Friday, January 29, 2010

Report Card Week

Yesterday, we got Eleanor's report card in the mail. Today is report card day for the three kids in elementary school. There is a little bit of a buzz in the air around our home. Having home schooled my children for years and years, there was no such thing as a report card. My kids were evaluated weekly (if not daily in some cases) and they did not go on to a new lesson until they proved mastery - with that philosophy, there is no B or C. You don't move on until you have an "A".

I still get questions all the time about how the kids are doing in school. Overall, they are doing very well. I prayed the most about Eleanor. I don't think there is a person on the planet who doesn't cringe when you say 13 year old girl and middle school in the same sentence. But, she is handling this year with poise and grace. I will never forget my dad saying, "She'll do fine because she's not a ding-bat." HA! I am most grateful for a set of teachers who recognize Eleanor's abilities and her hard work ethic. These teachers are constantly praising. In fact, there has not been a month go by at school that she was not names "Student of the Month" in one of her classes. In November, she was "Student of the Month" in THREE of her classes! Socially, well, Eleanor is quiet and shy. And she made a decision back in September to not get "stuck in a clique", so she eats lunch with different groups each day. No one can say a bad word about her, but the flip side is that she doesn't have that real close group of girl friends. We are still praying that a Christian girl, just one, would come into her life at school to give her that best friend.

Harry - let's just say he's smart and lazy. Two qualities that don't always result in a good school year. We are addressing this issue and there will be some changes in the future.

Isabel - Joe and I keep saying that it didn't take long for her to start running the class. Now, she has her sights set on the school. We are not joking. Talk about an over-achiever! We do hear great reports about Isabel as she is doing really well academically. She is a different bird than her older sister, though, and as the teacher puts it, "Every girl in the 2nd grade wants to be Isabel's friend. I just watch the girls swarm around her when she walks into the room." That's Isabel!

George - amazing! He is doing very basic, beginning reading. But what I love, is that he now knows how to sound out words (phonics)! Also, he is starting to consistently read the words left to right (this was a huge obstacle to overcome for he would see the word BIG and would think GIB). Every subject is work and some days the work gets a bit overwhelming for George, but he never wavers in his attitude and work ethic. He is doing well because he wants to do well.

I can't wait to get the report cards today. Either way, I am proud of these kids and how well they have transitioned into public school. The three older ones have all asked me several times if they could come home again, and I have had to say no even though my heart longs for those amazing learning moments we used to have around the home. I know this is God's will for my kids right now, and He has prepared a work for me to do as well. I do love my afternoons where we gather around the kitchen table and work on homework until dinner. I enjoy hearing about their day and talking about what they are studying or reading. I also am committed to supplement their education, especially with history and a Biblical world view.

This year, more than ever, I have opened up my hands and let go of my kids. I am trusting that God is with them when they are in the school and that they are growing in their witness for Him. Going to school has opened up a whole new set of discussions; divorce, atheism, swearing and bad language, and even racism. Sometimes I wish we didn't have to talk about these things, especially for the younger ones. Let's let them be children for as long as possible! Do they really need to know about the harsh realities of life? That will come soon enough, and when their minds and emotions are mature enough to process it. Hearing their brother called a bad name on the bus was hard and it caused them to question why people are racist. Listening to half of their classmates cry and complain about divorce has caused them to fear that someday Mom and Dad might get a divorce. Putting up with a child saying there is no such thing as God, and then having NO evidence to back up his claim, has caused my children to dig deep into their minds to have an answer ready when someone asks them if God is real. Some good stuff, some bad stuff..but all learning opportunities.

Bottom line is these are God's children and He has given me the blessed opportunity to raise them and love them. And I do love them all! We are a little cramped and we have to say no to a lot of extras, but there is plenty of love in our family. I can't wait to see the report cards and tell each one of them how proud I am of them!

1 comment:

Alicia-Marie Christensen said...

I'd love to talk to you more about homeschooling sometime!!!