Proud Mom

Let me explain.  I’m always proud of my kids.  Every parent is.  My kids are not perfect.  They are ordinary kids with big dreams, big smiles, and lots of happiness.  They have bad days and good day and so do I.  I don’t spoil them…well, I try not to and I don’t think they’re spoiled because I don’t give them everything they want or think they need.  I teach them to be good people, to work hard for what they want, to be honest and truthful, to be kind to everyone, and to forgive.  I also show them to be that way by doing it (naturally living my life that way).  In our house, we don’t gossip or talk down on people.  We don’t cuss.  That’s an automatic time out (standing nose to the wall for 5 mins – refuse or make a fuss and another 5 minutes is added – cry and yell and it becomes 30 minutes total….anymore resistance and it becomes an hour and so on).  No violence.  No hitting, throwing, or slamming anything.  Homework is priority although sometimes extracurricular activities do get in the way but it’s manageable so it’s okay.

Having said all that, I still hold my breath and hope my kids do well academically because that’s a priority to me.  It’s my number one priority.  So, this past spring when my 8 year old was finishing up 2nd grade, her grade level was given an examination, one that the parents were not aware of.  Just last week, the scores were given to us and I was shocked.  In math, my daughter scored better than 99% of all students in the nation who took this test.  This means she’s one of the top 1% of students who excel in math.  I am so proud of her.  She is a total math wiz.  At first I just thought she enjoyed it.  Now I realize she’s got something there.  In first grade, she was taking second grade math.  She liked second grade math but was saddened that she had to leave her classmates and go to another class to learn it so when she was in second grade, she purposely kept herself at the second grade level math because she didn’t want to leave the room to go to a third grade math.  I tried to tell her it was better for her to learn third grade math if she’s good at it but she refused and I didn’t want to push her.  I was a bit worried that she’d fall behind if she doesn’t push herself but looking at her math score, I think she’ll be okay.  And, I think that’s all I really want is for her (and my other daughter too) to be okay.  I don’t expect them to become geniuses or anything like that, although, I wouldn’t mind of course, but really I just want them to be successful in their own way and most of all, happy in everything they do.  For now though, I am feeling like such a proud mom because I’m still trying to soak in my 8 year old’s math rank.

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The downside to my daughter being good at math is that she suffers in her verbal skills as you can see above.  But, I already knew she wasn’t a verbal person.  When she was born she didn’t even cry.  I was worried but the doctor said sometimes that’s normal.  She was a quiet baby and toddler.  She’s a talker now but she has a hard time explaining things.  She does all her thinking in her head just like her math.  She’s never counted with her fingers or show her work when it asks for it but her answers are always correct.  I have to remind her to show her work and explain to her why.  Sometimes I’ll ask her how she got her answer and her reply would be, “It’s on the paper.”  Then I’d say, “No…not the answer.  How did you figure out the answer?”  She would say things like, “It’s in my head.”  She is a lot better at explaining now but it will take time for her to get comfortable at it and I am okay with that. 🙂

Where Did Summer Go?

My 6-year-old started first grade. It’s been hard for me to grasp this.  It feels like she was just born yesterday.  My 11-year-old will be starting middle school soon.  This will be her first year in middle school.  I don’t want to even think about it yet.

I tried to hold tight onto summer.  In the last few days before my 6-year-old started school I found ways to go to an amusement park and have a picnic up in the mountains. It was fun and kept me from thinking too much about all the changes.

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Studying Pays Off

KYREAD0008_600Even at this young age, studying pays off.  I’ve been practicing with Kylie once a day and sometimes twice a day for about half an hour (she used to only handle 10 to 15 minutes) on her reading and sight words and it has tremendously helped her do well on her tests!  Before, I was switching off with husband but I needed to just take control of this and do it all because she was only doing mediocre before.  She has been reading at least 3 books a week and practicing at least 20 sight words per week consistently!  On top of that she is also acing her math (addition) and spelling tests!  She only did badly once on her spelling test and that was during the first week she returned to school after winter break.

This morning, she wanted to do it all:  finish all her math, all her sight words, all her books, spelling practice, and her comprehension bubble map homework, but she accidentally flipped her papers too close to her eyes and got a paper cut in one eye so we had to stop because it was hurting too much.  By the time she felt better it was time for school.

She came home this afternoon and was so proud of herself for doing so well.  She showed me all her stickers for all the books she read and all the sight words she was able to test out of…which was about 3 pages of words.  I read her teacher’s notes and I was so proud.  Never have I felt this proud of Kylie.  She really put in 100% and it showed and she’s only in Kindergarten.

First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school for both my girls.  Kida started 5th grade and Kylie started Kindergarten.  I am still trying to sort all my feelings out and have not been very productive with anything around the house or the new digital scrapbook kit I’ve been working on.  When I see a photo of them when they were babies and toddlers, I get teary-eyed (yeah, the photo of the month for this month gets to me) .  I am overwhelmed by the simple fact that they are growing.

I am also nervous about Kylie’s Kindergarten.  On her first day, she cried in class and came home crying.  Something of hers was misplaced at school and she wasn’t able to participate in an activity.  It bothered her all evening yesterday and this morning.  I spoke to her teacher this morning about it and was told that item was found and all is good.  Kylie gets her feelings hurt easily and I’m not sure what to do except tell her things will sometimes happen not in her favor and let her go through the pains.

Kida loves 5th grade and I have nothing else to say. 🙂

Last Violin Performance

Kida had her last orchestra performance earlier this week.  She, and the rest of the group, really improved since their first performance.

We (Kylie and I…husband had a schedule conflict) sat in a spot where I thought would work great for taking photos and videos.  We were in the second row from the front sitting just to the left from middle.  The front row was a half row that ended to our right (with the last seat in front of the seat Kylie was sitting in) which allowed us full view of the stage from an angle.  When Kida came out and took her seat on the stage, we realized that we would not be able to see her at all because there were two violinists to the right of her, blocking her from our view, but by this time the auditorium had already filled up.  To add to that, two big and tall guys sat just to the right of us in the front row, blocking our view.  Kylie was originally sitting right behind them but I switched seats with her so she could see and ended up recording with my camera between the two guys’ shoulders.

Here is a video of one of the songs they played.

Kida has been thinking about not taking violin this fall.  She says it’s too boring.  I reminded her of how excited she got when husband and I finally gave in and allowed her to switch from her guitar to violin.  And, I persuaded her to stick to it but I don’t know if that was the right thing to do.  I’m wondering now if I should have not given her an option and just told her she had to continue.  Frustrating.