*Adam and Frannie started school.
*Adam is having an ok, slightly rough transition. He keeps getting hit in the face with basketballs at recess. Fortunately he is now figuring out the bigger playground and seems to be having fewer ball-face contact problems. Earlier in the week he declared he "didn't really like school because there is too much recess."
*He also has some righteous anger about other people, especially GIRLS, cutting in line. I've tried to explain that they're mostly just doing that to stand next to a friend. After all, there isn't a Disneyland ride at the end of the line or anything. But I understand the frustration of wanting to keep one's rightfully earned place in line.
*His behavior is impeccable as I knew it would be. He gets "clipped up" every day. He's a super-good boy.
*Francesca has more homework this year. Plus her piano songs take genuine practice time. Plus she's supposed to be reading 20 mins a day for homework. Plus her twice-a-week soccer practices are pretty much an hour and some change long. Life is getting busier for her with more time-management needed. So far we're trying the strategy of knocking out all the homework on Friday after school so that the rest of the week her "homework" is piano practice and reading.
*The social indoctrination of "girls don't wear dresses" is taking hold once again. I've seen this now each year (but quicker this time) where during the school year she abandons her dresses for jean shorts and t-shirts. (Basically she starts dressing like me- even though really she's dressing like the other girls in school.) During the summer the dresses come back and I consider it her natural state. She even commented that the older girls in school never wear dresses. Yup. I know. Why is this? Nothing wrong with shorts and pants of course. Certainly for Natalie this is her natural state as she hates dresses. This isn't the case for Frannie who has always preferred dresses and skirts. In general my thought process is that whatever she wants to wear is fine as long as whatever she's wearing is fine. She's learning to "fit in" at school. Even though I'd like her to just "be herself" realistically we all take cues from our surroundings as to what is right and appropriate. I would though like to encourage her to wear those things that I know she loves to wear. She can be a very creative dresser and I'm often impressed at the way she can mix colors and patterns in such nice ways. My secret delight is that she loves her looooong hair and wants to grow it longer. This is one way she isn't just like everyone else at school and I like that she likes this special quality about her appearance. (More about the shorts thing- it could also have to do with more PE activities. They make them run a lot.)
*We are homeschooling tap. I found an awesome brand-new pair of Bloch tap shoes at the thrift store in just Frannie's size. Well, a 1/2 size big which is perfect so that she can wear them longer. $3.50 for $50 shoes. LOVE IT!.So since I was disappointed at the teaching at her dance studio, I've decided to just show her how to do tap since I took classes for so many years. We've been doing this for about 2 weeks and she's learned a LOT! She's commented more than once that she's learned more from me than she learned at ballet. I know. That's why I'm not spending the money for crappy dance lessons anymore.
*Natalie is adjusting to the kids being gone during the day by taking a big nap in the afternoon. It's like she's on a long car trip and she knows the quickest way to "get there" is to just sleep through it. So she's been sleeping in the afternoon and waking up just in time to go get the kids.
*Natalie is also learning to read. I knew she would pick up reading pretty easily because she memorizes everything really quickly. She memorizes words to songs much more quickly than Adam. And she memorizes the words of stories very quickly. Even though she can't really read it sometimes seems like she's reading because she remembers all of the words on the page. So without teaching her much of anything, she's sounding out some words.
*Adam is learning to read too, but I don't think he'll really learn until he's closer to 7 like Frannie was. He's doing well though and memorizing his sight words. I firmly believe piano has helped both kids with reading skills. Mrs. Myatt is surprised at how well he's doing with piano and frankly so am I. What I'm most surprised about is how much he practices. He said he didn't want to take piano, but I know how he is and I know that he always starts out saying he doesn't want to do things, but then he likes it later.