I have so much to say about first grade and yet, I have so nothing to say about first grade. I think the only thing I can firmly say is: if Girly were in public school, she would be in first grade.
But she’s not in public (or private) school. She is homeschooled. And she is starting to need more than I have previously offered her…
Usually, I have some delusions of grandeur about what we will do and use; but just like we had to find our footing with BigGuy, I had to find my footing with Girly. This year was that year. Here is what transpired:
- Girly learned to read because she wanted to learn to read. But I need to help her learn to read better by exposing her to digraphs and diphthongs… neither of which I’d have been able to identify by their proper names before this past week. Seriously.
- Girly showed an honest and active interest in science–specifically biology. She remains committed to learning about birds and I need to own that for this coming year. Working on it.
- Our girl is an athlete. Not just soccer, but she has a hell of an arm on her (and loves to play catch) and she’s an awesome basketball player. I am simultaneously ecstatic that she has an obvious gift in things she enjoys and discouraged because this child landed in the WRONG family for an athlete. I need to let go of the cost of playing soccer for a club and see it for what it is: club soccer is to Girly what choir or science camp is to BigGuy. And she deserves it to be paid for no matter what it costs. I mean, we DID that–but I need to keep this mindset for her sake. Thankfully, Husbeau and I have always been on the same page when it comes to “losing” money because our children are no longer well-served by an activity and are very unhappy. Not spoiled unhappy, but truly unhappy. We know the difference.
- Our girl is also an artist and loves to draw, paint, etc. I need to get over it (“it” being the mess and time factors).
- She no longer mentions “building things” (see the image at the top of this post) and it makes me sad. It makes me really sad. Because she really wanted to “build things” for a long time and we just brushed it off.
- Girly also admires her big brother and longs to emulate him in a number of ways–including “doing schoolwork”. I need to respect her drive to succeed academically while ensuring that she receives the attention she deserves for HER gifts and talents because I think she wants to be like BigGuy because she sees people impressed with his academics.
So… all of that. I really need to get my act together this year. BigGuy turned out great despite the mayhem of these years of his life (seven changes of residence in the last 6 years). Girly is not BigGuy. She comes with some existing wiring that we need to smooth out with stability and support that BigGuy got away without having.
This can’t be another floundering year for us. I don’t need to sit down and plan every week’s minute but I definitely need to have a list of things we can do on the spur of the moment when we hit rough weeks. Stuff I can whip out and offer up that will feed Girly. Stupid stuff–stuff that’s not hard to think up but that I just DON’T think of because I’m bogged down with one thing or another (logistically, mentally, whatever). So I’m gonna work on that.