6.22.2011

Kindergarten Done, Now On to Grad School


Yesterday was Jada's last day of kindergarten. Just as I had gone into the cafeteria with Jada for breakfast for her first day, so I did yesterday. As we sat there quietly, I could not help but think of how much my baby has grown up during this school year. I am so thankful to God, to Penn Alexander, and to Ms. Silver and Ms. Wuschnia for all of Jada's positive development.

It's not uncommon for kids to regress a bit during the summer, and on one level, that's fine by me, as what's being a kid if it isn't just having a whole long summer ahead of you to play and veg. Nevertheless, partly because I am Type A and partly because Jada is still lagging in many key areas, I will continue to put the pedal to the metal on the learning stuff.

For one, I've asked her to pick a book or two every night to read the following morning and fill out a very brief book report form in which she answers three questions: what is the name of the book, what is it about, and why do you like it. Amy bought Jada a handful of chapter books, which are all the rage among her friends, and we think Jada is ready for them, so these will get book reported as well (albeit not at the rate of one or two a day, of course). Sure enough, she has enjoyed reading them, especially reading them to Aaron after Amy and I leave their bedroom for them to go to bed.

I'm also thinking of assigning her some math homework, and/or finding some fun math-related workbook to work through, which she seems to enjoy, and which will keep her number skills sharp. Aaron we're focusing on just getting his letters and numbers, so it's slow going but hopefully slow but steady.

Looking ahead some more, though I have tried to avoid over-scheduling the kids, I think it's time for Jada at least to learn how to take something on and see it through. Believe it or not, I actually don't care what that activity is; for example, I don't see piano as being inherently superior to dance. What is important, in my mind, is that Jada learns that a craft takes time and repetition and practice and effort to get better at; that, more than the craft itself, is hopefully the long-term takeaway.

What works as the activity is unknown as of now, given how narrowly we define our world in terms of wanting to minimize cost and commute and inconvenience. Thankfully, we live in a big city and have many friends whose brains I can pick. Still, I welcome any ideas you all might have. Thanks for following us along the way; we've reached one milestone with Jada in completing kindergarten, and hopefully many more milestones await our precious little girl.

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