive a 4-3/4yo for that.

Other worksheets, she used her real name however. This worksheet caught my eye because it asks kids to write a sentence -- a sentence! These are preschoolers! This worksheet shows in the lower left corner that it's technically for Grade 1.

That's Cupertino for you. It's not just Katrina; her whole pre-K class is doing first-grade level work. Meantime other parts of California -- heck, even nearby in San Jose -- are struggling with getting kids up to par in just the basics. I hate it when teachers are criticized for "failing schools"; I think most teachers are very committed. It's families and parents that have the most to do with kids' success in school. Cupertino preschoolers are doing first-grade level work because of their parents -- even skeptical/lazy/apathetic ones like us who don't directly supplement their education at home. Our preschooler is writing sentences and doing basic subtraction without flashcards or tutoring or "educational" anything, and I think that's mostly because of her general environment at home.

Wherever she gets it, I love that Miss Rose Blossom's education opens the world up to her -- it means that she can read street signs, process what they mean, and be able to write a name down as her own and make a game of it.

Speaking of education, one thing I've finally learned: don't even bother putting away my "marking station" when the summer starts or when school starts! Every day it seems I have another item of clothing, towel, water bottle, whatever, to label. I have a whole kit of iron-on name labels, labels with no printed name that I can write on, and heavy-duty stickers for things like swim goggles. Good grief!


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